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DC United
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US National Team
Jeff Maurer's Soccer Blog
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
US vs. Algeria Preview
Topic: US National Team

I did a Lexis-Nexis search today for "soccer or football" and "referees" and "world cup" and "crackdown or crack down" in English-language newspapers (which are like the internet, but made of wood) in the last six months. I got 70 results. That's a lot of hits for such a specific search.

FIFA are always cracking down on something. Every single World Cup, they're "cracking down on foul play", usually elbows, and two-footed tackles, and diving, but never actually diving.

The result? Well, that bullshit red card against Kaka was one of the results. Also the red against Behrami yesterday. I thought Gourcuff's red card today was harsh. In the World Cup, absolutely everything is a red card.

That was the main lesson of the Confederations Cup. The US drew three red cards in five games. We've done very well with avoiding cards in the first two games. I hope that trend continues tomorrow, but the looseness with which the cards have been flowing worries me. Dempsey started off the Slovenia match with a challenge that shouldn't have been a red card, but could have been. In the Olympics, Orozco got a red card in the third minute against Nigeria and we ended up a goal short. Bradley seems to have gotten the message across, but I hope everyone tomorrow remembers that they're not playing in England, Germany, or MLS.

Here's what I hope we'll see against Algeria:






Here's what I think we'll see: 






A lot of people have been talking about Gooch. I think he's okay; sure, he's rusty, no question, but he's still one of our two best center backs (assuming you count Bocanegra as a left back). One thing I'm wondering, though, is if we could possibly see this at the back:


If there's a game to do it, this would be the game. You still have Bocanegra and Demerit for set plays, so you don't loose much in that regard. And Spector is better going forward than Bocanegra, which could be especially useful if Algeria play three at the back (as they sometimes do). I'm not saying I want to see this or think we will see this, but I think it's on the table. 

Posted by jeffmaurer1980 at 9:01 PM EDT
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