Saturday, June 5, 2010
Final Exam: US vs Australia
It's for real from here on out. But the US Men's National Team got the win they had been looking for. A game at a neutral location and against a worthy foe--Australia. The Socceroos had previously defeated Denmark so they weren't going to be push-overs today. Then again, China beat France and Mexico defeated Italy, the two finalists in 2006. A sign of things to come?
Today was a lineup that could potentially start if there are one or two unforeseen injuries. Altidore, for example, had a mild ankle sprain and did not take part in the game. Buddle took his place alongside Findley. The two forwards performed admirably. Findley missed a couple of clear chances but he was dangerous with the ball. Buddle made the most of every opportunity and scored a brace. His second goal was a textbook header. Gomez, true to his nature, stepped in late in the second half and scored the last tally.
In the midfield, Dempsey and Donovan were coherent and quick in the attack. Donovan was a bit less prevalent today but Dempsey made up for him. Donovan also did provide the assist for Gomez's final strike late in the game. Bradley performed well in his usual back-and-forth, attack-and-defend. Clark was largely quiet, but that's a good sign. He wasn't subbed today so it makes you wonder who will actually start versus England... will it be Torres or Edu or Clark?
The back line was also quite efficient except for the goal, which was a strange strike that went between everyone's legs. By efficient I mean the last ball was taken care of. DeMerrit and Goodson did scare us a bit, however, losing a few battles in the air. Thankfully, they didn't amount to much. Hahnemann got caught in no-man's land on at least three occasions. He didn't get scored on, however, so the number 2 may still be his.
Next is England. The mother country versus the former colony. It's World Cup time, everyone.