June 15, 2006

Best Line-up vs Italy

After seeing a miserable result vs. the Czech republic, here is my proposed line-up for the Italy game:

GK - Keller

D - (left to right) Bocanegra*, Pope, Gooch, Cherundolo

MF - (left to right) Beasley, Reyna, Mastroeni (D-mid), Donovan, O'Brien*

F - Eddie Johnson*, McBride

*= not in line-up vs. Czech Rep.

- These are my predicted substitutes:

> (45') Ching for McBride
> (60') Convey for Beasley
> (68') Dempsey for O'Brien

Fears for Italy game:
- The USA play a great first half full of chances that barely go wanting, only to see the Azzuri (Italians) go up on a Midfield giveaway as stoppage time approaches.

- The USA get an early goal, but give one up in the waning minutes to manage a meager point from the match.

- (Worst of all) Reyna, Donovan, and Beasley again prove ineffective, leaving the USA with question marks as to their own ability and cohesiveness. I hope Arena will put the players in the positions where they shine most. Sometimes a coach can tweak a team so much, he actually puts a new team out on the pitch.

Decisive Factors:
- Foul tactically! - If you watched the Czech game, you would have noticed (maybe) that they disrupted the flow of the play consistently when the US gained possession.

- Chances will be more plentiful, put them away!

- The Italians can be defeated by early goals. Put them away as well!

Only time will tell!

Prediction: USA 1, Italy 1

- Fear #2 comes to fruition. The USA sees an early goal, only to have the Italians steal a point at the end with a late goal. (Maybe I will be wrong)