ASN Morning Read: It's Game Day in the U-S-A
The United States national team prepares to take on Panama at Seattle's CenturyLink Field. The squad is prepared. The fans are en route. The grass is, well, grass. Everything you need to know is a click away.
It's game day, and ASN has you covered. Tactical breakdown! Predictions! And of course, the interactive Starting XI tool, which can help you win a trip to Brazil next summer (knock on wood).
All the time spent together in the last few weeks could pay off next summer. “With every day and every week, we’re getting closer," Terrence Boyd said. "Everybody gets to know the other men even better. It’s good for the team chemistry, if we stick together for a long time.” It's genuinely getting tougher to make the excuse that the U.S. doesn't play together as much as other national sides do. Said Boyd: “Next year, we’ll be even a better team, and everybody will understand the other player next to him even better."
DaMarcus Beasley's rebirth with the national team came via a very simple conversation with Jurgen Klinsmann "Klinsmann sat me down, and the conversation took 10 seconds," Beasley said. "He said, 'You're going to play left back.' I said, 'OK.' He said, "Do you feel comfortable?' I said 'Of course.' He said, 'All right,' and that was it."
ESPN has a handful of numbers and facts ahead of tonight's match. The U.S. is undefeated in its last 23 home World Cup qualifiers, 21-0-2 in that stretch. Against Panama, the U.S. is 8-1-2 all time, the lone loss coming in the group stage of the 2011 Gold Cup. Jozy Altidore has never scored in three consecutive international matches, so that would be quite a feat if he scores tonight.
Jon Arnold wrote at length about the subpar surface at Century Link Field. If you're really into grass and nostalgia, Alexi Lalas dug up this report on the use of natural grass for soccer in the Pontiac Silverdome. They put down a surface in 1993 for the U.S. Cup and kept it alive through the 1994 World Cup. "I've never experienced a field in such perfect condition," some guy named Jurgen Klinsmann said at the time. That was 20 years ago, yet here we are today complaining about it.
Zac Rigg uses the word "clonked" in writing about Jermaine Jones' concussion. That's great. So is his analysis about Jurgen Klinsmann's midfield decisions in light of said clonking. Well played, Rigg. Well played.
Clint Dempsey talked to Leander Schaerlaeckensabout what makes him tick. “You don’t really know when your peak is going to be or if you’ve passed it or if it’s still to come," Dempsey said. "All you can do is just continue. You have to prove yourself every year. You can’t just say, ‘I did it one year – that’s cool.’ You can easily fall to the wayside.”
Terrence Boyd and Eddie Johnson want to get you psyched for tonight. You might want to turn your volume down.
Finally, a 13-minute trailer(?) about Bob Bradley's time in Egypt? Yeah, we'll watch that.
June 11, 2013
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American Pharaoh: BOB BRADLEY AND THE EGYPTIAN SOCCER TEAM, THE INSIDE STORY from Soura Films on Vimeo.