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USA-Australia rewind

Oguchi Onyewu did not start, leaving him without a 90-minute performance in any of the three pre-World Cup friendlies. Is he ready to start against England? "We'll see," Bob Bradley said.

"I think it was a smart to take things in step with me," said Onyewu, who played 139 minutes in the three matches. "I feel confident right now. I don't think I've shown in the last two games any signs of weakness. So I just have to wait till next Saturday and see what comes."

Asked whether his two-goal performance will make it more difficult for Bradley to settle on a frontline partnership, Edson Buddle said: "I've given him a bit of a headache probably, but it's a good headache."

Tim Howard, on Buddle: "He has carried his league form over here and everything he touches seems to go in. Strikers are streaky, and he seems to be on that streak."

Landon Donovan, on Buddle: "You guys will write about the goals, but the other things he does -- and Robbie [Findley] -- are what made us successful. They help us get out of pressure, their movement was good, they were active, they defended well."

Findley's finishing was atrocious, but he was a nice complement to Buddle. His pressure led to the giveaway that allowed Buddle to score the opening goal.

What to make of Ricardo Clark going 90 minutes while Maurice Edu sat the bench for the second straight match? Edu has more to offer, and the absence of playing time is curious. Perhaps he has a knock that we're not being told about?

More.....

Buddle, on playing at altitude: "It was tough breathing, especially in the warm-up. Once I came on in the second half, I felt a lot better."

Michael Bradley, on the performance: "For the most part, we were pretty sharp. The approach was good, the commitment was good, the discipline was good, and I thought we played well. It's a good way to go into England."

Bob Bradley, on the controversial ball: "For everybody right now, judging the flight of the ball becomes still an issue. You see balls that are flying, getting through into dangerous areas. You see balls that aren't cleared that well - something all teams are going to have to think about."

My full match report.

FIFA announced that referee Carlos Simon of Brazil will work the USA-England match. Simon worked three games in 2006: Italy-Ghana (five cautions), Spain-Tunisia (eight) and Germany-Sweden (five, plus a red).

By Steve Goff  |  June 5, 2010; 5:48 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: Bob Bradley, Edson Buddle, Landon Donovan, Oguchi Onyewu, World Cup  
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Next: Matchnight: RSL at United

Comments

Thanks for the great work, SG and team.

Anyone think us having played yet another game in SA gives us some leg up on England? I mean they have their personnel, but like Buddle said, adjusting to the altitude took him a while. Can we catch England as they are trying to cope?

Once again good job by the team and nice result to take into game 1. Go USA!!

Posted by: Kosh2 | June 5, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

better highlight package up over at ussoccer.com, though i had some trouble with the Flash player freezing up on me.

that build-up leading to Dempsey's chance in the first half was a thing of beauty.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | June 5, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Martin Tyler's voice was a thing of beauty. ESPN's $$$ finally go to something useful...

Posted by: rademaar | June 5, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Damn. Those ref stats are awful.

Please, let Clark's hammy last until after this game.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | June 5, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Why is the ball even an issue? They've been using it for a few months now in MLS, no? Same ball, different color. Did I miss MLS players complaining about it, or is it just euro whiners? ; )

Posted by: DadRyan | June 5, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

add to the injury woes: Wilson Palacios stretchered off for Honduras with a shin injury. status uncertain, but would be a big blow for the Catrachos if he can't play. Chile, Switzerland, Spain - they'd be lucky to get a draw out of any of those.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | June 5, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else find the Goff-initiated "matchday" thread and the Tenorio-initiated "live chat" thread a bit confusing? (For some reason my thoughts turn to the Department of Redundancy Department.)

Posted by: universityandpark | June 5, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

I've got to say, we looked pretty good (except for Findley's finishing). Is Australia that bad? I don't want to get too optimistic. Only thing missing for me was Dempsey scoring on his Fulham teammate Mark Schwarzer. Cahill scored on Howard, it should have happened.

Posted by: harkes4ever | June 5, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

The US looked really good today. I do think that the narrow pitch did help us out a lot. As we saw from the warm up games, when the defense gets stretched the opposing teams can get behind us fairly easily. With their being so little space out there, the Aussies couldn't exploit those gaps. Plus, other than Cahill, they don't look very good. I'm thinking Serbia will get out of that group (too bad that Essien is out).

Posted by: diego_r | June 5, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

This is a bit juvenile, but FSC showed an interview with the head of the SA doping lab that is charged with testing the players' urine samples. Whenever he said testing, it sounded like tasting.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 5, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

maybe that's how they test.

Posted by: troy6 | June 5, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Onyewu is not ready. Sorry to say, because at full fitness he is best option at central defense but I have to believe the back 4 were the at the start vs Australia were the back 4 who will start vs England. Forward may get switched out, but I think midfield will be the same 4, albeit with dempsey + donovan perhaps switching sides. My .02

Posted by: lindsam8 | June 5, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Edu has more to offer than Clark? You better run that one by Coach Bradley. Clark and Bradley were his midfield tandem throughout qualifying. Coach Bradley is probably much more comfortable with that combination, and sees it as more solid defensivel. True, Ed is more dangerous around the goal, but he hasn't had enough time with the USMNT to show that.

I'd be very surprised if Gooch starts. You can't start someone who can't go 90, because you can't know what another subs you might want to make. That holds doubly true for defenders, because the coach is going to want to reserve the substitutions for offensive players, if needed. However, if the USA gets a lead, I wouldn't be surprised to see Gooch as a defensive sub. I do expect him to start one of the later group games, as he builds fitness.

Posted by: fischy | June 5, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Great work Steven. Was at the game with my mates and US looked very good but then again am an ex rugby player so what do I know. I have share in bar in the Melville area The Bohemian which is frequented by the Deutsche TV guys so send me a mail and we can make plan to meet there for beers. Have big White Sox All Star sign from 2003 hanging up there. Cheers, Gary Burns

Posted by: ExPatChicago | June 6, 2010 3:15 AM | Report abuse

Great work Steven. Was at the game with my mates and US looked very good but then again am an ex rugby player so what do I know. I have share in bar in the Melville area The Bohemian which is frequented by the Deutsche TV guys so send me a mail and we can make plan to meet there for beers. Have big White Sox All Star sign from 2003 hanging up there. Cheers, Gary Burns

Posted by: ExPatChicago | June 6, 2010 3:16 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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