Clockwork Orange crushed us yesterday. Well, not “crushed” really. They didn’t beat us into submission or subject us to any ultraviolence. They kind of gave us the ol’ in out, in out though, and we played like we had a pain in our gulliver. Viddy well, little brothers though, we will bounce back. Our droogs will sharpen up before we reach South Africa. By the time we reach the Dark Continent, we will be ready to give our opponents hell, real savage like. But first…
Today is Landon Donovan’s 28th birthday. While many folks out there love to poke fun at LD (aka the haters who like to call him that nickname that I swore off a long, long time ago), I think one would be hard pressed to prove that he wasn’t the greatest American soccer player ever. Well, there is one guy who has a birthday in a couple of days who you could make an argument for, but I think Landon deserves the title. Hopefully, he is peaking at the right time too.
The right time is – of course – right about now (well, a few months from now, to be exact). Donovan has been playing very well for Everton, and we can only hope he continues to do so through the Cup. Sure, he could still make an impact at the 2014 Cup, but one has to think that this will be the last Big Dance where he is the King of the US Homecoming Court. He is the “straw that stirs the drink” of our offense, and he must be 100% for us to have a shot.
So, it was a little disappointing that he didn’t play very well in yesterday’s game against Clockwork Orange. He was caught trying to do too much at times, and he seemed confused as to where he was supposed to be at times. In his defense, the early injury to Holden sort of screwed up the plan for the US, and he has far better chemistry with Dempsey than he does with Beasley (whose World Cup chances took another hit). Also, no one played very well.
Well, not everyone blew it yesterday. DeMerit looked very good in defense, and I thought Bocanegra put in a beautiful performance. Howard was flatfooted on the PK, but otherwise he did well. Bradley the Younger was a ball of energy out there and his frenetic defense was excellent (though his first touch on offense was suspect). Altidore didn’t do much, neither did Torres (well, other than when he almost scored an own goal). Findley showed he isn’t ready yet.
Bornstein was the biggest loser. He looked terrible and went from strong contender for a roster spot to huge goat (which is fitting since he plays for Chivas USA). Everyone else? Well, sort of forgettable. All in all, it wasn’t a bad performance for our side, but it wasn’t a stellar one either. It wasn’t good enough yesterday and it won’t be good enough when South Africa rolls around. Hopefully we will be stronger then. Hopefully, LD will be in top form.
If not, he may be better remembered as a guy who couldn’t deliver on the biggest stages than he will be for being the greatest US player of this or any other generation. I – for one – think he will step up and take us into the knockout rounds. Now, I don’t have any dreams of him winning the Golden Ball, but I do think he will deliver a performance to remember. So, I just want to say, happy birthday Landon. Congrats on your fine career. You have many gifts.
Now, how about you give one to all of us?