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To be fair

I should acknowledge that yesterday's game was easily the best I've ever seen the US team play. Not only did they not suck, but they held up under adverse conditions to earn a draw. It's not encouraging to me that they have yet to actually score a goal, but their draw coupled with the Czech implosion against Ghana gives the US a decent chance to advance. Not a great one, but a decent one.

A couple of quick notes. I'm not sure why the US stopped playing offense with 15 minutes to go. It was frustrating to me, I'll have to admit. Nor do I know why, on the "deepest-ever US team," Arena chose to hold onto his final sub, even when it was obvious how tired the Italians were. I still believe that they had a shot to win, even down a man.

The Italian player who cracked McBride should be suspended for the entire Cup. It was that obvious and that intentional.

Announcers saying that Mastroeni's was a "make-up call" need to update their dictionaries. Make up for what? The US had double the fouls at that point as Italy, and were the victims of thuggery. A make-up call is typically one where a bad call is made to even out a bad call in the other direction. I suppose maybe you could say that it made up the man difference.

I'm with Balboa, though, on the piss-poor quality of the referee in general. Only 1 of the 3 reds was warranted, and the 2nd half was like watching a different game--it was incredibly inconsistent. I'm not a big conspiracy guy, but it sure looked for all the world like the ref made sure that the US wasn't going to get out there without more than a point. The offsides call on Beasley's goal was legit, but there was a lot of flopping and the US generally got the worst of it. Ugly for a different reason, that was.

Still. Great game for the Americans. Ghana's going to be really tough, and I don't expect the US to advance, but at least it's a game that counts for something.

That's all...oh, and happy father's day to everyone...