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Alexi Lalas: a U.S. setback, but not the end of the world

Feb 7, 2013, 1:04 PM EDT

Alexi Lalas

Former U.S. center backs Alexi Lalas and Jimmy Conrad weighed in on Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to Honduras during a Google Hangout on MLSSoccer.com. (Those are huge now, you know.)

Conrad, now the face of KICK TV, seemed to think the bigger blow to U.S. World Cup prospects were more consequential than Lalas. Said Lalas, an ESPN analyst:

I think before this game a lot of people were talking about how this could very easily be a loss. But I think everybody had some good perspective and understanding that it’s not the end of the world and it is not the end of the world right now.”

He mentioned the same choice we are all talking about today: Jurgen Klinsmann’s decision to start such an untested back line: Lalas said managers get paid to live and die by their roster and lineup selections.

Fair or not, people are going to go back and ask was it right to start a back four that had never played together, especially in the middle with two guys that had never played together, over captain Carlos Bocanegra, and that’s a valid criticism. But I think when you really look at it, I’m not sure Carlos Bocanegra would have made the difference out there, not the 2013 version of Carlos Bocanegra.”

Conrad, by the way, reckoned that Bocanegra would have made the difference, perhaps his experience being enough to preserve the 1-1 draw, at least.

The 15-minute Google Hangout is here.

Fox Soccer Channel’s Rob Stone was also on the hangout – sharing an earpiece with Lalas, by the way, which is kinda of unstable. He mentions what we talked about earlier today, how the United States is clearly missing Landon Donovan.