[USA-AUSTRALIA]Who needs Jozy Altidore when you have Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez? Who needs Charlie Davies when you have Robbie Findley? Buddle, Gomez and Findley led a attack that paced the USA to a 3-1 win. For the good and bad of the U.S. warmup game, as well as video highlights ...
What we liked ...
-- Edson Buddle picked up where he left off in MLS with the first two goals against Australia. The first goal was a patented Buddle effort -- three steps with the ball at his feet, a quick step to his right and a long-range shot that flew past Aussie keeper Mark Schwarzer.
-- Robbie Findley demonstrated the same qualities that made Charlie Davies so effective last year. Time and again, he broke down the Socceroo defense with his pace and created opportunities for himself and his teammates.
-- The USA attacked effectively down the flanks. Steve Cherundolo, who set up the second Buddle goal, looks to have won the starting job at right back.
What we didn't like ...
-- The central defense of Clarence Goodson andJay DeMerit hardly inspires confidence. They gave the Australians tons of chances they were wasted. Wayne Rooney must be licking his chops at the prospect of facing the Goodson-DeMerit combo. The over and under on Rooney goals in the opener? We'll put it at 2.
-- The USA must break its habit of coughing up the ball in bad positions on the field. Ricardo Clark was the worse, frequently turning the ball over in midfield. Again, a fault that England -- and Slovenia and Algeria for that matter -- will punish.
-- For all Findley's work, his finishing was atrocious. He'll never get an easier goal than the one he missed in the first half when he rounded Schwarzer and shot wide.
What we're not sure about ...
-- The Jabulani match ball sure seemed to bother the keepers on Saturday. We're not sure whether that will help or hurt the underdog Americans against England on Saturday. Will it give the USA a lucky goal? Or will the odds be that a barrage of England chances will result in that much more trouble for Tim Howard in the U.S. goal?
June 5 in Roodepoort
USA 3 Australia 1. Goals: Buddle 4, 31, Gomez 90; Cahill 19.
USA --Howard (Hahnemann, 46), Cherundolo, DeMerit, Goodson (Onyewu, 61), Bocanegra (Bornstein, 55), Bradley, Clark, Dempsey (Gomez, 82), Donovan, Buddle (Beasley, 79), Findley.
Australia --Schwarzer, Wilkshire, Moore, Neill, Chipperfield, Grella, Culina (Vidosic, 62), Garcia (Rukavytsya, 72), Cahill (Valeri, 46), Bresciano, Kennedy.
Yellow Cards:USA -- Dempsey 37; Australia -- Moore 37, Grella 76.
Referee:Addul Ebrahim (RSA)
Shots on Goal: 6/6
Corner Kicks: 3/8