Soccer Magazine

My Thoughts, Exactly: USA v. Guadeloupe

By Thetoaststaff
  • 0th minute - Changes from loss to Panama: Wondolowski in at striker for Agudelo; Boca moved to the central of defense with Goodson, Lichaj in at LB as Ream is yanked (no complaints here).
  • Sometime before the 9th minute - Dempsey takes a very confident free kick, forcing a nice save from the Guadeloupean keeper.
  • 9th minute - GOAL: Jozy Altidore. I never realized Jozy had a sledgehammer attached to his hip.

  • 21st minute - Lichaj making a lot of forward runs tonight. This one in particular sets up a great chance for Donovan who makes a Guadalupean pay for blocking the shot with his stomach.
  • 22nd - Lichaj is pronounced “Lee-high” apparently. Good to know.
  • 24th - Not going to see Dempsey miss too many wide open headers like that one; great long ball by Jermaine Jones to Cherundolo, who puts it right on Dempsey’s head. Dempsey is typically a terrific header of the football.
  • 29th - Very impressed by Sporting KC’s new grounds. Has a very authentic feel to it, and the pitch looks superb. Bravo, groundskeepers.
  • 29th - Cherundolo gets free down the wing, curls one in for Wondolowski whose legs are about three inches too short to tap it home; very good look for the U.S. though.
  • 31st - Dempsey does his best Jozy Altidore impression and smashes one from almost the exact same spot Jozy unleashed from earlier - good save by the Guadeloupean keeper.
  • 31st - Michael Bradley gets cheeky on the resulting corner, and if Guadeloupe hadn’t had a defender on the line, MB's back heel may have found its way in the near post.
  • 32nd - Dempsey sends a chip shot from the top right of the box over the frame, but only just.
  • 33rd - It's been a furious few minutes by the Americans. I like what I see.
  • 34th - Dempsey not quite fast enough to reach Bradley’s lob lead. Guadeloupean keeper races out of the box to beat Clint to the ball.
  • 34th - By the way, just now realizing that Clint’s elbow tat forms the state of Texas; big fan.
  • 35th - Cherundolo’s crosses are looking deadly; Dempsey will definitely be putting one of these home before the 90.
  • 36th - Bradley sends a nice little chip cross in for Dempsey, who again puts it just outside the bar (my theory: Clint is far too wide open to bother with these perfect crosses.)
  • 42nd - Wondolowski is destined to remain scoreless for the Yanks: two chances squandered in a span of 10 seconds by the new striker. Altidore breaks him free with a perfect thru ball which Wondo sends directly into the onrushing keeper’s chest. He proves unsuccessful once more on a quick strike after a failed clearance by Guadeloupe. Perhaps the keeper deserves some credit on this second one..
  • 45th + 2 - Frustrated by the announcers’ mispronunciation of Guadeloupe, I cave and look it up online. Turns out they’re right.
  • Halftime - great half for the Americans. I would like to see more of these chances converted, but right now I’m happy we’re finding the opportunities that so alluded us against Panama.
  • No changes coming out of half time - for once Bob Bradley and I agree on the American personnel.
  • 49th - After Jozy draws a foul just outside the top of the box, Donovan chips a free kick in towards Goodson at the back post which is cleared by the Guadeloupean defense. Is everyone else convinced by now that Donovan’s afraid to miss? Perfect opportunity to go for goal on that one, Landycakes.
  • 52nd - Big Time Timmy Jim hasn’t had too much to keep himself occupied this match (for a change), but he does get his hands on the ball in the 52nd after a hopeful cross by the Guadeloupeans.
  • 54th - Jozy is a grown a-- man. After settling an over-the-top pass by Bradley, he physically holds back two Guadeloupean defenders while he works the ball into shooting position.
  • 57th - Donovan does his best Wondolowski impression and sends what should have been a tap-in over the crossbar from four yards out. Yikes. Still, nice buildup by the Americans with Dempsey supplying the would-be assist.
  • 58th - Must say, I’ve been impressed by the American supporters - singing all two songs they know in full voice tonight.
  • 60th - Dempsey again with a menacing free kick. The crossbar must be pissed after getting smacked by that one.
  • 62nd - Why are Guadeloupe’s socks a different shade of green from the rest of their kit?
  • 64th - SUBSTITUTION: Feilhaber in, Wondolowski out. Wondo had his chances but couldn’t convert. I think he’s learning international duty isn’t quite the same as the MLS.
  • 69th - First, Donovan is still afraid to miss. In the box, slightly right of the frame, rather than blast a shot on net Landycakes pulls it back to send a little chip towards Dempsey at the back post which is cleared by Guadeloupe. Secondly, Guadeloupe’s keeper is an absolute beast. I lost count of how many goals the US should have in this match. If this were boxing, the Guadeloupe trainer would have thrown in the towel by now.
  • 73rd - SUBSTITUTION: One Guadeloupean I’ve never heard of in, another Guadeloupean I’ve never heard of out.
  • 74th - Somewhere in Canada their lone soccer fan falls in love with Lichaj after a beautiful hip check on the Guadeloupean winger.
  • 76th - It’s official. Clint Dempsey does not like to kick the ball into the net. What more could you ask for than the ball at your feet, one inch out, no keeper in sight? To be fair, unspectacular is not Clint Dempsey’s style:
  • 78th - SUBSTITUTION: Kljestan in, Altidore out. By American standards, Altidore earns a solid 10 from me today (8 of which were earned on his cracker jack strike alone).
  • 84th - I’m confused as to what position Lichaj is playing. I could have sworn he was slated for defense.
  • 85th - SUBSTITUTION: Maurice Edu in, Michael Bradley out. Bradley created several chances on the night, including the assist on the Altidore wunderstrike, and thus partially vindicates coach's sons everywhere.
  • 87th - Turns out the attendance for tonight’s match is over-capacity. Good showing by the American supporters.
  • 90th + 1 - I don’t often say this, that is to say I never say this, but --
  • 90th + 2 - Apologies, Clint Dempsey needed to chime in with one last miss from inside the box.
  • Full Time - As I was saying.. I don’t often say this, but I was very pleased with the American back four tonight. Boca was able to control his troops better from the central position, while Lichaj and Cherundolo looked deadly on wings. Not much to say on Goodson tonight, but compared to the usual lament on every member of the back four, it’s a good thing he went virtually unnoticed.

Conclusion - The lone goal is only slightly disappointing, I appreciate the rare American clean sheet almost as much as Timmy Howard must, Clint's got to clean it up, and Landycakes needs to let it rip from time to time. Positive grades all around for the Yanks. See you in the quarters.

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