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Archive for the ‘Copa America’ Category

Brazil vs. Argentina: Copa America Preview

Posted by Mike on July 14, 2007

I was quite surprised when SA from Ladies… asked me to help write a preview of tomorrow’s Copa America final. Aside from the World Cup, soccer is somewhat of a new interest for me, and there are several bloggers who are more soccer literate. However, I accepted the challenge. The final is to be waged by two of the most legendary soccer teams in the world, Brazil and Argentina. This made the article much easier for me to write, saving me hours of necessary research on team Uruguay.

Below is what I wrote. You can also see the Ladies… complete Copa America article for more analysis (and by “analysis” I mean “pictures of South American soccer players they think are hot”).

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            We’re getting to the good game now. Trust me, no amount of fiestas on La Republica Deportiva could make Peru versus Bolivia watchable. It’s now a battle between the two best teams in the American continent, and quite possibly the world, for bragging rights and the chance to give Jozy Altidore a rude welcome to senior international soccer at the 2009 Confederations Cup. It should a very heated game, as Brazil and Argentina absolutely hate each other.

Argentina is the heavy favorite to win this year’s Copa America. They bring with them a team that could be more formidable than their World Cup team. In their five games leading up to the final, Los Albicelestes have outscored their opponents 16-3, including a 3-0 annihilation of Mexico in the semifinals.

            A lot of pressure is on Argentina to win. The team has not won any championship of significance since the 1993 Copa America, an unprecedented dry spell for one of the world’s best teams. In Peru 2004, they held a 2-1 lead in the final a against Brazil heading into stoppage time, but Adriano robbed them of a title by scoring in the 93rd minute, in essence when the game was supposed to already be over. Brazil took advantage of their new opportunity, beating Argentina 4-2 on penalty kicks to win. Make no mistake, they need to win this game. For pride. For revenge. To take back their place among the world’s best.

Key Players (club affiliation in parentheses)

  • Lionel Messi, striker (Barcelona). Quite possibly the best soccer player in the world right now, and he’s only 20.
  • Carlos Tevez, striker (???). Ugly as sin, but he’s the reason West Ham is still playing in the English Premier League.
  • Juan Roman Riquelme, midfielder (Boca Juniors). Has five goals in this tournament. Messi and Tevez may be the flash, but Riquelme is the centerpiece, the man that keeps team Argentina running.

Brazil is perhaps the most legendary team in all of sport. At least outside of this country, but we all know that the universe revolves around the U.S. of A. Why else would American football have grown so quickly overseas?*

If you have a hard time recognizing this Brazilian team, that’s because Brazil sent a young, experimental team to Venezuela in order to build for the future. You aren’t going to see names like Ronaldo, Ronaldhino, Dida, Cafu, and Kaká (heh heh, ka-ka). The United States took a similar approach to Copa America. However, Brazil is the soccer equivalent of pre-Coker Miami Hurricanes football. Just about anyone whom they put on the field, even their third and fourth-stringers, can compete with the best teams in the world. The USA, they’re more like Notre Dame; impressive against lesser opponents, but tends not to show up for the big games. (Our youth team notwithstanding, of course. this year they beat Brazil 2-1, and they have a real chance at winning this year’s U-20 World Cup.)

Brazil’s Copa America “B” team was embarrassed by Mexico 2-0 in group play, and nearly lost to Uruguay in the semis. However, anyone wearing those yellow shirts has a chance to win a soccer game, and this Sunday’s final is no exception.

Key Players

  • Robinho, striker (Real Madrid). He leads all Copa America players with six goals in five games.
  • Gilberto Silva, midfielder (Arsenal). Captain of team Brazil and a standout midfielder for a British powerhouse.
  • Vagner Love, striker (CSKA Moscow). Just because he has the oddest name. Ka-ka would have been funnier, but this will suffice.

TV Coverage

The game will be played only on Univision in America. Don’t fret if you don’t speak Spanish; it’s a lot more fun to watch soccer on Univison than on any English-speaking network. I’m very new to soccer, but the past two insanely hot summers would have been unbearable without Fernando Fiore and Pablo Ramirez; instead, I would be worrying about the Red Sox’s dwindling AL East lead, which by the laws of physics will dissolve sometime in August.

Prediction

I cannot bring myself to root for either team. To be honest, I despise them both. Argentina because they’re smug, holier-than-thou and are the second dirtiest team in the world (Italy being #1), and Brazil because…well, they’re Brazil, that’s why. The ideal situation for me would be for FIFA authorities to find them both guilty of steroid use and award the Championship to Uruguay. However, that’s not going to happen. Brazil will compete well in this game, but they are undermanned against a stacked, angry, and determined opponent. Argentina wins 3-1, but they don’t get the go-ahead goals until the second half.

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Posted in AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Argentina, Brazil, Copa America, Futbol, GOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!!, Shameless Self Promotion, soccer, Things that are more fun in foreign dialects, Way More Tags Than This Post Merits, yes this is a slow news day. how can you tell? | 4 Comments »

USA vs. Colombia Live Blog: Copa America 2007

Posted by Mike on July 5, 2007

With Peru, Uruguay, and Chile all receiving ties in their third games, there is now no way that we can advance in Copa America. Therefore, we will see a lot of players who were on the bench get some game experience today.

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We need a good result from this game, if only for pride.

6:40 pm, 6th minute: We get our first scoring opportunity with a free kick, but Hercules Gomez kicks it wide left.

6:43, 9th minute: Team USA put Brad Guzan in goal. I know that we’re not going to advance, but considering all of the complaints about how Kasey Keller has been playing, would Bradley have made this switch even if a quarterfinal spot was on the line?

6:45 pm, 12th minute: The stadium in Barquisimeto looks really nice, if you overlook the 10 foot wall of metal fence separating the fans from the field.

6:49 pm, 16th minute: NO! Colombia had been dominating ball possession, even thought nothing had become of it until now. A good cross from the right side is finished with a header into the net by Jaime Castrillon. The nightmares are coming back.

6:51 pm, 18th minute: Colombia nearly scores again thanks to a huge error by Brad Guzan, who didn’t secure the ball after a stop. Fortunately for him, two American players were there to try and knock the ball away from goal.

6:55 pm, 22nd minute: USA gets another legitimate scoring chance. Eddie Johnson advances deep in the right side of the Colombian end of the field, and draws a free kick. Justin Mapp’s kick is cleared, but Sacha Klejstan manages to put a good shot on goal from 20 yards out.

Imagine how sad that is, that I’m satisfied that we get a good shot on goal 23 minutes into the game.

6:59 pm, 25th minute: Hercules Gomez draws another free kick for team USA just outside the box. While I’m glad that we are being given another scoring opportunity (which we miss…again), I’m beginning to come concerned about a specific aspect of our play. Throughout Copa America, I have seen the one soccer strategy I thought I would never see out of the American team: anything that resembles or could be construed as flopping. Casual fans who are more familiar with American football certainly would not accept some of the falls that I’ve seen from team USA.

7:05 pm, 31st minute: Total minutes that team USA has played in Copa America: 210. Total minutes during which team USA has held a lead: 2 (10th and 11th minutes against Argentina). Much of it was in control of European clubs, who chose not to release some of our best players, but this is what happens when you send the MLS All-Stars to an important international tournament.

7:08 pm, 35th minute: To stop an easy goal, Guzan tackles Colombia’s Hugo Rodallega, drawing a penalty kick. Unbelievably, he saves the “PENAAAAALLLLLLLLL!!!” and after two corner kicks the Americans are able to clear the ball out of harm’s way.

7:11 pm, 38th minute: Pablo Ramirez: “HOO ARR YU! AIM DE KIIPERRRR.” Those kinds of calls make a terrible game worth watching.

7:15 pm, 42nd minute: The Beautiful Game raises speculation that Mexico tied with Chile on purpose, to ensure that team USA, their hated rival, could not advance in this tournament. I might actually agree with that 😉

7:19 pm, 45+ minutes: Colombia is definitely a faster team than the 11 players we have on the field right now. We’re going to need the halftime brak to regroup. At the end of the first half, Colombia leads, 1-0. My morale has a taken a significant drop in the last week. Exactly seven days and 36 minutes ago, We were the undefeated Champions of CONCACAF, team USA had played some of the most exciting soccer I had seen out of them in a log time against Mexico in the final, and Eddie Johnson has just scored off a penalty kick to give us a lead against ARGENTINA! Now, we could very well be the worst team in this tournament. If it isn’t a buzzkill, it’s certainly a wake-up call.

7:37 pm, 47th minute: The second half has just begun. Eddie Gaven is in for Hercules Gomez.

7:40 pm, 50th minute: It’s apparent that Colombia is still dictating the pace of this game. Most of the game so far has been played with them in possession of the ball, advancing the ball into our defensive territory.

7:43 pm, 53rd minute: Justin Mapp created two opportunities for USA off of a free kick; unfortunately, we were unable to convert either of them. He’s been one of our few bright spots in this game (and this tournament, really).

7:44 pm, 54th minute: I’m pretty sure Pablo Ramirez just called team USA “Los Nike.” That certainly wouldn’t be far from the truth.

7:48 pm, 57th minute: The long periods of relative inactivity in soccer games can feel different to different fans. If you’re putting a lot of emotional investment in the game (like I did in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final or in the first 75 minutes against Argentina), then you spend that time completely on edge. If you don’t have much feeling for the game, then you’re pretty bored. Since we can’t advance no matter what happens, my mental state has been the latter in the last 10 minutes or so.

7:54 pm, 63rd minute: During the second half, the offensive aggressor for Colombia has been Vladimir Marin. He has been responsible for their free kicks, and has attempted their last 2 or 3 shots.

7:55 pm, 65th minute: Out goes a tired Justin Mapp, in goes Charlie Davies for Team USA. Honestly, at this point we’re fielding players whom I have never heard of before, which is a bad sign.

7:59 pm, 69th minute: If there’s one big issue that I think team USA needs to address, it’s finishing what you start. We’ve gotten some good opportunities to score in this tournament, and in many games that I’ve seen, but we have been unable to capitalize on many of them. It’s really frustrating to see us get 6, 7, 8 decent chances at scoring, and coming up completely empty or with only one goal. We have to take better advantage of opportunities in order to be competitive in the world stage.

8:02 pm, 72nd minute: Eddie Johnson comes out of the games, replaced by “Lee N-win”. Oh, Pablo, without you I don’t know what I would do.

8:04 pm, 74th minute: You know this is a bad game when fans are doing “the wave” and already there are chants of “ARGENTINA! ARGENTINA!”

Now that I think about it, I’m hoping that Argentina wins this whole thing, so that we may get another shot at them in the 2009 Confederations Cup.

8:12 pm, 81st minute: We now have only nine minutes to score a goal and prevent ourselves from being the last place team in Copa America.

8:15 pm, 84th minute: Colombia catches USA’s defense completely flat-footed, leading to a two man breakaway. However, Lee “N-win” rushes in to deflect the ball away and prevent the easy goal and a 2-0 deficit. Three corner kicks later, Brad Guzan finally grabs the ball out of the air and clears the ball out of the zone.

8:17 pm, 87th minute: GOOOOOooo…..wait. USA finally gets an opportunity in the zone, and Kyle Beckerman manages to score on the right side. However, he is called offside, as no defender is in front of him when the ball is kicked in his direction.

8:19 pm, 89th minute: Here’s an interesting twist: Colombia has already used all of their substitutions, and Their goalie just got red carded, for what reason’s I’m still not sure. It means that one of their position players must play goal for the rest of the game. If this can’t get us a goal, nothing will.

8:26 pm, 90+ minutes: Well it got interesting near the end, but team USA was once again unable to take of advantage given to them, and Colombia wins the game 1-0. With this result, Los Nike finish 0-3 in Copa America, and with a goal differential of -6 end the tournament in last place. I should not have expected too much from our team in this tournament; it’s bad enough that we play in CONCACAF, and then we can only send our C team against everyone else’s A team. Still, I certainly expected more than this. Unfortunately, it will be quite a while before our senior team will be able to redeem itself after a disappointing finish.

I will look toward the U-20n World Cup for light at the end of the tunnel, where our American squad just beat Poland by a score of 6-1. Go USA! Beat Brazil!

Posted in Colombia, Copa America, Futbol, Live Blog, soccer, USA! USA! | 3 Comments »

USA vs. Paraguay Live Blog: Copa America 2007

Posted by Mike on July 2, 2007

Tonight, Team USA plays Paraguay in the second slate of games in Group C of Copa America 2007. After the whooping we took at the hands of Argentina on Thursday, I can’t keep my expectations too high. However, we do need to win one of our next two games if we want to advance out of the group of death and into the quarterfinals of Copa America.

guarense-cross-dresser.jpg

Once again, I am watching the game on TeleFutura, whose coverage of soccer is way more fun.

6:41 pm, 2nd minute: The game has begun. USA is back in their white shirts. After the loss to Argentina, those alternate jerseys must be bad luck.

It’s disappointing that we’re sending a lesser squad to Copa America. But to be honest, Considering our political relationship with this year’s host, if I were a team like Fulham, I wouldn’t send Carlos Bocanegra or Clint Dempsey to Venezuela either.

6:45 pm, 6th minute: Still can;t figure out which team is which? I’ll give you a hint: we’re the team making bad passes.

6:49 pm, 10th minute: Team USA gets the game’s first true scoring chance….OH! We were so close. Sasha Kljestan receives the great cross, and has a lot of net in front of him, but he can;t deflect the header enough to get a shot on goal. Frustrating.

6:50, 11th minute: Eddie Johnson receives another great pass in the box, and takes the first shot on goal of the game. Again, he can’t change the pass of the ball enough to get it past the keeper. I like the chances that we’re getting, but we need to be able to finish.

6:51 pm, 12th minute: A huge mistake by Feilhaber in his own zone leads to a shot by Paraguay. Fortunately, Keller is there to make the save, but Benny had no business trying to make that move.

6:55 pm, 16th minute: Paraguay scared me when they scored five (five!) goals against Colombia. However, their offensive attack so far has not impressed me.

6:57 pm, 18th minute: Eddie Johnson, what the hell kind of pass was that? You didn’t need to make that kind of pass, you were horrendously inaccurate with the cross, and one of your teammates may very well have been injured trying to chase it.

6:59pm, 20th minute: Paraguay gets the first corner kick of the game. They get a good shot on goal, but Johnathan Bornstein prevents the goal, blocking the shot with his body.

A scary stat: In all 90 minutes against Argentina, we did not get a single corner kick. That’s how anemic our offensive attack was.

7:03 pm, 25th minute: For the first time in this tournament, we get a couple of corner kicks. On the second corner, Eddie Johnson’s roundhouse kick goes way too high and out of play.

7:08 pm, 30th minute. NO! Bornstein gets completely faked out, Domingo Salcedo is left open in the box, and he gets the ball past Kasey Keller. Paraguay had been knocking on the door for the last few minutes, and they now lead, 1-0. USA needs to tighten up their defense.

7:12 pm, 34th minute: Wow. Some great passing by the Americans, a nera perfect cross by Johnson, a good shot on goal…but the keeper is there to make the stop and preserve the lead for Paraguay. It seems that even when we’ve made the right moves, we still can’t get a good goal in this tournament.

7:16 pm, 38th minute: I know that this is our replacement team USA, and we should not have expected too much from them. Still, I thought we would play better overall than we have so far. I will tell you that there certainly hasn’t been a lack of effort from our team; it’s been a matter of decision making, both by the team and its coaching staff.

7:19 pm, 40th minute: GOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLL!!! A great pass into the zone, an even better pass by Twellman, the finish by Ricardo Clark the right side of the net, and we have our first real goal of the tournament! The game is tied, 1-1. As Pablo Ramirez said, “CLICK-CLICK-CLARK”, baby!

7:24 pm, 45th minute: I think I’ve figured out what’s wrong with our defensive technique. Our defenders are too quick to turn their hips and commit themselves in a particular running direction. Our opponents then take the other direction, throwing us off guard and creating offensive opportunities. We need to correct this error in technique if we want to play well in the future.

7:25 pm: …and that’s the end of the first half! The game is tied at 1-1. The score is the same at halftime as against Argentina, and I’m just as nervous about this one. Still, something about this game feels different. I’m not sure what it is.

**At this point, Mike’s Internet goes out. The second half ensues, with him powerless to comment. Only after the game is over does the lifeline return.**

9:38 pm: Well, my internet connection picked a really bad time to go out. If you haven’t been watching the game, you missed a lot. Justo Villar, the Paraguay goalkeeper, was injured in the second half and needed to come out of the game. Another defensive lapse by the Americans led to another goal for Paraguay to give them a 2-1 lead. Team USA got their fair share of chances to tie, but they were unable to convert (give credit to the backup goalie, who made a few great saves to bail out his team). Finally, The midfielder Cabanas put the game away with a free kick goal in stoppage time, and Paraguay won 3-1. In order to advance into the knockout stages (and to keep any of the momentum we established from winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup), we will need to beat Colombia on Thursday. I know this isn’t our A-team, but one certainly can’t be happy about our results so far, especially in the second half of games.

Posted in AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Copa America, Futbol, GOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!!, Live Blog, Patriotism at its finest, Things that are more fun in foreign dialects, USA! USA! | 4 Comments »

Argentina vs. USA Live Blog: Copa America 2007

Posted by Mike on June 28, 2007

Tonight, “Junior” Team USA will play Argentina in their first game of Copa America 2007. Argentina is the favorite to win the whole tournament, fielding some of the best players in the world (most notably wunderkind Lionel Messi). The Americans won the Gold Cup, including an impressive showing against Mexico. However, because they are an invitee, European clubs did not have to release their American players, and therefore we arrive without many of our best players. We bring a talented (if inexperienced) team to Venezuela, including Benny Feilhaber, but most fans are just hoping that we don’t get embarrassed tonight.

a-bit-messi.jpgbenny-feilhaber.jpg

8:47 pm: The American national anthem was cut short. Normally I wouldn’t think anything of it, but this is Venezuela. Hmmmm….

8:48 pm: Team USA is wearing some alternative uniform. I don;t think much of them now, but if we win this game, I will say that they look fantastic.

8:52 pm, 3rd minute: The game has begun. So far, neither team has made an aggressive move.

If you did not know this already, expect a lot of flopping from Argentina.

8:54 pm, 5th minute: Argentina makes the first move, as Messi makes a break into the box. Jimmy Conrad is able to prevent a score.

8:55 pm, 6th minute: USA’s first offensive move is (correctly) called offside.

8:56 pm, 7th minute: Eddie Johnson breaks away from the defense, before being tripped up. The referee awards us a penalty kick versus goalie/old man Abbondanzieri.

8:58 pm, 9th minute: GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLL!!! Eddie Johnson gets the penalty kick, and he gets it past the keeper on the right side of the net.

Unbelievably, USA is leading 1-0! WHOOOOO!!!

8:59 pm, 10th minute: Early, it’s looking like Riquelme is the man in midfield that the Argentinans are relying on for direction.

9:00 pm, 11th minute: GOOOLLL! Well, that joy of a lead lasted about two minutes. A good free kick by Argentina and a huge defensive oversight by the Americans lead to a two man breakaway against Kasey Keller. he didn’t stand a chance; Hernan Crespo scores easily. The game is tied at 1-1, and I am once again nervous about how quickly this game could take a turn for the worse.

9:04 pm: After the first few minutes, Argentina’s passing has gotten much better. Riquelme remains the driving force of their attack.

9:06 pm, 17th minute: USA knocks on the door from the left side, but a bad cross removes any threat for the South Americans.

9:07 pm, 18th minute: Feilhaber has been getting the most touches in our midfield so far.

9:08 pm, 20th minute: Jimmy Conrad has been doing a fairly good job defending Messi so far. I expected him to get run into the ground; that may still happen.

9:10 pm, 21st minute: I am concerned that we haven’t gotten any good opportunities on offense aside from the breakaway that led to the penalty kick.

9:12 pm, 23rd minute: After two corner kicks, Riquelme is left a lot of space on the left side, but ends up kicking a cross that goes well out of bounds, ending any threat and wasting a good opportunity.

9:14 pm, 25th minute: Bornstein passes to no one in particular, killing any momentum from making Messi turn the ball over 45 seconds before. What the heel kind of pass was that, John?

9:18 pm, 29th minute: Argentina is trying to do some fancy passing near the opposing goal. Aside from the free kick, the US defenders have yet to be fooled.

9:20 pm, 31st minute: Javier Mascherano is called for a foul on Taylor Twellman. Feilhaber or Mapp will free kick.

9:22 pm, 33nd minute: Feilhaber hooks the kick way too far to the left, and Argentina gets a goal kick.

The crowd has been loud (and certainly pro-Argentina), but on TV it doesn’t appear as intimidating as I thought it would be.

9:25 pm, 36th minute: The good news: so far in the game, Argentina has only had one shot on goal, which is less than team USA’s two and a sign that our defense is holding up. The bad news: that one shot was an easy goal off of a huge defensive lapse. What happens in the remainder of this game is when (or if) our defense makes another big mistake.

9:30 pm, 41st minute: We’re almost at halftime, and this game is still very much within our reach. To be honest, I did not expect this at all.

9:32 pm: 43rd minute: It must be karma; just after I type that, Veron hits a great strike, and only the post and the out stretched hands of Kasey Keller stop a goal. Off the corner kick, Keller must make another great save to keep Argentina from taking the lead.

9:35 pm, 45th minute: Benny Feilhaber gets a good shot from outside the zone. Abbondanzieri is there to makes the solid stops, and the first half ends.

At halftime, the game is tied at 1-1. I did not expect team USA to be this competitive against Argentina; it makes me wonder how we would have fared playing our best team. Not only have we played well against one of the best teams in the world, but we have a chance to tie or win in the second half. In order for us to get a good result, our defense must continue to nip Argentina’s offensive chances in the bud. Most importantly, we cannot beat ourselves. I cannot help but wonder that, at some point, we will make a mental mistake that could cost us the game. Argentina will take advantage of any opportunity that we might give them.

9:52 pm: The second half begins. Argentina has the ball.

9:55 pm, 48th minute: USA is still doing a good job of stopping any good scoring chances for Lionel Messi.

9:57 pm, 50th minute: Messi seems to be a little frustrated right now. Still, I don;t know how long our defense will be able to keep this up before they run out gas and the floodgates open.

10:00 pm, 53rd minute: Twellman draws another free kick very close to the Argentinan goal. I

10:01 pm, 54th minute: Justin Mapp’s free kick is strong, but too high. Argentina gets a goal kick.

I never thought we would be getting good offensive chances against one of the best teams in the world with MLS players.

10:05 pm, 58th minute: Our first sub, and it’s Argentina. Aimar comes in for Cambiasso.

10:06 pm, 59th minute: Gabriel Milito gets a yellow card for Argentina, the first of the game. USA’s ensuing free kick doesn’t threaten the goal.

10:08 pm, 61st minute: Messi is finally staring to get good opportunities. Luckily, his shot went just wide of the goal, but the Americans make their first substitution. Eddie Gaven replaces Ben Olsen in midfield.

10:11 pm, 64th minute: NOOOOOO!!! The American defense finally breaks. Messi sets up another scoring chance, this time making a great pass to Crespo, who scores from the right side, his second goal of the night. Argentina lead, 2-1.

10:14 pm, 67th minute: Saw the replay of the goal. We still had a chance to make the save, but Crespo completely faked out our goalie. The defense was unable to offer any help; it looks like they’ve lost a step or two from the beginning of the game. They need to make a substitution on defense.

10:16 pm, 69th minute: Instead, they make an offensive sub, replacing Twellman with Hercules Gomez.

10:18 pm, 72nd minute: It’s pretty much been all Argentina in the second half. They’re holding the ball a larger percentage of the time, they’re getting more scoring chances, their chances, are much better than anything that the Americans have been getting.

10:22 pm, 75th minute: Off the free kick, Argentina comes very close to putting this game away. Keller is there to make the grab before an attempted header.

10:25 pm, 78th minute: Aimar puts the game away off a great cross from the left side. Argentina now leads, 3-1, with less than 15 minutes to play.

Well, the thought pulling this one out was fun while it lasted, but We ran out of gas or Argentina figured out how to thread through our defense. Either way, they are clearly the better team, as much of an effort as we put into this game.

10:30 pm, 83rd minute: It’s worth noting that we haven;t had a real scoring opportunity since about the 60th minute, when a yellow card drew a free kick.

10:32 pm, 85th minute: Tevez was offside, but it doesn’t affect the ultimate outcome. The American defense falters again, and the fresher Argentinan team scores again. 4-1, Argentina.

I wasn’t expecting to win this game, but I hoped that we would keep it close. Most American sports fans are watching the NBA Draft; they’re just going to see the final score and think “We got clobbered”. Our defense played very well in the first half, and through the first 60 minutes the result was very much in doubt. However, the same problem that befell us in the World Cup is impacting us now: we are getting few if any, opportunities to score. When you can’t score, you can’t win. Eventually, our defense ran out of gas, and the Argentinan offense took full advantage.

10:39 pm, 90+ minutes: As the game is about to end, you can see it the American players’ eyes: They had absolutely nothing left in the tank.

10:41 pm: The game comes to an end, as Argentina wins 4-1. The score doesn’t tell the whole story. Our team played very well in the first half, but they couldn’t keep up with a superior Argentinan side in the second half. As we got tired, our weaknesses became more apparent, and Messi, Crespo, Aimar and Tevez exploited them to the fullest. For 60 minutes we did just enough to keep it close, but we failed to produce any offense, and Argentina dominated for the final 30.

It stinks to see us lose this way. Thankfully, our next two opponents should not be as daunting.

 

 

Posted in Copa America, Futbol, Live Blog, Patriotism at its finest, soccer, Things that are more fun in foreign dialects, USA! USA!, Way More Tags Than This Post Merits, yes this is a slow news day. how can you tell? | 4 Comments »