USA Starts Out Strong

I had every intention of writing a fairly in depth preview of the USA-England match that happened today but I’m in the middle of moving to a new apartment and that’s not conducive to posting.  I don’t know what Weller’s excuse is.

Anyway, had I actually written something, it would have read something like this:

USA needs to attack the wings.

USA needs to neutralize Rooney.

USA needs to shoot the ball any time their inside the midline.

USA needs to play out of their minds.

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USA Downs Turkey

Clint Dempsey celebrates his game winning goal.

In a game that showcased a team that we’re much more likely to see in South Africa, the United States beat Turkey 2-1 in Philadelphia.  Two days ago I outlined the team that I wanted to see take the field today.  As it turns out, that was very close to the team we saw this afternoon.  Bob Bradley’s decision not to start Oguchi Onyewu in favor of Clarence Goodson was probably due to the lingering affects of knee surgery, but Onyewu saw significant minutes in the second half.  The one move that surprised me was Benny Feilhaber getting the start at one of the outside mid spots opposite of Landon Donovan.  It looked as if that decision would backfire immediately as Feilhaber made a terrible cross field pass right to the feet of a Turkish player who thankfully pushed the ball wide.  From there, he failed to make a serious impact before being taken off after halftime.  I think Jose Torres may have swiped his spot with his inspired second half play.  But more on that in a bit.

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USA Makes Final Roster Cuts

I meant to do this yesterday but I was busy.  It happens.  Anyway, Bob Bradley made his final cuts from the provisional squad down to the 23 man team that will be representing the US in South Africa.  For the most part, I think he did a fine job.  One pick in particular confused me a bit, but we’ll get into that later.  First, let’s take a look at the team:

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USA-T&T

Tonight, the US Men’s National Team continued their march toward South Africa with a convincing 3-0 trouncing of Trinidad and Tobago.  That gives USA 9 points and commanding lead in Group 1.  If my addition is correct, and it very well may not be, if we beat Cuba on October 11th in Washington DC, we will be through to the final stage of qualification.

Tonight’s game, played at Toyota Park in Illinois, was total domination for the Americans.  They started early when Michael Bradley flicked home a wonderful cross from a set piece in the 9th minute.  Nine minutes later, Clint Dempsey finished off a wonderful give-and-go to make it 2-0.  In the 57th minute, Brian Ching knocked home a ball after a set piece and a scramble in the box to put the game away.

T&T never really looked like scoring, though Heath Pearce did clear a ball off the line after a corner kick.  Even then, I wasn’t worried, USA really just controlled the entire match.

After three games, including two in hostile road environments, USA has taken full points and has yet to be scored upon.  I can’t really find any negatives to speak of right now.  What else can you ask for?  More goals, I guess, but when a team is on the road, the three points are all that matters, regardless of how pretty it is.

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