Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
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



[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,, 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



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Bruce Arena    
"For the most part, the competition part of it is somewhat useless. I guess the part ...
Business Report: Michael Bradley signs with Puma    
U.S. national team midfielder Michael Bradley signed a long-term contract with Puma to wear its latest ...
USA-Mexico: Who's got the edge at each position    
Soccer is a team game, a collective test of 11-v-11, and in one of the biggest ...
NBC Deportes will air all 52 Under-17 World Cup games    
NBC Deportes will air all 52 games from the Under-17 World Cup, which kicks off Oct. ...
What They're Saying: Jason Kreis    
"I think that this is a tremendous challenge that we've embarked on and I'm not ready ...
What They're Saying: Stephen Flamhaft    
"They have not in any shape or form condemned Blazer. That's offensive to me. I'm a ...
Fox Sports and Univision ready for Concacaf Cup    
Saturday's USA-Mexico for the Concacaf Cup, on the docket for more than two months, will draw ...
Honduras stands in way of U.S. Olympic berth    
The USA, which failed to qualify for two of the last three men's Olympic soccer tournaments, ...
Video Pick: How the U.S. U-19s lost 8-1 to Germany    
It was a rough outing indeed for the U.S. defense and goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann in the ...
Video Pick: England coach impresses with ball puncture    
During England's preparations for Friday's European Championship qualifier against Estonia, goalkeeper coach Dave Watson impressed Joe ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives