Ok, the U.S. is playing like I feel. Crappy, crappy. Osborne own-goal, Marta adds the second, then Shannon Boxx got set off, then Christiane just scored - ugh, ugh, ugh.
Oh, well. I'm happy for Brazil, but I'm pretty pissed at Greg Ryan (not personally, he's really a nice guy - but tactically, this was a horrible move). The U.S. defense was the team's chance to win this match. Yanking Hope Solo from goal and putting in Bri Scurry completely undermined them. Their communication wouldn't be as good - it couldn't be - and a player who is not game-sharp is put in an odd position, and the player replaced couldn't possibly feel very forgiving. Yuk.
Foudy can't get over why Ellertson was Ryan's sub. I say - "Does it really matter? This one should be over."
In a way, soccer fans get cheated in this match because of Ryan's move. He said he'd take the blame, and it will duly go to him, but without the distraction, this could have been a great duel.
Or not. Frankly, the U.S. hadn't looked great all tournament long, but they had seemed to be improving.
Salt in the wounds of Ryan to have Tony DiCicco second-guessing him. DiCicco isn't piling on, but he is calling out the wrong moves Ryan has made. Rightly so.
Wonder if Bruce Arena would do that - he's called a couple of USMNT games. Bob Bradley and Arena are close, however. Probably not.
I remember a track coach telling me once that for top speed, you have to be able to relax. You need confidence and calm. I think soccer is similar in a sense. Some urgency is good, but really you have to have ice in your veins, and you have to be steady.
Ryan's choice obliterated that for his squad. Without the tension, would Osborne have made such a vital mistake? Boxx, well, the second was questionable, but still, it was such a risk.
I'm not keeping a running blog, because at this point, there isn't any point in the game. The repercussions are the issue here.
GOAL - ok, well, Marta just scored again. Nicely done. I'll be disappointed if this team doesn't beat Germany. It would be terrible to hit their peak here in the semi.
Anyway, back to the effect this game will have. This is the biggest loss the U.S. has ever taken at the World Cup - ever.
GREG RYAN - does he keep his job? He's unbeaten (remember when Bradley was, too?) but the goof of switching goalkeepers has proven such a horrid move that he should be at risk. I don't think the U.S. fed has the guts to make this move, though.
KRISTINE LILLY - Hurts to go out like this - does she finally declare retirement on a rather sour note?
BRIANA SCURRY - How does this loss affect the view of her career? How has it been tarnished by this - and does she finally retire too?
HOPE SOLO - Does she continue to be a good soldier in residency with Ryan after he pulled this? Or does she say, "Screw that." and go back to Sweden to play professionally? It would probably kill her national team career, though. Milbret said that's what happened to her.
WUSA II - World Cup losses affected the WUSA. An Olympic gold is nice, but it's not the World Cup - and the U.S. going out this ugly might really scare a few sponsors and investors away. The delay to wait until 2009 to launch the league was already a bad sign, a "Let's see how the World Cup goes indicator." Oh, wait - worst loss in US women's soccer history. Not good.
Ryan says the goalkeeper move didn't affect the game. I think that's more than wishful thinking. Yes, the early goal was a factor - and so was the Boxx send-off. The announcers aren't buying it, and are also calling Ryan out for the defensive subs in the game.
BRAZIL - Why no subs for a team that is a day short on rest before the final? Can they carry the goods to the final?