Where did that come from?

Energy.

Verve.

Determination.

Heart.

We saw it all from the US team today.

Admit it – you had written us off.

I sure did.

The USA just completed one of the most improbable advancements in its history, dismantling a quality Egyptian side 3-0.

That result, combined with the Brazilians throttling Italy 3-0, means that the US has advanced to the semifinals of the Confederations Cup and will face Spain on Wednesday. Spain is currently the #1 ranked team in the world.
So what changed the United States from a floundering team that looked lost against the world’s best?

Egypt, for one, is a much different opponent than Brazil or Italy. For some reason, the United States didn’t play scared of Egypt, taking the action to the Pharaohs early and often. Brazil and Italy had plenty of time and space to move the ball, largely because the Americans played scared and timid – but that wasn’t the case today.

A key lineup change made a huge difference – Charlie Davies.

Davies entered the game as a bit of an unknown to the majority of US fans, though not to the avid followers who have been clamoring for him to start for some time now. As the star striker for Swedish side Hammarby, Davies has shown skill and potential in being a constant goal threat in the Swedish Allsvenskan.

What he brought to the field today, though, was pure speed and hustle. He harassed the Pharaohs’ backline, never giving up the passes around the back. Where the US has often been content to ball-watch, Davies stepped in and made a difference.

It was his hustle alone that got us that first goal.
Maybe more impressive than Charlie Davies’ run-out was the performances of two stalwarts of the squad – Oguchi Onyewu and Michael Bradley. It’s no surprise that these two comprise the spine of the US team and are consistently its top two players.

Bradley worked tirelessly to cover ground, making one crunching tackle after another. His midfield partner, Houston Dynamo midfielder Rico Clark, left quite a bit to be desired today – but Bradley more than made up for whatever Rico lacked on this day. Not only was Bradley sharp defensively, but his control of the midfield was superb. He was a steady presence and made that presence felt both in the defensive third and the final third.

Onyewu, as usual, was an imposing threat lurking behind Bradley. A hulking, brutish defender, but it was his tactical prowess that impressed the most. With a relatively green central partner (however “green” a 31-year-old Jay DeMerit can be), Onyewu held the backline together, rarely letting himself lose position on the pitch. Time and time again, the Egpytian wingers put in crosses – only to be foiled by the towering headers of “Gooch”.

While the spine of the United States team – Onyewu, Bradley, and Davies – provided the energy, verve, and determination, the team deserves the accolades.

Everyone worked hard.

Everyone made tackles.

Everyone showed heart.

Advertisements

3 Responses

  1. Todays USA team showed us just what we missed in the first two games. If they don’t bring it again to Spain, than it’s either a fluke or the team is mentally soft against the more glamorous opponents…until the USA stops being scared of big opponents, they’ll never beat them. We *do* know how to play the game, afterall.

  2. **** yeah that was cool.

    keep it clean please

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: