As the former catcher of the New York Yankees Yogi Berra once said “It’s Dejavu All Over Again.” And that’s what happened against Ghana in the second round match. You we’re hoping that this little problem would’ve gone away like it did against Algeria, but sadly it would rear its ugly head once again.
Ricardo Clark had the ball in midfield and tried to side step a defender, but unfortunately it was an un-forced turnover that leads to the break and in the 6th minute Kevin Prince Boateng got a nice ball and attacked the USA net. Just outside the area Boateng ripped a quick shot that caught Tim Howard off guard and struck inside the near post for Ghana’s first goal in the World Cup that never came from the penalty spot.
It was another slap in the face for the USA to wake up. Sound the alarm to charge and get the equalizer. But unfortunately Clark would not join the rest of the starters as he was pulled out for Maurice Edu in the 31st minute and the attack started to get better slowly. But once the second half started Bob Bradley made his second substitution and brought on Benny Feilhaber and took off Robbie Findley.
The attack got hot and the USA looked very dangerous. The defenders from Ghana tried very hard to keep the USA away from the net, but the only one who was able to stop some of the shots was keeper Richard Kingson, but the next shot he couldn’t stop came in the 62nd minute. After Clint Dempsey was hauled down in the area by Jonathan Mensah in the 61st, Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai pointed to the spot and signaled penalty for the USA.
Mensah would be booked for the rash challenge inside the area and it would be Landon Donovan taking the penalty. After the whistle blew Donovan struck the ball and nailed the far post and in. The USA had made another magical comeback to equalize and they were hungry for more. But unfortunately all their chances never went in and then regulation time ended. For the first time in the World Cup, the USA would be heading into extra time.
But sadly what has troubled the boys at the start of regulation was brought into extra time. 93rd minute and the defenders of Ghana cleared a long distance ball that was being chased by Carlos Bocanegra & Jay DeMerit. What they didn’t see till late was Asamoya Gyan slicing between them and when Bocanegra couldn’t knock him off, Gyan ripped it top shelf and that would be the end of the USA run in the 2010 World Cup.
While this is the end for the USA the Fire Bob Bradley chant has already started by those who always wanted him gone from the National Team. Certain players were either not performing well or we’re recovering from injury and just didn’t have enough in the tank to continue on like Oguchi Onyewu & Charlie Davies. Once again I felt that Bradley’s tactics and formations were correct, but my only concern was the selection for the starting eleven.
I understand why Bradley thought having a speedy forward alongside Jozy Altidore would be a strong combination to stretch out the defenders, but when Robbie Findley doesn’t have the confidence or the imagination like what Davies has at this level that’s when you put in Edson Buddle who has been red hot since the start of the season.
Of course the flat starts were not a case of tactics or formations, it was the players who just couldn’t get to a strong start in their matches and unfortunately when you continue to make comebacks it’s going to hurt you in the end & that’s what happened to them against Slovenia & Ghana. If it wasn’t a bad decision from a referee, it was just not enough gas in the tank to make another equalizer in extra time.
But let me say this. While this was a decent performance from the National Team & no one is happy that they left this early in the tournament. Outside of this match Bob Bradley did a good job and if he does get another four years, then I don’t have a problem with it. You can keep on dreaming of getting the top Euro club or National Team coaches to run the US National Team, but guess what folks they won’t come.
If Bob Bradley doesn’t return either by US Soccer or his own decision then it’s time for Sigi Schmid, Dominic Kinnear, or if you are begging for a foreign coach then Steve Nicol would be the best option since he is the most success foreign coach to manage a club side in Major League Soccer, or as I have said Dutchman Leo Beenhakker. Right now let’s get ready for a 2011 Gold Cup tournament and qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
On Demand: Feuerstein’s Fire World Cup Re-Cap Ghana Vs USA
Guest: Kartik Krishnaiyer