Tuesday, February 28, 2006

US men back together and ready for Poland

For the first time since beating Mexico (and the last time till May) the domestic and European based players are back together in training camp. With the arrival yesterday of Carlos Bocanegra, Brian McBride, DaMarcus Beasley and Oguchi Onyewu, Bruce Arena's camp is full.

The team had their final training session this afternoon before heading to a pep rally in a gym at Ramstein Air Base. The team is staying at the base till Thursday.

This base, and the 50,000 Americans the live in the local community, might just allow the US to have a 'home game' in the middle of Germany as they take on Poland tomorrow night.

For the match the US need to come out and use their speed. The condition of the filed (light grass and a little frozen) might hinder this effort.

For Poland, they will need to use their size to try and push the US around. This will very much be the same tactic the Czech Republic will use when the teams clash on June 12th.

The big thing the US needs to do is limit the amount of free kicks they surrender anywhere near the box. I know, it's always a good idea to limit such things, but with a team as big and aggressive as Poland, you don't want to be fighting inside the box if you can help it.

When the US has the ball, Poland will probably try and over compensate for our speed by slipping into more of a five-man midfield on defense. The best way to defeat this is to catch the team off guard. They are not as fast as us, so whenever a ball is won in midfield, players like Brian McBride, Taylor Twellman, DaMarcus Beasley and Landon Donovan need to move fast to get behind them. Quick one-two passing should be used and for the love of all things grand, take the shot.

The more Poland gets beat, the deeper they'll stay back. This will slow any offensive attack they might have and allow the US more room to win balls at midfield.

On defense, Onyewu and the rest of the backline need to show them that they will not be pushed around. Poland is good at banging their way into situations and making things happen. If their pushy ways are not equaled, they will just storm the goal.

This is a good match up for the US. It will be interesting to see Bruce's starting lineup. Since this might be the last time the European players get a chance to play with the squad till May, Bruce will probably give them as much time as possible.

Anyway, here is the roster for the US:

Goalkeepers (2) – Tim Howard (Manchester United), Kasey Keller (Borussia Moenchengladbach)

Defenders (6) –Gregg Berhalter (Energie Cottbus), Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Eddie Lewis (Leeds United), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Jonathan Spector (Charlton Athletic)

Midfielders (7) –DaMarcus Beasley (PSV Eindhoven), Bobby Convey (Reading FC), Clint Dempsey (New England Revolution), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Chris Klein (Real Salt Lake), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), Kerry Zavagnin (Kansas City Wizards)

Forwards (4) – Eddie Johnson (Kansas City Wizards), Brian McBride (Fulham FC), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution), Josh Wolff (Kansas City Wizards)

Here is the roster for Poland:

Goalkeepers: Jerzy Dudek (Liverpool FC), Artur Boruc (Celtic FC), Wojciech Kowalewski (Spartak Moscow), Tomasz Kuszczak (West Bromwich Albion)

Defenders: Marcin Adamski, Marcin Baszczynski (Wisla Krakow), Jacek Bak (Al Rayyan), Bartosz Bosacki, Mariusz Jop (FC Moscow), Tomasz Klos (Wisla Krakow), Marcin Kus, Tomasz Rzasa (ADO Den Haag), Michal Zewlakow (Anderlecht Brussels)

Midfielders: Piotr Giza, Damian Gorawski, Kamil Kosowski (Southampton), Jacek Krzynowek (Bayern Leverkusen), Mariusz Lewandowski (Shakhtar Donetsk), Sebastian Mila (Austria Vienna), Arkadiusz Radomski, Euzebiusz Smolarek (Borussia Dortmund)), Radoslaw Sobolewski (Wisla Krakow), Miroslaw Szymkowiak (Trabzonspor), Maciej Scherfchen, Marcin Zajac.

Forwards: Tomasz Frankowski (Elche CF), Andrzej Niedzielan (NEC Nijemegen), Grzegorz Rasiak (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Lukasz Sosin, Maciej Zurawski (Celtic FC)

US vs Poland
Wednesday - 2pm EST


Anonymous J. Michael said...

Hey, Mike. You sound like one who knows the game.

Excellent analysis.

7:42 PM  

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