Shock and Awe

Shockingly fast and awe-inspiring moves.

That’s right, I’m talking about the United States’ new-found strike force – Jozy Altidore and Charlie Davies.

Who would have thought that bringing the young, blazingly fast Charlie Davies into the US lineup would have been a key factor in propelling the United States into the finals of the Confederations Cup?
As recently as the game against Italy, United States fans were worried that their team would continue to force players into the “Brian McBride” role. With Brian Ching’s injury, Conor Casey received a call-up and Jozy Altidore took center stage. In the 4 games prior to defeating Egypt, Bob Bradley had employed Jozy Altidore as the lone striker, asking him to “post up” defenders and receive nearly all of his passes in the air.

That game plan fell somewhere in between disastrous and ineffective. Altidore, while a big, strong young player, is not naturally inclined to play with his back to goal. He’s a speedy striker with good foot skills that likes to attacks his opponents – the exact opposite of Brian Ching or Brian McBride.

But with one swift stroke, everything changed. Bradley gave Charlie Davies the opportunity to start alongside Jozy in the game against Egypt, knowing full well that the US needed at least 3 goals.

Davies hit the ground running – fast.

It took him 21 minutes to score, but mere seconds to show his speed. He terrorized the Egyptian back four, using his speed to contest what must have seemed to them like every pass.

Davies didn’t score today against Spain, but again his speed was felt. At least three separate times, Davies was sprung loose behind the Spanish defense, his electrifying speed on full display. Sergio Ramos, a notably quick young right back from Real Madrid, struggled to keep up with Davies as he relentlessly made surging runs into the box.

What Davies did with his speed, Altidore did with his size and skill.

Off of a nice pass from Clint Dempsey, Jozy showed off his wonderful skill and strength by turning on Spanish left back Joan Capdevila and firing a rocket behind Spanish keeper Iker Casillas. The turn was impressive, as Jozy turned left, away from his natural right foot, and completely shielded Capdevila out of the play. With a quick touch and a look up, Jozy struck hard, unleashing a shot that wrong-footed Casillas and ended up in the back of the net.

Jozy got precious few chances in the game, but one magnificent display of strength and skill was all it took to send the United States past the #1 team in the world and into the final of a true international tournament for the first time.

Shock and awe.

Thunder and lightning.

Jozy and Charlie.

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3 Responses

  1. Hey nice blog!! I was reading around and came across your blog and I was really impressed with it. I am a big soccer fan and just started a little site to try to help me get to the World Cup next summer to cheer on the US (www.worldcupdream.wetpaint.com) but I don’t really know about how I would get hits or any type of traffic. If you could give me a few pointers I would really appreciate it. Thanks! Go USA!!!

    Anthony

    • Just put in some effort posting in the comments section of different articles over at Fox Soccer Channel’s website or Sports Illustrated’s website.

      Good luck!

  2. Speed kills…always has, always will!

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