Let's do this, America.
I know we have a POSbang thread, but I'd like to start one with a more strategic dialogue.
So what do we know about the USMNT this World Cup? We are prone to making some mistakes, but also seem to be prone to some amazing play.
I think we have more playing in our favor come Thursday than we do playing against us. Portugal will not let Ghana surprise them, as did Germany. If Ghana wins, it is not due to oversight.
I think that Germany will be content to play keep away, as a draw eliminates the other game from becoming a factor at all. Germany knows that even if they lose to us 1-0, they get through as well, due to GD. I hope for a very passive game from both sides.
Our worst case scenario is that we lose and Ghana wins, but we'd still have a solid shot at making the knockout round, even then. If I were a betting man, I'd say that Thursday is not our farewell performance.
- Howard looked a lot shakier this game. I'm a former keeper myself, and he didn't seem to have that killer instinct on when to come off or hold his line. His athleticism saved him a couple of times.
- I really liked Yedlin's cameo, a lot. He looks like a bright spot for our team in Russia.
- Dempsey played very well for what he is being asked.
- Bradley played like himself, which thank God. He had a couple of mediocre balls, but mae some really nice reads as well. Our whole team played some amazing through balls.
- I wonder/worry about the extra day of recovery that Germany gets, and for that matter, Ghana as well. That could be a big factor to play out to our disadvantage.
As a hypothetical, if the US were somehow, someway, able to make it to the finals, I will guarantee that the viewing for that game will match or surpass Super Bowl ratings in the US.
Another hypothetical, to test the chemical makeup of the board: What 2014 Michigan football game(s) would you assign a loss to the good guys, if it meant that the final cross was shanked by Portugal and that the US would be through? Just curious...
Game moved to Cyprus for the obvious reasons (thankfully not cancelled altogether).
US (4-2-3-1): Howard; Castillo, Brooks, Onyewu, Cameron; Jones, Kljestan; Johnson, Dempsey, Bedoya; Altidore
Ukraine (4-2-3-1): Pyatov; Fedestkyi, Kucher, Rakytskyi, Makarenko; Tymoshchuk, Rotan; Yarmolenko, Edmar; Konoplyanko; Zozulya
US vs. Costa Rica in San Jose, 10 pm EDT.
TV: Bein Sport
US: Howard, Beasley, Johnson, Orozco, Besler, Gonzalez, Jones,
BradleyCameron, Zusi, Dempsey, Donovan
Costa Rica: Navas, Umana, Oviedo, Gamboa, Gonzalez, Acosta, Borges, Bolanos, Tejeda, Ruiz, Campbell
Also tonight: Honduras at Mexico, Jamaica at Panama
CONCACAF Qualifying standings through 6 matches (of 10):
- USA 13 +4
- Costa Rica 11 +4
- Mexico 8 +1
- Honduras 7 -1
- Panama 6 -2
- Jamaica 2 -6
Top three teams qualify for 2014 WC, fourth place team must win a 2-leg playoff against New Zealand to get in.
Ed: Last minute lineup change. Bradley scratched with ankle sprain sufered in warmup.
I'm not surprised this isn't a bigger story given US soccer fans are focused on the Gold Cup win and Holden's injury.
This kid (22 yrs old) is a nice player and probably would have been the starting striker for the Gold Cup. He scored a ton of goals in the Danish Superliga and 3 goals in 5 appearances at AZ Alkmaar last season. Link
The USMNT is in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semis, playing Honduras in Cowboys Stadium.
TV: Fox Soccer, 7PM EDT
Panama vs Mexico in the other semi at 10 PM.