Saturday, June 26, 2010


USA will play from behind again.  They gave up the first goal of the match to Ghana.  A mid-field turnover was converted by Ghana and USA finds themselves down one ~ nil.  Ghana is clearly playing with a little more energy than the Americans.  They are getting to loose balls quicker, their passes are crisper, and their opportunities have been of better quality.

Coach Bradley gambled with a line-up shuffle starting Clark in today's mid-field.  In what seemed to be a decision to correct his strategy, Coach Bradley made his first substitution 30 minutes into the match inserting EDU when perhaps he should have started from the outset.  30 minutes is awfully early for a substitution.  He'll have to pick his moments very wisely with his remaining two substitutions.

The Americans find themselves behind....again.  At least they are accustomed to being in this situation.  Is it dipping into the well one too many times?  The second half will bare that out.  Ghana has carried play for the first 45 minutes.  They've maintained possession as I mentioned with their very crisp passing.  They are quick.

Coach Bradley has adjustments to make during the break.  The American mid-field has been a sieve thus far.  They need to shore that up.  The turnover that put us down one - nil was of the egregious variety; inexcusable.  Ghana's midfielder, Prince BOATENG, from the mid field circle dribbled alone with two defenders nagging but unable to slow him down even the slightest bit.  What success USA seems to have on attack has been coming from around the outside with crosses into the box.  Ghana has plugged up the middle well.

USA 0   ~  GHANA 1


In minute 46:00 the Americans had a brilliant chance at scoring.  USA looks a little quicker at the 52:00 point.  Their opportunities are becoming more numerous.  They are passing more quickly this half.  On my count this half the Americans have threatened with three very quality chances.  A corner kick was fruitless at 55:00.  Ghana and USA both have 4 shots on goal.  Ghana has a slight percentage lead in time of possession.

PENALY at 60:30
Landon Donovan draws a penalty shot!

A strike to the keeper's right side.
His 45th MARK as a USA player!

USA 1   ~   GHANA 1

at 66:40 another brilliant chance on a lead pass to ALTIDORE and break-away (if I may) headed off by Ghana's keeper brilliantly.
A Yellow Card by Bocanegra warded Ghana a free kick secured by Howard.

At 71:30 Bradley just launched a booming long range shot.
Ghana has owned the last 3 minutes.  I see a lot of standing around on offense by USA when they have the ball.  BRADLEY...just as I spoke...USA passed crisply and put four consecutive touches together for an opportunity on goal by Bradley; stopped cold by Ghana's keeper.
77:00  uh Oh!   Prince, of Ghana just pulled up lame with a hamstring it appears.  BOCANEGRA just made a great defensive stop in front of the American net.  79:00 minutes are elapsed.
Ghana in the American zone...USA clears...

Another pass over the top for the box..Penalty?!  NO!...and a strike just wide to the right as Altidore was falling down.   81:38...a free kick for Dempsey ~ into the wall.

Ghana in USA end.  A pass and header goes very wide.  Ghana gains the zone again 83:30.

USA shot blocked 84:30.  America loses the zone.  GHANA!! Offsides! 

86:00  USA settling for long passes and minimal movement again.  They are not putting together short accurate consecutive passes.  USA in their zone...87:00.  88:00...out of bounds..USA ball.
Howard kick into Ghana zone.  Free throw in for USA.  Turnover.
Ghana gains USA zone.  A cross from the right corner..cleared.  An injured Ghana player down
interrupts play.

90:00 !!  

Ghana controls...coming wide on the left...out by USA.  A Ghana corner kick coming!

From the right side...CORNER...headed out by Ghana.  USA ball.
3:00 minutes of injury time are over!

30:00 Minutes
coming up!

ALTIDORE was a down field force today.  His size presented several chances today. 
He's been substituted.  Me personally, I thought

it doesn't matter anymore...
at 92:55

Unbelievable.  What seemed to be a relatively harmless ball lobbed forward was played by Ghana's #3 GYAN who managed to penetrate deep into the US zone sandwiched by two US defenders.  Incredibly after a shoulder bump and harassment on the other side, he got off a shot pass Howard.  Inexcusable by two American defenders to allow that kind of penetration and ball possession.

A corner kick coming up for USA 96:45....ends up wide.  Bocanegra was part of the exchange.
USA is scrambling now.

100:00 minute mark
(two fifteen minute periods in extra time)

One minute of extra time has been added to the first 15 minute half of Extra Time.
There were no real chances in the last 15 minutes to speak of.  No one could maintain possession.

They switch sides now and the next 15 minutes will start post haste.

Ghana ball.   USA gains Ghana's end.  A clear.  And foul.  Ghana ball.
Howard's kicks action back into Ghana end.  Free kick to USA right outside the penalty box.
Donovan will kick...punched away by Ghana's goal keeper.
Ghana back in America's zone at 109:20.
Ghana...short passes...offside.  Howard will free kick it out.

USA in Ghana's end...  On a cross...
UNBELIEVABLE...the referee is stopping play for a Ghana player down who had no one near him.  He cleared the ball out and took to the ground untouched.  How wrong is that?!  They better add all that time back on.  The Refs are letting the Ghana'ns milk the clock like a cow.

A corner kick coming up for USA 113:30
...headed out....USA loses possession.  6 minutes left.

USA gets off a shot....the other way Ghana will get a corner kick.
the kick...blocked out..Howard will kick.

Ghana gains ball.....
USA has three minutes left.
Ghana controls...USA gains.  USA will not short pass up field.  They settle for tired long passes which result in Ghana possessions.

USA turns it over again....gains it back.. Howard kicks long.
USA ball inside 119:00
USA crosses...and  they get a shot off!  Blocked!
Another shot by Gomez goes wide.  USA will kick from the corner  120:01!!
the cross....!  USA gets off several shots on good pressure.

12:40  3 minutes added on!

USA at mid field...Ghana gains and goes offside.
USA in last minute of added time!!
USA with ball...a shot goes wide by a Dempsey header.

Ghana clears......30 seconds!  Ghana has the ball.


Final/Extra Time

USA loses to Ghana again. 
Just like in 2006, USA is eliminated from WORLD CUP competition by the Club from Ghana.
USA put forward some very special efforts during their participation in this tournament.
They've certainly proven to many fans all over the globe they are a club as good as any.  What they still need to demonstrate is that they're better.  Their next chance to do so will come four years from now.

I'll be back later for more wrap-up.



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