Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
It's all about 'US'
by Mike Woitalla, June 4th, 2009 7AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[TV WATCH] If you believe ESPN2's commentators, Costa Rica didn't beat the USA by playing good soccer. The Ticos were simply fortunate that the Americans made a lot of mistakes. If you thought for a second that Costa Rica scored some brilliant goals, the ESPN2 experts quickly set you straight.

Within two minutes of kickoff, Alvaro Saborio scored with a perfectly placed 19-yard shot. Color commentator John Harkes admitted it was an "excellent finish." But if you were admiring, during the replays, how Saborio avoided being sandwiched by Pablo Mastroeni and Jose Francisco Torres by flicking the ball between them and regaining his balance in time to launch the looping shot over keeper Tim Howard, Harkes explained the goal happened because "He should not have that much space!"

Then at halftime comes Alexi Lalas, who refused to give Costa Rica any credit for its effort. Lalas, as though he were a U.S. fan in the stands, described the first half as "garbage." There had been some good, entertaining soccer -- if you were watching both teams.

"You got to get a foot in there" Lalas told us during a replay of Saborio evading the feet of both Mastroeni and Torres in what some of us might describe as a superb dribbling maneuver.

The Costa Ricans strung 12 passes together to score their second goal. If you were interested in who was making those passes you didn't get their names from play-by-play man JP Dellacamera, who was busy talking about U.S. players and their yellow-card problems up until the shot that scored.

The combination of precise passes that created the second goal didn't yield a compliment from Harkes. Instead, he advised the Americans to: "Get the tackles in and don't allow them to play so simply around them." As if the only reason the Ticos threaded their way up field so efficiently was because the Americans weren't trying.

Harkes was right to point out that Michael Bradley looked fatigued when he was beaten on the third goal. Harkes was also correct to question Coach Bob Bradley pulling Torres at halftime and to criticize his sub, Sacha Kljestan. But during the second half after they went up 3-0, Harkes couldn't muster a word of praise for the Costa Ricans, whom he said could be tamed if someone just had the guts to take a "crack" at one of them.

For sure, the U.S. performance left much to be desired and criticism was deserved. But to see every attacking success as a defensive failure - ignoring the skill, effort and acumen of the successful team - is a dismal way of viewing the game of soccer.

 

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Bob Gansler    
"I'm doing fine. I recovered quite quickly, to their surprise. I was able to leave (the ...
Video Pick: Back-heel volley golazo from Chelsea youngster     
Kasey Palmer, an 18-year-old midfielder, scored this beautiful goal in U-21 action against West Ham.
Obituary: Milton Aimi    
Milton Aimi played a variety of roles in spurring the growth of soccer in Texas and ...
Again, the USA wilts in the second half    
The USA's performance in a 3-2 loss to Chile on Wednesday raises lots of questions and ...
NYCFC makes change at the top    
New York City FC has appointed Tom Glick as its new president, replacing Tim Pernetti, who ...
MLS sells KickTV to Copa90    
Major League Soccer has sold KICKTV, its dedicated global soccer platform approaching one million subscribers on ...
What They're Saying: Bob Foose    
"We're a long way apart. I don't know that I want to handicap it, but it's ...
Gyau, Morse and Haley move up with U-18 women    
The U.S. under-18 women's national team will hold a one-week training camp that begins Sunday at ...
Video Pick: The Magic of the FA Cup?    
The folks at The Guardian have become suspicious about the marketing of the FA Cup, the ...
2015 MLS Preseason Action    
The LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes opened preseason play with shutout victories in scrimmages on ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives