Saturday, January 19, 2008

Running blog - US vs Sweden

I just realized I forgot my binoculars. The pressbox has a good view, so it doesn't really affect things much, but I like to zoom in on players' expressions on occasion. Anyway, the press chat with Sunil Gulati is over.

Landon Donovan has been named captain for this game. All those who voted for Jozy Altidore to score are going to have to wait until the second half, probably. He's not starting.

Guzan is in goal, hopefully setting up for a good show to all those European teams interested.

U.S. Lineup - Brad Guzan, Ramiro Corrales, Eddie Robinson, Jimmy Conrad, Drew Moor, Brad Davis, Ricardo Clark, Maurice Edu, Landon Donovan, Taylor Twellman, Pat Noonan

Sweden- Rami Shaaban, Mikael Lustig, Mattias Bjarsmyr, Peter Larsson, Oscar Ronningberg, Daniel Andersson (capt) Niclas Alexandersson, Anders Svensson, Andreas Johansson, Rade Prica, Pontus Wernbloom

The announcer is calling out names, but no one is on the field yet. It's weird. Usually they're introduced when they're actually on the grass.

Now they're announding the U.S. team names, but the guys still aren't on the field. The bench guys just walked out. It's very odd. People are cheering the name announcements, while looking around like "What's going on?"

I guess they're waiting for the FIFA anthem. Oh, ok, here come the teams now. It was actually hard to tell the difference at a glance during warmups, because both teams were earing blue, but now Sweden is in yellow jackerts, while the U.S. wears white ones.

National anthems. Sweden's sounds both mellow and majestic.

Sam's Army is in the Riot Squad corner of the stands, belting out the U.S. anthem.

Kickoff.

1- Landon fouls a Swede.
3 - Brad Davis is offsides.
5- Twellman with a weak shot from the top of the box. He's not the best turn-n-shoot guy.
7- Guzan smothers a shot on a Swedish breakaway. Not too difficult, but he did well.
8- Build up between Noonan ans Twellman leads to a Rico Clark outside shot. Not a bad try.
11- Twelman takes a foul in a good spot for the U.S. freekick. Davis places it nicely - love that left foot - but no U.S. player can shake free from the defense.
13- Guzan smothers another counter, then the Swedes get called for offsides on their next possession.
14- Playing out of the back, Robinson passes forward for Landon, who collects the ball, turns and slips a pass foward to Pat Noonan, whose cross gets blocked out for a corner. Brad Davis takes the corner, The ball bounces off Noonan's back, is blocked back off the line by Shaaban, then Robinson pounces on it to kick it off the crossbar and into a goal. First cap, first goal, just like Bornstein last year.
20- Edu with an outside shot way over. Sweden had a good run of possession after the goal, but no shots.
22- Now they work the ball in for a corner. Svensson is taking it. He pounds it into the box and the US clears. Landon nearly gets the ball going the other way on a counter.
25- Robinson isn't done after scoring the goal - he just went up for a header that he won and sent about 30 feet. That drew ahs in the pressbox.
27- Drew Moor gets fouled - Rade Prica is frustrated - and the ref pulls a yellow card - persistent infringement, apparently.
30 - A FK nearly bests Guzan, but he dives to knock it out for a corner.
31- Pontus Wernbloom is looking for the next yellow. He's throwing his weight around there.
33- Robinson returns the favor, fouling and giving up a FK. Sweden makes the most of it, leading to play that leads to a shot by Wernbloom that Guzan covers well.
34- Another Wernbloom shot denied by Guzan.
39- There's been occasional sloppy play by the U.S., but in general, they've knocked it around well.
41- Landon set Drew Moor up nicely, but the right back muffed his entry cross.
43- Svensson has played well for Sweden tonight. He keeps calm and makes smart decisions and passes to open up chances for his team.
44- CK for Sweden, Alexandersson takes it, it leads to an apparent handball that doesn't get called.
45- Sweden with a late flurry here in front of goal, but they can't get a good shot off and the ball is eventually cleared.
First half over.
Second half
47- The U.S. starts out fast. Landon sets up a play with a pass to Noonan - who gets it to Jozy's feet in front of goal- he should totally score from there, but he gets his feet tangled up. He's still stong enough to fend off his defender, eventually drawing a foul.
48- The local reporters in the pressbox are nervous for Landon as he goes through his little ritual. We watched him miss twice for The Galaxy in 2007, which is unusual for him, but it robs us of confidence. He nails the shot, though, low and hard to his right. That's it for Landon - he passes Eric Wynalda on the alltime list.
58- Can't blog much in the second half. Writing stories.
61- Couldn't resist this note- the Riot Squad influence in Sam's Army is evident. "F*** IKEA," they are chanting.
14878 listed attendance. It looks legit. They were a pretty lively crowd, too.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Love your work, really I do.

But it's offside. One s.

FC Uptown said...

AC, back mixing at HDC, nice. Have to say I thought Donovan was so good tonight. Is he getting better or am I just appreciating it more? Herky jerky game, but interested to see Corrales and Goodson get in there. Thought they did well. Guzan...brother, you just printed your own ticket to Champions League.

FC Uptown said...

MLS teams have moved forward with sponsorship on the unis. Is the USMNT thinking of sponsorship deals (perhaps similar to England and Nationwide http://www.nationwide.co.uk/sponsorship/England/default.htm)?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Donovan is definitely getting better. He's working on the little things and it shows.

Sweet combination between Donovan and Altidore, where Jozy put LD in alone on goal...too bad they incorrectly called Jozy offside. Because on replay, it was evident that he wasn't.