June 29, 2007
David Hayes, Corey Woolfolk and the Atlanta Silverbacks come to PAETEC Park tonight as the Rhinos and Atlanta will be the USL Game of the Week on Fox Soccer Channel.
While the Rhinos are trying to entend their 7 game USL 1st Division unbeaten streak, Atlanta is trying to get back into a playoff spot as they trail 8th place Puerto Rico by 2 points with each team having played 12 games.
The Rhinos will be without the services of defender Kenney Bertz and midfielder Stephen Shirley-Black as they both have to miss the game due to suspension for yellow card accumulation.
I'm not even going to try and predict what will happen as I never would have guessed that the Rhinos would have struggled to score on Western Mass like they did on Tuesday night. And I do know if anyone tells me that they stayed home to watch the game on TV, I'm likely to go Bobby Knight on them.
US gets smoked in second half by Argentina
Soccer by Ives - Running Commentary & Recap
The final score of 4-1 Argentina wasn't unexpected given the rosters for the two teams. When a guy like Carlos Tevez is coming off the bench for Argentina and the US has Eddie Gaven, Kyle Beckerman, and Herculez Gomez as their subs, you know this is a mismatch of epic proportions.
But, the largely inexperienced US squad hung in the game long enough, that hope was alive and well through halftime. With Eddie Johnson drawing a converting a penalty in the first ten minutes to stake the US to an early lead, things were looking good.
Unfortunately, that feeling didn't last long as it took only two minutes for Argentina to level the match thanks to poor defending by the US and Hernan Crespo being the man with the ball at his feet in the US penalty area.
But, the US didn't sit back and they got to the interval with the score still level at one goal apiece.
So, at the half, US fans had to be feeling good. In hindsight, the feeling should have been of the inevitability of Argentina exploding to win the game. And that's exactly what happened in the second half.
Crespo got the gamewinner in the 64th and Pablo Aimar and Tevez providing the insurance tallies for Argentina.
The US only had a precious few good chances in the second half and the result was never really in doubt after Crespo's second goal put Argentina ahead.
The big question following the match is what to take from the first loss of the Bob Bradley era. GolTV color man Ray Hudson suggested that Bradley should be happy with the way his back line performed. However, I'm wondering how happy a coach can be with his defense that gave up 4 goals?
Personally, I think they have to chalk it up as a learning experience and hope that their fate against Paraguay on Monday night is much better than Colombia's last evening as Paraguay destroyed Colombia 5-0 prior to the US-Argentina match.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the Rochester Rhinos or SoccerSam.com. Feel free to send any comments or complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org. James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.