Warm Up Games for Brazil 2014

Discussion in 'USA Men' started by Rooney20, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. Rooney20

    Rooney20 Member

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    Probably a little early for this but, any speculation as to whom we might face in preparation of this summers World Cup?

    I would hope we would play an athletic and pacey side and maybe one of the heavy hitters like Argentina, Italy, Brazil, Holland...etc


  2. Wessoman

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    I don't know--But we need to schedule big time Euro teams and Sub saharan African teams.

    If I had a three game send off, I would play:

    Cameroon - Good analog to Ghana and may stop in North America before heading down south
    Sweden - Portugal's final foe.
    Italy - Suprisingly, I feel are great preparation for Germany.

    To me, Cameroon makes the most sense--They open up play against Mexico and would want to play a big time CONCACAF side. It would be mutually beneficial to both nations to host a friendly.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
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  3. HomietheClown

    HomietheClown BigSoccer Yellow Card

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    Cameroon makes sense because they have Mexico in their Group so they will want to play a CONCACAF team.
    Nigeria would be a good alternative from our perspective if Cameroon does not happen.
    Italy since they play Costa Rica but they may play Honduras due to the central american style.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
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  4. USOutlaw16

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    That rumored England-USA friendly is rumored to be in the works now that we weren't drawn against each other, most likely to be played in Miami (since both teams are playing in Manaus at the World Cup, Miami might be the closest thing we have climate-wise for a tuneup)

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2013/dec/07/england-world-cup-brazil

    Who's up for AO singing "It's Not Easy Being Green"? :D
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  5. HomietheClown

    HomietheClown BigSoccer Yellow Card

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    It will be interesting to see what the support will be like. There are many England euro snob posers in the Florida area but the stadium fits 70K.
    I imagine half that amount would be at the match. Miami area USA supporters don't seem to exist in droves.
  6. Excellency

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    Could make good sense. England needs a tropical locale, we need to test our defence and England will have a good multidimensional offence if nothing else.
  7. Excellency

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    There are citizens of USA in Miami?
  8. HomietheClown

    HomietheClown BigSoccer Yellow Card

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    ha

    When the women's team played in Boca Raton there seemed to be Americans there. :p

    Seriously, I was born in the Miami area so I know there are some of us still around Miami. :D
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
  9. Excellency

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    Homestead Air Force base, Homie:)
  10. Android Cat

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  11. Rooney20

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    Now that would be something, but I hope it wouldn't be the send off game though.
  12. FLRef

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    Yeah, and being in one corner of the country doesn't help, either. Though I could see people from elsewhere in Florida making the trip--not like we get a ton of games here.
  13. FW__

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    I grew up in Miami, so add another one here
  14. PremierUSA

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  15. jcsd

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    England will be in Florida just before the World Cup training, so I think a friendly with the USA is fairly likely.
  16. Wessoman

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    I agree with all counts. Cameroon would want to play us, and I used the same rationalization for Italy.

    Considering that this looks likely to happen, a World Cup send off of Cameroon, Italy, and England would probably be the best preparation for this group that we can schedule.

    I would say--
    vs. Italy in NYC
    vs. Cameroon in Nashville
    vs. England in Tampa

    I prefer playing Italy first, since likely the Italy game will be the last game before the final roster is chosen. The players who perform well against Italy get the final ticket, and it's a high bar to play for. After all, in 2010 we finalized our roster after the first tuneup game, although we take all 30 players (The 23 players and 7 alternates) to camp here. That way if anybody injures themselves in any tuneup game (Chris Armas 2002), an alternate player can be called up seamlessly since all 30 players will be in camp together (But I hope that does not happen, of course).
  17. raza_rebel

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    An African team that simulates Ghana is a given. My guess is Cameroon or Cote d'Ivoire. As stated before, it makes sense to play in Miami to simulate the climate of Manaus. We could tack on another game with England since they are around Florida. Maybe Orlando, Tampa or Jacksonville.

    Who is a good warmup for Germany that we could play in a Houston or Dallas? The Swiss? Italy. I would say Belgium but we already played them twice in a year. Plus if we advance it would be as G(2) and we would play the winners of H(1). Belgium is in Group H, so a toss up with Switzerland/Italy. My thought is to play with Sweden in the US or Spain in a close-door session in Brasil.
  18. Wessoman

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    I take issue with those who want to play Cote D'Ivoire. For one, the Ivory Coast and Ghana are radically different teams. Ghana plays with a spectacular midfield (Essien, Boateng, Muntari and Asamoah are household names who on paper are arguably superior to our midfield), with a weak backline and a group of inexperienced forwards led by a star well past his prime (Gyan). The Ivory coast actually has a weak midfield (a one-man show led by Yaya Toure) with a solid backline and probably the best forward corps in Africa (Drogba, Gervinho and Kalou). Sure it's a sub-saharan side but the makeup is considerably different for both teams. It would be like playing Australia to prepare for a match against Japan--Both are Asian sides but are too stylistically different to be a real effective tuneup.

    Cameroon, for me, is the best analogue for Ghana. Cameroon don't have Ghana's midfield, but I feel it is stronger than the Ivory Coast's (Alex Song and N'Guemo feature), but also have a better backline than Ghana and share the Black Stars's situation up top--With an aging star (Eto'o) leading an inexperienced corps. Another good test would be Nigeria. Nigeria don't have Ghana's mid, but a talented one (Obi Mikel and Onanzi), a weak backline and solid forwards.

    To conclude, I feel that either Cameroon and Nigeria would be better choices than the Ivory coast. In fact, I would like for the US to play both Cameroon and Nigeria next year. I would prefer to play Nigeria on a FIFA date (Perhaps in England?) and play Cameroon during our send off series. I wouldn't scoff at an Ivory Coast friendly, but it wouldn't be completely ideal to me.
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  19. zahzah

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    I don't exactly know how a 28-year old is 'well past his prime'. He may be unambitious chosing a big paycheck over top quality football, but he isn't past his prime... I know he seems to be around forever (given its his 3rd cup), but he's still only 28. And Ghana doesn't exactly have a weak backline (unless you're using the makeshift defence vs Egypt as a reference) - its a solid backline.

    I do agree about your assessment that playing Cameroon would be a much better idea (or even Nigeria) than Cote d'Ivoire, which is a totally different outfit. Also - you probably underrate the Cameroon midfield - they also have Matip, Makoun and several other players. What they lack is the creativity of the Ghanaian midfield.
  20. Cleats Up

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  21. Wessoman

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    Well, for one, I rate Ghana to have a weak backline. Of course, I have said that the US has a weak to average backline. I think our central defense is strong but we need stability in our outside backs. Overall, I think the US edges out Ghana in defense, but I feel that Ghana can certainly score on us, and vice versa. Sorry--I meant no real insult to the Black Stars by saying "Weak", because honestly, if the US doesn't solidfy our backline, we are in the same boat.

    And I have seen 28-year old players play "Past their prime", and Gyan really did himself a disservice playing for money over quality here. Against Egypt, Gyan looked dangerous only because the Egyptian backline and midfield were simply nonexistent. I think you overrate Gyan here. But that's just me. Gyans only real asset is his tremendous international experience.

    And yeah, I did underrate the Cameroon midfield. But I am glad that you agree with the crux of my argument, that the Ivory Coast would be a wasted friendly--Cameroon and Nigeria would be far better choices for warmup games.
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  22. Android Cat

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    I think that has been the analysis of Ghana's backline for the past two World Cups. But alas, we couldn't exploit it. LoL on Gyan being past his prime - if he scores on us again you won't hear the end of it from me.....

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Assuming we don't play England, I would also say:

    Uruguay
    Netherlands
    Chile
  23. zahzah

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    Ghana conceeded 4 goals in 5 games in 2010, whilst playing Germany, Uruguay and others. No one had more than 14 shots on goal (and more than 7 on target) apart from the USA, but they needed 120 minutes to achive that (20 SOG). USA was also the only team that had more shots on goal than Ghana.

    Seems like no one could really exploit it. Maybe the backline was weak, but the greater defensive unit wasn't.
  24. Wessoman

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    This is correct--Namely, remember that Ghana in 2010 played with a 4/5 combo backline--A midfielder was frequently dropped back to play defense, effectively forming a 5 man backline (Heck, even ESPN called it a 5-4-1). With speedy wingback play to shore up the midfield, Ghana's defense lies in their beautiful midfield--Stifling goalscoring opportunities and clogging up passing lanes. That said, on breaks, Ghana tends to be weak. Their conceded goal to the US was on a break, so in the rare situations where Ghana is going to be caught 1v1, I reassert that Ghana has a weak backline. That said, Zahzah is quite correct, the defensive unit, as a whole, is quite good. But this is a testament to their brilliance in midfield over their stalwart backline.

    As for Gyan--In the qualifying period, 2012-13, he's scored 9 goals. He had a good qualification run, but really had a terrible CAN. It should be noted that during the same period, Dempsey had 12 goals, Donovan had 11, and Altidore had 8. So yeah, Gyan is dangerous as Ghana's most consistent scorer, but overall, he's no Dzeko. By that measure, when people say Dempsey and Donovan are past their prime (And they are), one can safely assume Gyan has too (Especially in light of his poor CAN).
  25. zahzah

    zahzah Member+

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    Actually he's scored 9 goals in 10 games in 2013 alone. In 2012 he was overweight and pretty poor, but since this summer he has been playing his best football yet. Dempsey had 6 (in 10), Altidore had 8 (in 12), Donovan 8 (in 11). If you at Gyan since he teamed up with Waris and lost the excess weight he's scored 7 goals in 6 games.

    Dzeko? Honestly? That overrated player? Gyan is way more complete.

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