Saturday, January 20, 2007

USA U20's 0-0 Guatemala - Friday Night

A very frustrating 0-0 draw v Guatemala for the USA U20 team at the World Youth Championship qualifying tournament in Panama on Friday night. They play their final game on Sunday at 6pm central v the host country, and will probably need a draw game to make it through. (Obviously a win would do the trick too.)
The USA played with a lot less power and positivity in this match than they did in the 4-1 win on Wednesday v Haiti. I don't think the two friendly victories over Guatemala last fall helped in this cause today at all. As a matter of fact if you combine those two wins and the easy Haiti win, I think you could say this team was very overconfident. It's not that they were outplayed, just out-desired. If it was a boxing score, Guate would have won the first half by a touch, and the US would have won the second half straight up, giving the USA the victory by split decision. But it's still 0-0 on the big board, and that's all that counts.
Here is a look at the team"
-Again goalkeeper Chris Seitz was barely tested, and he was good when he needed to be.
-Quavas Kirk was replaced at right back by Tony Beltran, giving the team a lot less forward push from that spot, with maybe a tad better defense, but I would say they lost that one.
-The two center back Sturgis and Valentin were solid again, but made a few dicey moves and were not as helpful moving the ball upfield.
-Tim Ward on the left flank was decent again and had one of the better shots on goal. Unfortunately he got hurt late on a lousy tackle that went unpunished. His replacement Amechi Igwe pushed way up the field late with the US mainly going 3 in the back. He did his best but added little to the offense.
-Holding midfielder Danny Szetela had a better overall game from start to finish. Good for him. Solid, but not exceptional.
-His partner Anthony Wallace was all over the field trying desperately to help out to no avail. He was not too effective but had a couple nice defensive saves.
-The third guy in the middle was Freddy Adu, the team captain, and he was borderline awful. He saved himself from full disgrace with a couple of decent passes and free kicks late. Other than that he contributed nothing. As an example, he found himself about 15 yards from goal with the ball at his feet and some space, but all he managed was a trickling right footed shot directly at the keeper. He is supposed to be special! Heads and tails above the rest! But it's looking to be just not so. Depressing to watch really.
-The left winger Robbie Rogers was ok at best. He could not wriggle free to put in any good crossing attempts. He seemed to always want to take on the defense by himself which led to weak shots or putting teammates in positions they could do little with his service.
-Center forward Andre Akpan did not get the service like he did v Haiti. I can't find too much fault with his game. He was taken off late for Preston Zimmerman who had no impact.
-Right winger Sal Zizzo was pretty much invisible. He did try hard, but got almost nothing going. He was replaced by Josi Altidore who immediately made his professional experience known on the game. He played hard, and is better at creating chances for himself, but like Akpan got little help.
All in all, a poor performance. The USA team now sits with 4 points, leading the group on goal differential, and has to play the host team in the last game. The USA should be favored in that game and should win, but it is a road game so anything is possible. Let's hope for the best. Panama also has 4 points after a 3-2 win over Haiti. Guatemala has 2 points and can advance with a big win over Haiti. Haiti has been elmindated with their 0 points after 2 games. The two best teams advance
Games Sunday January 21 on GolTV:
Haiti v Guatemala - 4pm central time
Panama v USA - 6pm central time


Anonymous Anonymous said...


5:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


12:30 PM  
Blogger brucio said...

i agree - 100%

11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm massively disappointed that David Vanole has died at such a premature age.

Brucio, do you know what the cause of death is ?

Often, when a cause of death is not stated for someone so young, it is because it is AIDS related.

Do you happen to know ?

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

The LA Times stated that: "Vanole, who had long battled a weight problem, collapsed Monday while on a family skiing trip in Utah "

"Vanole is survived by his wife of 18 months, former Women's United Soccer Assn. official Kerry Tatlock"

10:20 AM  
Blogger brucio said...

i had heard they suspected heart attack, but nothing definitive, no

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David died of heart failure. He had an enlarged heart, almost twice the normal size.

10:21 AM  

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