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Discussion Starter #1
Well that we are all back down to earth a little bit , bruce has a huge problem to deal with , and actually it is a good problem. Should he put reyne and mathis back into the starting 11 or leave the same team on the field that upset the portugese. I personally dont know, and have to really think about it. I think reyna if healthy for sure should be thrown into the starting 11 , but at whose expense, i dont know. By the way what is the report om stewart.
 

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Reyna should definately be in there if possible. I would also like to see keller get the start. If Friedel would have had an oustanding game I would stick with him, but keller can help calm things down more. That might be needed against South Korea. As for Mathis, have him come off the bench for that instant offense.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
I agree about keller and i even though we got the win i still would have prefered to have him in goal. Reyna alomst for sure should be in there if he is healthy. As for mathis , if stewart's injurty is bad enough donovan may be put outwide leaving space for mathis or even wolff, who i would love to see play. Its hard to believe the depth that we have at foward and even in midfield. The defense is still a bit shacky but i have to say that playing hejduk at left back was a great decision
 

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Im staying with my original pick Reyna in for Korea and out for Poland. Mathis in at half time in both matches. Friedel over Keller till he Loses.
 

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I don't know what condition Reyna and Mathis are in, but if they feel healthy, they should get the start. I am not sure I would start Stewart, regardless of his health. I think our younger midfielders could already be better then him.
 

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All things considered, anyone healthy earned another start. Stewart looks questionable, so the healthier of Reyna and Mathis gets the nod. Cobi the supersub. He messed up a couple of scoring chances, but let the air out of the ball in the closing minutes.

We still have Wolfe, Mathis and Moore itching to get time.


NO MATTER HOW HARD THEY TRY THEY CANT STOP US NOW.:fero:
 

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Agreed, Kerry. It's tough to break up a winning combo even if luck, good breaks, bad reffing or sleet and snow are the cause. These guys looked pretty good against Portugal. The goalkeeper situatuion is especially a tough question. Hard to fault Brad for the two goals, even if you are a pretty picky second guesser.

Some of Bruce's problem might be morale, etc., but he apparently has been able to handle personality matters and keep problems in the locker room and not on the field. These guys are all pros and undoubtedly the first 15 or so ALL feel they deserve to start. Mathis has a chance here to show what a high quality guy he is if he DOESN'T start. I hope the kid just keeps his mouth shut when the press inevitably eggs him on about not starting. (In truth, he is about my personal favorite on the team. I love his "bad" attitude.)

If we beat S. Korea, Arena's job is easier. He can empty the bench against Poland, try different combo's and rest the weary. If we lose, the same choices will be agonizing!

I'm just so damned happy!!!!!!

Oldplayer

P.S. 'Lil, glad to have you back. I'm not sleeping much either.

Purple Cowboy, How was your little jaunt to Vegas? Hope you didn't get scolded for watching footie 24-7! (OK, 23.5-7)
 

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I sit and try to find out what was the turning point of this team. If we go back a year ago and see our team limp with injuries in the second half of our qualifier rounds, we would have to say what happened to turn this team around. We qualify to the finals by the skin of our teeth. We all made excuses Oh we are hurt with too many injuries to key players,and too many players abroad. Well we have the same injuries and 6 of our starters are all MLS players. So what happened.
Heres My 2 cents anyway... The US soccer federation Happened. They have to be given the most credit. Yes the Emergence and developement of Beasley and Donovan had a lot to do with it but that was aided by the USSF. They went out and got top quality opponents for us to have friendlies against. People underestimate the importance of these games. I think Donovan grew up against Italy. You could see it in his play after that match. Also playing our young lads in Copa America and winning it gave them confidence and experience. How much would we have learned about ourselves if we played the same run of the mill teams as Canada T&T Panama, as in past WC Previews. This WC the USSF went out and got teams that we could Learn and develope from.
So in my book The USSF deserves part of the praise for our turn around. Now I know one match against Portugal means nothing in the scope of things But it is a start. Thanks USSF for giving us a chance.
 

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I think the turning point of US Soccer was the formation of the MLS. Why?? While the league is not of the quality of the big European Leagues, its still a professional league and thus our players get a chance to play everyday in a professional environment. Mexico has been very good over these past years because of their league and look what they have been doing in the World Cup since 1986...they have advanced out of group play in every single Cup they have been in since 86....

I think they other thing that is helping US Soccer is the fact that our players are no longer in awe of the European and South American teams. Ther used to be a time where when we took the pitch we lost the game even before the whistle blew because we were admiring the teams that we played...not anymore, we go there believing that we can win and it has shown. Look at the Dutch friendly...we attacked and attacked...look at the game the other day against Portugal...a winning attitude helps...not to mention getting rid of the bad apples like we had pouting on the bench 4 years ago...
 

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Interesting thoughts JureM and PaulMay. I'm sure you're both right. We still have a long ways to go, (that last little bit might be the hardest gap to close), but we are getting there in terms of US soccer.

Sams Army

Well attended qualifiers

More interest in NCAA soccer

More knowledgable fans. (What a joy the internet is for getting info, following your team and learning about the other countries. My daughter and I have talked about how much more fun it is than even 4 years ago. We are no bigger fans than then, but have so much more fun knowing a number of foreign players BEFORE the WC starts)

BUT, USSF and MLS both deserve credit. I love it that the MLS investors bought the TV rights to the WC and practically gave them away to Disney/ABC just to promote the sport. They know their own interest is tied to the overall interest in football.

Finally, there was discussion on this board about whether we should start our best players in the Nike series. The old hands generally said "Hell, Yes!" I think the wisdom of that has been borne out.

I'm just so damned happy!

Oldplayer
 
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Discussion Starter #11
MATHIS GIVES ARENA A NEW LOOK
07/06/02
Bruce Arena made some surprising changes in his starting lineup against Portugal. The U.S. gaffer played Landon Donovan up front with Brian McBride rather than Clint Mathis, and had Frankie Hejduk at left back rather than an out-of-form David Regis.

And the starting lineup is set to take a new look against South Korea, as Arena contends with new injuries and possibly players returning from injury.

"Yes, I am (going to change the starting XI),” Arena said on Friday. “Why? We have some injuries. And there are some other players that can possibly come back, so it is obvious there'll be some changes."

The answer on the lineup was surprisingly straight forward, but from that point on Arena reverted to his usual tight-lipped manner, and why not when additional information could certainly help Gus Hiddink and the co-host better prepare.

The two biggest question marks are whether Earnie Stewart will be back from a strain right quadriceps, which forced him out at the half in the team’s first match, and whether Claudio Reyna will be ready to return.

If ready to go, Reyna would be a tremendous influence in the center of the park and aid in the U.S.’ ball possession.

"We'll see over the next couple of days (whether Reyna will be ready). He’s been training with us. He hasn't tested it (his strained quadricep) fully yet. We'll get that opportunity tomorrow. It would certainly make us better in that area (ball possession). It is one of his strong suits."

There was no word on the NAC Breda player’s condition, but Arena is confident any number of players could step in and fill the spot.

"Our options would be Cobi Jones, Eddie Lewis, Frankie Hejduk ... Joe-Max Moore.” And later added Donovan as a possible replacement.

The move from attack to midfield would create an opening for an attack partner for McBride and a new look Mathis could be tipped to fill the void.

“It's possible (that Mathis starts). I mean, it's one game at a time. We haven't selected our lineup yet. The 11 I selected on Wednesday I felt gave us the best chance to win. And that's the reason for it."

Regardless of the media reaction – some at the Portugal match thought he had ‘made a very big mistake’ in his lineup selection, Arena will be confident that he has the best XI on the pitch to defeat the opposition, jokingly adding that that is why he is the coach.

"Well, that's why you're over there and I'm over here. (joking) I wasn't surprised."
 

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OP you can never be as happy as I am tonight US beats Portugal and England well beats Argentina. As OSF said its Better than Sex. Well Sex is so far removed from OSF he's probably forgotten but it is the next best thing.:D
 
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