Monday, June 12, 2006

Scattered, Smothered, Covered, Chunked, Topped, Diced, Peppered

That's what the Czechs did to us today. They treated us like a side of hashbrowns.

The Awful Waffle is known for its heart-stopping hashbrowns, and the U.S. Mens National Team is now known for its heart-stopping play (as in, all its fans drop dead from horror).

How can the U.S. team's performance today be described?

Complete disarray. Atrocious. Zero organization. Zero urgency. No movement off the ball. The U.S. players should have at least pretended to want to be there. Where was the defense in their own 3rd? I'm talking about the midfielders, here. Reyna and whoever else was in the middle. Where were they?

Everyone deserves blame, here, including the coach. Arena never let a midfield get together before opening day - against the 2nd best team in the world. It was a gamble, and he lost.

Eddie Johnson was good. Wolf was OK. Convey played badly - couldn't get a single cross in front of the goalmouth. Beasley played very poorly, too - usually one of my favorites. He can't play again if he's to play like that - horribly sloppy, continually giving the ball away - as were most of the U.S. team.

That said, our defense, while making a couple of crucial mistakes, didn't stand a chance. We had no offense whatsoever. No movement off the ball will absolutely kill any defense. And it did today.

Pavel Nedved is amazing. He's still crazy fast. All the retirement talk is just that. He's the most impressive player of the tournament thus far - even moreso than Rosicky, who put away two against the U.S. Anyone could have done that - the U.S. essentially invited him to take close-range shots.

A truly horrible day for U.S. soccer. A major blot on what has been an up-and-coming national program. The 3-0 scoreline is essentially meaningless, except that it starts to hint at the horrific scene that played out on screens all over the world. The score could easily have been 6 or 7-0 - we got extremely lucky it wasn't worse. A shameful display by all involved. Absolutely shameful.

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