Will Parchman, Retro Diary Time, grab a beer
I think it only appropriate to open today’s verbal broadcast with a quick shout: Free Boca. #freeboca. Tell your friends.
So I guess we have to talk about Brian Straus’ story, which added a hint of D-Day to an already difficult Costa Rica game. We didn’t need the added difficulty of anonymous sources parachuting behind Klinsmann’s line and planting land mines. After you read the story, did anyone else hear Omar from The Wire in your ear screaming SNITCHES GET STITCHES. No? Just me? I want to pretend, based on his awesome post-story comments, Michael Bradley stomped into the next team meeting with a copy of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, literally beat everybody on the team over the head with it, and then, without speaking a word, solemnly walked out. I’d follow that guy into a Celine Dion concert.
And THEN, even after watching Mikey B douse the snitches in napalm, Klinsmann went after Deuce for the armband. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like he tapped Bornstein to lead this group (I wish this had happened for so, so many reasons), but it has to be Bradley. Bradley could’ve captained this team when he was five. The million-yard stare, the glistening bald head, the mid-interview words lit on fire with the intensity of supergiant Beta Orionis… my man brings the sound and the fury. Great, Deuce has a face that can kind of look weird to Jamaicans sometimes. Bradley is a literal Nazgul.
I’ve just come across the USMNT XI. And… I… what? Is Klinsmann like Joaquin Phoenix at this point? Just growing out a ridiculous beard and blindly groping his way through a really weird off-Broadway performance of “Ernest Goes to Camp?” 4-2-3-1, which I like. But the logistics here are somewhat odd. It’s like a woman slowly taking off her clothes, only to reveal 30 seconds in she’s actually Nick Nolte. Drunk. Demspey in the hole (dig it), Bradley and Jones holding (totally), Cameron at RB (makes a kind of sense), Zusi wide right (fine), Herc wide left (do what now?), DMB at LB (GOD HAVE MERCY ON US ALL). Last time I saw DMB on the left side, he’d gotten lost on the field at Azteca and was quietly sobbing to a Mexican child that he’d lost Geoff Cameron and needed money for a snow cone. The last time he was at LB? The 2009 disaster at Saprissa. NO BIGS JURGISTANK.
It’s snowing in Colorado. I love that it’s snowing in Colorado. Suck it, Costa Rica. Honduras gives us a swamp. THE USMNT WILDLINGS BRING YOU CENTRAL AMERICANS NORTH OF THE WALL. Keller and Lalas are wearing the pelts of fallen badgers on their heads. I don’t know what to make of this. In normal circumstances, I’d tell you all the US is about ready to get ripped apart down the left flank with Gomez and DMB (shudder) holding in. But it’s snowing. And we all know that one joke that one guy told at a bar that one time about a Costa Rican soccer player played in Colorado snow. Right!?
Enough. Game time. Ian Darke wants to Barry White this game to you. Taylor Twellman can’t believe you’re not wearing a scarf at home. Let’s go.
‘1 – The boys are wearing white in the snow. This is the Fightin’ Waldo uni taken to its next logical conclusion. I’m freaking out over here.
‘2 – I fear all tactical analysis is more or less moot tonight. A lot of hoofing over the top, not much cogent foot-to-foot play. Lot of adventurous play, not much in the way of pretty play, though. We’ll see if that holds. This game is going to be ridiculous and awesome. Just predicting. Which I’m terrible at.
‘3 – Tays: “Jermaine Jones, getting into the attack.” Schalke: awesome idea. USMNT: ITS RAINING FIRE ON US.
‘5 – Half the time I have no idea where the ball is. We need that awesome/terrible FOX hockey puck trail graphic that died like 10 years ago. Actually, never mind. This may just devolve into ridiculous bathroom humor tonight. Stay tuned. Positive: DMB isn’t sobbing yet.
‘7 – The boys have done well early maintaining composure and tactical rigidity. Essential in games like these where squirrely touches can lead to unexpected goals.
‘9 – Beasley is down holding his face. Sobbing jokes aside, that looked rugged. Fascinating yarn now. Does Beasley, easily the last choice in the XI, get pulled? Stays in for now. Edu in at LB soon? Gahhhhhhhgishdgl.
’14 – The midfield is beginning to figure out the snow and its tactical response to it. Bradley is shifting between a deep lying role and one in the early part of the build-up, Jones is taking it from there (looks so much better since his Champions League run for whatever reason) and Dempsey looks as dangerous as ever. If one of these balls squirts through…
’16 – Oh hello Dempsey, our first crack at goal. Not too close as it wheels out but chances like that DEMPSEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY GOAAAAALLLLLLL WHAAAARBLLLLEEES
’17 – Good lord was that a Dempsey goal or what? Seventh qualifier goal for the Nacogdoches Ninja, and how many looked like that? Tons. Altidore took a shot on and Dempsey followed its track perfectly. Call it a Hoover goal if you want. Lacks curb appeal/whatever. Doesn’t matter. Dempsey does it so well. I predicted two Dempsey goals tonight on Twitter. Halfway there.
’19 – Ian Darke just told us all the refs could abandon it if they can’t see the lines. I DARE THEM. Then he snapped off a “The icemen cometh” line. On air. I love this man. Leave me alone, Chris Hansen. You don’t know what we have together.
’21 – Altidore told anyone who’ll listen the last couple months how beneficial AZ has been for his hold-up play. He’s been outstanding on that front tonight.
’22 – Cameron’s terrible giveaway up past midfield (what is he doing up there that early in the buildup?) nearly leads Costa Rica in for a goal. Plus side: they think the snow is the frosting from mini wheats. Clarence Goodson, meanwhile, has been bafflingly great this half. Bafflingly.
’25 – Jermaine Jones is down, looks like a sub needed. Has to be… someone better? Down side: we maybe lose Jonesy. Plus side: No yellows!
’27 – Tays: “Anything goes with the conditions.” All I hear from my wife in the kitchen: “Hah. Your mom goes with the conditions.” Somewhat incomprehensible jokes about things Taylor Twellman says? I love my wife.
’29 – Jones is fine. Meanwhile, Zusi finally figures out there’s a game on and gets near the penalty area before flubbing a cross. As the blizzard intensifies, the lines become more obscure and we all nervously eye the ref. Somebody get a #dontcallit deal going on.
’34 – Gomez has surprisingly done rather well on the left. It’s not his natural spot, but he’s stuck close to the flank and hasn’t collapsed that side of the field. Done exactly as he’s been asked. So many players defy convention and try to figure it out for themselves, but Gomez has been solid.
’36 – How badly does Michael Bradley hate his bald head right now? Jermaine Jones looks like a frosted mini wheat.
’39 – Guzan finally forced into a save. It’s an “easy” one in the sense that it was close to his body, but in the snow nothing’s easy. Credit +1. Been a quiet if nervy night for the Aston Villa man. This has to look like a man of the Black Watch gazing upon an advancing line of White Walkers. I’ve now slipped in two Game of Thrones references before halftime. You nerds better send me an HBO subscription.
’42 – SO MUCH DAMN SNOW. AND YOU MAROONS MISSED A PENALTY. Dempsey just had a penalty kick ignored (of course it was Roy Miller, the Useless Soccer Player). Snow, guys. *Jerry Seinfeld joke ensues*
’45+1 – Saborio just cold cocked Gonzo after a FK. NICE. I’m being sarcastic, guys. That’s internet sarcasm.
HALFTIME – The entire first half was an excerpt from the fourth chapter of Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road.’ That is all. It was 105 degrees during Honduras’ 2-2 draw with Mexico in San Pedro Sula earlier today. Meanwhile, Jon Snow joins Kasey Keller and Alexi Lalas in the studio to discuss life north of the wall (that’s three).
’46 – We’re back! The snow is even thicker, if that’s even possible. Dudes shoveling like they were being swarmed by bees at half. And it’ll all be covered up in another 10 minutes. Solid.
’49 – Roy Miller gets a yellow card. And there wasn’t even a penalty kick involved. Bonus! #RBNYfail
’51 – Altidore gets praise from Tays after a low hard shot flares just wide: “Big, strong and I love it.” ME TOO TAYS. Me too. He’s looked great tonight. Need moar blizzards, God.
’54 – Darke: “I hope you can follow this through the blizzard at home.” HahahaI HAVE NO IDEA WHAT’S HAPPENING. WAS THAT GUZAN? GUZAN? I THINK I SAW HOWARD.
’55 – They’re stopping the game? Stopping the game. Choruses of “Let them play” rain down from the stands. Bradley harries the match official. The Costa Rican players even want to play. SEPP BLATTER THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT. I think the players just convinced the ref to play. Michael Bradley, thank you.
’56 – I’m blacking out guys. This is crazy. We’ve gone this far. Let’s keep going.
’61 – I can’t see out of the camera. I can’t analyze this game. I CAN make jokes about the White Walkers. I told you guys this night would turn into crap jokes. IT’S NOT MY FAULT. Tactics tonight are useless.
’67 – Yeah I picked a good night to do player ratings for another site. EVERYONE GETS A SIX.
’69 – Is it bad that I saw Ruiz go down by Jones’ hand and I immediately thought Jones probably had like, a sawed-off toothbrush or something in his hand? #AllTheYellows
’70 – FLAG IS UP. FLAG IS UP. How the hell they saw offside on that Costa Rica goal I have no idea. I thought that was Rodney Dangerfield who got in on the header.
’72 – Graham Zusi has been more useless tonight than a SportsClips haircut on David Beckham. THINK ABOUT IT.
’74 – The midfield line scooped out of the snow during down periods has gradually gotten sloppier and sloppier. Pretty sure those guys are sneaking Cuervo shots.
’75 – EJ for Zusi. Tays says “GOOD 75 MINUTES FROM GRAHAM ZUSI AS WELL.” Caps for emphasis mine.
’79 – Match commissioner: GAME WILL BE COMPLETED. Dude, I’d already decided that fact. *Performs Cristiano Ronaldo calm goal celebration*
’81 – You come to TSG for incisive analysis. What you actually get is jokes about snowmen and snow forts and Jose Cuervo and frosted mini-wheats. YOU’RE WELCOME.
’82 – Edu for Jones in holding midfield. Solid move. The frosted mini-wheat leaves the field. Sad times.
’87 – Darke: “How on earth have we got through this?” I don’t know Ian. No idea. *sips beer, adjusts AC to 75* No clue, dude.
’90 – Landon Donovan will emerge from a snow drift for our third sub. With a metal chair and a scowl. Total WWF heel move.
’91 – Geoff Cameron just pushed on the snow clearer. Just upped your match rating a point, bro. #not. Cameron’s by far been the back line’s weak point tonight. Which isn’t a terrible malady in a scoreless performance. So far. No jinxes.
’94 – Beckerman for Gomez is our last sub. Donovan must’ve missed his train.
FINAL – 1-0 in the Blizzard Bowl. Holy what? Did that just happen?
So I’d like to regale you with my dazzling tactical analysis, but here you have to take the three points and you leave. Lalas: “Beautifully ugly.” Yes. Nailed it. On to Mexico City. Boom. What we’re about? Three points. Screw style points. Now about that frosted mini-wheat…