Eating Crow



Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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5 Responses

  1. Avatar Patrick says:

    Pray for South Africa.Report

    • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Patrick says:

      I’m actually hoping for Brazil. It would be great to win the Confed. Cup, but I think I’d trade it for a single first round World Cup victory. With that in mind, I think the benefits of getting one more game against a top-flight team in a somewhat meaningful game (as opposed to a friendly), particularly with the US playing with supreme confidence, outweigh the greater likelihood of winning the tournament if they play South Africa.Report

  2. Damn you Will for stealing the title of the post I was going to make. Anywho, my crow dinner last night was delicious (I DVR’d the game and managed to avoid hearing the result until I watched it)!

    The weird thing is that the best 20 minutes they played was arguably the first 20 minutes – I thought they actually had the run of play on their side and looked mighty dangerous offensively for that part of the game, with some good, crisp passing, etc. The first goal was a little fortunate, coming off the deflection, but well-deserved and cooly finished by Altidore. The second goal was luckier because of the crazy deflection, but the fact is that Donovan should have taken the shot himself and very well may have scored had he done so. Plus, it came off a really nice build up as you said.

    Probably the best all-around effort I’ve ever seen from a US team – a full 90 minutes of intensity at a very high level. And you can’t say enough about Howard’s performance or, for that matter, the Gooch, who was almost like a second goalie.

    The one complaint I have – and it’s related to what I said the other day – is that their passing after the Altidore goal was by and large pretty sloppy. I wasn’t expecting them to put together a lot of trips into the attacking third with a lead against an overpowering team like Spain, but they did a pretty poor job holding onto the ball for lengthy periods of time, which is why Howard, Onyewu, and co. were forced to play twice as hard to preserve the win.Report

    • Avatar Will in reply to Mark Thompson says:

      I think that’s basically correct, though the “luck” factor tends to get exaggerated with the benefit of hindsight. They were able to bang in a few chancy goals because they consistently put pressure on the defense, which is a welcome development from a team that looked anemic on the offensive end just a few weeks ago. If we score first in the finals, we’ll have a good shot at holding on for the win.Report

      • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Will says:

        I agree with you on luck getting exagerrated. Both goals were well-deserved and definitely not the result of a few lucky long balls. The build-up to the second goal was kind of the exception to the rule about sloppy passing, and Dempsey’s set-up for Donovan showed exactly the kind of vision and patience that is usually the US’ weak spot.

        One other thing – I was amongst those who was upset when the Klinsman deal fell through, and was initially upset when Bradley was named interim coach, thinking we needed a European coach if we were ever going to consistently compete with European teams. I was, however, a believer in his by the time they removed the interim tag. In any event, though, Bradley really does seem to have been the best man for that job in retrospect – the game plan he put together worked to perfection, especially the whole “baiting Ramos” strategy (I’m shamelessly stealing the “baiting Ramos” point from a Soccernet column – I’m not knowledgeable enough to have come up with it on my own). Whatever you might say about MLS, it’s been enormously successful at developing American talent, and I am now firmly convinced that we need to have an American coach for as long as MLS continues developing a significant portion of the US MNT. Otherwise, you’re just trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.Report