Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thoughts on U.S. Men's National Team Europe Tour 2008

Just a few minutes ago, the U.S. Men's National Team kicked off in a match against Poland in Krakow. Although the goal of teh U.S. program was to create a competitive powerhouse by the 2010 World Cup, they need to win in Europre regularly or at least perform well by getting results (or in come cases not getting creamed) in hostile Europena venues.

What is interesting is that the U.S. is probably the one team that is used to hostile venues, even their home games can be hostile environments if they are playing against other CONCACAF nations. Playing Mexico in Houston is probably only marginally better than playing in Mexico City.

Still, a win late last year over Sweden in Europe helps build the confidence and most of the players wearing the Red, White and Blue today play in Europe and are used to playing in venues on the road that are well, less than homey.

A result, especially a win, with Poland will build some confidence. Next up for the U.S. squad will be a friendly against England (at Wembley Staduim) in late May and a friendly against Spain in Madrid (I think) in early June. After the Euro Tour 2008 (which needs to be repeated regularly, along with trips to Brazil, Argentina and other South American powerhouses), the U.S. will begin World Cup Qualifying for the CONCACAF region.

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