US Soccer Nation Blog: June 26,2008- Hello everyone. I'm pleased to report that the United States Men's Soccer Team is alive and well after sweeping Barbados in a 9-0 aggregate. In the first match played at The Home Depot Center in front of a crowd of 11,476, the US jumped out in front 1-nil on a Clint Dempsey strike at exactly :53 seconds match time. Dempsey's goal was the quickest ever scored by the US from the opening Kick Off. But the fun didn't stop there. The US scored not only early but often. They were up 3-0 at halftime and nailed the coffin shut by adding on 5 more goals in the second half on their way to an 8-nil 2nd round qualifying victory. The 8-0 tally is recorded as being the highest scoring shutout in US team history. It seemed almost crazy to me watching the US man handling on its attack in comparison to the absolute defensive struggle against Argentina just the week before. The US ran its usual 4-4-2 formation
STRIKERS / BRIAN CHING - CLINT DEMPSEY.......MIDFIELDERS / DEMARCUS BEASLEY - PABLO MASTROENI - MICHAEL BRADLEY - LANDON DONOVAN.......DEFENSE / HEATH PEARCE - CARLOS BOCENAGRA - OGUCHI ONYEWU - STEVE CHERUNDOLO.......GOALKEEPER / BRAD GUZAN......SUBS / EDDIE LEWIS - FREDDIE ADU - EDDIE JOHNSON
(Above Center) # 7 Eddie Lewis celebrates his lone goal at Kensington Oval, Barbados. June 22,2008. Lewis was the only US player to score a goal in both games of the aggregate.
Goal scoring by the US in Game One came off of Doubles by both Brian Ching and Clint Dempsey. A free kick from Landon Donovan and kicks from Eddie Lewis and Eddie Johnson. Barbados was credited with an Own Goal coming off the deflection of a Pablo Mastroeni boot from about 30 yards out that found its way into the opposing net.
US INJURY REPORT: US starting Goalkeeper Tim Howard suffered a lower back strain in a none contact practice two days prior to game one and was scatched from the line up. He was replaced by Brad Guzan A keeper that is as qualified to start as Howard. It's hard to think of Brad as a member of the second team, as he quite often gets the call as starter lately, including the last two straight.
Notes about Barbados: The island of Barbados is very small and they really don't have any depth in their player pool to ever make a run at the US. Barbados doesn't have a professional league. Their only soccer league is an amature. Barbados has a total of two players signed to Europian contracts. Talent wise, theres really no chance of Barbados giving the US a good run.
The US ran up the score in game one to avoid having to send their A team to Barbados, enabling Landon Donovan to get back to LA and add to his MLS scoring lead. Coach Bob Bradley has released 10 of the US top players, giving them the chance to rejoin their current League Clubs. These ten members will be recalled in late August as the US National team prepares for round 3- The Semi Finals.
MORE THOUGHTS ON BARBADOS COMING SOON