Monday, June 15, 2009

US Loses to Italy 3-1

The USA took the field today to play Italy in the FIFA Confederation Cup and came up short 3-1. While this is certainly a disappointment, there were a few bright spots throughout the game: The US lead at half-time and generally playing toe-to-toe with the Azzurri while at even strength. The red card changed the composure of the game, as fatigue finally overwhelmed the Americans. Overall, here is my reaction to the game:
  1. Giusseppe Rossi has turned out to be a tremendous talent and a tremendous loss for the United States. His goals were stunning, especially the last one, as it was struck on the up-bounce. That is a very difficult ball to strike, and Rossi expertly finished.
  2. Why is Ricardo Clark still getting a National Team call up? I have never been a fan of Clark, and I do not foresee ever being a fan. Even as a player on the Houston Dynamo, Clark is reckless and always seems to be out of place, usually fouling to regain the advantage after being outclassed by a player. This played out today with his (arguably soft) red card.
  3. Landon Donovan continued to be clinical in his finishes from the penalty spot. When Donovan takes a PK, it is a guaranteed goal.
  4. I imagine that practice over the next two days is going to require the midfielders to mark players when they are about 30 yards from goal. Two goals were given up from that distance and there was nothing Tim Howard could do to stop them, as he was screened from the shooter. Pressure needs to be applied to the ball carrier in the final two-thirds of the field.
So what do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Think the US will get ANY points in this tournament, with Brazil and Egypt left on the schedule?

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