Monday, July 02, 2007

USA has same problems as Wizards

One day after the Wizards shot the ball 25 times, but only scored once, the US Men's National team has 12 shots, but were only able to score once, as the US lost to Paraguay 3-1 in their second Copa America match. Ray Hudson said it best during the game broadcast, "Finishing is everything, the rest is just gossip." The US played a much better match then they did against Argentina in their opening match. The team was the same from the first game, except Sacha Kljestan replaced Justin Mapp, and Drew Moor replaced Marvell Wynne. The US had the majority of play, but some poor finishing from Kljestan, and Eddie Johnson unable to latch onto a long ball from Moor, the US was beginning to look like the Wizards. Then Paraguay grabbed the lead in the 30th minute.

To their credit, though, the US team did not give up, and in the 40th minute another long ball from Moor picked out Taylor Twellman, who laid the ball back to Ricardo Clark, who squared himself, and fired, beating Paraguay keeper Justo Villar at the near post. For the second game in a row, the US went into the half tied at 1 with their opponent.

In the second half, the US continued to have a good majority of the play, Johnson in particular played well, linking up well with the midfielders. The US though was unable to find a second goal to take the lead. Paraguay made them pay, as a poor back pass from Jonathan Bornstein was played too softly for Kasey Keller and too hard for Jimmy Conrad, and a lack of communication between the 3, Oscar Rene Cardozo made them pay, putting Paraguay up 2-1. After the goal, the US continued to pressure, Clark had a great shot saved by substitute goalie, Aldo Bobadilla. Mapp also had a great chance after coming in as a sub, but his chip went over the bar. The best chance, though, fell to Moor. After a long corner came out to Mapp on the far side, Mapp put in a fantastic cross, as the Paraguayan defenders seemed to seperate away from Moor, who was alone on the 6. Moor, though, put his header right into the hands of Bobadilla. Then late in the game, the US conseded a third goal. Suprisingly though, the US is still alive to make the quarterfinals of the tournament. They'll need to beat Colombia first though and then hope.

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