Saturday, May 27, 2006


The U.S. looked much better last night in a 2-0 win over Venezuela in Cleveland. Granted, it should be pointed out that a) almost any effort short of not getting off the team bus would have looked swell compared to the debacle against Morocco and b) Venezuela is to South American soccer what Northwestern is to Big Ten hoops.

But a win is a win and the vibes are obviously better heading into the final warmup against Latvia on Sunday. Which is good.

Bobby Convey was probably the best best U.S. player on the night, which is interesting because he's likely a backup to Demarcus Beasley on the left flank. But damn if Convey didn't cause all sorts of chaos down the left side. He needs to be on the field somewhere at some point. Playing in the Premiership is obviously helping.

Brian Ching scored the opener (on a cross from Convey) and Clint Dempsey, who makes rap videos on his off days, and even performs them live, scored the second.

Carlos Bocanegra started and needs to start more. Sure, I'm a bit biased because of his days with the Fire, but I will not dispute this. I don't know if I've ever seen a game where Bocanegra didn't look solid back there. Interestingly, Corey Gibbs has suffered what is probably most any players' worst nightmare. He was knocked off the roster due to injury two weeks before the World Cup. He has four long years to wait. As bad as the injury sucks for Gibbs, there is one more potential starting spot open on the backline now.

Of course it would help if Bocanegra didn't get booted from the game with two yellow cards.

Eddie Johnson looked dangerous and active up top, which isn't always the case. He needs to bring that every night.

Interesting note: How good could the Fire be right now if they hadn't lost Beasely, Bocanegra, and Damani Ralph to Europe? Scary thought.

Speaking of the Fire, they play Chivas tonight. Saturday night in Little East LA. Ariba! Ariba!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Convey hasn't actually played a Premiership game yet. He helped Reading get promoted from the Championship to the Prem.

2:34 PM  

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