USA vs. Australia (Matchday Commentary)

USA vs. Australia (Matchday Commentary)

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USA vs. Australia (Matchday Commentary)

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U.S. Crest Australia Crest 

The U.S. Men's national team takes on Australia today in its final pre-World Cup tune-up match.

The Americans are coming off a 2-1 win against Turkey in Philadelphia last week, and should get a tough test from the Aussies a week before their World Cup opener vs. England.

Some surprises in the lineup for the United States today as Robbie Findley and Edson Buddle get the starts, with Jozy Altidore out with the ankle injury suffered during the week. Defender Oguchi Onyewu is a surprising omission, with Clarence Goodson getting the nod alongside Jay DeMerit.

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

Enjoy the action (Commentary is after the jump):

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FINAL– That's all for now. Please feel free to share your post-match thoughts on today's USA victory in the comments section below.

Thanks for for following along this morning.

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FINAL– USA 3, Australia 1. Buddle with two and Gomez with the insurance goal. Solid stuff, though some shaky moments defensively.

Overall a good performance for the Americans and a good confidence builder for next week's World Cup opener against England.

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95th minute– How about Gomez, scoring in both of his appearances during this pre-World Cup run, and both times as a sub.

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94th minute– Clark comes off with what looks like a hamstring injury in his left leg.

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93rd minute- GOAL USA!! And it's Herculez Gomez, finishes off well as he converts a Donovan pass from ten yards out. USA 3, Australia 1.

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92nd minute– Michael Bradley has had a solid game today, keeping the ball moving and covering tons of ground. Still don't think Clark should be his central midfield partner.

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91st minute– FINDLEY WIDE!!! He breaks in on goal, looks good in the run-up, but his shot is well wide.

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90th minute– Can't be much stoppage time.

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89th minute– This referee has been annoying all match, not impressed with him at all.

Australia with a free kick that is blocked.

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88th minute– DeMerit with some good defending. Maybe it's just me, but DeMerit plays better with Onyewu around him.

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86th minute– Beasley took a knock and is trying to walk it off. These last five minutes will be nervy as both teams look to avoid injuries.

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86th minute– Gomez took a shot to the face but is up and running.

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84th minute– Gomez gets in behind the defense, but tries to center a pass and scuffs it.

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82nd minute– And just like that, Herculez Gomez is in for Dempsey.

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82nd minute– Dempsey and Donovan are still on the field, not sure why.

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80th minute– Findley looked to be fouled, but got no call.

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79th minute– Look for Dempsey to move up top now that Beasley is in.

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78th minute– You wonder why we haven't seen more subs from the USA. Now we'll see DaMarcus Beasley come in for Buddle.

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76th minute– Grella with a yellow card for a hard challenge on Dempsey, who has been getting beaten up all day.

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74th minute– Clumsy challenge from Australia's Wilshire on Dempsey.

SAVE HAHNEMANN! Nice stop, but DeMerit with a turnover upfield.

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73rd minute– USA not showing much now, a bit too content to sit on a one-goal lead.

Will we really not see Torres or Edu today?

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71st minute– Hahnemann is absolutely lost on balls into the area via high balls. He should put a hat on.

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68th minute– Bornstein's ill-advised cross-field pass is picked off and leads to an Australia break. The USA defends deals well with the pressure.

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67th minute– Hahnemann wiffs on an Aussie corner kick. Not a good look for him there.

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63rd minute– Onyewu is in the match now, having replaced Goodson.

Save Hahnemann, stops a close range shot.

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60th minute– A bit of a snooze-fest lately.

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55th minute– Bornstein is on for Bocanegra.

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54th minute– Jonathan Bornstein is preparing to come on.

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52nd minute– USA with some chances, but Schwarzer makes a key save and the offside flag goes up.

Actually, Robbie Findley hit the frame with his shot. He can't buy a break today. Buddle did well to lay the pass off to Findley, but he sends it off the crossbar.

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48th minute– Cherundolo gets beaten on the wing, but Kennedy can't finish off the cross.

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46th minute– We're back.

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HALFTIME– Marcus Hahnemann is in for Tim Howard to start the second half. Fair to say he will be the No. 2 fort the World Cup. 

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HALFTIME– Some thoughts:

Edson Buddle looks like a good pick to start vs. England at this point. Stuart Holden and DaMarcus Beasley had been considered the candidates, and still could start, but the way Buddle is playing makes it tough to consider not starting him. What a finish on his first goal.

DeMerit doesn't look nearly as comfortable playing alongside Goodson as he did alongside Onyewu.

Ricardo Clark has been invisible.

Findley hasn't done much to earn more minutes today. He did put the pressure on Grella to help Buddle set up his first goal, but not much else.

Cherundolo has put a hammer lock on the starting right back spot.

Carlos Bocanegra looks very good at left back.

Donovan's set pieces

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HALFTIME– USA 2, Australia 1. Some good finishing, and some promising passing sequences, but the defense hasn't exactly been rock-solid.  Considering how much more dangerous England is than Australia, it wasn't a comforting 45 minutes for Bob Bradley. Oguchi Onyewu needs to be back on the field.

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45th minute– Donovan finally hits a good long free kick but the USA can't get it on goal.

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44th minute– Isn't there a "U.S. national Team for Dummies" book that Martin Tyler can thumb through? The guy's great to listen to, but it's pretty clear he hasn't been primed at all on the national team (The fact that he asked John Harkes to talk about Bob Bradley gave that one away).

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40th minute– If you are wondering, no, Australia's coach was not in Reservoir Dogs.

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38th minute– Craig Moore and Dempsey get yellow cards for their handbags.

And yes, John Harkes destroys the age-old saying "Mess with the bull and you get the horns." Flat George W. Bush'd it.

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36th minute– Dempsey was NOT happy with that challenge and started having words with Australian players.

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35th minute– SAVE HOWARD! Stops a tough Cullina challenge.

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34th minute– Australia comes close as Josh Kennedy's header goes wide. He beat DeMerit there but the USA got lucky that Kennedy sent it wide.

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32nd minute– It's safe to say Cherundolo isn't about to give up the starting right back spot. What a beautiful ball, and Buddle heads it down to give Schwarzer no chance.

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31st minute- GOAL USA!!!!! And it's Buddle with his second of the day off a GREAT cross in from Cherundolo, who sets him up with an easy header. USA 2, Australia 1.

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29th minute– Findley has looked off today. Not nearly as sharp as he looked against Turkey.

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28th minute– Bradley to Buddle to Donovan to Dempsey was the sequence on Dempsey's great chance. Quality passing there.

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27th minute– SAVE SCHWARZER! Stops Dempsey after a great passing sequence from the USA. Thought I jinxed Schwarzer there.

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26th minute– With Cahill having scored on Everton teammate Tim Howard, are we destined to see Dempsey score on Fulham teammate Mark Schwarzer?

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25th minute– Another terrible show of corner kick defending by the USA is saved by a clearance. Are the Americans really this lost on corner kick defending assignments? England's players must be loving seeing that.

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24th minute– This referee is calling any contact. DeMerit has been a bit rough, but some of these are soft.

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21st minute– Another look at the Aussie goal seems to suggest that Cahill slipped in behind DeMerit and Dempsey, though I'm not sure why Dempsey would mark Australia's most dangerous player on a corner kick.

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19th minute- GOAL AUSTRALIA! And it's Tim Cahill with the finish, racing onto a corner kick with a back-post run and volley finish. Looks like Dempsey lost him. Australia 1, USA 1.

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18th minute– I'm not saying I wish bad things on the creator of the vuvuzela, but if I wouldn't cry for him/her if something bad happened.

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17th minute– David Beckham is in the house. Beckham looks pretty bored.

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16th minute– Australia has been sloppy at times today. Not the most promising performance from the Socceroos so far, not that USA fans mind.

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15th minute- FINDLEY MISSES!! Wow, what a miss, he beats the off-side trap, rounds Mark Schwarzer, but sends it wide.

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8th minute– It will be interesting to see how the tandem of Jay DeMerit and Clarence Goodson do today, since at this point it is looking like the centerback pairing that will face England.

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6th minute– A dream start for the Americans, and for Buddle, who is pushing for a starting spot at this point.

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4th minute- GOAL USA!! And it was Edson Buddle with the finish off a turnover by Australia's Grella. USA 1, Australia 0.

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1st Minute– And we're off

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PRE-GAME– Here is the U.S. national team's lineup today:

———–Buddle————Findley—————–

Donovan———————————–Dempsey

—————–Bradley——-Clark—————–

Bocanegra——Goodson—-DeMerit——Cherundolo

————————–Howard—————————–

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