Strengths & Weaknesses: The U.S. Forwards

The U.S. World Cup Forwards

By Ridge Mahoney, Senior Editor

Clint Mathis

Pos.: Forward.
Club: MetroStars.
Age: 25.
GP: 22. G: 9.
Sniper extraordinaire. Punctures defenses with sharp first steps. Will try anything to burst through defenders or bamboozle them. Accurate with either foot and can shoot in stride. Keeper night-mare on free kicks. Not fast. Prickly temperament will be tested by kicks and elbows. Sometimes betrayed by lazy first touch.

Brian McBride

Pos.: Forward.
Club: Columbus Crew.
Age: 29.
GP: 60. G: 18.
Can hold his ground and the ball with his back to goal. Flicks balls with head or feet and is always moving to support the attack or latch onto the return pass. Good volleyer with either foot. Resolute worker defensively. Prone to injuries. Effectiveness against top teams still unproven.

Joe-Max Moore

Pos.: Forward.
Club: Everton (ENG).
Age: 31.
GP: 98. G: 24.
The scrapper of the front line, a tenacious chaser. Works endlessly to close down opponents or drag them along on his runs. Good header and effective at near post on flicks. Not intimidated but sometimes overpowered. Lack of club time has dulled his touch and blunted his shooting.

Josh Wolff

Pos.: Forward.
Club: Chicago Fire.
Age: 25.
GP: 18. G: 6.
Speedy slasher can get behind defenders or wriggle through them. Legitimate breakaway threat. Moves well to find seams. Can collect ball out wide and slant into goalmouth on the dribble. Decent passer. Finishing can be sloppy or superb. Hesitation at critical moments has been costly.
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