Sunday, June 13

Good and Bad news

The news for the other half of the North American contingent at the World Cup was good and bad as the United States earned a ‘1-1 win’ as some English tabloids dubbed it versus England Saturday. The English brilliantly stretched out the American defense early in the match on a play that looks more like a rugby sequence as a throw-in deep in the American zone was played directly across the top of the area with a lengthy sequence of parallel passes that spread the defenders out, allowing Steven Gerrard to make a swooping angled run behind the sequence, cutting across the grain for a direct, open path to goal for the early strike.

The good news was that individually, the Americans played above expectations, Jay DeMerit in particular in shutting down superstar Wayne Rooney as the US rallied for the draw on the gaff that will no doubt be the most famous blooper of the tournament when everything is all said and done.

More bad news came the next morning for the US when Slovenia took advantage of an Algerian red card by scoring late in the contest to take control of the group with a 1-0 victory. The good news, though, is that neither team looked particularly strong, and Slovenia even struggled defensively against a 10-man Algerian side after gaining the man advantage.

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