USA vs. Spain: Matchday Commentary

USA vs. Spain: Matchday Commentary

U.S. Men's National Team

USA vs. Spain: Matchday Commentary

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Good afternoon folks. The USA-Spain match will be kicking off shortly and today should offer us a very good look at whether the Americans can rebound from last week’s awful showing against England.

The USA lineup for today’s match should make USA fans happy because we will finally get to see Freddy Adu start against a top opponent. Check out the starting lineup after the jump.

I will be doing a live commentary during the match so if you want to follow along, and don’t care about having the result spoiled for the tape-delayed showing of the match, then be sure to stay here for the latest on the match. Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section.

Stay here for all pre-game discussions and for the match itself.

Enjoy the action.

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FINAL- Spain 1, USA 0. Spain didn’t overrun the Americans like England did, but never looked too troubled, although Freddy Adu certainly was a handful in the first half.

What I liked today: Adu, Bocanegra, Howard, Eddie Lewis, Bradley in the first half.

What I didn’t like today: Eddie Johnson, Bradley in the second half, Eddie Johnson’s first touch, Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson’s shot, Josh Wolff’s cameo, Eddie Johnson’s headers.

Share your thoughts on the match below.

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90th minute- Johnson get a nice ball into the area, but then sends a shot on goal so week that any goalkeeper older than 10 in the world would have saved it.

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90th minute- Bradley botches a header on a nice ball in from Hejduk. Bradley’s been playing on fumes for about 20 minutes. Not sure why he’s still out there.

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88th minute- "Eddie Johnson has had a good couple of games here." I wouldn’t go that far.

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87th minute- Mastroeni for Dempsey.

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82nd minute- Michael Bradley looked tired on the goal. Can’t imagine we’ll see Bradley against Argentina after his second length performance in a week.

SAVE GuZAN on a hard shot from Senna.

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80th minute- Fabregas sent the ball to Xavi, who touched it beautifully into space, raced around Onyewu, fought off a challenge from Hejduk and beat Guzan easily. Nice run.

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79th minute- GOAL SPAIN. WOW. What a great dribble, run and shot by Xavi. Beautiful. Spain 1, USA 0.

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78th minute- Josh Wolff is in for Dempsey. Let’s see if he can make up for that England debacle.

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77th minute- Michael Bradley draws a yellow after grabbing Xavi after turning the ball over. Bad turnover by Bradley and not a great backpass from Johnson.

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75th minute- Xavi with a hard shot that Guzan smothers easily.

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74th minute- The Americans look like they’re holding on for the tie. Pretty disappointing right now and Spain looks like it will find a goal any minute.

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71st minute- Spain again but the centering pass is cleared out for a corner by Onyewu.

I wonder if we’ll see any more USA subs. The team could use some fresh legs.

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70th minute- Spain attacks again but Beasley tracks back to break up a great chance from Cazorla.

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68th minute- Spain with a great passing sequence but Senna’s shot hits the right post. USA got lucky there.

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66th minute- I tell you what. Heath Pearce has held up well and I think he has made the left back spot his for the forseeable future.

Spain corner leads to a nice clash in the air. Onyewu won out as you might expect.

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64th minute- Looks like Bradley drew a yellow card for a clash with Fabregas. Didn’t see what happened there.

And here comes Spain.

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62nd minute- Bradley with a bad foul, sets up a dangerous Spain free kick.

Xavi hits the free kick off the crossbar. WOW. What a kick.

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61st minute- Eddie Johnson is a turnover machine.

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59th minute- Freddy Adu is missed right now. No ideas in the attack. Looking for Eddie Johnson isn’t working.

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56th minute- Xavi with a beautiful pass, that helps lead to a cross, but nothing for Spain. Spain corner is cleared. Spain’s passing is just so sharp, well, except for the final passes.

Dempsey just got crunched by Marco Senna. Wow, a two-footed scissor lunge. That’s a red card in a regular game.

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53rd minute- Fernando Navarro in for Capdevilla.

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52nd minute- Beasley working from the right, looks good making a run forward. With Eddie Lewis looking so good, I think Beasley on the right flank is a real possibility down the road.

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49th minute- No word yet on whether Adu came out because of an injury or just a halftime sub.

Johnson comes close with a great ball from Lewis in but can’t direct his header on goal.

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47th minute- Torres and Alonso out. Guiza and Senna in.

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46th minute- Guzan in for Howard, Hejduk for Cherundolo and Beasley for Adu.

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HALFTIME- Bob Bradley should definitely insert Beasley for Johnson, with Dempsey moving up top. That would certainly be an interesting lineup, and arguably the best lineup the U.S. team can field without Landon Donovan.

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HALFTIME- Changed that need to be made at halftime? I’m not sure there are any to make. As disappointing as Johnson is, he’s still probably better than the other forward options, though I think we’ll see Jaqua late.

Michael Bradley has had a better first half today than he had against England. Edu looks a bit timid out there, which definitely isn’t like the Edu we’re used to seeing.

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HALFTIME- And we’re scoreless at the half. Spain with tons of possession, but couldn’t break through for the goal. The USA just can’t hold on to the ball, except for Freddy Adu, who looked very good every time he’s had the ball. Eddie Johnson is just not good enough. He made one nice run onto a perfectly-timed Adu pass but scuffed the shot.

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44th minute- Freddy Adu draws a foul. The free kick does nothing and here comes Spain again.

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42nd minute– Spain is passing well but the USA back-line has broken up every final pass.

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39th minute– Too many turnovers from the USA. Spain is pressing but the Americans block every shot.

Eddie Johnson runs onto a long Adu pass and has a shot saved by Casillas. Johnson with a weak shot after a nice run.

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36th minute- Okay, there’s no other way to say it but Eddie Johnson’s first touch is tragic.

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34th minute- Eddie Lewis takes the free kick but sends it just a bit high from about 30.

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32nd minute- Dempsey with a nice little run before being tackled by Xavi Alonso.

Maurice Edu has yet to tackle anybody. He needs to get involved.

Puyol stepped on Adu’s foot on a challenge. Adu looks okay. Dangerous free kick.

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31st minute- Bocanegra has had his hands full with Torres, but has held up well.

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30th minute- Americans doing a better job today of handling the attack, but Spain is a bit calmer in attack than England, which pressured far more.

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27th minute- Spain’s midfield is so patient on the ball. Whenever Spain wants, it can play keep away.

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24th minute- SAVE Howard! Torres with his trademark turn and shoot but Howard smothers it.

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23rd minute- Nice sequence from the Americans, with Adu slipping a through ball to Johnson, but Johnson is offside. Great sequence though.

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22nd minute- Freddy Adu makes some magic happen in the box, sends a dangerous ball in front of goal but nobody is there. He’s the only American player showing anything in the attack.

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20th minute- The USA gets forward in the attack and Johnson tries to take on a defender, but is stopped, not before he tries yet another bad dive attempt.

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19th minute- The USA midfield needs to start holding some possession. It’s tough against this loaded attack.

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18th minute- Spain is dominating possession. I know, not a shock, but the USA defense is holding up and looking better than vs. England.

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16th minute- Tim Howard loses a ball in the area but taps it clear of danger.

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15th minute- Adu tries to force the attack, but loses the ball. He’s definitely being aggressive.

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13th minute- Those of you wondering where David Villa is, he picked up an ankle injury in training.

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11th minute- Michael Bradley with a nice tackle on Fernando Torres in the penalty area to break up a threat. Corner kick for Spain.

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10th minute- Howard with a good save on a dangerous header from Silva off a perfect Sergio Ramos cross. Bocanegra caught watching on that one.

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9th minute- Bocanegra with a floating free kick that leads to a collision between Dempsey and Iker Casillas. Dempsey is called for the foul.

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7th minute- Spain fans start to whistle after their back-line passes it around a bit.

Tim Howard runs onto a ball in the area to break up the threat.

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6th minute- Freddy Adu with a nice dribble run at Spain that draws some cheers from the crowd, but doesn’t get anywhere and drops a pass off.

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5th minute- Spain with a nice sequence of passes but can’t find the final one, the USA looks for the counter but Eddie Johnson loses it.

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3rd minute- Edu looking for Adu turns the ball over with a bad pass.

Spain’s back four is so good on the ball.

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2nd minute- Spain knocking it around a bit, almost a good touch on to Torres but the USA handles it.

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1st minute- And we’re off.

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PRE-GAME- And the ESPN360 has kicked in and we’re ready to go.

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PRE-GAME- So it’s 4:06 and my ESPN360 isn’t working. This should be fun.

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PRE-GAME– Here is the Spain lineup:

Silva———-Torres——–Cazorla

———–Xavi—–Fabregas——–

—————Alonso—————-

Capdevila——————–Ramos

——Marchena—-Puyol———

—————Casillas—————

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PRE-GAME– Here is the USA lineup:

——————–Johnson——————–

Lewis—————-Adu—————Dempsey

————–Bradley—-Edu——————-

Pearce—Bocanegra—Onyewu—-Cherundolo

——————-Howard———————-

Beasley won’t be making the start. No word on whether it’s an injury or Bradley wanting to rest him and have him for the Argentina match on Sunday.

What do you think of the lineup?

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