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Welcome! I have been an avid Washington Capitals fan since 1977, when I attended my first game at Capital Centre, in Landover, MD, just 5 minutes from where I grew up in Bowie. I held season tickets from 81-92 there, in section 126, L. I then held season tickets from 99, until 07 at Verizon Center, first in 410 H, then in 408 E, then 408 A. This blog gets its name from where my seats have always been..."Behind The Goal Line". Being born and raised here in Washington, D.C. I also am an ardent & lifelong D.C. United, Nationals, and Redskins fan. This blog is not intended to be a "news" source, or anything of that nature, rather, it is just one lifelong fan and supporter's musings, opinions, thoughts, rants, perspectives, and observations on all things Caps, from on the ice, in the stands, to the front office, and around the NHL too. I will attempt to keep this updated as often as I can, so check back often as this is a work in progress.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

U.S.A. 2 | 2 Mexico


I'm feeling a bit lazy today, so I am not going to include the usual plethora of links to player pages. I am also going to assume that most reading this will be fairly football educated. I'm quite sure that if anyone wants to read further on any particular player or subject, they know how to use Google and Wikipedia. The USMNT drew Mexico last night in Houston, and did not look all that great doing it. U.S. Goalkeeper Tim Howard (Evreton FC) was the difference for the U.S. in this match. Howard once again showed just why he is one of the very best in the game.

This match seemed to be a very chippy to me. The U.S. appeared very disorganised in the back last night. Tim Howard seemed to get very frustrated at times while attempting to direct the back, especially on Mexican set peices. Both Mexican goals were scored on set peices.

The US held the edge in play for long stretches in the first half, but it was Mexico that came out with long periods of sustained pressure in the second. They kept the U.S. on their own half of the pitch for extended periods during the early going in the second. The U.S. appeared to regain some momentum after the substitutions began, and appeared to play better in the later stages of the half, but it was not enough to undo the earlier poor defending on Mexican set pieces that led to both of their scores.

The U.S. did not appear comfortable defencively, and it showed espeically during the second half. The defencive play of both Drew Moor, and Ramiro Corrales was suspect at best. I don't feel they should even be on the National Team, they both just are not that good. To Moor's credit, he did have the assist on the U.S. 2nd goal, on a very nice set up for Jozy Altidore. The goal put the US ahead 2-1 at that point, and was Altidore's first goal for the U.S. National side. Shortly there after the U.S. appeared to score what likely would have been the game winner. Clint Dempsey collected a nice through ball, turned, and got of a very quick shot which cleanly beat Mexican keeper Guillermo Ochoa. However the AR would raise his flag to signal the play offside, in what I still feel was a very questionable call at best. My note on the officiating: The officiating in this match left much to be desired, and often appeared to be one sided. You can kind of get a feel for that by looking at the discipline and the fouls called in the game statistics which I'll post below.

This was an intense match, and there are a lot of new faces in the U.S. lineup. The U.S. side has alot to feel hopeful about as the side is considerably younger now than it has been in the past. It may take some time for things to really jell, and come together, but this was a great test. The U.S. did not play badly, but it was clear that its going to take alittle time and effort for things to really come together and the chemistry to develop. The U.S. appears to have all of the tools in place to be very successful with the combination of time tested veteran players, as well as some very young, and very bright emerging star players. Fortunately, time is on their side for now as World Cup Qualifying does not begin until the middle of June. A draw was not the result most wanted, but I think there is enough good that can be taken from this match to provide plenty of hope for a successful future leading up to the 2010 World Cup. We've only just begun!

Scoring Summary:

USA - Oguchi Onyewu (Landon Donovan) 30th minute
MEX - Jonny Magallon (Pavel Pardo) 35.
USA - Jozy Altidore (Drew Moor) 40.
MEX - Jonny Magallon (Carlos Salcido) 47.

USA: 1-Tim Howard; 21-Drew Moor, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 22-Oguchi Onyewu, 6-Ramiro Corrales; 10-Landon Donovan, 13-Ricardo Clark (Maurice Edu, 79), 4-Michael Bradley (5-Benny Feilhaber, 63), 15-Bobby Convey (7-Eddie Lewis, 70); 9-Jozy Altidore, 8-Clint Dempsey (19-Freddy Adu, 63)
Subs not used: 11-Pat Noonan, 16-Michael Parkhurst, 18-Brad Guzan
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

MEX: 1-Guillermo Ochoa; 2-Jonny Magallon, 3-Carlos Salcido (14-Fausto Pinto, 59) 4-Rafael Marquez (capt.), 5-Israel Castro; 6-Gerado Torrado, 7-Fernando Arce (18-Cesar Villaluz, 90+), 8-Pavel Pardo, 11-Carlos Vela (16-Giovanni Dos Santos, 71); 9-Antonio De Nigris (15-Juan Carlos Cacho, 67), 10-Adolfo Bautista (17-Antonio Naelson, 71)
Subs not used: 12-Luis Michel, 13-Oscar Rojas,
Head Coach: Hugo Sanchez

Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 3 / 13
Shots on Goal: 2 / 9
Saves: 6 / 1
Corner Kicks: 2 / 4
Fouls: 19 / 13
Offside: 4 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
MEX - Carlos Salcido (caution) 38th minute
USA - Michael Bradley (caution) 45.
USA - Oguchi Onyewu (caution) 69.
USA - Jozy Altidore (caution) 76.
USA - Ramiro Corrales (caution) 89.
MEX - Gerardo Torrado (caution) 90+.

Referee: Carlos Batres (GUA)
1st Asst.: Carlos Pastrana (HON)
2nd Asst.: Leonel Leal (CRC)
Fourth Official: Baldomero Toledo (USA)

Attendance: 70,103

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