Wednesday, March 01, 2006

USA 1-0 Poland

Hello, again, reader(s). I took some hand-written notes as the game was being played, and below is my transcription of them. Occassionally, and regretfully, I missed out on something important, because I was writing about something that happened in the preceeding minute.

0' - A heated field?!? Neat! I'll leave the discussion of our starting XI to other individuals.

6' - Easy to tell this is much better competition than we've played so far this year. Poland offers less space and tighter marking.

12' - Poland is looking good against the run of play and on counter-attacks. Steve Cherundolo is looking really good. I don't get to see him play much, so maybe this is the way he normally looks.

19' - Poland seems to be playing the long ball. We can't really build anything; we need Claudio and/or Johnny O'B.

24' - ESPN commentator Marcel Balboa echoes: "USA is not controlling the middle -- they need Claudio Reyna." (paraphrasing)

27' - Landon Donovan and DeMarcus Beasley are both having quiet games so far.

32' - In-swingers from the flank into the box, off of set pieces, bring back nightmares of Michael Ballack at WC 2002. Poland just had one of these.

35' - Lots of our 1st touches are horrible, and are getting away from us -- control the ball!

38' - Nice centering pass by Poland... Psshewww...!

40' - Commentators mention that McBride "tweaked" a groin, and that is probably why Twellman got the nod.

42' - Another set-piece in-swinger... this one nabbed by Kasey Keller.

44' - Very nice free kick by Cherundolo!

45' - Did we just witness *negative* injury time? Half-time.

HT - To me, despite the scoreline, it has been a thoroughly enjoyable game. Both teams are fighting to control the middle, neither team is really able to build anything up, and all chances are rather isolated, or against the run of play. That being said, I would definitely say that Poland has had more opportunities, and better quality ones, as well.

HT - ESPN segment focusing on Steve Cherundolo. He looks like my brother-in-law.

HT - Commercial break... What is Eric Cantona doing?

46' - Back to action. Howard in for Keller at keeper, and Bocanegra in for Berhalter on defense.

48' - Goal! Goooooaaaaaaallllll... Clint Dempsey plays the far-post garbage man, and puts one by Poland's subbed-in keeper. I was getting my food out of the microwave, but someone crossed it in, and it looked like the keeper tried to punch it, and Twellman got his head on it and pushed is toward the far post. Dempsey didn't give up on the ball, and beat his defender to forehead-punch it into the back of the net. Did Dempsey just salute the American crowd?

49' - Replay shows he did salute the crowd, along with Eddie Johnson and Taylor Twellman -- tip of my cap to those guys for recognizing the U.S. Military in the crowd.

53' - I just realized a couple of things. First, we are winning against a European team in Europe(!). Second, Team USA has looked good right after halftime in every game I've seen them in so far this year.

55' - Mastroeni in for Zavagnin.

58' - Bocanegra gets a card. I've seen worse, but these German referees have done a fine job today.

67' - Big snow.

71' - Convey on for Beasley. Bease didn't really do anything -- I was looking forward to seeing him light up the left side.

73' - Big, big snow. I hope we don't pack it in -- we've got to keep pressing.

76' - Good point by Marcel -- in the World Cup, you've got to be able to win 1-0. Sometimes the most obvious points wind up being under-stated.

77' - Onyewu is getting a lot of praise for using his upper body, but he makes me nervous with all the clutching and grabbing. Before the game, they showed a little highlight reel of him defending, and he was putting a few guys in a half-nelson. I'm afraid some referees are going to call that at the most inopportune times.

78' - Big, big, big snow. It is announced that the game balls are going to be changed from a white ball to a yellow ball, so that the players can better see it on the snow-covered field.

79' - Wolff in for Johnson. Johnson had a quiet game. I'm not a big Josh Wolff fan, but I'm hoping he can do better.

80' - The yellow ball is now being used.

85' - It's a shame about the weather and the field conditions. I know both teams are playing under the same weather & field conditions, but I was hoping for something closer to optimal conditions. I hope no one gets hurt as a result of the snow.

87' - I agree with the announcers, in that Poland can't build, and is not able to create many chances. The USA looked much better this half.

89' - Klein in for Dempsey. Why?

90' - Again, very little injury time. USA 1-0 Poland. Yay!


At 02 March, 2006 14:14, Anonymous Eric said...

Thanks for the link. This was the first place I have seen that had anything on why MCbride did not play. You did as well as the matchtraker did yesterday and gave me a few more crucial facts. Thank again.

At 14 March, 2006 21:23, Anonymous Otto said...

I am from Brazil and I live in the USA for 12 years. Unfortunetelly the american media do not pay atention to football because they don't like a geme with 45 minutes without interuption. TVs need to make money
I Hope a great americam team in Germany Maybe the americans weke up to football

At 22 March, 2006 18:48, Blogger ClusterChuck said...

Gentlemen, Thank You. The comments you left on this Blog are worth more to me than I can really express.

Take care,


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