Saturday, October 11, 2008

U.S. /Cuba

Yes, I'm late again. I was actually watching, but I couldn't log on until now.
31 - Beasley! He's perfectly positioned, cutting behind the defensive line and LD spots him and drops in a nice pass. Bease controls the ball off his chest and shoots as the goalkeeper comes out. 2-0, US.
32 - Cuba comes right back. Munoz puts the ball in. A somewhat flukey goal, but the U.S. was napping on defense there. 2-1, U.S. still, but the Cubans have cut the deficit.
36 - In referencing that the WC qualifying scoreless streak getting broken, Harksey mentions that England scored against the U.S., though they were able to hold off Argentina. Spain also scored. All three games were friendlies, though.
37 - LD takes on three, then drops the ball back to M.Bradley, whose shot gets blocked.
39 - It's early, but Bease might be the Man of the Match already. Not only did he score both goals, but he also drew a yellow card. His speed is giving Cuba problems. At one point, though, he was on the ground for quite a while. Considering the injuries Bease has struggled with, it's not surprising that Bob Bradley's face at that time was pure sour pucker. He didn't look pleased at all.
42 - And that yellow Bease drew pays off - LD is clipped from behind. It's Colome again and the ref doesn't hesitate to pull out the second yellow. The U.S. has a man advantage.
43 - Harkes is trying to build up suspense, saying a team like Cuba can pull together when a man down. Doubtful, though. They're already demoralized by the defections.
44 - Harkes rightly notes that LD should be more selfish and shoot for the goal, even if it's from an extreme angle. I should make a macro about that, "Shoot, Landon!"
45 - Onyewu crashes in and bodies collapse like bowling pins. The goalkeeper claims the ball, though.
In the halftime interview, Bradley expects more goals. I'm shocked. He's not happy about the letdown after the second goal. I'm stunned.
Granted, everyone generally expected Cuba to get pasted in this game. The missing players probably wouldn't make much of a difference, but Cuba has salvaged pride, no matter how this ends, with a goal. Of course, if the U.S. clinches here, (and in all probability, it will) we could conceivably see a really fun team, young and untested, in future games.
48 - LD with #37! He started off the play, too, dropping in a little pass to Ching, who wisely went wide and then either dummied Pearce's cross or just missed it between his legs, but LD was there for the putaway. 3-1 U.S.
50 - The Galavision announces are calling on Bradley, now that the game is safely out of reach, to put in the young 'uns. Now they're discussing Torres.
51 - They think Mexico made a mistake in losing him.
54 - Though they criticize Sven for "losing" Torres, they're now comparing him favorably to the Cuban's German coach, who doesn't speak Spanish. They consider this a major fault.
56 - LD and Bease team up for a corner
57 - Demps nails a header from an LD pass on goal, but Molina is able to leap to make the stop.
60 - LD lays off another ball for Bease, but his hat trick is denied by Molina.
62 - LD took a corner, but Boca missed with the header, surprisingly.
63 - Demps gets fouled, draws a yellow.
63 - GOAL! Kljestan sent the ball from the Bease FK toward goal and Ching tapped it in. 4-1, U.S.
67 - Though I've switched back to the English coverage, I'm sure the Galavision guys are happy - Jose Francisco Torres is coming into the game for Heath Pearce. Altidore comes in for Chingy.
69 - Jozy's cross is way too far - Molina claims it.
71 - Cuba with a little run of possession, but then Jozy counters and holds off his defender and shoots right into Molina. Nice try, Joze.
72 - Weird - Harkes just said that Torres was naturalized in Texas, but born in Mexico. Really? I always thought he was born in the U.S.
75 - Ok, I wasted Google time there, but basically everything I found said that Torres was born in Texas.
76 - Freddy Adu comes in and gets a nice hand from his old fans as Kljestan goes off.
77 - LD takes a nice FK, but it bends just a bit too much and goes off the post. He had Molina beat, I think.
78 - Harkes is saying that Freddy got too much hype at 14. He takes a corner, then another, and this one goes to Dolo, then Dempsey, then rebounds off the crossbar.
79 - Bease and Torres have don't communicate well, and the ball heads out.
81 - Torres is game to try an outside shot. It goes over the bar - but not by too much. he walloped it. Nice to see the confidence.
85 - Cuba with a surprising run of possession, given that they're a man down and must be tired. Adu on the counter tries to find Jozy, but misses with the pass.
86 - LD with a nice throughball to Bease, whose pass to Jozy right in front of goal isn't as precise - Altidore can't reach it.
87 - GOAL! Jozy gets to this pass from Dempsey. LD is running support, but Jozy is all about firing on goal and he buries this one for his second international goal. 5-1 U.S.
90 - Shorty to Tallzy. Adu attacks his player and then sends in a cross that Gooch buries. That looked cool, the whole sequence. 6-1 U.S.
90+ Bradley blows the feel-good vibe by getting a pointless yellow. Daddy is stoic. I suppose it doesn't matter now, but that's not the discipline from Michael that I'd like to see. Unless it was a strategic move to blow his yellow card accumulation.
Final whistle.
Pretty comprehensive U.S. win. Nice to see the youngsters get out there and make an impact even in limited time.
I don't think we really saw what Torres can do in this game, but I think we saw enough to want to see more.
Bease was definitely an early sparkplug. LD had a nice game too. In his interview, Bease lauds the team effort. He also commends the home fans for energizing the team.
Sacha had a good game as well, as did Chingy. Of course, it's not too hard to look good against an undermanned Cuban team, but the U.S. followed through on their perceived dominance and actually dominated.


Anonymous said...

Torres' Wikipedia page says he was born in Texas.

A.C. said...

Well, Wiki is publically edited, so perhaps not completely trustworthy. But other sources, including Soccernet's player page, say the same.

Jonathan Geissler said...

Good result, great performances, and an entertaining 2 and a half hours. I say 2 and a half because the half hour show before the game on ESPN Classic... ;-)