Qualifying begins in the best possible way – 2-0, yet again

Well, I was one Michael Bradley clincher away from being dead-on with my pregame prediction. Anyhow, we saw yet again that the USA simply came far better prepared mentally to succeed in these high-pressure games against Mexico. We rarely saw US players lose their cool while Mexico looked ragged and duly self-destructed when Marquez got the boot. I have not yet had a chance to see the television replays of his offense, but folks tell me it was pretty bad.

That first half was one of the most disorganized and scrambley halves I have ever seen between these two teams. The conditions made it just impossible to play much soccer in early portion of the match. If you hit the ball along the ground it died in the mud, and if you hit in the air, no one had a real clue where it was going.

That is what makes Donovan’s contribution to the first goal so astounding. His header to get that ball where Bradley could finish was immensely difficult. The folks behind who spent the entire match saying what a wussie Donovan is ought to remember that.

I thought everyone on the US played well with the exception of Pearce. His defense was merely average while his interplay with Beasley was hugely inconsistent.

I’ll have more to say tomorrow once I get back to DC and get a chance to watch the tape.


2 thoughts on “Qualifying begins in the best possible way – 2-0, yet again

  1. From watching the game on the television, Donovan was hanging out around the far side of the 6 yard box when the corner was taken, then ran into position to head the ball back into the center where Gooch was able to connect.
    Bradley just happened to be in the right place at the right time to put the rebound into the net.

    As for Marquez’s red, at full speed you don’t really notice anything. Marquez and Howard both jump for the ball, and when Marquez realizes he doesn’t have the advantage he turns his back. Unfortunately for him, he also decided to try and take a chunk our Howard’s legs with the studs of his cleats.

    The obvious man the match was clearly Bradley. But I think Hejduk had an outstanding match. His tackles were spot on. He may have lost a step or two, but he’s still a phenomenal defender… better than Cherundolo on many occasions.

  2. Nice post, but regarding Donovan and the 1st goal, more credit should go to Beasley who hit a great corner (long and with big swerve) right to LD’s noggin.

    And LD didn’t head to Bradley, but to Onyewu. Bradley got the rebound.

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