Sunday, June 21, 2009

On tap: USMNT v Egypt


Boy, before this tourney started, I'd bet most of you had this one down as an almost certain "W" - and now?

Even with a snowball's chance in Royal Bafokeng Stadium of advancing to the Confederations Cup semifinals, the U.S. National Team will have much more to do besides be in it to top Egypt by at least three and hope Brazil does the same to Italy.

No, the 'Nats will be charged today with a few tasks more important in "the long run" (which we all know is measured in four-year segments, with the current ending next summer). We could go down tactical, technical and spirit matters our boys need to get right for an hour and we could recap a wide array of beefs aimed at coach Bob Bradley of late all day, but all examples lead to two essential points.

The USMNT must get their attitude back and they must get their public back.

This time, instead of predicting who will will start, I am going to indicate who I think should take the field today: Howard, Spector, Onyewu, Bocanegra (if he doesn't pass the late fitness test, then Demerit), Pearce, Clark, Bradley, Adu, Donovan, Altidore and Torres in a proper 4-3-3. I will also accept Feilhaber as #10, with either Torres on left wing or Donovan moving there for Freddinho to play the right wing.... man, I love saying "I will also accept".

As for advancement, that rightfully seems a lost cause and by the end of the day, we will have gone three-and-out in all four intercontinental cups since World Cup 2002. But what they can accomplish is proper footing heading into the final year countdown to South Africa 2010 and some much needed breathing room for the boss.

Then again, who knows? Maybe a bunch of Egypt players got caught this weekend filing a false report after being embarrassingly robbed by hookers and they won't be quite as focused on field matters today.

Ahhhh, nothing like a Sunday morning spent in the reading room, makes me wish we also had a crossword puzzle...

- USMNT match notes
- FIFA.com match preview
- Zidan ruled out for Egypt
- The coach Bradley/Donovan pre-gamer in text and in mp3
- USMNT Blog on our Egyptian-born GK coach
- 'Nats want to come correct on Sunday
- Michelle Kaufman on the U.S. lack of spark

And finally, ESPN's Alexi Lalas checks in with his preview thoughts:




A quick NSC programming note: there will not be a LIVE today, but I will do a wrap-up post with highlights and will of course have U.S. Player Ratings up by the time you poor 9-to-5 bastards make it to the office on Monday morning (computer willing).


- Greg Seltzer

28 comments:

mlb_bobcats said...

New lineup or no, I'm not getting my hopes up. According to FIFA.com the match will be ref'd by Michael Hester (New Zealand). You may remember him as the guy who issued 5 yellow cards (4 to the US on only 11 fouls) in our Olympic match vs. The Netherlands (14 fouls). Those included Adu and Bradley's second yellows of the Olympics (earned in the 78th - foul on the keeper - and 91st minutes - time wasting - respectively), which kept them out of the determinative Nigeria game.

He's averaging 5 yellows a game (55 in 11 matches) and a red every three games (3 in 11).

Also, interesting side note: FIFA's 'official' player rater, the Castrol Index (0-10, 10 best), has Dempsey rated a 7.44 the second-best US player (.02 pts behind team-leading Donovan and .09 above Bradley). The only other player above 5 is Altidore (5.05)

AdamTheRed said...

Bill Murray marathon on AMC today. Will certainly get more joy out of that than the lackluster performance the US is sure to put on.

WhereEaglesDare said...

It's time for the nats to step up and keep their rep up.

AdamTheRed said...

Torres and Adu on bench. Brilliant.

bhamhawker said...

Guzan on? So you want to keep things the same by using Dempsey, but you bring in Guzan?

Don't be surprised if Guzan costs at least one goal. I'm not sold at all on Guzan's abilities.

Greg Seltzer said...

"Guzan on? So you want to keep things the same by using Dempsey, but you bring in Guzan?"


Please stop reading my mind.

bhamhawker said...

CHARLIE DAVIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


THERE'S ONLY ONE CHARLIE DAVIES!!!!

WhereEaglesDare said...

Thank you C.Davies.

WhereEaglesDare said...

Get dempsey out of there, pleaes.

bhamhawker said...

Dempsey is just brutally bad.

bhamhawker said...

Charlie Davies.

Charlie. MFing. Davies.

Greg Seltzer said...

In case you guys hadn't noticed, Brazil scored three times in the final eight minutes of the first half against Italy.

That means we've gotten a lot closer to pulling off a shock advancement. We still need at least two more here, though.

And btw, I thought Dempsey was rather good the opening 30 minutes or so.

bhamhawker said...

So how hard will it be for Bradley to sack up and make some offensive changes?
Namely dropping Deuce to the bus and bringing on Torres or Adu or Feilhaber?

With Brazil up 3-0, we miraculously have a chance at moving on.

WE NEED GOALS

bhamhawker said...

Greg - my problem with Dempsey is that he's just wandering everywhere. We absolutely lack any semblance of position discipline on the wings, because Landycakes and Deuce just aimlessly move about. It's really causing problems for Bornstein and Spector, and also forcing Clark to be constantly lost on the field.

WhereEaglesDare said...

Out of place, no hussle, terrible give aways. Adu or Torres now please.

Greg Seltzer said...

I think Clark being lost is his own ordeal and you can't fault guys for dribbling to the inside. I also don't know if them setting up a little to the inside as the half wore on was a coaching move, it may well have been, to form more of a box midfield.

That all being said, I do agree the overall shape/spacing has been mediocre so far today - hardly the first time in this set.

Greg Seltzer said...

I'd say Donovan killed more rushes than Dempsey did in that half.

Greg Seltzer said...

One more U.S. goal and we may be in business to advance!

WhereEaglesDare said...

WHY THIS SUB?

Greg Seltzer said...

Folks, we are now one goal away from sole possession of second place in the "live table".

WhereEaglesDare said...

INSANE

Greg Seltzer said...

If my grasp of the tiebreakers is correct, the U.S. will advance if all ends as is.

WhereEaglesDare said...

Yeah, that's what the announcer on the ESPN broadcast are saying.

Greg Seltzer said...

Brazil 3-0 FT

Greg Seltzer said...

Do you believe it?! The U.S. have advanced!

bhamhawker said...

And Bradley's job is safe until 2020.

Alex said...

Those criticized subs look pretty good now.

Greg Seltzer said...

Ha! Wasn't me criticizing! ;)