« Bocanegra's back! USA lineup. | Main | Am I dreaming???????? »

Official United States-Spain live blog

PREGAME

The lineups are set. Of note: Carlos Bocanegra is back from a hamstring injury. Charlie Davies earned another start after providing a spark against Egypt. More of Ricardo Clark, too. And, DaMarcus Beasley's spot on the bench may have become permanent.

The lineups, courtesy of FIFA.com:

United States

(GK) Tim HOWARD 1
(C) Carlos BOCANEGRA 3
Oguchi ONYEWU 5
Clint DEMPSEY 8
Charlie DAVIES 9
Landon DONOVAN 10
Michael BRADLEY 12
Ricardo CLARK 13
Jay DeMERIT 15
Jozy ALTIDORE 17
Jonathan SPECTOR 21

Spain

1 Iker CASILLAS (GK)(C)
3 Gerard PIQUE
5 Carles PUYOL
7 David VILLA
8 XAVI
9 Fernando TORRES
10 Cesc FABREGAS
11 Joan CAPDEVILA
14 XABI ALONSO
15 SERGIO RAMOS
18 Albert RIERA

Sounds like winter has bared its teeth at Free State Stadium. Word is it's 37 degrees at kickoff.

Expect the United States to come out in a traditional 4-4-2, with Davies and Altidore starting up front.

And away we go ...

FIRST HALF

Spain earns the opening kickoff, and takes it right to the Americans, having David Villa dash to the box in the first minute, although the effort was safely cleared.

Bocanegra takes out Cesc Fabregas in the first two minutes, giving Spain a free kick and then a corner, but neither amounted to much.

The Americans' first crack comes in the fifth minute, when Davies chased after a long ball, but Casillas was too quick. On the clear, Donovan picks up a questionable yellow. Keep an eye on this the rest of the way.

Seventh minute: Bicycle kick just wide by Davies! The Americans are forcing the issue in the early moments.

Ninth minute: Dempsey a shot just wide from the top of the 18. The United States is going to get a goal if it keeps playing like this.

Fifteen minutes in, and the Americans are already ahead of the game. Their habit of slumping early has disappeared for the second straight match. Still Nil-Nil.

Watch out for Fernando Torres. He's special and slips behind the American back line in the 18th minute. Offsides is the call, but it's borderline.

The United States is doing a good job keeping its space on the back end. But Spain has had a lot of chances off broken plays already. Got a feeling a goal is coming soon for the Spaniards.

27th minute: GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOALLLLLLLLLLLLL ALTIDOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOREEEE!

The local kid takes the pass from Dempsey, spins on Xavi and finds himself all alone with the keeper. The shot skids off the left post and into the net. The Americans have a 1-0 lead on the first goal Spain has allowed in nearly three months.

This one ain't over, but there's now a very real chance the Americans can win. Believe it?

36th minute: The Yanks are still ahead, and earn a yellow card when Capdevila takes down Altidore about35 yards from the goal. Donovan's ensuing free kick is a missed effort. Dempsey cuts off Bocanegra, who had a clear look at the goal. The header falls harmlessly out of bounds.

The United States is living on the edge in the final moments of the first half. Spain is sending successful crosses into the box. The Americans won't survive the second half with a clean sheet if they don't start controlling the box.

Fernando Torres nearly finds the equalizer at the near post, but Howard makes a kick save. One minute of stoppage time.

We've reached the half. The Americans are 45 minutes from the final and handing Spain its first loss in three-dozen matches.

SECOND HALF

And we're back.

Tim Howard had to know he'd be tested in the second half, and it doesn't take long. A diving save is all that stops a David Villa shot from tying the match.

52 minute: David Villa is making life miserable for Howard. Nearly shoves another shot in. The United States is losing its shape on every possession. Spain is flexing its muscles.

The longer this game goes on, the less confident I am that one goal will be enough for the Americans.

61st minute: If David Villa could find the target, Spain would be up 4-1. He keeps getting good looks that are either just wide or to Howard.

68th minute: Subs for both teams. Santi Cazrla for Fabregas and Benny Feilhaber for Davies.

74th miute: Streak-buster?!?!??!

Another goal for the Americans, this time by Clint Dempsey on a loose ball in front of the net. Donovan set it up with a nifty cutback. It's panic time for the Spaniards. 2-0. Unreal.

81st minute: It's white-knuckle time. Interesting stat: The U.S. has two shots on goal. Both went for goals.

84th minute: Conor Casey for Altidore. Time to take the air out of the ball.

87th minute: Red card. Michael Bradley. Seriously? He'll be out for the final.

88th minute: Final sub for the Americans. Jonathan Bornstein for Clint Dempsey. Hang on, fellas.

Three minutes of stoppage time.

And it's over. The Spaniards' winning streak. Americans viewed as a second-tier soccer nation. Wow. That's all I can say.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b26169e201157152923b970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Official United States-Spain live blog:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

THIS IS CRAZY!!! 45 MINUTES AWAY!!!

YAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!! USA USA USA!!!!

The comments to this entry are closed.