We love you Donovan, but losing Saturday would be a failure

“It’s not a failure if we don’t win Saturday,” Landon Donovan told reporters yesterday, referring to the team’s upcoming match against Ghana. “But there’s such a massive opportunity to do something so much more special. I really want to emphasize that to everybody, and make sure we understand that.” read more

Thank you, Robert Green. USA tie England 1-1

The United States didn’t deserve to tie England 1-1 today in their opening game of the World Cup. But they did, thanks to two goalies: English keeper Robert Green for giving us one (pictured). And American keeper Tim Howard (the man of the match) for saving a half dozen others.

“The record will show it was a tie, but it was hardly that,” wrote the Associated Press. Indeed, out defense looked porous in the first half, and our midfield couldn’t connect a pass to save its life in the second. In addition to Howard, only Landon Donovan, Jozy Altidore, and Steve Cherundolo looked particularly strong. read more

U.S. Soccer: “You need a lot of things to win a World Cup”

We interviewed Neil Buethe of U.S. Soccer this week, for his thoughts on this year’s World Cup campaign. Although the PR director remained more diplomatic in his comments than we’d like, he did address what the federation will consider a success this summer, what it takes to win the Cup, and where US Soccer hopes to be in the next 25 years, post South Africa. On with the interview… read more

Defense is our team’s biggest liability

If you hear a passing remark at the World Cup this summer from someone saying the U.S. has no offense, smack ‘em on the head for me. Then point ‘em to this proven analysis, in which a really smart dude ranks the U.S. as a top 10 scoring team in the world (9th to be exact). Believe it.

No, our team’s real worry is our defense. Our back line. Our onion bag stoppers. Even if everyone is healthy (I’m looking at you “Gooch” and DeMerit), our defense is still the weakest link. In fact, the only player I expect to start on defense is team captain Carlos Bocanegra. read more

Team USA: Memorize these jersey numbers before June 12

U.S. Soccer has cataloged and numbered the 23 Americans playing in the World Cup this summer. They are as follows (projected starting 11 in bold):

1 Tim Howard
2 Jonathan Spector
3 Carlos Bocanegra
4 Michael Bradley
5 Oguchi Onyewu
6 Steve Cherundolo
7 DaMarcus Beasley
8 Clint Dempsey
9 Herculez Gomez
10 Landon Donovan
11 Stuart Holden
12 Jonathan Bornstein
13 Ricardo Clark
14 Edson Buddle
15 Jay DeMerit
16 Jose Torres
17 Jozy Altidore
18 Brad Guzan
19 Maurice Edu
20 Robbie Findley
21 Clarence Goodson
22 Benny Feilhaber
23 Marcus Hahnemann read more