USA wins in Mexico for first time ever, 1-0

The US women’s gold-medal winning team may have dominated American soccer headlines the past month, but the US men have just made a resounding statement of their own.  For the first time ever, the men’s national team has defeated Mexico on Mexican soil, thanks to late tally from Michael Orozco Fiscal.  The game-winner, which was created by a trio of US substitutes, silenced the crowd at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, leading to just the second non-defeat for the US in 25 matches played against its rivals in Mexico. [Read more…]

USA World Cup Group Stage Grades (Goalkeeper and Defenders)

The group stage of the 2010 World Cup is now over for the United States, and while the Yanks were three minutes from being eliminated, they will now advance to the knockout rounds. As the team prepares for Ghana on Saturday, TSB is grading each player on the team based on their performance in the group stages. Part One will look at the teams goalkeeper and defenders, and Part Two will look at the midfielders and forwards.

Goalkeepers:
Tim Howard: A. Yes, Timmy has let in three goals in the tournament, but those three were far more about lackadaisical defending than any goalkeeper error. Howard has been near spotless, coming up with huge saves in the first match against England and putting in assured performances against Slovenia and Algeria. In a tournament where we have seen many a goalkeeper gaffe, Howard is looking like one of the world’s best.
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Donovan’s stoppage-time goal puts Americans into knockout round (plus US player ratings)

donovan usa world cup

For 90 minutes, it looked like it was just not meant to be for the US national team in its must-win World Cup match against Algeria. Another slow start by the Yanks saw the Desert Foxes’ Rafik Djebbour hit the crossbar after six minutes, and although the Americans began to dominate the match, they could not find their much needed goal- or at least, a goal that would count.

The US once again had a goal disallowed, this time with Clint Dempsey’s tidy finish of a Herculez Gomez cross called offside in the 20th minute (the replays show Dempsey was even with the last defender). The US continued to push forward, but spurned chance after chance to score the winner. As the clock hit 90 minutes, the Americans were on the edge of a disastrous exit from South Africa.

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Slovenia player guarantees victory over the U.S.

landon donovan

Slovania’s midfielder Andrej Komac is quoted as saying “We will win this game. I have a good feeling.” Unfortunately for the United States, history is on Slovenia’s side. The U.S. is 3-10-3 against European teams in the group stage (0-2-2 in their last 4 games).

Slovenia is a small country, with a population the size of Houston, Texas. They gained independence in 1991 and won their first-ever World Cup game last Saturday against Algeria. Small country or not, any team that beats a team like Russia and qualifies out of Europe needs to be taken seriously.

by Justin Mertes-Mistretta

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World Cup Group C Preview: Can U.S. live up to their expectations?

jozy altidore

The U.S. national team is no longer considered an underdog. After beating Spain in the Confederations Cup last Summer, the U.S. has high expectations heading into the 2010 World Cup.

For a team with such high expectations, the United States are vastly inexperienced, especially up front. The player with the most caps (games played for a national team) out of all the forwards isn’t even able to drink a beer! Jozy Altidore is the man, or should I say the young adult, that I am talking about. I can just see it now: U.S. forward Jozy Altidore, cited for an underage drinking ticket in locker room celebration after World Cup victory. That would have to be a first.

Unfortunately, Altidore was hospitalized Thursday morning with a sprained ankle, but he has a full week to heal up. The U.S. better hope for a speedy recovery because the other forwards are Edson Buddle, Herculez Gomez and Robbie Findley. Air Bud has more World Cup experience than these guys. My gut feeling is that they will move Clint Dempsey (the only player to score for the U.S. in the ’06 World Cup) up top regardless of whether or not Altidore plays.

by Justin Mertes-Mistretta

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