We dream of football and the world is full of dreams

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Blame Jabulani: USA ties England 1-1

Fate? Destiny? Defense? The ball? Robert Green? How about all of the above? This was the gritty, physical, disciplined match we had hoped the US would play. A bit of ball-watching by Clark allowed for Gerrard's early strike. I missed the goal and thought the worst when I arrived at my destination. Tim Howard was dealt a blow to the ribs and is questionable for the match against Slovenia. More tests are expected.

Rooney, Heskey, Lampard and Gerrard were relentless against the US defense, but Onyewu, Cherundolo, Bocanegra and DeMerrit made their presence known. England would not score again.

Then there was Dempsey's shot. A weak rolling strike to the right of the English goalkeeper. It should have been a routine save for West Ham's #1, Robert Green. Unfortunately for him, the Jabulani's trajectory didn't include his scooping arms. Green failed to get a hold of it and it rolled off his hands and trickled into the net. Green took his eyes off the ball. Not a good move. Was Capello right in starting him instead of Hart or James? Will Green play against Algeria?

The rest of the game offered more from the Americans as Altidore nearly scored a goal in an acute near-post shot that Green promptly saved (not enough to make up for his blunder). Rooney and Heskey had some clear shots that Howard and Onyewu saved. Onyewu was particularly impressive in this match. Given a good showing in the rest of the games, we can definitely see a starting spot for Milan or another top team (if on loan). He's only 28, so he's got another World Cup cycle still.

As I had stated in my previous post, this game was about dreaming and cellebrating Team USA. I watched it with 20-or so other US fans. Our screams filled the small confiments of a standard living room and the house errupted in cellebration as Dempsey's shot crossed the goal line. We had a collective, continuous heart attack that went through the entire 45 minutes of the second half. After that it was U-S-A chants, hugs and a feeling that we indeed have a quality squad. Slovenia is next. A win is a must, but we should be careful, this Balkan side eliminated Russia and they are capable of doing some damage. A tie wouldn't knock the US out but a loss would put us in serious jeopardy going into our final match.

Player ratings:
  • Howard---------8.5
  • DeMerrit--------7
  • Onyewu---------8
  • Cherundolo------6
  • Bocanegra-------6
  • Clark------------5
  • Bradley----------6
  • Dempsey--------7.5
  • Donovan--------7
  • Findley----------4.5
  • Altidore---------6.5
Subs: not enough time on the pitch

Highlights:


England v United States

Mike | MySpace Video

4 comments:

Alastair McCandless said...

Greatly enjoyed watching the match with you bud, I'll come up to Raleigh for the final should the impossible happen and we make the last two.

rjmera said...

Great times indeed... Yes, I don't know what I would do if we ever made the final, or semifinal for that matter... now that would be something!

Alastair McCandless said...

I hope we get to find out, I am so nervous about tomorrow first off...

rjmera said...

Make or break indeed. At least we've shown the world we know how to play.