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 USA v Wales match comment


Ok, so it wasn't the best Welsh performance ever but I'd much rather get this sort of match out of the way in a friendly than in the Euro 2004 qualifiers. Both goals were sloppy - should the first one really have been a penalty? - and Ward should have done better with the second. Yes, we lost to a better side on the night but the younger players showed some promise and managed to keep them at bay for most of the match. It's now down to a test of character - how will we deal with two very difficult away games, and will we then be able to re-group for the crucial home match against Finland? With a full(er) squad and Sparky's motivational skills, I'd say we're still on track. - Melfyn

Personally, I'm relieved that we lost. It has taken some preasure off our next games which lord knows are going to have enough preasure on them anyway. I still think it was a worthwhile exercise, let's not forget with so many withdrawls, this probabaly wasn't even our 2nd team. Matt's sending off seemed a bit harsh. It was only accidental handball. But if the ref had no choice in giving a yellow card then with it being his second, he had to go. The penalty was just a daft one to give away and there can be no excuses for such a challenge. Although the Yank did make a meal of it. - Russell

We learnt that Matthew Jones is not the replacement right back - Geraint Rowlands

In reality a bit of a waste of time for the team, other than to give some youngsters a taste of international football. It might have at least been worth it as a team-building trip if more of the seasoned pros had taken the same attitude as Gary Speed. Oh well, we'll forgive them if they qualify for Euro 2004.
I thought Koumas and Oster did alright. Matthew Jones was a big disappoitment with a double dose of "brain fade". Will Delaney be fit by August? I hope so.
The stadium was very disappointing for an international football match. I've lived on streets that are wider. - Gareth Rogers

I can see why leicester have dumped Mathew Jones , it's back to sitting on the bench where he belongs! - Gareth

I havent had the oppertunity to see the game as i am currently in Austrailia. There is no doubt in my mind that this was an important and worthwhile exercise as it has given the youngsters more first team experience so that when required they can be called on to do a competent job for the senior team in the remaining qualifying games. Jason Koumas in particular will have an important role to play in the future for Wales. The US are a strong side and to lose only 2 - 0 suggests to me that even with such an inexperienced team we still retained our solidarity which is pleasing. - Gavin Roberts

I got to see the match at Spartan Stadium. The penalty was somewhat questionable, and the second goal, i will concede was sloppy. However, the US controlled the 90 minutes, which is the bottom line. The US side was far from being at its best, and some of the individual Welsh players were impressive with their skills on the pitch. I think the Welsh side simply needs a lot of foreign exposure outside of western europe. As for us yanks, we can only hope for that long awaited duel with the English in an elimination match during the world cup :) cheers. - Neil

I felt a bit sorry for Matt Jones, he's an excellent midfielder but looked totally out of position at right back, which resulted in him being sent off!On the plus side though I thought David Vaughan looked very confident on his debut and Koumas looked good when he moved inside to the middle of the park. - Owain

Watched the game on S4C Jason Koumas and David Vaughan were both very impressive and I think Vaughan will be our next left back when Gary Speed retires. - Martin

I agree with the 3 sets of comments posted to date. I was impressed with the shape Wales kept with so many "squad" players on the pitch- we had far more cohesive play than we'd have seen from the first 11 not so very long ago. Here's hoping JH's op goes well- dos anyone else think that Iwan Roberts might be better value than Gareth Taylor as alternate target man? I think Iw' still has a few big games left in him and indeed he is due that big one for Wales! So, all in all, lessons best learnt in a meaningless friendly at the end of a fantastic season rather than learning them in Belgrade!! Bearing in mind the result we need there, the fact that so many are just 1 yellow away rom a suspension, and that the following game is away in Italy, learning what the "squad" players can and can't do might come in quite handy. I think Vaughan, Oster, Koumas and big Ade all did v well!! As Mark Aizlewood said at about 0500hs [I think!]- far better to play and loose ! a friendly game against worthwhile opposition in a strange environment from which you learn than to play someone pointless at home and learn nothing!! Onwards and upwards Cymry fach- learning all the time!! Also, keep up the great work at DS Neil!! - Meic Pierce Owen [no rel to Gwyn]

Im in american playing soccer at the equivalent of semi pro level in college, i was dissapointed at the welsh team that was put out to face usa and i would of liked to have seen a full strength squad. americans here now they wales arnt as good as they are but we all know our squad with maybe 4 more regulars would have beaten them. american have no idea on wales full strength squad so now im gonna be ripped all next season over the result, hahaha neway i still saw a few players cause them problems and even our third string side seem to pass the ball about alot better. we are off to euro 2004 ad we will do well. laters jay chapman
ps ill play for wales sooner or later - Jay Chapman

I was at Spartan Stadium for the match. The penalty kick was dubious. The red card was uncalled for. The Mexican ref's sealed a US victory. Minus the red card and the penalty kick, I think Wales could have, at least, held USA to a draw. It would have been a completely different game had either side put their best players on the field. - Thomas

I Wouldn't Read Too Much Into The Result.It Was Basically Our "A" Team Versus Their First Choice Team.....Also Bear In Mind We've Just Finished Our Domestic Season And They've Only Just Started Their's. I Thought Koumas Had A Good Game And Look Forward To Seeing Him Bang One Past The Italians When We're Back To Full Strength! - Darran Pritchard

I made the trip to San Jose from DC and was really proud to see how much support there was for Wales! A big contingent had come over from UK and loads of Welsh residents in the US made the journey. There were also a lot of second and third generation Welsh. We looked good at the beginning of the second half and I was sure we'd turn it around. 2 stupid fouls by Jones let us down though. Koumas looked very good in midfield and Ade Williams was strong at the back. Vaughan looked good too. A good opportunity to see what strengths in depth we might have. - Andy

I am disappointed. Wales should not lose than USA. And without 7 players, Wales should have been played at least draw. I lost on the bet. I played on Wales, but... Today, I feel bad. I fear match in Beograd. John must play, he is always great hope. - Sasa Papac

It's a shame the unbeaten run had to come to an end, especially against the U.S.A who could do with a bit more knowledge about Wales and may have took more notice had they been beaten. It's great to see Jason Koumas doing well, he should be a regular in the national side and is as promising as Simon Davies was a year or so back. I feel sorry for Matthew Jones as he is a very good midfielder, had he been able to play in a less unfamiliar role then we probably would have seen a different result. He's not a defender! - Alec Cardiff

I was at the game. I have always hated that field (I've watched the Galaxy play SJ a lot on TV), now much more having actually gone to the stadium. It is the narrowest allowable by FIFA rules, and it really cuts down on wing play. Arena stacked the deck by calling up a bunch of San Jose players who're accustomed to the field. You could see the Welsh frustrated passes to the wings that careened OB.

Really the US "C" team. I don't know the Welsh team well enough to compare it to normal strength, though obviously the absence of Giggs was important--- looked like an opportunity for both squads to give some new guys a look.

I was sitting right above the box, and I have to say that the PK was well called. In fact there were 2-3 times earlier on (Convey got tripped from behind, and I think it was Kirovski once before who took a tremendous elbow to the back of the head) that the ref didn't whistle. I felt the eventual call was a cumulative response. Anyone who knows the 1st thing about the history of US v. Mexico knows that no Mexican ref will give a gift of any kind to the gringos. This is incontrovertible. Easily as nasty a rivalry as England/Argentina. I mean it. The Red Card was also warranted, though I had to look back at a video tape to see the hand ball. Pretty far from my seat. He clearly reached out to smack the ball.

From a Yank's perspective, it was gratiffying to see a bunch of MLS guys do well against a bunch of Premiere League/First Division guys.
Good performances from Convey, Brown, Petke (albeit briefly) Donovan. I think Greg Vanney earned himself a slot and Eddie Lewis paved his
way back onto the 1st squad --- playing much better now that he's starting for Preston North End, rather than riding the pine for Fulham.
Obviously it would be a very different game with the 1st team from both countries.


The Yanks didn't control the ball well in the first half, and seemed to be content with long balls out of the defense, which were not well placed. W/o Claudio Reyna in midfield, we have real trouble playing possession.

I was impressed with some of the individual skills of the Welsh. Some great moves by #10, some nice combination play. - Mark Baldwin

originally i'm from wales but now i live in the bay area, so it was a real thrill to go to the game.....i went with my brother and my dad....we were pleased and surprised to see so many welsh fans there....the welsh fans put the americans to shame when it came to the singing of the national anthems.....they sang the whole anthem, while the americans mumbled their way through theirs......the only disappointments were not getting to see giggs, and of course losing the did very well considering that they had mainly their reserves on the field...we were humored by the welsh fans, especially those sitting near the goal at the scoreboard know who you are :) i really liked how they were chanting "you-ass-hole" to some idiot sitting near them who didn't shut up the whole game....i think the americans were confused because the welsh team was down 2-0 and the fans are singing "let's go out to the disco", those kinds of things don't happen in american sports....some of the people around us were saying things like "we can't understand you" or "have another beer, drunkards", but i think the majority warmed to them by the end of the game....there were some american "ultras" there, chanting things like "england rejects" which is funny i suppose but it stings a bit....and it's memorial day, and the last thing you want is to aggravate touchy americans, and anyway, they like it when they beat up on smaller nations ;) makes them feel better about themselves

i think wales could have easily handled them had their better players been on the pitch...the #2 was rubbish though....i can't believe he was even on the field for the second half...that donovan is a tricky son of a bitch though, isn't he? we were also impressed by the saves made by the welsh goalkeeper during that second was just a shame....we would have loved to have gone home with a win from that game, but it just wasn't our day

a day i'll treasure for the rest of my life, though, playing snooker and eating japanese food, then going to see wales in the football, it was a lot of fun :).....oh, and to the guy from the welsh support who ran out on to the field after the game and mooned the was your night in the santa clara county jail? much respect for doing that, but check with a local next time :) i'm sure u weren't expecting them to be quite so harsh, were you?

thanks for listening!



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