On June 15, the United States will kick off their tournament at 2:30 against Italy at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria. They are joined in Group B with Brazil and Egypt.
On that date the United States will look to solidify an ever-changing lineup by seeing what its like to play one of the truly best teams in the world. The US will likely use this tournament as a huge experiment in which they can see who can and cannot compete against the best. With that said, the United States will still look to leave a lasting impression on its fans. They'd also like to get the bad taste that's been left in their mouths for the last 3 years now as they take on Italy. Let's look at the team.
Strength- Goalkeeping. The United States, of late, haven't exactly looked like world beaters and almost everyone is underperforming for club (very few can get a game) and country. With that said, the strength of this team is Tim Howard in the back. The Everton goalkeeper has became the real leader of his side and should be awarded the captain's armband for it very soon (maybe before the tourney). If Howard can somehow motivate his team (the CONCACAF Gold Cu winning team), then just maybe the United States can do well in this tournament.
Weakness- Experience and depth. Most of this side don't have any international or club experience and that is not a good thing in a tournament like this. Then the rest of the side are very lackluster when coming off the bench at times. No matter what is going on, the US always has trouble getting certain positions going and this is the problem. Bradley will need to find about 5 subs that he will be able to exclusively use in the World Cup if he wants them to do well. And he'll also need to find the best 11 possible.
Player to Watch- Landon Donovan. When on his game, Donovan could be one of Europe's best club players. But when off form, Donovan can be as bad as any. No matter what his position ends up being, Donovan needs to make sure to push hard and lead the rest of the team to do so. This guy can score goals and he will need to score (or set them up) in order for the United States to win.
Prediction- With the recent form of the US on the road, I don't see this side doing well. I see them coming out of Group B with maybe a point and a fourth place finish. They could finish third, but it will depend on the Egypt match.
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