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.