Thursday, July 12, 2007

Day Recap: Several matches, different results.

Last night was a busy night for watching or following soccer. The U-20 FIFA World Cup is in full swing and the USA went head to head with Uruguay and after 120 minutes, they gutted out a 2-1 victory to setup a Quarter Final match up with Austria. At the same time, the Copa America Semi-Finals were in full swing as Argentina dashed Mexico's hopes of making their second straight tournament final with a 3-0 victory, setting up the CONMEBOL dream final of Brazil vs. Argentina.

I have to admit, last night was the first U-20 match that I have watched of the tournament. I figured that after the rave reviews I have seen about how organized and effective the USA was against both Poland and Brazil, I would check the team out for myself. I was a little disappointed in the performance that I saw. I expected a better looking side, when I saw a side the reminded me of the US squad that was sent to the Copa America.

Yes their team defending was pretty good, but the longer that match went on, the more I knew that it was going to be Uruguay scoring first. Based on that, along with the fact that the USA never really looked dangerous in the second half, I figured that the USA would get dumped out of the tournament 1-0. We were very lucky to get that goal to send it to extra time. Once we got that goal, I saw an entirely different USA team take it to Uruguay. I saw better runs and I finally saw Feddy Adu make himself known in the match. Overall, the extra period was way better than anything I saw for the first 90 minutes.

While this match was going on, I was flipping back and forth between the U-20's and the Copa America match. I really wasn't that impressed with Mexico for the half that I saw. Argentina seemed to be giving Hugo's boys a lot more space than they deserved. Guardado's strike that hit the post was very well taken, but I didn't see anything else from Mexico that made me feel that they were going to break down the Argentine defense. Argentina on the other hand, was making great runs in the box with Messi and Teves giving the Mexico backline fits.

So now CONMEBOL has their dream final of Brazil vs. Argentina. I have to believe that Argentina will pull this one out. Brazil has been sleep walking through this tournament and Argentina has been focused and dedicated towards winning the tournament. I see Argentina picking up the Copa America title.

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