What a great day of World Cup soccer! Not just the USA-England match, but also the earlier ones, which were like teasing appetizers to the main course. The undercard to the main event.
South Korea looked surprisingly good. Argentina and Messi I’d say were expectedly good.
But it was all about the happenings in Rustenberg. Here are my thoughts on the match, be sure to offer yours:
- Tim Howard is the clear man of the match for me. Not even a nasty collision with Emile Heskey could take him off his game. Great saves were followed up by even better saves, and he should be headed to a bigger club than Everton after this tournament I feel…
- Steve Cherundolo was also a standout. Some didn’t think he’d start, and 30 minutes into the game he’d already forced an England substitution when earned he a bookable foul on James Milner on the right wing.
- You have to feel a little bad for England goalkeeper Robert Green, as that was one of the softer goals I’ve ever seen. But he owned up to his error and handled it well. No ‘keeper is immune to a gaff or two, and there will be more in the tournament for sure. Maybe they’ll lessen the grumbles about Kasey Keller.
- Coming off a severe injury, Oguchi Onyewu had some shaky moments and misplays. But he definitely got stronger as the match went on and played a big part in Wayne Rooney‘s quiet night. It was good to see him play 90 minutes. A performance to build on.
- Jozy Altidore also looked solid coming off a minor knock. He’s really the key guy on the squad, I feel, to take ’em from a pretty good team to one that can make a run.
- Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey were above average Saturday. I’m interested to see what happens when they start playing great.
- Did anyone else see local guy Marcus Hahnemann start warming up when Howard was being treated? Looks like he’s the No. 2…
- It’s too bad the final whistle blew before Herculez Gomez could get on the field. That would’ve been a great moment for him, but he’ll surely get another chance.
- A draw against England doesn’t hardly ensure qualification to the next round. This team had better stay motivated after that first game — especially Friday against Slovenia.
How did you see it? Confident the U.S. can get through the group? Maybe get another win or two?
Photo credit: Elise Amendola / AP