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”

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Euro 2008 and World Cup Qualifying

If you haven’t been following soccer lately, then you have missed out on some great action:

Euro 2008 is in full swing as the Group Round finishes up tomorrow with two great matches, Russia vs Sweden and Greece vs Spain. Those four teams are in Group D, the fourth of four groups in Euro 2008. Spain has already guaranteed itself a spot in the quarterfinals and Greece has already been eliminated. If Sweden beats or ties Russia tomorrow, they advance, but if Russia wNew York Timesins, then they move on to the quarterfinals. If you don’t find a do-or-die game like that enticing, then you are not a sports fan.

That is just one of four groups in Euro 2008, though the other three have completed all their matches. In Group A, Portugal and Turkey advanced with 6 points each while Switzerland and the Czech Republic were sent home early. In a similar do-or-die game between the Czech Republic and Turkey earlier this week, Turkey scored 3 goals in the last 15 minutes, including two goals by Nihat Kahveci in the final three minutes of the game, to beat the Czech Republic 3-2 and advance to the quarterfinals. Lead by Christiano Ronaldo, Portugal sailed through the Group Round with easy wins over Turkey and the Czech Republic. In their final game against Switzerland, Portugal sat most of their starters as they had already ensured themselves a spot in the next round. Playing a sub-par team, Switzerland defeated Portugal 2-0 in the game and captured their only victory of the tournament. Continue reading “Euro 2008 and World Cup Qualifying”