Thursday, May 29, 2008

England v US: Men v Boys

That's what it looked like on the pitch at Wembley yesterday, as England embarrassed the U.S., 2-0 in the first of three big-name challenges before the Yanks start World Cup qualifying on June 15th.

Barely able to maintain possession, the U.S. was outclassed by England, who scored on a John Terry header in the first half, and a Steven Gerrard breakaway in the second. The Yanks had two decent scoring opportunities the entire match: a blast from Eddie Johnson that went wide, and a smart serve into the six-yard box by sub Eddie Lewis that was parried away by England keeper David James.

While England captain Fabio Cappello had his entire squad to pick from, the Yanks were without Landon Donovan, who was nursing a strained groin (ouch!), Brian Ching (with Houston), Taylor Twellman (with New England) or even Jozy Altidore (with New York). In their stead, Josh Wolff, who wasn't had a decent national-team outing since the 2002 World Cup, and a mostly ineffectual Eddie Johnson got the starting nods at forward. Clint Dempsey was neutralized by the England defense.

If the Yanks are to compete on the world stage (next chance: at Spain next Wednesday), the U.S. is going to have to find a way to generate some creativity and offense. None of the players on the pitch yesterday were able to get the job done, not remotely. The match reminded me of the domination that Germany laid on the Americans in the first round of the '98 World Cup in France. That match was similarly non-competitive.


Starting11 said...

Bravo to the U.S. for finally scheduling world class opponents, but isn't it time to back that up with world-class management, training methods and strategy?

pay per head service said...

England is a great team and we have to respect them and we are improving things. I hope that next time we can have a better game.