Was the Ref in the wrong??

The U.S. have no one to blame but themselves for the 1 - 1 draw with the Azzurri. Much has been said about the poor officiating but when it comes down to it, the U.S. played a very rough, physical style of football. Your players should know better when a game is being called very tightly - De Rossi's send off was very appropriate - and such incidents should have alerted the players as such.

What possessed Mastroeni to slide in with both feet up 70+ yards away from his goal? Furthermore, why would Pope slide from behind when he already had a yellow in hand? I think the U.S. team spent as much time slide tackling as the Italians found themselves on the ground. Call it diving or whatever you'd like, but the U.S. needs to learn how to play a type of defense that doesn't call for a sliding challenge on every attempt.

Now both teams seemed tied together in their fate. The U.S. needs the Italians to beat the Czech in order for them to realistically advance with a win against Ghana. Ghana is without their 2 goal scorers, the U.S. is without their 2 defenders. It should be an interesting game.

I leave you with an 8 minute clip that recaps the Italy - U.S. game. Look closely at the fouls and the type of play that the U.S. is in engaging in. In fact, watch the progression of Gilardino's goal. Behind Gilardino you can see Onyewu practically tackling an Italian player who is trying to make his way towards the ball. Physical? Yes. Plenty of fouls? Definitely. Blaming the refs? Whining.


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