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US 2 Spain 0, 2009 Confederations Cup Semifinal

Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images

It is hard to imagine the US playing better than it did against Spain in the Confederations Cup semifinal.  We all knew it would take 100% commitment to compete with the heavily favored, unfairly talented Spain team that had not lost in 35 matches and 100% commitment is what we got.  Pictured above, Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey scored goals on each side of half-time to propel the US to the first final of a major competition open to the world’s best.  In post-match posts I typically rate the performances of players and personnel or tactical moves of the manager.  For every player who played, 1-14, I only have the highest respect and praise for what they accomplished.  This is the team we love to love, why we are fanatics.  I’ll let the headlines from around the world (most via the USMNT blog) tell the rest of the story.

From Spain
Marca
“Humble Pie” (print version)
http://www.marca.com/multimedia/primeras/09/06/0625.html

“The Yankees bring us down from the clouds”
no link available

“Shipwreck on the United States Coast” (online version)
http://www.marca.com/marcador/futbol/2009/copa_confederaciones/semifinal/spa_usa/

El Pais
“The Party’s Over”
http://www.elpais.com/articulo/deportes/Fin/fiesta/elpepudep/20090624elpepudep_10/Tes

El Mundo
“The U.S. Destroys the Spanish legend”
http://www.elmundo.es/elmundodeporte/2009/06/24/futbol/1245862885.html

“Yes They Can!” (headline in English)
http://www.elmundo.es/elmundodeporte/especiales/2008/08/liga/blogs/elcortadordecesped.html

From Around the World….
La Cronica (Mexico)
“Made In USA” (headline in English)
http://www.cronica.com.mx/especial.php?id_nota=441076&id_tema=1284

Gazeta (Brazil)
“The Miracle Workers from the U.S. Appear Once Again and Eliminate ‘The Fury’”
http://www.gazetaesportiva.net/nota/2009/06/24/585569.html

L’Equipe (France)
“The American Dream”
http://www.lequipe.fr/Football/breves2009/20090624_231919_le-reve-americain.html

Sky Sports (England)
“USA Stuns Spain to Make Final”
http://www.skysports.com/football/match_report/0,19764,11065_3152727,00.html

Clarin (Argentina)
“The United States Shocks the World of Football and Takes Down Spain”
http://www.clarin.com/diario/2009/06/24/um/m-01945348.htm

The New York Times
“US Victory Was a Miracle on Grass”
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/25/sports/soccer/25vecsey1.html?_r=1

My only harsh words come for the a-hole referee who sent off Michael Bradley for one foul with less than five minutes remaining; that’s right, it was his only freaking foul of the game.  There was no call for the red card.  The Spaniards and Americans alike were shocked.  It means Bradley will again miss the final match for the US in a huge tournament.  In the Gold Cup he was rightfully ejected in the dying moments for a nasty tackle against Julian DeGuzman.  In the Olympics he appeared to intentionally get a second caution when qualification for the second round was all but solidified before Holland scored in the final moments of the game.   Bradley has been awesome all tournament.  He will be hugely missed against Brazil on Sunday.

Bips said,

June 26, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

When US plays in other than friendlies, I stand for the National Anthem. When the team needs me, I stand wherever I am watching the game. Altidore and Dempsey brought tears to my eyes; the referee brought bile to my stomach.
Bradley will be missed, but with one misfortune comes an opportunity for a player to rise. I agree with your blog that you could not single out one player to be man of the match. Every American played like it would be his last game. What a difference from earlier games.
Jim Rome is an ill-informed, self-serving, narcisstic, opinionated [fill-in-the-blank] with regards to his comments after the game. Steve Young and Eric Wynalda were not wrong.
Don’t Tread on Me. The Yanks are Coming. Go U.S.A.

crank said,

June 26, 2009 @ 4:26 pm

re: Jim Rome
Does he really know much about Soccer? Is he a fair weather fan? has he EVER cared about USA soccer before this moment? Doubt it.

Bips said,

June 26, 2009 @ 9:09 pm

Retraction.
It was not Steve Young, but Jim Everett whom Rome offended. http://www.faniq.com/video/Everett-attacks-Jim-Rome-YouTube-6280,3,95172/user_recent
My apologies to Young and (sic) Rome.

Andrew said,

June 27, 2009 @ 9:06 am

Jim Rome hates soccer. Good for him. It is a shame he came on right after the US/Spain match. He is the kind of talking head I dislike in sports and politics alike, the kind that just tries to rile people up and create controversy.

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