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[quote name='sois' date='11 June 2010 - 12:06 PM' timestamp='1276272387' post='892692']
Mexico is lucky as hell to walk away with a tie right there.
Yeah they got away with a penalty in the box it looked like, as well as that ball that hit the near post. They might be in trouble not getting three points right there.
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FML. Gonna be working tomorrow during the game, in a place that shows the game. Going to try to avoid it like the plague to come home and watch it.

USA USA USA! Let's go boys! Don't tread on Red!
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Jozy ready to go!



[color=#FF0000][color=#000000][size=5]Jozy's a go for confident USA against England

[/size][b][size=1]by [/size][url="http://www.socceramerica.com/author/49/ridge-mahoney/"][size=1]Ridge Mahoney[/size][/url][size=1], June 12th, 2010 2:02AM[/size][/b][/color][/color]
[color=#FF0000][USA-ENGLAND COUNTDOWN][/color] During the Confederations Cup in South Africa last year, Coach [b]Bob Bradley[/b] cited the experience of playing in cities and stadiums to be utilized during the World Cup as an important cog in the team’s preparation. He gave up a bit more information about his lineup than normal Friday by divulging that forward [b]Jozy Altidore[/b]’s ankle sprain had healed sufficiently that he will start against England Saturday (2:30 p.m. ET, ABC, Univision) in the Group C opener.

“We step on the field believing we can win,” Bradley said. “It is said with no disrespect to our opponent. The preparation has been good. The players are ready.”

If a success at a particular venue counts for anything, the Americans might drive some benefit. The USA rebounded from losses to Italy and Brazil a year ago by beating Egypt at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, which is where it plays England. Goals by [b]Charlie Davies, Michael Bradley [/b]and [b]Clint Dempsey[/b] earned the Americans a place in the semifinals, in which it upset Spain, 2-0.

Of the 14 Americans who played in that match, only Davies and[b]Conor Casey[/b] – who replaced Davies in the 82nd minute – didn’t make the World Cup squad. Though the stakes are higher this time, the Americans believe – rightly or wrongly – that those two victories in the Confederations Cup and a 3-2 loss to Brazil in the final instilled belief and confidence that no matter what the opponent or the setting, they can get results.

“Our experience last summer was positive,” says Bradley, “just in the sense that we played against very good teams, we learned from those experiences, we had good moments and at the end we had a big disappointment. So we'll take that all in.”

However, as many as 10,000 English fans could be in attendance, according to figures in English newspapers. Large numbers of fans have been arriving in South Africa since the middle of the week. The listed capacity is 44,530, which is ninth among the 10 stadiums hosting World Cup matches.

There are no injury problems facing the Americans. Midfielder [b]Ricardo Clark[/b], who came off the field walking gingerly last Saturday in stoppage time of a 3-1 win over Australia, did not suffer a hamstring injury, as some outlets reported. According to U.S. Soccer press officer [b]Michael Kammarman[/b], Clark’s hammy cramped up but he is fully recovered and available to play against England.

Following his arrival in Germany last winter to play with Eintracht Frankfurt, he sat out two months with a calf injury but returned in time to play the last three games of the German Bundesliga season. Last month Eintracht offered him a three-year contract. Whether he starts alongside [b]Michael Bradley[/b] in central midfield is one topic of great speculation as to which 11 players the coach will choose.

As to players recovering from injuries, Altidore and [b]Oguchi Onyewu[/b] (knee) have participated in full training sessions since Tuesday, as have defenders [b]Carlos Bocanegra [/b](recovering from hernia surgery) and [b]Jay DeMerit[/b] (abdominal strain). The green light for Altidore sets up at least a few confrontations with centerback and captain [b]John Terry[/b]. Hull City's Altidoe and Chelsea's Terry dueled Feb. 2 in a 1-1 tie, one of 16 starts and 28 total league appearances in which Altidore scored just one goal.

“He's a great player and he reads the game well,” said Altidore, whose rights reverted back to Spanish club Villarreal when Hull, relegated to the second-tier League Championship, declined to retain him on loan or buy his contract. “It's going to be tough for whoever is going against him.”

A stomach bug is bothering English midfielder [b]John Milner[/b], though his inclusion in the starting lineup if healthy is far from assured. Chelsea midfielder [b]Joe Cole[/b], who sat on the bench much of the season but played well during a few appearances in May, is under consideration by Coach [b]Fabio Capello[/b] to get a start at left mid.

What the USA accomplished in South Africa in 2009 may have laid a foundation, but nothing more.

“Last year was helpful in that it gives us the belief that we can do something special here,” said[b]Landon Donovan[/b]. “Aside from that, that’s the past. Now our job is to focus on the now, but we know that we have the ability to be special. Now the focus is on bringing that out of us every time we play.” [/quote]
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But...he can't finish. Give me Buddle or move Deuce there.

[color=#FF0000][color=#000000][size=5]Why inexperienced forward Findley could boost USA

[/size][b][size=1]by [/size][url="http://www.socceramerica.com/author/49/ridge-mahoney/"][size=1]Ridge Mahoney[/size][/url][size=1], June 12th, 2010 2:30AM[/size][/b][/color][/color]
[color=#FF0000][PORTRAIT] [/color]He might be the biggest U.S. flop at the World Cup, he might light up the American attack, he might play only a few minutes. Whatever comes his way at the 2010 World Cup, whatever emotional vortexes engulf him, [b]Robbie Findley[/b] is unlikely to lose his way. His single-minded concentration to work all aspects of a forward's responsibilities seldom wavers, no matter if the bounce of the ball goes in his favor or not.

“I’m just so excited for him,” says Real Salt Lake teammate and former housemate [b]Kyle Beckerman[/b]. “You know, he’s a good guy to have even when he’s not scoring goals. A lot of forwards, if they’re not scoring, that’s it. They had a bad game.

“But Robbie, he makes good runs, he holds the ball up, he lays the ball off, he’s playing defense. He can score goals, sure, but if he’s not, he can still help the team.”

Last year, Findley scored 12 goals during the regular season and five more in the playoffs, including RSL’s equalizer in MLS Cup 2009. That prowess, plus his blistering speed, prompted comparisons to U.S. forward [b]Charlie Davies[/b], whose 2010 World Cup dream ended because of injuries suffered in a horrific auto accident in mid-October.

Findley missed November friendlies against Denmark and Slovakia that conflicted with the MLS playoffs. To get ready for a January training camp that would kick off preparations for the World Cup, he and Beckerman trained during the holidays in Findley’s home town of Phoenix. Beckerman, with 10 caps to his credit, shared insights with Findley about how things work with the national team, for which Findley had played once, for one minute, in 2007, his rookie year in MLS, during which he was traded from Los Angeles to RSL.

Roughly three years after that trade, and with just six caps – and no international goals -- to his name, Findley is one of four forwards on a team handed a daunting Group C opener against England. He may be raw, and still rather young (24), yet there’s speed, tenacity, and a decent MLS scoring record (25 regular-season goals), as well as an athletic pedigree: his extended family includes cousins Mike Bibby (NBA) and Shaun McDonald (NFL).

“He’s been working his tail off to be ready, and it all happened so quickly,” says Beckerman. “Charlie went down right around playoff time. Robbie plays kind of a similar style and is a similar height [5-foot-9]. People start talking that Robbie Findley’s the one who’s going to fill in, blah, blah, blah.

“Then, boom, he gets handed the chance and here’s the World Cup. There’s a lot weighing on him. He’s in a contract year and maybe he goes somewhere else at the end of the season.

Findley started the first three friendlies of 2010, and didn’t score. He tallied just once in eight RSL matches before joining up with the U.S. team for the final preparation camp. When he stayed on the bench for the first of three World Cup warm-up matches against Czech Republic May 25, his chances looked bleak. He didn’t know he’d already made the team, as [b]Bob Bradley[/b] announced the following day.

“We feel that Robbie still brings something special, especially as a reserve,” said Bradley, who brought Findley into the next match against Turkey at halftime of what became a 2-1 win. “His speed when he comes into a match, his willingness to try and run behind a defense; we felt that those are things that when we looked at everything our team had, we could still use some of those qualities.”

Said Findley, who came to MLS out of Oregon State as the Galaxy’s second-round pick (No. 16 overall), of his selection, “A lot of hard work has been put into this point and that has to continue. I give a lot of thanks to all the people who have helped me become the player I am today and helped me accomplish the things I have. I'm just very pleased with how this turned out.”

The trade, on June 21, 2007, shook up both teams. The Galaxy traded Findley, and another young player, [b]Nathan Sturgis[/b], to RSL for veteran midfielder [b]Chris Klein[/b]. Most teams don’t like to trade young talent, but the Galaxy -- readying for the imminent arrival of [b]David Beckham[/b] – wanted more leadership and experience. After scoring two goals in nine games (three starts for LA), Findley hit six in 16 matches with RSL.

Beckerman recalls, “I remember him as a rookie and I couldn’t believe it, I’m thinking, ‘This guy’s a rookie?’ He had a good head on his shoulders. We lived together last year, now he lives just down the street. He’s younger than me but we do a lot of stuff together, we’re buddies.

“We like to fish, and go out to eat a lot, but not too much. We eat anything, there’s a lot of good places around town and we get a lot of variety.”

Dunking the hook and touring Restaurant Row will resume in late June or July, depending on how the U.S. fares. He’s not played a lot with [b]Jozy Altidore[/b], but the possibility he can replicate somewhat the potent Altidore-Davies pairing of last summer’s Confederations Cup is certainly in Bob Bradley’s repertoire of weapons.

“I think Robbie’s confidence has grown every time he steps on the field,” said Altidore. “He feels more comfortable with the guys, feels more like himself, and you can just tell. Each touch he takes on the ball, the way he takes people on now, his swagger’s a little bit different.

“That’s huge for us because he’s a good outlet for us with long balls over the top, but not only that, he tracks back and helps us defend. So I think he’s a real plus.” [/quote]

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[color=#FF0000][color=#000000][size=5]Bafana Bafana thrive under Parreira

[/size][b][size=1]by [/size][url="http://www.socceramerica.com/author/45/paul-kennedy/"][size=1]Paul Kennedy[/size][/url][size=1], June 12th, 2010 2AM[/size][/b][/color][/color]
[color=#FF0000][GROUP A][/color] Of the six African teams at the World Cup, South Africa is the least Europeanized, but the Bafana Bafana's local stars were a match for highly rated Mexico. As for France-Uruguay, who really believed it wouldn't end 0-0?

[color=#FF0000]What we liked ...[/color]

-- After a pitiful first half, South Africa took the game to Mexico and should have beaten the Tri in Friday's opener. Coach [b]Carlos Alberto Parreira[/b] said the pressure was too much for his team of mostly domestic-based players -- eight out of 11 starters -- it took time for them to begin to play their game.

-- Few outside South Africa knew of [b]Siphiwe Tshabalala [/b]before the tournament started, but he celebrated his 50th cap with a stunning goal against Mexico. [b]Katlego Mphela[/b], another of the domestic-based players who have thrived under Parreira, could have won the game for South Africa but hit the post in the dying minutes.

-- It was perhaps too much to expect Mexico's young stars to live up to the hype, but [b]Giovani dos Santos[/b], for one, had an excellent game.

[color=#FF0000]What we didn't like ...
-- The 0-0 tie in the France-Uruguay was so frustrating because it was predictable. The French don't look like they want to be at the World Cup -- sort of like eight years ago when they also tied Uruguay. They certainly didn't attack like they wanted to win. Bleus coach [b]Raymond Domenech[/b]reverted to his favored 4-2-3-1 formation, dropping winger [b]Florent Malouda [/b]for a second holding midfielder, [b]Abou Diaby[/b].

-- Bleus coach [b]Raymond Domenech [/b]almost treated the result like a victory. "It is almost a beautiful 0-0."

-- [b]Nicolas Lodeiro[/b] is supposed to be one of the young stars of Uruguayan soccer, but he was sent off after receiving a second yellow card in only 18 minutes of play. [/quote]

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Just got the US Soccer tweet......

Redcardo and Findley are starting............

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No Crouch..so I feel better.

It might just be me, but England's line-up doesn't look very good at all. I'm feeling confident. Have Gomez come in for Find in the 60th minute. Bring Torres in in the second half. We are going to UPSET the world! Let's go!
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David James still not fit...leaves them a lot less inexperienced in the net. Could really be a factor. Maybe Findley will figure out that the ball goes between the posts.

Definitely think we can be triumphant in this. Have to mark Rooney everywhere he goes!
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[quote name='MAGICTOUCH' date='12 June 2010 - 12:56 PM' timestamp='1276365366' post='892791']
leaves them a lot less inexperienced in the net. Could really be a factor.


Routine pick up through the hands.


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Jozy seemed like a non-factor today. So did Findley They played pretty compact though, seemingly trying to not get burnt. I didn't see Jozy's miss. A tie is huge! Now just beat them on goal differential and we are gonna do some big things. Jay and Dolo getting cards worries me though.

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[quote name='steggyD' date='13 June 2010 - 05:33 PM' timestamp='1276464837' post='892860']
Go Germany! And go USA. That's the two teams I'm rooting for. And it's looking good for USA and great for Germany.

Had to watch the games on my Droid, which I was able to do ... live.
Germany looked awesome. That is exactly why the US needs to finish first in the group. We do not watnt them in the quarters.
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[color=#FF0000][color=#000000][size=5]Oranje and Azzurri open without stars

[/size][b][size=1]by [/size][url="http://www.socceramerica.com/author/50/sa-editorial/"][size=1]SA Editorial[/size][/url][size=1], June 13th, 2010 1:59AM[/size][/b][/color][/color]
[color=#FF0000][PREDICTIONS][/color] The Netherlands and defending champion Italy, two pre-tournament favorites, will both be without key players for their first game. For more on Monday's three games and Soccer America's predictions ...

[color=#FF0000]NETHERLANDS (0-0-0) vs. DENMARK (0-0-0)[/color]
[color=#FF0000]June 14 in Johannesburg (Soccer City)[/color][color=#FF0000]
[/color][b]Kickoff: [/b]7:30 a.m. ET.[b] [/b][b]Television:[/b] ESPN/Univision.[b]
[/b][b]Referee: [/b]Stephane Lannoy (France).

[b]Paul Kennedy:[/b] Netherlands 3-0
[b]Ridge Mahoney: [/b]Tie 1-1
[b]Mike Woitalla: [/b]Netherlands 2-1

[color=#FF0000]THE LOWDOWN:
[/color]It's the Netherlands, representing the Lowlands, against Denmark, representing Scandinavia, in the first all-European match at the World Cup. Dutch star [b]Arjen Robben[/b] has flown in from the Netherlands to join his teammates, but he has already been ruled out of the opener.

[color=#FF0000]CAMEROON (0-0-0) vs. JAPAN (0-0-0)[/color]
[color=#FF0000]June 14 in Bloemfontein[/color][color=#FF0000]
[/color][b]Kickoff: [/b]10 a.m. ET.[b] [/b][b]Television:[/b] ESPN/Univision.[b]
[/b][b]Referee: [/b]Olegario Benquerenca (Portugal).
[b]Paul Kennedy:[/b] Cameroon 2-0
[b]Ridge Mahoney: [/b]Cameroon 2-0
[b]Mike Woitalla: [/b]Cameroon 3-0

[color=#FF0000]THE LOWDOWN:
[/color]Both Cameroon and Japan struggled in the buildup to the World Cup and have had their share of controversy. Indomitable Lions star [b]Samuel Eto'o[/b] threatened to quit in response to criticism from former star [b]Roger Milla[/b]. Japan coach[b] Takeshi Okada[/b] offered to hand in his resignation after Japan fell to archrival South Korea last month.

[color=#FF0000]ITALY (0-0-0) vs. PARAGUAY (0-0-0)[/color]
[color=#FF0000]June 14 in Cape Town[/color][color=#FF0000]
[/color][b]Kickoff: [/b]2:30 p.m. ET.[b] [/b][b]Television:[/b] ESPN/Univision.[b]
[/b][b]Referee: [/b]Benito Archundia (Mexico).
[b]Past World Cup Meetings:[/b] 1950 -- Italy 2-0.

[b]Paul Kennedy:[/b] Tie 0-0
[b]Ridge Mahoney: [/b]Tie 1-1
[b]Mike Woitalla: [/b]Tie 1-1

[color=#FF0000]THE LOWDOWN:
[/color]This is a different Italy team from the one that won the 2006 World Cup. No [b]Francesco Totti[/b]. No[b]Luca Toni[/b]. [b]Andrea Pirlo[/b] is in South Africa but he's out with a calf injury and will likely be replaced by Fiorentina's [b]Riccardo Montolivo[/b]. The playmaker will likely be Juventus midfielder [b]Claudio Marchisio[/b]. [/quote]

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[color=#FF0000][color=#000000][size=5]Margin for error slim against Slovenia

[/size][b][size=1]by [/size][url="http://www.socceramerica.com/author/49/ridge-mahoney/"][size=1]Ridge Mahoney[/size][/url][size=1], June 13th, 2010 2:03PM[/size][/b][/color][/color]
[color=#FF0000][USA][/color] Credit to the USA, or at least to English keeper[b] Robert Green[/b], for getting a point after falling behind in the fourth minute, but conceding early goals is a habit the Americans are finding hard to break.

In their postgame comments, the relieved Americans admitted as such without pointing fingers of blame at the huge space that opened up for [b]Steven Gerrard [/b]to dart through and score, or the free runs down the flank afforded[b] Aaron Lennon[/b] and [b]Glen Johnson[/b]throughout the match.

“I was pretty annoyed because the marking was a little too lax, particularly for the beginning of a game when you’re supposed to be really up for it,” said keeper [b]Tim Howard[/b]. “But at that point you can’t really dwell on it because you still have 90 some minutes to play. So, it deflated us a little bit but we quickly responded.

“We weren’t particularly sharp early on, as you saw. We weren’t tight, especially on the goal. I don’t know at the start if it was nerves or what have you, but we responded.”

From the first minute, right back [b]Steve Cherundolo [/b]and defender[b]Jay DeMerit[/b] and a few other players were up to speed. Some of their teammates weren’t, and didn’t respond when [b]Emile Heskey[/b] touched a ball into the space vacated by[b] Oguchi Onyewu[/b] for Gerrard to collect and stab a shot past Howard.

Falling behind so early forced the Americans into taking more of the attacking initiative, which they will likely need to do in their second game against Slovenia, which downed Algeria, 1-0, to take over first place in Group C. If anything, Slovenia is even tougher defensively than England, which had to replace [b]Rio Ferdinand [/b]with [b]Ledley King[/b] for the World Cup, and then had to replace King at halftime.

What the U.S. did well against England, tracking and containing [b]Wayne Rooney[/b] and [b]Frank Lampard[/b], and harassing J[b]ames Milner[/b] out of the game in the 30th minute, is a function of intensity and focus, and not so much about tactics and role assignments.

Though both played well overall, central defensive partners DeMerit and Onyewu were occasionally out of sync. DeMerit chose his moments to step into midfield shrewdly, making sure there was cover, either from Onyewu or another teammate. There were also breakdowns on [b]Carlos Bocanegra[/b]’s side, where he needed help to contain two or more opponents, and didn’t always get it.

First-game jitters can be blamed for some of the poor play, and a change or two in personnel will likely be implemented to face Slovenia, which as the pivotal second match has always been the one most likely to determine the U.S. fate. With three points in hand, Slovenia could set out to get at least a point and throw up barriers to shut down the U.S. attack.

Yet if it beats the USA, Slovenia advances, period, full stop, regardless of what happens later in the day when England plays Algeria. The Slovenians will surely have noted the U.S. tendency to start slow and fall behind, so the early minutes Friday might be just as crucial, and potentially damaging, as those during which England scored.

Slovenia could come out strong to get a quick goal, or stalk the Americans before ratcheting up the pressure in a game where one goal might be enough to win. In any case, the match will be a tense, nerve-wracking 90 minutes that not all of the American players seem prepared to handle. Even while battling back to tie England, the U.S. needed seven saves from Howard and a few other key plays to prevent a second goal.

No matter who [b]Bob Bradley [/b]selects and where they play, the Americans can’t be distracted. The buildup and hype leading up to the England match roiled around history and cultures and 1950 and[b]Joe Gaetjens[/b] and the Premier League; this week is just about one game and the points, and pride, at stake. [/quote]

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[color=#FF0000][color=#000000][size=5]COLUMN: Dempsey's Midas touch bodes well for USA

[/size][b][size=1]by [/size][url="http://www.socceramerica.com/author/40/mike-woitalla/"][size=1]Mike Woitalla[/size][/url][size=1], June 13th, 2010 12:51PM[/size][/b][/color][/color]
[color=#FF0000][MY VIEW] [/color]Lost amid all the focus on England goalkeeper [b]Robert Green[/b]’s gaffe is how [b]Clint Dempsey[/b] tricked and spun his way around[b]Steven Gerrard[/b], leaving the England captain in the dust before unleashing a well-struck left-footed shot. It was just the latest example of the Dempsey brilliance that bodes well for the USA’s chances to go far at this World Cup.

With the pile-up on Green, no one seems to be blaming Gerrard for getting schooled by Dempsey. And they shouldn’t, because that would take credit away from Dempsey, a rare example of an American player with the creativity to evade a world-class foe one-on-one.

And then there’s the shot. No doubt about it, Green should have been able to stop it. But Dempsey hit it with pace and it bounced twice – the second within a yard of Green’s gloves -- on its 25-yard route to the goal, making its flight difficult to judge.

"They all count the same when they go in,” said Dempsey, who has a knack for scoring goals that count a lot.

His strike against England was his 19th in 63 appearances for the USA and his second in a World Cup, which has him joining [b]Brian McBride[/b] as the only U.S. players to score in two World Cups.

During last year’s marvelous U.S. runner-up finish at the Confederations Cup, Dempsey scored the third goal in a 3-0 win over Egypt that clinched a semifinal spot. In the next game, he scored the second goal in the 2-0 win over European Champion Spain – after assisting on Jozy Altidore’s opening goal. Dempsey also scored the first goal in the 3-2 final loss to Brazil.

Dempsey scored five goals in qualifying play for this World Cup.

For his club, Fulham, he came off the bench in the Europa League quarterfinal and with a sublime long-range chip into the top far corner of the goal took the Cottagers past Juventus and earned him Fulham's Goal of the Year honors -- quite an accomplishment from a season of some amazing Fulham goals.

In 2007, his goal for Fulham in a 1-0 win over Liverpool on the final game of the season saved the club from relegation to the second tier – a fate that would have cost Fulham about $60 million.

Had Dempsey not juked his way around Gerrard and pulled the trigger, the USA’s chances of reaching the second round would have looked grim, history tells us.

Since the World Cup expanded to 32 teams in 1998, 33 of the 36 teams that lost their opening game in those three tournaments exited in the first round. The tie against England thanks to Dempsey is golden.

Against Slovenia on Friday, the USA will play the rare role of the favorite. It will be looking for what would be only its third first-round win in six straight World Cups against a team likely to bunker down with a packed defense and a chance to clinch advancement with a win.

With Dempsey, that's a challenge the Americans can conquer. [/quote]

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[color="#FF0000"][color="#000000"][size="5"]U.S. Player Ratings

[/size][b][size="1"]by [/size][url="http://www.socceramerica.com/author/49/ridge-mahoney/"][size="1"]Ridge Mahoney[/size][/url][size="1"], June 12th, 2010 6:25PM[/size][/b][/color][/color]

[color="#FF0000"][USA-ENGLAND REPORT CARD][/color] Soccer America's [b]Ridge Mahoney[/b]grades the U.S. players after the USA's 1-1 tie with England in Rustenburg on Saturday.

SUBS:[/color] [color="#FF0000"]Rating/Player (Club/Country) GP/G[/color]
[b]7 Tim Howard (Everton/ENG) 52/0[/b]
Excellent in all phases of the game, also showed his toughness by shaking off a crunching kick from Emile Heskey. Sharp saves and complete command of the box weren't tainted by a goal he had little chance to stop.

[b]7[/b] [b]Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96/GER) 61/2[/b]
Left his corner open on one occasion, but otherwise stuffed everything England threw at him. Passed and crossed well, dug out Aaron Lennon cross from inside the six-yard box with U.S. trailing, 1-0.

[b]6 Jay DeMerit (Watford/ENG) 20/0[/b]
Overplayed a few situations stepping well in front of the back line, tracked and harassed Wayne Rooney often enough to push him back into midfield for the second half.

[b]5 Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan/ITA) 55/5[/b]
Caught way out of position twice, once when Steven Gerrard scored. Very strong in the tackle and in the air, tangled courageously on set plays.
[b] [/b]
[b]4 Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes/FRA) 75/12[/b]
Beaten several times by Aaron Lennon and Glen Johnson, sometimes through his own errors. Occasionally caught by lack of cover.

[b]6 Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy) 124/42
[/b]Covered amazing amounts of ground, got in a lot of tackles, not quite sharp enough on the dribble and one-twos to exploit openings. Delivered a few dangerous dead balls.

[b]4 Ricardo Clark (Ein. Frankfurt/GER) 30/2[/b]
Lost Gerrard when he veered inside to score, chased a few shadows early, more solid and assured later on. Broke up plays, passing inconsistent. Vital block and clearance when Cole broke clear on the flank late in the first half.

[b]5 Michael Bradley (Borussia M'Gladbach/GER) 44/7[/b]
Also got stronger as U.S. shook off conceding early goal. Chose to distribute and stay back rather than push forward. He and Clark quelled Frank Lampard until the final minutes.

[b]6 Clint Dempsey (Fulham/ENG) 63/19[/b]
Put in some good defensive work, also lost touch at times, burned by Ashley Cole one-v-one. Played centrally for long stretches, scored from the middle with speculative shot English keeper fumbled.

[b]6 Jozy Altidore (Hull/Eng) 26/9
[/b]Quiet in first half while working hard, headed good chance wide, in stronger second half barreled past Jamie Carragher to fire shot keeper palmed onto the post.

[b]4 [/b][b]Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake) 7/0[/b]
Not always in sync with teammates, didn't get any good looks at goal, but carved out space and drew a couple of fouls by desperate challengers. Left ball for Donovan, who curled a shot just wide.

[color="#FF0000"]SUBS:[/color] [color="#FF0000"]Rating/Player (Club/Country) GP/G[/color]
[b]4 [/b][b]Edson Buddle (Los Angeles Galaxy) 5/2
[/b]Got a few good touches but didn't take advantage of tiring opponents as attacking subs are supposed to do.
NR Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers/ENG) 14/2[/b]
Dug into a few tackles and knocked balls forward near the sideline in a short stint.[i]

(Ratings: 1=terrible; 5=average; 10=brilliant.)[/i] [/quote]

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[color=#FF0000][color=#000000][size=5]Messi, Enyeama and young Koreans stand out

[/size][b][size=1]June 12th, 2010 12:19PM[/size][/b][/color][/color]
[color=#FF0000][GROUP B] [/color][b]Lionel Messi [/b]didn't score but didn't disappoint either in Argentina's 1-0 win over Nigeria, whose goalie [b]Vincent Enyeama[/b] was the game's outstanding performer. Young stars [b]Lee Chung-Yong[/b] and[b]Park Chu-Young[/b] helped South Korea to an easy 2-0 win over a terrible Greece team. Here's what we liked and didn't like about the opening Group B games ...

[color=#FF0000]What we liked ...[/color]

-- "Soccer wouldn't be beautiful without seeing Messi touch the ball." That was [b]Diego Maradona[/b] after Argentina's opener against Nigeria. No, Messi didn't score Nigeria. Yes, the soccer was beautiful. Messi did everything but score in a very good performance.

--[b] Vincent Enyeama [/b]was sensational in goal for Nigeria. The best of his seven saves came when he stretched to deny [b]Lionel Messi[/b] on his shot to the far post.

-- In his third World Cup, [b]Park Ji-Sung[/b], had the first goal for South Korea, but youngsters [b]Lee Chung-Yong[/b] (Bolton) and [b]Park Chu-Young[/b](Monaco) stood out.

[color=#FF0000]What we didn't like ...[/color]

-- Argentina will rue its failure to convert its many chances against Nigeria. Of greater concern was its defensive lapses. [b]Taye Taiwo[/b] and substitute [b]Kalu Uche[/b] had chances equalize for the Super Eagles. The result should not have been this close.

-- Greece was terrible against South Korea. Its lauded defense was nonexistent, and it has now lost all four games it's played at the World Cup without scoring a goal.

-- The images of empty seats Port Elizabeth's Nelson Mandela Bay were not pretty. Huge sections of the stadium were empty. Attendance was listed at 31,513 for a stadium that seats 46,000. [/quote]

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