USA vs. the Netherlands: Match Day Commentary

USA vs. the Netherlands: Match Day Commentary

U.S. Men's National Team

USA vs. the Netherlands: Match Day Commentary

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U.S. Crest Netherlands crest 
 

The U.S. national team will take on one of the world's top teams in its final test before the World Cup roster is due when it faces the Netherlands at Amsterdam ArenA today (2:30pm, ESPN2 and Galavision).

The U.S. should have its hands full as it faces a nearly full-strength Netherlands squad that boasts plenty of attacking flair. Today's match will also serve as a measuring stick for some of the fringe players looking to make the World Cup team.

This is Franco Panizo and I will be providing commentary throughout the match so please feel free to follow along here on SBI (especially if you're stuck at work). As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the match.

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FINAL- That's all for me today. Stay tuned to SBI for post-game coverage of today's match, and as always, please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions below.

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FINAL- As for positive outings? It's tough to say in a match that was controlled in large parts by the Netherlands. But Bocanegra and DeMerit did look good in the back, and Beasley had his moments in the second half.

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FINAL- So which U.S. players failed to make the most of their opportunity today? Well the most notable ones were Findley, Torres and Bornstein.

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FINAL- Sneijder and the Dutch midfield dominated today's game and the U.S. couldn't find an answer until the flurry of subs were made.

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FINAL- The Netherlands wins this one, 2-1. The U.S.'s late surge wasn't good enough to earn it a draw. 

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94th minute- The corner is too high and the Netherlands are on the counter.

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93rd minute- A blast from long range by Altidore is swatted away for a corner. What a shot.

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92nd minute- Spector has time to hit a cross, but mis-hits it and it goes out of bounds. That looked promising.

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91st minute- USA wins a corner and Goodson smashes one off balance but it goes too high! WOW.

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90th minute- Beasley's free kick is too soft and doesn't trouble Stekelenburg.

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89th minute- A foul on Bedoya gifts the U.S. a free kick at the top of 18. Wow.

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88th minute- GOAL USA!!! 2-1! Beasley swerves in a cross on a free kick that Bocanegra heads home from close range!

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88th minute- Altidore draws a foul. I have to say this, Altidore's hold up play has improved. That has definitely been a positive to take away from tonight.

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86th minute- Bradley making another change: Goodson subbed in for Bornstein. Not a good showing for Bornstein tonight.

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81st minute- A left footed blast by Van der Vaart is beautifully saved by Howard! Wow.

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80th minute- The Bradley free kick hits Altidore and goes out for a goal kick. And the Dutch make a change: Babel in for Kuyt.

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78th minute- Altidore draws a foul near the 18. USA free kick.

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77th minute- Good combination play by Beasley and Pearce to get a cross off. Not enough of that tonight.

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76th minute- Donovan comes out and Johnson goes in. Donovan didn't get too involved today, but not many passes went his way, either.

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74th minute- Unlucky goal to give up there by the U.S., but thems the breaks. Let's see if the U.S. can at least close this game out positively.

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73rd minute- GOAL NETHERLANDS! 2-0! A shot by Huntelaar ricochets off Bornstein and rolls into the back of the net.

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70th minute- Pearce comes in for DeMerit. Pearce will play left back, and Bornstein will tuck in to play centrally.

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69th minute- A good combination from Donovan and Spector results in a cross and a corner for the U.S.

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67th minute- Substitution for the Netherlands: Van Bronkhorst out. Braafheid in.

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65th minute- Beasley ends a nice passing sequence with a cross along the six yard box that Altidore reached too late. That's much better passing from the Americans.

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65th minute- Donovan goes up top behind Altidore, Bedoya will man right wing and Beasley is on the left.

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63rd minute- U.S. sub: Bedoya for Findley.

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60th minute- Van der Vaart in for De Jong.

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58th minute- Is the U.S. playing a Central American country? The Dutch are flopping all over the place.

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56th minute- Some nice moves by Elia get him by Bornstein and the Dutch win a corner.

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53rd minute- The U.S. midfield is just overmatched right now. Sneijder and co. are dominating possession.

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50th minute- Sneijder releases Elia, but some bad touches by the Dutch forward allow Bornstein to get back and deflect his shot. Howards scoops up the deflected shot.

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47th minute- Altidore with a clever backheel to get by Vaar. Nice move there.

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HALFTIME- USA sub: Edu for Torres. Edu is coming off a game-winning goal performances for Rangers in the Old Firm, so let's see how he does.

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HALFTIME- Two subs for Netherlands. Vlaar for Mathijsen and Huntelaar for Robben.

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HALFTIME- Harkes reporting that Holden is being taken for x-rays as a precautionary measure. 

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HALFTIME- ESPN2 showing some scores from the day. Algeria lost to Serbia 3-0, Slovenia is beating Qatar 3-1 at halftime, and Egypt is up 1-0 over England in the first half. I'm sure U.S. fans are loving that final score.

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HALFTIME- What are some halftime subs we could see? I wouldn't be surprised to see Edu in for Torres or Pearce for Bornstein. Findley could also be replaced by Johnson.

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HALFTIME- Bob Bradley will surely be pleased by the stout defending his team demonstrated for much of the first half. Definitely won't be pleased with Bornstein's tug.

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HALFTIME- What does the U.S. need to do in the second half to get back into this game? Donovan needs to get more touches and the U.S. needs Torres to be cleaner with his passing, assuming he stays on the field. 

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HALFTIME- The ref blows the whistle to end the first half and the U.S. trails 1-0.

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45th minute- A cross to Robben gets handled by Bornstein, but no call. Wow. Bornstein is struggling big time.

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41st minute- If this scoreline and situation looks similar, it should. Bornstein surrendered a penalty kick against Slovakia in the friendly in November. Slovakia converted that spot kick and won the game 1-0.

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40th minute- GOAL NETHERLANDS! 1-0! Kuyt gets Howard to go the wrong way as he slots his penalty kick low and to the left.

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39th minute- Some nice passing by the Dutch sees Sneijder get into the box, where Bornstein tugs him down. Penalty kick called.

Bad foul by Bornstein. His detractors are definitely going to be out in numbers now.

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37th minute- Another late challenge by the Netherlands, this time by Mathijsen on Altidore. No card.

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34th minute- DaMarcus Beasley subbed in for Holden. His first taste of action for the U.S. since his horrid display against Brazil in the Group Stage match of the Confederations Cup.

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33rd minute- Torres rips one from range and his shot goes just high. Almost surprised Stekelenburg there.

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32nd minute- Holden looks to be in serious pain. Hopefully it is nothing too serious.

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30th minute- De Jong commits a late challenge on Holden, who is still down on the ground. Not good.

Beasley is warming up.

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29th minute- Findley called for offside. Good passing out of the back by the U.S., though. 

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25th minute- Another shot from outside the area by Sneijder is easily scooped up by Howard.

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22nd minute- A very well played ball by Bradley almost springs Findley, but some good defending prevents any thought of that.

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20th minute- Donovan hasn't had many touches so far. He needs some if the U.S. wants to have some success going forward.

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19th minute- The free kick is taken and gets behind Bornstein, but Robben can't control it to get a shot on goal. Bornstein can't let that happen.

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18th minute- Torres fouls Sneijder and gets a warning for it. 

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17th minute- Elia with another move on Spector that finds him enough space for a cross. DeMerit blocks it off well.

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16th minute- Bocanegra launches a long ball forward that Findley does well to get onto and trap, but his shot is way too weak.

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16th minute- The Netherlands enjoying much of the possession over the past few minutes.

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14th minute- The Dutch fans doing their best impersonation of the Mexican chant "Ole". 

Sneijder with a shot from distance, but it doesn't really trouble Howard.

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13th minute- Nothing comes of the corner.

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12th minute- Torres tries to clear the ball and hits it towards Howard, who has to punch the ball over the crossbar for a corner. Wow.

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10th minute- Holden finds space and gets a cross off, but it goes to the hands of Stekelenburg. Some good buildup play by Altidore there and a good outlet pass by Bradley to find Holden.

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7th minute- A good move by Elia leaves Spector trailing, and his cross results in a shot after some miscommunication by the U.S.

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6th minute- A chipped pass by Sneijder is blocked off well by Bocanegra in order to allow Howard to get to it. Nice job by Bocanegra there.

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5th minute- A Torres pass is intercepted and the Netherlands tries to counter but a long cross is gobbled up by Howard.

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4th minute- Bradley commits a foul near midfield. How many more times is Harkes going to say someone is "having a good season"?

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3rd minute- Robben gets a cross by Bornstein but Bocanegra knocks it away.

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1st minute- Altidore wearing no. 12 today as opposed to 17, which was his number throughout the Hexagonal. I bet that ruins some people's recent jersey orders.

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1st minute- And we're off!

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PRE-GAME- How many mispronunciations were there just now by John Harkes? Drink away folks.

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PRE-GAME- The players are out on the field and we're just about ready for kickoff.

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PRE-GAME- So what does everyone think of the new road jerseys? They're made from recycled material which is a pretty cool tidbit.

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PRE-GAME- Kudos to SBI poster Aaron in StL, who has come up with today's drinking game. We will drink every time the ESPN announcers botch a Dutch players' name. I hope you all ate something.

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PRE-GAME- So while we wait for Mike and Mike in the Morning to end, how about some predictions? I'm going 2-2.

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PRE-GAME- So is it too early to establish a drinking game for today's match? I didn't think so.

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PRE-GAME- How Bornstein and Spector cope with the Dutch wingers could prove to be the key to today's game. A solid game today from Bornstein might silence some of his detractors, but then again, it might not.

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PRE-GAME- Netherlands' subs: Huntelaar, Van der Vaart, Babel, Ooijer, Velthuizen, De Zeeuw, Braafheid, Boschker, Afellay, Engelaar, Vlaar, Schaars.

Talked about a loaded bench.

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PRE-GAME- Here is the Netherlands' XI:

—–Robben———–Alia————Kuyt—–

———————-Sneijder——————

———-Van Bommel——-De Jong———

-Van Bronckhorst—Mathijsen–Heitinga—Van der Weil

——————-Stekelenburg—————-

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PRE-GAME- The U.S. subs: Guzan, Goodson, Pearce, Edu, Bedoya, Beasley, Johnson. Six subs allowed per team in today's friendly.

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PRE-GAME- I'm sure a lot of fans are intrigued (and surprised) by Torres getting his first start since the road qualifer at Costa Rica. Today's game will be huge for him.

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PRE-GAME- Can't say I'm surprised with the inclusion of Findley. Despite his past two lacklustre performances with the U.S. B team, he showed glimpses of being a capable player. A game with the regulars will probably give head coach Bob Bradley a better sense of if Findley is able to perform at this level.

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PRE-GAME- Here is the U.S. lineup:

————-Findley————Altidore——–

–Donovan—–Torres——-Bradley——-Holden–

–Bornstein—-Bocanegra—-DeMerit——-Spector–

———————–Howard————————-

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