The opening game for the USA in this World Cup couldn't have started any worse! Coming into this year's World Cup, the defense was the weak spot for Team USA in my mind and it showed here. A long pass through got the English forward on a break and Howard tried his best to be big and deny but England wasn't missing this chance.
With England up 1-0 and Americans wondering if this is going to be a replay of the previous World Cup, the game slowed down and the USA began to take control and get some momentum. With the half coming to a close and the USA getting a free kick from a ways out, Clint Dempsey steps up. Clint sends the ball in with some power and a little spin behind it, but it was straight at the goalie. The goalie wasn't enough, however, to stop Dempsey from evening the score and getting the USA a critically needed point heading into their second match.
The ball hit goalkeeper Robert Green in the hands and ricocheting around the right side of him into the back of the net. This one play made Robert Green as much of a hero in America as Clint Dempsey who scored the goal, but that wasn't all. He was the butt of all jokes and hated by English fans during and after the World Cup. The only other time I remember someone hated so much by the English fans was when a young player by the name of Beckham received a red card and was kicked out of an important World Cup game. That was a little worse if I remember correctly, as he was receiving numerous death threats each day.
The second half was uch like the first half just without any goals. The U.S. would control the ball and slowly work it up field only to turn it over or waste their possession on a bad shot and then see England play their transition game and scare the USA by going through the defense. Just when you thought that England was going to score after their forwards dominated the defenders one of the U.S. defenders would swoop in to help a teammate who was getting beat 1v1 and clear it away from danger.
The game ended in a 1-1 tie that seemed to give the US momentum heading into their next game while upsetting England who hoped to get a big 3 points. Both of these teams advanced out of the group so Robert Green, in my opinion, should not continue to be jeered by the English fans, but I can't do anything to change that so I continue on to my next World Cup Review!