I didn’t expect this at all from the US under 20 World Cup. Expect so much excitement and attacking soccer. Up in Canada the US played Brazil. Sure, the Brazilians have the overall ability to dart, cut and control the ball with a dancing style that few players can match, but Adu and Jozy Altidore (his commercial his entirely warranted) as a pair, possess, speed, skill, strength, and creativity. Altidore scoring both goals for the US.
What’s more, they both play freely, as the Brazilians do. Taking half chances and taking players on. It was a marvelous bit of inventiveness by Adu, to setup the winning goal, and his hard defensive work to knock the ball away from a Brazilian player to create the first goal. Mike Bradley was solid in the middle of the defense and the US was fortunate that Jo’s quickness and surprise shots didn’t slip through. But both teams had a number of chances. Brazil should have tied it towards the end with an open header, but the US held strong and on, to get the victory.
The game was played on articifcal turf. You could see the black pellets fly up after a cut or turn. I’m wondering if the game would have been a bit different on grass. The turf is not too fast, enough of a cushion to slow the ball but still a bit of a faster pitch. In one instance, the Brazilian Pato nearly the chipped the US keeper with a beautiful shot, perhaps on grass he would have gotten under the ball better.
In the end it was a great match with both teams playing hard and with urgency.