Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Dropping four

All over El Salvador's grill!

Okay, well, that was easy. The U.S. could have scored a couple more; Beasley should have scored a couple more. As it was, a convincing 4-0 win was the perfect way for the U.S. to close out the group stage. You never want to take World Cup qualifying for granted but when people say that qualifying shouldn't be a problem the next time around, it will be hard to argue that. A 5-0 mark at home pretty much does the trick, and the U.S. went 3-0 at home against regional rivals in the span of six days.

Anyway, the U.S. had the killer instinct it needed to show. The defense was neat and tidy, the attack generated plenty of results and the midfield did their job on both ends of the field.

DaMarcus Beasley scored twice. Landon Donovan scored (twice, but only one counted). Taylor Twellman scored. Clint Dempsey had an assist and a few other dangerous opportunities. Brian Ching had a wonderful assist. Bob Bradley expressed his displeasure at the finishing and the U.S. responded, the United States' attacking players responded.

The defense played solid. Jonathan Spector hit a beautiful ball to Donovan early in the game, absolutely splendid. The announcers on Telefutura raved about it as well. His overall play and his ability to hit a cross like that gives reason to believe he'll fulfill his potential with the U.S.

It's clear the U.S. is at a much higher level than El Salvador so it's difficult to point out a team's shortcomings in a walkover like this. But right now, the U.S. could not be in a better position heading into the knockout rounds.


Anonymous said...

Good result for the US. I thought El Salvador showed a lot of improvement. Lots. That was a horrible call by Archundia on the PK. People can quit insinuating that Mexican referees will always be out to get the US as some kind of conspiracy in the region with Central America. In addition, the lame call on the keeper was a disaster, that is never called. Landicakes caught a break.

For the US, the coast is clear to take the cup if they continue to improve. I am liking Benny Feilhaber a lot more with him pulling the strings and Dempsey and Beas are looking good again. Good work.

Hops said...

uh... the PK was pretty obvious in my mind. He stuck his hand out and it was away from his body. Not sure what you saw.

I thought the PK was retaken because Bradley was in the box. If Donovan hadn't scored off the rebound they wouldn't have called it, but he did so they forced him to take it again.

Anonymous said...

The announcer said it was because Spector was in the box i thought? But Ives said it was because the goalie jumped early? who knows.

L.B. said...

The goalie moved early. He took a step forward before Landon kicked it.

If a U.S. player had encroached, I don't think they would have let the U.S. re-take the kick.

Anonymous said...

Reply to hops. They never call that a PK, maybe 1 out of 10 times that is called a PK. Refs usually let the play go as incidental contact which is not a good thing in my opinion but they let it go all the time.

An even more likely call is calling it a handball outside the box leading to a direct kick.

I have seen the replay and can't see any movement out of the ordinary out of the keeper.

The FoxSoccer announcers are pretty good but they got this one wrong. They kept talking about Bradley moving in the box, which also is never called. If that were the case they never would have retaken the kick.

In any case it was a weird sequence and Landycakes got lucky. The bigger point is Mexican referees are professionals and they may get some calls wrong but they try to uphold the letter of the law and are not inherently biased.

There is not a Central American/Mexican conspiracy to get the US as some fans have suggested.