POWERED BY

Under-17 World Cup

Under-17 World Cup: USA vs. Malawi (Matchday Commentary)

U.S. Crest

The U.S. Under-17 men's national team takes the field today looking to rebound from its Under-20 World Cup opening loss to Spain. The Americans take on Malawi (11am, ESPNU) knowing that a loss would cripple their chances to progress.

The U.S. team didn't play terribly against Spain, but its 2-1 loss was still extremely disappointing considering the fact that it held a man advantage for 88 minutes and squandered a handful of clear chances. Malawi lost to the United Arab Emirates, 2-0, in its opening match.

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

Enjoy the action (Commentary is after the jump).

———————–

FINAL– The United States will close out group play on Sunday against the United Arab Emirates. Kickoff is set for 10am. Be sure to check in to SBI for matchday commentary on that match. For now, feel free to share your thoughts on today's match after the jump. Thanks for folowing along.

———————–

FINAL– USA 1, Malawi 0. A rather weak performance by the United States is aided by one of the worst goalkeeper blunders you will see. A win is a win, but the Americans will need much better to advance past the group stage, much less do some damage in the group stage.

Wow, did Alex Shinsky really do a Peter Crouch-like robot dance after that goal? That's only funny if you're 6-10. Barf. Someone teach Shinsky the Stanky Leg.

———————–

90th Minute– ANOTHER Malawi offside call. I'm starting to wonder how legit these calls all are.

Three minutes of stoppage time left.

———————–

88th Minute– USA looks like a safe bet to hold on to this win, but today's performance doesn't instill a lot of confidence in their ability to beat the United Arab Emirates in the final group match.

———————–

87th Minute– In comes Boyd Okwuonu for Jared Watts.

———————–

86th Minute– Watts is hurt, looks likely to come off.

———————–

85th Minute– Can't we just bribe the CDC into linking vuvuzelas to some life-threatening disease? I'll donate $10 to that.

———————–

84th Minute– USA with ANOTHER corner.

Whoa, did all the vuvuzelas in the stadium stop at once? Did you enjoy that five seconds of silence?

———————–

83rd Minute– USA with a corner.

———————–

81st Minute– McInerney absolutely shanks the 23-yard free kick from the left side of the arc.

———————–

80th Minute– USA with a good free kick opportunity.

———————–

78th Minute– Edwards forced to tip away a Malawi free kick, the ensuing corner poses no threat.

———————–

76th Minute– Still 1-0 to the USA.

———————–

69th Minute– I know I said no drinking games, but anyone watching this game deserves some coffee to help stay awake. So a swig of coffee for every: Malawi offside, McInerney missed shot and goalkeeper blunder from here on out. That should wake everybody up.

———————–

66th Minute– Carlos Martinez is in for Alex Shinsky.

———————–

65th Minute– Carlos Martinez is coming into the match. Maybe now we'll see some spark to this American attack.

———————–

63rd  Minute– Another Malawi sub. Watts gives up a bad corner kick.

———————–

62nd Minute– Gil is definitely skillful on the ball, but we haven't seen nearly as much from him as I would have thought.

———————–

61st Minute– Malawi makes a sub, out comes a guy with ten offside calls against him, in comes a guy named Patience. No, really.

———————–

60th Minute– Gil sends a great pass across goal, but nobody is there. Americans wasting so many chances.

———————–

59th Minute– Are Andrew Craven and Steven Lenhart related? Good question.

———————–

59th Minute– McInerney gets a great look but sends it wide after trying to curl it into the far corner. He apparently missed the memo that you shoot it right at this keeper.

———————–

58th Minute– Another Malawi offside negates a nice counter.

———————–

56th Minute– Americans won't complain about how the goal came, but it figures that it would come off a Malawi error rather than any real American creativity.

———————–

55th Minute– Shinksey sent a volley from about 12 yards out right at the keeper's chest, and he manages to spill it and let it through his own legs. WOW.

———————–

54th Minute- GOAL USA!!!! Alex Shinsky with the goal, but it's a BAD blunder by the Malawi keeper. USA 1, Malawi 0.

———————–

53rd Minute– McInerney WIDE. Narrowly misses with a hard shot.

Andrew Craven is coming on for Victor Chavez.

———————–

53rd Minute– You know it's a bad game when the most impressive person on the field is the referee.

———————–

52nd Minute– Free kick from far out for the USA. Busacca doesn't miss a thing.

———————–

49th Minute– Malawi tries one from distance, but it's well high. Still a bit scary because you get the feeling Malawi will find one.

———————–

48th Minute– A sequence that sums up the USA attack. Gil to McInerney, to nobody because he's triple-teamed.

———————–

47th Minute– If the Americans don't find the net by the 60th minute, Cabrera has to consider inserting Martinez and/or Jerome.

———————–

46th Minute– Shinsky's early shot is blocked for a corner.

———————–

46th minute– And we're back.

———————–

HALFTIME– So what's the deal with the USA attack (Seinfeld voice)? The midfield just isn't generating much. Shinsky's got a good motor, but doesn't really create dangerous chances, and Gil faded a bit in the second part of the first half. McInerney is being forced to drop back looking for some service, which is limiting his effectiveness. Wilmer Cabrera may be forced to remove Palodichuk for a more dynamic midfielder like Carlos Martinez, who has the creative spark and quickness to create some chances for Gil and McInerney.

———————–

HALFTIME– USA 0, Malawi 0. Americans controlled most of the first half, but don't score. Malawi has to be happy.

———————–

45th Minute– One minute of stoppage.

———————–

43rd Minute– WOW, USA dodged a bullet, Malawi with a clear look in the area but it's blocked by Zavaleta.

———————–

40th Minute– A Chavez ball in is caught easily by the keeper. Chavez has some good size, and decent quickness, but just isn't doing much to create space for himself.

———————–

38th Minute– Malawi tries to dive for a penalty but Busacca's better than that.

———————–

37th Minute– USA needs something offensively, something a bit more dynamic up top. Stefan Jerome had his chance vs. Spain and missed his chances, while sources tell me John Agudelo isn't in the best standing with head coach Wilmer Cabrera. Not sure where the spark will come from, but the Americans need one ASAP.

———————–

35th Minute– Malawi threatens with a pass in the penalty area, but the USA avoids the danger despite Edwards getting caught off his line. Telling you, the longer this stays scoreless, the more you get the feeling Malawi will steal one and take a lead.

———————–

32nd Minute– McInerney goes wide with a header. Not a bad look, but still not enough to really trouble Malawi.

———————–

31st Minute– We're a third into this game and the Americas have controlled play, but have nothing to show for it. Not a good sign.

———————–

29th Minute– Almost every Malawi possession ends in an offside call or weak shot from distance.

———————–

28th Minute– The USA's passing is getting sharper. Another corner comes.

———————–

26th Minute– Now the USA gets called for an offside. It's contagious.

———————–

25th Minute– Malawi called for offside AGAIN. Do they have linesmen in Malawi?

———————–

25th Minute– USA still controlling the play, but can't get the final pass connected yet.

———————–

21st Minute– Malawi is whistled offside a second straight time. It's offense is struggling to ge much possession.

———————–

18th Minute– Malawi's keeper is down after a tough challenge from McInerney, who challenged for a ball with a high boot. He gets a yellow for his trouble.

———————–

17th Minute– Malawi with a decent look but an attempted near-post shot finds the side-netting.

Here is the USA lineup:

————-Chavez———–McInerney————–

Shinskey———————————————Gil

——————Duran—-Palodichuk——————

Polak——–Watts———-Zavaleta———-Herold

———————-Edwards—————————

———————–

15th Minute– USA take it short and Alex Shinskey tries to curl it inside the far post, but misses wide. Shinsky's a very active player, but hasn't been overly effective this tournament.

———————–

14th Minute– Another USA corner.

———————–

13th Minute– The referee today is Swiss ref Massimo Busacca, who reffed the 2009 UEFA Champions League final. Not a bad ref to have for a youth match.

———————–

11th Minute– Gil's corner can't find a head.

Good thing USA corners isn't a drinking game today.

———————–

11th Minute– ANOTHER USA corner.

———————–

10th Minute– Corner taken short, and cross is then blocked, leading to a Malawi break. USA catch up, but not before Edwards is forced into a good save.

———————–

9th Minute– USA with more of the possession early and draw another corner, this time it's the left corner.

———————–

7th Minute– McInerney and Gil looking sharp early. USA earns a free kick from about 35 yards out toward the right side.

———————–

6th Minute– The second corner was wasted. Great save by the Malawi keeper on McInerney, who hit a strong header from close range.

———————–

6th Minute– SAVE Malawi off a McInerney header, another USA corner coming.

———————–

5th Minute– Malawi give up a pretty soft corner after a Jack McInerney long pass sent at Chavez. USA corner.

———————–

4th Minute– Malawi with a shot from distance saved easily by Edwards.

———————–

3rd Minute– Eriq Zavaleta and Victor Chavez are the new USA starters from the Spain game, with Perry Kitchen and Stefan Jerome on the bench.

———————–

2nd Minute– Corner goes long and is cleared.

———————–

1st Minute– Gil does well early. Several changes to the USA lineup. corner coming.

———————–

1st Minute– Good stuff early on for the USA, earning a corner.

———————–

1st Minute– We are underway. Lineups to come.

109 comments
  • madmax

    i feel sorry for the players. I suspect many had better skills before going to the Academy. How can a ten yard square pass be such an adventure? Not picking on you, Shinsky and Craven.

    Like

  • Green76

    61st Minute- Malawi makes a sub, out comes a guy with ten offside calls against him, in comes a guy named Patience. No, really.

    I missed the game but got a good laugh from this line in the commentary. Thanks Ives!

    Like

  • This Guy

    I’m glad to see Kentucky has electricity these days but PS2? I play you on my Sega DreamCast instead.

    Like

  • Brett

    Two players really stood out. Polak and Palodichuk. Everyone else was ‘bleh’. Even Gil was disappointing… I liked his close-quarters play and skill but his passing, decisions, and off the ball runs were less than adequate.

    Like

  • chg

    In regards to the 85th minute comment, there’s a pretty high positive correlation between prevalence of vuvuzelas and national AIDs infection rate.

    Like

  • JR

    Glad someone pointed out POLAK, the kid pretty much controlled the whole 2nd half. Got forward a lot and still had time to run back and shut down malawii’s counter attack.

    Play him at CM and watch him take over a game

    Like

  • Andy in Atlanta

    Just to comment further… Malawi looked very bright against UAE…UAE scored on two extreme long range bombs… Malawi was the better team in that match… hopefully the US shreds UAE and moves on…the confidence to score will come eventually.

    Like

  • Chris in Belfast

    I was in class while this game was being played, so I can’t make any visual verdicts, but it sounds from the commentary as though the boys held possession fairly well. Even if their bite in the final third was lacking, I think this is a pretty good sign. If these guys can get into a decent professional set-up and get good coaching they can learn that final ball. One thing we consistently complain about on here watching the senior team play is that the mid-field does a poor job in possession. Two games in a row from the young ones holding possession bodes well, even if it was against Malawi and a ten man Spain. Lets see how they do on possession against the UAE.

    Like

Add your comment

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

More from SBI Soccer