Saturday, May 27, 2006

Any questions of what a year playing in England can do for a player's skills and confidence? Bobby Convey has got to start at left mid instead of DeMarcus Beasley (last seen grinning wildly while hanging on the back of Clint Dempsey as if he, Beasley, had something to do with Dempsey's diving header).

Ben started and played fine but did nothing, I suspect, that would move him in front of Mastroeni in Arena's eyes. Ching looked dangerous, but I'm not sold on Johnson (even though Johnson DID have something to do Dempsey's diving header) - he won't be able to run around Czech and Italian defenders as easily as Venezuelan defenders. Dempsey needs to be on the field. Jimmy Conrad needs to be off.

It was good to see USMNT press forward, though the defense is so s-l-o-w that counterattacks by good teams (e.g. Czech Republic and Italy) will be a constant threat. It'll be interesting tomorrow to see what line-up and tactics Arena chooses against Latvia, especially for the back line. A quality team would have scored against USMNT last night (and except for a brilliant save by Howard on a free kick would have). The win was fine, but it didn't exactly boost my confidence. I saw highlights of the Czechs playing the Saudis to a 2-2 tie yesterday in Austria - that front line scores against last night's USMNT defense.


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