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Monday, September 5, 2011

USMNT vs. Belgium preview and thoughts.

When the USMNT takes the field against Belgium, in Brussels on Tuesday night the pain associated with the loss against Costa Rica will have dissipated, and it will be on again. The US now faces a far more difficult opponent in the shape of Belgium, where a win is absolutely crucial. This friendly marks the 3rd test for new coach Klinsmann and I demand a result. he can only work with the players he has at disposal, and after a grueling travel schedule it's likely that not all the big names will start. Reading various sources from around the web, it seems that  the  prospected line up will be:

                                  -- Spector----Bocanegra-------Goodson---Cherundolo

As you can see the line-up sets up on the defensive side, and given the attacking weapons in Belgium's arsenal, having Edu and Beckerman sitting in the hole is a necessity in  quelling the threat that will be evident with Lukaku running at the back line. The US will need to be defensively sound, so starting Castillo should not even enter the German's mind. Looking brittle, on the verge of collapse against Costa Rica, Castillo left the right flank wide open, inviting forays forward from opponents. 
On an attacking standpoint, I'am disgruntled with the fact that we find our self with Altidore being the only logical option up-top. As much as I hate it, he is the only option. Altidore has been scoring freely for his club side in Holland, but with the responsibility of doing it on the National Team level, he lacks the clout. Not sure if it is the pressure of being center stage, or being marooned alone,  but he cannot stick it.  He's a better option than Buddle and young  Agudelo, but he's in no way the answer. Instating Torres into the no. 10 position gives the US attacking creativity, with his smart passes and possession retention. Torres looked good against Costa Rica and deserves the role against the Belgians.

For my prediction: I have to go  against my team, regretfully. I am not feeling the conviction in the US squad, and with the stresses of travel I am going with a 2-0, or 2-1 to Belgium. 

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