Copa Dope + USA Recap - Please Sir...

...may I have another? After a decent first half, Argentina started to figure the US out and punished them with three second half strikes, giving Bradley a first taste of defeat at the helm of the national side. Things were always going to go sour for the US as you watched the subs come on - US brings in Gaven in midfield, Argentina brings in Aimar, US brings in Gomez up top, Argentina counters with Tevez. Ugh.

I still don't get why Gaven received a call-up and I thought that his lack of energy and defensive commitment in replacing Olsen was the first nail in the US coffin. Things just got progressively uglier from there, spoiling a pretty good outing for an underpowered American side. The good news is that Paraguay's demolition of Colombia leaves the US in third place on goal difference. A result against Paraguay in the next match sets them up for a second or third place finish in the group and a possible advance to the quarterfinals. Easier said that done, but the starters at least showed that they could be competitive at this level.

The big question has to be, what kind of lineup does Bob go with in the next match? Is he going to rotate the starters to give everyone a shot and treat the Copa as three friendlies that will allow him to evaluate talent, or will he go with minor changes to the side against Paraguay, going for the win and then making wholesale changes against Colombia if they fail to get a result? I think he'll go for the later - maybe Charlie Davies up top for Twellman, Nguyen/Kljestan for Benny Olsen, and Pearce for Bornstein. Let's just hope that US heads aren't hanging too much after the pummeling they received. If Paraguay comes in overconfident (a distinct possibility considering the results so far in this group) the US could surprise them with a strong start.

1 comment:

  1. The way I see it, the US has ridiculous potential for upsets this tournament and if they pull off a coup of any kind, we can hold our heads high. I fully expect Davies to have an impact, maybe not the first time his feet hit the pitch, but by the end of group play I think he'll really make a name for himself.

    I'm also worried that Feilhaber doesn't burn out too quick. He'll be relied on fairly heavily through the games. Ben Olsen couldn't muscle through 90 minutes of Argentina-- I'm wondering when and how often Feilhaber will be hitting the bench.