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6.18.2006

Has anyone ever seen Jorge Larrionda and Dick Bavetta in the same room at the same time? 

Just wondering. Near the bottom of this page is a picture of Larrionda, and here's a picture of Bavetta.

If anything sums up the Italy-USA match from today, it's one incident where an American player and an Italian player both slide for a loose ball and collide. The Italian player lays on the ground, clutching his leg and appealing for a foul. The American player gets up and gets the ball. I could be misremembering the incident, but I think the American player was DaMarcus Beasley, and that the incident happened en route to Beasley's goal (disallowed because Brian McBride was offside).

The USA returned to form for this game -- fast, relentless, aggressive but still having absolutely zero ability to finish around the net. Kasey Keller finally got to do something, making two great saves to preserve the tie at the end of the match. Eddie Pope seems to have gone GP on us, going from a defensive anchor in the last World Cup to a liability this time around. I was hoping to see Eddie Johnson come in around the 60th minute wearing body armor and wielding a grenade launcher, but Bruce Arena left him on the bench, opting to play for the tie instead.

EDIT: Dammit, I misremembered the incident from the second paragraph. Actually it was Carlos Bocanegra who made the sliding bid and caught the Italian guy's leg, and the Italian guy was legitimately injured on the play (he got carried off, tried to come back in, was ineffective, and left the game for good). Sigh. I still maintain that US players, by and large, get up off the pitch and keep playing a lot more often than players from a lot of other countries though.

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