It wasn’t the prettiest of goals. It shouldn’t have been a goal at all. Robert Green stops that ball the other 99 times he sees it. However it was a fair goal and all those English tabloids whimpering that Green cost them the game weren’t watching. The USA played toe to toe with England the entire match, both with chances to win and both benefiting, overall anyway, from great play by their respective keepers. The only difference was the error by Green and the helplessness of Howard. The goal by Gerrard was pretty much unstoppable, not Tim Howard’s fault at all. Overall, he was the man of the match for the USA, but props have to be given to the American forwards and offensive players in general. They kept possession relatively well and kept the pressure on England’s back line the entire game. Speaking of back lines, what was supposed to be a great weakness of the USA for one game at least looked pretty solid. We’ll see if the age factor of the US defense comes into play as the tournament progresses. All in all, a point from England now makes it a one win situation for the US, though I hope they make it easy on themselves and us and win the next two. They even have an outside chance to win the group which would be phenomenal and probably set up an England v. Germany showdown that can only end badly for the English which would tickle me pink, if for no other reason than to taunt my English pals for the next four years or so.
As far as coverage of the game was concerned, I can’t complain. We got one of the top announcers of English football, Martin Tyler and I can’t recall his American counter part, but they seemed ok together, if not a little stiff. Tyler though probably took a little getting accustomed to for American audiences. He doesn’t shout, he doesn’t constantly chatter and he has such a cool, calm delivery that at first blanche might come off as uninterested. After listening to him for a number of years I can say that is far from the case. He let’s the game do the talking. His pace and excitement match the games events and even then you won’t catch him screaming “GOOOOOOALLLLL” which I can only thank god for that. Also the American’s in the audience who didn’t like his commentary on Dempsey’s goal should really just shut up. My guess is this is the first soccer match you’ve watched in four years and it would be nice if the jingoistic nationalism so prevalent when the US plays international sports could be absent for at least a part of the tournament. Seriously, it was the equivalent of Buckner letting it go through his legs; what is Tyler supposed to say, “great goal!?” Well that would be a lie. In fact his line of, “sometimes when you buy a ticket you win the raffle,” was a perfect summary of what happened. Now, a couple of “real” goals against Slovenia, along with NO early game lapses, would be the perfect continuation of an already good start. Go USA!