>Monday Lunch: El Savador is Coming

Posted: February 22, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

>   I’m guessing that at least 50% of the people who opened up this page just closed it based on the title. I mean El Salvador, who cares? Well I do for one. USA plays El Salvador this Wednesday in the second to last warm up match before the Bob Bradley selects his World Cup squad. This will be an interesting match with a few spots up for grabs (a few were gained against Guatemala in a 4-0 victory 4 years ago. Chris Klein, Eddie Johnson and Ben Olsen scored; I can’t remember the other scorer as this is all off the top of my head, while Olsen and Johnson cemented their spots). I will preview this match, but first…

Weekend Recap:

   On Friday, I had the luxury of taking in the Borussia Monchengladbach – TSG Hoffenheim game. It was a thrilling 2-2 draw with St. Louis University product and current Bosnia & Herzegovina international Vedad Ibisevic getting one of the goals. This man was great and it’s too bad that he never wanted to play for USA as he has scored 30 Bundesliga goals in just two years; something no USA striker can match.
   As far as the rest of the match, Borussia had some great team moments but too often, their players put their head down and dribble to nowhere, which brings me to my next point. Michael Bradley did not have a strong match, but his vision, passing, and overall play is on a completely different level then his teammates. He is simply too good for his team. He is one of the masters in modern soccer at making late runs out of the midfield, and because of his teammates sub-par play, they never even see the great passes they could be making. Three or four times Coach Sweatpants Jr. shed his marker and was wide open in the box and he got the ball just once. The one ball he did get, he failed to finish off, but it wasn’t a great ball to begin with. Overall, despite some giveaways he managed to stay relevant. I don’t think he will be with this team next year; he is too good for them and should fetch a great transfer fee.
   Also of note in this game was Karim Matmour’s play. Despite being my friend’s favorite player (has this ever been written about Matmour before?), he was terrible for the second straight week. By my count, he had the ball four times, and here is what he did:

•   First touch after coming on is incredibly telegraphed as he tries to juke his defender with his defender ending up with the ball easily.
•   Gets played a nice layoff ball at the top of the box and proceeds, with no pressure, to shoot it out for a THROW IN. Yes, the shot was about 40 yards off target. How does this even happen still in professional soccer?
•   Gets the ball in the final third on a wing and losses the ball after one touch then fouls the defender who just got the ball.
•   Using his head, lays off a long ball to a teammate.

That’s right, in 18 minutes of play instead of holding up the ball or creating scoring chances he gave the ball away three times out of four. Remember folks this is one of Algeria’s star players. Are you worried for June 23rd? (If the answer is yes, you clearly haven’t read any of these last 600 words)

   Clint Dempsey is still hurt but Fulham posted an impressive 2-1 home win against reigning Europa League (UEFA Cup) champions Shakhtar Donestk. I hope that they will still be alive in the competition when Dempsey is fit. The return leg is set for Thursday.

   Stuart Holden once again fails to make the 18 for Bolton against Blackburn on Sunday. Why did they even sign him if they aren’t going to play him? The deal is only for the rest of the season. If he continues to not make the squad, is this not just a huge waste of money?

   Lastly, Landon was once again impressive as Everton took down Manchester United 3-1 in Liverpool. Landon was all over the field and played a part in the second Everton goal. He played 90 minutes on the left wing and despite missing a relatively routine chance, he Goal.com gave him an 8/10 for the match. I watched the game and found him particularly impressive in his passing and work rate. Sadly, I got about one hour of sleep and I cannot remember for the life of me many of the details of the match. I remember him being good though, another positive step for Landon.

El Salvador Preview:

   Really, whoever emerges in this game only has a chance at a substitute’s role, but an important role nonetheless. Bradley should use his general 4-4-2, looking something like this:





   In reality, Bornstein already is a lock to go, and there is no way Wynne or whoever plays right back will be selected by Bradley and co. Besides them, the people with the best chance to make the squad in order are Ching, Goodson, Rogers, Marshall, Findley, Kljestan, Beckerman, McCarty. All these guys will be fighting for a spot in the 23 although anything done against an El Salvador B team should be taken lightly. Expect USA to come out strong and play well for 45-60 minutes before making a lot of subs. hopefully we will get to see some of Geoff Cameron and/or Chris Pontius. These two young players may be key ingredients for the 2014 World Cup cycle.

Prediction: USA 4 SLV 0

That’s all for today, enjoy the USA game on Wednesday and try to catch the Everton-Sporting game on Thursday.

  1. Flyingoose says:

    >Coach Sweatpants Jr…classicDonovan was very sharp in the attacking third and seemed extremely comfortable on the ball as well as in making runs to open space for teammates.I predict a score closer to something like 2-1 USA. Remember, despite the red card, this same group of players struggled to get it done against Honduras.

  2. >Yes but this is El Salvador and I don't think they even have Christian Castillo or Arturo Alvarez

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