22 June 2007

The Thursday Night Soccer Reviews

Last night was a night I had anticipated heavily, but by the time it was over I felt annoyed that I ever cared about this game. Why? Well...

USA 2 : 1 CAN: Setting aside Canada's disallowed goal (which I don't understand, and if I were a Canadian fan I would feel completely embittered about the entire thing) the US has some glaring problems. In the opening 20 minutes they showed good skill in carving through the Canadian midfield, but never manufactured a great chance off of it. The half chances were all weakly taken shots whose energy had pretty much expired by the time Pat Onstad took them into his arms. If I had to say one thing, it is that the US misses, and has not replaced, Brian McBride. Eddie Pope was pretty much done in 2006 for international play, Claudio Reyna (Ghana game aside) will be replaced by someone, I have no doubt, but Taylor Twellman and Brian Ching do not seem to provide the same ability to take advantage of small chances that McBride did. For all the other International retirements you can see that in four years we could be okay, but not McBride. That's worrisome.

Oh, and Frankie, um... DID YOU SEE LAST YEAR'S WORLD CUP? When the opposing team's talented midfielder head-butts you, YOU FALL DOWN WITH A COLLAPSED LUNG! You don't slap him in the face. Goodness, have we learned nothing?

Let me be honest. Had Canada's goal (and it was a goal) been allowed to stand, they would have found a way to win that game. The USA does not inspire confidence. But... (see part 3).

HOU 4 : 0 CHV: This is usually a focus on ESPN covering the game, so let's start there. It was a decent job from the crew, whose energy was slightly higher than last week. The down moment came when a "30 at 30" update split the screen for a crucial red card decision (one that looks a bit light, but I can't fault the center ref for making it.) Chivas looked out of sorts, and Houston looked dangerous on set pieces but still didn't overwhelm me, despite the score line. Acceptable match, and perhaps the audience enjoyed all the goals. I dunno.

MEX 1 : 0 GDP: The difference between Mexico and the United States right now is that while both teams have been unconvincing, Mexico at least look to be getting better. Not sure I can say that about the US. That being said, Guadeloupe seemed to play them well. There was a concerted effort to not allow Mexico easy chances, and to play defensively in the opening half. I wonder if Guadeloupe actually feared getting a goal before half time, on the theory that it just might wake El Tri up. Probably not, but it felt that way. Still, once they went down a goal, they managed to actually try and press to equalize the game. And the last half hour was fairly enjoyable considering what I had been seeing most of the night. Yet here we are, with the US and Mexico in the final, and neither team really looking like a powerhouse at any point. There should be insecurity on both sides.

Labels: , , , ,


At 22 June, 2007 09:58, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't really matter what the US does, does it? They're doomed no matter what.

No matter if they win, there are always "disturbing signs." They're not playing well, if they play like that they'll lose for sure to (insert opponent here).

Can we EVER just PLAY and get a result one way or another without it being a cosmic referendum on everything that follows?

At 22 June, 2007 10:14, Blogger D said...

Anon: I felt that way about the first two games of the Gold Cup. The results were the right results, and the effort was there. All was good. And these comments were being made by others then, and I felt the exact same way you do right now.

The issue is that the more time this team spends with each other, the better they should work together. Sure, they may not have the energy they had earlier in the tournament, but their understanding of each other's positions, especially defensively, should be improving. I don't see that. It's troubling. I also don't see anyone that can take the role that Brian McBride did for the US. Sure, Clint Dempsey looks good, but he's not the same thing. Clint's done well. Even Donovan has done well. But Twellman, Ching, and Johnson just don't seem to be emerging.

At 22 June, 2007 10:56, Anonymous Goose said...

What, nothing on Landon whiffing on an open-net shot and falling down?

That was one of my highlights of 2007 so far.

At 22 June, 2007 11:04, Blogger D said...

I am (wait for it) giving Landon a pass on that. He played decently for most of the game. It sucks he missed it, but sometimes that happens to everyone. A shame it happened then, but there you go....

At 22 June, 2007 11:31, Blogger I-66 said...

That whiff was so bad, even Windy City denizens thought it was a bit much.

At 22 June, 2007 12:34, Blogger DCNats said...

I have a question regarding the offsides call last night... clearly it was not offsides and it was a blown call.
But once the call is blown what cn the refs do?
Could they have allowed the goal? It seemed to me like once the whistle blew, half the players in the box stopped persuing the ball. so had the refs allowed the goal would it not have been unfair to the US players who correctly stopped playing at the whistle?

At 22 June, 2007 14:12, Blogger I-66 said...

Once the whistle blows, play is dead, regardless of whether the call was blown or the whistle was inadvertant. Anything that happens after it blows is moot. They could not have gone back and allowed the goal.

At 23 June, 2007 00:06, Anonymous Goose said...


Ahhhh here it is.

And he misses completely!


Post a Comment

<< Return to The DCenters Main Page (HOME)