Olympic Qualifying: USA vs. Canada (Running Commentary)

Olympic Qualifying: USA vs. Canada (Running Commentary)

U.S. Men's Olympic Team

Olympic Qualifying: USA vs. Canada (Running Commentary)

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Tonight is the night. Two teams enter, one team leaves with a ticket to the Olympics. The U.S. national team faces Canada in a crucial CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying semifinal and anyone thinking it will be a cakewalk for the Americans should think again. It will be a battle.

The match was scheduled to begin at 9pm but I’m not sure when kickoff will be now that Guatemala-Honduras is into overtime. Whenever the USA-Canada match does start, be ready to follow it here on SBI.

I will be doing my usual Running Commentary. You can feel free to add your own insights and observations on the match in the comments section below. I know that not everyone can watch the match on Fox Soccer Channel (or ESPN360.com) so if you’re one of the unfortunate souls who cannot, follow the match here.

Enjoy the action.

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FINAL- USA 3, Canada 0. The Americans are going to the China Olympics. It’s official. Jozy Altidore drew the fouls, Freddy Adu delivered the goals and the U.S. defense kept the clean sheet. Not much to complain about tonight. Great team performance.

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90th minute- Top Five drinking games that didn’t happen during tonight’s game but would have been fun (and potentially dangerous:

  • Charlie Davies going to ground
  • ESC camera shots
  • Jozy Altidore free kicks drawn
  • Sacha Kljestan turnovers
  • Nik Ledgerwood getting booed

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89th minute- What’s the movie about the kid who is on house arrest and has a killer living next door? Whatever movie that is, Will Johnson looks like the kid on house arrest.

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88th minute- Robbie Findley is in for Sacha Kljestan. Good game overall, even if he committed countless unforced turnovers.

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87th minute- This match has slowed down and gotten a bit boring. You know what it needs? TIFFANY MAY.

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85th minute- Can someone tell Charlie Davies to stop diving? The outcome of the match is decided.

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82nd minute- Eddie Gaven coming in for Freddy Adu. Man of the Match performance for the Benfica playmaker.

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80th minute- Okay, Max Bretos blows it with the comment that there’s a big gap on the youth level between the USA and Canada. Canada is missing several more European-based players than the USA is.

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78th minute- GOAL USA!!! Sacha Kljestan with a great finish off a nice sequence. Stuart Holden serves the ball in and finds Kljestan, who finishes it off. Turnovers, schmurnovers. It’s USA 3, Canada 0.

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75th minute- Jozy Altidore coming off and Charlie Davies is coming in. Really good work from Altidore tonight. Kept Canada under pressure for most of the night. Only a great save kept him off the scoreboard.

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72nd minute- I think it’s substitution time for the U.S. team.

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70th minute- Could Peter Nowak have on more US Soccer garb? Get that man a suit.

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67th minute- Adu comes close to his hat trick. I think Canada is finished.

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66th minute- Altidore with a yellow card for a foul not as bad as about six he’s suffered this game.

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64th minute- A nice long passing sequence for the Americans. You get the sense they could keep it all game if they wanted to. Canada isn’t applying much pressure defensively.

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62nd minute- I’m sure Canadian fans are wondering what would have happened if David Edgar had been allowed to play in this tournament.

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61st minute- Has anyone else been impressed with Brian Dunseth as a color commentator? Funny how easy it can seem when you A) pronounce names right, B) don’t reference European star players and C) spend time talking about your playing days.

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59th minute- You know what, if I had made a Sacha Kljestan turnover drinking game, there would be some ambulances en route to SBI Mafia homes right now.

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57th minute- Kljestan misses badly with a loose ball in the area.

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53rd minute- Now we will see the U.S. defense face some real pressure.

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51st minute- Canada earns a corner kick, finally showing some life in the attack. Orozco clears the corner kick away.

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49th minute- Adu puts the Superman cape on tonight and Altidore doesn’t have a goal but he has drawn some dangerous free kicks.

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48th minute- GOAL USA!!!!!!!!!! Freddy Adu with a BEAUTIFUL free kick. USA 2, Canada 0. WOW

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47th minute- Altidore draws yet another free kick, but he took a beating on that play. Free kick USA.

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47th minute- USA free kick produces a header but it’s offside. The Americans have come out flying.

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46th minute- And we’re back.

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HALFTIME- USA 1, Canada 0. I just haven’t seen much from Canada that tells me they will find an equalizer, but their forwards are capable of making something from nothing so a one-goal lead isn’t totally safe.

Who hasn’t played well for the US? I don’t know if anyone has really been bad. Kljestan has had turnovers but he has also had an impressive work rate and made plenty of steals and good passes.

Adu is on fire. He and Altidore need to find each other more.

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45th minute- Is it me or have Kljestan and McCarty exchanged skill sets? Kljestan is the hard-working guy who keeps turning the ball over while McCarty is the sharp passer who is calming things down in the middle? Strange.

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44th minute- Okay, I’ll say it, Freddy Adu is playing on a different level from everyone else on the field.

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43rd minute- Did this referee bring his cards?

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42nd minute- Wagenaar does well to catch Adu’s free kick.

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41st minute- Altidore earns a free kick near the right endline. Nice work to draw it. Could have been a yellow card.

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40th minute- Good stuff so far from Holden, McCarty and Edu.

And nice TV shot of ESC and some other U.S. fans.

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38th minute- Canada just can’t get the ball into its attacking third. Good work by the U.S. defense and midfield.

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37th minute- And there’s another Kljestan turnover that leads to a Canada break.

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35th minute- Hey, it’s a Chris Seitz siting. Not too much to do so far.

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33rd minute- Kljestan is playing pretty well, the odd unforced turnover aside. I see him setting up a goal before he’s done.

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31st minute- Did Max Bretos really having to bring up the Peru World Cup blowout loss to Argentina? Okay, now I’m bitter (just kidding).

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29th minute- A little scuffle between Wagenaar and Altidore after Altidore came in hard looking for a loose ball. Cooler heads prevail. I think Altidore is still thinking about that shot Wagenaar saved.

CANADA sub- Kyle Hall for Keegan Ayre. A definite offensive move there.

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28th minute- Adu has looked motivated all match and delivers some magic there.

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28th minute- GOAL!!!!!!!!!!! FREDDY ADU. Fires a curling free kick past Wagenaar. USA 1, CANADA 0

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26th minute- Altidore draws a free kick near the right corner of the penalty area.

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23rd minute- Adu with a nifty turn and shot that misses wide. He looks very active tonight and is going to cause problems all match.

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22nd minute- It’s still scoreless but I really get the sense that Canada’s back-line can be broken.

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21st minute- Wow, the Canada coach has a major league mullet going on. Looks like a mini-Barry Melrose.

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19th minute- SAVE Wagenaar. Denies Jozy Altidore from point blank range.

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18th minute- I have to say that Marvell Wynne is playing well early on. I give him credit, I didn’t think he would get the call.

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18th minute- I wonder if that’s the ESC that I hear chanting. I know some of them are in Nashville.

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17th minute- Nice missed handball call by the ref there.

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16th minute- Canada getting better of the possession the past few minutes. The Americans need to regain control of the midfield.

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12th minute- Some nice passing for the US but can’t find a chance.

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10th minute- ADU comes close but his shot is just over the crossbar.

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9th minute-  Kljestan with a bad turnover. Still not impressing me. He’s better than this.

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8th minute- Early on the Americans are controlling central midfield.

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7th minute- Adu to Edu to Holden, who makes a great move. He has looked good this tournament and looks ready to have a game tonight.

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6th minute- Kljestan with a nice run into the box but nothing comes of it.

You can see Spector is a rock in the back. He won’t be easy to beat.

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5th minute- Canada is feeling some pressure. Two corners given up in a minute.

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4th minute- Freddy Adu already causing trouble with a nice run into the box. Forces a corner.

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3rd minute- And we are under way.

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PRE-GAME- The USA lineup is the same one SBI posted earlier today. Here is Canada’s lineup:

————-Johnson—-Ricketts————

Ornoch——-Ayre—Rosenlund—-Hemming

Ramalho—–Jakovic–Hainault—–Ledgerwood

——————–Wagenaar——————–

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PRE-GAME- Looks like we won’t be waiting as long as we thought for the match to start.

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Honduras is going to the Olympics. Great stuff from the Young Catrachos. Tough one for Guatemala.

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GUATEMALA MISSES. Rafa Morales skies it high, trying to tuck it into the top left corner.

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HONDURAS SCORES- Erick Norales hits a right-sided shot. Everyone’s going to the right now.

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GUATEMALA SCORES- Wilson Lalin with a good kick to the right. Wow, what pressure.

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HONDURAS SCORES- What a great high left kick. Best kick so far.

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GUATEMALA SCORES- WOW, that was close. And we’re on to extra frames.

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HONDURAS SCORES- It’s 4-3 Honduras now.

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GUATEMALA SCORES

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HONDURAS SHOT OVER THE CROSSBAR

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GUATEMALA SCORES

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HONDURAS SHOT SCORED

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GUATEMALA SHOT SAVED

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HONDURAS- CONVERTS

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GUATEMALA PK SCORES- Contreras off the inside of the left post. Honduran keeper guesses right but it was too perfect.

HONDURAS PK SCORES- Absolute blast from Morales, no chance for the keepers

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PRE-GAME- Okay, my money is on Honduras. Why? The Honduras goalkeeper, the one who looks like Guillermo Ochoa’s stunt double, looks more confident than his Guatamalan counterpart.

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PRE-GAME- If this first match goes the whole way, including PKs, you could see a 20-30 minute delay for the USA-Canada match as both squads will need time to warm up.

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