Archive for the ‘USA’ Category

New Blog for the 2010 FIFA World Cup

Its time!!

¡¡¡Ya llego el mundial!!!

Three years have passed since the Copa America and we are in South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Follow us in the new blog: http://wcsa10.wordpress.com/

Colombia 1 – 0 USA

Have a great flight home guys!

USA 0 Colombia 1

The American boys didn’t really feel like playing today and it showed. Colombia came out strong but then easied into cruise control after Castrillon struck down a great header out of Guzan’s reach. It was an early goal that might have thrown a wrench into Bob Bradley’s gameplan, except I don’t think he had one. He must have told them just to go out and do whatever you want. Herculez Gomez and Moor played decent but Colombia outclassed the US in the first half. Around the 35th minute Rodallega breaks away and finds Guzan mano-a-mano, but Guzan reaches out a bit too far and fouls the Colombian striker. Penalty for Colombia.

With the 2-0 immenent, Guzan comes up strong and attones for his earlier error by saving the PK. One of the finest highlights for the US in the game. The second half was more favorable for the Americans with good play by Mapp, Gaven and Charlie Davies. Some scoring chances, but they really didn’t do enough to deserve to win. An uneventful end to the Copa America for the US and small consolation prize for Colombia knowing at least they leave with 3 points.

Guzan saves a penalty against Colombia

Click to see Guzan’s pk save as an animated gif

The Star

Mario Yepes. D, Colombia.
Solid game by the defender from PSG and the Colombian defense keeping the US strikers from getting off a lot of shots. Nothing fancy, but a job well done.

The Ugly Duckling

Hugo Rodallega. F, Colombia.
The striker (who plays in the Mexican league) missed a PK with a poor kick. So poor was the shot, that at he ended the game playing goalkeeper for his team.

Freddy Adu scores a hat trick

After suffering through Twellman and Eddie Johnson up against Paraguay it would have been a welcome change of pace to have seen Freddy Adu at Copa America. Look at this amazing goal he scored on his way to a hat trick at the U20 cup being played in Canada.

Herculez Gomez + Freddy Adu. A great duo for the future.

Freddy Adu scores a great goal at the U20 tourny

Click to watch / Clique para ver

Colombia and USA in final Group C play

Game times and odds for today’s Copa America games.

Colombia vs USA – 6:30PM EDT – Telefutura/GolTV
Colombia – 2.10
USA – 3.15
Tie – 3.25

Argentina vs Paraguay – 8:30PM EDT – Telefutura/GolTV
Argentina – 1.45
Paraguay – 6.40
Tie – 3.90

Surprising to see such great odds for a draw in Argentina vs Paraguay. Argentina is playing all its subs in an unproven lineup and given the current string of boring anti-futbol games, this one is a good candidate for another 0-0 yawner. They have something to play for, but seem to be more interested in resting players.

USA versus Colombia hopefully will be a great game. Both teams are eliminated and will play for pride. And I can assure you pride will mean a lot to an embarrassed Colombian squad eager to erase the 1-0 defeat by the US in the world cup years back. The Americans on the other hand will want to show that same aggressive style we saw against Paraguay, but without the plethora of misses. I haven’t heard about the lineups yet but I SERIOUSLY HOPE HERCULEZ GOMEZ GETS A START. If you’re employed by US Soccer and happen to be reading this, make it happen. Everybody and their mother had a shot at scoring against Paraguay and only Ricardo Clark figured out how to do it. Time for Herculez!

Andres Escobar - Scored an own goal  Note to Colombians: Don’t score an own goal 

Who’s moving on

Group A:
Venezuela is through no matter what happens.
The rest of the group is very much in it as the 2nd and 3rd place finishers will move on, so there is a lot at stake in their final games. Last team in the group (currently Bolivia) is will be eliminated.

Group B:
Mexico has already qualified for round 2 play.
Brazil and Chile are not mathematically in yet, but you need some crazy scenarios to happen for them to be eliminated at this point.
I mistakenly stuck the fork in Ecuador but they are still in it, as long as they beat Brazil by more than two goals and Mexico wins. Plausible if yet unlikely scenario.

Group C:
Paraguay and Argentina are through and will battle to see who is the #1 seed.
USA and Colombia are going home as long as pigs don’t fly.

 

By the way, if you haven’t seen how the knock out round is scheduled, it is completely laughable. Whoever gets 1st place in Group A can practically go on cruise control. Perhaps the best thing for Brazil is to finish third in their group (eek!) and avoid Argentina in the next round. That’s COMEBOL for ya, host country gets the spoils.

USA 1 – 3 Paraguay

What a game! The US suffered a well deserved loss despite playing a good game. Well deserved because the name of the game is scoring goals and they managed to score only one after having what seemed like a zillion chances.

Lets start by calling out the players who couldn’t figure out how to finish:

  • Klejstan
  • Johnson
  • Twellman
  • Mapp
  • Moor

Realistically, they had about 4 easy scores between them. How’s that possible against a good Paraguayan defense? The USA got no R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Paraguay expected to come in and stroll against the Americans. And somehow they did just that!? Go figure.

Roque Santa Cruz, the big star everybody had their eyes on, might as well have been playing his PS2 at home because nobody saw him today. USA turned him completely irrelevant. Even so, he was better than the US strikers. Twellman stunk. Badly. When he managed to get a shot off, it was soft and weak. Johnson was forced to put on the pressure by himself for most of the 90 minutes and he gave a great effort but always wide of the mark.

It allowed several of the newbies to make an impression on the attack but nobody came through. Klejstan and Moor both missed easy headers when the goal was all but guaranteed. Mapp came in to replace an excellent Olson and right away missed a great opportunity. The only goal for the US came on an amazing strike by Clark, easily the best player for the Stars & Stripes. Later in the game he would get off another missile which was saved by an enormous effort by Bobavilla.

Keller is beat, again

Which brings us to the story of the game for the Guaranis. When their starting keeper got injured on a freak goal kick, in came the backup – Bobavilla – who nobody in the world had previously heard of. The super sub would be on top of every shot on goal and prevented the US from scoring the 5 or so goals that they should have. Meanwhile, the grass was not greener on the other side of the fence. Keller was slow and had a dismal first half. He came to life later on making several key saves but it was too little and too late. In his defense, if the States could have scored, his performance wouldn’t be as magnified as it is now.

And what about Bornstein? Well, he had a decent game until what is surely the most amateur gaffe in the tournament. He practically gave Paraguay the lead at 2-1 with a “what where you thinking?!” pass. It wasn’t a great day for Bornstein, or Conrad, or the rest of the team with the exclusions of Ricardo Clark and Olson. Another guy who struggled was Feilhaber. I know I am going to take some heat for this (because of the huge Benny bandwagon that started after his BRILLIANT goal against Mexico) but its pretty easy to target Benny as FAILhaber. He played poorly on defense and was instrumental in Paraguay’s first goal after playing badly against Argentina as well. Let Benny get his feet back on the ground from a great Gold Cup and try to improve steadily. Everybody got a bit too excited about his game.

With this loss, the US is out of it and Paraguay moves through to the second round, regardless of what happens when they face Argentina in their next game. Roque had an off game but the role players like Santana and Cabañas played well. Whats remarkable about Paraguay in both of their games was their effectiveness on attack. When they shoot, they score.
Boy would it have been a great day for US Soccer if they could have done the same.

The Star

Aldo Bobavilla. GK, Paraguay.
The second string goalkeeper was anything but. Stellar performance off the bench.

The Ugly Duckling

Jonathan Bornstein. D, USA.
An ugly, ugly error on defense will haunt him in his sleep tonight. Did I mention it really ugly?

Most elegant jersey ever?

USA Third Kit - Alternative Jersey

Lost in the shock and awe of the 4-1 against Argentina was the 3rd kit for the US, which was more Ralph Lauren than it was Nike. First time it was used in a competition.

Big day today!

USA vs Paraguay at 6:30PM EDT on Telefutura/GolTV
Argentina vs Colombia at 8:30PM EDT on Telefutura/GolTV

Complete tv schedule for USA/Canada viewers here.

By the way, for those searching for Copa America on ESPN and Fox, I repeat that they did not pick up the English language television rights for the tournament. English broadcast games are on GolTV. Spanish broadcast games are on Telefutura and Univision.

Odds for todays games:

USA 4.20
Paraguay 1.72
Tie 3.25

Argentina 1.30
Colombia 8.50
Tie 4.20

Colombia is a huge underdog against Argentina and it would be a HUGE shocker to expect anything but a win by Argentina. Paraguay is a favorite vs USA but you won’t get richly rewarded by going with Uncle Sam on this one. Should be a tight match.

Lambs to the slaughter

http://origin.mercurynews.com/sportsheadlines/ci_6248851

San Jose Mercury News columnist Ann Killion wrote a good article about USA heading out to face Argentina with a subpar team in a not so friendly environment. She said it would be a moral victory is they avoid getting routed. Was the 4-1 a rout a disaster?

Watching the game, the USA squad impressed in the first half.
No, they didn’t play well, but they held the favorites to a draw for a long time. They collapsed late, when the subs starting rolling in but couldn’t halt the fatigue of the constant travel and winning the CONCACAF tourny.

Not the morale victory by any accounts, but now a long of these young players can say they will never face a tougher opponent in a tougher environment that what they went through this month. Well… assumming you won’t see the US vs Brazil in a World Cup game in Iran that is.

Argentina 4 – 1 USA

The Gold Cup champions vs the best team in the tournament. All the Che’s were smiling when Mexico surprised Brazil the day before, but they got pretty quiet when Milito went rough over Eddie Johnson in the area.PENALTY!!! For the US!

Now you have Abbondanzieri to beat, one of the best penalty kick stoppers. And you have Veron talking shit in your ear. So what does Eddie do? SCORE!!! 0-1. Shocker.

But it wouldn’t last long. Argentina pressed forward and quickly answered with Crespo and his new haircut scoring the equalizer. Then came some really boring play. With an amazingly talented Argentina not being able to put together any type of play and a lackluster and inexperienced US team killing the tempo of the game.

Halftime. 1-1.

Basile was probably not very happy and he wanted to shake things up a bit. In comes Pablo Aimar. Out goes any hopes for the USA. Aimar dominated and orchestrated Argentina into a world class team. Crespo, GOL!!!! Aimar, GOOOOOOL!!!! El Apache Tevez, GOOOOOOLLL!!! Arg 1 – 1 USA turned into Arg(Aimar) 4 – 1 USA.

Aimar won his starting spot in the team with a magnificent performance. Cambiasso left, Aimar entered and the Argentina we all expected came to life. Messi was excellent. Lightning fast with the dribble, incredible stop-n-go and change of pace. Tevez did whatever he pleased and Crespo’s lack of hair gave him some extra strength on his shots. Keller had no chance against that firepower. Now Colombia, after getting 5 from the Guarani’s must be losing sleep.

The Star

Pablito Aimar. M, Argentina.
Game changer. Brought the high pace and tempo we are used from Argentina. Got on the scoresheets as well.

The Ugly Duckling

Gabriel Milito. D, Argentina.
Bad performance by Gabi, causing a penalty, fouling anybody and everybody around him. Getting the game’s only booking. Luckily his teammates covered up his performance with 4 goals, so the fans in Buenos Aires won’t notice.