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Discussion Starter #1
From The Oklahoma Soccer News Service (Opinion Section)

After doing a disappearing act in his previous five World Cup matches, Claudio Reyna, aka "Captain America," has a golden opportunity against Mexico to both silence his critics and help Team US advance to the quarter-finals. Despite constant harping on some internet boards by unknowledgable American soccer fans, Reyna is acknowledged abroad as America's best player.

Renowned for his terrific knowledge of the game, his wonderful playmaking ability and intelligence, Reyna as of yet has had little positive effect on the success of the U.S. Team. In fact, in games in which he has started, the US has yet to win, and have scored only three goals. Coach Bruce Arena and other experts dismiss with derision the so-called "fans" who dare question Reyna's gifts to the team.

Nontheless, these so-called fans, have taken a firm stance, not an unreasonable one under the circumstances. They just say: "SHOW ME!" Knowing full well that the dye is cast and that Coach Arena has chosen, for whatever reason, to guarantee Reyna a captain's starting role in the very center of the field, these "fans" (including certain OLD ones) are hoping against hope that they are proven wrong against Mexico. They are rooting for Mr. Reyna to have a BIG game, make some crucial and telling physical tackles, disposses the opposing players more than a couple of times a half, and actually make some passes to his teammates in position to score. At the very least, they are hoping that Reyna doesn't disappear one last time taking the US Team down with him. If he has a decent game and doesn't totally suck, the new young bloods on the team, with the sage help of a few veterans, might just pull out the win.

Oldplayer
 

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The last paragraph was right on the nose! Reyna had a decent game, with a wonderful assist to open the scoring and a decent defensive effort, the others helped pulled off an incredible upset and put us in the quarters!

As most of us here were hoping for, get Mexico in the knockout round and we would have the best chance to advance! :happy:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
From the Okie Soccer News (Opinion Section)

Reyna, with help from coach Bruce Arena, silences critics.

Tonight, with one instant of brilliant soccer, oft maligned veteran Claudio Reyna went a ways toward silencing his critics. Playing a ball with individual skill and uncharacteristic verve, Reyna in the eighth minute of the game streaked down the left side of the Mexican defense and served a BEAUTIFUL cross to Josh Wolff who played a back pass to Brian Mcbride for what proved to be the winning goal.

Reyna, starting on the outside instead of the middle because Coach Arena had seen enough of his play to know that he could not hold his own, was free to do a few more things than usual. Knowing that Pablo Mastrioni would cover his ass when he got burned, Reyna made several very nice runs in each half. Although he lost the ball at several key points of the game, his errors were further from the center of play and were not as costly as in earlier games. Also, Reyna did not have to play physically. Nonetheless, OLD fans let out a rousing cheer when late in the second half, Reyna deservedly drew a foul for a very nice "penis tackle." Replays clearly showed Reyna's cleats making firm contact wilth a Mexican player's soft underbelly. Shown several times on replay, Reynas detractors and fans alike, all cheered with every showing!

Following Coach Arena's plan to a "T", Reyna stayed out of the way of his teammates the rest of the game. He gave help when he was able, and to the best of his ability, attempted to stave off the Mexican attacks down his side. The Mexicans found his side much softer than the Landon Donovan - Eddie Lewis side of the field, and targeted Reyna for most of their attacks. I

n the last twenty minutes, Reyna also had some nice clears and did some time killing with possession and passing. Still weak on kicking in set pieces, andguilty of multiple loose passes, Reyna played his best game ever in the World cup, dating back to the three games in 1998. It was a sweet wiln for the entire team, but an especially nice way for Reyna to temporarily get his critics to cheer for him.

Well done!!

Oldplayer
 

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"penis tackle." ?!! :eek: :howler: :howler:
 

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Capital of Thailand again? :howler:

Seriously, I think the key was not Reyna but our two outside backs in Sanneh and JOB! JOB has been monumental thus far with his versatility and ball controlling skills, not to mention his goal and the second "Hand of God"! :D

As for Sanneh, the man that many of us had worries during last year's WCQ, he is nothing short of fantastic holding down the right side as well as acting as sweeper when needed! He wil be called upon once more this Friday against the big opponents!
 

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In the commentary for the Brazil-Belgium game, one of the announcers said that Reyna was the man of the match; I think it was Tommy btw.

Am I missing something or what? He was better than before, but not as good as Donovan imo.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Deniz, Jack and Ty are silly twits. Reyna was far from the man of the match, though he may have made the "play of the match." The victory was earned ultimately by hard, tough, dirty work performed by a number of hard-nosed players: Pablo, Lewis, JOB, Sanneh, McBride, Donovan and of course Friedel.

I think commentators underestimate how hard some of these guys play. I also think they are much tougher than they were even a few months ago. Kudos to Bruce for instilling that "something" in them, as well as Kudos to whoever was responsible for the Nike Road to the Cup. While some posters on this board were worried about injuries and freash legs, the rest of us thought three tough games were absolutely necessary for the team to harden up and get battle tested. Bruce walked a fine line to make sure that the losses were really positive results for the team.

BTW, being "battled hardened" may be why we tied the Koreans while other's (ITALY!!!) haven't.

IMHO

Oldplayer
 
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