Wednesday, June 8, 2011

RBNY International Round-Up: Bouna Shines for Senegal

Tim Ream and Juan Agudelo both started and featured prominently in the USA's 2-0 Gold Cup win over rivals Canada last night in Detroit. Unlike Saturday's "warm-up" game against Spain in Foxboro, where he was paired in central defense with a shaky and rusty Oguchi Onyewu, this time Ream was partnered by Clarence Goodson, and the combination seemed to work well. Apart from one moment in the second half when Ream allowed himself to get nutmegged in the penalty area, it was a good night overall for the young Red Bulls defender. You have to imagine that Bob Bradley will stick with this center back pairing for now. For his part, Juan Agudelo had two decent chances in the first half and was tireless alongside Jozy Altidore until he was subbed out at the 64 minute mark. How Steve Davis of SI can give him a 4 rating is beyond me. He wasn't that bad!  For Canada, Dwayne DeRosario found it hard to get into the game. Other than one stellar long range effort in the first half, he was very quiet.

As heartening as it is to see Ream, Agudelo and former Metrobulls such as Tim Howard and Michael Bradley starting for the USA, you can't overlook the work Dane Richards and, in particular, Bouna Coundoul, did for their respective national teams. Richards helped Jamaica rack up a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Grenada in their Gold Cup opener, while by all accounts Coundoul stood on his head for Senegal in their 0-0 draw against Cameroon. Samuel Eto'o missed a penalty for Cameroon when he hit the crossbar in the dying minutes, after Senegal had been reduced to nine men. Our friends Vlad and Dave passed along a link to video highlights of the match, which you can view above. Hopefully Hans Backe is paying attention.

[EDIT: I couldn't resist adding this... uh... intense package of highlights from the USMNT match. Wow wow wee waa indeed!]

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