Posts Tagged ‘USA’
The United States won the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup with a 1-0 victory over Panama in front of a 57,920 crowd at Soldier Field in Chicago. Stoke City midfielder Brek Shea scored the only goal of the game in the sixty ninth minute, having only just come of the substitutes bench to replace Tijuana’s Joe Corona. The win gives Jurgen Klinsmann his first title as United States manager and recaptures the CONCACAF Gold Cup for the first time in six years after Mexico won the last two editions. Mexico had lost to Panama in the semi finals this time out, whereas the United States saw off the challenge of Honduras at the same stage.
Three players finished the tournament tied on five goals at the top of the scorers chart and shared the Golden Boot award. They were Gabriel Torres of Panama and Landon Donovan and Chris Wondolowski of the United States. Panama also picked up the Fair Play award and their goalkeeper Jaime Penedo won the Golden Glove whilst Landon Donovan picked up the overall Most Valuable Player award. The result means that the United States have now won an incredible eleven matches in a row since their 4-2 friendly defeat to Belgium at the end of May.
The semi finals of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup take place in a double-header at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas on Wednesday night with Honduras and Panama standing in the way of a fourth successive United States versus Mexico final. Panama were the last team to break the domination of the big two in 2005, when they made the final but lost out to the United States on penalties at the Giants Stadium. The USA retained their title two years later with a 2-1 final win over Mexico at Soldier Field in Chicago, but the Mexicans had their revenge in 2009 with a thumping 5-0 win over their neighbours at the Giants Stadium and they beat the hosts again in 2011, winning 4-2 at the Pasadena Rose Bowl.
This time around, the United States are up against Honduras in the first of the two semi finals. The United States have been the form team of the tournament so far and had no trouble brushing aside El Salvador 5-1 in their quarter final whereas Honduras came through a much tighter affair with a 1-0 win against Costa Rica last night. Mexico, who beat Trinidad and Tobago by a single goal in their quarter final, must face Panama, who came from a goal behind to crush Cuba 6-1 at the same stage.
Honduras won their Gold Cup group with two wins and a defeat after they had already sewn up top spot but they lost to the Americans in a World Cup Qualifier in Utah last month with Jozy Altidore scoring the only goal of the game in the second half and the United States are now on a nine game winning streak, so they will be favourites to progress to the final after winning all three of their group games and having scored sixteen goals in their four Gold Cup games so far. Mexico and Panama met in their opening Group A match and Panama ran out 2-1 winners going on to win the group a point ahead of the Mexicans in second place. Mexico have travelled to the tournament with an experimental, all home-based, squad of players, having also competed in the Confederations Cup this summer and opting to send a second string selection to the Gold Cup. Therefore, they could be ripe for another upset against the in-form Panamanians, who are spearheaded by twenty four year old Zamora striker Gabriel Torres, joint top scorer in the tournament with five goals from his three games.
The United States moved two points clear at the top of the CONCACAF final World Cup 2014 qualifying group as the competition reached its half way point last night. A 2-0 win for the USA against Panama lifted them clear of both Costa Rica and Mexico, who drew 0-0, whilst Honduras beat Jamaica to stay within three points of top spot.
The United States took on Panama at the CenturyLink Field in Seattle, home of Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders, and Jurgen Klinsmann’s team went ahead in the thirty sixth minute when left-back Fabian Johnson of Hoffenheim sent in a low cross for AZ Alkmaar’s Jozy Altidore to convert at the far post. It stayed that way until the fifty third minute when Seattle Sounders’ Eddie Johnson latched on to a ball from Stoke City’s Geoff Cameron and beat Jaime Penedo in the Panama goal to delight his hometown fans with the second goal of the night. The USA hit the woodwork a couple of times as they threatened to build on their lead later in the second half but two nil remained the scoreline despite some late pressure from Panama.
At the Estadio Azteca in the Mexican capital, Mexico played their third qualifier of the week but again struggled to find the net as their run of bad form in front of goal went from worrying to critical. This time Costa Rica were the opponents but for all the attacking talents of Hernandez, De Nigris, Guardado, Barrera and co Keilor Navas’ goal stood firm and Mexico were shut out for the second time in four days. They have now scored only three goals in their six group matches and only one in their last four. At least they’re doing something right at the other end where they have conceded only two goals and kept five clean sheets in their six matches but they desperately need some new ideas going forward in the final third as their regional rivals seem to have well and truly worked out how to stifle their threat and the fans are losing patience with the unproductive football. Club America youngster Raul Jimenez and Giovani dos Santos were both thrown on up front in the second half, but to no avail.
Honduras beat Jamaica 2-0 at the Estadio Tiburcio Carias Andino in Tegucigalpa in the third match of the night with an early goal from Houston Dynamo midfielder Oscar Boniek Garcia Ramirez setting them on their way. Jamaica were reduced to ten men in the seventy sixth minute when Reading’s Adrian Mariappa was dismissed and Honduras capitalised on their numerical advantage two minutes from time when Olimpia’s Roger Fabrizio Rojas Lazo grabbed the second goal of the night to seal the victory.
The United States, with ten points from their five games, are now two points ahead of Costa Rica and Mexico, with the Mexicans at the disadvantage of having played a game more. The top three teams go through automatically to next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil, and the fourth placed team will face a play off against New Zealand. Honduras currently occupy fourth spot, a point clear of Panama, with winless Jamaica a distant sixth. The group table now stands as follows:
It was a mixed World Cup for Bob Bradley’s USA squad, with a largely successful group stage followed by elimination in the second round with a poor performance against Ghana. Pre-tournament they would have been hopeful of making the quarter finals and having won their group they should probably have gone on to do so. That said, it transpired to be a fairly weak group and the United States didn’t exactly take it by storm.
Their opening match, against England in Rustenburg, was an underwhelming affair in which they were fortunate to be gifted an equaliser courtesy of Robert Green’s handling error from Clint Dempsey’s long range effort, having gone behind in only the fourth minute to Steven Gerrard’s goal. The teams cancelled each other out in most areas and created few real chances although by full time the USA had probably done enough to merit the draw on balance of play even though it took the freak goal to secure the point.
The second Group C game, against Slovenia in Johannesburg, was very much a game of two halves. Slovenia dominated the first 45 minutes and were 2-0 up at the interval through Birsa and Ljubijankic. A double substitution from Bradley at half time turned the game back in the USA’s favour, with Edu and Feilhaber replacing Torres and Findley. Goals from Donovan and Michael Bradley brought the USA level with ten minutes to go and Maurice Edu scored what seemed to be a late winner with a volley from a Donovan free kick but it was incomprehensibly ruled out by the officials.
The USA’s third and final group game will be remembered for the drama of the final few minutes when their future in the competition was hanging by a thread. With England beating Slovenia the Americans needed a win against Algeria in Pretoria to avoid an early exit. It as a nerve wracking 90 minutes with both teams striving for a breakthrough and accumulating over 40 shots at goal between them but unable to find the back of the net. Just when all seemed lost, in time added on for stoppages, Landon Donovan popped up in the right place at the right time to finally beat the heroic Algerian goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi from a rebound and win the game at the death, thus moving the USA from third to first in Group C in the blink of an eye. It was no more than the United States deserved over the three games and the joyful celebrations reflected just how much that late winner meant.
Coming top of the group opened up a route to the semi finals uncomplicated by any of world football’s traditional superpowers as Ghana and then the winner of Uruguay versus South Korea was all that stood in the way of a place in the last four for the USA. They knew they may never get a better chance so it was imperative to perform at their best in the second round fixture, back in Rustenburg, against Africa’s last remaining representative in the tournament. However, they were overwhelmed early on by the pace and power of the Ghanaians and went behind in only the fifth minute to a Kevin Price Boateng strike. Easily second best in the first period, the Americans came out a changed team after the interval and were given a route back into the game in the 62nd minute when Clint Dempsey’s trickery took him into the box where Mensah could only trip him and concede a penalty. Donovan coolly converted it to level the scores.
Neither team could force a winner in normal time so the first period of extra time at South Africa 2010 was required to separate them. Again Ghana came out of the blocks quickly and caught the USA defence napping as early as the 93rd minute when a high ball forward found a huge gap for Gyan to run in to. Captain Carlos Bocanegra and Jay DeMerit were too far apart and unable to get goal side of the striker, who shrugged off a feeble challenge from Bocanegra and fired his shot past Tim Howard before DeMerit could reach him with a desperate lunge. It was a massive blow and from that moment the Americans looked a tired and beaten team. They weren’t able to fight back for a second time and their World Cup adventure was over for another four years.
The American squad submitted to FIFA was as follows:
NUMBER – POSITION – NAME – AGE- CLUB
1 – GK – Tim HOWARD – 31 – Everton
18 – GK – Brad GUZAN – 25 – Aston Villa
23 – GK – Marcus HAHNEMANN – 37 – Wolverhampton
2 – DF – Jonathan SPECTOR – 24 – West Ham United
3 – DF – Carlos BOCANEGRA – 31 – Rennes
5 – DF – Oguchi ONYEWU – 28 – AC Milan
6 – DF – Steve CHERUNDOLO – 31 – Hannover 96
12 – DF – Jonathan BORNSTEIN – 25 – Chivas USA
15 – DF – Jay DeMERIT – 30 – Watford
21 – DF – Clarence GOODSON – 28 – IK Start
4 – MF – Michael BRADLEY – 22 – Borussia Moenchengladbach
7 – MF – DaMarcus BEASLEY – 28 – Rangers
8 – MF – Clint DEMPSEY – 27 – Fulham
10 – MF – Landon DONOVAN – 28 – Los Angeles Galaxy
11 – MF – Stuart HOLDEN – 24 – Bolton Wanderers
13 – MF – Ricardo CLARK – 27 – Eintracht Frankfurt
16 – MF – Francisco TORRES – 22 – Pachuca
19 – MF – Maurice EDU – 24 – Rangers
22 – MF – Benny FEILHABER – 25 – AGF Aarhus
9 – FW – Herculez GOMEZ – 28 – Puebla
14 – FW – Edson BUDDLE – 29 – Los Angeles Galaxy
17 – FW – Jozy ALTIDORE – 20 – Hull City
20 – FW – Robbie FINDLEY – 24 – Real Salt Lake
Last night England drew 1-1 with the USA, with the exception of the first 5 minutes the game was a disaster for England and one the Americans won’t be so upset about. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but is James Milner recovering from an illness better than a fully fit Joe Cole or Shaun WP? Has the gamble on the injury prone Ledley King failed after he only lasted 45 minutes? Should Carragher have been recalled after a poor season with Liverpool and will he continue to be exposed by his lack of pace at this level? Should Green be number 1 ahead of calamity James or the talented but unproven Joe Hart?
The cool conditions allowed the game to be played at 100mph and generally England swarmed all over the USA with Lennon, Heskey and SWP all failing to take good chances. Compared to other games I’ve seen in this World Cup England lacked composure and the ability to retain possession. Heskey showed his strength with the first goal laying the ball off for the new England captain to open his World Cup account. Heskey is as good as any player in the World at holding the ball up, if only he could finish. The key moment came when Dempsey hit a shot from 25 yards that Rob Green spilled, you could blame the ball but a keeper should have their body behind a shot like that. Rob Green to be fair made a great save from Altadore to stop things getting even worse.
All that being said I expect both England and the USA to beat Algeria and Slovenia with the group being decided on goal difference.
Now for an update on my attempt to lose £1,000 over the World Cup; yesterday I put £20 on Argentina to beat Nigeria at 1.45-1 which I won, £20 on Korea to Draw with Greece which I lost and £20 on England to draw with the USA at 4.2-1 which I won. So far I’ve got three out of five results right and I’m surprisingly £80 up. It looks like I’m going to have to try harder to lose this money so onto today’s games and first up the other teams in England’s group Algeria v Slovenia. This isn’t one that sparks the imagination, I fancy Slovenia but not that much though so I’m going for £20 on Slovenia at 1.6-1 on a DRAW NO BET. Next up is Serbia v Ghana and although I expect Ghana to really be up for this I fancy Serbia as a dark horse for the tournament so I considered a Serbia DRAW NO BET but the draws have done me well so far so I’m going for £20 on a draw at 3.25-1. Finally Germany v Australia; I think Australia will make a real fight of this one but the Germans will probably prove too strong, my head says it could be a draw but for some reason I’ve put £20 on 3-0 Germany at 12.5-1. Why have I done this? Well there hasn’t been a big win yet, the Australian’s don’t have a great attack and I think this young German side inspired by the creative Ozil could really surprise a few people.
Wish me luck!
The United States came from behind to beat Turkey 2-1 in a World Cup wam up match in front of around 68,000 fans at the Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia. Turkey settled well and started strongly, having by far the better of the first half and testing Tim Howard in the United States goal several times. They opened the scoring in the 26th minute through Arda Turan and that’s how it stayed until the interval.
The USA rallied in the second half and eventually found the breakthrough in the 59th minute to equalise through Hull City’s Jozy Altidore. A quarter of an hour later, Fulham’s Clint Dempsey completed the comeback to send the home fans home happy and secure a confidence boosting 2-1 win for the States. It was a particularly welcome result in the wake of their first warm up match, which finished in a 4-2 defeat to the Czech Republic in Connecticut on the 25th of May.
It’s next stop South Africa for Bob Bradley’s team, and a final warm up game against Australia in Roodepoort on Saturday the 5th June, one week ahead of their opening Group C game against England in Rustenburg.
USA 2-1 Turkey (30/05/2010)
46 Onyewu for Goodson
46 Cherundolo for Spector
46 Francisco Torres for Clark
46 Findley for Feilhaber
74 Bornstein for Bocanegra
80 Holden for Altidore