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Olympic Qualifying Continues

As short-handed Cuba prepares to play Honduras tonight (5:30 p.m., ESPN Deportes), Fab Freddy and the Americans will vie for their first victory later against Panama (8 p.m. Fox Soccer Channel, ESPN Deportes).

Pregame, in-game and postgame thoughts are encouraged. Giddyup.

Cuba starts its match with 10 players.

Honduras wins, 2-0, with a pair of second-half goals against a Cuban team that went all 90 minutes with 10 players. The Hondurans are in control of the group with two victories and need only a tie in their finale against the United States on Saturday to lock up first place.

From the USA match.....

*Peter Nowak's lineup changes paid off, and the energy and urgency were refreshing.
*Stuart Holden was outstanding on the flank, Dax McCarty covered a lot of ground for the second straight game and Michael Orozco showed his quality in the back.
*Freddy Adu is the boy among men, and I mean that in a good way -- most influential technical player on the pitch and a clinical penalty kick. Jozy Altidore showed a menacing quality, but did not produce much outside the PK call.
*Brian Dunseth was a pleasant surprise and a huge upgrade over Paul Caligiuri as color commentator on the FSC coverage. If only his voice was deeper.
*I was almost prepared to say Christian Miles was tolerable, but his baffling comments and mispronounciations wrecked my night again. Sal Zizzo is a "Bundesliga star"? Freddy "AY-doo"? It's Ah-doo. Bob Bradley needs to fast track Holden for U.S. citizenship for senior national team duty? Huh? He's eligible for the under-23 team but not the senior squad? Am I missing something?

So it comes to this: USA needs to beat Honduras on Saturday evening to claim first place and, presumably, avoid Mexico in the semifinals. Then again, after watching Mexico tie middling Canada, let's see how the matches in the other group transpire Friday before charting the Americans' course.

By Steve Goff  |  March 13, 2008; 5:31 PM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Next: Morning Kickaround

Comments

Does Cuba only have 10 players for this game?

Posted by: Mark | March 13, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

At least Cuba's coach doesn't have to worry about substitutions. What are the chances that, at the opening kickoff, the remaining 11 bolt en masse back through the tunnel and seek asylum? Prediction: Honduras 1, Cuba 0 (Forfeit)

Posted by: Hmmm | March 13, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know of a way to follow Honduras-Cuba online? Ditto for Atlante-Saprissa later on tonight. Why, oh why, are there not matchtrackers at the CONCACAF site?

Also, is it true that since Cuba only brought 18 players, they will have to play a man down from the get-go (seven defections plus one red card)?

Posted by: tri-village | March 13, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

As long as the current regime exists in Cuba and the U.S. maintains its now decades old policy toward it, I doubt you will ever see Cuban teams play in this country again. Thats a shame as athletic competition is one of the few opportunities that exist for both countries to actually deal with each other somewhat normally. As has been discussed on other threads, the U23s will have to win out with positive goal differential.

Posted by: sbg | March 13, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Damn it Nowak...

Posted by: Phillip | March 13, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

As long as the current regime exists in Cuba and the U.S. maintains its now decades old policy toward it, I doubt you will ever see Cuban teams play in this country again. Thats a shame as athletic competition is one of the few opportunities that exist for both countries to actually deal with each other somewhat normally. As has been discussed on other threads, the U23s will have to win out with positive goal differential.

Posted by: sbg | March 13, 2008 05:58 PM
==========================================

Cuban teams will continue to play in this country because they have little choice. In fact, the senior MNT may be here on WC qualifying business later this year.

Actually, there are few scenarios in which goal differential would matter, but that is too complicated to get into here.

Posted by: tri-village | March 13, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Dammit. If an American organized this tournament, he would have scheduled the US-Cuba match last so that we would face a 3-man team.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 13, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

DCU v. HV game is replaying on FSC now.

Posted by: td | March 13, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Damn it Nowak...

Posted by: Phillip | March 13, 2008 06:12 PM
==========================================

Huh???

Posted by: tri-village | March 13, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Well I guess the MLS will be able to pick up a couple of the better players from the Cuban team. I'm not sue who all the defectors are, but several players are quite talented and I am sure an MLS team would be inclined to add them.

Posted by: Ted | March 13, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Instead of asking questions about why Cuba is starting with 10, why not read the link that Goff posted? Duh...

Posted by: CY | March 13, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I hate to sound like a typical complaining American, but this really feels like a sham that we had to play Cuba at full strength and Honduras/Panama will almost essentially get byes.

Euro snob reaction: Oh boohoo America! For once a competition wasn't rigged in your favor!

Eh, fair enough.

Posted by: DCUMD | March 13, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

I really didn't see any MLS-caliber talent on the Cuban team, Ted. Our atrocious finishing made the keeper look good, and none of the rest of their players really stood out. That makes the 1-1 draw that much more frustrating.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | March 13, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I hear you in regards to the team but several players e.g their #9 and #10 were quite goo but you are right the team not so good. I don't know maybe better with 10.

Posted by: Ted | March 13, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

quite good that is

Posted by: Ted | March 13, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Instead of asking questions about why Cuba is starting with 10, why not read the link that Goff posted? Duh...

Posted by: CY | March 13, 2008 06:41 PM
==========================================

Perhaps we did read the link that Goff posted. It did *not* explicitly say that Cuba would be starting with 10 men. That inference requires information beyond what was in the link (e.g., that Cuba started the tournament with 18 players, rather than 19 or 20). We were looking for confirmation of this additional information.

Also, only people who are watching the game on TV (which most of us aren't) know for a fact whether they are playing with 10 men or 11 or whatever. If anyone is actually watching the game at this time, the rest of us would appreciate that information, as well as any other information (such as updates on the scoring).

Posted by: tri-village | March 13, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Would like to see this starting line up:
-----Altidore------Davies-----------
--------------Adu-------------------
Dax-----------Edu-------------Holden
Orozco----Stugis---Ianni-----Hill or wynne

Posted by: JAV | March 13, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

If U-23 struggles again, Peter should step back, and hand the team to Bradley maybe.

Posted by: JAV | March 13, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Dont worry Robbie Rogers and Benny, you will make it on the next squad, well thats if we qualify

Posted by: JAV | March 13, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

How about Alvarez as well. I am just amazed Alvarez or Gaven is he kidding?

Posted by: Ted | March 13, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

cuba looks like they're down to 9 men, with 5 minutes to go. one of their guys just went off. their keeper was down for a while too but he stayed in.

it's actually a bit worse than them getting byes cause they have the chance to run up the score and help their goal differential.

Posted by: pat | March 13, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Dont worry Robbie Rogers and Benny, you will make it on the next squad, well thats if we qualify

Posted by: JAV | March 13, 2008 07:10 PM
==========================================

Maybe, but the competition will be stiff. It is very likely that two members of the current squad will be displaced by Bradley fils and Szetela. Feilhaber and Rogers would have to supplant a third and fourth player.

Also, does anyone know how many players will be on the roster for China? If it is 23, then the 20 guys in Tampa, plus Feilhaber/Rogers/Bradley/Szetela/whoever, will be competing for 20 slots (allowing for three seniors). If it is 22 or fewer, the competition will be that much more intense.

Posted by: tri-village | March 13, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

it's actually a bit worse than them getting byes cause they have the chance to run up the score and help their goal differential.

Posted by: pat | March 13, 2008 07:20 PM
==========================================

Does this mean that you know what the score is? If so, please share it with the rest of us, because there don't seem to be any good online sources of real-time information.

Posted by: tri-village | March 13, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Honduras wins, 2-0.

Posted by: Goff | March 13, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Why don't they have people sitting on the side that the camera will see?

Posted by: sitruc | March 13, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

bummer - christian miles for the second night in a row.

Posted by: pat | March 13, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

if the US wins tonight doesn't that mean we're through?

Posted by: mk | March 13, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

if the US wins tonight doesn't that mean we're through?

Posted by: mk | March 13, 2008 08:09 PM
=========================================

There is one scenario in which Cuba beats Panama by a large margin and goes through on goal differential, but I'd sooner put my money on pigs flying.

Posted by: tri-village | March 13, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

If the US wins tonight doesn't that mean we're through?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 13, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

The matchtracker at ussoccer.com seems to be on the fritz. Any play-by-play from people in front of a TV would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by: tri-village | March 13, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Somebody needs to tell Miles and Dunseth that it is alright to just not talk for a few seconds here and there. They are just repeating the same stuff over and over again.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 13, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

The Newbies...

Orozco --> Solid defending, decent on the ball, long balls need to be less lofted and more driven.

Gaven: Tricky and dangerous when on the ball, needs to be more active, room to improve on his crossing.

Klejstan: Typical, has his moments, but lacks consistency.

Wynne: What a joke. Are there any spots left on the US track team for Beijing 2008?

Posted by: AT | March 13, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Freddy Edu scores on the PK. Huh? His name isn't Edu, it's Adu?

Posted by: sitruc | March 13, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Goal USA!!! 1-0 PK by Adu, Altidore fouled by keeper on a breakaway

Posted by: Cyrus | March 13, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

sitruc, it's ridiculous, he clearly said it Edu, when it's Adu. That was pretty bad.

Posted by: Cyrus | March 13, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Halftime
US 1 Panama 0

Posted by: sitruc | March 13, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Wynne, in my opinion, has performed better than Hill when he moves up front. Orozco looks very solid. Altidore's had some tough touches, but did well to draw the PK. Dax isn't playing bad, but should improve in the second half.
Half Time USA 1:0 Panama

Posted by: Cyrus | March 13, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I can't tell you completely underwhelmed I am with this current team right now.

Yes, they are winning 1-0 at the half, but it was the only shot they got on goal the entire half. And yes, Panama is putting numbers behind the ball the midfield trio of Gaven, McCarty and Kjlestan are too slow (both slow of foot and slow in passing). The quickness of both Cuba and Panama is striking and is keeping those teams close.

Peter Nowak is doing a terrible job with this team right now. I have no idea what he is trying to do.

Posted by: A Rickey | March 13, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Orozco looks solid in the back.

Posted by: Phillip | March 13, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

He has been saying Edu instead of Adu all night.

Posted by: sitruc | March 13, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Adu was too effective last game as an attacking midfielder, so Nowak had to move him to forward...

Posted by: RB | March 13, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

This "Adu" announcer should be lashed mercilessly. it's a fact. you can look it up.

Posted by: Paul | March 13, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I hope they gave some sort of prize to the 4,260th person through the turnstiles.

Posted by: tri-village | March 13, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

marvel wynne for worst right back ever, seriously i understand this guy is a physical wonder. But when will the US youth program realize that physical talent does not equal technical talent. I am sorry but the US needs to develop players with some technical ability. Wynne slows the play down with 5 six touches every time in the back. Awful. when playing against a 4-5-1 the d needs to swing the ball as quickly as possible, something wynne cant do.

Posted by: a left back | March 13, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

UGLY tackle on Freddy just outside the 18. Not sure how that wasn't even a yellow card. (We miss on the free kick.)

I don't know. I really expected to see more from this squad under Nowak. They don't look especially dangerous outside of Adu. Altidore has barely been noticeable.

Posted by: jva | March 13, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

eddie gaven-out
sal zizzo-in

Posted by: Cyrus | March 13, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

"sitruc, it's ridiculous, he clearly said it Edu, when it's Adu. That was pretty bad."

A bit nit-picky, are we? How distinct can one be?

Posted by: Glaucon | March 13, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I was agreeing with sitruc. I don't think pointing that out is being nit picky, it's really annoying and the announcer keeps saying it incorrectly.

Posted by: Cyrus | March 13, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

The ussoccer.com matchtracker froze up again at about the 70-minute mark. Has anything happened since then?

Posted by: tri-village | March 13, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

still 1-0 US in 87.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 13, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

is it still going?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 13, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

in extra time

Posted by: Anonymous | March 13, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

1-0 USA

Posted by: gone final | March 13, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Holy SH**!! W actually won? after Cuba I am amazed.

Posted by: gilbert | March 13, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

thanks for the update, sincerely, tv challenged

Posted by: paul | March 13, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad that match is finally over. US wins 1-0 with a Freddy PK.

What was the ugliest part of that game?
a) officiating
b) announcing
c) Panama play
d) US play
e) other

Posted by: sitruc | March 13, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

f) all of the above.


Posted by: how about f? | March 13, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

how did we win the penalty kick? was it deserved?

Posted by: jack | March 13, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

What is wrong with this team? Simple. The coach. Clearly these coaches have no clue. In fact they ruin the team. I don't undertand why they brought Novak and Bradley into important roles. They jsut screw everything up. Wake up US Soccer Front Office.

Posted by: td | March 13, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Did you listen to FSC, Glaucon? There was no difference in how he said Adu and Edu. Adu was pronounced how Maurice Edu's name is normally said. Maybe it's not a problem for you, but they were both on the field.

Posted by: sitruc | March 13, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

What is wrong with this team? Simple. The coach. Clearly these coaches have no clue. In fact they ruin the team. I don't undertand why they brought Novak and Bradley into important roles. They jsut screw everything up. Wake up US Soccer Front Office.

Posted by: td | March 13, 2008 10:03 PM
==========================================

Whom would you prefer (and would be affordable to U.S. Soccer)?

Posted by: tri-village | March 13, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Jozy was on a breakaway past two defenders and the Panama goal keeper tripped him after Jozy was able to touch the ball past him. It was a legit PK. I'm going back to focusing on conference championship basketball...

Posted by: sitruc | March 13, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

All of the above.

Posted by: What? | March 13, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Not distinguishing between Edu and Adu is not a small issue. It causes confusion because one was playing in defense and one was playing up front/on the wing. He must also be about the only person to not know how to pronounce Freddy's last name. He must have missed the memo about Freddy that came out 4 years ago when he came onto the scene.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 13, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

My wife got sick of me yelling about Edu/Adu. How about on the goal, and he says Freddu EEEEDU! Unbelievable.

Posted by: RK | March 13, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

The best way to avoid breaking your "Mute" button is to turn to ESPN Deportes. Fernando Palomo and Gio Savarese (in Tampa), and Ciro Procuna and Rafa Puente (in Carson) have done really solid job. I know it's in Spanish but, at least Adu is Adu and Edu is Edu and they keep the proper rhythm without going over the top.
(Disclaimer time: Yes I work for ESPN Deportes as well, but if they sucked, trust me, I wouldn't plug them.)
As for the game, Michael Orozco was solid tonite, if he keeps this up there is no reason not to give him a shot with the Nats in the future, especially if one considers there is a HUGE void on the left side of defense right now.

Posted by: Roberto | March 13, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Fox should extend Wynalda an offer he can't refuse. Undiplomatic as he often is, Wynalda at least does his homework and knows what he's talking about.

Posted by: Dick | March 13, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

An offer he can't refuse? They could just invite him over to watch one of his matches and he'd work for them.

Posted by: sitruc | March 13, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Christian Miles needs to go back to that weekend preview show he does AND STAY THERE.

I'm gonna go way out on a limb by giving him a weee bit of benefit of the doubt and assume that the USMNT's media guide, which as a professional I HAVE to assume Miles would have read, did not include a pronunciation guide for Freddy's last name.

Posted by: Juan-John | March 13, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Miles also said Zizzo lacked pace; Zizzo is probably one of the fastest people on the team.

Posted by: pat | March 13, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Any word on the Atlante score... or where I can look it up?

Posted by: jk | March 13, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Livescore.com has Atlante/Saprissa at 1-1 in the 49th.

Posted by: Alexandria | March 14, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Folks, I have a copy of an old commercial done by Freddy, one of those intro-to-MLS-players things, and in it, he clearly pronounces his name Ay-du to rhyme with Hay-doo.

Now, I don't think Miles knows this, and I definitely don't know why he changed his pronunciation halfway through the broadcast, but there's definitely some confusion out there.

Posted by: Matt Mathai | March 14, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

It is amazing that Miles can't pronounce Adu's name -- and worse still, because he has noted the similiarity to Edu's name, while he blurs the difference.

I give him some credit for liking Holden. I've been in love with this guy (as a soccer player -- a man crush kind of thing) since I first saw him play. I think he brings attributes that the national team has always lacked, with pace and derring-do.

However, he needs to develop more touch and precision with his kicks and passes. He plays a little out of control -- he made some horrendous errors against Gamba Osaka last month. There is room for improvement with Holden --- but, he's young. This is a guy who should be getting some senior national team time, in short order.

Speaking of out of control...Dax McCarty. He was all over the field all right, but he plays like a human wrecking ball. He's a yellow/red card waiting to happen.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | March 14, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Totally agree on your commentary about the commentary. Maybe the Aydoo was because he otherwise could keep straight the difference with Edu...drove me nuts.

Warning...stay away from BigSoccer's Youth National Teams board (although some have sneaked on here). I saw a pretty hopeful game played by US players.

They apparently saw nothing that didn't deserve criticism.

I do agree, however, with some of the concern above about our lack of finishing...hell, what am I talking about...our lack of shots.

Also, I thought it was a pretty well reffed match. Why can't we do the same thing with MLS refs that we do with MLS teams...import some non-US refs to improve our reffing 'game'?

Posted by: seahawkdad | March 14, 2008 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Just to continue on the "Christian Miles is absolute crap who knows absolutely nothing and doesn't do his homework" theme, Holden was sworn in as a citizen over a year ago. You can see a picture of it on the Texian Army website. And for anyone unfamiliar, this isn't a David Regis situation, Stuey has lived in Houston since he was very young, something like 3 years old.

Posted by: dillon | March 14, 2008 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Just to continue on the "Christian Miles is absolute crap who knows absolutely nothing and doesn't do his homework" theme, Holden was sworn in as a citizen over a year ago. You can see a picture of it on the Texian Army website. And for anyone unfamiliar, this isn't a David Regis situation, Stuey has lived in Houston since he was very young, something like 3 years old.

Posted by: dillon | March 14, 2008 1:09 AM | Report abuse

"Did you listen to FSC, Glaucon? There was no difference in how he said Adu and Edu. Adu was pronounced how Maurice Edu's name is normally said. Maybe it's not a problem for you, but they were both on the field."

Posted by: sitruc | March 13, 2008 10:05 PM

While the unclear distinction is irksome, get used to it. Edu is too close to Adu to not get them mixed up. It'd be one thing if the first syllables in their respected names were accented. Perhaps commentators should just go with "Freddy" and "Maurice?"

Posted by: Glaucon | March 14, 2008 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Matt Mathai, I was wondering if it was a Sharapova/Colbert type thing.
It was strange and I did notice Miles did change his pronunciation a little at half.
Did you listen to FSC, Glaucon?

Posted by: sitruc | March 14, 2008 1:45 AM | Report abuse

Fire Miles!!!;)

Posted by: andrew | March 14, 2008 1:48 AM | Report abuse

To seahawkdad -- There's some pretty bad officiating everywehere you go. Did you see Chelsea-Barnsley? The all-time worst offsides call ever.

John Terry got behind the defense, as the pass came to him on the right side of the goal box. The linesman signalled offsides, and the ref blew the play dead. Only problem was, there was a Barnsley defender on the goal line, guarding the post.

Sure, our officials stink. So does almost everybody else's refs.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | March 14, 2008 1:56 AM | Report abuse

There is no reason for me to be awake right now, but it looks like HVFC may be missing two players when they face United at RFK because of visa problems.

Posted by: sitruc | March 14, 2008 4:17 AM | Report abuse

Fisch, I'll echo your Holden sentiments -- I really fell in love with his play as he got more PT last year (unfortunately, sustaining an injury, too).

Posted by: RK | March 14, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

td, please take your overreactions to BigSoccer. It's annoying.

Posted by: RK | March 14, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

The reports keep talking about Adu "making contact" with a Panamanian player.
People also "made contact" with Mike Tyson's fist... but it was never written that way.
A quick look at a replay would have made that clear...
It was a low-class punch by whoever that Panamanian player was.

Posted by: Jake H | March 14, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Favorite Milesism of the game (heard at least twice) - "This is the first US win in Olympic qualifying since February 2004." Hardly stunning since they only contest the Olympics every four years.

Posted by: BillyBob | March 14, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

UEFA Champions League Draw

Arsenal vs. Liverpool
Fenerbahce vs. Chelsea

Schalke 04 vs. Barcelona
Roma vs Manchester United

Posted by: Red Devil | March 14, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Seriously, I could care less about the pronunciation of everyone's name. The only thing I care about are results. We won, thank god. I am distraught though about so few scoring opportunities that we are creating. I do think it is due to some of our other reliable players not playing on this team. Regardless, I have been very impressed with the play of Stuart Holden, Freddy Adu, and Dax McCarthy. All of them have been playing like studs. Jozy did well last night, but he needs better service. Plus I am not sure if I like him in the position as a target forward. I like him when he plays with the ball at his feet. To be honest he reminds me of a younger Ibrahimovich (sp?). Now we need to turn it up another notch aginst Honduras, and qualify for the stinking Olympics.

Posted by: DC United Fan | March 14, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Whats with the Nowak bashing? Give the guy a break. Clearly last night was a better performance that only lacked on the offensive side. The back and midfield were much stronger than they were against Cuba. Plus, I think that Nowak held his best 11 for games #2 and #4 so that he has his top guys fresh for the all-important semi-final game.

Posted by: BK | March 14, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I sure admire the skill and vision of that Freddy whatever-his-name-is. But has he always flopped and gesticulated with such histrionics, or is that something he's perfecting in Europe? I don't enjoy watching that. The whole business with the stretcher in mens' soccer is a farce. One reason the stands remain empty . . . .

Posted by: WNT fan | March 14, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Gavin should not be on the field. Were he better, 2 more balls would be in the back of the net for the US.

Posted by: You're kidding, right? | March 14, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you yet again, WNT.

American football players battle through torn ligaments, concussions and broken bones to play a game. No American football player would dare been seen carried off on a stretcher if he could limp his way off.

Not so with too many professional soccer players. They're often waiving their hands for the medical staff before they've hit the ground. It's bloody embarrasing at times.

Fortunately, it's not often the case with MLS. But with Serie A, La Liga and any Mexican or South American league, it's standard operating procedure. I say: man up!

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 14, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Adu may be learning that in the Portuguese league where it is very common. It's unfortunate because their is no need for it and should be stamped out.

Posted by: Red Devil | March 14, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

----->American football players battle through torn ligaments, concussions and broken bones to play a game. No American football player would dare been seen carried off on a stretcher if he could limp his way off.

Yes, but they aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer, are they?

Posted by: Eric in Baltimore | March 14, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

WNT fan and Joe Doc, you do realize Freddy took a good shot from a Panamanian player to make him go down, right? There is diving and overreacting in the game to draw fouls or to take breaks, but that seemed pretty legitimate especially since the scenario was so unexpected by Adu. Also, I've seen plenty of football players go down just to save timeouts so it definitely does exist in football as well. I remember one of the announcers saying something about Freddy learning from Europeans when he put his hands on his head... Freddy was called for offside in that case and it appeared he was onside.
I don't normally defend needing medical attention for everything or histrionics, but Freddy's actions didn't seem overdone to me. Now if the complaint had been about Davies going down too easily the first few times he was fouled in the first match...

Posted by: sitruc | March 14, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I doubt that any US WNT player past or present would be carried off either, if they could get off under their own power, and their IQ surely would not suffer in comparison with the U-23 men. (And why is it that American soccer fans always have to denigrate the intelligence of American non-soccer athletes? Do you really think EPL or La Liga players are "sharper" than the NFL or the NBA?)

Re Freddy -- yes he took a shot. You go down, you get up. If you're hurt, you stay down. And the business with the arms out, palms up, looking around in amazement at the ref's call -- very Italian -- I'd rather not see it in a US uniform. One of the appealling things about the game is that it can foster a national style of play. I'd rather that not be ours; just my point of view.

Posted by: WNT fan | March 14, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Holden was the man of the match. he was all over the field effective and aggressive.

Posted by: JAV | March 14, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Also think Edu is a great player, he can play defense, midfield, and maybe eve offense.

Posted by: JAV | March 14, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Still think that Gaven should have been replace by Robbie Rogers. And Benny would have done a better job of controlling the ball in the midfield than Dax or Sacha. They both were passing the ball to the Panamanians. I would say one pass would be good the second pass was going to the opposited team

Posted by: JAV | March 14, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Good Backfield except for Marvell that was a little shakey in the first half. But other than that they played well. I liked how Stugis move foward to help, and i think he did a better job than Freeman.

Posted by: JAV | March 14, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

When players go down and roll around a lot, it's normally not that bad. Freddy didn't roll around. He did what you said and stayed down. He then received help and was helped off the field. He then took his time to recover on the sideline. This isn't what I planned on re-watching the game for, but I'll watch player reactions next time. I remember Freddy with his hands on his head after the offside call. I don't remember the arms out and palms up. Regardless, while there are some things that are uniquely European, methods of complaining about officiating and bewilderment displayed by Americans last night was not European. Frankly, much is being made of nothing.
Also, Eric in Baltimore's comment was a joke. Football players have shown themselves to be smart enough to feign injury to receive timeouts and stoppage of play. ;)

Posted by: sitruc | March 14, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure that Nowak is the man for the job for the U23 squad, but to insinuate that Bradley hasn't done a solid job with the Men's side is just asinine.

Posted by: AlecW81 | March 14, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

can Nowak and Bradley please ditch the 4-5-1 that isolates Altidore up top? The U-23 and Nats need to find a compliment to Altidore who is willing to do the dirty work unselfishly and paid with him up top. Instead Jozy needs to do the dirty work and create his own pass/change via nutmegs 1v3 and so on

Posted by: glove | March 14, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Miles was horrific.

Posted by: seattle | March 14, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

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