June 05, 2010

World Cup Notebook: Final Tune Up's

Well, there was an array of nations competing in their final World Cup tune-ups this past week, but a couple notable stories.

Now to preview the USA and the Aussies:

It's the final tune-up game for the United States before playing the Socceroos, some keys to the game:

Don't go balls out: It's a tune up match. There's been a high amount of recent injuries plaguing international superstars, and with the exclusion of Davies, it's the last thing the United States needs. Already the Yanks are suffering having to bring a few MLS scrubs to the attacking flank.

Dictate pace: As we saw in their Send-Off Series with the Czech Republic and Turkey, when the US controlled the game, as would any team, they managed to paralyze their opponents attack and score goals out of it. It's how the US took the lead against Czech Republic, and tied it back up. Plus, it's how the US rallied to defeat Turkey.

Mentality: The United States really need to go out there thinking that they can win the game. They showed it in the Czech Republic game, but they didn't show it until the second half of the Turkey game. This squad knows how to go out there with the right confidence and not blow their lead...probably the Confed. Cup helped teach that lesson.

Now, for Australia, their keys to the game:

Attack, attack, attack: As we've seen with the United States, they have an incredibly vulnerable defense. This year alone, in the six games the US has played, they've yet to make a shutout and have conceded eleven goals. And this is because of their keeping, it's because of their awful defense. Australia needs to capitalize on through balls.

Neutralize playmakers: Lately it seems though that Jose Torres of the US has been orchestrating solid attacks, which we saw in his games against Costa Rica, Netherlands and most recent the Turkish. The Socceroos need to find a way to plug the midfield to prevent balls from going to the speedy Findley or the goal-scoring machine Dempsey.

Take the most out of this game: In my opinion, the nearest equivalent international soccer team to the Aussies is the Americans. They're ranked about the same, and their skill has been ever-so progressive in the previous decade. For Australia, this game against the Americans will be a test for them, and much similar to their game against Serbia, which could be a decisive match if Australia wants to qualify for the knockout round.

I'll have the starting eleven up soon.

Howard – No surprises here.
Cherundolo – Seems to get the start after Spector's weak game last week.
Goodson – The Springfield-native has been performing solid ever since I've first seen him play against Honduras this past winter.
DeMerit – This game will be the test for him to see if he can start against the Brits next weekend.
Bocanegra – No shock here either.
Dempsey – Keep it up Demps!
Clark – Hmmm...
Bradley – Wasn't all impressed last game with Bradley. Felt he lost the ball too much.
Donovan – His passes are key to the attack.
Buddle – Had he not injured his jaw against the Czechs, Buddle would have probably scored. Really hope he has a good performance.
Findley – Wear out the Aussie defense.

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Tyler Walter

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