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USMNT Subdued in Dublin
James McClean made it 3-1 to the hosts and hopes for the USMNT dwindled in the 82nd minute
USMNT Subdued in Dublin


The United States traveled to Dublin Ireland with hopes of ending the year on a strong result after their rude awakening they experienced with Colombia last Friday. Prior to this match the Stars and Stripes have traveled to Dublin on four separate occasions and each time they were defeated by Ireland. Tuesday evening's match would not be different from the other four occasions. The trendiest issue coming from the USMNT is one that has always haunted them, the start of each half.



The first goal of the game came in the seventh minute on a counterattack. Ireland debutant David McGoldrick beautifully placed a pass into the on running Anthony Pilkington who made it 1-0 to the hosts. Team USA woke up collectively after the opening goal by Ireland. Klinsmann's side equalized on the 39th minute after a interesting build up that found Wondo in the box who headed the ball into the path of Diskerud who tied the match from close range. The halftime whistle echoed around Aviva Stadium and each side went to their locker rooms at 1-1.



Martin O'Neill's side had a lot of questions going into this match since every single player who played in Ireland's 0-1 lost to Scotland were not present. The Irish looked strong in that first half and many have dubbed this to be Martin O'Neill's "B" team. This "B" team would soon make their names heard in Dublin and to head coach Martin O’Neill.



The second half would begin much like how the first half began, ten minutes after the restart Robert Brady would capitalize off a defensive mistake to give the lead back to Ireland. After a poor defensive clearance by Fabian Johnson, David McGoldrick again assisted Robbie Brady to make it 2-1. The entire second half Jurgen's side found it hard to break into another gear to bring the game back level.



The USMNT did in fact put pressure on their hosts on several occasions before Ireland began to break away. Jordan Morris fed Greg Garza who came on for Alfredo Morales, inside the Ireland penalty box. Garza whipped in a shot, which was saved by Shay Given on the 81st minute for a corner kick for USA. This is the point which history repeated itself in football.


After the USA’s attempt on said corner kick, Ireland substitute Shane Long was able to exploit his speed on the left wing. Shane Long was able to whip a shot on target that hit the post, immediately after James McClean would fire Ireland to a 3-1 lead. The third goal was a rather unfortunate goal to let in as well for the USMNT as they looked to pry themselves back into the match. The goal took a nasty deflection off of Cameron and past Bill Hamid. Ireland would make it 4-1 in the 86th minute after a superb free kick and second for Robert Brady.


In retrospect the US Men’s National Team did in fact perform poorly on the road in Dublin Ireland. One thing Jurgen can take to heart in this match was the attacking threat both Alejandro Bedoya and Fabian Johnson pose when they play on the right side for team USA. Klinsmann also probably took note that his side was without Clint Dempsey and Omar Gonzalez. Both players are important for the Stars and Stripes but with the lineup being somewhat new in regards to some personnel in the midfield and defense. The attacking lineup was one of “top” quality with Jozy Altidore and Chris Wondolowski leading the forward line.


Martin O’Neill definitely looked the genius on Tuesday evening as many critiqued him as being very disrespectful to the USMNT with 11 changes to the match. All 11 changes was evidently the correct decision as Ireland looked stronger on all parts of the field and match. 


Posted by Gio Franco on 11/19/2014 at 8:29 PM - PERMALINK | EMAIL | DISCUSS | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
Galaxy advance in RSL rout
Landon Donovan celebrates his after netting his hat trick in the second leg against RSL
Galaxy advance in RSL rout


The Los Angeles Galaxy advanced to the Western Conference finals Sunday evening after a dominating display against what was once the Galaxy's "jinx" team Real Salt Lake. Landon Donovan took the spotlight once again at the Stub Hub Center but this time for the proper reasons. Much has been critiqued on the conduct of Landon Donovan's retirement at the ripe old age of 32. This time in the Western Conference semifinals many again were talking about the Galaxy number ten but instead of his retirement the talk was his hat trick and one assist in the Galaxy's 5-0 victory against RSL.


Much has been discussed of the Los Angeles Galaxy going into the Western Conference playoffs being pitted against Real Salt Lake. Real Salt Lake last year defeated the Galaxy in the two-legged affair 2-1. During the regular season each side recorded a win in Carson and tied 1-1 the one time in Salt Lake City. The first leg in Utah of the semifinals ended in a 0-0 draw which in retrospect could of been a big disadvantage to the Galaxy as an away goal scored by Real Salt Lake would give the upper hand to the visitors.


The match in the Stub Hub Center Sunday opened up rather quick, in the eleventh minute Landon Donovan would score the first goal for the Galaxy. Wonderful switch of play by the Galaxy found Ishizaki on the right wing, the Swede opened space for Sarvas to feed the running De la Garza. AJ crossed the ball on his first touch over to the open Landon Donovan to head the ball in pass Rickets. The second goal for LA came from the Irish international Robbie Keane, after not being able to capitalize on a build up, Juninho was able to beautifully feed Donovan who fed the ball into the barely onside Keane to make it 2-0.


The halftime whistle echoed throughout Stub Hub with the Galaxy on top 2-0 and stewing in two other missed opportunities by Donovan and Zardes. After the restart it took a further nine minutes for Donovan to grab his second goal. Robbie Keane superbly split the defense for the on running Landon the Galaxy legend then rounded Ricketts and dispatched his shot pass the three rushing defenders, 3-0.


The game appeared to be done and dusted at that moment being 3-0 and Real Salt Lake looked in fact very shell shocked throughout the entire game. The fourth and killing goal arrived in the 63rd minute when once again the Galaxy were searching and passing their way into space. Rogers passed the ball into Keane, which the Galaxy captain again fed the ball to Sarvas who was on a run into the Real Salt Lake box. Sarvas beat his defender and easily dispatched the ball into the back of the net to make it 4-0. The evening would become a more memorable for Landon Donovan in the 72nd minute. Keane would elegantly scoop the ball over the top of the Real Salt defense for Donovan to one time it for his hat trick and the extra insurance policy for the LA Galaxy.


The Los Angeles Galaxy ran riot Sunday evening and definitely made a statement to the winner of Monday’s Western Conference semifinal, the Seattle Sounders. After the match Donovan spoke about retiring as a champion again and that "that's the goal." Landon Donovan definitely made it a night to remember for the Galaxy fans as the songs of "one more year" and "Oh Landon Donovan" rang through Stub Hub Center. Hopefully the Galaxy will achieve glory in the MLS Cup to give back to their fans and for Donovan to retire “on a high note.”


Posted by Gio Franco on 11/12/2014 at 12:29 PM - PERMALINK | EMAIL | DISCUSS | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
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