Not only was there no foul from any U.S. player in the box...but TWO of them were being held themselves! WTF? Terrible, the yellow card on Findley was horrific too.
With all that said it was obviously a great comeback but that first half was awful. Michael Bradley needs to stop doing Mike Green impressions and not bomb forward all the time, I think he and Onyewu were the culprits for the first goal allowed....excellent finish on his goal though.
It's obvious that this team has to play a D-mid with Bradley in the middle. I love Torres' game but he just isnt a good fit to start right now, maybe next cycle
It was a brutal call no matter how you slice it. Not one but two Americans tackled in the box and the call goes the other way.
Slovenia 2 - U.S.A 2
Analysis: A game of emotions for sure. Great first half by Slovenia. Control, domination, patience. HORRIBLE start by the U.S. They let Slovenia own the field. Some of the coaching decisions by Bradley were suspect to me. They wasted 45 minutes of soccer in my opinion. U.S.A made great changes in the 2nd half, came out and scored RIGHT away. An important goal to energize. They kept the pressure on, Bradley made a great formation change from 4-4-2 to a 3-4-3 with an extra forward and it paid off almost immediately with a goal. Slovenia started to settle in in the last 10 minutes or so and play more like the 1st half, they had a few chances but looked like they just couldn't connect on the crosses and passes the same way. There was of course the elephant in the room, the denied 3rd goal by the U.S. but here are my thoughts on it. You hate to see that call go against you in the World Cup. Should it have been a goal? Yea I think so. HOWEVER, It's purely discretionary from the refs, and there WAS a lot of physical battling in the box at the time. It could have been an example call. BUT what you would like to see in a World Cup match is to let them play. That being said, some refs let them play, some don't. This referee was pretty touchy with fouls all day, which I don't have a problem with. But in that instance, where i feel like it should have been let play, it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. But again, i have played enough soccer and watched way too much in my lifetime to be angry at the refs. That is soccer, sometimes those calls are made, sometimes they aren't. Aside from that call and the Yellow on Findley, which could be a blessing in disguise, since I think he is terrible and now he misses the next game, it was a well reffed game to me. My friend said to me, well, if that call happens in the 32nd minute, or some arbitrary minute it wouldn't nearly be as controversial and it would be a, "Well sometimes those go against you." reaction.
Final Verdict: The U.S. needs to learn to focus. They cannot keep coming out and putting themselves in huge huge hole. It's gunna bite them. They won't make it out against a world quality side playing down like that. A class team will clamp down defensively and shut you off. Slovenia is a good team, but not world class enough to do that. They started taking fouls and playing jittery at the back. The yellow cards helped for sure. Agree with the late call or not, the U.S. should have NEVER been in that position against Slovenia. If we played 90 minutes like that 2nd 45 this wouldn't have even been a match. Altidore was key, and he was being a huge thorn in Slovenias side all second half and it paid off. Donovan stepped up like I have been waiting for. It was good quality football. Slovenia, scary side. Their offense is great, the defense, eh not so much. Great patience on the ball, good movement. I would not be surprised to see them edge us for the round of 16.
Points breakdown, we should be rooting for Algeria, the points away from England would be huge. We can go into the last round with
somehow we need Algeria to have a miracle game. Because We would go into the last game playing the weakest team where a wing would absolutely put us in no doubt. Slovenia and England can draw their next match and bounce us on goal differential. Realistically the second scenario is what happens, Algeria is a must win and we have to run the score up to beat goal differential. 2+ goals.
Man of the Match: Jose Altidore, F, I though the 2nd half he was a HUGE distraction up front playing physical and making things happen off the ball. Yea Donovan was making the big plays in the middle, and you can argue he is the man of the match, but I though Altidore was a massive distraction, and he had the assist on the tying Bradley goal.
And as far is it being one of the worst calls ever, well let's calm down a little bit on that.
Yea watching the replay again and again.
Rough call, not the right one by any means. No one will know but the ref. But hey, again, it is what it is. It's unfortunate but not controllable.
Most important thing is we shouldn't have been in that position and we got a point.
Edit: **** man on a 6th or 7th look on the replay. I can see ONE, but ONLY one foul from a U.S. Player on Slovenia. Dempsey was getting fouled, looks like Edu and Bradley were getting fouled. BUT BUT BUT Gomez was holding up the Slovenia defender, who was the defender in front of the cross on Edu. So THAT is the ONLY argument I can see For the refereeing, is that Gomez held up the defender capable of clearing the cross. It's weak at best, but i put 5 bucks on it that says that was the reason he called it, is cause Gomez held up the defender closest to it.
Still, you let em play, everyone is fighting in the box, fouls going both ways, you let em play. End of story.
Meh. A completely winnable game for Slovenia, a predictable tie after they pulled back though. USA didn't show much I thought, apart from launching the ball to Altidore who abused Slovenia's defense the whole second half.
You see, I'm rooting for Slovenia (my homeland) and I'll say it: that was a phantom call.
Even our TV reporters analyzed it and couldn't find a good reason to disallow the goal. But then again I hear the refs are allowed to interrupt the scrum whenever they feel to, so that's enough to justify it. Who knows.