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U.S. Men's Olympic Team

Olympic Qualifying: USA vs. Panama (Running Commentary)

Good evening folks. Tonight is the crucial second Olympic qualifying match for the U.S. national team, which is in dire need of three points after its opening match draw against Cuba.

U.S. coach Peter Nowak has made some wholesale changes to his lineup. Here is what tonight’s lineup will look like:

——————-Altidore——————

Gaven————-Adu—————-Holden

———–Kljestan—McCarty—————–

Sturgis——-Edu—–Orozco———Wynne

——————Seitz————————-

I definitely like this lineup better than the Cuba lineup. Gaven and Holden are far more adept at playing wing roles than Charlie Davies and Robbie Findley were. I also think that Kljestan and McCarty looked good in the second half against Cuba and have the vision to get some nice passes to Altidore. The back-line is a bit of an experiment, with Sturgis at left back and Edu playing center back, but Panama’s attack wasn’t exactly dangerous in its first match of the tournament.

I will be doing a running commentary during the match so feel free to share your thoughts and views on the match (and the U.S. lineup) in the comments section below.

Enjoy the match.

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FINAL- A better performance for the Americans, including more promise from Jozy Altidore in the second half and great showings from Stuart Holden, Michael Orozco and Eddie Gaven. It will be interesting to see what starting XI Peter Nowak uses for the final group match against Honduras.

Thanks for following the match here. Please share your thoughts on the match below.

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FINAL- Game over. USA 1, Panama 0. And the Americans have clinched a place in the semifinals. Now it’s a question of whether they can beat Honduras to top Group A.

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93rd minute- Davies and Findley set to come on, they look like a law firm, the law firm of Wecant, Finish and Forsquat.

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92nd minute- Sturgis with a yellow late.

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90th minute- Not sure how much stoppage time is left. And a Panama forward, No. 18, is looking for a penalty call. The only call he’s getting is that he looks like the rapper T.I.

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88th minute- There’s that Zizzo speed.

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86th minute- Panama with a dangerous chance but Panama’s Aguilar sends his chance wide left. Scary moment for the Americans.

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81st minute- Still waiting to see the speed from Zizzo we saw at the U-20 World Cup.

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79th minute- Here’s a question. Will the Americans be able to beat Honduras in game three without some of tonight’s key players, like Altidore and Holden? Or will we see those players full another full match just two days after tonight’s match?

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75th minute- Soft foul on Dax McCarty gives Panama a dangerous free kick.

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72nd minute- Altidore with a great turn and run that draws a foul and yellow card on Panama.

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64th minute- Zizzo in for Gaven.

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63rd minute- Sal Zizzo coming in to the match.

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61st minute- Panama with a dangerous free kick, cleared out for a corner kick.

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60th minute- The number of unforced turnovers in this match is astronomical

Nice run by Gaven in the area, helps create a corner.

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58th minute- Nice to see a referee not fall for a blatant dive. Panama with the yellow for diving.

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56th minute- Wow, Adu gets punched in the chest and no official sees it. Unbelievable play. If that player is identified he has to be out of the tournament.

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55th minute- Holden sends the free kick wide. Apparently a smidge is three yards.

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54th minute- Adu with a nice move to draw a free kick. Dangerous spot.

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52nd minute- Not a good game from Sacha Kljestan tonight. Too many turnovers.

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50th minute- I think it’s time for an SBI drinking game. The next time Christian Miles says calamitous everyone has to drink.

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46th minute- And there’s Gaven drawing a free kick. Good stuff from him tonight.

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46th minute- And the second half is under way.

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HALFTIME- And THERE’S Giuseppe Franco. Never fails.

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HALFTIME- Hondurah. Apparently it’s a country. Who knew?

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HALFTIME- We’re 10 minutes into halftime and haven’t seen a Giuseppe Franco commercial. Somebody called the Guinness Book of World Records.

And are there any AeroGarden’s left after all the potheads buy them? Seriously.

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HALFTIME- You know who has played well tonight? Eddie Gaven. I know he gets so much flack from national team fans but tonight he looks pretty good.

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HALFTIME- USA is up 1-0 at the half. Not a beautiful half but a better 45 minutes than against Cuba.

The midfield is playing well and the Edu (Maurice Edu, not the Christian Miles creation Freddy Edu) Orozco center back tandem is playing well. I must say that Marvell Wynne looks really awkward out there. I kept hearing how his skill had improved at Toronto. Not seeing it tonight.

And another thing, is Dax McCarty officially the Macauley Culkin of MLS? He looks like he’s 12.

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45th minute- Is it me or is this Panama team pretty chippy?

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44th minute- And yes, that was Eddie Gaven with the perfect floating ball that found Altidore for the breakaway.

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42nd minute- GOAL USA. Freddy Adu converts the penalty kick.

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41st minute- PENALTY. JOZY ALTIDORE draws a penalty on the Panama goalkeeper.

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34th minute- Altidore isn’t having a good game tonight. He needs a second forward alongside him.

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31st minute- It isn’t every day you see someone knock Jozy Altidore to the ground on a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge.

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30th minute- Nice job by the Panama No. 10 trying to start something and then backing away hoping to get the ref’s attention.

The Americans are piling on the pressure now, with several chances in the area.

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24th minute- The Americans with a little more productive possession but we’re still waiting for a serious scoring chance.

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19th minute- The referee is handing out yellow cards like he’s getting paid by the dozen.

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18th minute- Marvell Wynne with one of his trademark runs, and by trademark I mean when he beats two defenders who are amazed he doesn’t lose the ball only to lose the ball to the third defender.

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14th minute- Marvell Wynne with a clumsy challenge, giving Panama a dangerous free kick.

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12th minute- By the way, the definition of a good ball whipped in is NOT a cross that is blocked two feet from the guy delivering it. That would be a crap cross.

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9th minute- Apparently the mini-mullet is the national haircut of Panama.

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8th minute- Wow, Panama just missed a clear header on goal. USA dodged one there.

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7th minute- Still waiting for the U.S. to come out flying. Okay, so it isn’t happening. I’ll settled for organized.

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PRE-GAME- Yes, this is essentially a must-win game for the U.S. national team. Now that Honduras has two wins and six points, the Americans must get three points tonight to still have a chance at first place in the group.

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PRE-GAME- FSC is showing the US lining up in this formation:

——————-Altidore——————

———Gaven————-Adu—————-

——Holde—–Kljestan—McCarty———–

Sturgis——-Edu—–Orozco———Wynne

——————Seitz————————-

http://feeds.feedburner.com/~s/SoccerByIves?i=http://www.soccerbyives.net/soccer_by_ives/2008/03/olympic-quali-3.html

153 comments
  • matt

    i liked ives’ aero grow comment. the match would’ve been totally unbearable to watch had it not been for the heady fruits aero grow.

    in all seriousness though, we really need another option at left wing (alvarez? mapp?) and feilhaber definitely should have included in this squad. it’s not like he’s playing at derby.

    Like

  • brett

    >.< can we get off the Feilhaber high-horse??

    im as big of a fan of Feilhaber as anyone and i HOPE he picks up his game. But from what i hear he did absolutely poorly in camp. what i think when i read "feilhaber should be in the squad, fire nowak" is really "Camps are useless, lets pull an Arena and just pull in players who have performed in the past"

    Would you truely drop someone who is performing the tasks you are asking for a guy who you are hoping performs like he did in Gold??

    Like

  • Original Aaron

    Ives,

    I watched the game on tape delay last night and am just now getting around to reading your running commentary… your halftime comment about the AeroGarden- CLASSIC. I think the same thing myself every time I see that commercial- wonder why… 😉

    Like

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