Thursday, August 7, 2008

U.S./Japan running blog

Sorry, this start time is painful on the West Coast.

--Wynne – Edu – Parkhurst – Orozco--

--Holden – Bradley – Kljestan – Rogers--

Shusaku Nishikawa (G)
4 Hiroki Mizumoto (D)
5 Yuto Nagatomo (D)
6 Masato Morishige (D)
7 Atsuto Uchida (D)
8 Keisuke Honda (M)
10 Yohei Kajiyama (M)
12 Hiroyuki Taniguchi (M)
14 Shinji Kagawa (M)
16 Takuya Honda (M)
15 Takayuki Morimoto

23 - Announcers discuss the CAS ruling that clubs can recall even Olympic-eligible players.

25 - It's scoreless, by the way.
26 - The U.S. with a bit of an attack, but Freddy's shot is blocked out. Japan is really collapsing in and pressuring players with tenacious defense.
28 - Holden crosses to the box, but Freddy isn't as good of a target as McBride or Jozy, and he can't beat his defender to the ball, who clears it.
29 - Guzan cuts off a Japanese cross.
30 - Freddy loses a ball, appeals for foul, nothing, then the Japan attack manages a CK. Ball is headed high my Morishige.
34 - Freddy with an acrobatic juggle and strike - high, but it was pretty threatening.
37 - Guzan cuts off a pass in the box, denying Honda a chance.
38 - Parkhurst looks like he's trying to make McBride feel less lonely as the overage player. He's got serious facial scruff going on, which has him looking a lot older than his mid-twenties.
40 - Freddy gets tangled up on the edge of the box - Japan gets close on the counter, but Wynne is just there to deny his man the poke into the goal.
41 - Japan's corner isn't cleared well by Freddy - it rebounds back to a Japanese player, who crosses in front of goal and a header chance, beats Guzan, just wide.
45 - Rogers gets a nice Adu pass and creates a corner out of it. McBride gets a head on it, but it's off target.
45 + Japan gets another corner - except, no, the ref blows the whistle and denies the corner.
If Balboa uses "nice job" one more time as a description - well, it'd be around the thousandth time.
Well, the U.S. is falling prey to Japan on the counter, even if technically, it seems like the Americans have more possession and build-up. But they're backpedaling whenever a turnover gives the Japanese a chance, because the quick attack of the Asian squad is proving very effective, while their organization on defense is keeping the U.S. chances limited.
Balboa's polo shirt makes him look like a big Dynamo supporter.
Oh look, Gio Rossi scored for Italy. It was a PK, but still, that has to sting a bit, considering how the U.S. can't seem to get on the board. Then again, neither can the Brazilians right now.
46 - Balboa rightly notes that the U.S. players will have to step up.
47 - GOAL! Wynne answers the call. He uses his speed to beat his man, and gets in a decent low cross that is only semi-cleared off a defender's leg. Holden has wisely followed the play and drills a shot on goal that deflects off the goalkeeper's gloves and trickles across the line. 1-0 U.S.
50 - The U.S. pings the ball around with more confidence now.
51 - Adu goes down, no call, then tackles the legs out of his rival - yellow card. Unwise. It wasn't really a dangerous opportunity for Japan, and Adu is too valuable to be in red card jeopardy.
53 - Adu with an attacking play in the box, but he's called for a foul trying to get around his defender.
55 - Rogers with a nice move, beats a couple of defenders and lays the ball off for Bradley, who takes too long of a run-up and gets his shot deflected.
57 - The U.S. keeps the pressure on. Wynne and Freddy combine for a deep throw. It leads to another.
58 - Japan is able to eventually clear the ball.
59 - Uchida makes a play to save the ball from going out, but it doesn't quite come off. The U.S. looks closer to a second goal than Japan does to the equalizer, but their counter skill could revive at any moment.
60 - In fact, Japan earn a corner just now with better play than they've shown this second half.
61 - Japan takes the corner short, gets a cross off, but the header is high.
63 - Holden with a great tackle creates an opportunity. The Fk pops out to Rogers, who finally gets a cross off after some tricky dribbling play.
64 - Bradley gets a yellow for a slight tug. The ref is a little card happy here. The replay shows barely a foul.
65 - Japan comes close on the FK, but Edu's slight deflection puts the ball wide of goal.
67 - Freddy pushed down in the box - nothing on the call.
68 - Orozco puts the ball out on a Japan attack for CK. Kljestan blocks out the service and his former clubmate, Guzan, catches the ensuing pass into the box.
70 - The U.S. play the ball well out of the back along the sideline.
71 - Honda into the box, but Edu steps up to take it away before the cross comes off.
73 - Rogers is injured. Japan makes a sub. Robbie is up. K. Honda gets a yellow for the tackle.
74 - McBride comes off for Jozy.
75 - Rogers earns a deep throw, but a foul turns the ball over to Japan.
77 - Jozy tries to tear loose from the hold of T. Honda - a yellow comes out for T. Honda, who had Jozy's shorts in his grip.
79 - Freddy gets called for a foul on the breakaway chance.
80 - Japan has an arguable PK as Edu hit a player from behind in the box, but the ball was pinging around and the player went down before he even made any play on the ball.
81 - Jozy in the box the other way, gets a corner out of it. Adu puts in it in well, but a foul on the keeper negates the play.
82 - Japan going the other way earns yet another deep throw. Benny Feilhaber comes in for Holden, the current hero. K. Honda gets a header chance off the throw as the U.S. offside trap cuts it too close, but K.H. puts it wide.
85 - Toyoda and Guzan tangle up. Guzan milks a bit of time.
86 - Szetela comes in for Rogers - Clifton, NJ is represented twice over in these Olympics, Rossi and Szetela.
87 - Guzan beats Okuzaki to the ball in the box. Too close.
88 - Wow, so much for the U.S. not getting the benefit of calls, Edu gets away with a tug in the box.
90 - Guzan gets a yellow for time-wasting. Some might say that's strategic, but I never think a yellow is a good idea except as a final extremity option.
90+ About four minutes to go and the U.S. is defending against a revived and desperate Japan.
Guzan slides in to cut off a pass.
Bush has ruined the words "mission accomplished" for me, and I cringe when Balboa uses the term before the game ends.
Ball in the box, Guzan misses the punch and the header goes past him and - over the bar! Lucky.
Final whistle - the U.S. claims the points. Japan will no doubt argue about the calls. A lot of calls went against the U.S., but they ended up getting the ones that mattered.
Some good things for the U.S. here, but also plenty to worry about.
The goal was nice -great utilization of Wynne's speed and a nice cross, good teamwork to follow the play. The U.S. had the majority of possession and moved the ball pretty well.
Negatives - the U.S. gave up a lot of chances to Japan on the counter. They yielded a lot of set plays, too, and a team that's more effective on those would probably have put at least a goal away. Finally, Edu, who I thought played very well overall, arguably committed two PK fouls that weren't called.
Also, I don't like the unneeded yellows, especially when it seemed Adu was just frustrated. Grow up, Freddy. Bradley's I can't complain about, because that was just a bad call.
Finally, the U.S. just didn't create that many chances. Too often, they couldn't find each other with the final pass, or could get a cross off in a timely manner. Japan actually had more possibilities on goal, even with less time on the ball. That doesn't bode well unless the U.S. steps it up.


Freon said...

terrible looking field, could be a superliga field.

A.C. said...

At least it's real grass. . .

Rudy said...

Any idea why the U.S. has no badge on the front of their kits? Did China forbid it?

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen any country with a badge yet. I think in the Olympics they don't put badges because they're representing their country and USOC, not USSF.

Rudy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Use your subs! McBride's starting to look a little sluggish and it wouldn't be a bad move to sub for Kjeistan who's ben giving the ball away far too much. Feilhaber maybe? Szetela could even come in for Adu in the final 10 to give us a bit more defense.

JkR said...

Japan has a badge. Small one.

Japanese player may have over embellished in his quest for a PK against Edu. The ref may not have seen the arm, but he did see the Japanese player fling himself to the ground after a bad touch.

Anonymous said...

I haven't heard Balboa since the World Cup and I forgot how bad he is. NBC should pay us for the torturous 90 minutes he puts us through each match.

L.B. said...

Despite the victory, can't say I'm terribly impressed by the US. The lack of offense was painful. Japan had less possession than the US yet managed to put together several really good scoring chances, and if the one player is able to finish off the chance off the corner in the first half, it's Japan that scores first and forces the US to chase the game.

Freddy Adu can be a joy to watch but often he's quite the frustrating player. He tries to do too much on his own and doesn't distribute well. Several times today he could have used his teammates better but instead chose to try and do the work himself. And of course there's the immaturity issue AC pointed out.

The US looked organized for the most part but did have a few breakdowns. Maurice Edu may have gotten away with a little something there late in the match.

In their next match, they will need to show quite a bit more than they did against Japan. The Japanese might have problems finishing but the US probably doesn't want to give those same opportunities to the Dutch.

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of what Luis says. If Japan had a forward that could hit the broad side of a barn we probably would have lost the match. Still, I am delighted to get the three points which gives the U.S. a good chance to advance from group play.

soy said...

japan deserved the 3points. our midfield was useless.

marvell wynne was MOTM. dude is incredibly smart.