In tonight’s World Cup qualifying match in Chicago there was never a doubt that the US would win against a Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) team that was lacking in confidence, effort, commitment and organization. Michael Bradley deftly flicked in a Landon Donovan set piece inside of 10 minutes and the US never looked back. From the first minute the US midfielders had time and space to play because T&T sat back so deep. ESPN commentator Shaka Hislop defended the low pressure, zone style defense by saying that it relieved the T&T players from having to track runs from the fast US midfielders from deep in the midfield. If the aim was to limit goals, to an extent the tactic worked as only one of the three goals came from the run of play. If the aim was to win, it failed miserably as T&T had severely limited possession and only generated one decent chance which came from a corner kick while it surrendered a bucketload of chances to the US. There were many factors that led to the US dominance, one being a flat, wide, well-lighted field–a luxury the US did not enjoy in its first two matches in less than ideal conditions in Guatemala and Cuba.
Archive for September, 2008
The historic match was played in Havana four days ago. It leaves the US with a perfect six points after two matches, both away. The score should have been three or four to nothing, but a win is a win.
ussoccer.com posted the Pro Zone analysis of the match which reinforced my impressions and will take the place of them since I am so late to the game. Beasley and Dempsey were bad. Onyewu and the defense were good.
Tonight the US has its first home qualifier; the opponent is Trinidad & Tobago and the match is being played in the Chicago Fire’s soccer-specific stadium, Toyota Park, in Bridgeview. The game is on ESPN2 at 8pm, hopefully in HD. Here’s hoping for more than one goal.