Monday, March 26, 2012

US Collapse Out of Olympic Qualifying

Well Saturday and Monday in Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park just got a little less interesting for quite a few fans in KC. Tonight in Nashville, in epic fashion, the US U23 team drew with El Salvador 3-3 on a goal in the 95th minute of the game after some very poor clock management by the US team.

The US were handed a lifeline to avoid Mexico in Kansas City earlier in the night, when Cuba got a shocking draw with Canada, meaning with a win the US would win the group. The US grabbed the lead inside the first few minutes through Terrance Boyd and the US looked set for a good win to win their group. As with the rest of the tournament though, the US central defense and goalkeeping let the US down and in a matter of a few minutes in the middle of the half the US were down 2-1 to El Salvador.

In the second half the US looked better, and El Salvador sat back and started to bunker, a tactic that actually kept the USA's poor defense out of the eye. And finally the US was able to break down the El Salvador bunker, mainly through Freddy Adu. Adu set up Boyd for a second and shortly later set up Joe Corona to give the US the lead. The US tried to kill the game off and looked like they had. But as the 4 minute mark of stoppage time hit, Brek Shea won a ball in the US' end and instead of sending the ball into row Z at the opposite end of the field tried to play Boyd and gave the ball away. Then as El Salvador attacked, the US defense stepped back allowing space and a routine shot that Sean Johnson should have saved, hit off his hands and into the net giving El Salvador a draw, sending them to Kansas City and the US home in embarrassing fashion.

For those like me, that have already bought tickets for Saturday and Monday, good luck getting rid of them. With KU in the Final 4 that day, you're going to struggle to find someone willing to buy those tickets.

In Sporting KC related news, Teal Bunbury was an unused sub in the game and will now return to Kansas City to play with Sporting.

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