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Matchday USA

USA vs. Guatemala, Gold Cup opener, Home Depot Center, 9 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel and TeleFutura.

No, I am not there. And neither are most of you. But that doesn't mean we can't analyze, overanalyze, predict and assess the match, right?

USA is a clear favorite, but this match could become a little tricky. We saw how Guatemala frustrated the American lads in the friendly at Frisco a few months ago.

Key questions: Will Johnson's form in MLS carry over to the international game? Can Donovan continue his international resurgence? Will the MLS and European players bond? How much of a nuisance will the Little Fish, Carlos Ruiz, become?

I will go with 2-0 USA. Johnson scores on a header off Dempsey's cross in the 19th minute, Donovan breaks out and finishes in the 63rd.

Whatcha think?

Use this forum for your pregame thoughts and predictions, your in-game venting and your postgame analysis.......

By Steve Goff  |  June 7, 2007; 4:45 PM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Twellman scores in 20th minute off a cross from Donovan. Bocanegro makes a gaffe in 40th minute, Guatemala equalizes. Michael Bradley scores in 79th minute to win the game.

Posted by: jj | June 7, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Carlos Ruiz contracts Ich (Ichthyophthirius multifilis) and dies.

Posted by: entropy | June 7, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I was so disappointed with the US's performance in Germany, that'd I'd prefer we gave a lot of time to younger guys in this tournament. Let Benny Feilhaber and Coaches Son run the center of the park, with Johnson and Ching up top. I'd even go so far as to bench Donovan for a several games in the this tournament (or bring him on as a sub), then send him back to LA for Copa America... and then not call on him for the rest of this year's friendlies. We already know what he can do.

Posted by: TCompton | June 7, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I'll go with 3-0 but from Johnson, Donovan and Beasley.

Posted by: Southeasterner | June 7, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Compton in general, I'd like to see Landon have to earn his spot for once. However, I have this funny feeling that Landon plays better against CONCACAF/COMENBOL opponents than others (Europe, Asia, Africa)...just a theory...anyone got #s to back it up? i'm too lazy

Posted by: Eric | June 7, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

2-0 Gooch & Donovan

Posted by: Andrew | June 7, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Interesting and tempting idea there Tim re: benching Donovan. My guess is that Bradley isn't gonna do it so to me the big thing this summer will be to see if the US can get any sort of offense that isn't initiated or ended by LD. It would be huge if the US could find a real international goalscorer and the only real nominee is Johnson coming off his hat tricks in MLS. If EJ can have a good Gold Cup and continue that through CA an on to the fall Europe games then the US will have taken another step.

I can't see any other forward taking that step. Not TT nor Chinger nor what have you.

After that what Tim says about the central midfield w/ Bradley and Feilhaber will be interesting to watch.

Posted by: skip | June 7, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

guatemala may surprise us.

but i'm hoping for at least a 2 goal differential for the US. goals by EJ, Bornstein, and Rolfe.

Posted by: hokie soccer fan | June 7, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

oops. rolfe's not on the roster. dempsey instead :)

Posted by: hokie soccer fan | June 7, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

You heard it here first--Pope gets the start, Meola posts the clean sheet.

Posted by: Logan Circle | June 7, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse


Spector ... Bocanegra ... Onyewu ... Bornstein

Feilhaber ... Bradley

Dempsey ... Beasley

Donovan ... Johnson

I want to see how Bornstein and Dempsey perform after okay showing against China.


Posted by: 12th man | June 7, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

This is our toughest 1st Rd Gold Cup game as El Salvador is currently weaker than Guatemala and T&T is in disarray over a player strike or lockout after the team's World Cup bonus money somehow wound up in Jack Warner's bank account or something.

So we need to treat Guatemala with respect and expect them to somehow score a goal.

According to the CIA World Factbook Guatemala has a population of 12.78 while China's population is 1.321 BILLION. So China has more than a hundred times more people.

Since we beat China 4-1 we will beat Guatemala by about 400-1.

I say "about" because it's hard to make an exact calculation since there are bound to be a few questionable offsides calls.

Don't question the science.

Posted by: garbaggio | June 7, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Fine with that lineup except I really hope he lets Simek out on the right and Spector on the left. I have not been impressed with Bornstein. He may be fast, but he's not a particularly good defender, and he's scrawnier than Beasley. Right now, he's riding that goal he scored early on...

Posted by: c-hawk | June 7, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Slight correction...

Guatemala has 12.78 MILLION people not just 12.78 people. Altough the great Pando usually only played as .78 of a player while he was in MLS.

Posted by: garbaggio | June 7, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

USA EXPLODES EARLY! 2-0 at half. 2 more in the second half. Maybe a cheap goal given up mid second half. Eddie Johnson will lead the charge! END RESULT 4-1 USA rolls!

Posted by: John Berrodin | June 7, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

We have to watch out for El Salvador. The ageless Ronald Cerritos and the midfeild general Eliseo Quesadilla could give the US some trouble - or not.

Posted by: Henchlow | June 7, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

got to agree with ray hudson's assessment on american soccer last night... we have the players, especially against a team like guatemala, to go for the throat. let's see it...

3-0, goles de Dempsey, Feilhaber and GAM. (though I'm hoping for more)

Posted by: d, dc | June 7, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

People,'s guatemala. 0-0 draw based on guatemala's employing the ultra-cynical swiss model. They know if they tie the us, they are in good shape.

Posted by: Northzax | June 7, 2007 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Not in the luv with the lineup. As earlier comment said - this by far the toughest of the group games. Wanted to see EJ paired with a true target forward (I prefer Ching to Twellman at this level), but no go.
I know BB has to really juggle lineups here with so many matches in so few days, but I wanted a different forward combo.

Also, the Hejduk thing just flat out astounds me. Use him against the likes of a Guadaloupe if you must, but a start in the first match? Truly bizzare.

Did Arena thraten to take away Bob's lunch money if he didn't start at least one of Da Bruce's favs? Was Agoos not available for recall?

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | June 7, 2007 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I'll go with 1-0. Beasley to Johnson

Posted by: gomez4prez | June 7, 2007 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Starting Lineup:





Posted by: Luis | June 7, 2007 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Kind of a chippy start so far... Looks like Guat is going to be happy to put about a thousand men behind the ball. If they could, they'd put up a maginot line at midfield.

Posted by: iammrben | June 7, 2007 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Hejduk should no longer be in the National Team player pool, let alone starting a competitive match. I'm surprised EJ isn't starting considering no one is as on form as he is right now. However, I do like the midfield-forward set up.

I think people overrate Spector. He hasn't developed enough since he was supposed to be an up and comer with Man U. He just has never impressed me.

I say Donovan and Dempsey, 2-0. Maybe a third from EJ on a later corner.

Posted by: G-Dub | June 7, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

woo dempsey. nice buildup

Posted by: iammrben | June 7, 2007 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm watching on a snowy Telefutura broadcast, and not speaking Spanish, am missing the choice commentary. One thing I did distinctly hear on Tim Howard's first or second touch:

"Teem Howard... Howard the Duck"

Posted by: edgeonyou | June 7, 2007 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Annnnd, after a sweet assist on the first goal Twellman just dropped a few rungs on the roster with a rec-league finish on a totally unmarked header from the six. I know he was trying to put it in the upper corner, but dude, at least get it on frame...

We're letting them hang around too long... Time to pull out the dagger and slip it twixt the ribs.

Posted by: edgeonyou | June 7, 2007 9:51 PM | Report abuse

I kind of like Donovan working from the right, he's made some nice runs and even put in a real nice cross that Twellman should have finished. Reminds me of Reyna against Mexico in the '02 Cup.

Posted by: G-Dub | June 7, 2007 9:52 PM | Report abuse

G-Dub, Landon is a wide player - why Da Briuce got away from this I will neevr understand. Can serve a world class ball, particularly while ont he run down the wing. not a real No. 10, but a slasher with great vision. he's not a middle of the park guy when it comes to games that matter. He also needs to stop taking the set pieces right now. Seriously. Make that edict at the half, Bob.

Twellman has to make the keeper at least make a save on that free header - off a sublime Landycakes service - from the 6. shameful - but pretty much what he's done his entire Nats career (save for that BS hat trick vs. Denmark's Under-23 C Team or whatever way back when). He's not class; good MLS player, that's it.

Hejduk can always be counted on for completely out-of-control fouls just outside the 18 and at least one yellow per match, and Bornstein is doing a pretty good Hejduk impersonation on the opposiute side. He needs to chill out and play sound positional defense.

Gooch seems to have forgotten how to play and think - seems like so long ago he was taking Borgetti, and Mexico, off their game in WC Qualifiers.

Need to get Benny and Bradley involved in the middle of the pitch, get them some touches, establish a tempo. Too herky-jerky.

Just a rough, raw, erratic half of football all around, but the US clearly is by far the better side.

I say 3-0 (maybe 4). EJ and BEasley in the second half. I could see Boca on a set piece as well - the size advantage is pretty obvious.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | June 7, 2007 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, one could expect to see this type of frantic game since its the first of the tournament.

I like LD on the right, DMB on the left. We just need to find the right central midfield duo or trio to go with them there.

TT is making it more obvious that this team needs Johnson. Badly.

Defense is a long term concern and I can imagine that Parkhurst's play- he actually thinks out there- could push him into the starting lineup on a consistent basis.

Posted by: Skip | June 7, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Wow... nice left-footer from Landon in the box. He might make a U-13 travel team with power like that.

Posted by: edgeonyou | June 7, 2007 10:14 PM | Report abuse

OK, is Ruiz trying to set a record for fouls "drawn" in a game? The last one Gooch didn't touch him and he went to the ground clutching the back of his head. Shocking, I know...

Posted by: edgeonyou | June 7, 2007 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I dunno 'bout this ref... never seen so many fouls called on headers. Gotta get Heydujk outta there, he's going to pick up a second yellow eventually at this rate.

Posted by: edgeonyou | June 7, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

i agree with wynalda on his comments about donovan and jim rome, so no i dont think he will score

Posted by: jay | June 7, 2007 10:34 PM | Report abuse

oy, gooch. That was pretty dumb. Not like he played terribly well today anyway, but with Guat pressing, this could be dangerous.

Posted by: iammrben | June 7, 2007 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Gooch... at this point I think his size makes him more of a target for the refs than anything else. Since I'm watching in Spanish, I still don't understand what his first yellow was for, since the foul was against him. The second one... unbelievable, and yet, somehow not surprising...

Posted by: edgeonyou | June 7, 2007 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Man, things are falling apart fast here. Against a better team (aka mexico), we'd be in danger of losing this really quickly.

Posted by: iammrben | June 7, 2007 10:43 PM | Report abuse

This ref is unreal... Bradley gets a yellow for a legit shin-high cleat-first tackle in which he got ball, while in the first half a late full cleat stomp on Heydjuk's ankle doesn't get a yellow?

Posted by: edgeonyou | June 7, 2007 10:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm still not sure what Gooch's first yellow was for and I'm watching in English. This ref is unbelievably biased in terms of cards. Concacaf officiating can be absolutely shocking at times.

Eddie Johnson does know that as a striker he can do more than pass the ball backwards, right?

Posted by: Jared | June 7, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

this ref is horrible! he's let 10 hard fouls go from guatemala in the last 5 minutes.

i don't get why bradley left his son in and took feilhaber out, other than nepotism.

Posted by: pat | June 7, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

noriega should have gotten a straight red for that ugly foul on donovan.

donovan's been absent from the game since he and ruiz tussled.

Posted by: pat | June 7, 2007 10:53 PM | Report abuse

We need a better d-mid than Bradley.

Posted by: Skip | June 7, 2007 10:59 PM | Report abuse




Posted by: Goff | June 7, 2007 11:02 PM | Report abuse

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