Sunday, July 15, 2007

End Of The Road For US Under 20 Team, After They Beat Themselves 2-1

Austria 2-1 a.e.t {1-1} United States


Highlights

The circumstances of life conspired in such a way that I missed the first half, saw the second half, and missed extra time. The US's opening goal was great, and both that they conceded were total clusterfucks at the back. Sounds like the US keeper was still not nearly 100% fit after sustaining is injury during Brasil's goal, which forced him to miss the match against Uruguay. That's about all I can tell you, but as usual Bobbeh was all over it and has an excellent writeup.

Still, an excellent showing by the US team, in which they improved off their performance in the U17 World Cup of 2005, in which they shocked a Messi-lead Argentina in the first match, made it to the knockout stage, went 1-0 up on Italy, and then lost 3-1. Things look pretty good for the future with the core group from this team, with Adu showing that he can live up to his promise and Altidore looking like a really great big man of a striker. Those two play well together, compliment each other perfectly, and you can tell that they like playing well together as well- could be a really great strike partnership for the future. I also really like Zizzo out on the right. I would think that the stars of this team will start slotting into the senior squad as qualifying for World Cup 2010 starts, and I bet we'll also see some of them at the Confederations Cup in 2009.

In the other quarterfinal yesterday, Czech Republic upset favored Spain on penalties after a 1-1 draw in which they apparently played some serious anti-football. If there was a bet for under 2.5 goals for the Austria-Czech semifinal, I would take it, as both teams seem to win by negating the other team and taking their chances when they get them, a la Greece at Euro 2004.

The other two quarterfinals are today, with Nigeria playing Chile at 11.15 a.m. PST and the 2 pretournament favorites, Argentina and Mexico, playing at 4.45 p.m. PST. I will definitely be giving that one my full attention, as I want to check out their 2 best players, Carlos Vega, who plays for Arsenal's youth team and is supposedly the next big thing, and Giovanni Dos Santos, who plays for Barcelona's youth team and is supposedly their next big thing. I tried to watch their round of 16 match on Friday, but only managed to see the 1st half via Slingbox at my desk, and I was at happy hour at the pub after that and there was pretty much no way I was going to get the Oakland A's game switched over to a Under 20 World Cup quarterfinal, especially without one of the teams being the US. From what little I saw both players are really skilled, fast as shit, and great on the ball, which is nothing new. I did learn that Dos Santos is left footed and rather short and small- like Romario small; as I had never seen him before I had no idea. Also very fleet of foot. Oh well, looking forward to seeing more of them today.

1 comment:

Aureliano said...

US lost a big opportunity. They were really a bit inconsistent this tourney, with great games over Poland and Brazil, but really outplayed against Korea and lackluster the last two games (Uruguay and Austria).

Adu was a bit selfish the second half and Jozy was really not heard from for a long stretch of the game. The US really has some pretty good defenders on the senior side, which is a good thing because their back 4 haven't been playing that well. Bradley, Zizzo, Rogers, Adu and Altidore will definitely be in the mix in WC2010 and CC2009. Look forward to a Feilhaber/Adu partnership in the middle of the pitch.

By the way, that Okotie is a grown man. He was great up top for the Austrians.