Just Like They Drew It Up

June 22, 2009 – 2:25 am by Ryan Phillips

U.S. Soccer

Clint Dempsey said it best when reflecting on the U.S. Soccer team’s chances of reaching the semifinals of the Confederations Cup: “The odds were slim.”

Excellent analysis “Deuce,” now get to practicing. Hard.

The stars and stripes pulled off what can only be described as a full-fledged miracle Sunday afternoon. They needed a complete implosion by defending world champion Italy, coupled with a fantastic performance by Brazil, who had already secured its spot in the next round. Then the Americans needed a complete implosion by a surprising Egyptian team with designs on a berth in the semifinals. They needed all that just to have a chance to move on.

Well, it happened. The U.S. blasted Egypt 3-0 and Brazil destroyed Italy by the same score. That left the Italians and the Americans deadlocked with a -2 goal differential, but the U.S. advanced because they scored more total goals (4-3).

Just how they planned it all along. That Bob Bradley sure is a genius.

The Americans played with Italy for most of their opening game before losing 3-1. Then got absolutely embarrassed by Brazil, 3-0. Against Egypt the U.S. looked like a completely different team. They were confident, assertive, showed heart, toughness and determination. But most importantly, they finished their scoring chances.

Charlie Davies got the Yanks on the board in the 21st minute with his second international goal. Then Michael Bradley sent home a perfect feed from Landon Donovan in the 63rd, before Dempsey secured the 3-0 advantage with a header in the 71st. Then the U.S. had to hold on for more than 20 tense minutes, during which the Egyptians had several near misses.

As a reward for such a great win the Red, White and Blue’s gift will be the world’s top ranked team, Spain.

The Red Fury have been on an incredible run of late. They have reeled off an international record 15 consecutive victories and are unbeaten in 35 straight matches. Gulp.

Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

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  1. 4 Responses to “Just Like They Drew It Up”

  2. At least we’ll have been de-pantsed by the three best teams in the world by the end of the Confed Cup. No shame there. But seriously, Italy, what the fuck? That wasn’t even Brazil’s A-squad.

    By McD on Jun 22, 2009

  3. Great post. I give the American’s chances of pulling off the upset at 20-1. They are going to be a huge underdog in this game. I will be pulling for my boys in the red, white and blue but I doubt it will be a celebration for me. Hopefully they don’t rely on miracles in 2010.

    By Bearcat on Jun 22, 2009

  4. The Italians just looked old and slow IMO. I’m still furious with the lack of playing time for Torres and Adu, and I honestly still don’t know how the hell we made the semis. We looked lost for 2 games and had 2 players sent off, then suddenly we put everything together for one game and advance. Complete and utter miracle! We don’t deserve to be where we’re at, but this game against Spain will be a great experience for our young guys leading into the 2010 Cup. What a huge learning opportunity for us to play in a do or die game (which means Spain will have in their best lineup) against the best team in the world. I think even if we take a 4-0 loss on the chin, this will be a great building block for us and will hopefully lead to a solid showing in the 2010 Cup. Go Yanks!

    By KJ on Jun 22, 2009

  5. Maybe if all of our guys wear asian themed masks and costume, the Spaniards will be so confused and angry their heads will explode and we will win by forfeit…

    By Booter on Jun 22, 2009

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