First the Anaheim Ducks win the Stanley Cup…

Sorry, Canadia!Sure looks like Canadia got hosed last night, eh?

Whilst I think that the U.S. looked like the better team for most of last night’s Gold Cup semifinal against Canada (though not always by much), there is absolutely no way Canada’s injury-time equalizer (Did I just type “injury-time equalizer”? Yes I did.) should have been disallowed. Sure, it was a poorly officiated match throughout (the card that Landycakes got for diving was ridiculous, and the cards for Bradley and Hejduk were a little harsh, but understandable…also, the debacle with the indications for extra time was straight out of an Serie B relegation match), but that was a goal at the end of the game. No one was offside.

Sigh. Looks like the Maple Leafs will need to head home and console themselves by clubbing some baby seals; don’t forget to bring your passport!

Quick hits on the game:

The defense was terrible: we wouldn’t be talking about Canada getting jobbed had GOOCH NOT INEXPLICABLY HEADED THE BALL TO HUTCHINSON’S FEET! DEAR GOD MAN! WHAT ARE YOU DOING! The guys in the back (with the exception of HeyDude — more on that in a moment) were bad to the point of embarrassing all night. Their touch was just awful: I lost count of the number of balls that they fumbled out of bounds or coughed up directly to the opposition; like a U-12 game, I was happy when they just booted the ball upfield. Is this really the best we have? Our national team back line can’t trap the ball? I thought Bornstein looked over his head. Nice kid, but, um, I hope we can do better. Also, Gooch and Bocanegra weren’t in sync, and they certainly weren’t on the same page with Keller.

Speaking of Keller: that may have been the worst game I’ve ever seen Kasey Keller play. He made a ton of mental errors back there. I hope we see Tim Howard in the final.

Max Bretos speaks the truth: I have to say that I found Max Bretos’ outright homerism in the booth to be vaguely refreshing. The non-stop apologies for bad plays (that’s a “one in a thousand miss for Donovan”) and questionable calls (“that may not have been offsides, but shouldn’t stoppage time have been over?”) were just fantastic. America, f*ck yeah!

HeyDude can be my wingman any day: I’ll admit that I’ve talked some smack about the talents of Frankie Hejduk in the past. I officially take back every disparaging word I’ve ever spoken about him. He was the surest tackler on the backline, the most comfortable on the ball, AND he scored a goal. I might also add that he seemed to want to win more than any other player in white. He will be very very missed in the final (I don’t fault him for the card — he got punked, and it would have been next to impossible not to get in trouble for that).

Landycakes remains our best player, which is good but not great: he’s our most dangerous guy, and I liked that he was trying to beat people off the dribble last night (even if he was failing). Means he’s trying to win the game. Also, he looked like a clown fanning on that pass from Beasley, but Beasley should have taken on the keeper himself there. Too cute.

Eddie Johnson/ The Striker Position: so when is Altidore ready for his chance with the Big Boy team? Please don’t make me watch any more Eddie Johnson.

Michael Bradley? Really?: I expected to be hating on Bradley, but I thought he was excellent all things considered. His workrate was awesome, his touch was solid, and he tended to be in the right spots on the field. He needs some polish still and he needs to get more comfrotable striking the ball, but hey, he’s 19. This is a good thing for the future. The card was stupid and unnecessary, though. We’ll miss him in the final, but I don’t hate seeing Feilhaber get a shot in a big game.

And now for the Bad Guys in the final (!). I hope we crush them in a matter akin to Stalin!

Link:
Canada gets ripped off at the 2007 Gold Cup [YouTube]

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