Monday, June 06, 2005

A Man, a Plan, an Ass-whooping...(hopefully)

After the convincing win over Costa Rica Saturday, the USA is now headed to Panama, where they struggled last year. Guatemala and Mexico have both failed to win at Panama, but I feel good about our chances. We played just about the worst game we've ever played last time, and still escaped with a draw. We are a better team than Panama, and when that's the case you should win, home or away.

Most of the players from the 1-1 draw last September are with the team currently, including Greg Vanney and Conor Casey. Those two both had awful games, and they haven't played in a WCQ since. I'm not really sure they deserve the call up, but hopefully they can do well if given the chance.

Bobby Convey was a suprise starter on Saturday, playing on the left side of midfield as we went with a 3-4-3 lineup. I would guess that he's the most likely to lose his starting place, since we should go with four in the back on the road. Bocanegra should move to the left, with Cherundolo on the right. I think Berhalter is the most likely man to pair with Pope in the center of defense. Gibbs won't be making the trip, and while Onyewu is, he missed the game on Saturday. Berhalter may not be the most skilled player, but he and Pope did play together at North Carolina and should be an effective pairing. The rest of the starting lineup should be unchanged, except maybe Dempsey or Noonan in for Ralston. Of course, you never know for sure with the Bruce.

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