Wednesday, September 10, 2008

USMNT v. T&T: Livebloggamy

The US should net 3 or 4 and hold Trinidad and Tobago to 0 or 1. And the fact that's pretty much a consensus amongst people that consensutize these things, it makes me a little nervous. More nerving is Bob Bradley's über-conservative approach to World Cup qualifying.

Still, at home and against a weaker opponent (although one with decidedly more rhythm) anything less than 3 points would be bad. Really, really bad.

Come back at kick and play along.

T-minus 10: I'm eating.

T-minus however much bullshit pregame is on ESPN: Done eating. I'll go get the starting XIs. And all right... We get some Shaka Hislop. That should liven things up in the booth.

Tim Howard
Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu, Steve Cherundolo, Heath Pearce,
Michael Bradley, Sacha Kljestan, DaMarcus Beasley, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan
Brian Ching

[Not certain if that's a 4-5-1 or a 4-3-3 with Dempsey and Donovan joining Ching up top. I'm guessing it's not]


Marvin Phillip
Akile Edwards, Osei Telesford, Keyeno Thomas, Cyd Gray, Makan Hislop
Clyde Leon, Carlos Edwards, Densill Theobald, Keon Daniel
Cornell Glen

Anthems. Would have thought T&T's would have had a little more bass. And some kind of a beat.

Ford Field looks all sparkly. Sorry, inside joke. Looks like kind of a weak crowd. See lots of empty seats in the upper deck.

Oh, fuck. They're going to bring 9/11 into this. Fuck you ESPN and Disney. And that's followed-up by a Marines commercial. You know if we were playing Afghanistan, I'd be okay with this, but we're not. In fact T&T is probably the opposite of Afghanistan... if countries can have opposites.


1st minute: ESPN has perfected a graphic that obscures the upper left corner of the screen. Nice.

2nd minute: Beasley offside on a ball across the pitch. US controlling possession early.

3rd minute: Had two players in naked on a ball from 25 out, but both were offside. Hey, at this rate we'll rack up 60 offsides calls.

5th minute: First counter from T&T. Play down the left and Pearce comes out with it. US working back through the midfield. Lots of room. Now pushing forward the US is. Yoda I've become.

6th minute: A good two years behind everything, the US fans have started chanting "7 Nation Army." Stop, please. Thank you. T&T with possession in the midfield. First free kick of the game here. About 30 yards out from center right. Shot goes to the far post by no Soca Warriors in the zip code and Howard goes to his knees to grab it.

8th minute: Kind of tuned out from teh commentary, but did they say that John Terry scored the last goal against the US? That would be wrong.

9th minute; GOAL! Donovan from a set piece to Bradley. Bradley put a foot on it and redirected it back to the back post. Pretty. By the way... on replay that looked like it MIGHT have been offsides.

12th minute: Oh so close. Couldn't see who that was, but that could have easily been 2-0. I haven't livebogged since the Euro. I've forgotten that typing and watching takes some skill and a second pair of eyes. I have neither. Anyway, I missed all the action. Only saw the keeper flying out and the ball flying someplace besides on goal.

13th minute: Does Stern John still play anywhere? Who's the other T&T player I'm trying to think of? Played at United. Brainfaring. Long ball went too long from the US. Goal kick for T&T.

16th minute: We've got a piper diwn. Ack... very little contact from Ching. Maybe a touch of the cleat. Get up you pansy. Anyway, the US is dominating play in the midfield with all kinds of space to operate in. They'd be wise to start marking tighter or trying to shut down the passing lanes.

18th minute: GOAL. 2-0 US. Beasley with a nice little through ball to Dempsey, who was totally onside (Ching was off). Dempsey had the keeper beat before he put his foot to it. Good finishing. Nice play. (And Ian, England can only put a donkey stomp on teams when they are a man up, at even strength they are still a mediocre side... Plus they were probably trying to throw the game to get the World Cup vote).

21st minute: Ooh, the keeper Philip kind of threw his legs over Donovan as he came out to make a play on a ball in the box. They gonna card Landon? Nope. Keeper is up. Play on. Well, play on from the dead ball. T&T coming into the midfield and they are really struggling to get into the attacking third.

23rd minute: A little more possession from T&T. But it's not very productive possession. Ugh... then they just give it away. I like a pasting every now and then, but I like a competitive pasting better. Come on Soca Warriors (bang, bang), put up more of a fight.

25th minute: That's two straight giveaways from Ching.... oh, and a long ball. Donovan settles. Handball? Nope. And he can't control it anyway.

26th minute: Back to Ching. I really like Brian Ching. Think he's an upper-tier MLS striker, but at the international level, he's not going to scare anyone outside of CONCACAF. He's just not. Ever. So why not bring in Altidore and let him play with an experienced supporting midfield? If we have any hopes in South Africa, it's going to rest on those kids. Let's get them the experience.

28th minute: During my pontificating, Ching and Donovan both got in alone on goal, but it was offside. Now to Beasley down the left. He cuts inside and fires low, but it goes into the side netting.

29th minute: Case in point. Donovan put it right on Brian Ching's waistline and Ching does nothing with it except let it deflect of his nads and into Marvin Phillip's hands. Should have been a goal.

31st minute: Beasley upset. He was tripped up and the ball went over the endline from the T&T player's foot, but a GK was called. Bad call. Beasley was right to whinge.

32nd minute: Cyd Gray on the right is the only player from T&T earning his pay for the night on defense so far. And I love his name. So I shall call him El Cyd from now on.

34th minute: You know, Onyewu and Bocanegra are a dynamite defending tandem when nobody is mounting an attack. I need a toothpick. Be right back.

37th minute: Duh... Dwight Yorke. That's who I was trying to remember. Stupid me. US playing a lot of long balls and it's working with the space T&T is giving. It would never work against a Top 20 international side.

39th minute: And Beasley can't finish a sitter. Good thing he was offside to spare himself the humiliation. It was a good ball from the right side between the 18 and the 6 through to Beasley coming in on the left hand side. He just mistimed the run.

41st minute: T&T is just giving it away. Really. They'll put together about 3 or 4 passes then just send it to a white shirt wihtout making him work for it. The US is in white by the way. Corner for T&T cleared. On the break, the US counters. Dempsey... And he goes down. No call?

42nd minute: Still waiting for a replay. Haven't seen one. That probably should have been a PK. Hislop just said he thinks the Jamaican res if pro-T&T. I appreciate that kind of candor in my color commentary.

43rd minute: Donovan with a great run on the right from a long feed out of midfield. He crosses it but Beasley can't get a good foot on it to threaten goal. Ball is deflected wide left before the US can re-mount the threat.

45th minute: Dempsey pulled down. No call. Starting to think Hislop is on to something. 1 minute stoppage time. US gives the ball away in midfield. T&T gives it back. How nice. Howard clears the ball played back. Think the US defense played it back just to make sure Howard wasn't sleeping.

Half. 2-0. US.

Well in the interest of finishing what I started... The second half is moments away. Just found out that Wreckless Eric is in town on Sunday (with Amy Rigby... think they might be married now), anyway, slightly stoked about that.

Kick... And we're back

46th minute: Hey a shot from T&T. It's from 35 out and it's no where near a threat but it's a shot, I believe their first of the game. Ching is slow to get up in midfield behind the play. He's limping.

47th minute: Corner for T&T. Good service. Deflected up. Now to the top of the box. Still a threat. T&T can't control it and an errant leg sends an errant ball someplace errant. US now in midfield. The good news is that the Soca Warriors have some fight in them and we might get some action on both ends this half.

49th minute: Daniel with a great cross, but the only person in red in the box can't get on the end of it. Cleared by the US. Corner.

50th minute: Corner comes in... and goes out. And results in another corner. Again. And another... Oh wait, this last one was a throw. El Cyd lost it and the US takes a throw, then turns it over. Ugh, this is not pretty from the US. But credit T&T for getting forward and putting pressure on the 'Mericans.

51st minute: Daniel with a free kick. Goes in low to the first line of US defense just inside the 18. No threat to Howard. T&T with a throw in.

53rd minute: T&T with another good cross blocked out by Onyewu, but about the 5th corner for T&T. And Cherundolo saved a goal. GREAT play on the line. From a header off the corner Howard was beat. Steve-O saved it at the post.

55th minute: US with a beauty counter Dempsey to Donovan to Ching and Ching can't finish the cross again. Donovan put it right at his foot. There were a couple of defenders but Ching should have done more with that. More pressure from T&T back the other way.

56th minute: The US can't buy a call, and considering this is a third world ref that should be cheap and easy to do. Uhp... and I stand corrected Edwards gets a yellow for T&T on what looked clean.

57th GOAL 3-0. From the deadball, Beasley sends it in. Onyewu got a head on it and the keeper failed to collect it. Ching was there to tap it into an empty net (although it looked like he was offside... but no flag).

59th minute: Yellow to Cherundolo. Now T&T with another yellow. This one on Leon for a hard challenge on Donovan. And did the ref just give one to Beasley too? Cards are flying.

60th minute: GOa... Nope. T&T offside. Too bad. They should have scored there. Okay, could not should, but great chance at least forced a save from Howard.

62nd minute: Cherundolo gets free on the right, then lofts one tall enough to clear the Hancock Tower. Get it, Chicago... Hancock. Okay stupid. And the US blew another chance while I was being stupid. Loose rebound in the box. Nobody could poke it away. Decent save from Marvin Philip.

65th minute: Ricardo Clarke (sp?) and Eddie Johnson are both up. So maybe some changes coming.

67th minute: And Clark comes in for the coach's kid. And Johnson for Ching. Important minutes for Johnson here. He needs to show some decent form.

68th minute: Long ball into the box for T&T. Cornell gets a head to it. It goes over the bar. Howard doesn't need to make a save, but it keeps him alert. The liveblog is probably better if I publish my updates. Stupid me.

70th minute: Pace is slowing. US in no hurry to do anything. T&T is not forcing them to do anything. Teams exchange a little possession, then the US gets forward. Beasley can't find Johnson. Well, he found him, he just failed to get him the ball.

Sorry... answering texts. Nothing of consequence happened anyway.

75th minute: Cornell Glen is down for T&T. So Yorke is still playing for the national team, he just didn't come in from Sunderland. First they've mentioned of it.

78th minute: Dempsey off. Eddie Lewis on.

80th minute: Lewis with a ball in. Corner US. Apparently this is our first of the match. Really? Clark with a good header. Almost looked like a handball on T&T to stop it.

82nd minute: And Johnson thwarted twice from inside the 8... Ack. He needs to get off the schnide. But to no avail.

83rd minute: Much sloppier in the midfield from the US. A little more pressure on the back from T&T and we're not super solid. The scoresheet is going to look really good, but there will be plenty to coach from in the second half. Wonder if it will be coached. This is CONCACAF. We can get sloppy and not be punished and we can go a whole qualifier without our backline having to prove much.

85th minute: Ball to Glen. But the space is shut down and he's got no place to go with it. He had a step where, if he had been decisive, he might have had a play, but it was shut down. Bummer for T&T. They've played much better in the second half. Be nice if they got something out of it.

87th minute: This chant is annoying. But, the fact that we have a crowd that will sing anything this long (they've been at it for like 20 minutes if not more) is kind of a positive. T&T into the US third... then they give it away. Too much of that. They need better linkage out of the midfield.

90th minute: Glen with a ball at the top of the box... Oh, almost got it to Leon. He would have been in alone, but Bocanegra (maybe) got a foot on it. And we're into stoppage time.

+2 minutes: Another almost for the US. To a corner. Then a ball to Donovan. Cleared for another corner. Apparently Eddie Johnson was offside. Really? Not sure how. T&T with some passing on some tight marking. The US is working to keep the clean sheet.

Whistle. Final. 3-0. Really solid in the first half. Less so in the second. But a solid win and we're on 9 points out of 9 possible.

Thanks for playing along people. This weekend the EPL returns (Suck it, Barclays). Yeah.


Ian said...



Ian said...

Shaka choking early...nice Oxbridge accent there

Ian said...


Ian said...

gooooooooool. England only beat this team by one goal?

Precious Roy said...

Ian: You still here or am I all alone on this?

Tuffy said...

I'm in Phoenix and I just got carded. The hell? (arms upraised)

Anonymous said...

Argh, just got home from a co-ed scrimmage, soaking and smelly, but I unfortunately feel compelled to watch footy.


Random thought: Maybe Landycakes also should start wearing different colored boots.

JT said...

Seems like a comprehensive performance. What's the commentary team tonight? (I'm coming in late)

Easy qualifying for the US at the moment, it seems like.

JT said...

Excellent livebloggery too, sir Roy of Preciousdom

Anonymous said...

JP Dellacamera, John Harkes... and Shaka Hislop!! (who talks every 4 minutes)

Harkes also just revealed he was a Liverpool fan and was sweating the United game this Saturday.

JT said...

The fans need a better chant. I am enjoying the thundering drum beats though.

JT said...

Did Wynalda just say that the US need to finish the game off?

I believe they're winning by 3 with 5 minutes to play, right?

ü75 said...

Wynalda is, thankfully, nowhere near the place. I'm guessing you heard John Harkes. (Unless I'm completely wrong. I'm at the 16 minute mark on the DVR.)

Who else misses the Wynalda-Arena teaming?

chipped red nail polish said...

"Would have thought T&T's would have had a little more bass. And some kind of a beat."

Colonized by the Brits, and all that.

Thanks for the live blog; the 30-channel sports package my dad subscribed to didn't see fit to include this (though we are getting Mexico-Canada and I just managed to catch a nice Mexico goal... fuck. Interestingly, Trini ref on this match). Apparently there's been some drama regarding compensation and black balling on the T&T team, so I'm not sure if that's been resolved and whether they were playing their best available squad.

Precious Roy said...

CRHP: Happy to do the liveblog. Thanks for following along. I knew there was some issues with pay for the T&TMNT after the last World Cup, didn't know if those were still lingering issues.

Apparently not.

Precious Roy said...

Oops, I meant apparently they are. I'm a 'tard. I'm going to bed.

Austin said...

FYI, Stern John plays for Southampton in the Colaship, though lately he hasn't even been able to break into the starting XI (and that's a sad statement, really, because we are crap, though playing an exciting brand of crap).