Friday, December 02, 2005

US Men's Team to Play Canada and Japan

The US preparations for Germany are coming into sharper focus with the announcement of two more warm up matches. The first outing will take place on January 22nd against Canada in San Diego. The already scheduled match against Norway will follow on the 29th.

They will then play Japan on Feb. 10 in San Francisco. During the month of March they will have two matches in Europe. The first is planned for March 1, against a yet to be named opponent. They will then play Germany in Germany on March 22. Chances are they will add 3-5 more matches before the cup actually starts. I'm guessing that once the World Cup draw happens, they will try to schedule some games against their fellow group members. I'm also guessing that they will try to play as many matches as possible in Europe.

The January games will mainly involve domestic-based players, as European clubs are not required to release their players on these dates. This should give the MLS hopefuls a few more chances to impress the Bruce.

No offense to Canada, but this game should end up going the US's way, allowing them to increase their confidence. It is always good to start a run at home, but the big test will come in March when they start playing overseas. The US still has problems on the road and for whatever reasons these reasons only seem to grow when they are on European soil. If they are going to challenge in Germany, they will need to enter the cup with some recent wins on the continent. If they cannot get the results in some friendlys, they will have a huge mental block to overcome and that is something no team wants to deal with.


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