35 thoughts on “USA v. Italy Open Thread”

  1. Italy scored already! Totti gets behind the USA defense in minute one and give Italy a one to nill lead. So long Yanks!

  2. Let the controversy begin. Eddie Johnson starts the game on the bench……we seem to be playing a defensive oriented lineup, with essentially two holding midfielders and 4 backs. Maybe we will rely on counterattacking, and hopefully McBride can find some space in defense.

    No more longball also. Carlos Bocanegra is a threat going forward in the attack and could help cover for Bobby Convey on the left side.

  3. The red card on Pablo was criminal. sure he went in cleats up, but it certainly wasn’t a red cardable offense. We now need to take advantage of the space of a 10 v 10 game. Eddie Johnson should be coming on to take advantage of the space.

  4. We should be proud of our boys today. We gave all and the referee really cost us. We also owe Italy a thanks. They obviously lost their legs and didn’t have the flair in midfield we have seen so often from Italy in the past. Both Toni and Totti were average and I loved the fire Landon Donovan showed today.

    My man of the match is Gooch, who came up huge after Pope and Pablo were sent off. He frustrated Toni all day and Lippi finally pulled Toni.

  5. I am just disgusted with this game. A bunch of us Mexican-
    Americans went to an Italian Restaraunt here in Firfax to watch the game and the Italian fans were as violent as the Italian team.

    The Mastroeni red card was a total fraud. That’s even a questionable yellow.

    The Pope play was just plain dumb. You are playing with a yellow, your team is already down to 10 men and you do something stupid.

    All this hype about Totti and Toni. Italy is very average. USA would have had it in an 11 on 11 game. Beasley’s goal was called back on a so-so call. Sure you can call obstruction or offsides, or you can appreaciate that McBride got out of the play and the goalie played Beasley’s ball. I’ve seen that not called. I’m not saying it was a terrible call, but I’ve seen it not called and considering how many more fouls and bookings the Americans were recieving the official could have been generous and allowed the goal to stand.

    I relieved the USA got a result with such a bad circumstance, but feel it should have been a 3 point victory without losing two important players for the big match with Ghana.

  6. I’m not sure whether to be unhappy or proud. Our boys as you said Kartik, played with heart, guts and determination. But we lost two of our best players for the next game and really had the run of play but were unable to score a winner. Being down to 9 men versus 10 is less of a disadvantage than 10 against 11, because you still have space to operate and to stimulate a counter attack if the other side brings too many men forward, which we did.

    DeMarcus Beasley got his head into the match which was smart and now we need a 3 point victory against a good Ghana team and an Italy win to move on. Our group features 4 evenly matched teams, and is a true group of death.

    My man of the match is Carlos Bocanegra. He was smart when he made his overlapping runs and was a solid solid man marker. Also, Gooch maybe on his way to being one of the greatest Americans ever.

    Any idea why Arena didn’t sub out McBride for Johnson late?

  7. You know what?

    Everybody says it was an easy call, but I am not so sure. McBride didn’t touch the ball I guess the late reaction to step over the ball was a mistake, but someone needs to explain to me how that is offsides. Maybe it’s obstruction, but that wasn’t the call. It couldn’t be obstruction because the keeper got his hands on it and followed the ball from the time Beasley kicked it.

    Help please!

    The red cards were b/s. I know Pope was playing w/ a yellow, but he needs to be able to play defense and to fight for 50-50 balls. Besides the Italian guy did an acting job.

    Good effort overall though.

  8. It’s obvious USA would have won a 10 on 10 match, so the second pope yellow was quick card to give Italy a chance. Keep in mind the coach of Italy is an infamous match fixer and that this official was banned form the 2002 World Cup. It’s too bad, as a Mexico fan I want to see USA advance because it’s good for CONCACAF and we’d like to beat you guys and pay you back for last time. I do cheer for the USA also though.

  9. Mates-

    My heart goes out to your heroic and brave effort today. USA deserved the full 3 points but as is typical in international football, Italy’s players take dives, and sell utter rubbish to the unsuspecting officials and inlfuence the outcome of matches.

    Is it any wonder they have a match fixing scandal going on there.

    I was most impressed by the tall defender, #22. He stood tall and for my money was the best player on the pitch.

  10. Who will replace Mastroeni in midfield for the next game? O’Brien maybe? How about playing three at the back and employing either Eddie Lewis or DeMarcus Beasley as a rover on the left side with Reyna dropping back on the right side.

    Also I think Eddie Johnson has to play versus Ghana. No question about it.

  11. I just saw the replay. It was an offsides. Great shot by Beasley and dumb move by McBride to be caught in an offsides position. It should have been a goal because McBride didn’t influence the play but he was offsides and linesman determined he was involved. Dumb, dumb. Cost us 2 points. :(

  12. Great effort by the U.S.A. today!!

    I’m vbery proud of our guys for playing with energy and effort.

    We saw how great Landon Donovan could be, he dominated the game like the Germany game.

    I agree that Bocanegra was excellent. It makes AQrena look foolish for not playing him in the first game.

    And I have to call Arena out for this….How can you not use your last subsitituion. The guys out there were gassed. What are you saving it for? I would’ve loved to see Eddie Johnson out there.

  13. Also, why did Keller continually kick the ball dowfield? They should’ve played it from the back through the defenders and then kicked it up field if they wanted to waste time. Or Keller should have placed the ball on the ground, dribble and then play it up field.

    Terrible strategy!!

    It could’ve cost team USA.

  14. Great effort by USA! They were unlucky to not win the game and would have if not down 2 players. The officiating was crap but as a regular follower of USA I’m not surprised. Why are the players? I can understand if the questionable tackle is near the goal or otherwise necessary but Mastroeni makes a reckless tackle at midfield with about 20 seconds left in the half. Then, knowing the ref is calling it tight, Pope makes a similarly reckless and similarly unecessary tackle. STUPID!!

    Johnson or Wolff in the last 5 minutes would have been logical but so would Twellman and Adu so that’s the Bruce.

    A win and they’re in! Can’t ask for more.

  15. Why is everyone focusing on the goal called back?????

    The offsides was obvious.

    A few minutes later though Onweyu played a ball into the box that was obviously hand balled by the Italian defender with NO CALL!

    That is a penalty and maybe a red card also. That was the three points right there. Donovan would step up and put the Italians away.

    Nobody is focusing on the real crime of the game, that missed call. That call is very likely to cost the US a spot in the next round. That’s in addition to two shaky red cards.

  16. Why did Arena take one sub to the locker room with him?

    Wouldn’t Eddie Johnson have added some pace and attacking ability in the last ten minutes. I know we wanted McBride’s ability in the air, but he was spent and we needed fresh legs.

  17. Gregg your point on Keller is very well taken. A slow build up from the back so long as we didn’t get dispossesed would have killed a lot more time.

  18. The TSG (Technical Study Group) which FIFA employes to rate games ranks this game as the best thus far in the World Cup. Much of that can be attributed to the amount of open space on the field created by 2 red cards for us, 1 for them and a bunch of tired frontline players for Italy who didn’t track back on defense at all.

    Hopefully Italy will give a more complete effort against the Czechs, otherwise we are already out of this world cup. (Unless we beat Ghana 3-0 and the Czechs beat Italy 3-0- we then advance over Italy on goal differential)

  19. Your side played well today. That official will not be allowed to officiate another World Cup match I hope.

  20. Just watched the replay and here’s what I noticed:

    – USA played an offside trap throughtout the game. They got a generous whistle or two in the run of play. The Italy goal was a result of USA trying to play the offside trap on a set piece – not a good idea anyway, but with this officiating crew………..

    – Italy played to the official’s whistle so much it’s embarassing! (I’ve been hyping the World Cup to whoever would listen and a close friend and novice fan called me in the middle of the game to tell me that the Italians diving had ruined the tournament for him).

    – The first yellow on Pope is the real bullshit call – he’s the one dragged down.

    – Keller, Reyna (again), Donovan, Bocanegra with solid performances.

  21. usa 06,

    You make some valid points especially with the Italian springboard diving team led by Luca Toni.

    What do you mean Reyna (twice)? He was terrible against Czech Republic besides one shot that hit the post. However, he did redeem himself yesterday and had perhaps his best World Cup game.

    Maybe, the first time we got a result against a good team with Reyna in the lineup.

  22. However, he did redeem himself yesterday and had perhaps his best World Cup game.

    He was the man of the match despite our loss versus Germnay in 2002, and made the World Cup Best 11. I’m not Claudio’s biggest fan and believe he should not be the captain of this team because he’s not vocal enough( Arena needs to learn that you don’t automaticaly make your best player the captain…when Reyna is injured or unavailible Donovan has worn the armband and he’s not really captain material either.), but he certainly has had some decent world cup games contrary to Eric Wynalda’s criticism. I may be making a mistake because I don’t want to get Kartik going on this topic of Reyna’s (lack of) leadership, but if he wants to respond he can. His World Cup record has been uneven. He played well versus Mexico and Germany last time but did not play well at all against South Korea. Yesterday he did play well other than not playing the offsides trap with pope on the Italian goal. That was Pope’s fault, but Reyna should have organized the defense before the free kick (as captain) to make sure everyone was on the same page.

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