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
Spanish riches will test USA
by Paul Kennedy, June 3rd, 2008 6:45AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[SPAIN] After a lackluster 2-1 win over Peru, Coach Luis Aragones is likely to make several changes when Spain faces the USA Wednesday in Santander (TV, espn360.com, live, 4 pm ET; ESPN2, delay, 5:30 pm ET; Galavision, 7, delay, 7 pm ET/PT). Young Raul Albiol will likely replace Carlos Marchena in the middle of the backline, while Daniel Guiza, La Liga's top scorer with Mallorca last season, could get his first start in place of Fernando Torres. But it's in midfield where Aragones has an abundance of riches -- one of the reasons Spain is a favorite to win Euro '08, which begins Saturday.

Here is a look at the key midfielders looking to earn starting jobs in Aragones' 4-1-4-1 (or 4-4-2 if he goes two strikers up top):

XAVI (Barcelona). At 28, the Catalan has been a key player for Barcelona and Spain. Xavi, who joined Barca at the age of 11, plays a simple game, using his dribbling and short passing game to maintain possession. He likes to take free kicks and can score -- he has five goals for Spain.

XABI ALONSO (Liverpool). One of the most successful of the Anfield Spaniards, Xabi Alonso is nevertheless considered something of a question mark in the Spain midfield. After starting against Peru, he could see his spot taken by Marcos Senna or Cesc Fabregas against the USA.

CESC FABREGAS (Arsenal). The 21-year-old Fabregas was named the EPL's Young Player of the Year and a nominee for the Player of the Year, but he could find himself on the sidelines at the start of Euro '08. Arsenal lured him away from Barcelona at the age of 16, and he has been a force in midfielder at Arsenal, where his development under Arsene Wenger has been a reason for the Gunners' continued presence near the top of the EPL.

ANDRES INIESTA (Barcelona). Like Xavi and Fabregas, Iniesta is a product of the Barcelona youth program. He has emerged as a key figure at Barca, starting along with fellow Catalan Xavi in the face of competition from high-priced foreigners. Like Xavi, Iniesta is cool on the ball, though he may be a better distributor.

DAVID SILVA (Valencia). The 22-year-old Silva gives Spain a threat out of midfield from the left wing. Aragones has stuck with him even though Valencia struggled in 2007-08.

MARCOS SENNA (Villarreal). At 31, the Brazilian-born Senna has been a fixture in the Spain squad since before the last World Cup. His play at La Liga runner-up Villarreal this season is an argument in his favor.



No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Ream gets assist in Bolton Wanderers' victory    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] It has been another barren weekend for U.S. national team players abroad. Of the ...
An excellent goal-line clearance     
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Cruzeiro managed to earn a 1-1 tie with Palmeiras thanks to ...
Woodwork can't hold down USA     
[CONCACAF WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP] About the only thing that stood in the way of the U.S. women's ...
Fire goes out with late win over Houston    
[MLS: Friday] Frenchman Florent Sinama-Pongolle made sure Chicago did not finish the MLS season with another ...
James' skills highlight Real Madrid pre-clasico practice    
[VIDEO PICK: Skills] The Real Madrid-Barcelona clasico delivers entertainment even before kickoff. Here's a 40-second peek ...
What They're Saying: Luis Suarez    
"Everyone has different ways of defending themselves. In my case, the pressure and tension came out ...
Ft. Lauderdale is ready for challenge against red-hot Eddies    
[NASL: Week 16] Minnesota United FC and the 2013 champion New York Cosmos played to a ...
Finlay signs new deal with Columbus    
[MLS TRANSACTIONS] For helping drive Columbus into the playoffs after a two-year absence, midfielder Ethan Finlay ...
Referee suspended after felony arrest on fraud charges    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Referee Jose Carlos Rivero, who has worked 17 MLS matches in 2014, has been ...
Wambach nominated for Women's Player of the Year    
[AWARDS] Abby Wambach, who leads the U.S. women with 10 goals but is no longer a ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives