Friday, March 14, 2008

Doing just enough to advance, but not much more

Admittedly, I only watched the entire first half and bits and pieces of the second half last night (What?! Lost was on!) so this list might be incomplete, or even incorrect entirely.

1.Nathan Sturgis - Wait wasn't he in the Rail list on Tuesday? There was a definitive improvement in the backline against Panama over the backline against Cuba. A lot of that probably had to do with the additions of Wynn and Orozco, but Sturgis played noticeably better too.
2.Stuart Holden - Provided the enthusiasm and agressiveness that was really missing in the first match from Findley and Davies. This is the first time I'd seen him play with the national team, and now I've taken to thinking that he could be a contributor with the senior squad in some qualifying matches later this year.

1.Sasha Kljestan - He's certainly got some skill, but I just don't get the obsession with him by a lot of fans. He was absolutely an improvement over Findley, and is good enough to start for the U23s, but I just don't see him replacing DMB (or even Convey) on the full national team yet.

1.Dax McCarty - How many times did he give the ball away and then immediately foul the opposing player? He had a poor game in possession, but still did an adequate job of breaking up some plays. You could argue that Dax might be too small to play the "bruiser" role, but this guy would disagree.

The US team has certainly not been impressive, but it looks like they're doing enough to be able to advance out of this group. But can this team beat Mexico? Because that do-or-die matchup in the semifinals feels inevitable. I personally think we have the talent to match Mexico (Dos Santos and Adu pretty much cancel each other out). So far, we've played down to the level of our competition. The question is whether or not we will be able to play up to the level of our competition against Mexico and/or Guatemala. Honduras will be a good test.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

While you were watching Lost (and so was the rest of my family, actually), I was going through all of last year's United newspaper clippings I saved, trying to order them chronologically. I now have inkstained fingertips and a completely squashed brain. Therefore, I didn't watch the game either (then again I'm not very patriotic when it comes to futbol). I just have one thing to say though, about "Dos Santos and Adu pretty much cancel each other out." You can't forget about Osasuna's Carlos Vela too. I personally think Vela and Adu are more on the same level, with Dos Santos a bit above...then again I am completely in love with Giovani so bear with my :)