Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
USA must put it all together to get a result against Paraguay
by Ridge Mahoney, July 2nd, 2007 7AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  argentina, copa america, men's national team

MOST COMMENTED

In the 4-1 Copa America loss to Argentina, the Americans brought Eddie Gaven on for Ben Olsen a few minutes after Pablo Aimar replaced Esteban Cambiasso.

Any questions? Both were offensive substitutions, yet the Argentinian move prised open the U.S. midfield even wider than it had been, and Argentina scored three times in the final 26 minutes to win going away.

True, Lionel Messi did skip past Gaven to start the sequence Hernan Crespo finished off with his second goal of the game, but Ricardo Clark and Jonathan Bornstein were no less culpable. Like a lot of players in a lot of countries, especially those who might have run nearly non-stop for an hour, they were gassed and outclassed.

A glaring disparity in talent won't be as prevalent Monday when the Americans take on Paraguay in Barinas, Venezuela, yet Paraguay has its own star power. Roque Santa Cruz of Bayern Munich hit the first three goals against Colombia as Paraguay played a fluid, organized game unlike their rigid, defense-first squads at previous World Cups. If the Americans are again rocked back on their heels, they could be chasing the game for longer than they did against Argentina.

After battling valiantly for an hour, the Americans wilted because of fatigue as much as their foes' brilliance. Their lack of experience -- besides keeper Kasey Keller, the most-capped player is midfielder Olsen (35 appearances) -- and dearth of game-breakers in the mold of Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey and DaMarcus Beasley puts even more emphasis on retaining possession and searching for openings. Without Donovan and Beasley, the U.S. game has to be crisper and smarter.

Benny Feilhaber can pierce defenses with his runs and passes, but he'll need flank support from Justin Mapp, some backing from Clark or whoever plays with him in midfield, and most of all, forwards on the move in search of space. Eddie Johnson ran onto a Feilhaber ball to win and convert a penalty against Argentina, but he seldom clicked with forward partner Taylor Twellman and wasn't much of a factor in the second half.

This is a young U.S. team, yet Coach Bob Bradley has even younger options in Charlie Davies and Lee Nguyen, both of whom earned their first caps a month ago in a friendly against China. He also has midfielder Sacha Kljestan and Bornstein, whom he drafted while coach of Chivas USA and turned into excellent pros rather quickly.

Argentina brought its stars to Copa America and class prevailed in the first game. There's not a ton of talent in the U.S. squad, but there's enough flair and guile to get a result against Paraguay if the other elements -- organization, determination, resiliency -- are present.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Chile longshots begin Copa America prep    
For the USA, the match against Chile Wednesday in Rancagua will the first match of the ...
What They're Saying: Phil Neville    
"I'd be first over there and I'd probably look to two-foot him or take him out ...
Video Pick: Artist and maverick, Riquelme retires    
Juan Riquelme announced the end of his fascinating career on Sunday, at age 36. The Argentine ...
Hope Solo's U.S. future remains up in air    
U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati hopes women's national team star Hope Solo makes progress during her ...
What They're Saying: Sunil Gulati     
"Sure. ... We've asked her to do a number of things, and she's going to have ...
MLS Trade Central: Orlando signs Colombian Rivas    
Orlando City signed highly regarded young Colombian Carlos Rivas. The 20-year-old midfielder scored 12 goals in ...
U.S. women to play send-off series in May    
U.S. Soccer will hold a send-off series of three matches against three different opponents over three ...
The Good, the Bad and -- FA Cup shockers     
Europe in a nutshell: Paul Pogba, Lionel Messi and Neymarin moving pictures; Lyon sizzling hot in ...
Fire revamps with three new DPs    
The Chicago Fire has added Scottish international Shaun Maloney to the growing list of British players ...
Tab Ramos: 'We were behind the eight ball'    
The USA beat El Salvador, 2-0, on Saturday to qualify for the 2015 U-20 World Cup ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives