USA v. Argentina: I’m So Nervous I Wrote This Post

T-minus 2.75 hours. I’m already knotting down there. All I ask for is a goal.

Who should start?

For the sake of our defense, play a 4-3-3. No, I’ve not gone crazy from looking at html tables programmatically generated in C# all day. Argentina will eat us with their midfield playing high and their forwards darting in and out of our back lines. It’s like a firing squad, except with the addition of ninjas who can also take you out from behind while you’re still dirtying your drawers facing the guns. We have to force Argentina to play on the counterattack, which with J.R. Riquelme playing his usual cat-mouse games, will actually favor the speed of our outside defenders. They can track back quickly, and give us solid numbers to weather the wave. Offensively, the key will be to get the ball to the forwards as quickly as possible. Mapp and Nguyen are our most gifted players, so give them the ball in advanced positions and then Johnson hustles to support their magic. Feilhaber and Clarke have both shown sticky feet and skill at the medium-range pass, and along with Olsen’s bite and hustle should give good defensive acquittal and swift two-way play.

Who Bob Bradley will start:

Bradley likes to gamble within reason, so keeping a more-conservative 4-4-2 while throwing new kids Gomez, Kjlestian, Calif, and Moore will give us a solid base while throwing the Argies for a loop (you don’t seriously think Basile has scouted Drew Moore highlights from FC Dallas, do you? And I don’t think Davies even has highlight tape yet.). Sacha has had a solid year for Chivas USA so far, and show the ability to create. Gomez and Johnson, as long as they avoid the offsides, will give anyone who does not have an Olympic track gold medal fits, with Gomez offering some additional tricks with the ball at his feet.

[Edit: Changed some typos so that it looks like I know what I'm talking about.]

[Edit 2: Least frustrating 4-1 loss ever. To take Argentina 1-1 at the half is a laudable accomplishment. As Ray "Can I get my citizenship now?" Hudson gushed, the 3 Argentina goals in the 2nd half really were top-quality. Yes, they all took advantage of US mistakes, but come on, it's MESSI, CRESPO, RIQUELME, and TEVEZ! This is what they are paid tens of millions of dollars for.

Bornstein was even better, shutting down Messi (almost) completely. Did you catch the one where Messi tries to beat Bornstein on the outside, can't, cuts in and back, interchanges with Riquelme to try to lose Bornstein, doesn't, and then gets stuffed on the shot by, yes, Bornstein? The yellow at the end was just his goodbye pat. Messi subbed out shortly thereafter.

The one criticism I'll credit is Bradley's subs. Given, he hasn't made many mistakes with them yet, and none that have been punished like tonights. But seriously, Gaven in for Benny the Warrior? Beckerman for Clarke? Hardly upgrading. Or even really changing the game.

As a commentator at SBI pointed out, I still wish to see Wynne and Nguyen together on the field so that we can have two players with the same last name. That'll confuse some Paraguayans.]

June 28th, 2007 | Soccer

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