Wednesday, May 31, 2006

If These Guys Step Up



The first American soccer generation's golden boys are featured in the current Sports Illustrated cover story.

If these guys—Landon, Gooch, Beaz, and Convey—really step it up this year like they say they're capable, and if they play with reckless abandon, then we will get out of our group. And once that happens, we can be dangerous, even against Brazil. I think that all four of them will be on the field against the Czech Republic.

While Beasley is playing unimpressively offensively, he works his ass off, is playing well defensively, and is super-fast.
He'll go on the right side to shut down Pavel Nedved. I think that he'll deliver.

If Donovan can figure out how to be more of a leader on the field, while still playing like the wild man he was in 2002, then he'll have another breakout Cup.

We all know that Gooch will be a lion in the back, actually on the backs on opposing attackers.

Convey has looked as determined as ever recently, and if he can run at the Czechs with the determined resolve that he showed against Venezuela, then we will win our first game.

Dempsey will make an excellent 12th man and should add some offensive spark in the second half.

Johnson still looks like a young and immature player. I'm not convinced he's ready for prime-time.

I think that Sports Illustrated got it right. If Reyna is healthy and in the center of the park with Mastroeni, Pope, and Keller, then it will be up to these guys on this cover to provide the extra intangibles that we'll need to make it through our group. This is the combination we'll need to survive Group E. If we can win our first game again, look for us to start cruising. If we loose, even tie, things might get a little shaky.

This is a World Cup, and nothing is certain. It's time to see where we really are as a soccer-playing nation. It's time to come to Jesus. It's time to see if some new players can step up and play with reckless abandon.

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