Red-White-n-Blue goes up against Le Oranje. Predictions, people. Get 'em in the comments before kickoff.
Vermeer, Zuiverloon, Marcellis, Jaliens, De Guzman, Emanuelson, Maduro, Drenthe, Bakkal, Babel, Beerens
Guzan, Wynne, Edu, Parkhurst, Orozco, Rogers, Bradley, Kljestan, Holden, Adu, McBride
Coach Peter Nowak is growing some facial scruff - a VanDyke I guess. For luck? I don't know whether to hope the team loses so he loses it. It's just coming in.
1- Rogers on the attack from the start.
3 - The Dutch quickly find their feet and start pressuring the U.S. goal.
4 - Guzan stretches to reach a high cross, then tumbles, but hangs on to the ball.
5 - The u.S. is having trouble working the ball out of the back. They barely cross the centerline before the Dutch claim the ball and attack again.
6 - Balboa rightly notes that Holland, playing a 3-5-2, outnumbers the U.S. in the midfield and this is causing the Americans problems. But so is Kljestan making passes to the Dutch defenders, like he did just now.
8 - Granted, it's raining and conditions are crappy and slippery.
9 - Yay, better from Sach - nice run and move to force a foul there. Yellow card, too, on Marcellis.
10 - Decent FK, but Vermeer catches. The U.S. regain the ball and counter - Adu cross to Bradley, but he hits his volley awkwardly and wide.
13 - U.S. FK - goes to the Dutch immediately, but the U.S. plays some nice D to get the ball again and rogers takes off on the wing, then biffs the cross out.
15 - Better midfield play from the U.S. - They give up a header to the Dutch, though, but it's high and wide.
17 - GOAL! As soon as I praise the U.S. midfield, they then look crappy, giving up a nice long stretch of possession to the Dutch. The cross finally comes in to Babel, who snaps a header that Guzan blocks, but the ball pops right back to Babel while the defenders stand in amazement. Babel promptly slams the ball into the underside of the net. 1-0. Netherlands.
20 - Pointless possession ends with a long ball over the top that Vermeer claims easily.
22 - Even Balboa is calling for Jozy to start. i wonder if Joz might be injured. He had a bit of an ankle thing before he left NY.
25 - Dutch look supremely confident now. They ping the ball around, making good connections even on long passes. Orozco fouls, but it seems to be mostly a calculated drink break for the Dutch.
27 - Freddy! He makes an amazing run, refuses to give the ball up, beats three guys, gets in the box and - puts his shot high. Get that on frame, Fred.
28 - Maybe Nowak is inspired by Wynne, whose Van Dyke is looking snazzy.
29 - As opposed to Wynne's first touch right there - which was quite horrid. He got to the pass, of course with his speed, and then basically kicked the ball out accidently.
31 - Drenthe's outside shot deflects for a corner. Guzan catches it.
33 - Freddy goes down. He's not getting that call. Rogers on the run, shot gets deflected for a throw.
35 - This time Freddy gets the call - he was on a sweet run right into the box. The FK is just outside the line. Fred isn't taking the FK? Why? Bradley steps up.
36 - Hits the wall, U.S. corner. Vermeer misses the service, but the ball goes over the line for a GK.
37 - Freddy draws another foul, but this one is spotted far out. Holden stands on it, serves it into the box - Orozco! misses, but was closeish.
40 - Nice play by the U.S. culminates in a Holden shot. Freddy backheeds to Wynne, whose cross is poor, but the U.S. manages to retain the ball and Holden slams a shot that forces a Vermeer save. Rogers follows up from distance, but Vermeer catches.
41 - More pressure from the U.S. The Dutch look a bit rattled - mistakes are made.
43 - Rogers fouls and the Dutch take their time with the FK - wanting to go in to the half with the lead.
45 - Rogers receives a nice through pass on the wing, but his pass to mcBride doesn't have much of a chance and is easily cut off.
45 + Guzan claims a cross and starts the counter. Freddy is on the run, surrounded by orange shirts and coughs up the ball.
Well, the U.S. are a bit unlucky, perhaps, but the bottom line is that the Netherlands made good on their chance and the U.S. didn't. That's skill beyond the obvious technical advantage the Dutch have. It's competitive coolness under pressure.
46 - We're back. The Dutch seem to have their second wind. They're making canny passes and waiting for chances, making the U.S. chase.
48 - Edu foul gives up deep FK on the right side. service across the box, header! Outside side netting. Lucky U.S.
49 - How is that not a U.S. corner? Rogers is also disgusted by the poor call.
50 - The U.S. get a FK here. holden to McBride! He finally gets a ball he can get his head on and he sends it straight towards goal. Vermeer leaps to punch ball over the bar.
52 - The U.S. maintain the attack, but Vermeer is ready to pounce on a loose ball in the box.
53 - Guzan punches the ball, not quite to safety, but the U.S. get out on the counter, actually passing well through the midfield until Holden is shielded from a chip pass in the box.
55 - Edu can't control his momentum - bangs into Vermeer. Gets yellow.
58 - Mucky battle in midfield. It's hard to be precise with passes when there are chunks of mud holding up the ball.
59 - Wynne on the run! freddy's pass blocked.
60 - Orozco moving forward - gets fouled by Marcellis. Yellow.
61 - Service into the box, Vermeer comes out against the wave of traffic to punch ball clear.
62 - "I like it" is Balboa's catchphrase today. He sounds like Mikey of Life cereal. It was McBride's shot on goal that Balboa liked. Vermeer caught it.
64 - Balboa also likes Orozco getting forward, but the Dutch counter. Wynne has to race back and cover.
65 - GOAL! Sach! Freddy Adu nutmegs a defender, creating a throughball on a counter and Sach is off to the races, cutting back once in the box and shooting past Vermeer. Nice. 1-1.
66 - Jozy is in for Rogers, too.
67 - Bradley is arguing something. Cool, boy. Keep coolly cool, boy.
FK for Holland. Guzan arranges the wall. No need. DeGuzman skies the shot.
69 - Jozy hasn't touched the ball yet. Oh, there he goes, weird pass to Freddy.
70 - Jozy is the only U.S. player on the field who had his 2005 U17 World Cup dream end to the Dutch in the quarters.
71 - of course Freddy can just pass into space Wynne will get there. His cross is blocked out for a throw. Wynne is good at those - better than his crossing, sure.
72 - GOAL! Wynne's throw is deep and discombobulates the Dutch defense. They can't clear as the u.S. keep scrapping for it. Orozco hits a hard cross that basically bounces off big guy Jozy and into the goal! yay for Jozy's positioning! 2-1 U.S.
73 - Jozy is so cute - he celebrates like he actually took a shot.
75 - M'kay - here comes Makaay. The Dutch are getting serious here.
77 - Jozy in the box - hard shot, while holding off his defender, but Vermeer blocks it.
78 - Freddy gets a yellow for dangerous play against the goalkeeper. He's out of the next match, because of the even more stupid yellow he got against Japan. Freddy! Why?
80 - Guzan smothers a Sibon shot. Freddy comes out for Benny Feilhaber.
81 - The next ten minutes will be wild. Orange bodies will fly everywhere.
82 - It's Dance of the Headers in the box for a while as the ball keeps popping up, bu the U.S. finally get a foot on the ball to clear it.
84 - For such a skillful team, the Dutch lack creativity right now. They must be tired.
85 - Guzan punches a ball clear.
86 - Better attacks from the Netherlands, but the final header pops over the bar. Guzan goal kick, but he doesn't take too long, because he already has a yellow card.
87 - Makaay takes a quick short corner, but Feilhaber steals the ball before the pass comes to the box.
88 - Netherlands pinging the ball foward.
89 - Holden breaks the press, pushes forward, shoots wide, ignores an open Kljestan.
90 - Guzan makes me nervous with his basket catches. Players could challenge those.
90+ Kljestan is down. He takes his time getting up and Makaay gets pissy.
Bradley gets another stupid timewasting yellow card. I hate those. I'm sorry, I never think those are a good idea. Just play.
Jozy nice defensive play but the Dutch come right back and Holden gets a yellow for a foul - came in just a bit late. Dangerous freaking free kick, right outside the arc.
GOAL! It's hard and low and gets in under the wall as the wall jumps and Guzan's dive is late. 2-2
Well, well, the U.S. blew the full points at the end. A tie wouldn't have been a horrible result, but with the lead and only seconds left? It stings, big time.
Freddy played well, but I'm still bitter about his petulant yellow in the Japan game. Bradley is out on cards as well. So by default, I suppose we'll see Feilhaber and Jozy start the next match.