Monday, February 13, 2006

USA 3:2 Japan

In between playing the new Winning Eleven game online, I did manage to catch this game. This result just goes to show everyone what we've known for a while now, which is that we should be able to beat everyone outside the top tier. So teams like Japan, Paraguay, and Poland shouldn't be a problem. They may surprise us once in a while, but we seem to be settling in nicely above them in the soccer hierarchy. The tough thing is that we have 1.5 top tier teams in our group. I would say two, but I'm not convinced on the Czech Republic.

Also, the foursome of Conrad, Dunivant, Dempsey, and Twellman continue to push for World Cup places. That's the most interesting thing.

Twellman really should make it no matter what, because he's always had the talent. He's just now finally showing it at this level. I hope that he can go over to Germany and play against Poland on March 1, because all our best players will be available and I'd like to see how he plays with them. I don't think he's ever started a game when all of our top guys have been there. Meanwhile, his competition Brian Ching continues to suck.

Bruce will likely take eight defenders. The central defenders are Pope, Bocanegra, Gibbs, Onyewu, Conrad, and Berhalter. I don't know if you need that many, though. With the way Conrad has been playing, he seems like a good bet to make it. Gibbs' injury might open up a spot, but if not then Berhalter could be the odd man out.

The other guys I have on my probable roster are Cherundolo and Hejduk. Seems like if Dunivant makes it, then Hejduk could miss out. Although, he is a guy who could play on either side in a pinch. Hmm. Spector is another guy like that, so maybe he and Hejduk are competing for a reserve spot. So you have Bocanegra, Hejduk, Spector, Albright, Lewis, Convey; all those guys can play LB if needed, in addition to their regular positions. You don't need one (a LB) there just to be a backup. My thinking is that if Dunivant isn't going to be starting in Germany, then he shouldn't be there.

Dempsey is a young, versatile, talented guy who can play in a couple different spots. Seems like a perfect reserve player for the World Cup. If eight midfielders go, they should be O'Brien, Mastroeni, Donovan, Lewis, Beasley, Reyna, Convey, and Dempsey. Like I just mentioned, Dempsey should be there over a guy like Ralston because he can bring more options to the table. That's probably who he bumps out. Also, if O'Brien doesn't go, you would think Bruce brings another central guy to replace him. So Ralston probably isn't going regardless.

Comments on "USA 3:2 Japan"


Anonymous bob said ... (3:32 PM, February 13, 2006) : 

Love the name of your blog and enjoy reading it. We've got a broadcaster in Portland who uses the term "in the mixer" for every cross. Maybe I'll switch my blog name to that.

Anyway, I wanted to pass along the links to a couple of blogs I write. If you are so inclined, I'd loved to be linked with your blog and I'd be happy to do the same.



Anonymous jamesey said ... (1:02 PM, February 14, 2006) : 

I dont think the L.A. & N.E. players will be in Germany for the friendlies. They are getting ready for the CCC.

As an avid Galaxy fan, I'm a bit hesitant to say Todd Dunivant deserves a World Cup spot. If he has the ball in the back and faces pressure, he makes mistakes. Sometimes he just gets the ball out of play, but sometimes to my horror he plays it right back to the other team who then counter on L.A. He even did this a few times against Norway. As for his positives, he's faster than Landon, has an excellent left foot, and wins tackles.


Blogger scaryice said ... (8:48 PM, February 14, 2006) : 

First leg is 2/22 or 2/23, and the second is 3/8.

They should be able to go to Germany right after the first leg, play on 3/1, and come back. I don't know if they will do that but they should.


Anonymous ERic said ... (10:48 AM, February 15, 2006) : 

Not quite sure why people keep putting O'Brien in there. Yes, if he's healthy, he's a sure spot. But that's such a big if, and he's been unhealthy for so long, that I don't see any reason to include him anymore.


Anonymous jamesey said ... (1:18 PM, February 15, 2006) : 

Eric, I agree with you about JOB, but other national teamers (Landon, Damarcus, Claudio, McHead) have all said he is the best American player. If he can play in one match against either Italy or Czech Republic, i'm for it.


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