June 12, 2010


England vs. USA World Cup 2010: Why the Yanks could pull off a shocker: The English team is one of the favorites to win it all, but the Americans are now good enough to give the Brits a true test in today's England vs. USA World Cup 2010 match. (Mark Sappenfield, June 12, 2010, CS Monitor)

The script suggests England will be too much for the US. The hallmark of England since Italian coach Fabio Capello took control two years ago has been consistency. The team simply no longer loses games it should win. And the US game is one it should win.

On talent alone, there is no comparison. The Americans have no one remotely as accomplished as English defender John Terry or midfielders Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard. And under Capello's direction, forward Wayne Rooney has fulfilled his promise as one of best players in the world.

A bulldog in shinguards, Rooney is at once indefatigable, ornery, and sublime, combining a boxer's jaw with an artist's mind. While Lampard and Gerrard paint the field with straight lines, bearing down on goal as though on railroad tracks, Rooney probes and prods, as much a creator as a thunderous finisher.

...of Lampard, Gerrard and Rooney is that they basically all ought to play the same position (deep forward or forward midfielder). That's why Lampard and Gerrard have historically not played well together, though Rooney is so good that he does well just accepting service from Gerrard. With these three clumped together in the middle, along with the even slower Emile Heskey, England would be going at our strength--central defense in front of the goal. Michael Bradley will have a field day and gioven the propensity of Gerrard and Rooney to implode when frustrated he might foul both of them out by himself.

It would make more sense for them to start Peter Crouch instead of Heskey, pull Lampard back some distance and tell him to shoot often from range and depend on Aaron Lennon and Glenn Johnson to serve balls into the middle from out as wide as they can get or play for corners. That puts America's ability to get a head on the ball to the test, one we failed miserably against Australia last week. In particular, it's a bet that Onyewu and Altidore aren't healthy enough to dominate the air in front of the box as they did in the Confederations Cup.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 12, 2010 9:05 AM
blog comments powered by Disqus