We all know what the marquee matchup on Saturday Afternoon eastern time, mid-morning pacific will be. On June 12th it will be the crown taking on the colonists in one of the most hyped matches since the World Cup Draw in early December of 2009. Everything has been said and none of it has been done just yet.
While all of us are heading over to the bars, hooters, ESPN Zone’s watching this important match and waiting to see who will get the bragging rights the one thing we have to think about once this match is done, what will the USA do against both Slovenia & Algeria. The one thing we must all remember and hopefully the boys will also think about is the game plan for the next match and never allow their level to drop once England is done and buried.
We remember what happened when everyone in the European press already said about Russia advancing to the World Cup before the playoffs started and it was that second leg with the only goal of that match that gave Slovenia their tickets to South Africa along with shocking everyone to send Russia home and their head coach Guus Hiddink to find a job with Turkey.
The final group match between Algeria and Egypt where the Pharos were able to score two goals and equal the record and the differential with Algeria to force a one match playoff to get the final bid in their group and it was a single goal that put Algeria into the World Cup. When it comes to the qualifiers and the tournament its self strange and quirky things have happened and the USA must heed that warning.
It is very easy to predict what the final outcome can be or what it should be. After the first match between the host country South Africa & Mexico, many were predicting a three goal victory by Mexico and that wasn’t the case. When you enter the World Cup tournament its self the USA has to have the confidence and the belief that no matter who is playing them in their group.
I’ll be honest and say I don’t know any of the players on Algeria & Slovenia. Some may play in the top four leagues of Europe, French League one, or they have stayed home and played in their countries league. But the one thing I do know is this, after upsetting the favorites of who was suppose to be here, they are looking at England and the USA as their next targets and that will be a challenge.
So for Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Edson Buddle & for the rest of the team here is my advice. Don’t show too much respect and don’t show too much ego when you think it’s a walk in the park, because it won’t be. I think the best example would be what happened with Portugal in our first group match back in the 2002 World Cup when the boys scored the three goals against them along with the own goal.