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US 2 Canada 1, Gold Cup 2007 Semifinal

A match that the US seemed to have control of after scoring two first-half goals became a little too interesting after a nice goal by Canada and a poor decision by Michael Bradley. Bradley’s studs-up, from behind tackle on Julian deGuzman was foolish and fully deserved the tarjeta rojo from the Mexican referee. It was a shame because Bradley had an excellent match; he covered tons of ground and distributed well. It is also a shame that Frankie Hejduk will miss the final after getting a yellow for reacting to a weak DeRosario head-butt. Hejduk has had an excellent tournament and he always plays well against Mexico. Guadelope is giving El Tri all they can handle at the moment though so perhaps we will be facing the tiny French overseas department that is a member of the EU!

The Canucks were unlucky to not send the game to extra time after scoring in stoppage time; the referee’s assistant incorrectly judged the goalscorer to be off-side. Not a fun way to win for sure.

How I feel now reminds me of how I felt after coaching a high school playoff match with my dad. After a rough start to the season, we moved our best player to sweeper. He hated playing as the last defender, but recognized it was best for the team and thus accepted his fate. His frustration boiled over, however, in the 2nd half of our playoff match while we were leading 1-0. After a nice tackle, he briefly tangled with our opponent’s striker. Next thing I know the sweeper lands a left hook on the guy’s cheek and knocks him to the ground, then breaks the kid’s rib with a kick. Thankfully the beating stopped because the striker never fought back. After the game, one of the (American) football coaches congratulated me on the win and said: “Hey, they don’t ask how…just how many.” Unfortunately this view was polar opposite to mine. Next match we lost 3-0 and I retired from high school coaching.

donnaj923 said,

June 30, 2007 @ 9:47 pm

In the defense for celebrating the win, the game should have been over before the play ever happened. I have noticed in soccer (futbol, whatever) as you have made me watch over the years, that things have a way of balancing out. A bad decision for a red card here gets countered with a questionable red for the other team. A bad call and missed penalty gets countered with a few gimmees later in the game. So, in this case the balance seemed to be, way too much stoppage time and then a poor off-side call for a no-goal for Canada. The Canucks can be upset and we can not feel great about the win, or we can be happy to move through and consider it a balanced game in the end.

Andrew said,

June 30, 2007 @ 9:48 pm

Great point mysterious lady, Donna J. The yin and the yang of the beautiful game, I buy it.

Where did the 4 minutes of stoppage time come from? I think the refs were just lazy and since Mastroeni was the last sub, they said – hey, he’s #4, let”s just leave that and play 4 minutes of stoppage time.

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