March 25, 2007

Live Cupcakes: US-Ecuador Halftime and 2nd Half

My halftime thoughts:
  • Donovan was easily the best player in a US jersey in the first half. He was dangerous in the attack, and tracked back well on defense.
  • Eddie Johnson has no confidence right now and shouldn't be on the field. He won't look to shoot and his touch is pretty awful. I hope he can get off to a good start in MLS, but I'm starting to wonder if we'll ever see the GAM again.
  • Feilhaber was all over the place in the half, not necessarily in a good way. I guess it's be expected in your first start.
  • This might be the worst I've ever seen Gooch look.
  • The uniforms aren't as bad as I thought they might be, but Penny Hardaway wants his Orlando Magic jersey back.
ESPN shows Euro qualifying highlights from yesterday at halftime.

Waldo's Yellow Card/Red Card feature:
Yellow card to Sunil: Hire Bob now.
Game ball to Bradley: He's doing well.
Red card to Oswaldo Sanchez: THANK YOU WALDO, he's upset that Oswaldo went unpunished for his petulant attack on Eddie Johnson after the 2nd US goal against Mexico in February.
Yellow card to Alexi Lalas: Don't forget about Cobi Jones this year
Game ball to Ivan Gazidis: Good job by the league

I like the feature, but it needs to be made into a bigger deal if this is what they're going to do. It just looked like a normal interview to me.

First half thoughts:
The Bruce: Ecuador was better as the half went on, central defense struggled, need to play ball quicker
Waldo: game will get rougher, US should improve in 2nd half

Michael Bradley is checking in for Eddie Johnson. Landon will push further forward and Bradley and Feilhaber will sit deeper in midfield.

1:13: Deuce sends in a dangerous cross that Ching nearly put on goal. Hurtado is down for Ecuador, CHINGY'S REVENGE! Actually, the keeper is the one who hit his defender, not Ching. The Bruce says we'll see lots of goal scoring chances in the second half.
1:16: The Bruce defends Michael Bradley's right to be on the field, I agree.
1:17: Smelling salts to Hurtado on the sideline, but it looks like he'll be okay.
1:18: The Bruce tells us that Landon doesn't like playing with his back to the goal, so he'll sit behind Ching. Ching loses the ball up top.
1:20: The Bruce says that Ecuador is more of a challenge than Mexico, I'm sure that lead to a few cervezas being tossed. Howard makes a nice save on Tenorio, with help from Conrad.
1:21: DOB says Howard has hurt his elbow. DMB's cross is headed away for a throw. Donovan almost flicks through for Ching, but it's blocked.
1:22: Bad giveaway by DMB, but the defense bails him out. Donovan breaks free and he's taken down. They call the foul outside the box, it should've been a PK! Dempsey sends the FK back across, but it's caught acrobatically by the Ecuador GK.
1:24: Ching's back on the sideline because of his nose. I think we'll have to see Riverdance Taylor soon.
1:26: Bad cross by Dempsey is easily caught. Bradley is looking good in midfield thus far. Landon springs through again, but a great save denies him. Donovan sure came to play today.
1:28: More pressure from Donovan leads to a corner, nice cross and overlap by Cherundolo. Dempsey has a sitter and he WHIFFS! Boca headed it down to Deuce's feet and he whiffed.
1:31: Waldo talks about how annoying Bradley was when he would train with the Fire, beating out some of the paid pros when he was just a kid.
1:32: Gooch still looks lost, bad giveaway leads to a throw.
1:33: Unbelievable ball from Ching at midfield through to Donovan, he takes on the keeper 1v1 and SCORES. Landon Donovan is the man today.
1:34: Beasley lays the ball across the middle and DONOVAN ABSOLUTELY CRUSHES A BALL INTO THE UPPER 90. HOLY CRAP!
1:35: Beasley breaks through again and is blatantly pushed down in the box, but there's no call.
1:37: Donovan is now on 30 goals for his career, four behind Waldo. Feilhaber almost gives Ecuador a goal, dribbling back into the middle across the top of the box.
1:39: Riverdance Taylor will be coming in for Chingy. He was the last US player to get a hat-trick before Landon today.
1:42: Lots of little fouls getting called now, Gooch drops somebody about 25 yards out. Awful FK leads to nothing.
1:43: Not so interesting conversation about Gooch playing for the Tampa Bay Bucs. SHUT UP DOB. Bradley gives away a dangerous FK on the endline, it might've been a Frenchy dive.
1:44: Really dangerous chance that probably should have been put away, T-Ho and the boys lucked out there.
1:46: Largest crowd in the state of Florida for a USMNT game, over 31K. Good job Tampa!
1:47: Mullan and Spector are coming in for Deuce and Cherundolo. Deuce wasn't on his best today, he should've had a goal and didn't create much. Cherundolo was alright.
1:49: I really like Bradley, great play in midfield and he continued his run all the way into the box. He doesn't play like a kid.
1:49: Shock of shocks, The Bruce doesn't like The Boss. I'm horrified.
1:50: Justin Mapp will be joining us today, coming in for DMB.
1:52: Waldo criticizes Landon again for not wanting to play in both the Gold Cup and Copa America. I disagree completely. The Galaxy pay his bills, it's a big year for the Gals with Becks coming in and the need for them to make the playoffs after missing last year. Landon needs to be there to make things happen for LA and he feels that obligation. Landon should play in the Gold Cup, help the US win the CONCACAF title, then go back to LA and let others play in the Copa America. Sorry CONCACAF haters, the Copa America IS NOT OUR CONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP! The Gold Cup is the more important of the two tournaments.
1:55: Excellent overlap by Spector, but Twellman has a bad giveaway at the top of the box. DOB, The Bruce, and Waldo argue about the upcoming baseball season.
1:57: Nice passing by the US around midfield to kill the game off.
1:58: Brian Carroll comes in for Landon so he can get the ovation he deserves. Well done The Bob, that was definitely the right thing to do.
2:00: And we are done, 3-1 to the USA.

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