Wednesday, June 13, 2012

USA-Guatemala Brain Droppings

I remember the quote from "Mighty Ducks," but apparently Navy football coach Eddie Erdelatz was the first to say it:

"A tie is like kissing your sister."

It seems to apply to tonight's result. 

Anyway, just some quick thoughts before I hit the hay.

Fabian Johnson didn't look 100% out there. I don't fault him for giving away what proved to be the decisive free kick. I blame the handful of guys that the ball bounced over more than Johnson, but he looked a lot less sure of himself tonight. It may have been the crowd at Estadio Mateo Flores or that lingering calf strain. Or both. Whatever it was, it showed and limited one of the team's most exciting players.

My notebook has Landon Donovan truly taking his man on just once. It led to one of his most dangerous crosses. Now I know he wasn't on his favored left foot, but it's wasteful for a man of godly wheels to be consistently pulling up with square balls or less dangerous in-swingers. More importantly it gave Guatemala 10 less yards to defend. Why be so merciful on such an opponent?

Shaka Hislop is hilariously genuine in the commentary box. Can we have some more?

Clint Dempsey is still a boss. A boss who is going to get kicked a lot. Anywhere.

And most importantly, this team is doggy dog dogged tired. Possession takes energy too and when the U.S. needed to kill this thing off it couldn't. Never mind the collective error on letting that long ball through that led to Fab's foul and Pappa's free kick, Jones was caught upfield, Donovan was pulling up on his runs, the whole team's motor really just came to a halt. It let Guatemala back in the game, making the lone point sadly deserved.

I'm not ready to say this team can't put the ball on the floor and play when it counts. I think they're just physically beat. And while Klinsmann's still learning on the job, it certainly wasn't the Guatemalans wearing his team down.

-Jacob Klinger


Jay said...

We all knew Carlos Ruiz was going to find some contact near the box, grab his face, and fall down. There are some universal truths in life: the sky is blue, the ocean has tides, and Carlos Ruiz flops.

Brian B said...

I agree Jay. It's always so painful to watch these away qualifiers.

While I definitely think we were out of gas at the end, and could have played better, the no-call on Jozy in the box and the failure to play the advantage on the Jozy one-on-one would/should have gone the other way.


BTM said...

I don't think we deserved the one point. If you look at quality chances generated, we deserved to lose.

Jacob Klinger said...

@Jay Poetic.

@Brian I'd like to think Jozy would have finished that, yes, and something happened to him in the box there. At the same time, Boca could have been whistled for a handball. We've seen that kind of call before.

@BTM Sure, but that's to say that having a classier attacker, Dempsey, somehow makes your team less worthy of victory. Talent matters and we had enough to cover up some shady defending.

dikranovich said...

I think the most telling stat between now and sept might just be, how many MLS games coach klinsmann attends

Jacob Klinger said...

I'm more interested with whose MLS games he watches than how many. If I had to pick 2 guys, off the top of my head, I'd like to see Shea and McDonald play themselves (back) into the team.

BTM said...

@Jacob Yeah, everyone gets the result they deserve in some sense, so I retract my phrasing.

Counting on opponents to miss multiple golden chances isn't the path to success, though.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

klinsmann was being generous when he said jozy wasn't match fit. he looked just unfit and lost out there

Unknown said...

@BTM Spot on. Though I realize the limitations of projecting like I'm about to, a lot needs to improve before what's shaping up to be the best Hex since at least the '02 cycle.

Or maybe just one thing that changes a lot. Probably the former.

@Mark Agreed. Though not too much was created he did have two genuine chances. And you just can't blow those in games like that.

Harris said...

Shaka was great. Seemed to have a lot of Concacaf contempt for Guatemala and the ref.

Anonymous said...

Shaka Hislop worth it? God thank God I know some spanish or only if you guys knew the language would make you more fans of the sport. That was a snooze fest and I had to mute it and put a spanish broadcast to liven it up.

brian said...

shaka > taylor twellman