USMNT / World Cup

US v. Netherlands Pregame Comments

The USA plays the Netherlands today in a match in Holland. The game is scheduled to start at 2:30pm ET and can be seen on ESPN2, ESPN 360, and Galavision. The rosters for the teams are below:

USA ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS (7): Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes), Jay DeMerit (Watford), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Frank Simek (Sheffield Wednesday), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)
MIDFIELDERS (7): DaMarcus Beasley (Rangers), Alejandro Bedoya (Orebro), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Landon Donovan (Everton), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers), José Torres (Pachuca)
FORWARDS (3): Jozy Altidore (Hull City), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), Eddie Johnson (Aris Thessaloniki)

NETHERLANDS ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax), Piet Velthuizen (Vitesse Arnhem), Michel Vorm (FC Utrecht);
DEFENDERS (7): Edson Braafheid (Celtic), Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Feyenoord), John Heitinga (Everton), Joris Mathijsen (Hamburg), Andre Ooijer (PSV), Ron Vlaar (Feyenoord), Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax);
MIDFIELDERS (8): Ibrahim Afellay (PSV), Orlando Engelaar (PSV), Mark van Bommel (Bayern Munich), Nigel de Jong (Manchester City), Stijn Schaars (AZ Alkmaar), Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan), Rafael van der Vaart (Real Madrid), Demy de Zeeuw (Ajax);
FORWARDS (5): Ryan Babel (Liverpool), Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool), Eljero Elia (Hamburg), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (AC Milan), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich).

The Dutch have brought a full strength team and boast some well known international stars, while the US has brought a strong team that boasts a number of players still trying to earn their place in the US World Cup Squad.

The Dutch went through their World Cup qualifying schedule winning each match. They only allowed in 2 goals and scored on average over 2 goals a game. While their back line and goalkeepers may not have as much star power as the Dutch forwards, they have proven themselves to be strong collectively. The Soccer Power Index rates them as 4th in the World with an offensive rating of 2.3 goals per game and a defensive rating of 0.6 goals per game. In sum, the Dutch are a strong team.

The US came out of their World Cup qualifying at the top of the table, but had a few losses and draws. The team assembled for this match includes many of the strongest from the US player pool, but also includes a number of players who are either not in form or are fighting for a back-up position on the US World Cup squad. The Soccer Power Index ranks the US 16th in the World with an offensive rating of 2.2 and a defensive rating of 0.9. This suggests that the US is also a strong team, but probably not at the same level as the Dutch.

The bookmakers are heavily favoring the Dutch to win the match with a US win receiving close to 1 in 6 odds. The  Asian Handicap gives the US a 1 goal lead, but the odds in favor of the Dutch winning by more than one goal or winning by only one goal are about even. This suggests that the bookmakers believe the Dutch will win by one or two goals. The only major issue for the Dutch is that they are missing Robin Van Persie, who started up top with Dirk Kuyt through many of their UEFA World Cup Qualifying matches. Of course Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Arjen Robben, Ryan Babel, and others can certainly fill in. The US are missing a number of key players in Charlie Davies, Oguchi Onyewu, Clint Dempsey, and Steve Cherundolo. Given this information and the home field advantage, I would predict a final score of 3-1 in favor of the Dutch, but I love rooting for the under dog. Let me know what you think and enjoy the match.

2 Comments

  1. greg gannon says:

    Hey Huff,
    Get your facts straight! The Soccer power index rates the USMNT at #16. This is just another example of shoddy blogging from some guy who thinks Soccer by Ives is quality journalism.

  2. Hey Greg,

    Nice. My bad. Serbia is currently at the #14 spot. Here’s to old friends making you look bad!

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