Happy Memorial Day to you and yours. Just take a moment at some point during your picnics, family fun, and war movie marathons to reflect…
The U.S. Soccer team is now in South Africa, having hopped the 18-hour flights yesterday afternoon. They received a stylish send-off in Philly with more than 55,000 pro-U.S. fans in the house to witness the 2-1 comeback against Turkey.
A quick analysis of the game: Jose Torres and Robbie Findley made big differences in the second half. Torres with his ability to control the ball under pressure (something Ricardo Clark could not do) and pass, and Findley with his speed and tenacity. Steve Cherundolo looks like the best option at right back as well. In the first half, Turkey controlled the play and the U.S. looked out of rhythm with their zone marking and their passing. How much of this was playing to avoid injury and how much was rust? We probably won’t know until June 12, but both must be better against England.
The final installment of the One Goal: Road to South Africa documentary, details the final stop on the road to qualification – the 2-2 tie to Costa Rica at RFK Stadium in D.C. This turned out to be a costly 48 hours or so, as Charlie Davies was in that fateful car accident and Gooch Onyewu blew out his knee in the game. The core group of U.S. fans are awesome, though, as this clearly illustrates. Also I love the radio feed from the Honduras announcers when Bornstein heads in that goal in stoppage time. Jonny B. sent them to their first World Cup in 28 years…
CBS weekend news did a brief profile of Landon Donovan this weekend. It’s OK – typical, ‘you might not know anything about soccer’ stuff, but most sports fans know who Landon is.
Finally, ESPN did a very solid piece on U.S. Soccer legend, Joe Gaetjens, the man who scored the goal against England in the 1950 World Cup. Gaetjens was a Haitian immigrant who eventually returned to his homeland to become a successful businessman, only to run afoul of Papa Doc Duvalier’s goon-squads for his family’s political beliefs and his own notoriety as a one-time soccer star. He was executed in prison there in 1964.
Since I can’t figure out how to embed ESPN content on the blog, you’ll have to follow the link. Highly recommended.