Friday, February 17, 2006

US v Guatemala preview

Sunday sees the final World Cup warm-up match of the "six-week odyssey" for the US men. This match will be very different from the last two as all members of the New England Revolution and the LA Galaxy will not be there. So no Twellman, Donovan, Dempsey, Dunivant, etc.

This means the team taking the pitch will look even less like the one in Germany, but it also means some other players will get a chance to shine.

Let's take a look at the roster:

GOALKEEPERS (2): Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Zach Wells (Houston 1836)

DEFENDERS (5): Bobby Boswell (D.C. United), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew), Heath Pearce (FC Nordsjælland), Eddie Pope (Real Salt Lake)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Brian Carroll (D.C. United), Chris Klein (Real Salt Lake), Kyle Martino (Columbus Crew), Ben Olsen (D.C. United), Santino Quaranta (D.C. United), Kerry Zavagnin (Kansas City Wizards)

FORWARDS (4): Brian Ching (Houston 1836), Eddie Johnson (Kansas City Wizards), Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire), Josh Wolff (Kansas City Wizards)

Of all these people, I think the one who has the most to prove is Brain Ching. He is not yet back to where he was before injury and with Twellman being so hot, he is falling. If he does not have a good match on Sunday, the chances of him making it to Germany will be very bad.

The midfield will be interesting to watch as just about any of them could impress enough to work in with the Bruce's plans. I think Santino Quaranta and Ben Olsen have the most to gain from this match. Quaranta has the edge, no doubt, but I could see Olsen being a bit of a surprise pick by Arena.

Along the backline, Pope, failing injury, will be in Germany. He has looked outstanding these last couple weeks. Hejduk and Conrad are both "on the bubble." Hejduk is much closer to making the team then Conrad, but both need to step it up on Sunday. As far as the others, they have no real chance of making the team, but it will be wonderful to watch Bobby Boswell finally get his first national cap.

In goal, well neither is going to the Cup, so the pressure to 'look great' will not be there. Still, I think Arena will give Brad Guzan the gloves.

One very interesting thing on Sunday will be the effect of the weather on the match. A cold front is storming through Texas this weekend, thus the temperature at kickoff will only be a little above freezing. I would guess this would give the US players an advantage over Guatemala, but who knows.

By the way, there are 17 men on the roster and Bruce is aloud up to 6 subs, so every one of them might get a chance on the field.

By the way, here is Guatemala's Roster:

GOALKEEPERS (2): Ricardo Jerez, Richard Trigueno

DEFENDERS(6): Marlon Aguirre, Eddy Cabrera, Alvaro Jimenez, Pablo Melgar, Henry Medina, Luis Swisher

MIDFIELDERS (9): Marvin Avila, Carlos Figueroa, Julio Giron, Patrick Howell, Martin Machon, Leonel Noriega, Guillermo Ramirez, Mario Rodriguez, Gonzalo Romero

FORWARDS (4): Mario Acevedo, Juan Carlos Plata, Carlos Ruiz, Hernan Sandoval

US vs Guatemala
Sunday - 2pm EST
Live from Frisco, Texas


Blogger D said...

Yeah, I'm pretty sure the reason I installed Tivo to go last week was just so I can screencap the moment that Bobby gets his first USMNT appearence. I am such a homer.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H said...

Homers are needed, homers are great. DCU's not even my home team (I don't have one), but I'm excited about his first cap.

3:11 PM  

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