Thursday, May 29, 2008

I guess both sides lost in the England-US friendly

I was looking forward to the England-US football-soccer friendly match this week. My primary interest in the match was the face-off of the two L.A. Galaxy teammates David Beckham and Landon Donovan. Would these competitors come to blows on the pitch?

Well, before I get to that storyline, let's look at how the teams did.

Soccerlens noted that that U.S. team performed poorly:

One word can describe the United States Men’s National Team’s effort tonight against England: disappointing. The hype that this match has been getting was grossly undermined by a lackluster performance on the pitch by the players in anthracite (that’s the official name of the color) kits.

Earlier this week, Bob Bradley stated that this match was “an opportunity to gain respect and we refer to the idea that we play when there are European fixtures and we are part of the card and it is a chance for our players to step up and show where we are. We take them very seriously.”

And the US cannot be blamed for a lack of effort. The intensity was there, but with a squad made up chiefly of inexperienced national team players, the result was always going to be difficult to get.

EPL Talk noted that the English team performed poorly:

Wembley Way mourned the loss of its soul last night as the fans filling its three-quarter full stadia could only muster up a mediocre atmosphere...

Wow, sounds bad. compliment [sic] England’s dull 2-0 triumph over a woeful USA side.

You can't win for winning.

And what about that matchup I was anticipating? It didn't happen:

Landon Donovan, Beckham's Los Angeles Galaxy teammate in Major League Soccer, missed out on a chance to become the fourth-youngest player with 100 international appearances. The 26-year-old didn't dress because of a tight groin.

"I'm more disappointed with the result. But yeah, it would have been nice," Donovan said.

So the big news from the game was what Beckham did, and who he did it to:

Beckham sent a trademark, curling free kick with laser precision toward John Terry for the go-ahead goal in the 38th minute....

"That's my job, to get the ball into the right area," Beckham said. "It's J.T.'s job ... to be at the right end of it."

Leave it to the Times (the Times) to note the significance:

The fourth international goal of the Chelsea defender's career, a towering header in the 38th minute, will not have erased the pain of last week's penalty shoot-out miss in the Champions League final, but will go some way to helping him on the road to recovery and enable him to end the season on a modest high.

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