Thursday, June 21, 2007

Match Recap: USA 2 - 1 Canada

A couple of days ago I wrote this little piece about the growing complaints from losing players and coaches about how they felt that CONCACAF had rigged the Gold Cup to get the dream match up of the USA vs. Mexico in the tournament final.

After watching the USA vs. Canada, I think I need to change my position. The USA were gift wrapped that match tonight. Sure, Hejduk's goal wasn't something that the ref manipulated, but that second and game winning goal was definitely one that a PK was questionable on. Yes, there were stretches of the match where the US played very strong soccer, but the better team was Canada.

Yes, Michael Bradley had been given a 1 match vacation due to his horrible, horrible tackle late in the second half, which if the ref was under orders to favor the USA, he might have not given a red card for. However that was a situation where the ref had no choice and had he not given a red card, it would have been the smoking gun. It is a shame too, Bradley had been playing a really great match in the defensive midfield role, up until he completely lost his mind and decided to hack a guy.

Well, CONCACAF have half of their dream final, now Mexico has to take care of business; or the refs, who knows?

Yet again, Eddie Johnson shows why he is a shitty US forward. He is slow with the ball, doesn't know how to make a decision to save his life and shoots like a 3 year old; I take better shots with Vodka. He doesn't even have the understanding of his position to know that if two of your teammates are making a 2 on 1 run with the ball at goal, you run you dumb ass after them to be in a position to collect a rebound. Beasley tried to pass to Donovan who wiped big time yet still kept the ball. If Johnson had a fucking clue as to what his job on the field was, he would have been an other option for Donovan to pass to, instead, EJ was no where to be found and yet another US attack flamed out.

Somebody get him a copy of the 2002 World Cup Final. Ronaldo score one of his goals off of a rebound that Kahn did not smother. Goals come from rebounds, but they only come from rebounds when a player actually gets into a scoring position.

As for the rest of the side...I am not sure. Deuce still created alot of plays for the US, but when he was in on goal, it seemed like a hip hop track went off in his head and he got the urge to dance and be a disco star. Shoot the damn ball!

Hejduk scored a great goal, but he has a vacation this Sunday as well. Pablo "Hulk Smash" Mastroeni played a great game and with Bradley out for the final, whatever was making him limp had better get cleared up soon.

Donovan did pretty good, but at the end when he was the only guy running the right side, I hoped he would have made better runs with the ball. It was only around the 86th minute that he started running for the corner, which I think he needed to do sooner.

Beasley needed to get into more of the game. Canada did a very good job of clogging the midfield, which limited DMB's chances.

Overall, it wasn't a great performance by the USA. I am still waiting for full effort by the entire side. Maybe Coach Bob needs to finally settle on 11 guys and put them out there.

So, they are in the final, which we all expected...but this US team is not the one that we all expected. I guess this is a sign of the changing US Soccer landscape. A few years ago we expected tough games in our region, then we started to roll the other teams and now we expect, damn near demand them to walk over the little CONCACAF nations. I remember all sorts of people demanding that we send our second string team to the Gold Cup as the competition was light. I for one am glad we didn't, as we wouldn't be in the final.

A note for the future: Canada is for real. That is a side that will be one of the toughest CONCACAF opponents we face in qualifying. Playing them at BMO Field will be a war. Guatemala will be tough in qualifying, as will Panama and Mexico. Now the big question: Are they all going to be tough because they are getting better, or because we are getting worse?

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Blogger bfos said...

I didn't think the PK was a bad call, but I'm still not sure if it was right or wrong.

But, it is very disappointing to win a game like this. I hate it.

I don't believe in the conspiracy, because Bradley gets a yellow and Canada only gets 2 minutes in a half with no injuries and little stopped play if there is one.

But, man, do I hate winning like this. And even if it's favorable payback for the horrible officiating we've received in the past two WC's, I'd rather save those for 2010.

12:10 AM  
Blogger QJA said...

It's really just a conspiracy theory. There's nothing more to it. CONCACAF just doesn't have the cunningness (or refereeing resources) to tip results one way or another.

One thing is for sure: the US is depending on the Gold Cup for future WC2010 preparations. The Gold Cup opens up the Confederations Cup in a few years and BB knows that this is his best opportunity to prepare for a winning WC2010 bid. Ergo he brings a full strength squad to Gold Cup, not Copa America, and thus the US is doing everything they can to win this final.

Bfos is right, too: the US was completely shafted the past two World Cups. The imbalance of refereeing karma couldn't have held out much longer. We got what we deserved.

3:58 PM  

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