A Tale of Two Keepers: Green Gifts US a World Cup Draw

Peter Howard: Despite a shocking inability to possess the ball and a fundamental futility in marking, the US comes away with a draw. A great result for the US, but considering the quality of play from the opponent, the English will find little that is positive to take from this result. Not only did England surrender the US goal with sloppy play by last minute starter Green, the English failed to convert on numerous opportunities near the net. To be fair, full credit for that goes to US keeper Tim Howard, who played a fantastic match. The US will come away with heads held high after this match. For the English, this match is a serious wake up call. A favourite by many to content for this title, England has much to prove to be worthy of that type of lofty expectation. [ad#as3]

Frank Finnegan: This was not a work of art by either squad, but it was certainly a tough, gutsy performance by the Americans – the kind of match they would have absolutely lost four years ago. I had one complaint with the starting 11, and that was Clark over Edu, and Clark was slow and lazy on the England goal by Gerrard. The US gave up possession much too easily and gave England far too many chances, but were bailed out repeatedly by Howard. A casual fan at the pub asked me before the match how many Americans would start for England – I said there was one one sure thing – Howard. Donovan and Dempsey…maybes. Keeper was the one position where the US actually held an advantage, and it turned out to be the difference. I think ignoring Jay Demerit’s performance today would be a travesty – he played his heart out and never let Rooney breathe all day. A great result for the Americans – no excuses now; they have every opportunity to advance now. Tomorrow’s match is quite interesting viewing now for Yanks and Brits alike.

Greg Neville: The US knows all too well about costly spills by the Brits but this latest gusher will be well recieved by Americans. Robert Green’s gaffe has gifted the US a 1-1 draw and likely passage into the knockout stages. “Green Fingers”, “Jeepers Creepers” … you can see the tabloids having a crack at the nation’s latest fumbling gloveman. But something tells me the whining and negative Poms expected this and they will just reflect on past howlers – Seaman, Robinson etc. The only shock here was that it was Green between the posts and not James. There are a few questions raised from this clash for me: Does Capello drop Green? Does the US go on to top the group now? How much damage has been done to England – is its confidence shot? My answer to these questions are all yes.

England 1 (Gerrard ‘4) USA (Dempsey ’40)

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