Friday, March 03, 2006

US 1 Poland 0

They came. They saw. They shoveled some snow.

On Wednesday the US topped Poland 1-0 in Kaiserslauten, Germany. It was a nice result but a tough game to take much from due to the weather conditions. The temperature was below freezing from the kickoff and it snowed very heavily during the second half. Therefore, it's tough to say whether any player played well or poorly or if they were just affected by the weather.

Clint Dempsey scored the only goal when he used his head to clean up a deflected ball off of a long cross. The goal was like the game...not pretty but a good result.

In other matches on Thursday, Italy (who will be in Group E with the US this summer) throttled Germany 4-1. This is significant for two reasons. 1) It looks like Italy is really clicking these days and 2) Germany will be out for blood in their next game. Here's the kicker...Germany's next game is against the US on March 22nd (ESPN2 2:25pm EST). The US will be without most of its European players so, it'll be playing an angry stacked German side in Germany with a squad made up of MLS and German-based players.

If Germany doesn't do well in that game, Coach Juergen Klinnsman's job may be on the line. He's been taking a lot of heat for continuing to live in Los Angles since taking the job. People will cut him slack if he gets good results but if the team is tanking and you are living 8,000 miles away, you're going to get fired; particularly if your country is hosting the World Cup this summer.


In other games involving Group E teams, Czech Republic gave up two goals in the last four minutes to Turkey and tied 2-2. Quite frankly, I'd count this as a 2-0 win for the Czechs. This is a friendly and I'm sure the players let up towards the end of the game. The reality is that the Czechs outplayed Turkey in Turkey for 86 minutes. Therefore, I'm considering them to be playing well also.

Ghana continued to sputter though. After a miserable performance in the African Nations Cup, they lost 1-0 to Mexico in Texas. Since the US hasn't lost in the US to Mexico in a long time, that 1-0 loss doesn't serve Ghana very well as a benchmark match against the US.

There's still a long way to go until June but right now it looks like the Czechs, Italians and Americans are going to have a pretty good battle for the top two spots in the group.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'd be shocked if the Germans canned Klinsman less than three months before the World Cup starts. That would take them from apprehension to utter chaos. No one thought anything of the Germans in the last Cup and they reached the finals. The fact of the matter is few countries are better at pulling results out of their asses. Playing at home and their savvy will make them a force.

As far as the US goes, I know a number of people aren't wild about him, especially at his age, but the Poland match showed just how much the Americans need Reyna in the midfield. For whatever reason, he seems to settle everyone else down. Otherwise, I think the US will have a good mix of youth and experience, and I especially like the speed up front.

TK

Flatlander said...

TK,

I agree with you on Reyna. While he rarely makes the spectactular and memorable plays, the team always plays better when he's on the field.

Firing Klinsman three months before the WC would be crazy and more like something a soccer minnow would do rather than a soccer power. However, imagine the scene if a US B-team beat the Germans A-team in Germany in two weeks. It would be utter chaos regardless whether they fire him or not.

Flatlander said...

TK,

Have you checked into using your press credentials to get you into the games in Germany?

Anonymous said...

Much as I'd like to, I'm going to just chill out here in the States so I can watch all the games. I just decided it'd be too much hassle and I want to be able to watch and enjoy. Then I'm going to Chile for two weeks in mid-July.

Come to think of it...the Germans would not spare Klinsman the rod if they got humiliated by the US. Ouch, that would be a media flogging.

Have you been catching any Champions League at all?

TK

Anonymous said...

This can't be a good sign.

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=360568&cc=5901

TK

yankunian said...

I think there are a lot of people in Manchester who wished Reyna had a similar effect on his Man City teammates, but I don't think he does.

I just found out I am going to be in VT during the world cup in June ... arrrgh. What's the situation over there -will any bars around central vt be showing it?