U-G-L-Y,Good God, that was not pleasing on the eyes, now was it? The US eases to a 2-0 victory on the back of a scrappy corner kick goal (Eddie Robinson for target man!) and a Donovan penalty (please, please, please stop with the kissing already!) In the process, Donovan becomes the USA's all-time leading scorer, despite looking only half-interested for most of the match and remaining firmly ensconced in the FBF doghouse.
You ain't got no alibi!
Forget the full-on recap. I'm just going to go with a few talking points.
- Guzan is #2 - El Guzano has the whiff of Europe circulating about his person, and you can tell why. In my mind, he's bypassed Hahnemman to become Howard's #2, and looks like he's ready to push the Everton keeper pretty hard. Took every chance that fell to the Swedes and turned them away time after time.
- Keep calling up Jozy - He caused the Swedish back line more trouble than the other three strikers combined. And it's damn good to see him get the ball and look to take defenders on. You watching, Mr. Donovan? Twellman? Please. Noonan? Whatever. Rolfe? Did he do anything (saying that, I think that Rolfe is quality and deserves more shots as well)? Jozy has to be amongst the strikers getting called into every US camp for the foreseeable future.
- Bretos with the unintentional funny - Bretos is a poor man's (a very, very poor man's--possibly a man in debtor's prison) Ray Hudson--all of the hyperbole with none of the poetry. "Shockwaves around Europe" from this result? Really? He did drop the excellent "Twellman with the comb-over [header] for Donovan." C'mon Twellers, tell Landycakes to just surrender to nature and genetics and go with the Timmy Howard stubble-dome special already!
- Feilhaber is in deep doo-doo - He'd better get himself out of Derby and into some playing time really soon, because Edu and Clark showed pretty well in a game that kept wanting to fling itself back and forth over their heads. Edu is probably stronger on the ball and makes better attacking runs, but Clark is more aware defensively, has his head up for the open man, and showed all of the piss and vinegar that was on display when he introduced his boot to a flopping Fish. Not that I'm justifying such behavior. In fact, he does show a disturbing tendency towards the bone-headed decision sometimes (shades of Mastroeni), but he was wrecking attacks, tracking back, springing the fullbacks with nice balls into space, and even found time to crack one of his trademark blasts from distance. Don't look over your shoulder Benny--there be dragons there!
- Possession, possession, possession - There were a few promising passing moves, but they generally fizzled out or led to corners, rather than solid chances from open play. Too often, the defenders were lumping the ball long or making ill-advised passes. And don't even get me started on the quality of the crossing. This was a game made for Brad Davis, as he got to demonstrate his dead-ball qualities, but not one for the connoisseur. I realize that we only had one sure-bet starter out there, but is it wrong of me to expect more of our scrubs?