Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
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
UCLA lands Pugh and Fleming in recruiting coup    
UCLA has signed U.S. women's national team player Mallory Pugh and Canadian Women's World Cup veteran ...
MLS player tracker with complete rosters (Feb. 4)    
Columbus Crew SC now has Ola Kamara to go along with Kei Kamara. The 26-year-old Ola ...
USA-Canada Preview: Youngsters should get second look    
Jurgen Klinsmann says he has two short-term goals for the USA's second and final test of ...
What They're Saying: Megan Rapinoe    
"Naturally, we're upset. The players are very, very upset. We feel disrespected. We feel that our ...
What They're Saying: Jerome Kiesewetter    
"I always did [feel like an American]. My mom always told me about my dad, about ...
Detroit City FC hits financing goal for stadium work    
Detroit City FC, the community-based NPSL team that has become a hit in the Motor City, ...
Video Pick: The Vardy Volley    
In case you missed it, or would like to see it again from every possible angle, ...
Under the hood of MLS's CBA    
The contours of the collective bargaining agreement MLS reached with the MLS Players Union have been ...
Making a List: 2015 U-17s in the pros    
Joshua Perez, nephew of former U.S. World Cup player Hugo Perez, signed with Italy's Fiorentina, becoming ...
U.S. Abroad: Bedoya scores again for Nantes    
Just a few weeks ago, there was talk of Alejandro Bedoya being headed to MLS. Now, ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives