Ghana 2, US 1

June 27, 2010

1. Ghana had 3 chances to score, according to my memory. They scored on 2 of them. I don’t really remember them having anything else than that, including marginal chances. The US had a ton of marginal opportunities, and quite a few great chances as well, but failed to convert any of them.

2. Ghana in this World Cup has often controlled possession and not created anything that could be remotely called a “scoring opportunity.” I wasn’t really that bothered in the first half when Ghana had possession but no scoring opportunities, even with the score 1-0. I felt like the US scoring was almost inevitable against Ghana’s less-than-impressive individual defending, I was just worried about giving up a second sloppy-defending goal like Ghana eventually scored to open overtime.

3. We took Jozy Altidore out because he was cramping, right? Because without him, the US attack just looked lost.

4. Couldve, shouldve, wouldve. I never got the reason to start Robbie Findley. He, and his substitute Benny Feilhaber missed two golden opportunities.

5. As a team, the US has some significant holes. Yes, they were largely caused by injury. No Charlie Davies and essentially no Ogunchi Onyewu hurt alot. Some countries can overcome that. The US can’t. There are a couple positions where we have depth, but those two positions are where we have the least depth. Ouch.

6. I purposely didn’t put anything about the refs until point 6. Isn’t that a penalty and a redcard for like 95% of refs? Isn’t it supposed to be a redcard according to the rules? I’ve written before that I dislike the penalty and red card, because it is something like a 1.5-2 goal penalty, but penalty and yellow is less than a 1 goal penalty. That gives an incentive to commit the foul, which is why FIFA instituted the rule. I suppose that this goes back to the problem with the current laws of the game: a yellow card is insignificant, a red card is massively game-altering. So I find myself in the odd position of agreeing with the call hypothetically but feeling quite unlucky that the red card wasn’t shown to the Ghana player.

7. It wasn’t the easiest call, but there should have been a penalty for the foul on Feilhaber when the Ghana player tripped him and then stepped on his ankle in the box?

8. After watching the game, I have the uncomfortable feeling of thinking I may have overrated both Ghana and the US even after being careful to discount the “it’s only one game” sample size factor. Uruguay has gotten quite lucky to draw Korea and then Ghana.

9. Lots of talk by the US about being the best conditioned. Maybe…but other than Michael Bradley, the US looked dead in extra time. On attack they just always looked discombobulated in overtime.

10. Tim Howard had a very sub-average game for him, in my opinion. No blame for the goals, but I think there are lots of days where he makes saves on both Ghana goals.

11. The US gave up early goals in every game. England in the 4th minute, Slovenia very early on, Algeria a ridiculous chance in the 6th minute, Ghana in the 4th and again in the 3rd of overtime. That’s really bad.

Beckenbauer disses American soccer

June 15, 2010

Franz Beckenbauer:

What I saw of the English against the USA had very little to do with football. It looked to me as if the English have gone backwards into the bad old days of kick and rush.

I am not sure if the England coach Fabio Capello can still change much there. The English are being punished for the fact that there are very few English players in the Premier League as clubs use better foreign players from all over the world.

I don’t think much of Germany’s national team this year, Franz.

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