Reign over Spain

Ed note: Originally published on Facebook 6/24/09

Hard to overstate this win over Spain.

But first, two important things to keep in mind about the two lopsided losses to start this Confederations Cup adventure:

(1) we played two world cup qualifiers and then flew half way around the world, into the winter, to play two of the best teams on earth, and

(2) we played half of the total time in those two matches with 10 men.

I blame the proliferation of red cards – including the one today – on Bush. The reputation for cowboy aggression we so scrupulously cultivated for 8 years bears its fruit in the minds of the global officiate

We go hard after a 50/50 ball; we get sent off.

Even though they were shorthanded, we beat the snot out of Egypt, who are really the class of Africa these days, and who had taken care of Italy just a couple of days before.

The Brazil/Italy result was, of course, a fluke.  But these things happen, and we drew the break this time around.

And, boy, did we make the most of it.

Jozy’s goal was wonderful to watch, but it looked truthfully to be all on Iker Casillas, who seemed badly wrong-footed on a shot right down the middle (sorry, Jozy).

But, again, that’s how the game usually goes, and Jozy did spectacular work to hold off two men and get a shot on frame that one of the best portieri in the world simply bolloxed up.

After that, just a pure guts race, and the lads showed themselves very well.

The second goal by Dempsey, although another gift of sorts, resulted from a graceful combination of passes by the US.

Dempsey again was Johnny-on-the-spot, and he has really picked up his game since disappointing performances in the last couple of qualifiers. He’s shown the pluck the last two games that’s sent him to success in the wilds of the Premiership, and he’ll be an asset going forward.

Ed note (4/23/10): Of course, Clint’s form later peaked even higher in 2010 with his epic Europa League goal against Juventus at the Cottage.

As a final note, trying to avoid learning the result of an important mid-day EDT soccer game is becoming increasingly difficult these days. If you’re facebook friends with Jozy Altidore and long-lost exchange student pals in Barcelona, you really have to go totally off the grid to remain ignorant of the outcome.

The deluge of information is just too powerful to overcome without zen-like focus. I was ultimately done in by the ticker at the bottom of the ‘Horns game, which I couldn’t resist turning on live in the other room. Your eye strays for just a moment, and there you go.

Kudos to The Beverage’s better half, who reportedly tried to frantically delete emails with posts to Jozy’s facebook page during progress of the game so that I wouldn’t see them, but it was all for naught in the end.

Anyway, singular result for the boys today. I’m here with my VY jersey on thinking happy thoughts for the ‘Horns and hoping that you’ll do the same.

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