Fifteen years ago today the United States played its first second round World Cup match in the modern era. The US ultimately lost to the eventual champions 1-0, no thanks to Leonardo's elbow. Today’s match in the Gold Cup against Grenada does not have the same gravitas. That does not make it any less interesting for USMNT fans because of its implications for next year.
Coming off the United States’ second place finish in the Confederations Cup (also the best ever finish in a FIFA tournament for the US), many observers are wondering whether the Confed Cup run was a fluke and the US will return to its poor pre-Confed Cup form. Prior to the miraculous 3-0 win over Egypt the US had not played a good game in since early this year and even that was only a 2-0 victory over a faltering Mexico led by SGE.
This tournament will not help determine the quality of the US as the roster is almost entirely different from the Confed Cup roster. (Qualification: The seven additional rosters spots added are made up of several players from the Confed Cup but they will likely not ever be called upon and some aren’t even in Seattle right now.) Only Charlie Davies saw any time in South Africa and seventeen of the twenty-three players have fewer than ten caps. This tournament will help the US determine which players have a shot for filling out the World Cup roster and if the team can figure out some of its depth issues.
So, this should be Freddy Adu’s World Cup audition. If he plays well he should have a shot to make the team. If he doesn’t, color me skeptical that he will be in contention next year for a roster spot. I don’t know what color skeptical is but, I’m thinking a dark blue.
Rosters when they come out...until then enjoy your Fourth of July.
Perkins; Cherundolo (c), Marshall, Goodson, Pearce; Holden, Pause, Beckerman, Rogers; Davies, Adu; Subs: Parkhurst, Heaps, Cooper, Robles, Quaranta, Evans, Arnaud
Desmond Noel (G), Marcus Marshall (D), Anthony Modeste (D), Cassim Langainge (D), Devon Roberts (D), Shalrie Joseph (M), Ricky Charles (M), Byron Bubb (M), Dwane Leo (M), Denron Daniel (F), Marcus Julien (F)
Honduras just scored for a 1-0 lead on Haiti. This game still has at least 15 minutes left, which is only 5 minutes before the scheduled kickoff time for the US match at the same field.
What are your predictions?
I had a Grenada invasion reference in my intro originally, but thought it was a little too apparent. What's the over/under on the announcers' references to the invasion?
Haiti just saved a goal. Nice recovery after Honduras had chipped the keeper who was way off his line.
Looking at the US roster I just realized I am familiar with only about half of the US players. Needless to say, my familiarity with the Grenada roster is even less with only Shalrie Joseph having ever entered my consciousness.
Two minutes of stoppage time in this Copa Oro match.
A couple notes. First, there are rumors out there of an Eboue-Melo swap. Second, Usain Bolt is now a Blue.
1-0 victory for Honduras over Haiti. Jozy Altidore is sad.
First Grenada invasion reference I caught, although it was with a twist in that Grenada is invading the US today. Gah...this is going to be painful.
Damn...just heard the vuvuzelas. They really are everywhere. I hope it doesn't become a pandemic.
You would think Chris Sullivan could get the US names correct. You would be wrong to think that.
Wow...ten minutes between games and we're almost off. Fast turnaround.
Wait...what? The Grenadan team is known as the Spice Boys? That's good for at least one goal right?
That's fucking bullshit. Seattle is not Soccer City USA. They're a bunch of fucking bandwagon latte drinking soccer fans. They never supported the Sounders in the USL. Bastards. Sorry, I know there are some UF readers from Seattle, but that's fucking B.S. I would kick Max Bretos in the nuts if I were in the booth.
0' - Tweet. We're off. I have my beer. I have my pizza. I have my soccer. It is Fourth of July. America, fuck yeah.
2' - US knocking the ball around like they are Spain. Grenada hasn't done much, yet.
I forgot how much better soccer is in HD.
5' - Beckerman with a stupid tackle.
7' - GOALLLLL!!!!! FREDDY ADU America, Fuck Yeah.
Nice run from Rogers on the left hand side and then cut into the box and found Adu open at the top of the box. Adu slotted it home low right. Although, to be honest, that was a very slow developing play and no way Adu scores that against better competition.
Good start by Adu, though.
10' - Adu with a heat check, firing a quick shot from 20 yards out over the bar. Looked dangerous but it wasn't.
13' - Holden hits a right footed shot from 25 yards out, on the right corner of the box. It has no pace. That's one thing the US does not have--a player that can shoot rockets on goal.
15' - Bain gets Grenada's first threat with a shot fired just wide and high. I think that was only the third time Grenada has done anything in the US half.
16' - Well, Beckerman just had a long shot on goal with some pace. Immediately following, Dolo sends in a cross from the right and Rogers gets a head on it but it goes wide. Very nice cross. Then Rogers has another attempt that goes wide left. It's a little too easy right now, I worry about a good counter for an equalizer.
20' - Davies tries to take on the whole defense alone. He should have passed.
22' - Nice interplay between Rogers and Davies down the left side. Rogers threads Davies the ball with a decent shout at the goal. Then, Grenada comes back and threatens with a header that Perkins blocks. Thankfully no Grenadan players in the box to pounce on the rebound. Sullivan screws up Rogers' name. "Roggie Rogers". Jesus.
25' - Pearce fouled on the left side of the box, about five yards out. Adu lines up over it...good service but Marshall mistimes his jump and heads over. Although, it could have had more pace.
I would be wearing my USMNT jersey but it's hot and our air conditioning is broke.
30' - Nice quick turn my Davies and he stings the keeper's hands. I'm excited about seeing more of Davies on the field.
31' - GOALLLLLLL!!!! 2-0. America, Fuck Yeah!!! Stu Holden.
After a piss poor failed attempt to clear (maybe that would make it an excellent failed attempt, I don't know) Rogers collected the ball on the left and crossed into the box, where Holden outjumped the non-jumping defense to nod in.
36' - Rogers' crosses are great today (and the defense sucks) and he picks out Adu who re-directs it on goal but the keeper does well to save. How does Adu win a header in the box?
37' - Halftime adjustments for Grenada...close out on Rogers, he's killing them.
There are famous games on FSC? I had no idea.
40' - Yellow card, Marshall for Grenada. He chopped down Davies deep on the right. Adu sent the kick in and Noel gets a touch and finally knocks it out for a corner. Tough night for him. On the corner, the US heads it high.
Halftime - 2-0 Team America.
Stupid internet went down. Not much happened except a few more chances for the US. Tough to tell how well the team is playing because Grenada is dire. Davies and Rogers have looked good, along with Adu, Dolo, and Beckerman with their moments.
Alright, I'm going to get a beer. Note: I do have shorts on...I'm not lounging in my underwear. Although...
Did you know that PBR won a Gold Medal in 2006 as the best American Style Lager? I didn't either. I thought the 1893 Blue Ribbon was the only thing that beer had ever won, except for the most popular cheap college beer award handed out by the Pan Hellenic council at my university.
Miss Grenada World 2007 Vivian Burkhardt & Miss Trinidad & Tobago Universe
46' - Tweet. We're back on and no changes announced yet. That surprises me, especially with the torching Grenada's left back.
48' - For the ladies, a nice shot of Rogers ass after he was taken down on a hard tackle. So that was the half-time strategy. Foul that guy that keeps setting up the goals.
49' - Bretos thinks Cassim Langainge is the tough Grenada name. Sullivan agrees, but he also thinks Robbie Rogers is a tough one as well.
53' - Adu finds Davies in the box with a precise pass, but Davies' touch is a bit heavy letting the Grenadan defender get in. The defender appeared to have shoved Davies down but the ball was already out of the American's reach. He's not getting that call up 2-0.
57' - Rennie on for Julien. This is the second Rennie on the field. I couldn't pick either out from a lineup.
59' - Adu with some defense, swiping the ball, then laying it off for Davies whose shot was blocked by an onrushing defender. The resulting corner bounces twice in the box before it is cleared. Poor.
60' - GOALLLLLLL!!!! 3-0. America, Fuck Yeah! Robbie Rogers.
Great pass by Logan Pause frees Rogers down the right and he calmly slots it into the far corner. 1 goal, 2 assists. Nice match.
63' - Brad Evans on for the captain, Steve Cherundolo. Evans is a Seattle hero as he plays for the Sounders. Ha...Evans gets a yellow card for coming onto the pitch too early. Perkins is the new captain.
65' - Beckerman has ball skills like a Grenadan. Funny, because his hairstyle seems more suited for a Grenadan, too.
68' - GOALLLLL!!!! 4-0. America, Fuck Yeah!! Charlie Davies.
Charlie Davies receives a nice ball from Heath Pearce...I'd like to see a replay to check the offside status...and then slips it into the goal. He does some jig near the corner flag that Bradley apparently did not like because Davies is now off with Arnaud on. Michael Parkhurst on for Goodson. Didn't even know Goodson was on the field, nor do I know who he is.
72' - Adu comes within inches of scoring his second after he chips the keeper and hit the far upper 90.
I'm getting distracted looking for pictures. What's going on? Has Grenada made it back on the field yet? Oh, they already are on the field. My bad.
80' - Yellow on Adu after he trapped the ball with his left arm. A little trick that works sometimes, but not this time. Would have been a nice opportunity if Adu could have trapped it legally.
85' - Robbie Rogers rockets one over the goal off a rebound from Arnaud. Excellent chance, but nothing doing.
88' - The 'Muricans looked as good in this game as the Grenadans looked bad. Just no bite for the Spice Boys. Parking the bus didn't work and they never changed tactics.
90' - Really, is there a need to keep blowing those damn vuvuzelas? 3 minutes stoppage time.
Getting some Spanish language bleed in the audio. Interesting, and better than the current announcers.
Full Time: 4-0 to the Muricans on its birthday.
Well, that was a decent showing by the US. Davies, Rogers, Holden and Adu all looked good. Beckerman had his moments. Rogers was clearly the man of the match, scoring once and setting up the first two goals. Adu went missing towards the end of the first half, but he reasserted himself in the second half. Good for him.
Have a safe and fun holiday. Thanks for visiting.