AC Milan is taking on Club America in the World Football Challenge in Atlanta tonight in what could be Oguchi Onyewu's first match for Milan.
The match is scoreless at halftime, and chances are we will see Onyewu in the second half. That being the case, you can feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play on the second half of action in the comments section below.
(UPDATE- Onyewu will be coming on as a sub to start the second half.)
Enjoy the match.
Lalas is awesome compared to Harkes. Harkes talks like he is actually from England and not the US. It’s totally annoying. At least Lalas is genuine.
Shame Gooch got beat on America’s first score, by Enrique Esqueda no less.
Maybe Esqueda can share how he did it with El Tri’s current front line in time for August 12?
That said, Gooch WAS the right back, and that was his man.
He was the right center back, and it was his man, but it was a 40 yard lofted ball into the goal area. Keeper has to come off the line for that.
WAAAAYYY too much analysis of Gooch for a short reserve role in a friendly exhibition. That said, Gooch WAS the right back, and that was his man. He missed the assigment, and learned from it. No big deal. He’ll be fine for USMNT and for Serie A this season.
What Milan should do is play the video from 2005/06 where Gooch stared down Jared Borgetti before home matches. That should intimidate any opposing strikers. 🙂
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For the most part, I must say I enjoyed the performance of both American defenders last night. Gooch had a decent first game, and though it was obvious he’s still new to the team, he’ll settle in over time and the communication will be much better.
As for Lalas, I don’t normally enjoy him in the studio, but thought he was quite good in the booth last night. It’s as if he’s finally figured out that it’s all about what you say, not how much. Good for him, and good for us fans.
Highlight of the night for me:
Derek: “Italian teams have a history of signing players based off of one good tournament… a few good games in a row.”
Alexi: “They signed me!”
Jacob “A” 😉 — it was a great crowd last night — and not too many plastic horns! 50k for a Wednesday night is quite good IMO. Good stadium for a big game, but obviously wouldn’t work for MLS.
I was stunned when Milan scored. I had thought it was a pro-America crowd, but the stadium roared when Milan scored.
Gooch left his man, and he scored. Other than that, he played very well, and really should’ve had an assist to tie the game.
i just scored tickets to the game tomorrow in Baltimore!!!! Onyewu, from what I have read, is going to start that game since it is a “home coming” of sorts.
@Mike Dida was their starting keeper two years ago. Abbiati is the starting keeper now. Dida started at the end of this year because Abbiati was injuried.
Ok, just to clarify a few things…
1. Christian Abbiati is typically the starting goalkeeper for Milan not Dida, but he is currently injured. So the starting job for the first half of the season will be between Dida and Kalac, but I expect Dida to be the starter to open the season.
2. Milan has stopped pursuing Fabiano because they feel he is too expensive. They have shifted their attention to buying Trezeguet from Juventus.
3. Fans do not call the teams Inter Milan and AC in Italy. They are called Inter and Milan. There are other clubs that are also AC in Serie A (ie: Chievo). So stop calling Milan just AC!!!
4. I am looking forward to seeing how Gooch performs against the likes of Amauri, Del Piero, Totti, Milito, Gilardino, Mutu, Quagliarella, Zarate, etc.
The thing that stood out for me in Gooch’s performance was he didn’t really look out of place technically. His passing and touch were solid in the 30 minutes I saw.(I missed the first 15 of the 2nd half) Those are areas he’s improved a lot. I actually thought Nesta(who was brilliant defensively) hit some wayward long passes that US fans would have crucified Gooch for. But that just shows it’s preseason and no one on the Milan squad is sharp yet.
Hopefully the goal was just nervousness and lack of time with his new teammates. He doesn’t often make mistakes like that.
A simple way to measure Lalas v Harkes:
Count the number of times Lalas used the word “absolutely”. Subtract that number from the average number of times Harkes uses the word “absolutely” in a telecast.
That number, surely positive, is the number of orders of magnitude better Lalas is than Harkes.
Okay, so, my take on using this as a “Hey, let’s get a team here”.
It may have seemed like that was just a bunch of immigrants watching their favorite club team from back home (I was surprised at the number of Italian team jerseys), but when Gooch was brought on or did something, you could tell it was a crowd that was there for the game, to support soccer in Atlanta, and would come given a team. He was always cheered, never the opposite. It was a fairly intelligent crowd (other than the couple of idiots throwing bottles during the Gattuso scrum), knowing when something was coming, what to expect, when to be excited, things like that. The crowd, as I saw it, was not a bunch of youth players who’s parents or coaches thought it would be a good experience.
I don’t think it is a reason to say give us a team, but I think it looked fairly upon us.
The other thing this was a dry run for was a World Cup Bid, with the USSoccer Bid Heads in the house, and I feel as if we showed well for them. It wasn’t a full house, but any World Cup game would be.
@ Peter, yes, definitely. I was there, second row behind the Milan goal, and it was absolutely electrifying. 50,000+ was better than I could have hoped for. What a great game.
Ok i re-watched the game………….4 things stood out
A) Onyewu had about 8 Clearences with his head on the bakcline.. for example at 72:22 Club America is attacking full-speed ahead with numbers and then out of nowhere comes a 6’4 Onyewu heading the ball out and clearing the ball perfectly to the feet of Seerdorf about 20 yards up the field.
B) He was calm on the ball with his passing and control and even did a nice street-soccer move to get by his man and draw a foul at 54:25 after he stole the ball with a nice slide-tackle. When went foward had 2 excellent passes for potential assists
C) that keeper never came off his line Shocking; really. on the first Club America goal the cross ends up at the feet of the goal-scorer inside the 6-yard box..as a goalkeeper how the hell is that not your ball automatically.
D) As mentioned……As soon as Onyewu walked over he pushed his guys aside and stepped in for them in the center of the scrum and then the Club America players zip it and then walk-away….lol..Onyewu is the Enforcer for sure! Event he ESPN Deportes commentators were laughing at how once Onyewu stepped in…….the scrum scattered…..lol
Yeah man, Mrs. Lincoln really dropped the ball. And shet yer yap about Sullivan… He’s a genuine enthusiast and expert, and he’s not freakin whining about something all the time.
I see what you did there, Dave. OlÃ¨!
Glad J’s bringing some homophobia along with his penetrating insights. Good performance.
yeah i watched the confederation cup. did you see that little dance onyewu did around the ball to give up the losing goal against Italy?? I could go on for days.
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and dida and pirlo! crazy wow.
sorry guys, just never been a fan. Im sure you all have your player/s who you think is over rated too. All im saying is he is over rated.
i can’t believe gooch maybe starting alongside ronaldhino. crazy. and I sure would enjoy havingFabiano on his team as well. wow, i’ve never cheered for a team that could buy players like that before. wow. its kinda nice.
LETS GO AC!
excuse me, Champions league
what the hell have you been smoking? Seriously! Have you not been watching the confederation cup? Do you know why Standard Leige begged him to stay? Do you know why many clubs desired his services when he became a free agent? There is a reason he starts for the Nats. Stop living under a rock.
J = no idea what he is talking about
J has spoken. All discussion must cease.
I’m all about supporting u.s players, especially the ones who get the opportunity to play premiere league, however onyewu SUCKS! I feel sorry for Milan making the mistake of picking him up. Hopefully he will get kicked off the u.s team soon. Size doesn’t mean everything, i’m sure we can find someone much more effective at stopping goals from happening!
CSD … yup, yanks abroad is one of the sites I check on regularly. Yes, there are lots of USA players in Europe … but Gooch is the only one on a top tier club in a top tier league. Howard was the man at Man U and even named Best XI one year … but soon found himself on the bench and eventually at Everton. Donovan didn’t get a fair shake at Bayern. Spector did spend some time at Man U but was sold to West Ham. So when it comes to top tier clubs, historically it doesn’t work out and you can’t help but think it’s because of the unfair stigma placed on American players. I hope Gooch excels and we can see more Americans playing for other top tier clubs 🙂
“Is that really their #1 keeper? He was pretty bad tonight.”
No its not. Dida is their starting keeper.
Why would you bring up the expansion idea? 50k in a 70k venue, where pasedena got 85k and bmore is already sold out too.. While its an impresive crowd, not nearly as impressive as it could have been
Atlanta expansion team anyone? Just thought I’d bring it up.
On a side note, Onyewu is already the enforcer on that team. After the first near brawl, they had that second one break out near the Club America bench and the central defender for Club America was up in one of the AC Milan players faces and very slowly Onyewu trotted over pushed his player aside and all the sudden the CA player was finished screaming and yelling. All of the AC Milan players appreciated this as several walked over and slapped Onyewu on the backside and said good job.”
Posted by: harry | July 23, 2009 at 12:19 AM
I love that you pointed this out because I noticed it too. It was cool to see that.
Milan has good players, but they really do lack a sense of purpose in the attacking half. They are also quite predictable. Ronaldinho is still a great player, but, somehow, it does not mesh well together.
Gooch did okay, got beat on the 1st goal I think, but settled down, and, towards the end, was quite useful as a target man upfront. Milan should have won this game by at least 1 goal.
As for Lalas, some of the stuff he said was ridiculous, but he is entertaining, I’ll give him that. I think that if you pair him with a knowledgeable guy, he’d be the MLS version of Bill Walton.
GOAL* not call*
Is that really their #1 keeper? He was pretty bad tonight. Despite how perfect that ball was, I don’t think that’s a call if Howard is in goal with Onyewu. Honestly I think it’s a bit unfair to blame him too much there. I think he did fine. And that one striker is rubbish — I hope for AC Milan’s sake he is not a starter. Get Donovan on this team, they could use him.
Harry, I noticed that part about the second near fight.
He came over, it broke up
i liked lalas… brought a little humor to it. gonna be interesting to see/hear him call the galaxy game saturday…
Hope gooch doesn’t be put down too much cause of the first goal. After it happened he put his arms out and looked at the keeper as to say, “f#%k, I thought you would come out and get that”
besides that, he looked amazing.