With two draws in their preparation friendlies, Greece is a team that is looking toward the World Cup with tempered optimism. A depleted Portugal squad held them 0-0 on May 31, and they found themselves in another scoreless draw against Nigeria on June 4. On Friday June 6 at Red Bull Arena in New York, they will need to produce a positive result against Bolivia in order to gain much needed momentum moving forward to Brazil.
As easy as it is to overemphasize results in these lead-in friendlies, it is also possible to underplay performances. Portugal was a test even without Cristiano Ronaldo, and Nigeria are the reigning African Champions. Both teams will also be competing in Brazil. Against Bolivia, a side that is not as talented as Greece’s previous two opponents, questions will have to be answered.
Manager Fernando Santos has said that he is not concerned about the results thus far in these international friendlies, but it is hard to imagine that he would be pleased with anything other than a win against this Bolivia team.
Greece was drawn into Group C along with Colombia, Japan and Ivory Coast. Their first match, on July 14 against Colombia, will truly set a tone and determine their chances of advancing through the group stage. It is a group without a powerhouse and a group that is fairly wide open. The energy, the fans and this team can take into the tournament will be written in Friday night’s game reports.
Goalkeepers: Orestis Karnezis (Granada), Panagiotis Glykos (PAOK), Stefanos Kapino (Panathinaikos)
Defenders: Vassilis Torosidis (Roma), Loukas Vyntra (Levante), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Borussia Dortmund), Kostas Manolas (Olympiakos), Vangelis Moras (Hellas Verona), José Holebas (Olympiakos), Georgios Tzavellas (PAOK), Giannis Maniatis (Olympiakos)
Midfielders: Alexandros Tziolis (Kayserispor), Kostas Katsouranis (PAOK), Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham), Andreas Samaris (Olympiakos), Panagiotis Tachtsidis (Torino), Panagiotis Kone (Bologna), Giannis Fetfatzidis (Genoa), Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (Bologna)
Forwards: Georgios Samaras (Celtic), Kostas Mitroglou (Fulham), Fanis Gekas (Konyaspor), Dimitris Salpingidis (PAOK)
(Based on roster vs Spain)
Goalkeepers: Romel Quinonez, Daniel Vaca
Defenders: Ronald Eguino, Ronald Raldes, Luis Alberto Guiterrez, Diego Bejarano, Edward Zenteno
Midfielders: Danny Bejarano, Alejandro Melean, Alejandro Chumacero, Gualberto Mojica, Damir Miranda, Walter Veizaga, Rudy Cardozo, Marvin Bejarano, Jaime Arrascaita, Vincente Arze
Forwards: Juan Carlos Arce, Marcelo Martins Moreno, Alcides Pena
Tickets are available here through the Red Bull’s website by selecting Summer of Soccer.