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
What They're Saying: Steve Swanson    
"I think our team is used to having Morgan come in and out,. Sometimes that can ...
Galaxy II signs Bailey from Bayer Leverkusen II    
[USL PRO] The LA Galaxy, which was the first MLS club to launch a second team ...
Frauen-Nati offers test at sold-out WakeMed Soccer Park    
[USA-SWITZERLAND] The USA and Switzerland will meet for the first time ever when they face off ...
Western Conference teams go head-to-head    
[MLS Preview: Week 24] Teams on either side of the playoff line in the Western Conference ...
Kempin saves Sporting KC, Timbers romp in Guyana    
[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] MLS champion Sporting Kansas City was on familiar ground when it opened Concacaf ...
What They're Saying: Jamie Meriam    
"I think it would be huge because around the world, soccer is not crammed into the ...
Semifinals set in Montreal and Moncton    
[UNDER-20 WOMEN'S WORLD CUP] Montreal's Olympic Stadium (capacity: 66,000) and tiny Moncton Stadium (capacity: 8,500) are ...
FC Dallas tops post-World Cup charts    
[BY THE NUMBERS] FC Dallas has continued its recovery from its May swoon, when it went ...
Soccer America Preseason Women's Top 25    
[COLLEGE RANKINGS] UCLA, which is coming off its first national championship, is ranked No. 1 in ...
What They're Saying: New Mexico Athletic Director Paul Krebs    
"We are continuing to interview student-athletes and investigate what happened on night. I've consulted with Texas ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives