USMNT / World Cup

US National Team Update: Slovakia and Denmark Matches

The Full men’s national team did not play an amazing game against Slovakia on Saturday. However, Bob Bradley had the opportunity to do some important experimenting that could help the team to be successful at the World Cup this coming June. First, we got to see Brad Guzan start in goal, which made me feel much better about Tim Howard possibly picking up an injury. Second, we saw Jonathan Spector as a Centerback, where he played well and where I think he plays best. Third, we got to see both Eddie Johnson and Jeff Cunningham as speedy replacements for Charlie Davies. Neither could fill Davies’ shoes, but Johnson looked promising and Cunningham needs more time to impress.

Against Denmark Bob Bradley will really have a chance to experiment, possibly, with Eddie Johnson up top and Edgar Castillo starting as a left back. It would be nice to see Benny Feilhaber playing left midfielder especially with Jose Francisco Torres declining the call up for personal reasons. I would like to see Ricardo Clark, Benny Feilhaber, and Michael Bradley on the pitch at the same time. Seeing how Edgar Castillo fits in with the team will be very interesting. Of course I don’t expect a revelation because he plays like Bornstein but is probably an upgrade. So we should expect not so great defending like Bornstein, but very strong attacking play and crossing.

The game against Denmark is on Wednesday, November 18 at 2:30pm ET. Coverage starts on ESPN classic at 2:25pm and will get switched over to ESPN2 after the Ukraine-Greece game. You can also watch the match on ESPN 360.

Denmark should be more of a challenge than Slovakia, even though they will be without Nicklas Bendtner. Slovakia are known for sitting back, defending in numbers, and counterattacking, while Denmark tend to play more possession soccer. It was easy for the US to control the game against Slovakia because the Slovaks were happy to give up possession and strike on the counter. The midfield should have a much tougher time because the Danish will challenge them more. This will be an excellent test to determine whether the US midfield can control a game against World Cup level talent. In addition the US forwards will have more space to operate, so Bob Bradley should get a better idea of whether Eddie Johnson for instance is ready to contribute at the international level.

Apparently, Eddie Johnson has gotten his head right, has been competing for a starting spot at Fulham, and is possibly ready to emerge as the striker everyone thought he could be. If that happens, then the US National Team will have a striker capable of filling Charlie Davies’ shoes. The Denmark game has plenty of interesting story lines and the US shouldn’t be overwhelmed, so this match should be a fun one to watch.

Posted via web from The Philly Soccer Page

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