Saturday, June 19, 2010

USA presented with a gift after having one stolen away

No matter how many angles you view or what rule you might try to apply there is no way a foul could reasonably be called on the tie-breaking score from Adu via Donovan in the 85th minute of the USA’s second round World Cup match. What should have been the culmination of a miraculous comeback after a very inauspicious start was taken away without justification or reason. Later on in the day the US was given a gift by Algeria (England) as they drew the Brits providing the US with some much needed breathing room and a solid chance to move forward to the knockout round. The US came out in typical fashion giving up an early goal and having to come from behind. This has been their MO for quite some time and would have to change if/when they advance. What they need to do is come out with a purpose and a killer instinct and let Algeria know they have no chance to win the match, and perhaps be the administer of the early goal and pressure rather than the recipient. Meanwhile there is simply shock and awe across the pond as England still can not put together 90 quality minutes of quality football and chalk up 3 points to move on. Amazing how things have turned around in the last 186 minutes of play, four minutes into the world cup they had a 1-0 lead over the US and were already making reservations for the finals but they have not scored since then, let alone won a match and now find themselves in a must win situation. On the final day of group play both the favorites in the Group still control their own destiny as a win gets them both in but who will be the 1 or 2 is one of many questions still up in the air. It will come down to goal differential which the us holds a two goal lead. It makes for nice drama and fodder but rest assured both teams will sort out their issues, come correct with their best game of the tournament and move on to the next round, but the questions will still remain. For the US, do they have the mental game to withstand the pressure of a real quality side like the ones they’ll face in the knockout phase? For England the question might be a little more poignant, are they as good as everyone (including their #7 ranking) thinks they are? Right now they look like a collection of great talent, and even better names, but a side that has no cohesiveness or unity. The positive both countries can take with them is there is still time to right the ship and then there will be no more blame to find a home for. Will both teams move on and how far will they go? Let us know here and in any of the quick links.

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