Saturday, June 11, 2016

Copa America - USMNT vs Paraguay - June 11 - Running Notebook

Ok, here is the final game of Group A.  After a loss to Colombia and a big win against Costa Rica, the USMNT only require a draw to go through, but could conceivably with the group with some help from Costa Rica which seems unlikely since they are eliminated.  

Get a result and go through to likely play Brazil on Friday.  Or, lose and go home.

Match is in Philadelphia in a moderately populated Linc.

USA still in a 4-4-2, despite the sheet listed.  

Big counter attack by the USA and Fabian Johnson led the attack and was fouled 30 yards out. 2'

John Brooks starting strong early.  

Dempsey posts up and is fouled in the 5' within 27 yards.  Fabian Johnson stands over it and his curler around the wall demands a save.  Villar has been the PAR keeper since 1999.

3 on 1 for PAR is broken up wonderfully by Brooks!  Wow.  Everyone caught up and Brooks saves the day with a beautiful blocked shot.  11'

Current clubs of the starting 11 for this Copa America:  

Clint Dempsey - Seattle
Zardes - LA Galaxy
Bobby Wood - Hamburger (GER)

Michael Bradley - Toronto
Jermaine Jones - Colorado 
Alejandro Bedoya - Nantes (ITA)

DeAndre Yedlin - Sunderland (ENG)
John Brooks - Hertha (GER)
Geoff Cameron - Stoke (ENG)
Fabian Johnson - Borussia M√∂nchengladbach (GER)

Brad Guzan - Aston Villa (ENG)

A bit chippy here tonight as these two teams are going at each other with studs up.  15'

Zardes down the left flank provides good speed and counters.  

Great ball possession in deep for the USA, but nothing of it.  But, back the other way, a shout for a penalty as Jones brings his man down in the box on a tackle, and then Gonzalez finds Lezcano on the far post for a header, but Guzan makes the save.  19'

More US opportunities but the final ball is missing.  Bedoya looking for Yedlin that time.

Dempsey tried to slide the ball to Wood and there was a handball by Balbuena at the top of the circle. Dempsey on top of it.  24'

He goes top right and misses it high.  Enough to make everyone nervous, but just missed.  

GOAL: Zardes with that run down the left flank and then beautifully turns the corner to cut it back to Dempsey who slams it home!  GOAL!  1-0, USMNT.  Jermaine Jones won possession and freed Zardes down the left.  Dempsey's left foot is true and it is his 51st goal for the nats.  27'

Ayala is fouled by Wood 25 out for PAR.  Ayala's kick is high.  

Lezcano gets another window of light only to have Brooks there.  33'

Samudio and Yedlin get into it and a blind elbow gets Samudio who stays down.  41'

The US now noticeably more compact and sitting in their shape to get to halftime, we assume.  

3 on 2 counter for the US draws a corner as Wood slips a bit on his cutback.  44'

In the 45th, Lezcano is sprung all alone behind the high line!  Guzan makes the save!  Huge save 5-hole.  Big.  

Halftime - US 1, PAR 0

2nd half - Iturbe on for Balbuena at the half.  

Yedlin goes in hard and gets a yellow card for his tackle on 16.  47'

Then, he does it again????   This time on Samudio and he gets a 2nd yellow in about 60 seconds.  What are you doing????   Sent off and properly sent off.  

SUB:  Now playing with 10 men - Dempsey must come off for Michael Orozco (Tijuana - MEX).  

This is going to be difficult to bring home now.  

Rojas on for Ortiz.  

This is where Jermaine Jones is going to be a key.  Brooks so composed under fire.  Orozco now playing right back with Wood alone up high.  

Wood turns a ball at midfield to get a 3 on 2 on the run, but his pass to Zardes is scuffed at the goal as Villar makes a fine play.  62'

A long shot goes wide from Ayala.  62'  

Benitez on for Sanabria.  3rd and final sub for PAR.

Orozco blocks a shot for a corner.  PAR has 4 corners now.  65'  Everyone back for the US.  

Wood sure looked fouled down in the PAR end.  But, no call.  

I think the Ref is hurt.  The magic spray is being applied.  

Now things are really getting heated.  Rojas on Wood and Wood pushes him back.  Yellow cards for both, I do believe.  71'

SUB:  At the 74', Zusi on for Bedoya to bring on fresh legs and heavy energy.  

Ayala fouls Zardes and is booked accordingly.  78'

Zusi tracks back and breaks up a play in his area.  

A Lezcano header from Iturbe goes high.  80'

Guzman with a huge sequence.  First Benitez, then Lezcano.  Guzan is there for both!

SUB:  Beckerman and he is on and fires it high.  '87

Jermaine Jones foul is cautioned and the ensuing set piece is broken up by Brooks.

Then return play is sent in and a goal is scored by Gomez, but clearly offside!  '89

There will be 6 minutes of stoppage time!  

The closing down of swarms of US players are seeing this out.  Jermaine Jones, Bradley, Brooks, Cameron.  So good.  

They survive!  They beat Paraguay.

This is just the 3rd major tournament ever where they have 2 wins.  2002 World Cup and the 1995 Copa America (2009 Confederations Cup as well).  

Big accomplishment.  Well done.

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