Tuesday, June 14, 2011

USA vs. Guadeloupe PREVIEW


    Tonight is make or break for the Americans as they take on the scrappy kids from Guadeloupe. While it seems that this is a huge mismatch in the Americans favor, Guadeloupe hung with both Canada and Panama for most of the match. After the loss to Panama, The Yanks need to take this match as serious as if they were in the World Cup. It's a simple formula. Win or Draw and you are through to the Quarterfinals.  Lose to Guadeloupe and not only will you be embarrassed at the fact of losing to a country of 629 square miles and a population of 400,000, but we will see an early exit from the Gold Cup and our national reputation is tarnished and Bob Bradley can probably kiss his butt goodbye. This game though when you look at it on paper looks like a cakewalk is a HUGE game for the USA and probably the biggest game since the World Cup. This game means a lot and if we lose this one, it could mean a total meltdown and a loss is not out of the realm of possibility....

PROJECTED LINEUP

I honestly could see Bob trotting out the same lineup as each of the first two matches, but I do see myself two changes coming to the starting XI.  Here is my projection:

Howard
Cherundolo, Onyewu, Goodson, Bocanegra(c)
Donovan, Bradley, Edu, Dempsey
Agudelo, Altidore

If it were me, I would start Edu in replace of Jones and go ahead and try Onyewu in replace of Ream. Now let me explain, I believe that Ream is the future of the CB position for the US, but in a game with this big of an impact we need experience there that won't give up that obvious PK that earned Panama their winning goal. That said, If Ream starts I won't have a problem with it. The other change is Edu for Jones. I think Jones did well in his first game, but this last game, It was hard to tell if he was even on the pitch. I think you bench him and hope that this causes him to come in as a sub and show some fight and fire.

KEY TO THE GAME

USA Attacking Mindset

The mindset of the USA is the key to the game, if we come out aggresive I could see this game getting ugly in favor of the Stars and Stripes, but if we come out trying not to lose and simply passing it back and forth for 10 minutes on the backline and never having a cross the pitch pass, then Guadeloupe could capitalize on some mistakes.

WHAT I WANT TO SEE

I cant say it enough, but we have to be aggressive. We need better passes and passes across the pitch. I thought we were finally past the whole kick it back and forth waiting for someone to do something creative and find space, but last game shows maybe we are still there. I want to see players step up, other than just Dempsey, and act like they want to win the game for the team and nation.