Home > Football (soccer) > The Miracle on Grass

The Miracle on Grass

Wow. I can hardly believe we did it, and then again I am so glad for this team that doesn’t know how to quit.

No quit in these boys (photo Phil Cole)

Quick observations: So glad that Coach Bradley left Onyewu on the bench today. He has been at fault for goals against England and Slovenia, and it was nice to see the coach make a tough decision and sit him today. He’ll continue to get his fitness back and I hope Gooch does well for AC Milan in the coming months / years, but this tournament is a little too early for him fitness-wise.

Son Bradley was really, really good today. I have not been impressed with some of his displays in the previous games, but today he was a true MAN in the MIDDLE of the park. He did a great job relieving pressure on our defense, and attacked with purpose. His late runs into the box were especially troublesome for the Algerians.

Dempsey was a bit off today. Sure he had a genuinely good goal called out unfairly, which is too bad for him. But on the other hand, there were many times when we needed a good pass, or a controlled trap, and Dempsey just couldn’t provide it. I am more and more convinced that he is in the team as a “disrupter” and a wild card on offense than for his true skill as an attacker. But hey — that’s his niche and he did his job again today. Hopefully his next game is even better. I mean — you can’t say too much about a good goal called back, and having the final shot that turned into the winning goal for the USA, right? Well done.

Donovan — gosh I was so frustrated at him in the final 20 minutes. He would get the ball at his feet, and rather than running at the defenders, he would turn and play it behind him. I really thought it would bite us in the end. But he came up with the goods when it counted most, so there’s not much else that can be said. He was the match winner today.

Demerit was a TOTAL STUD on defense. Sure he had a brain fart in the 7th minute missing that clearance completely, which almost cost us a goal. But after that he was unstoppable. Won everything in the air. Distributed the ball well. Well done son.

Altidore ran at guys like a true attacker (finally!) Sure he missed the goal from 3 yards out when it would have been easier to score, but that’s all forgotten now. So far he’s the “almost man” for the USA, causing danger and problems for the other team, but not coming up with the goods yet. But his attacks and pace today were very positive, and he had a great game.

And the rest of the gang — Feilhaber? He came on and gave us a great 2nd half spark, just like he did against Slovenia. And Cherundolo and Bornstein were hardly beaten in the defense. Well done boys. And Bocanegra did a great job in the middle, making one especially crucial saving tackle late on.

Lots of people are speaking badly about the referees. Sure it sucks when a valid goal is called out, we all know what that feels like (right?!) But to be fair, the ref today had quite a BANG! BANG! situation where he had to use his best judgment — and my first inclination was that Dempsey was offside too. If that referee was off even a yard in his positioning, it might have appeared to be the correct call to him. Remember that we didn’t know it was a valid goal until the super-slow mo and computer graphic line showed us. I think overall this refereeing crew did a commendable job, except he may have lost his cool and given the red card to the wrong Algerian at the death.

Hey — at least we didn’t have the refs that refereed the Chile / Switzerland game, nor the refs that did the Germany / Serbia game, right? And at least we didn’t see our FAVE African son Komen Coulibaly again, eh?!!!!

OVERALL — WELL DONE USA. I can’t believe we went from being out of the World Cup to winning the group in 2 crucial minutes!! What a Goal! What a Goal!

Donovan the match winner (photo Martin Rose)

Go USA!

Oh, and what happened in the England game today? I didn’t get to watch it I was a bit preoccupied watching the group leaders (wink!)

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  1. Jeff
    June 23, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Feilhaber is a very good player, and I didn’t know it until today. Buddle! I like his timing and athleticism – marking that guy would be a handful. Yes – Demerit (LUV the name – especially since he plays in England…) was great.

    I swore at 83 minutes when DeMarcus Beasley came on that I would NEVER say anything bad about him again if he would only do something – anything! Ha – promise not kept; all he could do was get a yellow card. What Celtic see in that guy is completely beyond me. Ideas include: low price? tolerance of Scottish mud? He’s a practicing Catholic? And, finally (I think I have a winner…), he’s the only person on the team that thinks trapping the ball and passing BACKWARDS is better than hoofing it forward and running like an Aussie Rules Footballer into the elbows and teeth of the opposing defenders? Yeah, that’s it. That guy is useless in a world-quality game. Anyone remember USA vs. Czech Republic in 2006? If you don’t, don’t bother looking at the left half of the field when you look it up. Nothing is happening on Beasley’s side except for backing up and passing back. Even when we were losing 3-0. Barf. But if, in the next game, he comes on again, I will make the same promise. And I will still renege if all he does is get a yellow card.

    Brilliant game by the United States. Agreed that the call would have been difficult to make on the Dempsey offsides position. I thought that Dempsey was a hair unlucky today (I don’t often say that word) – goal called back, post hit, and just the wrong bounce when he went through and was saved by the keeper. I like him better than you do I think.

    Go USA!!!

    • June 23, 2010 at 2:31 pm

      I love Clint Dempsey. I just thought he was off a bit today. But yes I love him and I always look for the Fulham FC results cuz of him and McBride over the years. I think he is creative and he tries different stuff. I’m just saying that today his touch seemed off and he lost the ball a number of times when we were moving forward. But — he’s dangerous. He scored a goal today (incorrectly taken back), and he was on the end of Altidore’s pass putting a shot on target and making the keeper make a save (that he couldn’t handle) after running himself ragged for 90+ minutes.

      I like him a lot.

  2. Jeff
    June 23, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Yeah!! I’ll love it when we beat Ghana to avenge the 2006 loss. I will LUV IT when we beat them!!!

    I never say this kind of stuff, because I don’t want to jinx us, but I’m getting Kevin Keegan’s voice in my head, and I want to get it out in the open. Bad example, though, since Newcastle couldn’t hang on…

    GO USA!!!

  3. June 23, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    The whole crew did great today! Thanks for the comment. I like your observations there and I would definitely add that Bocanegra’s tackle was clutch! I really like Feilhaber. It makes me wonder why he doesn’t get the start but then again maybe he’s the spark that we need off the bench.

    I think the one area we have to improve on is the center of the field in our defense. From what I saw of Ghana, it looks like they like to use that area more so than the wings for their attack. I really like our chances against Ghana and especially with how timid they are in attacking.

    • June 23, 2010 at 9:30 pm

      Biggest thing I have noticed about Ghana is that the only goals they have scored so far in this world cup are from the penalty spot. Hopefully they don’t get any penalties against us — that’s what knocked us out in 2006 — a penalty kick to Ghana!

      After watching Ghana get really close to scoring against Germany today, I am a bit worried too, but hopefully our defense keeps getting better and we can score some goals against them! Go USA!

  4. June 24, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Some great games coming up Merty – I think you’ll overcome Ghana but not without a scrap fella. As for us and the Gerry’s? I actually think we play better against the big boys and our game goes south against those we’re expected to beat!

    When the chips are down, I still believe!

    Good Luck and see you in the final…….

    Respect and Peace!
    @dam

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