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Okay!

It's time to forget that one miserable performance and hunker down for our next big one, against Mexico!

There is not much doubt that Agoos will sit and either start with Maester, Llamosa or Berhalter. All three of them have their strong points.

Regis will win the spot by default due to Hejduks suspension.

In midfield, Beasley must start on the left side.

Move Donovan up front to replace Mathis who has done nothing other than scoring one goal. I'm beginning to see why Arena said he's not in shape as he has not shown any burst of speed or any crisp passing.

If McBride is tired, I don't mind seeing Wolff pairing up with Donovan!
 

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Regis will get pulverized down the left side. Sigh..... :depress:

Okay, let's hear it one more time...Mathis and McBride don't mix. Any other combination would be fine with me: Mathis/Donovan, McBride/Donovan, Wolff/Mathis, etc.

I don't see Arena putting Mastroeni in the back. I think he'll go with Berhalter. If Reyna wasn't the captain, I'd definitely pull him and start Pablo, but I don't think Arena will do that.

We simply cannot have another god-awful start against Mexico like we had against Poland. We need to keep ourselves in the match.
 

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OSF and Hern,

You guys must love exciting football. If we put the speed of Beasley and Donovan in at the same time, leave Reyna to ball watch in the middle and put Regis on the outside . . . WoW!!! We will see a repeat of the counters and centers of Poland EXCEPT that the Mexicans are better at it! At the end, Freidel will have sore hands from stopping so many open shots!

OSF, look at your game film again re: Mathis. He had about three bad touches and maybe two bad passes. Other than that, he made as much happen as could be expected against a hunkered down defense. We had no room for our speed to help out and HAD to rely on long shots. (Long shots ON GOAL result in rebounds and junk. Long shots over the goal are crap.) Mathis clearly saw the header to Donovan for the assist. He put at least two other nice plays to Landon and was a threat himself. (Early, he took a long cross on the fly, one touched volleyed the ball to Donovan with perfect pace and direction. Look at that particular play again. World Class money maker in the eyes of Bayer-L or SerieA) Who else on our team could have done what he did against a defensive team like Poland? No one.

Why does Reyna insist on taking his weak ass free kicks? Mathis has shown that he CAN make them. Give him four and he will make at least something happen. Let Reyna take fifty and we won't score. He also hit one surprisingly strong curving kick from about the 25 yd mark. Off goal wide, but at least it looked like a threat.

Captain America made about three or four decent passes and one very nice chip. Other than that, he was dispossesed numerous times and made weak ass passes that did nothing. It's one thing for a forward to get dispossessed, but it is an entirely different matter for your center mid to lose the ball. If he does, it's off to the races back to our goal . . . with the mids giving the opponents a head start!

I'm happy we are going on I'm sorry about bitching. I don't DISLIKE Reyna (and in fact, have never met him). It's just that there are certain things I like and dislike in soccer and my favorite team is doing some of the things I dislike and not enough of the things I like.

Oldplayer
 

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Arena might see things differently about Agoos, but there is a strong chance he will sit him. That means Llamosa in his spot and Regis in Frankie's. Berlhalter might be a better choise, but I think Arena is going to go with experience. The defense is not in shambles. We let Korea run at will on us, and got caught up early and often against Poland. I think we started too aggressive offensively and got put in a hole early.

We should play Mexico the way we played Portugal. Be aggressive in the midfield, but don't attack in numbers. Wait for good counter opportunities and capitalize. When we do bring the ball up slowly, try (for god's sake) try to keep possession for a few touches. Don't be afraid to play it back to the defense, but don't have Friedel just clearing everything downfield. It's easier to fight to keep possesion than it is to try to regain possesion.

The Mexican keeper is fast, athletic, acrobatic. He's fun to watch, but he can be caught out of position. He's also small 171 centimeters. Whatever that is. Brad's 193. So take some 40 yarders. But put them on goal.

Hey, we can beat these guys. It's gonna be rough. It could get nasty. Put a bar of soap in a sock. It might come in handy. You might not like the Mexicans, but wait til this game is over. :fero: :fero:
 

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As I have said before, Agoos should be done. He has done little to merit a start against Mexico--a team that is better than Poland mind you. Friedel is a given in goal, so that is easy enough. Defensively, without Hejduk's speed down the left, we could go with either Regis or Berhalter. Now, Regis may be the more cultured player, but I don't think we need a cultured left back against Mexico. We need a left back that will do his defensive duties, and not make a mistake. Berhalter may not be able to attack as well as Regis, but he is bigger and stronger, and that will be more helpful in adding defensive stability. Pope is a given at CB, and Sanneh has been the best player for the United States (other than Friedel) at this World Cup. This leaves one CB position open. I would not play Agoos again, and as such, that leaves Llamosa best suited to the job. He is an excellent man-marker, and has better aerial ability than Agoos too. However, marking the Mexican forwards will be tricky and I would prefer Llamosa doing the job instead of Agoos.

In the midfield, Reyna just doesn't do it for me as a defensive midfielder. Reyna needs to be our playmaker, for that is his best position. As a result, we need to push him up more. O'Brien and Mastroeni need to be our two DM, with Pablo concentrating more on defense as O'Brien is incredibly capable of bringing the ball forward. He can combine well with Reyna in the center of the pitch or with Beasley, who I would start on the left. One can argue having one out and out DM, one more CM, one AM and one LW would leave the RW open, but given Mastroeni's and O'Brien's defensive coverage, Sanneh will be able to attack down the right and make himself more of a wing-back rather than just an out and out defender.

Finally, up front, McBride has to go. His aerial game will not threaten Mexico and his lack of an all-around ground game will be detrimental to our chances out penetrating a very good Mexican defense. We need speed up front, and for that, Donovan is a given. I am now starting to think that maybe two out and out speedsters are required against Mexico. Perhaps Donovan should be the more withdrawn striker with Wolff being the more advanced striker looking for a decisive through ball. This may limit the effectiveness of the air threat, but quite frankly, there has never really been a threat from the air since the 35th minute of the first match. The U.S. must work the ball on the groud, and we need as much speed as we can out there.

GK: Friedel
LB: Berhalter
RWB: Sanneh
CB: Pope
CB: Llamosa
DM: Mastroeni
LCM: O'Brien
ACM: Reyna
LW: Beasley
ST: Donovan
ST: Wolff
 

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mathiaslg said:
GK: Friedel
LB: Berhalter
RWB: Sanneh
CB: Pope
CB: Llamosa
DM: Mastroeni
LCM: O'Brien
ACM: Reyna
LW: Beasley
ST: Donovan
ST: Wolff
You nearly have it right, mathiaslg ;)

Take out Reyna, put Donovan at attacking MF and team Mathis with Wolff.
 

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I found this quote.

``Any opponent who makes it to the second round will be tough. We have to concentrate to win the game,'' Mexican midfielder Gerardo Torrado said. ``The U.S. is a team with a good defense, which always gives us trouble.''

I had not thought of that. Lately Mexico has had a very tough time scoring against us.

Anyway, Donovan must play up front. As long as Mathis isn't out there then I don't care who plays up there with him. If we need Mathis later then bring him on, but I don't think he should start.
 

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I believe that the below will be Bruce's line up v. Mexico.
It makes more sence to me to put John at left back, if he goes with a 4-4-2 line up, than gambeling on Regis out wide.

O'Brien played the left back position the entire 2nd half of the season for Ajax, so he is seasoned at the position. Bruce cannot afford to put 2 sloths at left side of defense and expect to keep the game close.

This will be tough game. The ref chosen will be important.


........ O'Brien ... Beasley
Friedel ... Berhalter ... Mastroeni ... McBride
........ Pope ... Reyna ... Mathis
........ Sanneh ... Stewart
 

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I like your picks TP. O'brien and Mastroeni could switch positions and be effective. This might confuse the Mexicans.
 

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Guys....Its a blessing a Concacaf Team WILL be in the Quarters..And that is something to be so proud of.
Now get your rotten eggs ready...the hounds on me, whatever you feel its necessary, but since I've got to pick ONE team to advance..Im going South of The Border Way.
Please dont dishonor me...Dont call me names..I think it takes BIG balls first of all to come in here to drop your envelope with your choice. And thats what Im doing.
So....Lets see what happens. And Life Goes On..Of Course !!

:cap:
 

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Tim said:
How come you're going with Mexico, Colo?
Its such a hard decision...Either one of the Teams winning makes me very happy, and either one losing wont upset me at all..Im just going with the Aztecs because I feel they have what it takes to go further down the line....Also from before, when we were dreaming of having a League in the US, I was travelling to Mexico year after year and going to their Stadiums and following the Mexican League with every detail, which I still do and admire.
(I must be one of the few Non-Mexicans in this Universe that do not find the Mexican League boring) ;)

:cap:
 

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Though I don't actively follow the league, I don't really find it boring. Sometimes I try to catch a match on television if Cruz Azul is playing.

Of course I want the US to beat Mexico, but no name-calling from me...
 

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I have one thing to metnion. It was brought during one of the world cup 2 night airings. I talked about haveing donovan and beasley on the same side , like we had them in the portugal game. I dont know if it was just a coincidence that they just both played so well that game or if the guys have a valid point. I think that bruce arena needs to really think this lineup out. Mexico knows us fowards and backwards . There will be no surprises for us or them. i think that we can ill afoord to risk regis in such an important match. This game has more implications then most of the outside world realizes this game is for a spot in the quarters , and to truly determine who is the king of concacaf. Not to mention both teams hate each other with a passion. This is also a very god placce to showcase how good concacaf teams are, and that we deserve the same respect.
 

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OPINION Old amigo holds no fear for USA

Sunday 16th June 2002

by Allen Hopkins

The United States and Mexico, two neighbouring countries sharing a common border, travelled some 6,000 miles to face one another.

Mexico and USA have battled for 68 years, but the teams have never met at the World Cup Finals.

"We are bordering countries, and Mexico has always been the power in CONCACAF. In the United States there is a large Mexican-American population and we play frequently among each other," said coach Bruce Arena.

"Mexico has a pretty good team, and it has been a great rivalry. And both teams always look forward to playing each other," added Arena, who has a record of four wins and three losses against Mexico since taking the helm in late 1998.

The heated rivalry, that often transcends the game itself, dates back to 1934 when USA beat Mexico in their first ever meeting 4-2 in a World Cup qualifier in Rome, Italy.

The bitter rivalry festered in the 1990s, when the teams met 14 times, after playing just four times from 1978-1990.

USA and Mexico have met 46 times in all with Mexico winning 28 times to the USA's nine. There have been nine draws and Mexico have outscored the United States 109-50.

However, the USA has had the upper hand lately, wining four of the last five meetings.

Arena doesn't believe facing Mexico is a lucky draw for the American team.

"Luck out? We're playing the team that won their group, and was five minutes away from beating Italy," he said.

"I don't think we lucked out. I think everybody we play is going to be a tough opponent. We didn't get lucky by drawing one team or the other. We are very fortunate to be where we are."

Arena has some serious issues to deal with in his defence ahead of the knockout match. But that's been the story since before arriving in South Korea.

Defenders Jeff Agoos, who holds the national record for starts with 123, will miss the rest of the tournament after the 34-year-old suffered a moderate right calf strain during the first half of the USA's 3-1 loss to Poland.

And to make matters worse, Frankie Hejduk is suspended after picking up his second yellow card of the tournament against the Poles.

"We are very disappointed for Jeff," said Arena. "He has made an outstanding contribution to this team, and we will wish him a speedy recovery.

"We selected this 23-man roster with the belief that every player is capable of making a contribution, and we are confident that whoever we put on the field will help us to be successful on Monday."

Although USA's depth will be severely tested, the always bullish and sometimes sarcastic Arena isn't worried.

"I will sleep fine. We'll find two guys that can volunteer to play in a Round of 16 game in a World Cup. I imagine we'll find two players."

Carlos Llamosa, Gregg Berhalter and Pablo Mastroeni are viable replacement options.

Mexico and the USA know each other's personnel and tactics so well, you can forget all the records, hyperbole and everything else. It will be a difficult match, another classic battle that is up in the air. Midfielder Earnie Stewart agrees.

"You can toss a coin. We win a few, then they win a few. It's a great rivalry in CONCACAF, and I'm pretty sure you'll see that on the field on Monday. It's a hate-love relationship. It's a good hate; a sportsmanship hate."

Stewart added: "It should be a great game and it is a great rivalry. Mexico has been one of the great teams to date in this World Cup, so it is going to be a real difficult challenge for our team.

"We've watched them in this World Cup and they have been outstanding. They are a team that has played quite well and it is going to be a heck of a game."

One of the keys to the match will be how well USA are able to forget about the defeat to Poland.

If you told USA fans before the tournament that Arena's side would lose their group finale and still go through to the second round, they would have taken it.

But the bar was raised significantly after the upset of Portugal and in some ways the results have gone down hill since, however Arena, as usual, has a different spin on things.

"Well, we have played three World Cup games on foreign soil, we have one win, one loss and one tie, we have scored five goals, we've beaten a team that is rated in the top five in the world, we got a point against the host country that no one else has gotten a point against.

"You are labelling that a failure? We're moving forward," said Arena.

Defender Eddie Pope agreed wholeheartedly, "It is not about this game, it is about the first two games and all three games.

"We worked hard to get those results and that is why we are in the second round."

Thankfully for the United States Brad Friedel has been one of the top goalkeepers in the tournament. And many journalists from all over the world, including yours truly, believe he is making a strong case for the Yachine Award, named after legendary Russian goalkeeper Lev Yachine and given to the World Cup's best goalkeeper.

Friedel has been between the pipes for his fair share of matches against the Tricolor and knows how difficult the match will be, but is very optimistic. "A lot of the games have been very, very physical in the past," Friedel said.

"We played Mexico in the Copa America on neutral ground in 1995 and beat them in penalty kicks, obviously we don't want to go to penalty kicks this time, but hopefully we can get the same result," Friedel added. The teams have an even 1-1-1 record on neutral ground.

If they match does go to penalties, the US could have the advantage with Mexico having a poor record in penalties in their World Cup history and Friedel red-hot in goal, already saving two in the tournament.

Another plus for the USA are the recent standout performances from Landon Donovan and Josh Wolff against Mexico.

Wolff scored his first national team goal against Mexico in a 2-0 win in Los Angeles back in late October 2000.

But his most memorable moment of his four-year national team career came when he scored the game-winner and also set up an Earnie Stewart goal in the 2-0 defeat of Mexico in a World Cup qualifier in Columbus, Ohio in February 2001.

Landon Donovan made his international debut against Mexico on October 25, 2000 and recorded a goal and an assist in his first match with the senior national team.

Arena has been very pleased with the form Donovan has shown playing in his first World Cup. He scored the lone goal against Poland and had another questionably disallowed.

"He is very fit and he can play in a number of positions and he understands his responsibilities.," Arena said.

"There is no question that he is a great young talent. He is much stronger now and has much more experience, and that combination has made him pretty successful at this level.

"We are not really concerned with the odds or where we stand in the eyes of anyone out there," Arena added. "We just need to get focused and concentrate on the game on Monday."

A spot in the quarterfinals is within reach but the USA has to be willing to knock off one tough ol' amigo.

onefootball :cool:
 

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That is a very good article and I think that it is correct in every way. I think the most important thing for us is that we dont have any break downs during set pieces. Of the 6 goals we have given up, actually 5 minus the own goal 3 of the 5 goals have been off of a set piece.
 

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What a game:eekani: so far. THe US has made some careless mistakes, but Mexico has not looked very good so far.

I think Wolff has made a couple of dangerous moves, and there may be some more left in him;)

Do you guys think that Beasley and Mathis will come in at all? I highly doubt Mathis will play unless Mexico gets a goal as well.

1-0:strong::)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Great goal off Wolff's feed to McBride! :star:

And great lineup by Bruce, with O'Brien in the back, avoiding the error prone Regis!

I'm confident with this defensive lineup!

Reyna gave up a few dangerous balls, pretty scary!

GO USA!!

One more half!!!
 

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great goal by mcbride... :cool: by the way, why beasley isn't playing?? :confused:

GO USA!!! beat mexico... :fero:
 
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