Wednesday, August 20, 2008

U.S./Guatemala running blog

World Cup qualifying action begins anew, folks.

Cherundolo---------Onyewu------Bocanegra ------Pearce

LD is interviewed talking about how qualifying isn't easy. Well, Mexico not making the Olympics might attest to that, but we'll see.


Ricardo Trigueno
Yony Flores, Gustavo Cabrera, Mario Rodriguez, Freddy Garcia, Guillermo Ramirez,
Luis Rodriguez, Fredy Thompson, Jose Manuel Contreras, Carlos Ruiz

David Beckham and England already played, of course. He assisted on a goal. Now the other two members of the Galaxy face off.
Guatemala's fans look pretty ardent in the stands. There's a shot of Ruiz carrying his soccer escort. I don't know what that's about. Stage fright?
The sound is cutting out. I thought Harkes was awful quiet. There's a lonely little American fan holding his flag out. Oh wait, there's a little group singing along to the anthem. Nice. They get soundly booed, but are otherwise left alone.
Carlos and the Guats are singing along to their anthem, a pretty bouncy tune, if a bit repetitive.
1- Is Harkes doing commentary by phone? His voice is very disembodied and the sound doesn't match Glenn Davis.
2 - FK for the U.S. - LD takes, but a foul in the area leads to a mishit header by Bradley and a foul. Goal kick.
3 - What the heck happened to Gooch? The facial hair looks like a mangy animal attacked him. Pearce is fouled by Ruiz.
5 - Harkes predicts, shockingly, that the U.S. will win.
6 - Lewis is down after a deep run on the left.
7 - Dempsey tries to go around his defender by pulling his shoulder, but Harkes, for some reason, harps on the fouling tactics ofGuatemala.
8 - Or maybe he was being prophetic, as Pando brings down LD. Lewis serves the ball in, but Guatemala clear.
10 - Ramirez with about eight dribble moves too many and then a horrible shot from outside that misses badly. That should look familiar to Galaxy fans, circa 2005.
11 - Ruiz is barking at the ref already. Harkes means to say "resort", but it comes out "result".
12 - Nice flick from Dempsey to LD, but a desperate tackle saves Guatemala there.
13 - Davis and Harkes debate the LD as right midfielder issue. Davis is subtly skeptical of it.
Ruiz gets called for offside.
14 - Mo Edu bench shot, and his transfer comes up. The pride of the IE now plays for Rangers.
16 - I can't believe Davis just said the U.S. has started well, and Harkes agrees. No they haven't. They're created very few chances and imposed no superiority at all.
17 - And now 'Dolo picks up a silly yellow, tossing the ball away after a foul. Dude, that's just lame (Dolo knows what I mean, he's from San Diego).
18 - Harkes gives Arena his endorsement, refers to him and Dave Sarachan as "winning coaches". Yes, they are - winning coaches who were fired from New York and Chicago, respectively.
20 - LD crosses - it's out for a corner. The U.S. take it, Trigueno pushes the ball away. Harkes calls him "stone hands".
21 - Loco Rodriguez gets behind the defense, but touches the ball too far. Goal kick.
23 - Davis can't wrap his head around "anthracite" so he calls the U.S. uniforms gray that looks like dark blue.
Harks correctly diagnoses that Bradley and Mastro aren't shutting down the midfield.
24 - LD steps on Pando. And the picture cuts out briefly.
25 - Rodriguez gets behind the defense again, but Boca cuts off his cross.
26 - Boos rain down as the U.S. passes the ball around in the back.
27 - Dempsey from distance, it was Pando-like. Speaking of Pando, he tackles Dempsey late and Clint, sock-pushes him. Pando goes down like he's been shot. Both get yellows. Demps follows Pando around a bit, but they eventually hug it out.
29 - Bradley from distance. Trigueno isn't that bad of a keeper.
30 - Howard catches a Guat cross. I think Guatemala has gotten more crosses into the box than the U.S. has.
31 - Ching is offside - which is the first mention of his involvement, really.
34 - Mastro gets a yellow for a tackle on Ruiz.
38 - Ching earns a free kick. It's deep, but I mention it because, well, he was mentioned.
39 - And Ching gets a shot off, taking the ball off his chest and turning to shoot. Not too close as it whizzed over the bar, but the closest chance of the game thus far.
40 - Guatemala fans want a handball called on Pearce, but the ref waves play on.
41 - Ball in the box, but Dempsey can't get a shot off. Better from the U.S., though.
43 - Boca screws 'Dolo by keeping a Gallardo onside, but then makes up for the gaffe by disrupting the cross to Ruiz.
44 - Trigueno makes a shaky basket catch in the box.
45 - Ruiz tries to find the outlet man, but Pearce gets in the way.
It's not that the U.S. is tied that's the problem. It's that they've looked pretty poor going forward, really. Three U.S. players also have yellow cards, and that's just asking for trouble in the second half.
49 - Guatemala has come out tough in the second half. The U.S is countering when they can.
50 - But now Guatemala counters and the ball gets into the box, where Boca again gets a timely toe on a ball meant for Ruiz.
52 - FK for the U.S. It's a ways out, but the U.S. sets up in the box. The ball gets there, but Guatemala heads it away.
55 - Howard grabs a long pass away from Rodriguez, who has some serious wheels. Harkes bawls out Pearce for turning his back on the keeper.
56 - Rodriguez gets a shot off, Howard dives and misses but the ball is wide.
57 - Now Guatemala is just teeing up on Howard. That shot just misses. The U.S. midfield isn't holding the ball at all.
60 - Another FK for the U.S. as 'Dolo commits another foul - ooh, it's a yellow, which means 'Dolo is gone. I knew that earlier card was a stupid move on his part. Now the U.S. might pay dearly. They've been pushed back even while the numbers were even.
62 - Lewis is down, with blood everywhere. He got to the ball on a header, and I don't know why Cabrera even went for the ball - he wasn't even close.
64 - Well, now Cabrera pays the price. He gets red and is gone. His elbow came up on the play. Teams are even steven again.
66 - Lewis trudges off to the lockers. He was stretchered off the field.
68 - Contreras gets yellow for not backing up ten yards on the FK. LD serves it in well, and Gooch sends a header to goal. Trigueno pushes it over the bar.
69 - GOAL! Bease sends in the corner and Boca gets to it, even as Gooch is pulled down hard. Boca nails his header into the corner of the goal. 1-0, U.S.
73 - Didn't mention it before, but Hejduk is on, as is Damarcus Beasley.
74 - Off a corner kick, Guatemala's Flores strikes - over the bar. Wow.
77 - An energetic attacking sequence by Guatemala results in a corner.
78 - Maurice Edu comes in for Mastro. The Ck goes to Castrillo, who shoots hard, but Howard is on it.
80 - Boca slips! Ruiz nearly through.
82 - Ruiz goes into the ball after Howard has claimed it, gets him on the head. Howard gets up and goes after Ruiz, gets a yellow.
84 - Ching hits a square pass to Edu, who shoots with his left. It's wide but it was a half-decent chance to put the game away.
85 - Who's your Pappa? Marco's just come on for Guatemala.
88 - Pappa shoots high. The U.S. is holding on for a historic win.
89 - Or not. Guatemala has a corner. Pappa with another shot, but Howard scoops it up.
90 - Rodriguez kicks the ball right into Pearce, who looks worn out by chasing him. Guat fans want a handball.
90+ Guatemala attacking furiously. The U.S. is trying to clear, but the ball isn't getting out very far.
U.S. is yielding everything but goal area to the Guats. Gooch cuts off a pass to Ruiz with a defensive header. Bradley cuts off a pass and relieves the pressure on the U.S. briefly.
Final whistle! Guatemala run out of time.
The crowd is screaming bloody murder. Flores is furious. It doesn't amount to much, though. The U.S. team goes to wave at their little group of fans.
The defense got it done tonight, specifically Boca with the goal and Howard with a few timely saves. It's interesting that the U.S. finally win in Guatemala in a game where they didn't play all that well. They gutted it out, though, and that's what road World Cup qualifying games are all about.


RHYbread said...

Onweyu looks FIERCE

R.C. said...

ESPN should hire K-Mart, he's a way better commentator.

Anonymous said...

well atleast there's a grass field

John said...

As usual the ref is not doing the US any favors. Guatemala is fouling us like crazy and barely any cards handed out by the ref, giving them free pass to keep fouling.

The US needs to put Donovan in the middle of the field, either lose one of the defensive center mids or sub out Dempsey. Also, the left side for the US is looking weak.

Anonymous said...

US seriously need a striker in the game. like a "kenny copper".

Anonymous said...

Jesus, we look terrible out there.

Anonymous said...

What the hell was 'Dolo doing out there? Good lord.

John said...

If I played for the US, I would seriously try to brake a Guatemalan leg. This is bullshit the way we get the crap kicked out of us. We need thugs to fuck some people up.

Anonymous said...

Eddie Lewis is out for the count. No way he can contiune. I hope he is alright.

10 on 10 now.


Jim said...

Bocanegra unmarked!

Dylan said...

How is injury time determined? How could there be only four minutes after all that stuff that happened?

A.C. said...

A lot of refs don't like to give too much injury time, even if people have practically died out there.

Anonymous said...

another terrific referee, you would think he would be embarrassed by his bias.

Guatemala is a dirty/classless team and Ruiz really showed his true colors again of being an assh*le.

John said...

Good performance by the US considering they were getting crap kicked out of them every time they touched the ball.

The defense in particular was very solid, and Ching is a warrior.

I really hope we give Guatemala some payback when they come here to play.

d.s. said...

US very lucky to come away with 3 points after the miserable way they played - Guatemala was incredibly effective in closing down on the US players, the ref missed what should've been a clear handling call against Pearce, and Cherundolo goes and gets himself a silly send-off...

This Donovan-on-the-right experiment is not working, and I don't know what will make Bradley change that - perhaps a home loss to Mexico.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone catch the quatemala defender that kicked boca after the goal? How about the defender who shoulder charged Ching (who didnt even have the ball) during a throw in. WHEN CAN FIFA step in and fix the beutiful game. I sure wish someone would take the time and report these things in the newspaper so that FIFA or CONCACAF wakes the ---- up. I still remeber shithead oSwaldo sanchez attempt to sideline EJ in 2007.

ryebreadraz said...

Certainly not a very well played game from the US. We're going to have to improve, but let's give them some credit for winning in Guatemala and winning a game in which they didn't play well. Too often we've out played teams and had to settle for a draw so seeing us get 3 points when we didn't play very well was nice.

RHYbread said...

Beasley had a hell of a game. Even as the Guatemalen pressure increased towards the end of the game, he was composed on the ball, passes very well timed and well weighted. I'm not sure why Ching is still called up. Like Harkes was trumpeting during the game, he does great work off the ball, but so rarely does he score. Yeah that pick was nice when Onweyu scored, but we need to have a legitimate threat at forward.

It seems like the US team is caught in an identity crisis of sorts, our style isn't cohesive, too often alternating between long ball + undirected flank play and possession and methodical movement of the ball.

East River said...

I understand why BB played such a defensive minded game but I expect better the midfield to better in the possession dept if you going to play lone striker. With Ching only being a heading threat there was almost no one playing striker at all. l

End the end we knew this whould not be an easy match to come out with a win was big. So props to them for getting the win.

Kristian said...

I believe that one of these CONCACAF games is going to get seriously out of control and someone is going to get hurt unless FIFA step in and hands out some penalities to these Hispanic teams in our region. From the Superliga to this qualifying tournament, the behavior of the Latin Americans playing in our region is ridiculous. They are far from sportsmen and not even men. It was obvious from the get go of this game that the Guats were willing to cheat and steal for a result. That is disgusting. It goes against everything a tournament like the World Cup stands for. I cringe to think what a mockery of good sportmanship the Mexicans will make when we play them. They are the undisputed kings of cheap shots, whining and diving. I would like to see FIFA step in and clean this region up. My remedy would be:

-ALL games hosted in the United States with NO CONCACAF officials.
-Post game tape review by FIFA officials on the look out for cheaters and cheap shot artist. Those caught will automatically be given a yellow or red card, depending on the severity of the foul.
-ARREST and prosecute according to local laws ANY player or team official who participates in post match fighting
-a point system that BANS teams from international competition for one year if the team accumalates a certain number of points awarded for cheating and unsportsman like conduct.
-a mandatory, bilingual ad campaign using the players from the region that addresses the value of good sportsmanship and loosing with grace. Perhaps forcing the players to participate in this will spark some sort of recognition in them so that they see they are destroying the game and setting a bad example for future generations.

My alternate remedy for this would be to draft a team of 22 stud linebackers from the NFL, dress them up in US soccer kits and give them free reign to knock the crap out of every team in our region until they are physically afraid to take the field and are forced to forfeit all their games. That actually would be fun to watch.