FanDuel - WFBC

June 12, 2010

U.S. Ties England in World Cup Opener: The United States played to a 1-1 draw against favored England Saturday in one of the most anticipated World Cup soccer matches in U.S. history. After Stephen Gerrard scored in the first four minutes, Clint Dempsey scored on a monumental mistake by England goalkeeper Robert Green.

posted by rcade to soccer at 01:53 PM - 32 comments

U.S. wins 2-1 behind goals by Cobi Jones and Tony Meola.

posted by rcade at 02:20 PM on June 12

Stellar goaltending by England that is for sure.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:20 PM on June 12

Those replays are brutal. Softest goal I've seen in a World Cup.

posted by rcade at 03:22 PM on June 12

I believe if the term "sieve" was part of the standard soccer vernacular, England's goalie would have been hearing the entire stadium chant it at him.

posted by TheQatarian at 03:24 PM on June 12

Onyewu was exposed on the Garrard goal and Howard just had to save his bacon against Heske.

posted by rcade at 03:46 PM on June 12

US is holding, but England keeps working more opportunities.

posted by lampshade at 04:11 PM on June 12

Tim Howard, a standout player

You can say that again.

posted by cjets at 04:25 PM on June 12

Is it just me, or does John Harkes sound exactly like Pam Ward?

posted by TheQatarian at 04:27 PM on June 12

Loved Jozy's nifty move towards the goal, but alas, nothing went in.

posted by NoMich at 04:34 PM on June 12

What a game!

posted by billsaysthis at 04:53 PM on June 12

Is it just me, or does John Harkes sound exactly like Pam Ward?

Just you. Pam's more manly and more insightful. He is awful. Turns out the US didn't want to go down early and once they did, they needed to respond. Absolute nadir for me was during the US/ Turkey friendly when he started recounting what a US player supposedly told him with, "He said, 'Harksey, what we need to do . . .'" Because, of course, all current players know who the hell John Harkes is, care and respect him and talk to him like they're old pals.

posted by yerfatma at 05:26 PM on June 12

I'm going to give Green some slack, because a US goal was going to come from that much pressure, clanger or no clanger. If anything, England scored too early, and the result was a lack of aggression and ambition in the first half that ceded control of the midfield. The second half was better, but still not good enough, and it'll be interesting to see how Slovenia and Algeria play their match tomorrow.

posted by etagloh at 06:12 PM on June 12

As a keeper, I've been there before.

posted by grum@work at 06:18 PM on June 12

It wasn't Green's fault. It's the ball. I'm not kidding.

Worst World Cup ball (too light and bouncy), worst World Cup venue (stupid horns constantly blowing) ever.

posted by JButton at 07:39 PM on June 12

Worst World Cup ball (too light and bouncy), worst World Cup venue (stupid horns constantly blowing) ever.

Both teams played with the same ball, in the same venue, correct ?

I like the Vuvuzelas. It is part of the South African soccer experience.

posted by tommytrump at 07:45 PM on June 12

Softest goal I've seen in a World Cup.

Nah, this was worse (Cameroon's goal against Argentina in Italia 90).

Strange game. I was watching in a pub (highly recommended for avoiding Volvoloser noise) so maybe it was my attention that was drifting in and out, but to me it kept threatening to spark into life and just never really caught fire. Neither team in the end deserved the win. The US got fewer chances, but looked far more likely to score from them (or maybe that's just the 10 @ 6/1 I put on them talking).

The US now must fancy their chances of getting out of the group. England's supposed chances of winning the whole show were exposed as the myth they'd always sounded like to the sane people.

Lennon was a better pick than Walnut, because Theo squares when he should shoot and shoots (and usually misses) when he should cross. Heskey was a better pick than Bent because he can hold it up and knock it in front of a runner (as he did for the goal), but he had two gilt-edged opportunities himself with which I suspect Bent might have at least managed to miss the keeper.

Green's a good keeper and I feel for him conceding that goal, but if gets Hart a start then it's not a total loss. Carragher looked like an absolute liability (did King get injured? I missed the substitution or the reason for it). Rooney was quiet, and credit to the US defence (defense, if you must) who kept him so, but great players - truly great players - step up and win games like that.

Gerrard was a man possessed at the start, and then disappeared for long stretches of the game later. Lampard didn't make any big mistakes, but he too often tried the special ball when a short pass and some sustained possession would have served the team better. Johnson played well, I thought; covered his defensive duties well and looked dangerous going forward. Cashely was all over the place and the occasional close up of his face made it look like he's just nipped out for a smoke - his fitness an issue? Like Lampard, he gave the ball away too often trying longer passes.

But like I say, I was in the pub so wasn't really paying attention.

posted by JJ at 08:17 PM on June 12

England's supposed chances of winning the whole show were exposed as the myth they'd always sounded like to the sane people.

Well, recent history shows that a 1-1 draw against the US in the group clearly spells World Cup doom. (Nah, I'm not making a like-for-like comparison, but there haven't been any standout teams in these first two days.)

posted by etagloh at 08:28 PM on June 12

Good game, and the USA showed up England in two areas - speed and numbers in midfield. Few England moves went through the middle, but down the flanks Lennon, Johnson and Cole going forward, and pulling the ball back looked very dangerous. Up front, the USA were effective when one on one with defenders like Carragher, who got exposed a lot in the second half. Hargreaves in the holding role would help England with this, if he was fit, and that would subsequently free up Lampard and Gerrard more.

So what have we learned about Group C? I still think these two will go through - Slovenia and Algeria aren't up to much. How I wish Australia had drawn Slovenia's spot, though.

posted by owlhouse at 09:09 PM on June 12

It wasn't Green's fault. It's the ball. I'm not kidding.

Worst World Cup ball (too light and bouncy)

They say that every four years.

Literally.

Every single World Cup ball (since probably 1966) has been blamed for being too light and not moving properly in the air.

It's not like neither team has had a chance to practice with the World Cup ball.

posted by grum@work at 09:12 PM on June 12

Results from a quick scan of online comments:

British tabloids - "God Save The Green"

and

Various US sources - "Over here, that's one British spill we're not worried about."

posted by owlhouse at 09:25 PM on June 12

Various US sources - "Over here, that's one British spill we're not worried about."

Beautiful. I love it.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 11:04 PM on June 12

ITV had phenomenal coverage of England's first goal.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 11:11 PM on June 12

Is it just me, or does John Harkes sound exactly like Pam Ward?

Just you. Pam's more manly and more insightful. He is awful.

I only meant that their voices sounded alike to me, to the point where I assumed it was Pam Ward until they put the caption up. I agree that Harkes was pretty useless.

posted by TheQatarian at 12:09 AM on June 13

Hargreaves in the holding role would help England with this

This is Gareth Barry's role. He has been injured but should be fit enough to return for Friday's tilt against Algeria.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 08:21 AM on June 13

ITV had phenomenal coverage of England's first goal.

Was it a mistake that the ad was run during the game, or do they do this, but it was very unfortunate timing?

posted by bender at 10:25 AM on June 13

If Barry comes into the side then Gerrard goes out to the left, which (a) he doesn't like and (b) since he doesn't like it he barely gets wide of the 18 yard box and keeps England much narrower. As JJ put it, Cole is not a great answer for width over there and neither will drive to the line to cross in.

Also, I wonder who starts with Terry in central defense and who is between the sticks.

Slovenia took all three points this morning and if they get a draw on Friday against England the Three Lions may win an early plane ride home.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:50 AM on June 13

Sorry, but the ball is an issue this time around.

Watch a replay of the match. Watch how many passes fly over players' heads, free kicks sailing way over the cross bar. The ball takes too many bounces. It won't settle.


I've seen every match. There have been several potential howlers like that in other matches because the ball is too bouncy. It's like trying to field a bouncing balloon.

I can almost guarantee we will see one or two more incidents like this before the tournament ends. I just hope it doesn't happen to Gigi.

posted by JButton at 11:25 AM on June 13

You don't suppose that some of that could be due to nerves from players playing in their first World Cup game, do you?

posted by TheQatarian at 12:26 PM on June 13

The Algerian keeper had a stinker today too in fairness, but I don't think either he or Green could claim it was the ball's fault without colouring up a little.

posted by JJ at 03:59 PM on June 13

The Algerian keeper's was all on him. Looked like he was slow in making a decision on how to play it and wound up splitting the difference. Maybe he lost the ball in the glare off his hair.

posted by yerfatma at 09:04 AM on June 14

I've noticed a sharp correlation between pouring water on one's head during the game and within 5 minutes of doing so getting a golden opportunity to head the ball home only to have it skid harmlessly off one's moistened scalp.

posted by JJ at 09:24 AM on June 14

f Barry comes into the side then Gerrard goes out to the left, which (a) he doesn't like and (b) since he doesn't like it he barely gets wide of the 18 yard box and keeps England much narrower.

I think as soon as Barry's fit the only way England don't revert to Barry-Lampard in the middle with Gerrard on the left is if Capello changes to the 4-5-1/4-3-3/4-1-2-2-1 (annotate it how you will), that Rooney enjoys at Man Utd.

This knickebein 4-4-2 is undoubtedly a make-do-and-mend solution, but England haven't had a genuine answer on the left for more than a decade. Gerrard will just have to be unhappy.

This morning's Danish sub Jesper Gronkjaer would walk into our side.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:30 AM on June 14

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