24 June 2007

Bad news, good news

First, the bad news. Charlton are shutting down their women's team. The justification is supposedly that they need the money because the men were relegated. And that may be their reason, but it doesn't make a lot of sense regardless:

Despite their relegation, Charlton will receive parachute payments of £11million a year for the next two seasons, while the impending sale of Darren Bent to Tottenham is set to bring in £16m.
Killing the women's team will only save them about 250,000. Which they could get from selling a youth player or two. It's ridiculous, and really disheartening. Charlton are one of the most successful teams in English women's football, and they don't deserve to be shut down because the men couldn't cut it this year. So basically, this is complete bullshit, and I hope they can find a way to keep the team alive.

And now the good news:
  • US 2 - Chile 1 (U20 men, friendly). I didn't get to see all of this one, but this is a good way to warm up for the U20 World Cup, starting next week in Canada. They've apparently drawn the Group of Death (again), so this should be interesting.

  • US 2 - Brazil 0 (women, friendly). I watched all of this one, and god. How badass is Kristine Lilly? More national team appearances than anyone ever -- not anyone in the US, or any woman, but anyone. Admittedly, this was an under-strength Brazil team, but the US completely dominated this one. It bodes well for the Women's World Cup, I think.

  • US 2 - Mexico 1 (men, Gold Cup final). This was the only competitive match of the three, and the one I was most invested in. The first half wasn't all that impressive -- Onyewu had an absolute shocker throughout, and they missed far too many chances. With that, though, things got a lot better in the second half; the defense tightened up and they were able to retain possession better. Ching and Beasley still threw away too many chances, but I can't really criticize too much. They did what they needed to, and Feilhaber's goal was absolutely gorgeous. I have a thing for long-range shots like that, and that was just about perfect. The most important thing here is that they qualified for the Confederations Cup in 2009, which should build some confidence. Now comes the Copa America, where they'll probably crash and burn. But it's good that they're going, and it should be some good experience for the younger players and the MLS-based ones. But, man, I fear that Argentina squad.


linda said...

I think everyone is selling the US team short. Sure, they're inexperienced, but that just means that people will underestimate them, which wouldn't be the first time Argentina have been embarrassed by a supposedly inferior rival. Hopefully that won't happen, but I think the US might surprise a few people.

Amanda said...

Linda: honestly, I have nothing invested in the US's performance. They're not expected to do well (and any expectations were substantially lowered after the roster came out, rightly or wrongly), and this is mostly important for us to get experience against better-quality opposition for the future.

Anything beyond that is really gravy, as far as I'm concerned. It seems to mean a lot more to the sides actually in CONMEBOL, which is as it should be. Having said that, though, I much prefer an underestimated US team to an overhyped one. It's nice to see a bit of humility, especially when it's deserved.

Amanda said...

And I just saw your comment at Liverpool Offside. If you were responding to me, I meant that Copa was really a no-stakes tournament for the US. I'm sure the CONMEBOL nations take it seriously -- Argentina seems to be a good indicator of that.

Anonymous said...

Beasley hitting the crossbar on that 2 v 1 was practically unforgivable. It takes more effort to miss from his position than to score.

I did enjoy the game though. The US showed promise here and there with some quality and inventive touches.

should Gooch continue to over-rely on his strength, his growth as an actual footballer will continue to be retarded. At some point, you've got to read the game. He can't continue to just push strikers when it's conveinent for him. That said, I do enjoy seeing Borgetti get knocked around.

Feilhaber's goal was sheer class. This kid has a nose for shooting. Earlier in the first half, he was surging towards the goal, and instead of forcing a crap pass as the defense didn't step to him, he pulled the trigger and ended up putting a powerful effort into the side netting. Unlucky, but I like where this kid's head is.

I was shocked that Mexico, upon going down 2-1, didn't resort to their usual ugliness in an attempt to claw one back.

And, I highly recomment watching the games on Univision. I don't speak a lick on Spanish, and it's kind of refreshing.

Amanda said...

Scott: that was the best game I've seen from the US in this tournament. I did spend a lot of time yelling at Beasley and Ching (and Dempsey), though; I think our biggest weakness is the lack of finishing. The defense still isn't great, but I think a lot of that will just have to come with time and them getting used to working together. Though clearing your lines shouldn't be that hard for internationals.

Was that shot in the first half Feilhaber? I thought it was Bornstein (who started life as a striker). Either way, great shot and he was unlucky. It's nice to see them taking those shots instead of passing things to death. I like a lot of this team. As you know.

I've been watching everything on whatever Spanish channel shows it -- I don't get FSC, and the commentators are actually more entertaining when I can only get the gist. And I love the "PENAL PENAL PENAL!" shout.

linda said...

I'm just a bit worried that maybe the Argentineans will underestimate the US at their peril. Ah well, we'll see on Thursday I guess.

Re: my comment on the Liverpool Offside, I wasn't taking issue with your comments at all. I thought your assessment was quite fair, actually. It was more what some of the commenters there were saying that annoyed me.

Carlo said...

I"m glad Donovan proved me wrong. Figures it would pan out that way.

I think Scott's point about Gooch is spot on, and the defense looked pretty weak against Mexico.