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USA shocks Spain!

By:  Michael Dunham

When I heard that the USA was playing Spain I figured I would watch and get a good laugh at the pounding that would ensue.  The only thing is, despite my enourmous American pride, I thought I would be laughing at the pounding those dirty Spaniards would put on America.  Instead, I saw one of the greatest performances under extreme duress I have ever seen.

The game started just as I figured it would, Spain, the number one ranked team in the world, was constantly in the American third of the pitch, shooting shot after shot at goalie Tim Howard.  Every time the U.S. would attempt to move the ball to the other side of the pitch it would get stolen back and the barrage of shots would continue.

Finally, in the 27th minute, Clint Dempsey succesfully moved the ball to the Spanish third where he fed Jozy Altidore who fought off Spanish defender Capdevila’s best attempts at the ball and found the back of the net.  GOAL!  I was stunned.  Was the fourteenth ranked team in the world actually beating number one?! All of the sudden, America had a chance.

After the chaos of the goal completed and Altidore put his shirt back on after his yellow carded celebration, I realized, ‘America is still playing Spain, the number one ranked team in the world.’ I chuckled at myself for thinking that America could win and continued watching the game.

The Spainish attack continued as strong as before, but still, no goal.  The halftime whistle blew and the teams went to their locker room where I figured Bob Bradley would make some adjustments to help his defence out and put some more pressure on the Spanish side.

Instead, the opposite happened.  Spain made adjustments and their offense was even stronger than before.  I have never seen a game where a team was winning the game and their defence looked amazing, yet the commentators talked about how the United States would loose if they did not change their tactics.

When Spain’s pressure seemed to be at its peak, the US broke into the Spanish third and, just like before, found a way to make the most of a hopeful situation and score again.  After a cross by Donovan, Sergio Ramos chose to take a touch before clearing the ball and Clint Dempsey snuck in and poked the ball off Ramos’ foot and into the back of the goal.  Now the US really did have a chance!  2-0 over Spain! WOO!!  Then again, I realized they were playing Spain and there was still about 20 minutes left in the game.

The game continued as before in a fashion of:  Spain shot, Spain shot, clear, Spain shot, then it would all repeat again.  It was only made tougher when, in the 86th minute, Michael Bradley was red carded on a play that was a questionable yellow at best.  The next 10 minutes where likely the longest in the lives of most of these United States soccer players.  Think about this situation; you are playing the number one team in the world, they are on a 35 game unbeated streak, although you have a 2-0 lead, you have been outplayed in every facet of the game, if the amount of pressure being applied were to be weighed, it would make a sumo wrestler look in shape, and let me repeat THEY ARE THE NUMBER ONE TEAM IN THE WORLD!  If I were any of those players out there, I would have broken down and cried.  Luckily for America and viewers worldwide, I was watching the game on my couch like the rest of you.

87th minute: 2-0

88th minute: 2-0

89th minute: 2-0!

90th minute: 2-0?!

91st minute: 2-0!!

92nd minute: 2-0!!!!

93rd minute: 2-0!!!!!!!!

The Americans have done it!  U-S-A! U-S-A!  I think i did a backflip while celebrating.  This is the most incredible thing I have ever seen!  I am screaming like a schoolgirl who just got the latest gossip feed!  This is the best gossip I have ever heard!!  HAHA Spain in your face.

I know that anyone else who watched the whole game was doing something similar if the watched the game start to finish.

When I think about the game I can’t help but think of the similarities between this game and the 1980 ‘Miracle on Ice.’  Both games were against teams ranked number one in the world while the common thought was that the Americans had no chance.  Both games were in the semi-finals of a major international tournament; granted the Olympics or the soccer equivalent World Cup is on a different level than the Confederation Cup, it is still a similarity none the less.  Most importantly, the United States won both games.

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Champions League Final, Man U’s to loose

Man U wins again

Categories: Soccer, Sports

Champions League Final, Man U’s to loose

By: Michael Dunham

May 27th is the biggest soccer, or futbol, day in all of Europe and around the world.  As Manchester United prepares to face FC Barcelona for the UEFA Champions League Final, all eyes turn to Rome in eager anticipation.

As we wait, all we can do is predict, analyze, and, for those die hard fans, hope our team wins.

United likes to get an early lead and then sit on what they have so they will likely come out of the gates strong and look for an early goal.  If they do not have the lead by the 20th minute then Barcelona is sitting in a good position and will likely have the momentum.

Barcelona has lost their last two league matches, and even though those games did not matter in the bigger picture, a team like Barcelona needs the momentum of a few wins when going into such a big game, against such a talented team.

Injuries could be a major factor on how both teams perform in the final.  Barcelona’s Thierry Henry and Andres Iniesta are both questionable for the game and, if they do not play, could put a huge damper on Barcelona’s ability to score.  While Manchester will be without Darren Fletcher, who was suspended from the game, they will be getting back captain Rio Ferdinand who will be returning from a calf injury.  While he will be returning, it is uncertain how well he will be able to perform during the game.

I think that Manchester will score one early and the game will be equalized with a late Barcelona goal to send the game to penalties where Manchester will take the cup for the second year in a row.

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Categories: Soccer, Sports

Man U wins again

The great Manchester United tied Arsenal 0-0 today to win the English Premier League Trophy again.  With it being the 18th time they have won the trophy i think it is safe to say that they could be classified as the Yankees of soccer, or the Cowboys of futbol.  Ever since i bought FiFa 2008 I have been following English Soccer, and Soccer around the world for that matter, and I sure am glad Man U has been my team because they win everything.

They have a no need game against Hull City on the 24th that will likely see very little, if any, of Ronaldo, Rooney, and the rest of the big time starters as they prepare for the next biggest game of their lives:

that of course being the Champions League title game against Barcelona on the 27th.  Manchester hopes to trump the attempts of Xavi, Eto’o, Henry and Iniesta and repeat as Champions.

Categories: Soccer, Sports