Three Months To Victory? Snapshot, 2008

Deuce To Be Ready?

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.

HP: Acquitting himself decently on the day...

• 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.

Jaqua....a forgotten man...

• 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.

15 responses to this post.

  1. Hopefully we’ll have Stevie G putting the ball onto the head of the first defender in the sort of situation that led to the first goal. We must defend set pieces better than that. Imagine DeMerit and John Terry absolutely clattering into one another challenging for that ball!

    Nightmare defending on the second goal! What on earth are we doing so high up the pitch when England are pinging it around the back four? Our back four are way too flat, spread the width of the pitch, and the CBs are nearly the width of the 18! It’s not like we just lost possession, England had the ball for ages before scoring what ultimately looked like a counterattacking goal. If we defend like that it’s going to be a very short June!

    Just went from thinking we could get to the quarters to thinking, we’ll be fine if we just learn how to defend in the next 90 days! Deep breaths…. Our team defending against the Netherlands was such a massive improvement on this display. Giving up goals due to individual mistakes is actually a huge improvement on giving them up through poor team defending. We just can’t get drawn out by England pinging it around the back – if they want to maintain possession back there, let them. They’ll have a lot more trouble getting penetrative possession if we focus pressure on the base of midfield and worry about the fullbacks only when they’ve advanced beyond halfway.

    When England have possession just inside our half, we want to force them inside from the right wing while conceding space on the left. Its living dangerously to invite Ashley Cole forward, but I think you want to prevent Gerrard from making those cutting diagonal runs to the inside. Show him wide and let him try to hurt you from there. If Cole overlaps, RB goes with him with the RM ready to track Gerrard’s run inside.

    Defending from our 18, I’d keep it tight at the back and sacrifice the left mid for cover to support the leftback, I’d have the right mid tuck in and have Edu support while Bradley went maurauding. DMs must be ready to step out to any balls played back to Lampard. The ball out of defense goes into the space vacated by the opposing fullback which Dempsey should be running into with Altidore making a run above him and Donovan making a supporting run.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/03/11 at 10:40 AM

      I agree Tuesday – you need to sort out you match ups better on set peices – Terry is always going to be an ariel threat. This should have been done on the training ground, you know, “who should be marking who etc”. It was a bread and butter ball into the box and it’s not like it was a genius bit of movement Terry.

      The second goal was a good bit of third man running, but to be honest, it was text book stuff, that at international level, shouldn’t happen so easily – especially straight through the middle. Gerrard just ran along the line with nobody tracking him, before darting forward. Almost the entire US team got caught ball watching! And I agree about the defensive positioning Tuesday – there should have been two solid rows, one at 22 yards and another no more than 12 yards in front, nice and compact, keeping the ball in front – especially as the ball was mainly on the deck. Both centre backs got caught flat.

      The clip didn’t show it, but I am fairly sure you had a decent chance at the begining of the second half, which I think should have been taken. That would’ve made it 1-1….


      • I distinctly remember that second goal, I spotted Stevie G running off the ball and started shouting at the TV, but to no avail. That was such a frustrating sequence to watch.

        And your comment about the decent chance at the beginning of the second half fell to and was missed by Eddie “Grown Ass Man” Johnson who, unfortunately, might make the WC Squad due to a lack of other options.


  2. I think Altidore was trying to get established with Villareal and that is why Bradley didn’t call him up


  3. Posted by Ryan on 2010/03/11 at 12:17 PM

    Deuce on the Fulham bench tonight against Juve. Good news towards his progress!!!


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/11 at 12:21 PM

      Giddy up — now we just need a Jermaine Jones sighting in the wild today to hit the Davies: Dempsey: Jones trifecta.

      C’mon YOU YANKS!


  4. Posted by Tom on 2010/03/11 at 1:45 PM

    Just realized the Fulham v Juventus games is on GOLTV


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/03/11 at 2:11 PM

      Just got carpel tunnel skipping through the TV guide to find GolTV. Only to find I don’t have that channel on my cable package!!


  5. Posted by Tom on 2010/03/11 at 2:23 PM

    Dempsey on!


  6. Posted by Tom on 2010/03/11 at 2:28 PM

    Its a useful channel with plenty of Bundesliga and La Liga games.


  7. Posted by Scweeb on 2010/03/11 at 3:55 PM
    According to this post Duece will be on the bench for the Jueve game and hopefully get some time in!!


  8. […] As a reminder, Pearce started against England at Wembley in the 2008 affair. […]


  9. […] Three Months to Victory? Snapshot, 2008. […]


  10. […] Three Months to Victory? Snapshot, 2008. […]


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