Can we examine the positives please?

Discussion in 'USA Men' started by caputobd, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. caputobd

    caputobd New Member

    Aug 10, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Obviously this is a difficult grouping for the US to advance from, and we all know about Italy, how good the Czechs are right now, and that Ghana are African champions. What I want to hear are the positives...let's analyze what gives us a chance to beat these teams and potentially win this group. For all the trollers, I'm not saying that we will or will not win it, but let's be honest about one thing. The top European teams were hoping to avoid us just as much as we were hoping to avoid them. You think Italy and the Czechs wouldn't have rather played Saudi Arabia, Japan or Trinidad & Tobago?

    So let's do it...those who have followed these teams closer than the rest of us, tell us the weaknesses!

    This team is getting old friends. They played strong, attractive soccer in Euro 2004, but let's not forget that this team will be two full years older, and they were old then. Nedved is great, but he came out of retirement to help these guys qualify against Norway....what will he bring in 06? Koller, their top goal scorer in qualifying, is hurt with a serious knee injury last I heard. If he is back in time to play, what makes you think he'll be back in top form?

    Last I checked, they haven't performed THAT well in recent years at the World Cup and that's why they only beat us out for the final seed by a 44-43 margin.

    In 2002 they lost to Croatia 2-1 and tied Mexico, finishing 2nd in that group. Then they got dumped by South Korea in the round of 16. They scored 5 and gave up 5 in four games and finished with a 1-2-1 record. Not impressive. In 1998 they were better, not losing a match until France took them down on penalties. But they didn't play too tough of competition either; Chile, Austria, Cameroon and Norway. Finally, in 1994, they lost in the finals on penalties, but if the tournament were set up the way it is today, they wouldn't have gotten past the group stage! They finished 3rd, 1-1-1.

    The Italians have always defended well, but they've often given away valuable points in the group stage. There is no reason to think we won't have a chance to steal a point from them (or three.)

    I honestly know nothing about this team other than that are considered the Brazil of Africa. Somehow it's their first appearance here, so maybe we'll have a tactical advantage over them. I've read they are fast and physical, and obviously Essien can play, but does anyone know anything about these guys that is more concrete?
  2. Gints86

    Gints86 Thanks Mchead

    Nov 15, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    We certainly have a shot. I agree with your Czech and Italy statements but experience can go a long way. Italy is still very talented and if we go back three world cups we didnt have a great track record either. Last WC was great however to be realistic, Poland killed us and we snuck past that group stage thanks to S.Korea. Not to take anything away from our team but we were outplayed in just about every game except the Germany match. We had great moments like the first half hour against Portugal and of course beating our arch rivals (Mexico). This time around hopefullly we can learn to play well for a full 90 minutes. If you watched Scotland you noticed that we played fantastic for the first 20 minutes or so and then gave the game back for the rest of the first half. I really have yet to see this team dominate anyone for a full 90 minutes. I do however think this team will be great come WC 06'. Arena will have this team ready to play and to be fair, our first team is not together that often, which might have to do with not being consistent over a full 90 minutes. I do however think both Italy and the Czechs are beatable. Ghana may be a surprize but will it matter at that point? Hopefully we can have the group locked up before then. :D

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