Thursday, June 28, 2007

Copa America - U.S. vs. Argentina Live

I have not watched a full soccer match since last summer’s World Cup final (the Zidane head-butt game), but I am currently watching the United States-Argentina match as part of the 2007 Copa America in Venezuela. I honestly don’t know anything about this tournament, but I’m intrigued to see how the men’s national team fares against the outstanding Argentinean team. I should probably mention that the match is not on ESPN or ESPN2; it’s on Comcast’s Channel 31. I don’t even more the name of the station, but the telecast is in Spanish. No hablo español!

In looking at the starting line-ups, I know that the forwards for Argentina, Hernan Crespo and Lionel Andres Messi are amazing. Apparently, the U.S. team wants some younger players to gain international experience since Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Oguchi Onyewu and Clint Dempsey are neither in the starting line-up or even listed as substitutes. Instead, the U.S. is starting players such as Justin Mapp, Jay Demerit, Ricardo Clark and Marvell Wynne. I have never heard of any of these players except for Wynne because he was an outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates about 20 years ago. Based on the line-up, Argentina should win rather easily, but that’s why we play the game.

- The U.S. takes an early lead in the eighth minute! Eddie Johnson (one of the guys I know) got taken down in the penalty box. The ref made an excellent call in awarding a penalty kick, and Johnson scored on the PK. I have no idea whether or not the announcers agree with the call, but it looked like the right call to me.

- You’ll be glad to know that I can understand the advertisements on top of the screen. Bud Light and Toyota Trucks translate well.

- Argentina answers quickly with a Crespo goal in the twelfth minute. U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller (did you know he’s 37!) made the initial save, but the ball came right to Crespo with an open net. The game is tied 1-1 (or uno to uno).
- Each time I write Argentina, I’m tempted to write Arjewtino, which is a blog that I check out daily.

- Nothing really exciting has happened over the last 30 minutes, until now. Argentina’s midfielder Veron took a rocket shot from about 20 yards away. Keller got his hand on it and the ball deflected off and then over the crossbar. I know that Kasey is a professional goalie, but that had to have hurt his hand.

- That’s the end of the first half. This has turned into a blog journal, so I’ll probably write more for the second half. The score is still tied at uno.

- In case you were wondering, the preview for the Transformers movie also looks and sounds cool in Spanish! Oh, and Wendy’s has carne fresca! Plus, hearing the “Nationwide is on your side” jingle in Spanish is also neat.

Welcome back (or just welcome).

- Not much has happened in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Allstate is now the sponsor at the top of the screen. There is also a ton of confetti all over the field. There really should be some type of Zamboni for soccer fields. That’s going to be a pain to clean after the game.

- Messi is very, very quick. About 15 minutes into second half, he got through and beat two U.S. defenders, but his shot went wide.

- D.C. United’s Ben Olsen is out. Eddie Gaven (who?) is in.

- Welcome to the game Eddie! You just got abused by Messi, who then gave a perfect pass to Crespo. Goal. (Or as the announcer yells, goal, goal, goal, goal, goal, goal, goal, goal, goal, goal, goal, goal, goal, goal, goal, goal). After typing goal so many times, I wonder if it’s even spelled correctly. Anyway, I don’t know if Keller could have made the save, but he didn’t put himself in a good position. 2-1 Argentina in the 64th minute.

- Messi is just dominating the second half. He clearly looks like the best player on the field.

- In case you were wonder, Aaron Brooks (Oregon) was drafted #26 by Houston and Arron Afflalo (UCLA) went to Detroit at #27. Could another Aaron (Gray) go next? (Nope)

- I left the room for a minute to take my contact lenses out and missed another goal. Someone (it may have been Messi again) served a perfect cross into the center and Aimar headed the ball into the back of the net. He put the biscuit in the basket! Keller had no chance. After the goal, Argentina substituted Messi out of the game, and he received a huge ovation from the crowd. 3-1. (Game over?)

- Meanwhile, the U.S. brought in Kyle Beckerman, who has dreadlocks much longer than Adam Duritz. He looks kind of silly actually. I’m going to see if I can find a picture of him.

- Now would also be a good time to mention that the Spice Girls are officially reuniting and are planning an 11-city world tour. I'm excited about this.

- 4-1 Argentina. Carlos Alberto Tevez, who came in for Messi, scored on a breakaway in the 85th minute. The assistant referee missed the call as Tevez was offside by a few yards. (Game over!)

- I finally learned that I was watching Telefutura. Good to know.

- We’re now into the second round of the NBA draft. I expect Aaron Gray to go sometime in the next 10-15 picks.

That’s it for me. The U.S. played Argentina rather evenly for the first half, but Argentina has too much talent (Messi) and took over in the second half. I would have liked to have seen Donovan, Beasley and the other American regulars to see how they match-up against Argentina. Maybe in 2010 in South Africa. Before I sign off, here’s a picture of Kyle Beckerman, but without the dreadlocks, just long hair.

Update 6/29: Here are some real recaps from last night's match from The Washington Post and San Jose Mercury News. According to the second article, Marvell Wynne is a son of a former major league baseball player. It has to be former Bucco Marvell Wynne, right?


Arjewtino said...

I am still upset I missed this game.

Anonymous said...

You might try the SAP button on the TV to get the secondary audio of the broadcast (I don't know if it works, but you might try it)

Saturday : 4PM EDT Bolivia - Uruguay
6PM EDT Peru - Venezuela

Sunday : 4PM EDT Brazil - Chile
6PM EDT Mexico - Ecuador


Anonymous said...

That is Marvell Wynne's son playing D.

Sean said...

Arjewtino - Who do you actually root for in a US-Argentina match?

SAP didn't work, but it was a good suggestion. Telefutura actually spelled goal, GOL.

You don't know how excited I am that Marvell Wynne's name is back in the sports world. He was one of my favorite Pirates through those terrible 80s teams.

Goal said...

Why more Goal...?