Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A US Soccer Primer

Paul Gardner has a good basic primer for non-hardcore US soccer fans. If there is someone in your life who doesn't hate the game, but also doesn't really understand it, this is a good article to send their way. It gives a quick run through of US soccer over the last 16 years (with some mention of the dozen or so years before 1990) and sums up where the current US squad stands.

If you follow the sport, you will not get much out of this piece, but feel free to spread it around anyway. I'm sure you could tell your friends or family members this same information, but it might just carry some more weight if they see it 'printed' in a newspaper.

I also must say that I agree with two of his biggest guesses for final starting players in Germany. First, he points to Eddie Johnson being the mostly likely person to be teamed with Bride McBride up front. If Eddie is healthy and in shape, I think the spot is his. For me, Taylor Twellman is second in line even with his lack of international scoring. He does create opportunities for others; he just has to learn to act a little quicker when it comes time to shoot. As far as Josh Wolff or Brian Ching, good players, but I think it would take an injury to Johnson and a continual lack of scoring throughout the friendlies by Twellman for either of them to get in the starting lineup.

His other big 'guess' is that Freddy Adu will not be in the starting lineup. Okay, that's not that big of a guess, but he goes one step further in saying that Adu will probably not be one of the 23 making the trip to the cup. I have thought this all along. Unless Adu really, really, really fires up the field during every friendly in which he plays, I think he is a 2010 guy (and I say this as some one who does not think he is completely overrated).


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