Revenge is a dish best served cold and the way in which the US defeated Ghana qualifies as sub-zero. Clint Dempsey's 30th second opener created a "Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf" scenario for another 82 minutes with the Black Stars huffing and puffing to punch Tim Howard's goal, all to no avail. Finally, pre-match shiz talker Andre Ayew had one of the sporadic moments of genius that always threatens to add an "extra" to his customarily "ordinary" playing ability. With the game knotted at one, Talking Heads' "Road to Nowhere" began playing between my ears and I began cursing the Ghanaian fan from "Live and Let Die." But, as we said, revenge is a dish best served cold and Ayew's celebrations proved short lived. Graham Zusi's delivery from the corner was typically-excellent and John Anthony Brooks' ensuing downward header a moment of catharsis not felt in about four years.
I'm sure the other boys will want a piece of the action and, since I don't know if I've died and gone to heaven, I'll only dip the bread in the sauce before we eventually sit down to the full pasta and meatballs.
-Please keep doubting Clint Dempsey, please. Tell him he's no longer good enough, tell him he never was, tell him he sold out for the money, tell him he's not a true leader. Tell him whatever you want, cause he loves telling you that you're wrong.
-The Yanks scored first and then, logically, played things a little more conservatively. Yet, we still presented a serious threat on the counter and consistently held the ball in more advanced positions until Jozy Altidore's hamstring decided to add injury to a year of insults. Doesn't look likely we'll see him again in Brazil, but his impact in the first half hour or so of this game shouldn't be forgotten.
-Equally, Aron Johannsson made me a little nervous to consider myself a fan of his. He seemed to yin when his teammates yanged and, building off this, doesn't seem to be a natural foil for Deuce. Eddie Johnson clamoring began about two hours ago.
-I felt Michael Bradley had a subpar game mixed in with moments of excellence -- this is the opposite of a typical Bradley performance. The personnel was the same as against Nigeria, but Jermaine Jones played further left and Bradley came deeper alongside Kyle Beckerman in what was more of a traditional 4-4-1-1 than the lopsided 4-3-1-2 in the friendly.
-John Anthony Brooks was my Unknown Unknown. He has now been shifted to Unknown Known.
No Short Corners Man of the Match: 12th man, the American Outlaws. Corny? Kinda. Rowdy as all hell? You bet.
It's times like these where I wish I offered more as a writer, but this game is actually summarized quite neatly.
I believe that...
- Matt Averna