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U.S. Men's National Team

Confederations Cup: USA vs. Egypt (Matchday Commentary)

USA Crest

The U.S. national team takes on African champions Egypt in its final group game (and likely final match) of the 2009 Confederations Cup (2:30 pm, ESPN2).

The Americans are playing for pride after two losses, while Egypt is still trying to qualify for the semifinals, which it can do with a victory and Italy tie or loss.

I will be providing commentary throughout the match so please feel free to follow along, and as always, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (USA lineup after the jump):

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FINAL– That's it for me. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this match, and the U.S. team's improbable move into the Confederations Cup semifinals, in the comments section below.

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FINAL– Charlie Davies started things with his goal, then Michael Bradley finished the second, and Dempsey headed home the game-winner as the Americans do the impossible, or at least what was considered impossible. Just wow.

USA vs. Spain on Wednesday. Yes, Spain is the best team in the world, but the fact is the americans will be there to face them while teams like Egypt and Italy, yes Italy, are home.

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FINAL– USA 3, EGYPT 0. USA IS IN THE SEMIFINALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW. Just a beautiful effort, team effort, they showed heart, fight, skill and kept on battling.

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93rd – Time is running out.

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92nd minute– Two minutes to go.

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90th minute– Three minutes of stoppage. Egypt pressing.

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FINAL– Brazil beats Italy 3-0, it's up to the USA now.

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90th minute– WOW, header from Egypt goes over the bar. WOW.

Casey cleared the corner before that. Done well so far.

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89th minute– Egypt corner

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88th minute– Can't be much stoppage in this game.

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88th minute– Three minutes of stoppage in the Brazil-Italy game.

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87th minute– Dempsey finding some enery late in this match. He's come to life since moving up top.

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86th  minute– Can anybody remember the last USA game that was this intense?

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85th minute– This U.S. lineup looks good for the purpose, which is to keep possession. Casey hasn't done badly since coming in.

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84th minute– Brazil is still pressing for a fourth goal so they're not making it easy for Italy.

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82nd minute– Davies is coming out for Casey. He has to be gassed after running all day. Casey needs to hold the ball up and keep the ball.

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81st minute– Conor Casey is coming in. He had better show more defensive effort today than he did vs. Brazil.

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80th minute– Guzan catches an Egypt cross. Americans can't give the ball away cheaply here.

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80th minute– Ten more minutes. U.S. needs to keep the ball and take some pressure off the defense.

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78th minute– How much would U.S. fans love Brazil if they can hold on to that lead?

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76th minute– Does Bradley make another sub or should he stick with this group? At this point I think you stay with this group.

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75th minute– Egypt is pushing hard here for a goal. Corner kick. Onyewu heads it away.

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73rd minute– Feilhaber with a shot. Will the Americans find another goal? Egypt looks very tired and its defense is a mess.

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72nd minute– USA is in the semis if these results hold. UNbelievable.

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71st minute- GOAL USA!!!!!!!!!! And it's Clint Dempsey with the header WOWWWWWW. Spector GREaT BALL, Dempsey, GREaT FINISH. USA 3, Egypt 0.

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70th minute– What needs to be realized is that Altidore's fitness is not 90 minutes fit. He's just back from toe surgery so playing in these highly-competitive matches makes it tough for him to last more than 70 minutes.

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69th minute– Feilhaber for Altidore, look for Dempsey to move up top.

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68th  minute– Some better stuff from Altidore there in the area. This tournament has been great experience for him.

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67th minute– U.S. team needs to realize that Egypt's defense is very vulnerable now and ball movement will create chances. Passing, not long shots, will make the difference.

Benny Feilhaber is coming in.

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66th  minute– Dempsey with a forced shot from distance and Egpyt nearly gets on the counter, still alive.

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64th  minute– SAVE GUZAN. Shot right at him.

USA needs one more goal to advance, assuming Italy doesn't score vs. Brazil.

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63rd minute- GOAL USA!!!!!!!!!! And it's Michael Bradley, what a great sequence between he and Donovan and a wonderful finish. USA 2, Egypt 0.

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62nd minute– So many balls in to Altidore are turning into turnovers because he's just not positioning himself well. You can see why people say he's just not a true target striker.

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61st minute– Egypt about to use its third sub with 30 minutes to go.

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60th minute– At what point does Egypt realize it advances with this result and stops attacking so much?

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58th minute– DeMerit with a crunchlng challenge. Nice tackle. Egypt is getting beat up.

Egypt corner.

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57th minute– U.S. needs to stay organized. They're getting a little stretched chasing goals.

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56th minute– SAVE El Hadary!! He stones Bradley again. Great chance from the arc from Bradley but he can't beat El Hadary, who has been a monster in goal.

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53rd minute– And here I thought they were using video replay at this tournament. It sure has seemed like it before today.

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52nd minute– Blown call. Yes, the ball played the hand but you CANNOT have your arm that high in the goal. Handball. Bad missed call.

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51st minute– Americans with a WIDE OPEN LOOK but Altidore's shot hits an Egypt defender. Was that a handball?

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49th minute– Bradley with a yellow card for a late challenge.

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46th  minute– We're back.

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HALFTIME– As someone who has lobbied for Davies to get more minutes for some time, you can count me as impressed but not surprised by his play today. He's looking very good as a speedy second forward option and should see more playing time in World Cup qualifying.

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HALFTIME– Tell you what, after watching Brazil torch Italy, the USA's loss to Brazil isn't looking so bad.

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HALFTIME– For those of you who haven't seen the Italy-Brazil highlights, Brazil's third goal started when Kaka stripped Giuseppe Rossi and started a counter that resulted in an own goal by Dossena.

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HALFTIME– What can Bob Bradley do at halftime? Replace Dempsey with Jose Francisco Torres is the one move that stands out. Dempsey started well, but quickly began to fade and struggled the last 25 minutes. There are chances to be had and the Americans need to start finishing some if they want to pull off a miracle trip to the Confederations Cup semifinals. Brazil has done its part, opening a 3-0 halftime lead on Italy. Now it's up to the USA to do its part.

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HALFTIME– Only four minutes of stoppage? Surprising. USA 1, Egypt 0. Americans were unlucky no to add a second and may regret that in the second half.

Egypt is shaken, and while they are still creating some opportunities, their defense looks very vulnerable.

Most importantly, it has been a VERY good effort from the Americans today. Michael Bradley has been a beast, Charlie Davies speed has caused problems and Landon Donovan has been dangerous, although he let some chances go that he should have taken.

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49th minute– Americans are finding some great space behind the Egypt midfield. Egypt gets caught on the counter stretched, and the USA is finding the space.

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48th minute– Don't know about this ref today. He's missing some calls.

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47th minute– Dempsey with another turnover.

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46th minute– Bradley with a GREAT long ball to spring Davies on the break, but his shot is stopped and the rebound isn't controlled.

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45th minute– Don't worry folks, the half is far from over. We'll get at least seven minutes of stoppage time.

Brazil 3, Italy 0. There's hope USA.

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44th minute– Another Egypt dive results in a free kick.

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43rd minute– Brazi is up 2-0, do the Americans have some hope of advancing? They'll need a few more goals before they can think about that.

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42nd minute– Egypt comes on the counter but Onyewu heads a cross out of danger. Egypt will keep finding chances. Will the Americans keep finding chances?

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41st minute– Egypt is finding all sorts of space on the wings. Bornstein needs to get better positioning. He keeps getting caught out. U.S. centerbacks are putting out a lot of fires.

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39th minute– Egypt knicks the crossbar from distance. U.S. team needs to close down Egypt's attackers faster.

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38th minute– Yellow card on Spector. Definitely a foul, not really a yellow.

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37th minute– Why is Dempsey trying to dribble near his own box? He's played well today, but that was a bad play.

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34th minute– Egypt showing some frustration. Americans much steadier in defense.

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32nd minute– Wasted free kicks/corners is definitely a drinking game today.

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31st minute– SAVE GUZAN. A nice Egypt sequence results in a decent but not hard shot that Guzan gets to.

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30th minute– Egypt has looked a bit stunned today. Not playing like we saw them play in their first two matches.

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29th minute– Great run from Donovan through the Egypt defense but El Hadary runs out and gets to the ball, winning the challenge. Nice run from Donovan.

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27th minute– The game has resumed after El Hadary got treated for the cut in his head.

Americans have shown great heart today, and much more effort than they have since the first half of the Italy game.

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25th minute– Altidore with a great turn and cross that el Hadary was getting to before his own defender kicked him in the head. Davies pounces on the loose ball and hits it off the Egypt keeper's face. Great play by the young American strikers.

El Hadary looks to be getting stitches now.

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21st minute- GOAL USa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Charlie Davies with a great effort to keep a ball alive and finishing. WOW.

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20th minute– Good stuff from DeMerit. His stock has certainly gone up this tournament.

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19th minute– Some better activity from the U.S. team. Dempsey is showing much more energy.

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17th minute– Altidore must have thought Donovan was going to shoot and went looking to set up for a rebound. Donovan has to shoot there.

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15th minute– DONOVAN gets in on goal, but instead of shooting he lays it off and nobody makes the run. Altidore cut off his run.

Great long pass from Dempsey on that play.

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14th minute– Bradley looks good early on. He's ready to have a game. Will the same be said of Dempsey and Co.?

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13th minute– Egypt with a great chance in front of goal, but nobody can put a dangerous chance on net. USA got lucky there.

GREAT SHOT BY BRaDLEY, but saved by El hadary.

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12th minute– Egypt with a free kick chance.

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11th minute– Altidore has made some bad passes early. He's got to be more careful because Egypt can break on the counter so quickly.

Altidore lays off a good pass on a break, much better.

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9th minute– U.S. offense still isn't clicking early. Defense has allowed a few looks but nothing really bad.

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7th minute– Donovan's corner is snatched and El Hadary hurls a long pass to Aboutrika. The pass is too long, but a dangerous counter possibility for Egypt.

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6th  minute– Wasted free kicks/corners is definitely a drinking game today.

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6th minute– Dempsey's long-range effort doesn't test the keeper.

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5th minute– Altidore draws the foul, setting up a free kick from 40 yards out.

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3rd minute– Abdelghani with an early chance from 18 yards out but he sends it high. Can't give them those chances.

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2nd minute– Looking forward to see how Davies' speed up top helps test Egypt's back-line.

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1st minute– We are underway.

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PRE-GAME– Aboutrika/Abo Terika is the key for Egypt. Clark and Bradley MUST shackle the playmaking star.

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PRE-GAME– Here is Egypt's lineup:

———-Abdelghani—–Ahmed Eid————

——————–Aboutrika———————

Abd Rabbou———Shawky———–Al Mihamadi

Farag—-Gomaa———–Said———Ahmed Fathi

——————–El Hadary—————————

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PRE-GAME– Will we see Jose Francisco Torres in the second half? Here's hoping we do because I happen to think he can make an impact. No, I'm not in the Freddy Adu camp, but do look forward to seeing him start in the Gold Cup.

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PRE-GAME– It will be interesting to see what Guzan will do. Count me as disappointed that Howard isn't in goal against a dangerous Egypt attack. Egypt has El Hadary in goal, who has been arguably the goalkeeper of the tournament.

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PRE-GAME- By the way, are there really still U.S. fans who don't think Egypt is a good team, and a win against Egypt wouldn't be an accomplishment? They haven't won the past two African Nations Cup titles and didn't just score three goals on Brazil and beat Italy by pure luck.

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PRE-GAME- USA fans will be happy to hear that Egypt's lineup is missing star striker Zidan, who limped off against Italy. That means no Mido, Zaki or Zidan. Does that mean Egypt isn't dangerous? They still have Aboutrika, a dangerous midfielder/ forward who Michael Bradley and Ricardo Clark will have to contain in order to keep Egypt honest.

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PRE-GAME– Will Clint Dempsey step up (and wake up)? Will Ricardo Clark be smarter about his tackles? Will Jozy Altidore respond well to having Charlie Davies playing alongside him?

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PRE-GAME- Count my among the surprised to A) See Clint Dempsey starting, B) Not seeing Jose Torres get a look, and C) Guzan starting. I can understand the Guzan move because you do want him to get some experience, but the same can be said for Torres. It's good to see Charlie Davies getting a start today.

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PRE-GAME- Here is the USA lineup:

——–Altidore———-Davies————

Donovan————————–Dempsey

————Bradley—–Clark—————

Bornstein–DeMerit—Onyewu——Spector

——————-Guzan———————

556 comments
  • madmax

    slymer, I disagree. Some may agree with you that Beasley and Kljestan are just out of form and will be back. I hope to heavens they don’t return. Professional sports are not popularity contests, ‘short memories’ are necessary to succeed. I feel Beasley is finished from international play (many reasons). And Kljestan just doesn’t have enough speed for WC play.

    Like

  • madmax

    Here is Luis bueno of SI saying Mexico is in a bad patch, but they don’t stink up tournaments like the USA.
    “Mexico might be struggling, with four managers since March ’08 and possibly not even reaching the World Cup in South Africa next summer. And let’s be fair: El Tri’s days of dominating the region are long over. But at least Mexico shows up in tournaments. And that’s a gigantic accomplishment.”

    Mexico didn’t qualify for Con Feds Cup, Olympics, and U-20 WC. Oh that’s right Luis, they weren’t trying. Luis, you are pathetic, mate.

    Like

  • GO USA

    Man Landon has been playing fantastic in these games. If he doesn’t get some offers from Europe im going to be really pissed. This guy has been all heart, he hustles, creates chances, and is pretty much faster than anybody on the field. I think that he has shown enough to get some offers at least.

    Like

  • Positive thinker

    Here is Luis bueno of SI saying Mexico is in a bad patch, but they don’t stink up tournaments like the USA.
    “Mexico might be struggling, with four managers since March ’08 and possibly not even reaching the World Cup in South Africa next summer. And let’s be fair: El Tri’s days of dominating the region are long over. But at least Mexico shows up in tournaments. And that’s a gigantic accomplishment.”

    Mexico didn’t qualify for Con Feds Cup, Olympics, and U-20 WC. Oh that’s right Luis, they weren’t trying. Luis, you are pathetic, mate.

    Posted by: madmax | June 21, 2009 at 11:56 PM

    Haha awesome post. I also hate when Mexico fans, media, and players talk crap when they clearly ARE crap. I remember when they were gonna play El Salvador in the qualifiers the idiots over on the ESPN Deportes/Futbol Picante were already claiming victory over the Salvadorans before they even played the game. Boy did the Salvadorans make the idiot Mexican talkers choke on their words. I hope that Mexico does not qualify for the World Cup and that Honduras qualifies with the US because both of our countries hate their teams cockiness(not sure how since they suck) and sore loser attitude.

    Like

  • FCB

    Any and all claims that the result today is a measure of some kind of greatness certainly don’t resonate very far. The US squad has played many times before against strong opponents in Europe (Sweden, Spain, Germany, etc.) and usually has brought a very respectable game. Not great, just a very respectable game that was worth watching. There has been very little, if any, respectable game in the last 4 matches.
    I agree that today was certainly a feel-good day. It’s great to win under these circumstances and I think the players certainly stepped up for the full 90, relative to how they’ve been playing and in spite of the coach. It was also nice to field a full squad (no Beasley, ever, please) and not have anyone red-carded. It feels especially good to have luck on our side for a change and advance to the next stage. But that’s ALL it is, luck. We can magically believe that this squad is ready for the World Cup based on today’s result and blindly put the recent past out of our minds or we can continue to hold the management and team accountable as is our own obligation to them. Just like supporters of every World Cup winner have done for their teams, whatever it takes.
    Which one of those do you think is more likely to produce results?

    Like

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