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USA vs. Argentina Recap

Even though it was absolutely freezing last night at New Meadowlands Stadium, I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the United States vs. Argentina friendly match. From the pre game in the parking lot, to the match itself, it was a great night for any soccer fan who attended the game. Getting to watch the best player on the planet Lionel Messi razzle and dazzle, live and in person, is also something you don’t get to do everyday.

As far as the game was concerned, the US national team showed great spirit and determination in their 1-1 draw against an Argentina side who showed up with many of its first team regulars. It looked bleak for the Americans in the beginning, who were dominated in almost the entire first half of play. Esteban Cambiasso’s goal in the 42nd minute right before halftime could have crushed the Americans hopes, but substitute and Red Bulls striker Juan Agudelo scored the equalizer in the 59th minute to give the USA a 1-1 tie.


At times, it was tough to watch the game as an American supporter, just because Argentina spent a lot of the match passing the ball around. Especially in the first half, as soon as we took possession, someone would just boot the ball downfield, or lose possession after about three dribbles. But as the game wore on, and the second half substitutes Juan Agudelo and newcomer Timothy Chandler were introduced, the Americans played much better in their counter attack and got some very good chances on goal.

Tim Howard played a great game, coming up with some huge saves, especially two that stuck out against Lionel Messi. The defense was a bit shaky at times, and they seemed to be just clearing the ball downfield a lot instead of looking for an open teammate to pass to. All in all, they only gave up one goal against Argentina which is something to be proud of, but still some work can be done.


The midfield was decent, and as the game wore on, they played much better. As I mentioned before, they were outplayed in the first half, and didn’t muster up much of an attack until the later stages of the game. Clint Dempsey played well, holding the ball for possession and getting two shots on goal. Michael Bradley looked weak, and that could attribute to him not playing at all for Aston Villa. Jermaine Jones and Maurice Edu played physical and solid, but not much stood out in particular. Even golden boy Landon Donovan didn’t have a great game, even though he did provide a good cross that ended up being the assist for Agudelo’s goal.

Lionel Messi

Agudelo scored the goal, so he’ll get all the credit, which is mostly deserved. The US started out with one forward in the first half, Jozy Altidore, and he provided almost nothing for that first half. Once Agudelo came on in the second half, and they went to a two striker formation, the team began to play much better. I think Altidore needs someone to play alongside with, because frankly he’s not good enough to play up top as a lone striker. Altidore’s size along with Agudelo’s skill and speed will be something that Bob Bradley can think about for the future. Playing them as a pair might be better than the lone striker formation.


In case you didn’t get a chance to watch the game, the USA is playing Paraguay Tuesday night on Fox Soccer Channel. It’s another friendly exhibition, and it gives Bob Bradley another chance to assess the squad. You might see more of the reserves in action, but still it will be a good game to watch.


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Nice to see that the Americans can play solid game versus a top level team like Argentina.

Though a tie is like kissing your sister.

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