MIKE CUMMINGS: After the disastrous game against Spain on Saturday, an easy win was exactly what the US wanted in its Gold Cup opener Tuesday night against Canada. And that’s exactly what the Yanks got. There were plenty of positives, and the negatives aren’t really bothersome enough to worry about. Yet.
Let’s start with the positives. Jozy Altidore actually scored. Oguchi Onyewu didn’t play. Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey both did, and they played well, too. The defense didn’t concede, and Clarence Goodson looked serviceable as a center back in place of Onyewu. Jermaine Jones rebounded from his poor game Saturday. Bob Bradley’s selections were solid. And, hell, I’m in a good mood — Michael Bradley had another good game.
My only quibble is the late defensive breakdowns. In the final 10 minutes, Canada looked poised to score. And if not for a couple of great saves by Tim Howard — especially that reaction save after the crazy goalmouth scramble — they probably would have. Not that it would have mattered — the US already had the points wrapped up. But the next opponent, Panama on Saturday, has an entertaining, free-wheeling attack.
Let’s hope they got all the defensive shenanigans out of their system. And let’s hope Berserk Bob leaves the berserk at home for a few more games.
HOWARD MEGDAL: I missed the live broadcast of US/Canada, covering the Ecuador/Greece matchup at Citi Field. I think we learned a little something about whether Citi Field would be a reasonable MLS venue (yes) and whether Ford Field could be as well (no).
That is not to say that the 39,656 who attended Citi Field represent the average attendance a Queens MLS entry would enjoy. But the paltry 28,203 at Ford Field to see the United States in action is inexcusable. Add in a talented Canadian squad, and I am frankly blown away by all the empty seats.
And that’s why this is about more than the field ripping apart- after all, Detroit still has the Silverdome. But it just doesn’t matter if nobody shows up.