USA Falls to Brazil

USA vs ItalyI really don’t want to write this because I’m still frustrated about the second half of that game.  The Americans seem to either play brilliantly (see, Spain and Egypt) or fall flat on their faces (see, Costa Rice, Brazil, Italy).  Today, they managed to do both.

The first half was spectacular.  The US hung with Brazil in even aspect of the game.  They looked great.  They carried a 2-0 lead into the half and were poised to win their first FIFA sanctioned tournament.

Instead, the wheels fell off and Brazil scored three unanswered goals (should have been four) and sent the US to a second place finish.

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USA Beats Top-Ranked Spain

Clint Dempsey scores for the US

Clint Dempsey scores for the US

What’s up with this team?  First they make a mockery of the game with their play in the losses to Costa Rica, Italy, and Brazil.  Then they dominate Egypt and qualify for the semifinals of the Confederations Cup.  Today, they took on the best team in the world, Spain, and came out victorious.  I think Bob Bradley has found his lineup for the rest of the qualification process.

This win is the second for the Americans against the world’s number one team.  The last came in the 1998 Gold Cup against Brazil.  In my opinion, this win ranks right up with the Portugal game in the 2002 World Cup, the 1989 World Cup Qualifier that sent the team to the 1990 World Cup, and the 1950 upset of England.  This win couldn’t have come at a better time for American team and fans after the previously mentioned games.

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USA Advances At Confederations Cup

Charlie Davies scores the first goal for the USA against Egypt

Charlie Davies scores the first goal for the USA against Egypt

Going into yesterday’s matches at the Confederations Cup, I definitely did not expect to be writing this as a headline.  USA, who had been lackluster at best, needed to beat Egypt by three goals and have Brazil beat the reigning World Cup Champions by at least three to have a chance.  This was the same United States team who had been easily beaten by Brazil and Italy by a combined score of 6-1. My confidence going into this game may have been at an all-time low.

So what did the US do?  They went out and dominated.  Their reward?  Top ranked Spain.  More on that in a bit.

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USA Sucks Again

South Africa US Brazil Confed Cup SoccerI watched the Americans’ second game in the Confederations Cup from work this morning.  I’ve had several hours to let the debacle sink in.  I’ve decided that I can accept losing.  What I cannot accept is not giving effort.  For the last four US games they have shown absolutely no effort what so ever.  They’ve been blown out by Costa Rica, scraped by an inferior Honduras team, got slaughtered by the Italians and have now been plastered by the Brazilians.  In those four games, we’ve been outscored 10-4.  Three of our goals have come from the penalty spot.  The other came from a corner kick.  That means we have not scored a goal during the run of play in over four games.  That’s pathetic.

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Italy Downs USA

Ricardo Clark being ushered off the field

Ricardo Clark being ushered off the field

USA opened their 2009 Confederations Cup schedule against the current World Cup holders, Italy.  Unfortunately, they were only given a fair shot for 33 minutes.  That’s when the referee sent US midfielder Ricardo Clark to the dressing room for a silly tackle on Genarro Gattuso.  No one would argue that it wasn’t a foul or a yellow card, but a red card was way too stiff of a penalty.  In my opinion, Clark was one of the best players on the field for the Americans in their last game against Honduras and through the first 30 minutes of today’s game. His sending off changed the entire complexion of the match.  Italy would go on to win 3-1.

I’m not going to try and argue that the USA should have won, but Italy didn’t need the help and it was unfortunate that they got it like that.

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