Wednesday, June 23, 2010

USA 1-0 Algeria. Comfortable Win; Never In Doubt.

Landon Donovan is the new Mike Eruzione. And the United States of America is now a soccer nation.

Don't like to brag, but I fucking called it.


moinllieon said...

As I said on twitter. Round of 16 is no less than what the US team deserve and should be. They are without a doubt one of the top 16 sides in the world, and have been for a while. Of course, none of that means anything in a tournament like this but it is where the US should be. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves here. The US dug itself a terrible hole for the first 3 halves of this World Cup. Had US bothered to show up at all, all of us would've gotten to live about 5 years longer. Thanks alot.

Looking ahead, the most likely opponent for the US will be Serbia or Ghana. If (knock on wood) US get through, they'll face the winner of Uruguay/S. Korea for a berth in the semis. And then Dutch or Brazil. There's a distinct possibility, given the draw that the US could be in the semis before we know it. (I just hope it doesn't get overhyped into unbearable proportions.)

Kanu said...

Well said Moin, but on the other hand, if FIFA had bothered with applying the rules of the game even remotely as they are described in their own rulebook, then USMNT mid term report card for WC2010 reads:

played 3
won 2
drew 1
scored 6
conceded 3
goal differential +3
points 7
groups won 1

Then you're talking about one of the 4 or 5 best resumes we've seen, thusfar.

But that's cool, because the way it turned out they're getting about 1000x publicity, which is only good for them and for soccer in America.

Kanu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
moinllieon said...

I'm still not a fan of the counter-attacking scheme though. I guess it's the easiest way to get from point A (no soccer foundation) to B (winning/respectable team) when you have a decided physical advantage against almost every team. Come on Brazil/Dutch/Spanish style!!!!!!

*Ahem* As I was saying, bad decisions went against US a couple of times, but US battled through it, that's the point. No need to keep talking about it.

In my on-going thesis on everybody cheats: Justice?

Kanu said...

Still bullish. Created a ton of chances today; if they weren't trying too hard because they knew exactly what was at stake, this would've been a slaughter. I haven't looked up shots, but I'd guess they were on the order of 20-5.

It's not hyperbole to say the US could have won that match 8-0.

Very bullish. I'll tell you right now I'm putting them into the semifinals. It's a big wave they are now riding and I'm gonna catch it & try to ride along. That said, most praise is for Sam's Army lifers like Swindle who actually pulled for US when they were so bad that Jeff Agoos was a starter. For that set, today is a long time coming.

moinllieon said...

Here's the surprises:
1) Algeria had more of the possession
2) US 19-17 shots advantage, and only 8-7 in shots on target

The thing I don't like counter-attacking is that had Algeria actually done what the English commentator accused them of, namely not going for the win, they would've never been caught out by the move that finally resulted in the deserved breakthrough. I don't like having to count on that when you have to score. The US (and by extension the English due to similar style) seem incapable of actually pinning a team down in the other half for an extended period of time like the truly great teams seem to be able to do. People accuse the likes of Spain of having no Plan B. But I'd much rather have a great Plan A than starting out counting on Plan B. I know it's a style designed to counter what Mexico and all the other CONCACAF teams do, but still...

Ghana will be a more difficult opponent than people give them credit for. They play the pressing,counterattacking style that will make for a stilted affair (think the England match). Altidore won't be able to outmuscle as much and the midfield, for once, will finally find someone to match their workrate. Much of the same applies to South Korea. Against Uruguay, Bradley simply must not start with 2 strikers as it will fall right into the tactical wheelhouse of Uruguay.

And here's a thought that's gotta make you shudder: Bornstein in an elimination match because Onyewu has just been that bad.

I'm such a downer sometimes. I do schaudenfraude alot better than celebrations, always thinking way too far ahead.

One other key thing that nobody else has picked up yet: the US team has FINALLY found that fine line between hardnosed and physical play and red cards. Neither of the late match wonders of the last 2 matches would've been possible had someone on the team lost their discipline.