- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On June 8, 2008
- 6 Comments
- Argentina, Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson, Health Pearce, International Friendlies, Landon Donovan, Messi, Sasha Kljestan, Tim Howard
Even though I decided not to write recaps or thoughts to the other two friendlies that the US men’s national team played over the last couple weeks, tonight compelled me to do so. It wasn’t that the other two were disappointing, okay the England game was, but its something about facing the world’s number one and gaining a positive result that really makes you think.
Out of the three friendlies, this was by far the best game. It was like we’ve built this up over the course of the three matches. England, as mentioned before, was disappointing on all levels. Spain was a positive step forward but in the end we showed we ran out of gas. But tonight’s clash with Argentina proved to me and a lot of people that this US side will be able to handle the best sides in the world.
I won’t recap the entire game because I honestly missed a few minutes here and there for work related reasons (blame the schedule for me being on-call this weekend…).
But a few thought on the game itself:
- Tim Howard – Easily the man of the match. So many key saves in big moments of the game. How he isn’t in discussions for one of the world’s best keepers is beyond me. That game tonight proved he is worthy of being in the discussion if he wasn’t already. Good luck to Brad Guzan or Dominic Cervi for beating this guy out for the starting role over the next few years. He has it on lock down.
- Speaking of having a position locked down. Heath Pearce easily has the left back position on lock down now. Damn how he intrigues me. Proves yet again how the MLS fails at signing home grown talent at a good wage. This guy is really improving his game on all ends any more.
- Eddie Johnson, again not bad but nothing great. His bar is still so low that it almost doesn’t matter what he does but his pace can be effective.
- Clint Dempsey actually looked good in this one. After the last two matches he looked practically useless out there but tonight he was effective, making solid runs and really working hard.
- Same goes for Michael Bradley.
- Landon Donovan elevates this club more than we really believe. He wasn’t great tonight but his work ethic out there shows.
- I loved the energy that the US came out with in the second half. Very promising.
- Argentina had the bulk of chances in the game but the US probably came a little closer with a couple post-hitting shots.
- Argentina is a completely different squad without Messi in the line up. As good as they looked all night, without him they lacked a certain element to their game.
- How Julio Cruz missed all of those shots at point blank against Howard is still pretty amazing. I thought he would have at least nailed on in after a while but Howard had his number tonight.
- Weird second yellow to Pablo Mastronei, who had a decent night. The yellow-to-red shouldn’t have been called but at least the US weren’t down a man for too long.
- Nice to see Sasha Kljestan out there tonight, even in a substitute role.
- Great crowd (78,682), too bad it was nasty rain at the end of it though. Still even as big as Giants Stadium is you can deny its a solid venue for soccer when it is full.
- I think the US looks fit and ready for World Cup qualifying now. We should get rosters early this week for the Barbados game this coming weekend.
What else did I miss? Feel free to pipe in your own.