Revisited: The Counterattack

I was just thinking of this play…and I’ve got no problem posting it up here again…and again.

The TSG-dubbed: Counterattack Heard ‘Round The World.

The video is high quality, the commentary foreign. All I recognize from the announcers are the following words: “Landone Donovan,” “Charlie Davies,” and “precision”…that’s it.

Quite possibly the best goal I’ve witnessed in USMNT history so I’m hoping everyone enjoys the quick clip….again.

…and we’ll play it again…don’t worry.

32 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by CJ on 2010/02/22 at 10:26 PM

    I think I love the celebration as much as the goal itself. When I was watching it live, I noticed Donovan shouting “Me, Me, Me!!!” after he scores and didn’t quite know why, after reading up more on his adversities overseas since then, it’s become quite apparent to me why, and so, I now smile when I see how satisfied he is with his own performance. It’s like that goal vindicated him from any of his own personal demons about stepping up to the occasion.


  2. I think my favorite part of this clip (other than the amazing goal itself) is during the celebration, the moment of recognition between Donovan and Clark for the beautifully weighted pass that sprung Donovan.

    Man we need Charlie back, get healthy bro.


  3. Posted by Luke on 2010/02/22 at 10:31 PM

    Man, 5 touches to go from our 18 yard box to the back of the net. I’m going to out on a limb and say the efficiency of that goal is off the charts.


  4. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/22 at 10:50 PM

    Some little things I love from this beyond the play

    The past from Charlie Davies is just absolutely ridiculous…to attempt it, to complete it…it’s totally a Charlie-Davies-sell-out-for-it-pass.

    Ricardo Clark, not pausing and one touching with perfect pace.

    and, as my high school coach said when shooting, “Keep your head down. Keep your head down. Keep your f’n head down…Donovan is down until that ball goes beyond the keep.


  5. Posted by Swa on 2010/02/22 at 10:52 PM

    This goal shows more than anything how incredibly dangerous our overall team speed is, even if we just focus on Lando and Charlie. Counterattacking shouldn’t be our only form of offense but I am positive that we can and should spring three or four identical to that every match. They may not all wind up in the back of the net but we’re never going to say we wish we put fewer shots on goal.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/23 at 7:31 AM

      I think after Brazil beat you comfortably in the group stage, they thought that this was a forgone conclusion, and the cardinal sin of arrogance and lack of respect played a massive part. I said in a previous post that I thought that the fact that Brazil committed 8 players to attack was insane – particularly if you take into account that they were only losing 1-0 and had an hour to play. Everybody has talked about how disciplined and balanced the modern Brazil team is, but that was 1982 all over – no regard for shape or defence and paid the ultimate penalty. What nobody has mentioned is how Donovan beat Cesar, and made this supposedly world-class keeper look ordinary. And his finish was made possible because he is genuinely two footed.

      I am not sure that after watching that, that in the future, opposing teams will afford you the same space behind the defence for you to exploit. If countries’ coaching staff were ignorant of this US strength, they’re definitely not now.


      • I concur that this type of counter attack probably won’t happen again any time soon, but then again you wouldn’t have thought the Italians would’ve let the Dutch counter the hell out of them on the Gio van Bronckhorst to Kuyt to Sneijder goal that made it 2-0.

        Other teams are aware that we can counter, but can the (supposedly) non-World Class teams like Slovenia, Algeria, etc. hold their shape enough to stop it for 90 minutes, and can the (supposedly) World Class teams like Germany, England, Spain, Brazil, etc. not have the mental lapse due to hubris that allows us to strike.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/23 at 11:47 AM

          True, but it is difficult to counter on a team if they’ve got men behind the ball – please see Greece’s performances in the knockout stages of Euro2004, a series of 1-0 win in the George Graham’s Arsenal mold. Remember, the US are favourites along with England to go through.

          It’s the teams that like to attack that you can adopt this strategy against.


        • Point conceded about Greece in ’04, but does Algeria really have the fortitude to play like that for 90 minutes. They’ve shown flashes of brilliance in the ACN, but then they completely self-destructed in the Final having 3 (I believe) sent off. I wouldn’t bet the farm on them holding it together against England, Slovenia, and the US.

          As for Slovenia, they’re Eastern Bloc which presents an interesting tactical proposition that we were unable to break down against Slovakia in November. I think the game against Slovenia is going to be the toughest for the US. We know what England are capable of, and they don’t exaclty play the Barca possession style so we’ll get some chances here and there, but breaking down busloads upon busloads of Slovenians in front of goal has proven difficult for us in the past.


      • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/02/23 at 2:20 PM

        Cesar is far from world class in my eyes. Rimando’s better than him to me, but Cesar plays for Inter just because he starts for the greatest team in the world.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/23 at 2:24 PM

          Agreed. IMO, the term “World Class” has suffered worse hyper-inflation than Zimbabwe. Consequently, it is practically a useless currency now.


  6. Posted by B-Mac on 2010/02/22 at 11:05 PM

    I’ve been thinking about the Confed Cup a lot lately, looking at what worked and did not. I had a lot of fun at looking at the ball possession charts of the Egypt, Spain, and 2nd Brazil finals. I’ll list them here:


    The thing that comes most to my mind is Dempsey’s tendency to attack towards goal rather than the wing, which consequently leads to a lot of possession for the opposition’s left wing. It really confirms for me that I’d like to have Dempsey at striker, where he can attack the goal like he would anyways, but not have to worry about tracking back.


  7. Posted by Peter on 2010/02/23 at 10:41 AM

    I love this this goal. Love it. Last summer, everyone kept comparing it to Brazil’s counter against the US earlier in the tournament, which makes sense, I guess, just given the timing and it being the same two teams. But I immediately thought of the Dutch counter attacks at Euro 2008. They were just amazing, I thought. (In the group stages at least.) Quick, precise, deadly. It was great to see the USMNT able to do that too.


  8. I would love to see a revival of that counterattack over the summer. Brazil often advance both fullbacks at the same time in the attack, but they rarely get caught out like that. It’s Clark’s one-touch pass to Donovan that is key to launching the attack.

    With his Youtube goalography featured in the right-hand column, it’s worth mentioning that Davies curving centering pass around the CB reminds me a lot of Beasley’s pass to Dempsey vs. Ghana at the last world cup –


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/23 at 11:40 AM

      Going to stay positive here….nearly every striker in Davies spot would drift much more centrally on the run up…you can see Charlie kind of fighting to stay wide…the right move….gosh I love this play.

      How about Cesar clearly surprised that Donovan goes bottom shelf right….you can tell he’s thinking there is no way that’s coming.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/23 at 11:49 AM

        Cesar, silly muppet. What’s with these scarf things that Serie A keepers are wearing? Bleeding ridiculous!


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/23 at 1:50 PM

          Steady on mate!

          Just watched it again. Great pace, movement, delivery and finish. Text book counter attack.


      • Davies tendancy to drift out wide reminds me a lot of Thierry Henry, who would’ve been a good choice as Davies mentor back in that piece. He starts from a similar position for his goal at Azteca.

        I remember originally thinking Donovan had fluffed it after his first touch sent the ball bouncing up in the air, but it really turned out perfectly, beating the defender and getting Cesar moving left to make space to slot the ball in on the right.


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/23 at 12:48 PM

          Spot on, with Henri…it was all shaping up so nice…Donovan as Pires +, Dempsey as Bergkamp, Davies as Henry…ok..this is a stretch….


  9. Posted by Tom on 2010/02/23 at 11:50 AM

    Man this goal is just ridiculous. I remember being so upset I had to fly during this match. I landed in Bangalore, fired up my phone instantly and found us up 2-0. I bragged to the male flight attendant (a German on Lufthansa) that we were going to beat Brazil. By the time I got to my car, it was 2-1. By the time I got to the hotel, it was 2-2. I made the hotel check me in from my room so I turned on the TV and only a few minutes later it went 2-3. Too bad about the result, but definitely one of the USA’s best goals ever!


  10. Posted by kaya on 2010/02/23 at 1:53 PM

    Idk… that CD9 goal at Azteca has to be my fav. I loved that finish.
    I hope on hope that Davies comes out of this not only with his best days still ahead, but with a left foot, too.


  11. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/23 at 2:13 PM

    With my admitedly limited knowledge of US sawker, Dempsey’s belter with the outside of his right foot against Ghana (WC2006) ranks up there**. It was a good team goal with an impressive finish.

    Matthewsf: Question for you: the US are losing in the knockout stages in the World Cup, and you have a difficult half chance in the last minute. Who would you prefer that man to be (assuming everybody is 100% fit and in form): a) Davies b) Dempsey c) Donovan d) none of the above / other?

    **put him on Fulham’s radar, anyway…


    • Dempsey and Davies are both instinctive finishers in the box, so you’d want the ball to fall to one of them in any sort of half chance.

      Davies fashioned a scrappy goal from a half chance to get things started against Egypt at the Confederations cup – . Dempsey has a knack for finding that crucial bit of space to make a half-chance tell:

      We saw what Donovan did with a half-chance that required instinctive finishing vs. Man U this week-end – I’d put money on Dempsey netting in the same situation – but if we’re down 2-1 in injury time and Altidore gets pulled down in the box, no one you’d rather have taking the penalty.


    • Sorry to chime in here. For me, it’s got to be Dempsey. Charlie’s a striker and gets paid to score, and Donovan is our all time goal getter, but Dempsey is a finisher that maybe only Charlie and Jozy can match when their careers are said and done. Dempsey’s goals in the Confed Cup were not similar chances and yet he applied the finishing touch deftly on all three.

      Donovan’s counter-attack goal against Brazil made my heart flutter with the first touch and then the shot that looked a llittle scuffed. Charlie’s so new to the scene that I’m not positive of his finishing in all situations, he’s certainly off to a good start.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/28 at 12:33 PM

        I think Donovan’sopen goal miss against Spurs says it all…


        • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/02/28 at 4:53 PM

          Landon would do the same to any one of England’s outfield players. Not that many of them can defend these days :>


  12. Posted by Matt B on 2010/02/23 at 2:48 PM

    How about a separate post for best ever US goals? Off the top of my head, I would say this goal, Wynalda against Switzerland in 94, McBride vs Portugal in 02, Donovan against Mexico in 02, Beasley against Mexico in 05, Dempsey against Ghana in 06, Dempsey against Egypt in Confederations Cup Feilhaber in Gold Cup, Davies in Azteca.


  13. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/23 at 3:17 PM

    On a tangental note, it cracks me up listening to Wynalda on Fox Football Fone-in talking about players going down easily when the free kick he won to score that free kick against Switzerland in 94 was SO soft.


  14. […] Posted by matthewsf in Uncategorized. Leave a Comment Liverpool took down Benfica today, 4-1, in the Europa….and unfurled their 3rd goal much like the USA’s “Counterattack Heard Aroud the World“ […]


  15. […] Rattlers are fierce, deadly and strike with power and accuracy. Sounds like the counterattack heard around the world. […]


  16. […] • The Counterattack Heard ‘Round The World […]


  17. […] 2009, TSG picked “The Counterattack Heard Round the World” which was the height of the US team’s “Confederation Cup” moment. It was a […]


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