Tactical Analysis: How Did USA Stun Spain?

Spain were predicted to beat the USA comfortably, but if you took a look at the whole match, anything but occurred

Usually in soccer, USA have nothing to show, but if the Americans showed one thing tonight, however cliché it may be; it’s that having a coach who knows his tactics and who knows how his players fit the tactics can prove to be very effective, effective enough to beat the European champions.

You will see that this article explains how USA stunned Spain in THREE key ways.

If there is a simple lesson to be taught in football, it is if you have possession of the ball, you must be effective with it.

Landon Donovan and co helped the defense


USA’s stern defence with the energetic Landon Donovan (who was criticised for his fitness by the Bayern assistant coach a few months ago) and other midfielders coming back to help USA, whenever Spain had ball possession with the 3 key passers of the ball – Xavi, Fabregas and Alonso, USA closed them down very quickly, rendering Spain’s short, passing moving system ineffective.

Dempsey and Donovan Changing Positions

During the match, USA forwards Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan both exchanged roles many times during the match, marking the quick and agile Donovan while trying to erase the effect of the sturdy, disciplined Dempsey while they changed positions all the time proved to be too difficult for Spain’s defenders – Altidore’s goal came from a neat passing move featuring Dempsey and Bocanegra, Spain should have sent Xabi Alonso (their Defensive Midfielder) to mark Dempsey.

Spain’s Chances

Villa missed a great chance, Torres had a disappointing game and his first-touch was off – he needed it today as Spain resorted to long-balls in the final couple of minutes and it wasn’t working, Fabregas and Ramos forced great saves from Howard too, who had a great match, in the end, despite USA’s surprising great use of tactics, Spain just weren’t clinical enough.

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3 comments on “Tactical Analysis: How Did USA Stun Spain?
  1. Interesting analysis but you need to improve your writing.
    “Landon Donovan and co-helped the defense” wtf???
    “During the match, USA forwards Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan both exchanged roles many times during the match, marking the quick and agile Donovan while trying to erase the effect of the sturdy, disciplined Dempsey while they changed positions all the time proved to be too difficult for Spain’s defenders” looks like a German sentence.
    Also, the article doesn’t explain the THREE WAYS in which USA stunned the European champions. “Spain’s chances” is definitely not one of them.

  2. It was Feilhaber, not Clark, who held the ball, waited patiently and fed Donovan on the right for the second goal.

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