Sunday, June 21, 2009
Are you ready for some bloodshed? We feel the same as most of you that US Soccer needs a change at the top and at the manager position. Today may be the day that triggers one of these occurrences. But probably not.
USA, of course, are coming off of back to back red card laden losses against Italy (3-1) and Brazil (3-0). Egypt have been much more impressive, fighting Brazil to the end (4-3) and defeating Italy 1-0 on Thursday. USA are in the woeful position of likely placing 8th in the eight team field, which would happen if the Americans lose today.
But, it's not a total lost cause yet. With at least a three goal win today (and a heavy Italian loss), the US can still move on. Egypt, too, has a lot to play for and can advance by bettering Italy's result. Bigus will be liveblogging the Italy-Brazil match, so join us both in the comments.
USA: Guzan, Bornstein, Onyewu, DeMerit, Spector, Dempsey, Clark, Donovan, Bradley, Davies, Altidore.
Egypt: El Hadari, El Mohamady, Said, Gomaa, Fathi, Abd Rabou, Eid, Shawky, Farag, Abdel-Ghani, Aboutreika.
Guzan gets the unsurprising start in net, while the backline remains the same. Davies, who some like a lot more than I do, also gets the start while Torres continues to pay penance for prank calling Bradley's hotel room after the Costa Rica match.
Here's hoping El Hadary has a howler today to balance out the wonder match he had against Italy. Zidan is a notable absence for Egypt up top. I still know next to nothing about this team, so be on the lookout for my mistakes (and forgive them, it's Fathers Day).
Kick in 15. Bring your vuvuzela.
-5.00 Sign in the stands: "USA ready to loose", held by an Egyptian fan. My response:
Yeah! Take that!
-2.00 Surprise of the tournament so far: no cards for Michael Bradley. He's my call for today's USA red card.
0.00 Kickoff. Here we go.
2.00 Dempsey 8 games without a goal. Roy Hodgson would not allow that.
3.00 Abdelghany with an Egypt shot as DeMerit misplays the ball. Poor start, confidence wise, in the back.
3.00 Within the same minute, another dangerous chance for Egypt. Luckily, there was whiff from six yards out. This could get ugly.
5.00 NYK-Who knows? Maybe he's just dug his heels in and refuses to change. Dempsey's free kick from 30 takes a wicked deflection, but didn't have enough sting to get past El Hadary.
6.00 Rico Clark has a shot deflected out for a corner. El Hadary easily covers Landy's corner. Quick throw out is not controlled well.
8.00 I'd like to see Holden called up.
10.00 Clark is itching for anything. Tries a shot from 22 yards out and 10 yards wide of the goal. Goes twenty yards wide on the far side.
12.00 Dempsey gets called for a foul. Asks the ref what he is calling. Replay bears Deuce out. Free kick results in a scrum in the box. Egypt looked to have a couple of chances to slot it home, but USA scrambles it away. El Hadary gets a good save on the other end while I'm yelling at Harkes.
13.00 Shot was by Bradley. Outstetched hand of El Hadary palmed it away.
16.00 Donovan makes a great run from midfield, getting a diagonal ball from Dempsey. Landy gets past his last man, squares up to the keeper, and passes to no one. He was expecting Jozy to fill in at the back post, but Jozy checked to the penalty spot. A great opportunity lost.
18.00 Ooo-sa with better run of play so far, but Egypt with the better chances. There is some space behind the Egypt defense. The US just has to get there.
20.00 Donovan attempts a lob, it falls about a foot in front of the keeper.
21.00 GOAL Charlie Davies never gives up on a scramble. EL Hadary flops on a low cross, but it squirms free. Davies takes a couple of swipes at it and finally banks it in for the goal. 1-0 USA. BTW, I was about to call for Jozy off at HT, as he looks slow, but his play on the endline made it possible for Davies to get on the ball.
El Hadary's pride is bruised. Bring on the magic spray. Update:El Hadary's pride is bleeding out the top of his head. Kicked by his own player.
24.00 Honestly, he's been down almost three minutes. Get him off.
26.00 Still down. The US really needs this game to restart.
27.00 El Hadary up. Respectful clap given.
28.00 Brazil-Italy going to end at 0-0 if this scoreline holds up. Book it.
29.00 Donovan, playing out on the left today, picks up the ball at midfield, runs at everyone and almost beats El Hadary with one last dribble. He looks energized by having someone else score.
30.00 Fact: Johnnie Spector and Lucas Glover are the same person. Guzan pulls down a nice save off of a weak poke by Abu Trika.
31.00 El Hadary needs treatment again. He took off the wrap. Looks like the ref told him to sit, but he would not. Play goes on.
32.00 There has to be a better option than DeMerit. He's whiffed a couple of times on easy balls today.
35.00 Onyewu lucky to not pick up a "Onyewu PK call" there. Climbed over the back on a cross.
36.00 Deuce gives the ball away in midfield. This usually leads to a goal. Not this time, but close.
38.00 Egypt dove for a PK in the box. Should be a yellow, but no stoppage yet. Brazil up 1-0. Yellow Card Spector booked for, well, not much.
38.00 Egypt shot from 30 clips the top of the crossbar. Guzan late on it.
40.00 If I wanted to watch Brazil-Italy, I'd switch channels. Fuckers. As the US was attacking, no less.
41.00 Once again, Altidore can do nothing while the ball is near him. It's painful to watch and care. Get better, buddy.
42.00 Man, if Egypt counterattacked with any verve, they would be much more dangerous today.
43.00 Brazil score again. Need two more in each match.
44.00 Bradley whistled for a foul. Egypt are divers. They are very good at it, though, it's hard to see at full speed. Brazil up 3-0. That's shocking.
44.00 Is Italy looking to go home?
45.00 Davies catches up to a long ball and fires a left foot shot. Saved by El Hadari. Jozy gets the ball. Loses it.
45.00 Egypt go through if these scorelines hold. USA goes though with a three goal swing.
45.00 Onyewu cuts out a ball that was seeking out an open man on the penalty spot. Nice read of the play by Gooch.
45.00 USA with a couple of good looks in stoppage. Bradley pulls a DMB inside the box and misses out on a chance.
Tweet Tweet TWEEEET Half time. USA all over Egypt at the end. Game has had many swings in momentum. Both teams look good for a goal or two in the 2nd.
I would recommend taking Altidore out at half. Maybe Adu, but I would like Torres better. Push Dempsey up for 15 minutes to play behind Davies and see what he can do. If nothing, sub Dempsey as well.
One other thing--Davies has great speed. If Egypt find themselves having to push up, then look for the former BC Eagle to exploit the holes.
45.01 Here we go. We still need at least two USA goals and another +1 in a swing with Italy. Anyone thing Egypt will park the bus in the 2nd given that they are through at this point?
46.00 Guzan starting to get hairstyling tips from Friedel at Aston Villa as well, it seems.
48.00 Bornstein lucky to not get a card, I think. Yellow Card Bradley. Late. Not much to it.
49.00 Davies with a low cross to Jozy, who lets it run without a touch. Sub Eid off, Hassan on.
50.00 Once again, Hassan takes the armband from El Harady. That's just weird.
51.00 Very close for US. Gooch wins the ball and dribbles up. Passed it off to Dempsey who got clobbered after outletting. Ball runs to Jozy who shoots and deflects off the arm of a defender on the line. Possible PK, but not given.
53.00 I'll say it, since I have the floor. If your arm is away from your body, it should be called. His arm was away from the body and stopped a goal. Even if he knew nothing about it.
54.00 Sub Fathi off, Said on. Fathi got hurt when Deuce was taken out and fell on his leg.
56.00 El Hadary with another nice save from distance on Bradley. Why couldn't he get a concussion when kneed in the back of the head?
58.00 Egypt are doing a lot of standing around on defense. Us not trying too hard to break it down, instead shooting from distance. One good wall pass and this is opened up.
59.00 Gooch is having a beast of a game today. He is single handedly controlling the air in the box.
60.00 Altidore ole's a header. Sub, please.
61.00 Guzan saves an offside shot. He looks a bit like El Hadary on Thursday. Not letting anything past. Final Egyptian sub upcoming.
61.00 Sub Abdelghani hurt, off. Abougrisha on. Egypt out of subs.
63.00 GOAL Michael Bradley slides one home. It was a 1-2 between him and Landy. Let's go, motherfuckers, get another one and go through. 2-0 USA
65.00 Egypt are dead men walking right now. Still getting attacks, but really trying once they get in the final third. This is doable.
67.00 Hassan and Bornstein go head to head in the corner. Stalemate. Followed by another Egyptian offside.
68.00 Altidore sacks up and makes some pretty good moves on the end line. If only he could get the ball there every time.
69.00 Sub Altidore off, Feilhaber on. Deuce or Landy to move up? Looks like Deuce.
70.00 Davies starting to look a little gassed.
71.00 GOAL DEUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. 3 fuckin' nil. Hey look, move Dempsey up, let's see what happens. There were a couple of players who could have put that cross home, Deuce did it. El Hadary just lost.
73.00 OOOO-sa. OOO-sa. OOOO-sa
74.00 Well, this is definitely interesting. USA are through at this point, but with 15+ to go, it's not safe here or there. Come on Brazil, don't let Rossi fuck it up for us.
75.00 Egypt attacking with purpose now. Clark butts one out of bounds.
76.00 Ball stuck in the middle. I'll take it.
77.00 Davies dives. No call. Time running.
78.00 Sure is a lot better playing 11 on 11.
80.00 Telling cross smothered by Guzan. No possession for US at this point.
81.00 NOOOOOOO. Not Casey. Do not want.
81.00 Sub Davies off, Conor Casey on.
83.00 Yellow Card Al Muhamedi throws an elbow to the back of Donovan's head.
84.00 Dempsey stays down after a challenge from Gomaa. Elbowed in the back on a header. No call. Looks like 2002 WC Mexico match with the challenges. Who is our Cobi Jones now?
86.00 US controlling more. Casey not so swell. Nervous.
87.00 Deuce has really picked his game up since being moved up. Cross for Casey goes for nought when Casey decides to hide behind his defender.
89.00 Corner for Egypt. Casey does something good and heads it away convincingly. Comes back in and Gomaa has the chance of the match for Egypt. Head it over from 6.
90.00 Other game over. 3-0 Brazil. Corner kick coming. Cleared away. 3 minutes stoppage.
90.00 100 seconds left. Egypt getting close.
90.00 1 minute. Egypt foul. USA looking to salt it away.
90.00 30 secs. El Hadary walks it to midfield and Egypt are offside. Amazing, really, when USA has so many back.
FULL TIME Fucking amazing. US do just what they have to do to go through. Who fancies a Spain-USA liveblog (and a third place match against South Africa)?