Thursday, March 02, 2006

W.A.D. News

USA beats Poland 1-0 in Kaiserslautern Germany at the Fritz-Walder Stadion! Deuce Dempsey from Nacogdoches with the diving header goal in the 48th minute!
I found the first half to be a bit frustrating and at times nerve wracking. Poland had the better chances by far, but the USA held on by their finger tips. Our boys just seemed scattered and out of focus, especially in their defensive tactics. And I mean the whole teams defense, not the back 4 - although they were quite imperfect. At half time I had a quick chat with the excellent Spencer, who was out of school due to an "appointment", and I said, "I think the team will settle down and play much better in the second half." Which is exactly what they did. The passing was better, the positioning firmer, and the pace tempered. It worked. The team has enough talent on the field to strike at any time from any where. Eddie Lewis & Steve Cherundolo are such a potent force from left & right back, and they hit those crosses so gorgeously. Lewis put the long pass into the box that led to the goal. Taylor Twellman and Clint Dempsey just did their thing to make it happen. Twellman showed his fearlessness in going straight at the Polish keeper Boruc who cleared the ball off Twellman's head and it fell straight to the garbage hauler Dempsey who always seems to be sitting in that spot looking for trash to pick up. This is how these guys play. Add the speed of Donovan, Wolfe, Beasley etc flying down the field, and this whole thing looks exciting to me.
Here now are the perfunctory du Nord 3 stars of the game:
3 Oguchi Onyewu - a monster in the back who ground the Poles down to dust, or was that flakes
2 Clint Demspey - the game winner on a classic scrappy stick-yer-nose-in diving header, plus he worked very hard helping on defense
1 Kasey Keller - I know I will hear about this one, and that he only played the first half, but with out his great saves, the second half win would not have been possible
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Media Mania in the post game USA v Poland world:
US Soccer - match report, photos, post game quotes, & post game podcast with Arena and players.
Yanks Abroad - match report by Sean O'Conor
Associated Press - match report by Barry Wilner
Big Apple Soccer - match report by Michael Lewis
Soccer Times - analysis & player ratings by Robert Wagman
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Simon Hattenstone in the Guardian lays down a grim view of Chelsea: Self-loathing strikes the King's Road Loadsamoneys
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Soccer America's always insightful MLS Confidential.
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Soccer365's Andrea Canales puts her foot firmly on the throat of Racism, and shows us how to apply pressure properly to achieve maximum effect.
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This is cool: You can listen to a podcast of last nights The Soccer Hour with Glenn Davis.
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Chris Albright came on in the second half of a 2-1 preseason win over Houston. This is his first action since being injured at the Team USA training camp in early January. The teams left back, Todd Dunivant, will not be back on the field for 2 to 3 weeks. Will he make opening day? Doesn't look good, but I think Albright will.
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Bad news for Fulham fans, their on-loan-from-Chelsea left back Wayne Bridge, who was playing great, blew out his knee yesterday in the England match. He was undercut by his own keeper and suffered the injury. Damn.
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The International Friendly's are over for now! It was a blistering 2 days of matches. 30 of the 32 World Cup teams played. Here is the fall out:
Angola 0-1 Korea Republic - Park Chu-Young with the goal
Argentina 2-3 Croatia - in Switzerland - The wonder twins Carlos Tevez & Lionel Messi for the Argies, and Ivan Klasnic & 2 from Darijo Simic for the Croats
Brazil 1-0 Russia - Ronaldo the Magnificent with the goal
Costa Rica 2-3 Iran - Ali Karimi, Ali Daei (who must about 75 years old), & Vahid Hashemian all scored in the first half for Iran, while Costa Rica tried to rally with goals by Carlos Hernandez, & Dany Fonseca
Cote D'Ivoire 2-3 Spain - Spain got goals from David Villa, Jose Antonio Reyes, & Juanito, and le Cote got their goals from Abdelkader Keita & Bonaventure Kalou
Croatia 3-2 Argentina - in Switzerland - The wonder twins Carlos Tevez & Lionel Messi for the Argies, and Ivan Klasnic & 2 from Darijo Simic for the Croats
Czech Republic 2-2 Turkey - Umit Karan got a pair for Turkey, while Karel Poborsky (pk) & Jiri Stajner scored for the Czech's
Ecuador 0-1 Netherlands - Dirk Kuijt for Holland
England 2-1 Uruguay - Omar Pouso for Uruguay, with Peter Crouch & Joe Cole with the last second winner for England
France 1-2 Slovakia - Szilard Nemeth & Jozef Valachovic for the Slovaks, with Sylvain Wiltord (pk) for the Toads
Germany 1-4 Italy - ooof - Alberto Gilardino, Luca Toni, Daniele De Rossi & Alessandro Del Piero for Italia, and Robert Huth very late for the Huns
Ghana v Mexico - I am going to try and avoid the score before I watch the match tonite on delay, wish me luck
Italy 4-1 Germany - ooof - Alberto Gilardino, Luca Toni, Daniele De Rossi & Alessandro Del Piero for Italia, and Robert Huth very late for the Huns
Iran 3-2 Costa Rica - Ali Karimi, Ali Daei (who must about 75 years old), & Vahid Hashemian all scored in the first half for Iran, while Costa Rica tried to rally with goals by Carlos Hernandez, & Dany Fonseca
Japan 2-2 Bosnia-Herzegovina - Zvejzdan Misimovic & Emir Sphahic scored for B-H, while Naohiro Takahara & Hidetoshi Nakata scored for Japan.
Korea Republic 1-0 Angola - Park Chu-Young with the goal
Mexico v Ghana - I am going to try and avoid the score before I watch the match tonite on delay, wish me luck
Netherlands 1-0 Ecuador - Dirk Kuijt for Holland
Paraguay 0-0 Wales - zip-zip as I like to say
Poland 0-1 USA - in Germany - Clint Demspey with the goal
Portugal 3-0 Saudi Arabia - Maniche with one & Cristiano Ronaldo with 2
Saudi Arabia 0-3 Portugal - Maniche with one & Cristiano Ronaldo with 2
Serbia & Montenegro 1-0 Tunisia - Mateja Kezman for S & M
Spain 3-2 Cote D'Ivoire - Spain got goals from David Villa, Jose Antonio Reyes, & Juanito, and le Cote got their goals from Abdelkader Keita & Bonaventure Kalou
Sweden 0-3 Ireland - my boys Damien Duff & Robbie Keane, plus Liam Miller scoring for Ireland.
Switzerland 3-1 Scotland - Tranquillo Barnetta, Daniel Gygax & Ricardo Cabanas for ze Suisse, and Kenny Miller for Scotland
Trinidad & Tobago 2-0 Iceland - in England - both goals scored by Dwight Yorke
Tunisia 0-1 Serbia & Montenegro - Mateja Kezman for S & M
Ukraine 0-0 Azerbaijan - no one scored, no Shevchenko either
USA 1-0 Poland - in Germany - Clint Demspey with the goal
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The headline is today's Corriere dello Sport newspaper: What an Italy! Now we can dream.
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Looks like Michael Ballack is lining up a move to Real Salt Lake so he can become the next fabled Galactico. Or will he become another Chelskite? But, I have also heard that Sundowns of South Africa were chasing hard.
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Copa Libertadores Group stage!! This week’s matches and scores:
Tue Feb 28
Union Espanola 1-0 The Strongest - Grupo 3
Wed Mar 01
Caracas FC 1-2 Sao Paulo FC - Grupo 1
Thur Mar 02
Palmeiras - Atletico Nacional - Grupo 7
Paulista FC - Libertad - Grupo 8

2 Comments:

Anonymous ken said...

I think both US keepers deserve a lot of credit for earning the shutout in last nights win. Keller made some big saves for sure but Howard also had some crucial stops in the second half. And Howard deserves credit for the fact that he played the "snow" half and came through unscathed. I must admit, I was worried when Howard came on. Whether it is his fault or not, and even when it doesn't effect the outcame in a negative way, Howard always seems to let at least one goal past him no matter when he is the nets and for whom he is playing. If that had happened last night it could have really tipped the scales. I'm glad for his sake, and the sake of the US team, that it didn't happen.

Both keepers also had one each iffy "out of box" experience but they both managed not to be embarrased by them. Howards in particular ijn the driving snow could have had quite the opposite, and devastating, result. But he got lucky.

1:10 PM  
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