Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Running Commentary: U.S.-Spain, Confederations Cup semifinals

Random thoughts while watching today's U.S.-Spain Confederations Cup semifinal:

  • Charlie Davies' bicycle kick, had it gone in, would have been legendary
  • Landon Donovan has been fantastic so far, very patient and very deliberate with his passes
  • John Harkes raises an interesting possibility, that if this game goes into the penalty kicks, Tim Howard is a great equalizer there for the U.S.
  • The rest of Harkes' drivel? Not so much
  • Is Spain actually giving Donovan space--out of respect?
  • Pardon my ignorance, but is it cold in South Africa this time of year?
  • Ban the horns Sepp
  • Spain, slow and sloppy. A little overconfident; a lot outplayed so far
  • Torres was offside, but Jesus Christ, no one knew he was there.
  • U.S. defense playing a bit ambitiously, pushing forward and getting caught in counters by Spain
  • U.S. doesn't want to have to play from behind
  • That's twice Altidore has passed up shots in the Spain last third of the field. Shoot the ball son.
  • Spain doing a little bit of internal bickering, sloppy passes leads to U.S. counter and Donovan shot
  • Bocanegra's bad throw-in was fugly
  • Um, yeah, Donovan's looking, um, world class
  • Jonathan Spector is a marked man, Spain LOVES his side of the field - and with good reason so far
  • GOAL -- Altidore finally shoots- and scores.
  • Davies and Dempsey just relentless in keeping possession. And Altidore beats back the Spain defender and gets a break from Casillas' incomplete save. Wow, 1-0 27 minutes in.
  • First goal against Spain in the tournament.
  • Torres again offside; wonder how long before the flag stays down on one of those exchanges?
  • Is Torres just being arrogant on these offsides calls?
  • U.S. is really doing a solid job in the middle defending their end of the field
  • Great sequence from Spain.
  • A lot of desperation on that field right now, from both teams
  • A first half to remember for the U.S.
  • Xavi a tad high with that boot challenge
  • Howard setting up to be the hero in this one, tremendous hit from Villa, better save from Howard
  • Demerit leans on Villa there
  • Looks like the U.S. is gonna sit on it
  • U.S. is asking a lot of its back four right now.
  • Possession is key for the U.S.; can they manage to keep the ball?
  • Another opportunity for Spain and another corner
  • Spector is just scary.
  • Bradley is setting this team up to fail. They're not playing the same game they were in the first half
  • Wow
  • It's not all Spain Harkes!
  • Xavi was offside on that chip.
  • Constant turnovers from the U.S.
  • At this rate, it's a matter of time for Spain. Reminiscent of the Italy game; early lead, floodgates open in the second half.
  • When does exhaustion become a factor too for the U.S.?
  • Is it more tiring to defend than play in the flow of the game?
  • Howard is so solid, but none of these shots aside from Villa's is really testing him.
  • Altidore wins a corner, nicely.
  • What is Bradley's first move off the bench?
  • Failharber? Or does he swap out a fullback. And when does he make the move?
  • There's a lot on the coach's plate right now, especially with a tiring Starting Eleven. How well does he know these guys?
  • Goodness, eight, even nine white shirts defending in the U.S. box. Wow
  • Already playing the clock. I hate this tactic
  • At least pretend you're playing for another goal U.S.
  • At least the U.S. challenges every cross, a foot, a back, something tries to get in the way
  • A for effort there Altidore, but pretty transparent try for a PK
  • 30 minutes to go
  • ESPN rant: Stop with the graphic about the U.S. beating a No. 1 ranked team. This isn't the NCAA where the freaking polls somehow matter. No one outside of ESPN ever pays attention to the rankings. /endrant
  • Awesome run from Davies, but selfishly, he kept it. Shoulda gone to Donovan.
  • Has Spector challenged any crosses on his side of the field? Any? He's awful. Riera is having his way over there
  • What is Bradley waiting for? 24 minutes to go. Put someone on.
  • Have I mentioned how awesome Donovan's been? [Did I say that?]
  • Feilharber coming in. Soon I hope.
  • Feilhaber for Davies
  • I'd rather have seen Altidore come off there. Davies much quicker, much more disruptive on the counterattack. That's the only semblance of offense from the U.S. on the bench right now.
  • Possession. Feilhaber. Imagine that
  • Squeaky-bum time has arrived
  • This has to be murder on Spain. So dominant and nothing to show for it.
  • GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!! DEMPSEY
  • Amazing!!!!!!
  • Counterattack. Spain disaster on defense and Dempsey finishes
  • Great run from Feilhaber. Great clusterfuck from the Spain defense.
  • 2-0
  • 76 minutes. Hurry up clock
  • Feilhaber fouls in a bad spot. ho-boy
  • 80 minutes. Hurry up clock
  • Howard or Donovan for man of the match? Close call right now
  • Feilhaber has been the perfect sub. Can we get another one Butcher Bob?
  • Spector tries a trap in the box. Awesome. GET HIM OUT OF THERE
  • Altidore out, Connor Casey in. Finally another fresh body. Possession boys
  • 84 minutes. Hurry up clock
  • Onyewu, high marks in the last 15 minutes.
  • Anyone else smell a PK for Spain? I sense something
  • Oh Boy. Bradley gets a straight red. No Bradley in the final. Wrong Bradley.
  • 88 minutes. Hurry up clock
  • Dempsey out. Bornstein in.
  • 3 minutes stoppage time. Hurry up clock.
  • 1 minute to go
  • Just an amazing win. Quite a feat. Very proud.
  • U.S. 2, Spain 0. Suck it Spain.

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Dr.Jon said...

I hate being cliché, but that is one of the greatest victories in the history of US sports.

Jonathan Wallace said...

Word up, Dr. Jon.

All the congrats in the world to the boys including Bradley.

I can't tell you guys how insane tonight was. I didn't get to watch the game until 8pm EST on tivo but I'd managed to stay ignorant.

Some remarks.

Man of the match = Howard. No contest. The guy was getting hit harder than Dresden in WWII.

Landon was neck in neck for MOTM. He did everything right. Gooch was #3. The calmness he exuded even when flubbing a clear was key.

I thought Spector did well. He was exhausted and it showed. But notice that even though Landon was coming back to defend, it was Spector always handling the left striker, left back or middie who was making runs to the end line. (This was probably because they needed to have Landycakes springing on the counters.)

We did a helluva lot better when Michael Bradley started staying home. With only 3 on the counters, it became obvious to our dull-witted forwards that holding the ball was the appropriate tactic. I hate watching them force a crap pass turnover.

I didn't realize Bocanegra could actually run that fast.

Both goals actually came during run of play! w00t! I'll take them even though they were both counters.

Bradley's red really pisses me off. Doesn't he know better that heaving his putrid decrepit legs all over the field like that is going to get him a red card like the first game?!?!?!?!? Big players are going to dice him up everytime with his overcommits on pressure.

Bob did all right tonight. All our cards are out on the table and he managed to get the boys to play as a team with everyone doing their job.

p.s. Adu wasn't right for the game tonight. But man, I hope the kid finds a way on the field.