US Soccer Continues To Impress

Most people have stopped following the US Men’s National Team after it’s tough loss to Brazil in the finals of the Confederations Cup. The US has actually been participating in the Gold Cup, a tournament for teams in the Americas, over the last several weeks. The matches have all taken place on US soil and the United States has used almost no players who played in the Confederations Cup, but nevertheless, the United States will face Mexico in the Finals tomorrow at Giants Stadium.

For those that have watched the games, the United States certainly hasn’t run over its opponents. The US won the games they needed to win, but didn’t demolish anyone and weren’t at the form seen in South Africa. That would make sense though since the roster has just four carryovers – Freddy Adu, Charlie Davies, Heath Pearce, and Luis Robles. Seven players were looking for their first cap while sixteen of the twenty-three man roster have less than five caps. The team looked nothing like the Confederations Cup roster yet they find themselves winning games and advancing. Continue reading “US Soccer Continues To Impress”

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US Must Do Better

The United States Men’s National Team escaped with a 2-1 victory over Honduras in Chicago today to put them solidly in second in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. However, the win socarlos bocanegraunds better than the actual quality of soccer the US put on the field. This team will no doubt qualify for the 2010 World Cup, but if they want any chance of shocking the world in 2010, they must play better.

The 35th ranked Honduras National Team scored just five minutes into the game and kept the US on their heels for much of the first half. Landon Donovan however, did knot the score at one on a penalty shot just a couple minutes  before halftime. The PK came after a Honduran defender touched a ball in the box. The call did not come from a great play from the United States where all Honduras could do to prevent a goal was to foul in the box. The call was off of a lucky bounce that hit a Honduran defender who had no pressure on him. A goal is a goal, but this one does not quite qualify as quality.

The US’s second goal came midway through the second half off a corner kick, which Donovan headed across the goal and Carlos Bocanegra finished off with a diving header. The goal came off of a set piece and a mess in the box. It was better than the first goal, but nonetheless, nothing special. Continue reading “US Must Do Better”

Revolution Win SuperLiga 2008

I know that 95% of America have no idea what I am talking about when I say “SuperLiga”, but bear with me for a moment. SuperLiga is the annual tournament between Mexican and American teams. Each country is represented by four teams who are then split into two groups. It is a standard Fifa format. The four teams in each group play each other once and the two teams with the highest point total (3 points-win, 1 point-draw, 0 points-loss) move on to the semifinals. The Semifinals feature the winner of one group versus the runner-up from the other group in a one-game match, winner moves on. The winners of the semifinals play in the Finals in a one-game match to crown a champion.

On Tuesday night, the New England Revolution defeated the Houston Dynamo on penalty kicks to capture their first SuperLiga title. Before I get to that game, let’s look at the semifinals. In the first semi, the Dynamo faced off against Pachuca CF from Mexico. The final score, Houston 2 Pachuca 0, does not represent what this game was like. With Houston leading 1-0, Pachuca had a goal taken back on an off-side call. Unfortunately, the linesman blew this call as there was no off-side. Arguments ensued, but the call did not change. A couple of minutes alter, Corey Ashe scored for the Dynamo to put them up 2-0 and ice the game. The game did not end on friendly terms though as Pachuca players stormed after the referees after the final whistle, determined to get payback for what was truly a terrible call. For a game to be lost based on poor officiating is not what SuperLiga wants. However, the awful call allowed for fans to see the passion of Pachuca players. Their anger after the game ended shows how much they wanted to win the tournament. For those people that think that there is no pride or passion in SuperLiga, think again. Continue reading “Revolution Win SuperLiga 2008”