Tuesday, May 31, 2005

USA Soccer

Indulge me. Watched England v. USA last weekend. A few thoughts...

We really can't tell much from this match as to the USA's place in the soccer world. England was playing with maybe 3 who might see the field in a major competition (Ashley and Joe Cole, maybe Richardson or Smith). USA was missing a few players too, especially up front. England's depth looks OK, err... especially up front. Andy Johnson looks like the kind of player who would drive defenses crazy and he probably won't ever make the first XI. However, England's defense doesn't look all that great to me. Ashley Cole didn't have a great game, and Sol Campbell is over the hill. Zat Knight is too lumbering. USA blew three really good chances in the first half, and that was with Josh Wolff (best player I've ever seen up close, but I think there are probably 5 or 6 better finishers) and 72 year old Brian McBride.

The best player on the field was Joe Cole. He was everywhere and dominating. I'd say the next 2 best were Landon Donovan and Kasey Keller, though. Then like 6 English players, headed by Richardson. Donovan looked really good. He whipped at least 5 goalscoring chances in, and the forwards really didn't do much with any of them. Bobby Convey looks way too small to compete in a qualifier.

If England had played their full healthy complement against this USA team, it'd have been 5-0. If USA played their full healthy complement against this England team, I'd guess 2-1 USA. If both teams played with a full healthy complement, I'd guess England 3-1.

This Saturday against Costa Rica I have a good feeling about. Donovan is in good form. We need better scorers up front, and I have a feeling that the fact we held out Johnson and (maybe) Beasley for health reasons will pay off.