USA 1 Italy 3: The No Lamentation Zone

15 June 2009

Let's get seven things clear right up front.

1) Ricardo Clark should have been sent off for his stupid tackle on Gatusso. For everyone crying it should have only been a yellow card, keep crying. Pablo Pozo got that decision spot on. You cannot just openly kick a man like that as he's blowing right by you.

2) Pablo Pozo was again spot on when he did not send Grosso off for what looked to be an elbow on Landon Donovan. I saw nothing in that elbow justifying a red card.

3) All credit to Jozy Altidore for winning that penalty that Donovan converted to put the US up 1-0.

4) The two points of contention that cost the US a shot at all three points today were a) the US pushing so hard for the second goal to the point they exposed themselves at the back, and b) the moment Giuseppe Rossi showed up on the park. Rossi was the only one who appeared to care for Italy about picking up all three points from this game.

5) While Tim Howard was to blame on the first Italian goal, Gooch is the sole man responsible for the second goal. The fact he was non committal to clearing De Rossi's shot is bad enough, but to screen out Tim Howard from even seeing the shot is unacceptable. DeMerit was playing his position and is not to blame. Could Howard have done something about the shot? It's possible, but I couldn't see what he could have done.

6) I was glad to see Davies come on the park for Altidore, but it should have been done at halftime. The fact Torres didn't see the park today again disgusted me. While I still think Adu should have started, I could understand why Bradley wouldn't have used him in the situation we were in.

7) Letter of the law, the US should have been awarded a penalty in the 80th minute. I can understand why Pozo didn't call the over the back on Donovan, however when you have called the game letter of the law until that point, you cannot abandon that train of thought in a critical moment.

I'm just getting warmed up. Today's US/Italy match up was a battle between a team that didn't care (Italy) and a team that played as eleven individuals and not one team (that would be the US). Watching this match early on, I was shocked at how laissez faire Italy looked. The US should have had two goals before the red card, and only their laissez faire attitude in front of goal kept them from putting this game out of reach for Italy.

What pains me about this game is it only confirmed in my mind what is going on with the US National Team. We have at least five factions on this team; the 'Bradley' buddies, those who have only played in MLS, those who are regulars in Europe, those who warm benches in Europe, and Landon Donovan. I get the impression every time I see this team play each faction can't stand each other. I'll take two examples from today. The first involves Michael Bradley's pathetic attempt at goal from a perfectly placed Landon Donovan pass and the second involves Altidore, again from a Landon Donovan pass. Both should have been finished with no trouble at all.

What also pains me is only one player for the US National team is a leader. That player is Frankie Hejduk. Whenever he's not near this squad, the team plays woefully. While Donovan was the best player on the park for the US today, he showed no leadership in pulling this team together after Rossi equalized. In fact, you could argue that Rossi goal was the moment the US gave up hope on getting anything from the match. Between dead legs and woeful substitutions, no one on the park cared to put this team on their shoulder.


REALIST June 16, 2009 at 11:32 AM  

I will take this point by point

1- yes agreed
2- should have been a yellow
3- okay
4- rossi was less important than the stupidity of bradley pushing forward for 10 men with a one goal lead.
5- Feilhaber was responsible for the first goal
6-Altidore should have stayed on Davies brought in to replace Dempsey. Feilhaber tucks in and you play without flanks. right up the middle with altidore holding up the ball and flicking it on to davies.
7- that was a clear PK

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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