USA v. Brazil – The Final

https://i1.wp.com/www.buysoccerjersey.com/files/2106189/uploaded/brazil_jersey.jpghttps://i1.wp.com/www.soccernucleus.com/ProductImages/usa_away_2008/USA_away.JPG

The lineups are out and the fans across both countries are set for what should be a great battle.

Here are the lineups:

Howard

DeMerit   Gooch

Spector                                     Bocanegra

Feilhaber   Clark

Dempsey                            Donovan

Davies  Altidore

Fabiano

Ramires            Kaka          Robinho

Melo    Silva

Santos                                                 Maicon

Luisao   Lucio

Cesar

Surprises? Well, it’s interesting that Dunga is sticking with Andre Santos at left back, considering he’s been less than stellar so far. I somewhat expected to see Dani Alves at left back, but Dunga might be worried about the ability of Charlie Davies to get in behind the wingbacks with his speed. Santos and Maicon will both be more disciplined in keeping their shaping and staying home to defend, while Alves tends to roam the pitch, rarely occupying the right wing for more than minutes at a time.

Outlook: 3 players need to play well for the US – Benny Feilhaber, Carlos Bocanegra, and Charlie Davies.

Why those 3?

Charlie Davies – because his work-rate and speed can cause some problems for the taller, slower center-halves, especially if the wingbacks get caught up the pitch.

Benny Feilhaber – because he has the vision and skill to play Davies and Altidore into the gaps of Brazil’s defense.

Carlos Bocanegra – because he’ll likely be matched up with Robinho and Kaka. His physical play, along with the rest of our backlines physical play, could be tough for Brazil to overcome. While they are talented and quick, they don’t like to be pushed around.

——————-

1:12 PM

Does anyone else find it funny that 100+ blogs and websites can have the lineups right, but ESPN can’t? Seriously, what does that say about your production team?

They have Miranda as starting, when he’s sitting the bench. Luisao is starting next to Lucio in defense.

——————-

1:22 PM

Dellacamera: “This is the ritual, all of the dignitaries come out for the final. You’ve experienced this before.”

Harkes: <<<<silence>>>>

——————-

1:26 PM

I always wonder what Cesar is hiding under his neck-warmer…

——————-

1:27 PM

Newsflash – we have no history with this ref….yet. Let’s hope we get through this game clean.

Game time. Dellacamera and Harkes are babbling incessantly.

——————-

https://i2.wp.com/images.usatoday.com/sports/soccer/_photos/2006-06-22-dempsey.jpg

GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1-0 USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

——————–

Spector’s cross was absolutely beautiful.

——————–

2-0!!!!!!!! CHARLIE DAVIES AND LANDON DONOVAN WITH SPEED AND SKILL!!!!!!!

http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~mikezou/soccer/players/landon_donovan.jpg

——————

38th minute

Good gameplan and great execution by the Americans so far.

——————

Halftime 2-0

Thoughts:

  • Feilhaber is everywhere. He made tons of tackles and numerous quality passes up the field. I said he had to play well, and he is.
  • Davies and Altidore are so far inside the Brazilians’ heads that they can’t think without seeing the pair. Davies’ speed is killing the back line because Lucio and Luisao are just too slow to keep up.
  • Altidore’s strength up top is doing the US a ton of good. He’s had the ability to not only win aerial balls, but he’s turning his defenders and attacking them as well.
  • Donovan and Dempsey are putting in fantastic performances – on defense. Yes, Donovan scored on a nice run, but his defense down the left side has been brilliant. Maicon is having to work harder than usual to get off his crosses.
  • The backline is once again superb. No, they aren’t making too many runs forward, but Spector makes his runs count – and that’s what matters. Other than that, we’re being physical with the Brazilian attackers, and they just don’t like that.
  • Clark is doing some work on defense. I’d like him to clean up his decision-making with the ball, but you can’t fault the amount of effort he’s putting in.

In the 2nd half, we cannot sit back and defend. If Brazil scores 1, it puts us reeling on our heels and we start fearing a second strike.

We got this lead by pressuring Brazil with physical defense and speedy counter-attacks.

——————-

45th minute

Goal Brazil. Luis Fabiano turns on DeMerit and whips a quick shot past Howard.

DeMerit has to defend that better.

——————-

49th minute

We’re playing a bit too much “low pressure” for my tastes right now. Brazil is getting too much time on the ball right now.

——————

68′

Two subs for Brazil to try to exploit our poor wing defense.

Our wings – Donovan and Dempsey – are just not defending well at all this half.

——————-

74′

Bornstein for Feilhaber. Kljestan on for Altidore. Stupid move. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Did I say this coach made a stupid move? Stupid.

——————–

78′

I’m just not sure I understand what Bob Bradley sees as a coach. Feilhaber was having his best game as a Nat, making play after play. So why bring in a slow, weak player like Kljestan?

Why are we taking off our physical striker that has been frustrating the Brazilians, just to bring on a tiny left-sided defender?

——————-

83′

Kljestan has touched the ball 4 times resulting in 3 direct turnovers. Good decision Bob.

——————-

85′

Goal. Lucio. 3-2 Brazil.

Bradley has to be held  accountable for the poor decisions today.

——————-

88′

Conor Casey in for Rico Clark. Yep, another awful move from Coach Bradley.

——————-

Full Time. 3-2 win for Brazil.

Good first half from the US, but an infinitely worse performance in the 2nd half.

I’ll post a full write-up later on.

Advertisements

3 Responses

  1. I firmly believe that it was Bobocop’s horrific subs that doomed us. I hope the guys at the Fire Bob Bradley Now! site start up again. His tactics are completely laughable.

    On another note, how can Clint Dempsey get Bronze Ball? He was worthless until today, when he FINALLY put in a full 90′. I know he scored 3 goals, but he was really just utter garbage other than the goals. Today he actually got back to defend, but as for the rest of the tournament? Not so much.

    And how in the WORLD did Kaka get the Gold Ball?! For a multi million dollar man, he sure played a lot worse than Rico Clark today! And he didn’t do too much better in any other game, except Italy. Really baffling decisions from FIFA.

  2. Not that I take any pride in this but I called it.

    First, let me say that this was a tremendous effort by our players who really turned around the team demeanor to make their late run through the tournament. So much respect for them.

    There is no consolation or moral victory to this loss, however. The USA needs to stop playing the game as if it’s 30 minutes long. Why abandon for the entirety of the second half the tactics that were proving successful?

    Once again, we settled back and long-balled it. I don’t have so much a problem with the defensive stance to protect a 2-goal lead but I deplore this long-ball bullshit that we regress to in the middle of games. It. Doesn’t. Work. Spain was a rare example of when it does work.

    We gave Brazil space and multiple possessions and they scored four goals in a single half. FOUR goals. (Yes, I’m counting the one that wasn’t officially ruled in.)

    Unfortunately, some people are going to say this was a step in the right direction when the reality is – and Dempsey’s tears proved it – we let a game we were in command of get away. There is no shame in losing to a team the quality of Brazil but to help them succeed by sitting back after doing so well is ridiculous.

  3. Oh, and can we please mark up on free kicks and corners?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: