Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Tale of Two Halves

Corey Gibbs (USA) battles Gerald Asamoah (GER)

Dismal 2nd Half Spells Doom for U.S.
Germany 4, USA 1

Way overblown headline by the WaPo. This was a good tuneup & a good lesson for the 5th in the world US squad. As in, that ranking is bogus & you're going to have to play your best to advance.

The US controlled the first half, but didn't do much in the final third of the field. Ching was a block of wood except for one fine shot. Gibbs, Mastro, & Convey shone and GAM (Eddie Johnson) looked good. I haven't seen Gibbs play much & was suitably impressed. He was super fast and very poised against a big rough German team.

Arena started out with his beloved 3-5-2 lineup but returned to sanity and went 4-4-2 after about 15 minutes. I hate three in the back. We're not fast enough or technically skilled enough to play that way -- especially when we're playing our B squad.

2nd half, Germany's A team finally broke through USA's B team. Giving up all those free kicks had to come back to haunt us & it did. Berhalter was abysmal in the back and left Conrad out to dry a few times. Even Cherundolo made a few uncharacteristic errors.

This was definitely our B team, though. Look at the missing: McBride, Donovan, Beasley, Reyna, O'Brien, Dempsey (Clint, control your temper!), Gooch, Pope, Hejduk, Lewis. Add Keller to that ten and you'd have a fine starting "A" lineup.

*I'd put in a pretty picture, but blogger's photo function is screwy. Sorry.
Update: Apparently this is a blogger problem, lots of folks over there at blogger help getting the white screen instead of "Done".

No comments: