• Expert breaks down Texas’ chances

    After its 7-5 loss to Kent State tonight, Texas must now win three consecutive games to come out alive in the Austin Regional. The Longhorns will play Texas State Saturday at 1 p.m. and if they win, will face Kent State a few hours later, at 6:30 p.m. If they come out on top in both of those games, they’d play Kent State on Monday for the regional championship.

    Had a chance to speak with Perfect Game USA analyst Kendall Rogers after the game. Some highlights:

    Texas’ chances at coming out of the Austin Regional:

    “It’s an uphill battle. Texas State probably doesn’t have the pitching to get by in the morning game against Texas. For the Longhorns it’ll be interesting to see whether they can build off what they did in the final inning tonight (three runs in the ninth)."

    On the possibility that the Golden Flashes finish off the Longhorns tomorrow:

    "David Starn, their number three pitcher is probably as good as a one or two guy. The big key for the Longhorns is to get off to a hot start offensively because they can’t let Starn get into a groove."

    On the Golden Flashes:

    "They’re a pretty solid club. It doesn’t surprise me that they’re doing well. People expected them to do well in this regional."

    On the Austin Regional:

    "On the surface, it’s probably the second or third weakest regional. Texas State was a weak two, obviously not a good four-seed here (Princeton), but Kent State is proving that there’s at least one worthy team in this thing."
     

  • America loses friendly to Spain

    Commonly referred to as “La Furia Roja” (The Red Fury), the Spanish national football team lived up to their nickname quite well in Saturday’s international friendly against the U.S. The defending World Cup champions showed their collective strength, as they cruised to a 4-0 victory over a short-handed U.S. side.

    From the start of the match, it was obvious the U.S. would have a tough time keeping up with the speed and ingenuity of Spain. Within the first ten minutes, Spain had already laid an assault on the goal, and U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard was visibly frustrated with his team’s lack of defense.

    It wasn’t long before his frustration turned to outright anger. Howard could be seen yelling at his teammates for letting Spain get shots on goal with relative ease. As is normal for a Spanish soccer squad, it controlled the midfield with short, precise passes that allowed for larger areas to open up for them. Spain capitalized on nearly every goal-scoring opportunity that presented itself, and at the conclusion of the first half it held a 3-0 advantage over the U.S.

    Without some background on the circumstances that were in play Saturday, the final score could come as a shock to some.

    Spain has been a very good team for some time now, but it is not invincible. In fact, it was this U.S team that ended Spain’s 35-game unbeaten streak with a 2-0 victory in the 2009 Confederations Cup. However, due to the CONCACAF Gold Cup, many key players from that U.S. side like Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, and Carlos Bocanegra were on the bench for the start of Saturday’s match. Dempsey and Bradley came on in the second half of the match, and were able to shore up the defense and only allow one additional goal.

    The Gold Cup begins Sunday. It is a tournament composed of 16 teams from North and South America, as well as the Caribbean, that determines the champion of the region. Canada, Panama, and Guadeloupe are paired with the U.S. for the group stage. The U.S. will take on a solid Canadian squad Tuesday, and with the extra rest for some of the best U.S. players, it should be an easy victory for the U.S.