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Jeff Maurer's Soccer Blog
Wednesday, 28 May 2008
What I Hope to See Against England
Topic: US National Team

  Friendlies are like open mics: the result is less important that what you learn. Here's what I'm hoping for against England:

 

1. Eddie Johnson on the bench. I'm over him; he's not the guy. My worst fear is that he'll play and have a semi-decent game, which will subsequently earn him another ten games of back-passes and donkey touches that cause the commentators to say "he just needs to find his form..." He has found his form: his form is shit.  

Of course, it looks like Donovan might not play, which means that Johnson probably will.

 

2. A decent scoreline. I'd love it if the US won, but England are the stronger team and they have to be considered the favorites. If the US lose by two goals or one, that gets remembered as: "The US came to Wembley and England won." If we lose by three goals or more, that gets remembered as: "The US came to Wembley and got their asses kicked."

 

3. A good game for Bocanegra. He's out of contract with Fulham and is looking for a new team. He's proven that he's good enough to play in the Premiership; a good game here could help him latch on with a Premiership team. 

 

4. A good game for Freddy Adu. He's dominating at the U-20 and Olympic levels, and he's still only 18 (which seems impossible - shouldn't he be about 35 by now?). It's time to start giving him regular looks with the full national team. Benfica have a new coach and some good performances in high-profile matches should help Freddy get a look.

 

5. A good game for Beckham. If Beckham plays poorly, everyone in England will say: "His form is shit because he plays in MLS." We need a good game from Beckham in order to be spared that inane chorus. Of course, a good game from Beckham will not cause anyone in England to give MLS any credit whatsoever, but it will at least minimize the disparaging remarks.

 

6. A good game from Michael Bradley. Another guy who's basically on trial; he could all but cement a spot in the Premiership with a good game tonight. Most important for me: no brain farts in the closing moments of the game. He has a very bad habit of drawing stupid cards and committing stupid fouls after the 80th minute. 

 

7. Minutes for Kenny Cooper. He's the anti-Eddie Johnson: he's consistently good, and yet nobody seems to notice. I don't think he'll ever be a great national team player, but I could see him being a reliable, solid option, a la Jimmy Conrad. 


Posted by jeffmaurer1980 at 1:55 PM EDT
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