Tomorrow, ninety days until the clash, June 12th, Rustenberg. Hype multiplied by hype with an icing of hype.
How did it go down last time, on May 28, 2008, when the Yanks fought the Queen on England’s home turf at Wembley?
2-0, bad guys. Some things different; some things the same:
• Merseyside darling Landon Donovan didn’t make it out to the pitch with a tweaked groin.
• Heath Pearce was your starting leftback, performed admirably and looked dangerous going forward early on.
• John Terry accounted for his Champ’s League miss by rising above a mispositioned Carlos Bocanegra and sending the ball goalward in a manner that left Big T no shot. Oops, here is the correct video of that penalty miss. Ha….didn’t miss this time though. It was a sublime take for Chelsea’s captain.
• David Beckham was on target like Dan Marino spraying accurate passes all over the pitch.
• Here was your United States starting line-up and substitutions that day:
G-Tim Howard (Brad Guzan, 46)
DEF: Steve Cherundolo (Frankie Hejduk, 46), Oguchi Onyewu,Carlos Bocanegra, Heath Pearce
MID: Clint Dempsey, Ricardo Clark (Maurice Edu, 78), Michael Bradley, DaMarcus Beasley (Eddie Lewis, 68);
STR: Eddie Johnson (Nate Jaqua, 89), Josh Wolff (Freddy Adu, 68)
» Yes that’s correct EJ and Wolff both started and we’re lacking service, but not really all that dangerous with it.
» Wolff proved–yet again and for the final time–that he wasn’t the answer up front for the Yanks. Curious selection by Bradley who went with Wolff even though he was not with a team.
» Conversely, Jozy Altidore perhaps understandable, perhaps not….not a rostered player in this one.
» There was a Nate Jaqua sighting (gosh, I thought that guy was going to be a contender)
• Wayne Rooney was somewhat contained, but that may have been the Manchester man’s lack of assertion on the pitch more than the Yanks. Jermain Defoe threatened as the Yanks tired in the second half.
• None other than Owen Hargreaves, England’s Jermaine Jones, was in the starting Lion-up that day. Wes Brown led at rightback for England with Glen Johnson relieving.
• On the second Britain goal, Captain Carlos–not his best game–got caught out and Oguchi was late in following a Gerrard run. The USMNT needed better defense, but it was well played by Capello’s boys.
• Fulham teammates at the time, Eddie Johnson and Clint Dempsey, were arguably most dynamic offensively after DaMarcus burned out early on.
• Your USMNT post-game quote sheet from that match.