Sunday, June 19, 2011

USA 2-0 Jamaica and Other Gold Cup Stories

So Ilse and I attended today's Gold Cup doubleheader today at RFK. Approximate attendance figures (modified somewhat from an earlier private report to BFF):

Salvadorenos: 42,000
Americans: 6,000
Panamanians: 2,000
Jamaicans: 63

Holy crap was the place ever a sea of blue:
We were under the overhang, light was weird

Slightly less screwed up by glare
The theme of the day was diving for fun and profit. Last night's dive by Charlie Davies paled in comparison to the dive that the ineffably horrible Jermaine Jones took to get Jermaine Taylor red-carded in the 67th minute. I thought, looking at it live, that it was fishy; when I got home, we watched most of the replay on FSC and discovered that I was right. Taylor didn't touch Jones at all. There was absolutely no contact on the play, which appeared to the Mexican referee to be a leg-tangling professional foul.

I honestly don't understand why CONCACAF allows Mexican referees to handle US games, but it turned out that the guy was too inept to tilt things the way he clearly wanted to. It was one phantom foul after another against the US, but the biggest phantom of all played in our favor.

That said, Jermaine Jones was undoubtedly the man of the match, between his goal (it deflected off of...Jermaine Taylor, but Jones had too much on it for it to properly be called an own goal) and the egregious, criminal dive that sealed the deal. I'll take it, and it's true that it was Jones' best match of the tournament. That said, he's a fucking horrible person and I hate having him on the squad. His shot had no business going in, and he had an incredible number of bad touches to get to the one good one. I very much dislike seeing him up in the attack instead of Bradley (who has cooled considerably since two years ago), and his bad games have outnumbered his good ones. Hard to argue with his day, though.

The Jamaicans were off from the beginning. They managed a credible threat early, with the help of an AR who couldn't keep up with the play, but Timmy Tourettes saved the deal; after that, their offense was one sequence after another of stranding an increasingly frustrated Ryan Johnson on a desert island. The US was much sharper in every respect, and played a solid game all the way through.

Clint Dempsey, Clarence Goodson, Eric Lichaj, and Timmy Tourettes all looked very, very good; Alejandro Bedoya and Juan Agudelo were decent enough, and Maurice Edu and Landycakes looked very good in relief. Agudelo himself was early relief, as Jozy Altidore went down with a hammy, though we couldn't tell if it was the result of a hard challenge or if he was already hurting when he got whacked.

The ugly: Michael Bradley, who got dispossessed too easily at least a dozen times by my count (and who really, really isn't helped by his cancer patient look); Sacha Klestjan, who's just an assclown; and Steve Cherundolo, who seriously needs to consider a nursing home.

This will prove unpopular in my sect, but I have to say it: I like Bocanegra in the center, with Lichaj on the left. I wish wish wish that we had a right back to solve the Cherundolo problem, but it appears that we don't. Lichaj does a wonderful job of getting into the attack, though his touch from the wing is a tad suspect. That may improve with time.

We stayed for the first half of the El Salvador-Panama game. I will say this: the Salvadorenos are diving, whining, thuggish pussies. They're little fucking midgets with an attitude the size of Jupiter. I'm really glad they lost the game, and I'm really glad I wasn't in RFK when the game ended, because that? Was a whole ginormous fucking shitload of drunk Salvadorans, baby. And I'm really glad we're not playing them in the semis, though the appeal of a rematch with Panama was already huge before I saw the little peckerwoods thug their way through a half against a better Panama squad that couldn't connect.

In between games, I was hanging out on the ramps behind our section (we were on quiet side, not that it was quiet today, under the overhang, and it was fuckall weird--232 is a different planet entirely). From the 300 level, you can see through a chain link fence down into Lot 5, where players and VIPs park, or get picked up in limos. Such was the case with Sunil Gulati's and his family after the US-Jamaica game; as I watched, Mr. Gulati shepherded his wife and daughter into a limo, to be whisked away, while he and his son re-entered the stadium to see the second game. I yelled what I had to at the man ("Fire Bradley!"...I mean, duh...), but he either didn't hear me or didn't want to, so the story's not as awesome as I'd have hoped. Wouldn't I like to be the one that broke the camel's back?

Update: YFWP says attendance was a sellout crowd of 45, 423. Please adjust my figures proportionally.


Fullback said...

We're covered at right back. Lichaj and Chandler are the future, and if Chandler was here (club wanted a rest for him--screw Bob for agreeing) I'd be pitching a fit if he wasn't starting. Now if only we could find a natural left back...

Also, much as I dislike El Vampiro Mexicano Marco Antonio Rodriguez and agree he has a separate set of foul standards for the US and everybody else*, he was miles better than the Costa Rican clown in the middle for the ES-Panama tilt.

* Save, strangely, for Donovan, who he seems to give the benefit of the doubt in foul, perhaps?

Landru said...

It makes me insane that CONCACAF assigns Mexican referees to US games. That said, I am usually entertained by The Vampire. You're right about Walter Whatshisface--the half of ES-Panama that I saw was a farce.

I don't know why I thought Lichaj was a natural left. My bad.