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U.S. Men's National Team

Confederations Cup: USA vs. Spain (Matchday Commentary)

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The U.S. men's national team will look to shock the world today as it takes on world No. 1 Spain (2:25pm, ESPN). The Spanish have been on a roll over the past two years, winning the European championships and establishing themselves as the best team on the planet.

The Americans will be hoping to end Spain's unbeaten streak as well as their own winless streaks against No. 1 ranked teams. They will be trying to ride the momentum of the unforgettable 3-0 win vs. Egypt on Sunday.

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

Enjoy the match.

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FINAL- That's all for me folks. Thanks to all of you who followed along. As always, be sure to check out SBI's coverage of the U.S. national team.

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FINAL- Now the AMericans reach the Confederations Cup final, where they will face the winner of Brazil-South Africa (Wednesday, 2:25pm). They will go in tired, but filled with confidence. What won't they believe after this?

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FINAL- It's time for U.S. fans to celebrate, but how terrible was the red card on Michael Bradley? Jorge Larrionda should be embarrassed.

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FINAL- Spain came into this match unbeaten in 35, and winners of 15 straight. Those streaks are OVER.

Did I say WOW?

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FINAL- USA 2, Spain 0. Another American win, Another Miracle. WOW.

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93rd minute- Seconds remaining. Spain is shooting, USA blocking everything.

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92nd minute- One minute left.

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91st minute- Three minutes of stoppage time.

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90th minute- Conor Casey holding the ball up. If he scored vs. Spain so many heads would explode it would be ugly.

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89th minute- Donovan with a pretty bad dive, Pique gets the yellow for dissent.

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89th minute- Bornstein is in for Dempsey, who is gassed.

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88th minute- Onyewu is winning EVERYTHING in the air.

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88th minute- Spain is pushing hard, and now has more space with the man advantage.

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87th minute- Bradley gets a red card. He went in hard but got the ball. No matter, Larrionda gives another American a red card. A joke.

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86th minute- Four minutes left.

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85th minute– Casey blocks a cross, Spain keeps possession. They're still looking.

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85th minute- Dangerous cross headed away by Onyewu. Spain corner kick.

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84th minute- Conor Casey for Altidore.

Some folks will complain but Casey can hold the ball up and is a handful.

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83rd minute- Dempsey has a case as well.

Seven minutes.

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82nd minute- Donovan has been the best player on the field today. There, I said it.

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82nd minute- Eight more minutes.

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81st minute- SAVE Howard, stops an Alonso shot from distance.

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80th minute- Spain can't find any answers. They've got ten minutes to score two goals.

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79th minute- Villa gets it through the wall but not hard enough to trouble Howard.

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79th minute- Spain with a dangerous free kick, Feilhaber fouled Cazorla.

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78th minute- Spain is knocking on the door. Mata is in for Riera.

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76th minute- USA 2, Spain 0.

No, seriously.

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75th minute- Feilhaber with some magic on the ball, springs DOnovan on the wing, Donovan centers it, then it gets to Dempsey, who finishes. WOW. USA 2, Spain 0.

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73rd minute- DeMerit stops Torres. Tell you what, how are low-level EPL teams not on the phone after watching him in this tournament?

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72nd minute- USA have been better the past few minutes, but now a turnover.

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71st minute– Donovan with an ugly cross from the right side.

Donovan is on the right wing, Feilhaber is on the left.

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70th minute- Dempsey moves up top and now the USA has an extra guy who can keep the ball.

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68th minute- Cazorla comes in for Fabregas. A more natural winger on the right for SPain.

Benny Feilhaber comes in for Charlie Davies. Why not Altidore, because Altidore has been better today.

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67th minute- Feilhaber should be the next sub. When will he come in? Soon I think.

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66th minute- The USA needs to find Donovan when they have the ball. Some terrible decisions not to find him.

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65th minute- Donovan starts a counter, Davies gets it and runs, but can't find a shot.

Spain comes back, but USA slows Torres down.

Another USA turnover, Ramos shot blocked by Clark.

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64th minute– SAVE HOWARD on a shot from distance.

aNOTHER SAVE from Howard. Wow.

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63rd minute- DeMerit has been everywhere today.

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62nd minute- Donovan has played a great match today.

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61st minute- Altidore looking for a foul in the penalty area on Puyol. He's not getting that call.

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59th minute- Donovan does well to pick off a Spain pass and start a counter.

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58th minute- Clark hits a shot way high after the ball is initially cleared.

Here comes Spain.

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57th minute– altidore earns a corner kick.

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56th minute– Howard smothers a Villa shot.

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55th minute- Riera misses wide after beating Spector in the area.

Anybody want to keep the ball for the USA?

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54th minute- Clark with a great run forward, but his final pass doesn't find the mark.

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52nd minute- Howard saves a weak Villa shot. Who will keep the ball for the USA? Benny Feilhaber needs to warm up.

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51st minute- U.S. team just isn't getting possession. Spain is going to make them pay with this much time on the ball.

Spain corner.

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50th minute- DeMerit with a good intervention, but Spain comes back and Bocanegra heads a cross away.

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49th minute- You have to admire Pique's ability to collect the ball and make sharp passes from the back. U.S. defenders could take some notes.

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48th minute– Spain has come out in another gear.

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46th minute- Dempsey's header is high.

Here comes Spain. SaVE HOWARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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46th minute- Donovan with a dangerous cross, knocked out for a corner.

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46th minute- And we're back.

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HALFTIME- Note to Jozy Altidore: If, by some miracle, you score again, DO NOT take off your jersey again.

Seriously though, how has Altidore wound up matched up with Capdevila on repeated occasions? Where were Pique and Puyol on those plays?

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HALFTIME– U.S. subs? No need for any yet. Everyone is doing the job. Bocanegra looked slow on a few plays but I think those had as much to do with Spain's players as it did with Bocanega being slow.

One thing is certain, if the Americans don't start keeping the ball they are going to tire and give up a goal. The same thing happened a year ago when these teams met.

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HALFTIME– Americans CANNOT try and sit on this lead. They need to get the ball to Dempsey and Donovan and Davies and put pressure on Spain's back-line. 

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HALFTIME– Americans were very effective for the first 30-35 minutes, finding chances, staying disciplined defensively, but late in the first half they stopped trying to keep the ball and kept giving Spain repeated chances to come right at them.

What will Spain do at halftime? I have to believe Capdevila gets the hook. He was terrible in the first half. Riera has been largely ineffective as well. David Silva should get a look in the second half.

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HALFTIME- USA 1, SPAIN 0. Jozy Altidore's goal has the Americans leading Spain, which hasn't lost since 2006 and hadn't surrendered a goal in more than 450 minutes before today. What a solid first-half performance by the United States. 

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45th minute– WOW, Spain comes close, but can't put one on frame. Torres just torched Bocanegra, but Howard makes a kick save on his shot. NICE SAVE.

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44th minute– WOW, Onyewu just hit a one-legged scorpion kick clearance to prevent a free header from Villa from close range. That play was insane.

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43rd minute– DeMerit with a great play on that sequence to block a Ramos shot.

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42nd minute- Spain corner, Altidore bad turnover to lead to a dangerous Spain sequence.

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42nd minute– Donovan takes a dive, looking for a call on Villa. Spain with a dangerous free kick right side of the area.

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40th minute– Altidore gets fouled by Alonso. He's still down. Now he's up.

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39th minute– Donovan called offside on a well-timed ball in.

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38th minute– SPAIN is very CLOSE, Onyewu clears.

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38th minute– The U.S. centerbacks just need to do better with the ball.

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37th minute– Spector does VERY well to race back and strip Riera.

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36th minute– USA free kick from 40. Finds Dempsey, but he can't get his header on frame. If he leaves it Bocanegra has a header on goal.

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36th minute– Altidore draws a yellow card on Capdevila, who is hating his teammate right now.

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34th minute– Spector and Dempsey need to close down the service from their wing, Spain's finding room on that side quite a bit. Looks to be more Spector than Dempsey giving up that space.

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33rd minute– Torres called offside for what seems like the fifth time this game.

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31st minute– Spain corner. Well played.

Spain gets a

VILLA MISS from CLOSE. Wow. What a bad no-call by the ref before that.

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31st minute– And no, Altidore's t-shirt did not say "Suck it Xerez" in Spanish.

Villa shot blocked by Spector. Nice play.

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30th minute– Spain will come, that you can bet the house on. The question is how will the U.S. defense respond when the Spanish start clicking.

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29th minute– USA 1, Spain 0. Take in that scoreline for a minute.

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28th minute– That was a Dempsey pass in to Altidore, takes a slight deflection, Altidore just shakes Villarreal teammate Joan Capdevila off his back and turns on goal. I guess his pre-game chatting with Capdevila wasn't so bad after all.

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27th minute– Spain receives a ball, shields the defender, turns and has Casillas all alone, beating him to the left. WOW.

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27th minute- GOAL USA!!!!!!!!!!! ANd it's ALTIDORE. WOW. GREat TURN AND FINISH

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26th minute– Davies gets fouled by Puyol. That might seem like a physical mis-match but don't let Davies fool you. He was a high school state wrestling champion, and we all know what he can do with an elbow.

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25th minute– Onyewu heads the corner away.

Another SPain corner.

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25th minute– Spain with a corner.

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23rd minute– DeMerit clears and it goes right to Spain. Good work by the USA midfield there.

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22nd minute– Spain starting to find some rhythm. U.S. is getting to some balls, but need to be better with the ball when they intercept it.

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21st minute– Donovan misses wide on a great counterattack chance. He shoots from 25 and goes wide.

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20th minute– Clark showing more confidence on the ball today.

Here comes Spain.

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18th minute– You saw right there how quickly Spain can unlock a defense. They need to stay organized.

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18th minute– Some good possession by the USA, but no chance, here comes Spain.

Torres called offside on a dangerous sequence, but Howard saved it anyway.

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17th minute– Lots of empty seats at this game. Pretty disappointing.

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15th minute– Clark with a smooth tackle and turn. Nice play at the top of the box.

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14th minute– Spain off to a slow start by its standards while the Americans have put more pressure on early. You wonder if Spain's weak group will make them need some time early to adjust to the U.S. team.

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13th minute– Donovan is working very hard in midfield to help deal with Spain's playmakers.

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11th minute– Spain with the first chance, but Torres sends his chance wide. USA leaving too much space on the ball.

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11th minute– If you're wondering why Onyewu is wearing gloves, it is very cold at the game. Okay, so maybe it still looks funny, but that's why.

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9th minute– Dempsey comes oh so CLOSE with a shot from 20.

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8th minute– Davies with a glancing header across goal, but it's wide. Good ball from Bocanegra there.

This is the best start to a game for the U.S. team in months.

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7th minute– altidore and Dempsey combined well before that cross, but Altidore's touch let him down in the area.

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7th minute– WHOA, Davies tries a bicycle kick and sends it wide. Nice ball in from Dempsey. Great effort.

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5th minute– Landon Donovan gets a very early yellow for a foul on Alonso. Not sure about that call at all.

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4th minute– Donovan with his best corner in some time, a hard and driven ball, but nobody can get to it.

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3rd minute– U.S. needs to keep some possession. The more Spain has the ball, the faster the U.S. defense will get tired.

USA corner kick.

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2nd minute– Ref with a shaky call for a foul on Donovan.

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2nd minute– Spain moving the ball well early, Capdevila sends a ball in but Onyewu clears it out.

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1st minute– We're underway.

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PRE-GAME– The teams are posing together in front of a Say No To Racism banner. Pretty friendly vibe before the game.

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PRE-GAME– It's 37 degrees at the game. Brrrr

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PRE-GAME– Anthems being played. The gamefaces are on. Onyewu, Dempsey, Bradley, DeMerit, Davies, Donovan, Spector, Howard and Bocanegra all look pretty stoic. Ricardo Clark had a half-smile and actually looked at the camera. They look ready.

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PRE-GAME– Team captains are giving anti-racism speeches before the match. First Iker Casillas, then Carlos Bocanegra.

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PRE-GAME– Will fatigue be an issue today? Spain has spread its minutes out much more than the United States has.

Nice to see altidore chatting with Villarreal teammate Joan Capdevila. Altidore looks pretty relaxed considering the match. I think he's going to have a good game today.

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PRE-GAME– The game is about to come on. We're getting close.

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PRE-GAME– The Americans need to remember two words today, "Treasure Possession." Why? If they lose the ball cheaply Spain will punish the Americans by keeping it for a long time and creating good chances with that possession. The U.S. team has committed far too many cheap turnovers in possession and the passing needs to be much sharper today. They will have more time on the ball than in past games, and need to make the most of that time by being smart about their passes.

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PRE-GAME– It will be interesting to see how much Michael Bradley can get forward into the attack considering the defensive responsibilities he will have trying to help slow down Xavi and Fabregas.

Count me as very intrigued by the Altidore-Davies vs. Pique-Puyol match-up. Altidore held his own against Giorgio Chiellini, and his size and strength will also cause problems for the Spanish tandem. Davies may be the more troublesome of the two U.S. forwards for Spain because he's got good speed and neither Pique or Puyol is known for their pace.

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PRE-GAME- Thinking back to last year's meeting between these teams it should be noted that Torres played but Villa didn't, and Spain played in a 4-2-3-1, with Bocanegra spending most of the time on Torres before Torres left the match.

Today, Onyewu and DeMerit get their toughest test of the tournament. Onyewu has been great this tournament but he will now face Torres, who he went up against in last year's Champions League play-in round. The reports at the time suggested that he did a very good job on Torres.

Now DeMerit must match up with Villa, who is on a roll these days. If he can limit Villa's space and time in the area, the U.S. defense just might be able to contain that terrifying forward tandem.

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PRE-GAME– Felt obligated to run a video clip to get USA fans pumped up after posting the Spain Euro video. Hope that helps get you all in the right frame of mind. 

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PRE-GAME- I know USA fans are pretty nervous about today's match, and how the United Stats will measure up. I'll say they should think back to the 2002 World Cup, when the United States wasn't expected to do much. We know how that turned out:

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PRE-GAME– Can Spector and Dempsey win the battle on the right vs. Riera and Capdevila? Can Bradley and Clark cope with Xavi and Fabregas?

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PRE-GAME– Spain doesn't really use a right winger here, Fabregas will be more central, with Sergio Ramos having the run of the right flank. Bocanegra vs. Ramos should be a good battle.

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PRE-GAME– Spain is coming out in a 4-4-2:

————-Torres——–Villa———

Riera——–Xavi———-Fabregas——-

——————–Alonso———————

Capdevila—Puyol—-Pique——–Ramos

——————-Casillas——————–

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PRE-GAME- Bob Bradley goes with the back four that makes the most sense. Jonathan Bornstein hasn't done terribly, but the back four of Bocanegra-Onyewu-DeMerit-Spector is pretty rock solid.

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PRE-GAME- Here is the USA lineup:

————–Altidore——–Davies————–

Donovan——————————–Dempsey

—————–Bradley——Clark—————-

Bocanegra—-Onyewu—–DeMerit—-Spector

————————-Howard——————-

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PRE-GAME– Today's referee is Jorge Larrionda. Name sound familiar? He's the same referee who issued red cards to Pablo Mastroeni and Eddie Pope in the U.S. team's 1-1 World Cup draw vs. Italy. No, I'm not making that up.

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PRE-GAME– We are an hour away. 

545 comments
  • brandon

    I BELIEVE we can do the job in the final, yes we can!!! COME ON YOU YANKS!!

    Like

  • soccerroo

    Wow i can not believe it. A miracle on Sunday and this well played game today. Bob has my vote of Confidence for a while and guys you played great. GO USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  • jai_brooklyn

    I’m so proud of the boys. After all these years of taking crap from the idiotic U.S sports press and the world at large.

    FOOTBALL has arrived in the U.S!!

    Like

  • simms21

    We still have a right to be pissed about past games, Compare the line ups which are drastically different? No Mastroeni, no Beasley, no Hedjuk (even though he does play with enough heart for 3 players), no Ching. Infuse some youth and hunger and we get some hard earned wins , simple as that.

    Like

  • Russ

    Don’t know if you can appeal the red, but those saying that even if it was changed to a yellow, he’s out–take a look at ussoccer.com’s pre-game report. It said that yellows don’t carry over from the group stage.

    Like

  • jpc

    Bradley and Clark are a good team in the middle, Bob Bradley was right, and myself and others of similar mind were wrong… We need to give credit where credit is due…

    Bocanegra at left back, beasley out, dempsey moving to forward late in games, davies as a starter w/ altidore. These are all Bradley moves that have been very effective…

    NICE JOB BOB

    Michael Bradley’s card was complete bull$h!t, AGAIN, these refs have been crap all tourney

    Like

  • Danny

    OMG THE U.S JUST BEAT SPAIN 2-0!!!…

    Finally our players show some heart and really battled hard out there…Amazing performance against the best NT in the world…Wow can’t believe we made the final : 0

    USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA!!!

    Like

  • Seisco

    Absolutely inspiring performance by our boys today. Every player contributed and played their heart out. We defended with courage and vigor. We we blocking shots and winning tackles, doin the dirty work.

    And finally a game against a top-notch opponent where the US didn’t squander and chances! We finished our best chances and made Spain pay the price.

    GREAT WIN USA. WE LOVE YOU. PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN TODAY.

    Like

  • gel65

    Like a few have already said,the Davies insertion to the lineup has changed everything.He has a direct effect on Jozy and Landons game thats better for the whole squad.If europe doesnt come callin for a few of our guys now,especially Landon,then they never will………I also believe we have found our starting back 4,something we all have clamored for,for sometime with Boca on the left.He will get better as he gets game fit again.

    Like

  • FCB

    To Jozy, Charlie, Clint, Landon, Michael, Ricardo, Oguchi, Carlos, Jay, Jonathan and Tim:

    EXCELLENT JOB TODAY! YOU’VE MADE US ALL PROUD! YOU GUYS CAN BEAT THE BEST OF THEM! ROCK ON!

    Like

  • ChiTownFireFan

    I will be vacationing in Barcelona next week proudly wearing my USA jersey

    GO USA!

    Like

  • silent e

    Between all the (justified) gushing about the US’s victory I would like to point out one thing: this is one of the most exciting national team games I’ve watched in a while, and not just because I was rooting for the US.

    Why? Because, unlike what a couple of posters claimed, Spain was not like Mexico. Spain was all class. Classy skillful play, and so little fouling from either side. No diving, no whining, no BS from anybody (OK, a little. But very little.) And after the game? Respect. What can I say? Thank you US for the amazing win. Thank you Spain for being classy in defeat. Thank you both for giving me 2 hours of absolutely amazing entertainment.

    Like

  • Casey

    Can’t wait to watch this on DVR when I get home. Even my Portuguese wife is thrilled, since they have no love for the Spaniards.

    Like

  • Fulham Pete

    Real Madrid needs to sign that mountain of a man that just shut down their National Team. I hear that they’re all offense and no defense…I think I’ve found a solution to that.

    With this match, Gooch shows that he’s ABSOLUTELY WORLD-CLASS. He could win a La Liga title if Real woke up and signed him.

    And I can’t stand Real…it’d just be a good move…and I’d love to watch Gooch on ESPN next year.

    Oh yeah, one other thing…

    Larrionda can suck my big monkey ****. I’ve never seen a more crooked ref at such a high level of competition.

    Like

  • Yossarian

    MAES,

    Yes, because Bradley INNOVATED IT!! Duh. You only get credit for smart and effective substitutions if you’ve never made that sub before?? How dumb is that. You win by making smart decisions, not by making new decisions.

    Smart move putting Boca on the left. Smart move Putting Davies up top with Jozy. Smart move making the Benny sub and putting Deuce up top. Smart to keep door open for Benny at all, when most of you declared him done and dusted.

    BTW, how fit is Lando? Kid was running by people with burst in the 90th minute.

    Like

  • Yinka Double Dare

    Fantastic play from pretty much everyone in the US starting lineup as well as Feilhaber once he came in.

    FIFA should never assign Larrionda to another USA match ever again. That red was, quite simply, unfathomably bad, and just plain wrong. At WORST it was a plain old foul. I don’t even think it deserves a yellow. A straight red is an absolute joke.

    Like

  • FCB

    Unquestionably an incorrect red card against Bradley. Larrionda didn’t even consult the linesmen. Don’t know what he was looking at but it wasn’t red. Definitely by far the worst call of the 3 red cards so far. Maybe yellow, but barely at that.

    Like

  • Steve

    You gotta think that a bunch of the US players helped their club careers with last 2 performances:

    DeMerit – moving to an EPL side for sure.
    Donovan – moving to mid to high-table team in EPL or Germany.
    Feilheiber – getting back on radar of teams in top 4 Euro leagues.
    Onyewu – added $1M+ to his contract with new team. High to mid-table EPL teams now interested.
    Davies – move to EPL or Germany.
    Altidore – Villareal finally secures loan deal that guarantees more PT.

    Like

  • FCB

    Form Marca:

    “Onyewu y Demerit, dos frontones.Los centrales de Estados Unidos completaron un partido perfecto”

    Onyewu and DeMerit, two defensive frontmen, Central defenders of the US, completed a perfect match.

    Like

  • FCB

    God Bless you Tim Howard (on ESPN SportsCenter):

    “It’s a proud moment for us as a country, as a team and we’re just happy that we’re the 25 guys who are representing the USA”

    SEE, YOU CAN DO IT!!!

    Like

  • jai_brooklyn

    A win for all the fans who have lived and died with the Nats for years.

    I’m gonna mosey up to bar for a cold one while all the moronic sports commentators and assorted idiots who hate this sport in this country can belch on the luck warm coffee..

    A BROOKLYN LAGER PLEASE…

    Like

  • Bryan

    ASLDK:JAWSL:DKJQ#(*!#Y$(*Y!#@$(*!Y#%$(*Y~!(*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    USA!!!!!

    Like

  • Jon

    I have to say, for all those who called for Bob Bradley’s head, you have to put a foot in your mouth. Who would’ve ever thought that we’d been in the final of this tourney.

    Like

  • FCB

    It wasn’t Bob Bradley that won the game for the US it was the players. He did the EXACT same substitutions at the same time he did them agaisnt Egypt!
    Despite that hollowness, THE PLAYERS stepped up and delivered. Bravo!

    Like

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