While the initial few minutes of the second half of tonight’s match looked dicey for the US (largely because of Landon Donovan being replaced by Taylor Twellman), the squad recovered and played outstanding soccer without its captain for the night and best player. The US offense seemed stagnant until Brian Ching entered the match around minute 60, and from that point forward Ching, occupying the space right behind Taylor Twellman spurned a ferocious US counter attack. Complimenting Ching and Twellman were DeMarcus Beasley and Clint Dempsey who I mentioned in my half time thoughts have a remarkable understanding of one another’s game. The counter attack led to two US goals and could have led to more.
The back line which has looked shaky the entire year finally looked steady with Oguchi Onyewu (who served as captain following Donovan’s departure from the match) positioning himself well and some great man marking by Jonathan Spector and Jonathan Bornstein. The US carries some momentum into the Quarterfinals having won all three group stage matches and seemingly improved in every match of the competition.