Well, here we go: It's the game that will let us know whether we're gonna have a rollicking drunk Tuesday 11 a.m. party next week, or whether ... well, whether the United States will be playing during said drunkenness. As you know, the United States needs an Italian win and a win here, both of which seem firmly within the realm of possibility. But don't forget: A win for Ghana gets them in too. They'll probably show up.
Your live-blogger today is Adam Baruchowitz, of Heeb Magazine. He's got the marquee role today, and he's up for it: He was in attendance for both of the U.S. games in Germany. Follow along in the comments, and, you know ... U-S-A!
(UPDATE: Hey, the US lost. Did you see that?)
While I have a public forum i would like to give a bit of a wrap up of the state of US Soccer. This world cup appeared to be over 5 minutes into the first game when Jan Koller nailed home a header against us. The US appeared to be overmatched both on the field and on the coaching side. All the US has to take home from the world cup is a gutsy match against Italy. Arena didn't react to any of the needs of his squad and failed to instill an urgency and confidence that is necessary on the international scale. Not to mention how the US could have had the Mexican draw if Arena played the qualifying matches differently. He is gone in my mind. It is obvious that the US lacks star power. They didn't have anyone who stepped up. Donovan is clearly not the answer. He was dominated in so many ways. Maybe the expectations were too high coming after a remarkable showing in 2002 but the US growth seems stunted. If there is one thing i think we could work on its our theatrics. For a country that prides itself on the entertainment industry you would think our players could take advantage of the poor refereeing the way the other countries had. Maybe it's because we pride ourselves on toughness as well, and don't want to look like pussy cats. The US is out and i feel now i feel bad for the ESPN executives. How will they keep the general population interested? i'll be watching!
[LOST SOME WORDS HERE BECAUSE OF THE BAD BAD GAWKER MEDIA SYSTEM]
Tachie mensah in for Draman
78' Most of the game is being played in the midfield with a lot of back and forth. Not much real action to speak of.
Time is becoming a factor. 15 minutes left.
Convey in for Lewis
72' Appiah gets an opportunity but his shot is blocked by conrad
68' The pressure is on...the invisible man Donovan was offsides.
67' Onyewu heads a corner just over the crossbar. He was wide open.
65' Mcbride hits the post on a great near side cross by Lewis. US is stepping up the offense. I am hearing chants of Oy Vey, Oy Vey, Oy Vey from my neighbors
62' It is a back and forth game right now with no one dominating the ball. The US needs to step up the pressure
Eddie Johnson comes on for Cherundolo—-FINALLY!!!!
59' Olsen gets tripped up in the midfield
Eric Addo comes in for Amoah. Ghana goes on the defensive.
57' Nice long ball from Onyewu to Dempsey but his cross is intercepted by the keeper.
56' Appiah takes a free kick from 40 yards out and sends it wide left of the net.
54' Ghana counters with numbers and Amoah rips one on net. Beautiful save by Keller!
52' US gets a free kick from the left side, cleared for a corner.
49' Arena still apears content with his squad out there. but players are warming up.
47' Essien laying on the ground but no foul called.
Ghana substitutes Addo in for Boateng
The referee's have been way too involved in this world cup. I have said it before both teams seem to be taking the sit back and wait approach to this game. Let the other team come to them and counter. Besides the goals there hasn't been a whole lot of action. Beasley showed the spark needed from him and Dempsey nailed one home but US opportunities have been few and far between. US will have to find a way to put more pressure on the Ghana defense who have not been impressive. I imagine Coach Arena will finally toss away his defensive minded game plan and put in Eddie Johnson and maybe John O' Brien. The US is getting help from the Italian squad now we will see what they are made of in the second half. For the US, this will be one more instance of the Nuremburg trials..
Extra Time' Goal Ghana...Appiah tucks the penalty kick away upper left side...There goes my breath again.
45' In extra time the referee awards Ghana a penalty Kick off a BS call on Onyewu. Unbelievable!
43' GOOOOOOOOOOOAL USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Beasley steals the ball from Boateng who gives back the gift that Reyna gave to Ghana. Beasley sends a perfect cross to Dempsey who buries it in the back!! I feel like i can breathe again.
41' Free kick by Appiah but nothing comes from it.
40' Olsen substitutes for Reyna who is obviously hurt. This might be the last match for the long time captain. If it is, Thanks for the memories Claudio!
38' Slow roller across the box from Lewis but no one is there.
38' This has been a game of sitting back and counter, Ghana has been more successful so far.
35' Cherundolo picks up a foul on the right wing. Free kick from outside the box. Hit out of bounds by the goalie.
34' McBride passes it over the top to Donovan who shoots it over the net
31' US playing very sloppy on defense but Ghana doesn't want to take advantage. US doesn't seem to realize the importance of a win. They have still not shown any creativity on offense. Seem to have reverted back to quality of play in the first game against Czech.
28' Reyna back in and gives the ball away again to Pimpong who shoots it wide.
Sidebar—-Italy scores to take the l;ead against Czech.
25' bringing out the stretcher for the Ghana goalie who collides with Bocanegra.
22' GOAL Ghana! Draman picks Reyna's pocket who stupidly tried to dribble out of the back. Draman puts one in the side netting on the breakaway....Reyna down, knee looks hurt but ego probably hurts a lot more.
21' ESPN shows people in Columbus going nuts...that is once they realize the camera is on them
20' Corner for Ghana off a cross by Appiah
19' Donovan called for a very close offsides
Back to the Game
BREAKING NEWS—Knicks fire Larry Brown—-What a shocker! 50 million not bad for one year!
16' Dempsey gets a soft header on net off a corner.
15' Lewis has some blood streaming from his eye....man, are we showing our true blood or what!
14' No dangerous attacks yet for the US but they have made the goalie touch the ball a couple of times at least.
12' US is playing our patented kick and run, hoping to catch the lakadaisical Ghana defense off guard. it worked in 2002.
10' Ghana shows its speed and counters but Pimpong is called for offsides
9' Essien shoots wide off a free kick entry pass
7' Lewis gets a yellow card for an intentional hand ball..these refs are card happy!
6' US is controlling the ball while Ghana appears very tentative
4' Yellow card on Essien for taking out Reyna..he's gonna have to sit out the next match if they advance..
2' Cherundolo crosses to Dempsey but nothing comes of it.
1' Lewis dumps a cross in on net
In a moment of despair after the embarrassing Czech loss, I waved my 6th row ticket to this game in the air basically giving it away. To the lucky fan who grabbed it i want to say enjoy the game, and beware of the puking Kennedy boys sitting beside you. I was also able to catch the England-Trinidad game in Nuremburg and i am sure the the American contingent will be in full force rocking the tiny stadium, making this feel like a home game. After reading comments from the Ghana side, they seem to be brimming with confidence to the point of cockiness, looking forward to a match against Brazil in the next round. Yes, that is the reward for advancing to the next round, a chance to get your samba on.
Both coaches have their hands full replacing players who are suspended due to red cards and yellow card accumulation.Ghana will be without it's two goal scorers in the Czech game while USA have lost two of their central defenders. It will be interesting to see how Coach Arena sets his lineup, but one thing's for certain he won't be doing it with a smile. So far in this tournament the USA have been Jekyll and Hyde. (To the tune of Slim Shady) Will the real USA please stand up, please stand up.
Keller, Onyewu, Cherundolo, Bocanegra, Conrad, Beasley, Reyna, Lewis, Donovan, Dempsey, McBride
Arena opts for speed in the midfield, basically playing the 4-5-1, hoping to keep Ghana from scoring while taking advantage of the counter-attack
Kingston, Dramani, Koffour, Mensah, Paintsil, Appiah, Essien, Mohammed, Amoah, Boateng, Pimpong
Dujkovic chooses to keep the pressure on by inserting speedy forwards.
wow, that was a real touching commercial by Gatorade in the pregame, almost made you feel like they are beginning to believe soccer is a real sport with drama and everything.