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World Cup 2010, United States-England

It finally came. It finally went. The United States versus England, and as if there was any way we would forget the result, Robert Green made sure to make Saturday’s match an inadvertent classic. On this show, Laurence McKenna, Kartik Krishnaiyer and myself discuss the results of that match, Argentina’s win over Nigeria, and South Korea’s win over Greece. We also look to Sunday, when Germany takes on Australia, Ghana and Serbia meet, and Slovenia and Algeria look to go first in Group C.

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  1. Hugh Janus

    June 13, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    “England was no better than the US on Saturday.” – eplinfl

    Agreed. Neither side gave a particularly convincing performance. It was the first game of the tournament, however, and we’d be foolish to read too much into it. England, for instance, are notorious for their slow world cup starts. By the end of the group stages we’ll probably start getting an idea of our team’s real tournament capabilities. See you guys in the final! LOL!

    • eplnfl

      June 13, 2010 at 7:37 pm

      Hugh, thank you for the mention. The US team has to be judged against the last World Cup opener when we where blown out. No one seriously, not even yours truly, thought the US would do any better than a draw. If you want to believe that England is a a top 10 team, and some say a top 5 team, then the USA did the job it had to. Was it drawing ugly, may be but when two quality teams go against each other you will have that.

      The specific comments of the podcast members where very on target, but how other than Kartik, as Red, White, and Blue he may be in his comments can one conclude that England was showing good form is beyond be. Bradley set the tone yesterday, the team with the most talent had to react to the better team. Result a draw.

  2. short passes

    June 13, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    I think we can agree to disagree. A bit of personal perspective. The people who taught me football 30 years ago believed that if all a player can do is score then he’s worthless !!!

    • sergio lima

      June 14, 2010 at 9:40 am

      Ok, to prove this theory is wrong I will ask you a simple question. How many strikers in the history of the game played and end up being a gigantic success without having to play defense ever? How about Romario and Maradona, for example? There is no such a rule, soccer is great when no rules are apllied to how a player plays the game. The reality of soccer in America is, you guys believe in everything a English guy tells you about the sport. I have seen things I thought were jokes. For some reason I never understood, American love the English football. It may be the language. They never win on any level, from under 14 to pros, the English team never wins, they have NOW the best league in the world but the best players are from other countries, so, as much as I personally like the English football they could never serve as example to thousands of children playing this game in USA, NEVER. But, go figure. Why not Germans for example. No English and Mexicans. Why?

      • Hugh Janus

        June 14, 2010 at 1:28 pm

        England might be one of only seven nations ever to have won the world cup but English fans are routinely let down by the level of preparation at the beginning of the tournament. This time is no exception. If they play true to prior form then, if they get past the group stages, we should expect to see some exciting games from England. Always the same: lame group stage followed by explosive knock-out games.

        England have been involved in some classic, rip-roaring, world cup games over the years. England vs Germany is usually a good match and one that could happen in the second round. I’d prefer to have seen that game as a quarter or semi final match when both teams are in full killing mode. Might still serve as an example to aspiring American kids though. If you take your anti-England blinkers off, that is!

        • sergio lima

          June 14, 2010 at 3:01 pm

          You are so wrong about me, my friend. I am from Brazil and I LOVE the way England plays, but they could never be use as the best school of soccer in the world. One thing is one thing another is another. And this is only my opinion.

          • Hugh Janus

            June 14, 2010 at 3:40 pm

            Aha! The question is: has Brazil turned up this year? We’ll get a hint tomorrow! If you have then I would advise aspiring USA football stars to follow Brazil!

          • sergio lima

            June 14, 2010 at 7:27 pm

            Hugh, I need to tell you a secret. That is not the real Brazilian soccer. Well, in the other hand, everybody in Brazil think they know more about the national team than the actual coach, so, it is a mess. But unfortunately there is a disconnect between the national team of today and those of the 80s. All players today are playing in Europe, far from the Brazilian teams and they all had learned how to be a tactical player but lost a little bit of what we call irresponsible way to play the game. Brazilian people many times don’t care only about winning, they want the national team first playing the beautiful game and then if they can to win the tournament. I love the yellow jerseys of Brazil but if Dunga make them play like Germany I will wait for the Spanish Armada to see if they will be playing an Spanish version of the beautiful game. Another thing, for years I wait for the English team to play a happy game but they never did. I have a hard time watching the world cup when the English team plays because I love the hooligans singing and singing, the good hooligans and I believe they deserve a team and a championship. I did not follow the English team lately but everybody in Brazil were saying they would be coming very strong and I was waiting for it, but when I watched the game I got all frustrated. My dream is to watch a classic between Man UTD X Liverpool at the Trafford. I will some day. And I know I will cry. People who never been into the love of those people who go to the stadium every week don’t have a clue in how that energy is fantastic. World cup is cool but is nothing like your team playing at home.

  3. short passes

    June 13, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Mark — a clarification of terms —when I originally talked about setting back the development of soccer I was referring to the level of play, skills— not the growth of the viewing public.

    • Mark

      June 13, 2010 at 1:04 pm

      We want the same things: 1 – winning football and 2 – well played attractive football. I just don’t think with the squad we have 1 was possible if we tried 2 in this game. Shall we agree to disagree on what the best way to approach this game was?

      Now if BB sets out with the same game plan against Slovenia or Algeria I’ll be disappointed. With the result this morning we have to get 3 points from slovenia. They’re an organized defense first side which means we’ll need to be more expansive. Torres for Clark will help. Findley’s speed won’t be as effective against a packed defense that isn’t susceptible to the counter. I’m hoping for Gomez or Buddle to start in his place. Boca and Cherundolo should also get forward more in that game.

      For the record, I’m hardly a BB supporter

  4. short passes

    June 13, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Mark — I rest my case!! You and BB are convinced that we can’t actually play with England without risking total annihilation. Glad to see that you are so positive about the capabilities of this team that the only thing we can do is hunker down and hope for the best. Sorry but that’s not how I want the US to be portrayed nor how I want our style of play to develop.

    By the way, the growth of soccer in the US has proceeded nicely despite the ignominious departure in 2006. The impact of WC success on US soccer growth is hotly debated, not assumed as you seem to imply.

  5. short passes

    June 13, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Sorry Mark but Your criteria for success are way too low. If you were just to say that we played a defensive game and got really lucky then we are in total agreement. Unfortunately that is the same criteria for success that the US has had for the past 20 years. We tied a team that had innumerable chances and they were only stopped solely by the heroic efforts of Tim Howard. Our one chance by Altidore was gushed about so much after the game that you would have thought he had scored.
    From outside the soccer world this was merely a tie and a lucky one at that. Plus, for those not soccer-addicted, the US play was ugly defense. One of my non soccer friends questioned when we would go on offense!!
    All of the esoteric explanations about how the knock-out round is very strategic — playing not to lose, etc., etc. He cared less. And it’s that perspective that is totally turned off by our fear of losing, with the resulting overly defensive orientation.
    We have two world class offensive players in Dempsey and Donovan and on probably the greatest stage of the past 20 years, the US – England game, they had to take a back seat to our defense. While I have been and continue to be immensely disappointed in BB, the problem goes much further than just him. The entire US Soccer hierarchy is paralyzed when it comes to the thought of fielding an offensive team for fear that we “won’t make it out of the knock-out round”. Guess what — making it out of the knock-out round has yet to be the silver bullet for the growth of soccer in the US so why don’t they try an even more radical concept, try playing entertaining attacking soccer !!!

    • Mark

      June 13, 2010 at 12:22 pm

      So we’re arguing two separate points.
      1 – success for the USMNT at the WC as measured by progression into the KO phases

      2- growth of the domestic game.

      If the US went out and tried to attack England and expose our somewhat fragile defense the result could have easily been conceding four or five goals, which would not have aided the latter cause.
      Did the US get lucky? yes, but they made the most of that luck. I don’t think this game, no matter the result, was ever going to have much bearing on the long term development of the game in the US. Maybe it would slightly enhance the post-WC soccer fad for a few months, but not long term. To develop the game here we need better youth coaching and a more successful domestic league.

      • vinny

        June 13, 2010 at 1:37 pm

        i agree with short passes – who i think is trying to say US is poorly coached… the late subouts – buddle for findley (74min), holden for altidore (87min) says it all…

        *why was clark left in at all?
        *why was the ineffective findley left in so long?
        *why did BBradley let the squad get so run down second half?
        * and then holden replaces altidore who Finally showed some initiative? apparently BBradley thought defense rather than offense was the better option, i.e. let’s let rooney have more ball time around our net, which is what happened…

        poor game management imo

  6. Mark

    June 13, 2010 at 11:58 am

    England as usual over over-hyped, not just by the English media but also by much of the US media which mostly follows the EPL. On the field as team they aren’t as good as half a dozen other teams in the tournament. What they lack is the ability or willingness to play with the ball on the floor and retain possession that the top teams do. If Gareth Barry, who had nothing better than an average club season, is critical to the team’s success, they’ve got real problems

    • Mark

      June 13, 2010 at 12:00 pm

      Before I get slaughtered, my half dozen teams that are better than England: Spain, Brazil, the Netherlands, Argentina, Germany and Italy. They key word here is “team”

  7. sergio lima

    June 13, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Ok, good result for the American team. But look at the English team…All that talent, all those international stars making millions and could not score? With all due respect for the American team and they deserve respect for their relentless tactical obedience but if we could not get out of the American game, what is going to happen when England play the big boys? Every time is the same thing, the English team arrives at the world cup talking about winning the tournament, but when the game starts the team shakes and end up disappointing the hooligans and Capello, sorry papa, but Bradley kicked your butt badly.

    • sergio lima

      June 13, 2010 at 11:31 am

      On my post above, instead of “we could not”, should be you could not. I am Brazilian and if I say I want the English team to win I will probably have my citizenship revoked.

  8. short passes

    June 13, 2010 at 10:38 am

    eplnfl — please tell me where I can buy a “rose colored tv” like yours. If your idea of success for US Soccer was an ugly tie against a team that played without a goalie then I congratulate you! Your day was a success. I would assume that Greece also represents the epitome of creative soccer for you. When “use of the bench” becomes a criteria for US Soccer success, then maybe it’s time to pack it in.
    England played terribly and we stuck with them—- I am soooo proud. IMO this WIN sets back US Soccer at least 10 years. BB will of course be congratulated for his brilliant strategic choices but he just showed the whole world that the US soccer remains intimidated by the international game and is satisfied to accept lucky TIES as a major success.

    • Mark

      June 13, 2010 at 11:07 am

      “short passes” how will this “set back US Soccer at least 10 years”? If anything the US standing toe to toe with England will increase the interest here and perhaps bring more players into the professional game.

      It wasn’t a great game, but neither of these teams play great flowing football. Bradley had a game plan – clog the MF, contain Rooney, Gerrard and Lampard, concede the wings and play for the draw. And that game plan largely worked. Bradley’s a realist, I don’t like some of his tactics, but he accepts that the US isn’t as skilled as England so he did what he had to do. Did you want him to try to play attacking possession football against better opposition? Ask Roberto Martinez how well that works.

      Both teams still control their own destiny.

      Podcast feedback: I was put off by Kartik’s negativity at first, but he’s right, most USMNT fans thought we could get all three points. The match analysis was spot on. Bradley got the start right, but could have used his subs quicker. He seemed caught in two minds when it was still 1-1 at 60 minutes. If he was going for the draw he should have taken off Altidore and brought in Edu or Torres to shore up the MF. If he was going for the win, then he could have brought on two fresh forwards.

      Richard – good call on Rooney, he was forced deeper and deeper to get the ball. Clearly Bradley’s gameplan. Good analysis of the other two games as well. Much better than the factless platitudes on so many other podcasts, esp the BBC and the Times (has Marcotti lost his brain?). Kudos on addressing the feedback, please keep trying to make this a thinking man’s discussion of the game.

  9. eplnfl

    June 13, 2010 at 5:02 am

    Frankly, I do not know what match Richard and Laurence where watching! England was no better than the US on Saturday. Bradley forced England to react to his style of play and his line-up.

    England’s score was a great job of scouting and drafting a play to expose the defensive line-up well done. After that the US had an advantage in the run of play until the final 20 minutes. Bradley did use his bench better to effect the run of play at the end of the game than he had in the past.

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