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Discussion Starter #1
Twenty hours to go..... :nervous: :scared: :dazed:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
COUTO 5 said:
any clue on the make up of the US team ??
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!! :howler: That's a good one Couto!!

We have no friggin idea, though there are plenty of rumors. Reyna is still 50-50. Mathis is more certain to play.

Here's my current guess:

Friedel
Sanneh Pope Agoos Regis
Stewart Mathis O'Brien Beasley
Donovan McBride
 

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I really dont care who's on the field as long as the job gets done....
I mean the positive result is what we want...how we get it is secondary to the joy ;)
 

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The latest has the lineup as such:

Friedel
Sanneh Pope Agoos Hejduk
Stewart Obrien Mastroeni Beasley
McBride Donovan

Looks like Bruce intends to bunker in, and have plenty of speed on defense. They know Portugal can hold the ball the way the Germans did to us. But if you've got guys with speed hounding everyone, it breaks up offensive patterns. Once the US gets possession, we've got speed to counter.

I think it will work. It all depends on how much room we give them. Lay back and they'll run you all over the park. Then score a couple of late goals cause we're outa gas. Press the ball and good things can happen.

Rough em up. 15 yards each side of the halfway line should be set up as a killing zone. Whack em hard every tackle in this area. 3 yellows will be cheap when Figo is flinching in the last 8 minutes.:devil:
 

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Killing Zone

Kerry,

You're the kind of strategist I could have played for!;)
I like this idea of a "Killing zone." I like this idea of playing and tackling tough! (what a novel concept)

Oldplayer
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Kerry, you and I are on the same wavelength.

Before lunch I was mulling over the notion that Arena should order his midfielders to do whatever's necessary to slow Portugal's attack out of midfield, including getting a yellow card. When a player gets a yellow, he's replaced. This way we could afford up to six yellows without going a man down due to a red. Combine that abuse with the hard tackles that aren't carded and Portugal's offense won't be moving too quickly.

I'm not usually one to advocate such tactics but in this case I'm desperate.
 

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I was never a huge McBride fan, he is not an explosive striker at all. Seeing how Wolff did well with Mathis in the early qualifiers, i think it might be a good idea to have him in there, for our counterattack
 
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I agree 100 % with the hard tackiling tactics. The Germans did it very well against us in 98 and it totally changed the outcome of the game. We have to come out fighting. I actually like the idae of hejduk playing out wide over regis. Regis is too complacent and he seems to always blow it big time. Hejduk brings not stop energy and has a never say die attitude. He also has no fears. I think that once he gets it going he can be a very important player. the midfield seems to be the biggest question mark. In my opinion i think that if reyna is ready , then we need him. The same goes for Mathis. We need them. With them on the field we are less predictable and much more dangerous. Landon keeps saying he wants to prove to the world that he can play , and well he and jitterbug are both getting there chances , and in my opinion , they will both prove themselves , and will both have to and will have good games. As for Mcbride up front , i think that he will be a calming influence on donovan. I remember when those 2 played up front against china a while back. They both complement each other. Donovan is a slashing foward with a nose for the goal and mcbride is a target man that can knock down balls for donovan. The thing that i like about our fowards is that all of them have different strengths and bring different things to the table. I still however think that keller should be in goal. I think that friedel is a god keeper but he cant take it to the next level like keller. But one thing that we have all learned about arena is he is unpredictable. I would not be surprised at all if the lineup is nothing like the one that was " leaked" out. I actually have a theory. I think he was the one himself that told espn about donovan beasey and friedel in hopes that the portugesese would try to worry about them. I think that the degree of mathis' and reyna's injury is not as bad as it is said to be and that all this is a ploy to shake up the portugesess preperations. I could be wrong but that is mho.
 

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Hard tackling is fine if you have a big team, but a small team such as ours, that tactic can back fire and hurt us. We have to play smart, not make any mistakes or give the Portegese any opportunties...remember, hard tackles lead to fouls, which lead to free kicks, which lead to goals....the other thing is that Portugal is a very fast team...trying to tackle their attackers could be hell...and if we miss a tackle, we have a player on the ground and by the time he gets up, the attacker is 30 yards down field....this does not good to us.

The problem with putting Wolf up front with Donovan is that we then have a very small attack that can be pushed off the ball. While McBride is not a great international player, his height is perfect to win those headers we need off crossing passes as well as corner kicks....
 

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JureM,

First, sorry about Croatia. They should have shown better. Their next game will be a challenge to see if they can get back up after being knocked down (largely by the ref.).

Second, I agree about McBride. He compliments our other players in a way that is unique on this team.

I don't worry about hard tackling, though. Smart players will follow the basic rule: "You can let the ball go by you, or you can let the man go by you, but NEVER both." Additionally, I subscribe to Kerry's view that the "killing zone" (LOVE that phrase) should be near mid-field, not at the "front door." Unfortunately, this style of play has been notably absent from the US Nats and I really don't expect it tomorrow, much to my chagrin, and I'm afraid, to our detriment.

Oldplayer
 

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Old...Croatia did not come to play against Mexico....and they dug themselves a small hole....what can you do??

I agree with your statement of the ball or the player getting by you but not both...my statement was just the coach in me....:D You don't want to be beat with bad play....
 

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Discussion Starter #15
JureM said:
The problem with putting Wolf up front with Donovan is that we then have a very small attack that can be pushed off the ball.
While I agree that Donovan can be dislodged too easily, one of the things that most impresses me about Wolff is that he is very strong on the ball and is not easily moved off it.
 

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Hard tackling? I hope that's not how it turns out. That would be an ugly way to play, and quite frankly would do very little to advance USA soccer.
Well, I hope you don't go that way. Don't follow the example of England. The english are dinoaurs. They still think that going out on the pitch and being tough, english lads will carry them to victory. England can barely put 2 or 3 passes together.
It is short term thinking to think that the USA will gain anything with harsh tackling.

Anyways, Fernando Couto and Jorge Costa will retaliate against your world-class players; oh never mind;)

Good Luck to the USA. Most of my extended family lives in Rhode Island, so it would be nice if the Americans could join us in the next round; but not if they use "dirty play".
 

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World Cup Preview: Portugal v USA
USA - Portugal | News Archive

Struggling for form...Rui Costa (Reuters)
06/04/2002. BACKGROUND

Europe's answer to Brazil will take centre-stage in Suwon on Wednesday, when the silky-skilled Portuguese take on an improved side from the United States of America. It has been 16 long years since Portugal last featured in a World Cup and they have every intention of making up on lost time by winning it all this time around.

Indeed, it's high time Portugal's 'Golden Generation' live up to the immense promise they first delivered at the youth level when a celebrated team starring Luis Figo, Rui Costa, Joao Pinto and Jorge Costa made the world take notice by conquering the 1989 and 1991 U-20 World Cups. So much was expected of the Portuguese after they so stylishly dominated the youth scene in the early 90's but although they have lived up to their potential individually, collectively they have flattered to deceive ?though they did make it to the semifinals of Euro 2000 before controversially crashing out against eventual champions France.

On paper this looks the best Portuguese side ever put together, especially considering that the late-blooming Bordeaux striker Pauleta appears to be the reliable goal-machine the Iberian nation have been craving for so long. There is big concern about the form of two Portugal's main-men, however, as Luis Figo and Rui Costa are both coming off disappointing, injury-bedeviled seasons. As Figo and Costa go, so do Portugal, which makes it no overstatement to say that the country's hopes rest on whether the playmaking pair will be at their wicked best this summer.

The United States are hoping to exorcise some of the demons from their last-place finish in France '98, and much unlike their opening round match against Germany four years ago, team USA will be playing for three points on Wednesday against Portugal. While cognizant of the fact that Portugal has an outstanding team, Bruce Arena and his players know that if they want to advance they have to approach every game as an opportunity to obtain as many points as possible.

LATEST TEAM NEWS

Portugal coach Antonio Oliveira will have to reckon without the services of Abel Xavier and Paulo Sousa, as the two have been ruled out of the opener against the Americans through injury. Sousa's absence is easier to cover due to the side's embarrassment of riches in midfield, and although Xavier's capability and versatility will be missed he should be ably replaced by Sporting Lisbon defender Beto.

Brad Friedel is expected to start in goal for team USA, but the ultra-secretive Bruce Arena still may opt for Kasey Keller. The point is, nobody really will know for sure what Arena has in mind until the match kicks off on Wednesday. Also of note are lingering injuries to USA captain Claudio Reyna and striker Clint Mathis that would be a crippling blow to USA's chances not only in the opener, but for the entire first round, if one or both are forced to sit. Already without defensive midfielder Chris Armas, the team especially can ill-afford to lose Reyna's leadership and all-around skills in the central midfield.

PROBABLE LINEUPS

Portugal (4-5-1): Ricardo ?Frechaut, Couto, Costa, Jorge - Joao Pinto, Rui Costa, Petit, Conceicao, Figo ?Pauleta.

USA (4-4-2): Friedel - Sanneh, Pope, Agoos, Hejduk - Stewart, Donovan, O'Brien, Beasley ?Mastroeni, McBride.

WHO'S HOT

Pualeta: The 29-year-old Bordeaux forward will be rearing to bang them in, having just been crowned joint top-scorer and 'Player's Player of the Year' in France.

DaMarcus Beasley and Landon Donovan: This duo of 20-year olds has gone from exciting young future-stars to World Cup 2002 starters. Both are expected to line up against Portugal, and it is because both have proven their ability to play game after game in 2002 with the senior national team.

WHO'S NOT

Luis Figo and Rui Costa: The shaky form of these two greats is Portugal's biggest worries at the moment. Regardless of who you support, you've gotta love a fantasista, so let us all hope for the sake of football that we can elevate these two to the "Who's Hot" section soon.

Claudio Reyna and Clint Mathis: Both are considered the two best players on team USA (goalkeepers not included), yet neither has been able to nail down a clean bill of health when the team needs them most. Of course, they cannot be faulted fully for injuries, but their string of untimely injuries is just bad luck, plain and simple--the type of luck that can ruin a team's chances.

PREVIOUS ENCOUNTERS

USA 1-0 Portugal June 3, 1992
Portugal 1-0 USA December 19, 1990

soccerage
 

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Halftime Thread

I cannot believe it, but we are up 3-1:excited:

This is just too much, John O'Brien, Landon Donovan, Brian McBride are all part of US history in the making:)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Holy Moley!!!!

At the half, it is an unbelievable 3-1 U.S. over Portugal.

Portugal looks very susceptible in the back. They are putting very little pressure on the US on the ball.

McBride had a brilliant first half. Stewart gets high marks, Donovan high marks, Beasley high marks.

The defense is hanging in there. Heyduk has made some mistakes, mostly on distribution. Ditto for Mastroeni. The Portugal goal was unfortunate.

If I didn't have to go to work after this match, I'd pop a beer to calm my nerves!!
 
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