Thursday, July 02, 2009

Confederations Cup Rewind

By now any fan of the US Men's National Team already knows that the boys followed up their miracle escape from the group stage by snapping Spain's record unbeaten streak and going up 2-0 on Brazil before coming back to earth. Rather then opine on how historic these results might be, I'd like to present some things we may have learned about this team.

It's a Whole Lot Easier to Play With 11 Men
Everyone's head exploded when the US got their lunch handed to them in the first two games. What folks seemed to overlook is that the US played 90 out of 180 minutes of those games a man down. You won't find many teams who will handle Brazil and Italy well 10 v 11.

Charlie Davies is Legit
When Davies left Boston College early and jumped straight to Hammarby in Sweden I thought it was a mistake. Many others that have opted to spurn MLS and go straight Europe have slunk back home after a year or two of riding the pine. Davies has bucked the trend, and has teams from larger leagues looking into acquiring him. If his goal versus Egypt and well worked counter with Donovan against Brazil are any indication, he may be the speed option the US has lacked up top for a while now.

Donovan is a Midfielder
This tournament may be the best performance Donovan has ever put in as a Nat. He was all over the field and stole the show. In the thick of the action, he's a warrior, but as a forward he seems to lose focus and drift out of the game. Hopefully this will keep Bob Bradley from deploying him up top any more.

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