FIFA World Cup 2010 – Algeria Vs USA Preview
This is a decisive match for both Algeria and the USA, losing it is not an option. Somehow, our players will need to find a way to produce goals. To be certain to go through, Algeria needs to win by a two goal margin. Winning by one goal margin will leave Algeria dependant on the England – Slovenia result.
The match is due on Wednesday at the Loftus Versfeld stadium of Pretoria, that will be the first time the two teams play each other.
The referee will be Belgian Frank De Bleeckere who refereed the Argentina –S. Korea match.
The Stars and Stripes
Team USA also known as The Stars and Stripes has scored an impressive total of 42 goals in the CONCACAF qualifiers. It is a team that scored an average of two goals per game during the qualifiers.
The team’s coach is Bob Bradley. Bob Bradley has been named 2009 National Coach of the Year by the U.S. Olympic Committee. Bradley, who led his squad to a first-place finish in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying and second place finishes at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, has become the first football or soccer coach to earn the honor since the initiation of the award in 1996. Bradley accumulated the best winning percentage of any U.S. coach all-time. Bradley became head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team after nine seasons as a head coach in Major League Soccer, having accumulated the most victories of any coach in league history at the time he joined U.S. Soccer.
The face of US football has evolved in the right direction these last years or since hosting the FIFA World Cup 1996 and professionalising football. Today the USA are ranked 14 by FIFA. In last summer Confederations Cup the US beat Spain 2-0 and managed a 2-0 half time lead against Brazil (3-2 for Brazil at the end). Not surprisingly, expectations are at an all time high for the US.
After spells in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich proved to be less than successful for him, he tried his luck in England as he joined Everton on loan from LA Galaxy in January and quickly established himself. The midfielder is capable of playing the killer pass to the forwards, crossing, and scoring on his own.
His pace, ability to put the ball in the back of the net and tenacity on the pitch makes him a danger for any opponent.
He is the Fulham forward that scored a nice goal against Juventus in the Europe League, sending Fulham to the semi-final. He has shown great form in this World Cup so far
Michael Bradley is the son of Bob Bradley, the US coach, but make no mistake: It is not his family ties that earned him a place in the US starting 11. Bradley is a tenacious midfielder who never relents in pursuit of a win, and always wants to control the space between each penalty area. He can take both an offensive and defensive role, and does not lack stamina.
He is the excellent US goal keeper playing for Everton. He combines great shot-blocking skills with the ability to make athletic saves.
A difficult match
The Americans have shown they are a resilient bunch. Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger said:
“They always try to play football to speed up the game and pass the ball well,
And they have the mental strength that the Americans have when they are down, capable to come back from 2-0 down to 2-2 in a World Cup. That’s not easy. They have good mental qualities.”
Also, the Americans scored an impressive total of 42 goals in the CONCACAF qualifiers.
They don’t just rely on a handful of players to supply the firepower. Instead, players from all over the field (defenders, midfielders and forwards) make key offensive contributions. That’s how Algeria used to be.
Scoring goals has been a real problem for Algeria, our last goal, from open play, was back in January!!!
Algeria has a cohesion problem between its midfield and its forwards, the forwards all too often ending up isolated up front. How many times have we seen the forwards alone in front of opponents’ defence? Our forwards need back up but that is not the only problem. Our finishing has been extremely poor, most od the shots on goal the team managed were off target, rarely have we put our opponent’s goal keepers in real danger. We used to score goals through set pieces but even that alternative has turned out unsuccessful lately. We just need too look at the England game where Antar yahia wasted two good opportunities for Algeria. I believe coach Rabah Saadane should have used Boudebouz to hit those balls. The young player has a great left foot and has been scoring goals for his club from free kicks. It is a pity not to use his skills and letting the captain Yahia decide who should have a go. In any case, the Algerian players must work on their finishing; they need to be more precise in front of the goal.
Rabah Saadane will probably make slight changes to the starting 11 that played England. He will probably call Djebbour instead of Ryad Boudebouz so the team has two forwards instead of one. We shall see what sheikh Saadane decides.
Hopefully that will be the only change as Karim Ziani has not trained for the last two days. Saadane says there’s nothing to worry abouth and that Ziani will be fit for the US match. Ziani had to be substituted after 80 minutes in the England match as he could not continue due to cramps. Lets hope he will recover in time for the USA match.
While the American offense has produced goals, the defense has been shaky. England and Slovenia exploited gaps between the midfield and defense, and DeMerit and Oguchi Onyewu have been slow to react at times. As a result, the opposition had space that allowed it to split the back line. In eight of the last 12 qualifiers and World Cup matches combined, the U.S. has allowed the first goal. Let’s hope our boys will also find the back of the American net.
1, 2, 3 VIVA L’ALGERIE!!!
US Qualifying results:
• Feb. 11, 2009 – United States 2, Mexico 0
• March 28, 2009 – El Salvador 2, United States 2
• April 1, 2009 – United States 3, Trinidad and Tobago 0
• June 3, 2009 – Costa Rica 3, United States 1
• June 6, 2009 – United States 2, Honduras 1
• Aug. 12, 2009 – Mexico 2, United States 1
• Sept. 5, 2009 – United States 2, El Salvador 1
• Sept. 9, 2009 – Trinidad and Tobago 0, United States 1
• Oct. 10, 2009 – Honduras 2, United States 3
• Oct. 14, 2009 – United States 2, Costa Rica 2
• Qualifying record: 18 games played, 13 wins, 2 draws, 3 losses
• Goals for: 42
• Goals against: 16
• Top goal-scorer in qualifying: Jozy Altidore (6)
Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/England), Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton/England), Tim Howard (Everton/England)
Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes/France), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover/Germany), Jay DeMerit (Watford/England), Clarence Goodson (IK Start/Norway), Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan/Italy), Jonathan Spector (West Ham/England)
DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers/Scotland), Michael Bradley (Borussia Moenchengladbach/Germany), Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt/Germany), Clint Dempsey (Fulham/England), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles / Everton, Eng), Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers/Scotland), Benny Feilhaber (AGF Aarhus/Denmark), Stuart Holden (Bolton/England), Jose Torres (Pachuca/Mexico)
Jozy Altidore (Hull/England), Edson Buddle (Los Angeles), Robbie Findley (Salt Lake), Herculez Gomez (Pachuca/Mexico)
Algeria meets the U.S. on June 23 in Pretoria ( 9:30 a.m. ET).
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