Thursday, June 28, 2007

U.S.-Argentina Copa America Diary

After coming to the sad realization there was going to be nothing to do on a Thursday night in SB I decided to watch the U.S. soccer game vs. Argentina. Might as well keep a running diary, a la Simmons.

0:00 As mentioned before Bradley is opting to go with a young inexperienced lineup of the Copa America, without any of our European stars. Some have criticized the decision but I think it will be a good opportunity to find some talent. With that being said, there's a lot of pressure on Argentina in this tournament because they are bringing a loaded squad and they have underperformed in this tournament for the past 10 years. I read that their fans are taking this almost as serious as the World Cup.

2:00 I'm watching this game on my computer on some channel called GolTV. The announcer has a crazy accent (British or Scottish?) and sounds like he smokes two packs a day. Just thought you should know.

5:00 Johnson makes run and gets behind the defense with a perfectly times through ball. He slows down in the box and looks indecisive but he draws the foul! Penalty kick and Johnson converts!!

12:00 And just as quickly as the U.S. scores they give it back on a free kick that looked like a make-up type call. Very poor defense in my opinion as Argentina had three men inside the defense and Crespo flicks it over Keller.

13:00 The announcer is questioning Keller on the goal but I don't think you can really blame him. Another hard foul....looks like this could be pretty physical.

15:00 I love watching Javier Mascherano. I really think he's going to be a great addition for Liverpool. Great passer and he is always disrupting things in the middle.

25:00 The U.S. is getting completely owned in the possession right now. They've seen very little of the ball.

42:00 Great save by Keller on a shot from the right wing by Verron.

46:00 As the second half starts I'm wondering when we're going to see Tevez. For the U.S's sake hopefully not for awhile.

52:00 Another free kick wasted, this time by Mapp. It's frustrating but understandable, Bradley hasn't had much time to prepare with this squad.

60:00 The U.S. seems to be gaining momentum and has had much more possession this half. This team has been really impressive thus far against a much, I repeat much more talented Argentinian team.

64:00 And just as I speak, Messi makes a pass, makes a great run and gets the ball back, then slips a pass behind the defense to Crespo who finishes it for his second goal. You just had the feeling that this team could score at any time and it would have been a remarkable feat for the U.S. to hold them to one goal.

70:00 It looks like things might be starting to unravel for the U.S. They look like they're tiring and Argentina is stepping up the pressure.

73:00 Yellow card to Bornstein. I'm surprised that's the first card we've seen.

78:00 The sub Aimar scores on a diving header to make it 3-1. Unbelievable goal. Keller had no chance.

80:00 The forwards are the only thing that has been really disappointing for the United States. Taylor Twellman looks completely overmatched. And Eddie Johnson has basically disappeared after a few flashes in the first half, yet for some reason the chain smoking announcer has a huge hard-on for him. He's called him a "Titan warrior" and claimed that "he will lead the U.S. to South Africa". Yikes.

90:00 Tevez gets in way behind the U.S. defense to net the fourth goal, tucking it just inside the near post. What a clinical finish, and not a great end for the U.S.

I know the (probably 20) U.S. fans who were able to watch this game are probably disappointed, but I think its actually a pretty promising result. Almost all of these guys are second and third options for Bradley but they performed pretty well. They contained and at times controlled a world class at full strength team for 60 minutes. This team had Carlos Tevez coming off the bench! The only thing I wish they would have done was show some decisiveness in the offensive third. Don't get me wrong, they didn't bunker at all, they played a 4-4-2, they just weren't running at people and forcing the Argetine defense to make plays. The talent difference really showed through in the end, but I think there is a great deal they can take from this game.

The silver lining is that because Paraguay beat Colombia 5-0, the U.S. has a great chance to advance if that can put up a good result against Paraguay, which they definitely are capable of doing.


Buzzsaw said...

That was more like a walking diary .. but I can't blame you, nothing happens in soccer to write about, especially when it's the US's 'B' team. I wish you would have asked, I would have suggested the NBA Draft. FUCK STEVE BELKIN

BigLots said...

Actually, the announcer said it was more like our C team. Most countries would not have played that well with their C team against one of the top teams in the world like Argentina. It was a dissapointing finish but not one that was unexpected. It was completely absurd that they even led at one point. You're right about the announcer's strange infatuation with Johnson though. That was just odd. He didn't do shit other than draw a penalty. Anyways, I'm looking forward to the next game. If this team can somehow make its way into the knockout stage then I will be very impressed.

Logan said...

Yes, I will be impressed too but its not the unrealistic, now that Paraguay upset Colombia but such a huge goal differential.

Medicine said...

He slows down in the box and looks indecisive but he draws the foul.