Confederations Cup: Now I know why Keanu says “Whoa”

Clint Dempsey celebrates his goal v. Spain on 24 June 2009

Clint Dempsey celebrates his goal v. Spain on 24 June 2009

Whoa.

Really? Spain just got beat by the US 2-0? No, you’re joking.

Holy crap! You’re not joking.

I’m not sure where to start, so let’s start with me being wrong: I picked Spain to win the Confederations Cup. I figured they’d maybe lose in the final, versus either Italy or Brazil. Then I figured Spain v. Brazil would be epic. Never did I figure that the US, even after beating Egypt, would win. So, I was wrong.

I was wrong because the US played a tactically excellent game. They counter-attacked when they could and made their chances count. Perhaps most importantly, the two center backs – Oguchi Onyewu and Jay DeMerit – were fantastic. Anyone who doesn’t think Oneywu belongs on a top club is hereby declared certifiable. Real Madrid should be signing him ASAP. Or anyone in the Premiership. Landycakes played magnificently, even though the US couldn’t find him on at least two occasions in the early second half.

Spain, on the other hand, had the build-up and the passing but not the finishing. They put constant pressure on the US, especially Albert Riera and Joan Capdevila on the left hand side, but could not finish. Fernando Torres and David Villa will not want to put this match very high on their resumes. Neither will Sergio Ramos, whose poor clearance led to the second US goal.

Where does Spain go from here? Down, most likely. I don’t think this will kill their confidence because the team enjoys playing together and gets along very well. I don’t think this will have any long-term impact on their World Cup hopes; I still think Spain can win the World Cup.

There will be those who will say that Spain is reverting to its pre-Euro 2008 form. That is, the disappointing team that had shown up for the previous several years. Spain is too good for that to happen to them.

What it will do is force Spain to take everyone seriously. I think they strolled through the tournament and then ran into a US team on a good run of form.

Make no mistake: Spain did not lose this game; the US won it. They deserve their win because they played so well. They beat the world’s best team. Now they get to play the winner of Brazil-South Africa for the Confederations Cup final.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Confederations Cup

2 responses to “Confederations Cup: Now I know why Keanu says “Whoa”

  1. chrisutd07

    i agree- the tactics were spot on. they clogged the middle so xavi and co couldnt play their game, while playing deep so torres and villa couldn’t burn them for speed. they rode their luck a little but hey, they totally deserved the victory.

    i think that this shows how far us soccer has come. i think they will most certainly win a WC in our lifetime – do you?

    vote here: http://thebleacherbums.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/usa-2-spain-0-a-sign-of-things-to-come/

  2. naxself

    It’s often said that it’s better to be lucky than good. The US made the most of their chances, which came from a combination of luck and good play, which can probably be said for nearly every goal on the pitch.

    I’m not convinced the US will win a World Cup in my lifetime – mainly because dominating CONCACAF is very different from dominating the World Cup Finals. But I hold out hope that one or two truly special players will develop in the next decade or so.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s