Pros/Cons of Teams in Group E

Discussion in 'FIFA and Tournaments' started by ejo1956, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. ejo1956

    ejo1956 Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    New York
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    what do you think are the pros and cons of your national team (Italy, Czech Republic, Ghana and USA) in group E?
  2. Gazza Meola

    Gazza Meola New Member

    Jun 5, 2002
    Redmond, Oregon
    For the USA, I think the team is in an interesting position, and one in which it has not previously taken.

    In previous World Cups, the USA has focused on how to stop their opponents. I would venture to guess that none of the USA opponents focused on how to defend them. Germany 2006 should be different. The USA has four proven attackers capable of causing problems for opponents - McBride, Beasley, Donovan, and Johnson. While Johnson has limited USMNT experience by comparison, his size, speed, strength, and goal scoring prowess make him a force. The athleticism of this group will pose problems for opponents.
  3. CMeszt

    CMeszt Member+

    Fire Crown 4 Life (or until they change it again)
    Jan 9, 2004
    Soldier Field Media Deck. First Row.
    Philadelphia Union

    pros- midfield speed, keeper on top form

    cons- lack of depth combined with injuries makes for serious vulnerability in some positions, especially defensive midfield and for a strike partner to mcbride.
  4. squadra_azzurri

    squadra_azzurri Member+

    Aug 10, 2004
    SS Lazio Roma
    Nat'l Team:

    pros-- world class players in every position

    cons-- taking light teams to lightly
  5. King-James

    King-James New Member

    May 27, 2005
    I'm USA rather than Italy, but maybe this should be mentioned...

    A con for Italy - possibility of mentally and/or physically fatigued from such a long club schedule. Many of these players play in UEFA competition.

    Similar for Czech Rep., to a lesser extent, having many players on the long European schedule.

    A pro for Ghana and USA, having more players that have had a lighter pre-WC schedule?

    I don't know how much of a factor that could be though. It would be cool if anyone that has watched this thing throughout the years past would have any input as to how much of a factor it could be.

    It seemed to help Greece in Euro 2004. Of course they played in Europe, but some of their players maybe we're on the bench far more often than the players they faced. And the fatigue was often said to be a factor in the poor European nation performances in WC2002.

    This WC I think is starting later though, giving an extra week or two to rest and prepare?
  6. mfw13

    mfw13 Member

    Jul 19, 2003
    Newcastle United FC

    Pro - Bruce Arena, team speed, team fitness

    Con - Lack of true skill players, inexperienced defenders


    Pro - best overall talent in group

    Con - don't give 100 percent for all 90 minutes, inexperienced strikers (at the international level) who may not be able to deal with the pressure from the media, inability to beat good teams in last three WC Group stages (wins only against Norway, Chile, Cameroon, Ecuador)


    Pro - overall talent level

    Con - overreliant offensively on Nedved (could pull a France if he gets injured like Zidane did in 2002)


    Pro - athleticism and speed

    Con - lack of matches against non-African competition and teams as good as Italy, the Czech, and the USA...level of competition in this group will be a step up from what they are used to
  7. ursula

    ursula Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Republic of Cascadia
    Good question but hard to answer because there are other variables present. Specifically for the US the lack of talent pre-02 prevents us to say if the team benefited much from being more rested: they sucked too much to have anything else make a difference. I definitely felt the more rest, plus the fact that MLS players are just fully hitting their stride (peaking)when the WC happens helped them against Portugal in Korea. Portugal was also a little nicked up for that game (especially Figo) so the negative of too many club games for Portugal's players also was a factor.

    But it was just one of many factors then. Perhaps Portugal underestimated the USA in a way that italy and the Czechs won't? At any rate in 02 Poland was able to beat the US...
  8. King-James

    King-James New Member

    May 27, 2005
    But I wonder how many matches their starters against the USA played that season, compared to Portugal's starters.

    Like I said, Greece is obviously a UEFA team but they had that advantage in Euro 2004.
  9. Fosu Gharban

    Fosu Gharban New Member

    Apr 27, 2004
    Sorry but the whole Greece thing at Euro 2004 annoyed me. It was just an excuse made up by the bigger coutries to explain relative failure. Remember major countries refuse to pick players who are not regulars at club level due to perceived lack of sharpness.

    It is very interesting that when a player short of match fitness is Greek it suddenly becomes an advantage?!?! Total nonsense. Some of those Greek players had played as few as 7 games that season.... Any player from say England who had played that few games would be dropped due to lack of match practice!!!!!!!!!!! It was a very poorly thought out excuse nothing more. Greece were the best team in that tournie and some of the other sides are just cry babies really.
  10. DickieRay

    DickieRay New Member

    Dec 6, 2005
    USA pros: speed on wing, seasoned team and goalie

    USA cons: shallow bench, tackling in midfield. Holes filled by MLS players. History of losing 3rd WC match. Slight con: range of goalie.

    Italy pros: deep bench, free kicks, no holes. I think the world of Gattuso.

    Italy cons: team chemistry, history of slow WC starts.

    Czech pros: potent attack, goalie.

    Czech cons: lack of WC experience, holes in defense & midfield.

    Ghana pros: team chemistry

    Ghana cons: Holes filled by young African league players, lack of experience.

    WC expierence is often underestimated IMO. There are plenty of examples where this has been overcome, but many more of where it's been a factor.
  11. squadra_azzurri

    squadra_azzurri Member+

    Aug 10, 2004
    SS Lazio Roma
    Nat'l Team:
    very very good analysis.
  12. Javi10

    Javi10 New Member

    Nov 11, 2004
    I think Ghana is being a bit underrated, they have done extremely well in youth championships and have not only speed but much techique, they did well in the Olympics and will probably pose a problem to the other teams in the group. I think that the US is the weakest link as Italy will easily beat them on counterattacks, Luca Toni, Vieri, Camoranesi, Pirlo, and Totti are no match for Pope,Convey, Cherundolo, Hejduk,Maestroni, Sanneh and Vanney. Italy is also very strategic and tactical and will outplay the US. The Czech Republic is full of players who can outplay the poor defensive aspects of the US, also, they use wing play and are very dynamic, Poborsky, Nedved, Jankulovski, Koller, Rosicky, Galasek, and Baros will put way too much pressure on the US, I think they will barely touch the fourth quarter of the field. Ghana could easily beat the US as their technique level and endurance is much better. Also, I see the US extremely confident about Ghana who will most likely surprise them. I dont know if any of u get the same channel as I, but I got to see most of their qualifying matches and they are truly impressive, watch out for Muntari, Osei, Sarpei,and Appiah.
  13. Sinter

    Sinter New Member

    Oct 12, 2003
    New York City, U.S.A
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    No way Ghana is overrated. Ghana and the Ivory Coast have been two of the most overhyped African nations in years. The African teams that do the best are usually the ones that go under the radar, and don't wind up in a group of death...
  14. Javi10

    Javi10 New Member

    Nov 11, 2004
    No, I disagree. I feel that Ghana is not overrated, but underrated as the US is worrying too much about Italy and the Czech Republic.
  15. usasoccerhooligan

    May 1, 2005
    well i think we can all be thankful that they won't be playing in Germany...
  16. (De La)Redstriker06

    May 3, 2003
    Montreal Impact
    Nat'l Team:
    I agree with the analysis more or less... I want to say this though... I would be shocked if any team in the group finished with all 9 points. Moreover, I would be even more shocked if a team did not manage to get a single point (as many have predicted for ghana). The way I see it, its very possible that all 4 teams could be competing for 2 berths going into the final round of matches... which would make things very exciting.
  17. Nutty

    Nutty New Member

    Aug 26, 2002
    Well, I don't agree with this as I think the Italian offense is more than a match for the US players you listed :) ... but knowing that's what you meant ... I must point out that its seems you don't know much about the US probable lineup. Only one of the players you mentioned is likely to start back 4, Cherundolo. And the only other probable starter there is Maestroni. (Hey-dude may start, but I'd give him about 25% likelyhood) Half the players you mentioned won't even make the trip.
  18. special_k

    special_k Red Card

    Aug 5, 2004
    Brunswick/Cle, OH

    Haha, ya I love it when people make bold statements like this when they nothing of the teams involved. Nice move...
  19. USA_McBride20

    USA_McBride20 New Member

    Feb 23, 2006
    USA- Heart and Pride, Play hard until the last second, work well together.

    The US may not be the most skilled team in the group, but they play hard and compliment each other. Most people count them out before the WC even starts and as a result they like they have nothing to lose.
  20. fanofkeepers

    fanofkeepers New Member

    Feb 7, 2003
    Rockville MD
    US is very well coached,very athletic and fast(especially on D)
    they do have durability and depth concerns,also overall leadership problems(if reyna is not fit to play) as donovan needs to shut up and lead by example sometimes( he whines way to much)
  21. Mdtsuba

    Mdtsuba New Member

    Jan 20, 2006
    Does anyone remember at WC '90 when Italy played against the U.S. and only won 1-0 off a nice goal by Gianini I believe and assisted by Baggio? That was a great Italia (Azzuri) team against a much weaker U.S. team (compared to our current team) and that game was in Rome! Italy's traditional slow starts and inability to find the net despite amazing talent will hurt them. I predict the U.S will tie Italy, lose to the Czechs, and beat Ghana. Also, didn't Ghana just lose one of their defenders to red card suspension? I was surprised it would carry over to the WC but that's what Sky Sports said!?
  22. t.z0n3

    t.z0n3 New Member

    Oct 14, 2005
    Kansas, USA
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    Dearie me, you seem to have gotten some things mixed up...

    First off, Italy isn't going to counterattack the US. The US counterattacks THEM. It's one of our best attributes: speed. It's one of Italy's WORST. I don't mean SPEED based on a PLAYER, BTW. I mean speed based on their attacks. They take time to set them up, we don't. We run like bats out of hell down the field before your forward gets halfway back to midfield. It's how we score.

    Second off, DUH, Sanneh, Hejduk, and others aren't playing. Pope might have a chance now (Cmon, give him a 30% chance for the 2 goals in a few weeks people) but I don't think so. Cherundolo is a shoo in, and what's so easy about him?

    As for the Czech's, we probably don't have much for them in the defense department. However, they rely on ONE man. We can shut ONE MAN down, and thus destroy the team as a whole.

    And Ghana? WTH! Ghana won't know what hit em. From ANY team, I don't think. Maybe in the third match, they'll tie, after they get some experience, but no way are they BEATING us.

    Let's see, did I miss anything...?

    Ah yes, tactical and strategic Italy. Sure they are! GREAT! But do they know how to play together? HECK NO. They're just an all-star team slammed together. It's like... mixing mashed potatoes in with your beef stew. It just doesn't work.

    OH, and I LOVE the 'fact' that we won't touch the upper quarter of the field against the Czech's. WE COUNTERATTACK. They'll have most of the possesion, but we may well tie them on a couple of good counter attacks. It doesn't matter who keeps the ball, it matters who's ahead after 90 minutes, and if they held the ball the entire match, had 90 shots on goal, and still have no goals after the match, and we have 1, then we still win.

    And Ghana in the olympics? Good for them! Heck, IRAQ did good in the Olympics! I wonder how they'll do in the WC?:rolleyes:

    And Ghana vs. Congo-something-or-other does not equal Ghana vs. US/Italy/Czech.

    I think you need to re-think your argument son, until a mere 15 year old like myself cannot send it back in your face. Thank you for your time.:D

    On a less serious note, HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS?!:D
  23. flem16

    flem16 Rainmaker

    Jan 9, 2005
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    USA pros: World Cup experience; Cohesiveness; Counterattack; Keeper

    USA cons: Don't play very well on European soil; Defensive holes; Less talent than ITA & CZE

    Italy pros: High skill level; World Cup Experience; Home crowd; Set plays; Excellent back line; Keeper

    Italy cons: A bunch of individuals; Age; Tendency to play down to level of competition

    Czech pros: High skill level; Strong Attack; Keeper;

    Czech cons: No WC experience; Age; Injuries;

    Ghana pros: Youth; Have nothing to lose so they can play loose; Speed; Excellent young playmaker

    Ghana cons: No WC experience; Large holes throughout lineup; Lack of strong international competition results
  24. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    USA pros: speed, dangerous counter attack, WC experienced(going on 5 straight WCs), determined, cautious, level-headed, team chemistry, underrated, good recent results, good goalkeeper
    USA cons: depth, injuries to many good players, expactations to finish in the quarters or higher

    Czech pros: good attack, good players, the WC is in Germany
    Czech cons: too confident, old aging players, young GK, injury to main man Koller, overrated, not WC experienced, too reliant on Nedved

    Italy pros: good players, good tactics, WC experienced, great Goalkeeper, the WC is in Germany,
    Italy cons: team chemistry and arrogance. injury to main man Totti.

    Ghana pros: no pressure, athleticism
    Ghana cons: WC experience, depth
  25. jhawkinva

    jhawkinva New Member

    May 27, 2003
    Northern VA
    That sounds like the Portugese pre-'02. Ghana has a good shot to win that game.

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