Saturday, March 24, 2012

USA Looks To Use Olympic Qualifying Momentum Against Canada Tonight

6:00PM CST @LP Stadium - Nashville, TN
US U-23 Head Coach admitted that he was not entirely pleased with the American’s performance during their 6-0 win over Cuba on Thursday.  After the game he said to reporters, “Even though the result was lopsided, I still thought it could have been better.”

He hopes the US will improve their performance tonight against Canada in Nashville.  Striker Juan Agudelo missed practice yesterday due to injury and his availability for tonight is unknown.  What is known is that if the US wins tonight, they qualify for the semifinals in Kansas City.  A win and a draw between Cuba and El Salvador would mean the US would win Group A with a game to spare.
Watch out for Teal Bunbury, if Agudelo doesn't go.
Canada enters the game tonight looking to improve on a fortunate goalless draw against El Salvador on Thursday.  The Canadians were outplayed by El Salvador and had it not been for Goalkeeper Michal Misiewicz’s efforts, they would have lost.  There are some familiar MLS players on this roster. Centerback Nana Attakora last played for the San Jose Earthquakes, leftback Russell Teibert of the Vancouver Whitecaps and Rightback Matt Stinson of Toronto FC.  In all seven players on the roster come from MLS with five of those playing for Canadian based teams.
The Canadians looked disjointed and tame in the game against El Salvador but the biggest problem they will have to deal with is the Americans’ play on the flanks.  The Canadian defense was at sixes and sevens dealing with El Salvador and they were too narrow at the midfield.  If these problems persist, expect Brek Shea, Joe Gyau, and/or Freddy Adu to have a field day.  

Another interesting aspect of this game is who will be the American striker for tonight.  If Juan Agudelo cannot play, Caleb Porter will have to choose between the much-fancied Terrance Boyd or the Canadian-American Teal Bunbury.  Boyd is a highly rated prospect with defending Bundesliga champs Borussia Dortmund. Bunbury (Sporting KC) played in Thursday’s game.  No matter who plays, they are expected to give centerbacks Nana Attakora and Drew Beckie problems.  The Canadians will do everything they can to limit the damage and sneak a result but they are simply too weak to stop the American attack.

Prediction: 4-1 United States

USA Starting 11

Christian Araos
ONE GOAL Contributor

Canada Starting 11

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