Another away qualifier, another dimly-lit stadium, another ugly performance against a weak opponent…another three points!
Despite struggling in their first two away qualifiers of the group stage, the USMNT will return home with a pair of 1-0 victories to show for their efforts. This time, it was a Clint Dempsey goal (from the run of play!) that sealed it for the Americans. Brian Ching had the assist as well as a pair of good scoring opportunities that he wasn’t able to finish. Overall, a better performance–more possession, fewer opportunities for our opponent (better defending), more scoring opportunities from the run of play–but let’s not forget T&T went in there and won 3-1. Let’s also not forget that we were saved from a Bocanegra own goal and a 1-1 result by a great Tim Howard save.
We here at Project 2010 (the Blog) are excited to have six points and the top spot in Group 1. And given the weather and field conditions, yesterday’s qualifier was never going to be the cleanest match. That said, we’re hoping for a more youthful squad and fluid, attacking game in our upcoming fixtures. Next up: the US take on Trinidad and Tobago at Toyota Park (Bridgeview, IL). The match can be seen on ESPN2 and Galavision, live at 8pm ET.
One more note about yesterday’s match: my Frankie Hejduk yellow card prediction proved to be right. Michael Bradley got one, too, bringing his YCPG (yellow cards per game) average to .85. OK–I don’t really have those statistics, but if anyone does, I’d love to see them. I’m pretty sure he’s been suspended for a minimum of one game of every tournament he’s appeared in for the US…
Keep checking back–we’ll have match ratings for yesterday’s match soon.