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Netherlands v USA

So very good to be back.  The beauty of blogs I suppose is there is nobody standing behind you with a whip egging you onward to write.  That can be a good thing but it can be a bad thing too.

I’ve started writing this at halftime.  I managed to find a really good feed from ESPN and unfortunately the Dutch feeds were unbearably choppy.  Thus I am subject to the AWFUL commentary from the American soccer (pronounced sAAH-ker) analysts.  These gentlemen are by no means the worst I’ve ever heard; that designation belongs to those employed by the Fox Soccer Channel.  If you ever want to hear an American butcher European last names you should catch a Fox Soccer broadcast of a German Bundesliga match.  Truly teribble. 

As a contest this hasn’t even begun.  Neither team is interested in really winning outright.  The Dutch have had incredible amounts of possession but the attacking flair that we always hope to see from the Oranje is missing.

Gregory van der Wiel seems nervous moving forward with the ball and continually is looking for a pass around his man.  Too many times he is taking the slow pass back to Stekelenburg.  Sneijder is excellent however he is the only creative influence threatening to make a difference.  Elia and Robben are talented and can get past their markers but they are thus far isolated with no link with Kuyt or Sneijder.

Tellingly the best player for the Dutch has been de Jong…not something the Orange masses would be excited about…

Picking up after the final whistle:

Elia improved in the second half being used through the middle and on the right side targeting Bornstein.  Both teams excericised their options in the second frame experimenting with different options.  Vlaar was given an opportunity along with Braafheid in defense.  Huntelaar and van der Vaart came on to some effect; van der Vaart in particular showing a few good touches.  Huntelaar scored a goal via a huge deflection.

Predictably the game slowed towards the finale but with 5 minutes to go the Americans found another gear grabbing a consolation goal and coming close to an equaliser late on.  Unfortunately this will not have been the test looked for heading up to the World Cup as the USA were without some of their more robust names and were a long way short of the form and function that saw them perform so well in the Confederations Cup.

  1. bobbygee
    March 4, 2010 at 11:00 AM

    Tim Howard is the only world class player the USA has Howard saved their bacon. The USA was a step slow. Not all the key players were there but the USA might make it out of the group stage. The USA will be one and done. ESPN sucks. Fox EPL is good. http://defutebol.net

  2. whitsport
    March 4, 2010 at 3:37 PM

    Very interesting take. Agree wholeheartedly on some of the American broadcasters who work for FSC, they clearly don’t belong on TV. The US team looked like a B-league team, and hardly deserved the goal they scored. The absence of Dempsey and Davies was evident, and Altidore and Bradley were clearly not themselves.


  3. March 4, 2010 at 7:06 PM

    Agree with both of you. The Dutch were confident and it showed in their lack of cutting edge. It shows that the Americans don’t have much strength in depth.

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