Simple mission for US – Four points over two matches

We’ve entered another week of qualifying action, and of course the match on all American soccer fans’ minds is England-Andorra…. no wait, it’s not. It’s Costa Rica v. USA.

As I’ve been saying over and over again throughout this qualifying process, a road draw against any of the hex teams bar Trinidad is a good result. Do I want a repeat of the El Salvador match? Of course not, but if both teams were to hunker down and things were to end up 0-0, I’d be fine with that. Again, it’s a qualifier, and they don’t give artistic impression points in qualifying.

As always, I stand squarely with Bradley during this process, but I am beginning to get swayed by those calling for Zak Whitbread to get a shot at outside back over Heath Pearce. Maybe CR isn’t the best place to debut him, but perhaps Soldier Field v. Honduras is. I am not sure what I think of Coach Bradley’s supposed plan of putting Beasley at right back in place of the disappointingly injured Hejduk. I can’t quite decide whether it’s better to have someone with the wheels and lungs of Beasley versus someone with the defensive sense and tackling ability of a more traditional outside back. I don’t know how big that tradeoff is.

I think we’ll be able to replace Edu reasonably well with Mastroeni or Feilhaber. I think the Scare in San Salvador [(C) 2009 Aaron Stollar] will prove useful to this group as they won’t be quite so complacent and quite so listless even if their goal is to exit San Jose with a tie.

I’ll have more on this and the rest of the qualifiers later on this week.


8 thoughts on “Simple mission for US – Four points over two matches

  1. Personally, I believe that 8 points from the next three qualies are a must. Otherwise the US is in deep trouble.

  2. If you need 8, then you need 9. Two wins and a draw is only 7.

    Given the history, I think a draw on the road against Costa Rica would be fine. We’ve had some very good teams come out of there with nothing.

  3. I was going to say the same thing about 5 from 2 — 4 might be the # you’re thinking of. Regardless, your point remains a good one and I think that it’s a goal the USMNT can achieve.

  4. I actually do expect to be entertained. What the hell, it is not my job to watch soccer, and this region is pretty easy; so it seems the US should go for wins in all these games. After all, it is entertainment. I don’t need freinds mocking soccer like they did after the El Savador game and all the injury flops. Admittedly, if the Costa Rica game is tied with 10 minutes left, I don’t think the US has to open it up- that is a good team and a tough place to play. But I don’t understand budgeting points- just play the games to win, the top 3 out of 6 qualify (something I would change).

  5. Given the situation I would be fine with 1 point over the next two games.

    Tonight’s game has always been a loss.
    The Honduras game does not look good. US will be playing on short rest against a rested team. The US will likely have someone sit for cards and the fans will not be supporting us.

    I have a bad feeling about these two games. One point and the US is still ok. This is low expectations, but reality.

  6. Wow, that kind of expectations lowering normally only happens on the eve of a Presidential debate.

    Seriously, one point would be a bit of a joke out of these two matches.

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