I’ve been really busy this week and haven’t been able to write as much as I have wanted to. So, here are my five thoughts from the Panama-Canada and Guadeloupe-USA games.
– First of all, with that performance.the U.S. will not beat Jamaica, who has not allowed a goal all tournament (they did get the easiest group)
– Guadeloupe was fast and physical,but thoroughly dominated.
-NO CREATIVITY IN ATTACKING THIRD. Dempsey’s miss and several shots hitting the woodwork shouldn’t happen again, but the fact is scoring one goal against Guadeloupe isn’t enough.
-How would the game have been different if this early shot had gone in?(30 seconds into the video)
-As for the other game, Panama was impressive and Canada wasn’t, simply considering the stakes for each team. A draw was about right, considering everything.
The flops: Landon Donovan, U.S.A (looked slow and tired) and Livio Nabab, Guadeloupe (he’s fast but always offsides)
In other Gold Cup news, the first quarterfinal is set. Costa Rica, which “never practices penalties” according to their coach, had a penalty saved halfway through the second half, and the lost a penalty shootout, fell to Honduras, and Guatemala got a very early goal, but couldn’t hold off Mexico.
Malaga continue to buy and buy: Toulalan, a French international, and Mathijsen, a Dutch international, joined Monreal, Buonanotte, and Van Nisterlooy, on Friday. Now, focus turns to Lucio, Ricardo Alvarez and Drogba. Wow! And there are still seventy-three days for them to get players.
COPA AMERICA GROUP A
Argentina will be big favorites in group A. Their world class forwards Aguero, Lavezzi, and Tevez would be the best in South America, except they can’t get off the bench! The aging defense will do fine for the purposes of this tournament, but Batista needs to start adding young talent. In the midfield, Cambiasso and Demichelis are the imposing pair of holding mids, and Javier Pastore the creative one. Four players play for Real Madrid and three for Barcelona. An extra advantage: they host the tournament, which is far more important in South America, than anywhere else in the world.
Underestimate Colombia at your own peril. They always seem to be sixth best team in South America, unlucky to miss the World Cup, but there is reason to suspect they are improving. The team is young with many players around the age of 25. Players to watch are Falcao, one of Porto’s incredible forwards, Fredy Guarin, a midfielder at Porto, Hugo Rodallega, a striker at Wigan, Mario Yepes, key in Milan’s scudetto victory, Cristian Zapata, another talented Serie A defender, and David Ospina, the vastly underrated goalie. Their weakness is the midfield (only six players in the squad are actually mids). Could do a lot of damage at WC 2014, and reach the semis here.
The other two teams shouldn’t cause Argentina any trouble. Costa Rica as an invitee, is using a mostly U-23 squad and even without that handicap would be behind most CONMEBOL nations. Are in good form at the moment. Bolivia are always whipping boys in South America, unless they play at altitude.