Can the US blunt Riquelme and Messi?

Group C: Argentina v. USA
Time: 20:50 (local) / 20:50 ET / 00:50 GMT, June 28, 2007
Venue: Estadio José Pachencho Romero, Maracaibo
Referee: Carlos Candía (Chile)
Who gets the onerous task of policing Leo Messi? Or do you go to a zone? If there is to be man to man then Jimmy Conrad with his experience should get the call.
Big encounter considering the number of upsets which should worry the Argies a bit. The attack flows through Riqueme and Alfio Basile has taken a gamble on the Boca man to deliver the goods. The US could get lulled by the laconic playmaker which is why the defense has to stay alert. Jonathan Bornstein and Jay De Merit will have to collapse on those supply lanes very quickly which Riquelme exploits. One way to do is to lengthen the field with physical fitness and tire out Riquelme by contesting the ball very early. No cheap fouls either because Riquelme has found his dead ball touch.
Kasey Keller will have to watch Hernan Crespo very carefully because the veteran goal poacher has been in very good nick for Inter. Especially on corners and freekicks. Ricardo Clark who had some good minutes in the Mexico game and Benny Feilheber will jump start the US attack with Eddie Johnson up front to try and slip in through the defense and trouble the goal. Justin Mapp and Marvel Wynne should see their US debut.
The US beat a depleted Argentina, 3-0 in the 1995 Copa America. This is a different team and the US will have to fight harder to make inroads. The Argies will prevail, 2-0.

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2 comments on “Can the US blunt Riquelme and Messi?
  1. Just discovered the blog today. Great stuff. Keep it up.
    I’m looking forward to seeing Mapp get some minutes today. Think we’ll have a Lee Nguyen sighting?

  2. I’m also new to the blog and I certainly like what I’ve seen. I think you were a little unfair to the US side in the Gold Cup post-game recap, but I think this is a bit too generous! Even against a full US squad I think this Argentina line up would coast, and against US junior I think things could get a little, shall we say, Messi. Still, looking forward to seeing some of the younger US talent get some legitimate playing time.

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