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Achilles

Member Since 25 Nov 2008
Offline Last Active Sep 16 2014 06:50 PM
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Posts I've Made

In Topic: Here is the thing about Belgium v. USA

29 June 2014 - 07:07 AM

Belgium are very much like Portugal in that they have amazing individual players and are overall more talented than the US. However, they are underperforming, barely beating the competition in the cake-walk group H. They have yet to be challenged and thus have not needed to play up to their potential. They have played down to the level of competition and that lack of drive and competitive effort is going to hurt them against a true team like the US.

The Yanks have played 3 very difficult matches, outlasting a frenetic Ghana and simply out classing the mopey Portuguese (at least for 44 and 1/2 minutes of the second half). The loss to Germany was a total loss and we were dominated in many phases, but after only 3 days rest coming out of Manaus...it's understandable and we came close to an equalizer.

Belgium played like they felt they were entitled to go through. They have not faced adversity. Their top striker is playing like crap, they lose a starting midfielder to suspension and captain Kompany is injured.

US will be a tough draw for Belgium, a team than can move quickly on the counter and is dangerous on set pieces. But the thing that the Americans have that the Belgians clearly do not is freaking heart. They will not give in and they are a tough physical team that is willing to suffer more than the other team.

I see a 2-1 win that really isn't as close of a match as that scoreline would indicate. Belgium are not ready for this challenge. US are built for it. Look for Bradley to have his best game yet and I look for goals from Johnson and Dempsey.

Now, Argentina...that's a long shot.


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In Topic: USA vs GER

24 June 2014 - 06:36 AM

Germany will not want to risk losing this game. If they lose it, they will have to go across the draw and play most likely Belgium. If they tie or win they will stay on the Brazil side and most likely play Algeria. Germans are practical, pragmatic people. If we were playing a team from South America, Asia, or Africa, I would expect that team to push forward and try to win, but German culture is not like that. They don't simply react emotionally to a challenge. They will remain calm and in control. They could certainly beat the US even without trying, just because they are so talented and clinical in the final third. But, I don't think they will look to press the issue and risk leaving their defense exposed to the formidable US counter attack.

This will be a game where both teams play to minimize exposure. I don't look for a dynamic contest, but instead a very static one with little in the way of attacking play.

A draw favors both teams and eliminates the rest of the competition. It's not collusion, just smart group play football.

Why would either of these teams risk injury, loss, or fitness just to prove a point and win the group? It only makes sense to get a mutual draw and move on.


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In Topic: USA vs GER

23 June 2014 - 06:52 AM

It would be no surprise to me if this game goes deep into the second half at 0-0. Even if we lose to Germany, we should be okay as long as we keep it within 1 goal. In that case though, it would be better for Portugal to defeat Ghana. Not unrealistic, but Ghana is probably playing better that Portugal at this point in the tourney. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Ghana pulls off a 2-1 victory. That could put us in a difficult position.

We will need to have our best game so far on just 3 days rest after the sweltering swamp that is Manaus if we are to defeat the Germans. A tall task.

I like what Landon Donovan said about both teams playing for the tie. It's not cheating. It's calculated. It would be the ideal outcome for both teams, really. Germany May not want to commit 100% to get the outright win. We could make it very difficult on them and have shown the ability to score when tied or down 1. Playing to win this game could come around to bite them.

I expect us to be conservative and put 8 or 9 behind the ball. We will look to counter.

I would not be surprised if both teams play for the draw. What is the point in risking the loss? Consider that the US will likely face Belgium and will still be in recovery from Manaus.


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In Topic: USA and Portugal, Who should play?

22 June 2014 - 06:20 AM

I think we are going to see Dempsey up top in the lone striker role. Zusi and Bedoya on the wings. This gives us the most consistency with our most dangerous goal scoring threat in position in front of goal. Dempsey is better than anyone on this team one-on-one off the dribble. He is savvy enough to hold the ball up and also has a decent strike from distance.

That being said, I wouldn't be at all surprised if JK brings on Wondo near the 70 min mark. Dempsey is not as young as Altidore and will fade faster. We need him against Germany, so he probably can't go the full 90. Johansson or even Green are possible options.

Beasler will start. Brooks is not ready for the starting role. We could see a Brad Davis subbed in for one of the wingers in the 2nd half.

One of my biggest concerns is Beasley. I have no doubt that he is fit and his recovery speed is good, but he often makes mistakes in one-on-one situations. Could wear down quickly from being targeted by Portugal and isn't the biggest guy. I don't like Chandler's form and there really aren't any other options. I don't want to see him on the field any more than I want to see Gonzales.

It would be nice to have Donovan off the bench in a game like this...

If Bradley can get back in form, I feel our chances are good against a reeling Portuguese side.

In Topic: 2014 World Cup: Group G

17 June 2014 - 05:44 AM

So....

Do you start Besler if he's healthy or do you go with Brooks?

And do you start Johansson or Wondolowski up top on Sunday.

As for Bedoya and Dempsey, I think both will be fine. If not Zusi would start and both Wondo and Johansson would start.

I didn't really see a spark from Johannson, but I think he will start because he is a bigger body and attacks going forward from outside the box.  He is more dangerous on set pieces.  Wondo will likely come on as a sub in the 2nd half regardless of how the game is going.  Neither of these strikers is good for 90 mins like Jozy.  Another option would be to move Dempsey up into the single striker role and put Bedoya and Zusi on the wings.

 

I think you have to play Besler if he is fit.  He was having a fine game until his injury.  If Brooks has to start, we might see some lapses and possibly some mistakes.  Its very different starting as opposed to being subbed in.  The expectations are different.  Just as long as Omar doesn't see the field (I wish we could go back and keep Goodson and cut Omar).


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