Wednesday, November 19, 2008

USA v Guatemala livebloggery

Welcome to our liveblog of USA vs. Guatemala, starting at 8 pm EST from Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Denver. Actually its in Commerce City next to a refinery, about 10 miles from downtown, but close enough. Since the USA has already qualified we are likely to see a predominately MLS side that I would categorize as somewhere between a C and D team. Guatemala, who still have a slim chance of qualification with a win and a T&T loss, will at least be thanking Bob Bradley for bringing such an understrength an inexperienced group. Hopefully we will at least Jozy and Freddy show a bit of spunk in the first half. Lineups and more, after the jump.

Photo credit: USMNT Blog

Random thought: Is Colorado the worst run MLS franchise?

7:51 - Hey, its fucking cold in NYC tonight. I need some scotch

7:51:30 - USA starting lineup:

Guzan; Thorrington, Goodson, Parkhurst, Bornstein; Mastroeni (c), Clark, Adu, Kljestan; Cooper, Altidore

I'm actually mildly excited to see Kenny Cooper back in action tonight with the Nats. Adu needs to do a better job creating chances in the midfield tonight than his shit performance during the T&T game last month.

7:55 - Is it just my TV or were these girls on old American Gladiators a lot beefier than the ladies of today?

8:00 - And we are live from the Dick. Brilliant. Lets see how ESPN spins this unimportant game

8:02 - No Carlos Ruiz for Los Chapines tonight. Flores, Noriega, Albizuris, Castrillo in the back. Didn't see the rest.

8:06 - Anthem time. Guatemala players doing the El Tri salute here. The Dick looks to be rather flaccid tonight. Lots of empty seats.

8:07 - Guatemala players are all wearing Under Armor long sleeves under their jerseys. It probably feels like Lambeau Field to them in Denver tonight.

8:08 - This is the year that the MLS Cup is on the West Coast? I'll put the O/U on Red Bulls fans in attendance at 500.

0 min - And we're off.

2 min - Long ball to Jozy down the right but he falls over. Maybe should have been awarded the foul on the edge of the box. Adu turnover count = 1.

5 min- Gorgeous through ball from Sascha to Kenny Cooper, but he's offside. Cooper looks beastly in full stride.

7 min- Freddy wins a corner after some good work down the right. Ball is whipped into the box but cleared. Harkes praising Adu for theatrics and getting on the refs early. I guess that's why he's in Monaco.

8 min - Long ball from Clark to Jozy, who almost executes a perfect side volley. Ball goes out off the keeper, but no corner is awarded. As PR notes, the Mexican ref is probably going to be less than generous tonight.

10 min - US continues to play long balls up to the Cooper/Altidore tandem. Kenny in particular looks very good so far. At some point on of those is going to result in a goal. Guatemala not looking particularly inventive so far. In fact they look pretty unenergetic so far.

13 min - Klesjian with a through ball to Altidore. Jozy tries to play it across the face to Kenny Cooper, but a defender clears it. He probably had the keeper beat near side. The ensuing corner comes to naught.

16 min - Great move starts with a turnover gathered in by Ricardo Clark. Adu rampages down the right, and a corner results. The ball comes to Freddy at the top of the box and he almost pulls off the wonderstrike from 25 yards out. That was close.

18 - Well, Sunil Gulati needs his money, right? Holy Crap Freddy with a marauding diagional run down the center, puts a stinger off the keeper's hands. Rebound comes to Kenny Cooper who is denied by a good save. Shots so far are 6 to 1 to the United States.

20 min - I think we paid like $50 at least for USA Argentina this summer at Giants Stadium. Then again, some serious star power was in attendance for both sides. Another great move results in Bornstein free on left down the box. Unfortunately his cross goes over everyone. Alitdore and Cooper looking very very good up top.

22 min - Wow. A stone cold penalty as Thorrington is taken down in the box. The Ref is becoming somewhat less popular. Harkes is livid. Anyone remember what happened to Brian Hall last year down in Mexico during a CCCF game? Needed a police escort out of the stadium after some bad calls.

24 min - USA! USA! USA! chants ring around the stadium. Needs more cowbell.

29 min - Ricardo Clark almost goes in free on goal, but cannot corral it. The US has had a lot of half to 3/4 chances, but Altidore's was the best so far. Let's not make this Arsenal-esque, boys.

31 min - Kenny Cooper hits the bar on a header. A nice ball from Clark. I'll say it again for the twentieth time, but that Cooper is a beast. On the other end, Figueroa splits the defense and almost gets a ball across the box. Broken up nicely by Parkhurst.

34 min - Pace has slowed down a little bit. US is still keeping possession but continues to play an England circa 1987 hit and hope style.

37 min - Freddy, on the left now, crosses wide over to Cooper. ManBeast has trouble with his first touch, but somehow lobs the ball to Jozy. He falls down again in appeal for a penalty. You can guess what the call was.

40 min - ManBeast fouled in the middle. Harkes rather diplomatically says Guatemala play "physically." Some might say dirty....At least El Pescador isn't playing right now.

42 min - More possession from the US. After some nifty passing Adu is fouled 35 yards out. Freddy takes the kick, which swerves over the wall but is easily handled by the Guatemalan keeper.

45 min - Guatemala put a decent cross in which is headed just over the crossbar. The ensuing corner is cleared, and the whistle mercifully blows.

HT - So far its a typical Concacaf game. Guatemala doesn't look particularly threatening, but the USA has been unable to convert on their ample possession. The US midfield can't deal with the 11 men behind the ball and foul 'em defense employed by Guatemala. Its games like this where you can see the the clear gap in class between the European based guys and MLS players.

HT2 - Random trivia. I was at the last game the USMNT played in Colorado. 80,000 at Invesco field in Spring 02 right before the World Cup against Mexico. The club level was all soccer moms and dads, and the lower and upper levels were chock full of rowdy Mexicans.

46 min - Second half starts with a nice cross from ManBeast that Altidore almost geads in. Ensuing corner is caught by the keeper.

49 min - Food update: Lamb Kebobs and hummus. Game Update: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

54 min - Guatemala have a chance here. Its 0-0 in the Cuba T&T game. Wow. Kenny Copper scores on a nutmeg of the keeper. He got a great ball from Jozy and Cooper buried it! Your 2010 front line? 1-0 USA

56 min - Guatemala are on their heels a bit here. Freddy a decent chance from the top of the box saved by the keeper. Offensive subs on. Marco Pappa of the Chicago Fire comes into the game.

61 min - Adu and Altidore busting out some Joga Bonito on the give and go. Unfortunately Adu's shot is saved by the keeper. FWIW, my 2010 starting XI as of right now is:

Howard, Cherundulo, Gooch, Bocanegra, Pierce, Bradley, Beasley, Donovan, Dempsey, Jozy, Cooper. Freddy the super sub off the bench.

63 min - Mastroeni unleashes a scorcher from 30 yards that nearly beats the keeper. The rebound unluckily bounces right off Jozy's chest.

66 min - Sascha Klesjian just had a great chance but it was saved. This game could easily be 3-0. Random thought since we are talking about the MNT player pool. Where on earth is Benny Feilhaber? Jozy, meanwhile, gets fouled on the edge of the 18. A yellow that could have been a red.

67 min - Holy Shit! The ensuing free kick is curled beautifully by Freddy into the top corner. His first goal for the USA. Beckham quality right there. 2-0 USA!

71 minutes - Dwight Yorke has scored for T&T. The Fat Lady is warming up for Los Chapines.

89 min - Sorry lads, just had to chat with the GF on the phone. The Ching/Casey duo is not quite as hot as the Jozy/Kenny one eh?

92 min - Mexico are down to nine men, trailing 1-0. But I don't think its enough with Jamaica only up 3-0 to Canada.

93 min - I think Mexico is through here. Although Honduras has a corner. Excitement differential is massive. That stadium looks like its going to explode.

Final - 2-0 USA. Great work up front by Jozy and Cooper. Adu sort of went in an out of the game, but he had some good chances. Midfield was ok, although Mastroeni picked up a card which will rule him out of the next round of qualifying. Defensively, the backs pushed up quite a bit, but Guatemela didn't really have much attacking threat. Parkhurst is defintiely useful, though, as the #4 or #5 CB in the US pool. Thanks for hanging out.


Precious Roy said...

"Is Colorado the worst run MLS franchise?"

Perhaps you are not familiar with the L.A. Galaxy.

Precious Roy said...

Holy shit am I geeked about Cooper and Altidore up top.

phil said...

Though this may be the one time a gooner and a Spur agree, i agree with pr about the lineup. Stoked to see what Altidore can do across 90 minutes.

Precious Roy said...

Pretty sure someone is going to have to lose a limb before the Mexican ref gives the US a foul.

Precious Roy said...

Guatemala's lack of energy is matched only by the lack of dynamism in our midfield so far.

Adam said...

" The Dick looks to be rather flaccid tonight. Lots of empty seats. "

Because tickets were $50+ for it. I wanted to go, but I'm not paying that much to see that crappy lineup in a meaningless game. Its pretty damn nice out right now too.

Precious Roy said...

Fucking shoot that Jozy. WTF?

Precious Roy said...

Holy shit? $50? Really? That's fucking ridiculous.

Adam said...

yeah, the cheapest I saw on cragislist was $38. I paid $10 to sit 10 rows up for Everton v. Rapids, but throw the mighty Guatemalans out there and tickets jump $40

Precious Roy said...

Who makes that decision? USSoccer? Or the Rapids/The Dick?

Last time I saw the USMNT it was a friendly at Home Depot (Denmark or Norway) and it couldn't have been more than like $20.

Precious Roy said...

I think only Canadians should ref USMNT matches until the end of time. We'll never get a fair shake from a Mexican ref.

Ian said...

What's the situation with El Tri qualifying for the next round. They are in, right?

Precious Roy said...

Not yet, but almost. They go through with a win or a draw. If they lose, I think Jamaica needs to beat Canada but like +7 or +8 to win on GD.

Canada not beating Mexico, even though they totally should have, last round really made it a bit too tall of an order for Jamaica.

Precious Roy said...

Nice feed.

Precious Roy said...

"Your 2010 front line?"

Would like to see Cooper emerge and kind of put an end to Ching's run in the USMNT. I really like Ching, but he just isn't going to put the fear into anyone in South Africa. Cooper is a fucking beast.

jjf3 said...

Really like the Cooper-Jozy front line so far...and Honduras just went 1-up on Mexico - don't know what's happeing in Jamaica since they went up 1-0...

Precious Roy said...

Jamaica up 2-0 right now. Mexico probably safe on GD (assuming the Honduras score holds)

jjf3 said...

missed the 2nd US goal while checking out Mexico - who/what?

Precious Roy said...

Adu from a dead ball.

How fucking retarded is Telemundo? They put up the half and the time, but not the score. Morons.

jjf3 said...

and, yeah, that's part of why I spent too much time there...

Precious Roy said...

3-0 Jamaica... If Honduras can sneak in another one, it's not totally out of the realm of possibilities.

jjf3 said...

Fuck, that Honduran pitch is making Blackburn-Chelsea look like it was played on a field of dreams...

Precious Roy said...

And now Mexico down a man...

Precious Roy said...

Mexico down to 9... Shit, it's the 44th minute. Please tack on about 7 minutes of stoppage.

jjf3 said...

As a USMNT fan, I'd prefer never to see Mexico again, but given that I have both Mexican and Honduran friends, I don't mind this too much. Besides, if we can't beat Mexico, we don't deserve more...

Precious Roy said...

jjf3... the schadenfreude quotient for me would have been off the charts if Mexico had gone out. I prefer they not make it.

The next round isn't going to be a cakewalk. But we definitely need to win the group. Think about the easy ass group that Mexico drew into (Angola, Iran) by being the seeded team for CONCACAF in the last WC (and how the fuck that happened when we had beaten them about 5 straight and were ranked ahead of them I have no idea). Anyway, we ended up with Italy, Ghana, and the Czechs. We would have been a lock for the seed if El Tri weren't even around.

jjf3 said...

I think I lost my last comment, but basically I agree with you. But I'll stick by my note that if we can't beat SGE and Mexico, then we get whatever we deserve...

ΓΌ75 said...

Ok, now I've caught up. A fine display this evening against a listless Guatemala squad.
Should have had a penalty early. Even if the ball is going out, that gets called.
Cooper: for the love of all that is good, keep picking him.
Adu can score free kicks at this level too. Good to know.
Whither Jozy? The Haitian Sensation was decent, but not game changing tonight.
Guatemala can thank their keeper for keeping the scoreline closer than they deserved.
If Guzan can get playing time in England, I'd take him over Howard. Just a feeling.
Dammit Canada. Why couldn't you have scored one more last month?