Wow. And to think, just the other day I was saying how the Mexican officials were the only competent ones in the region. Live and learn, live and learn. Now, in the interest of fairness, I do believe the gentleman who completely screwed over the Canucks on the late offside call was from Surinam, but the center official wasn't having a tremendous game up to that point. About the best thing he managed to do was make sure that Hejduk wouldn't play in the final by showing him a yellow for getting head-butted by Dwayne DeRosario.
While we're on the subject - how the hell is Frankie the "Sierra Mist Man of the Match"? He scored a goal - great. That's more than you can say for our forwards, but for the rest of the match he was dog-awful. He and Bornstein both were total liabilities out there though the rest of the back line did manage to suck enough to take some of the heat off the fullbacks. But here at the Fullback Files, we tend to have a slight positional focus so...SIMEK+SPECTOR NOW!!!! OK, on to the match. The quick summary runs something like this...
US attacks quickly and threatens to overwhelm Canada. Hejduk shows his quality with a hospital-ball back to Keller, almost resulting in a big chance for Canada. Bocanegra follows suit. US with some chances. Canada starts to come back into it. Bocanegra lucky not to walk after going linebacker on DeGuzman. Canada off the post! Frankie hits the shot of his life in off the post, 1-0. Landon dives! To be fair he did have a bit of help going down but you know how Mexicans love Donovan (did you have to piss on their pitch?). Deuce sends Beasley through - PENALTY! Donovan with the usual array of nonsensical kissing and rubbing but beats Onstad anyway, 2-0.
Pause for breath at the half.
Canada out of the traps quickly, but US back into control. Frankie and DeRo scrap, yellows all around. Donovan blows his chance to put the game out of reach, but to be somewhat forgiving, Beasley should have finished that himself. Wait, who let Paul Dickov on the field? Oh, that's Canada's Iain Hume (how didn't he get himself sent off?) - one man wrecking ball. Why can't the US finish this? Deuce header cleared off the line! Hume steps up and proves he can do more than thug it up, 2-1. Cue the Keystone Cops defending. Little Bradley sees red for hacking down DeGuzman from behind. Borderline red, but haven't I been harping on about how much of a card-magnet Bradley is with those flying tackles? Linesman blows it and waves the US through to the final. Canadians go mental on the ref (and well they should).
Ugh, what is it about countries with three-syllable names and too many A's? Just like Panama, the US never managed to finish the job despite controlling most of the match. This is a bit of a worrying trend to say the least. Panama and Canada may not have enough to come back and punish us, but Mexico will. World Cup opposition will as well. That back line is a huge worry and I don't really see too much help on the horizon.
On the positive side, I do like the look of the US midfield and attack. They're interchanging, moving the ball quickly, and creating chances. The problem is that we just can't seem to finish the majority of them. That has to change if we're ever going to be more than a regional power. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go dig through my 80's drawer...