Thursday, March 20, 2008

U.S. U-23 Men's Team Heading to Olympics

In the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament, the United States met Canada in Nashville and the U.S. looks like they have come out of their shell. The 3-0 win over the Canadians is welcome news for the U.S.

Freddy Adu scored twice off set pieces and Sasha Klestjan scored the coup de grace in the 80th minute to seal the deal. With the U.S. moving on, the question will become for Peter Novak will be who, if anyone, among the U.S. senior players will he name to the final Olympic squad. One name that seems almost assured is Landon Donovan to add a little leadership in the midfield. Some other names to consider would be Carlos Bocanegra in the center defense and perhaps Clint Dempsey up top. But at the same time the current squad has performed quite well, particularly Adu, Jozy Altidore and Stuart Holden up top. Maurice Edu has proved solid play and good judgment in the midfield. Novak has also shuffled the defense a great deal and the U.S. has put up three clean sheets and only surrendered one goal in four matches.

On a different note, the Canadian looked very good in this tournament as well. I hope that over the next 6-10 years, the Canadians will continue to develop as the region will benefit from the added competition. With teh U.s. and Mexico largely dominating the CONCACAF over the last decade. The Canadians have a fair number of players playing and training with European leauges and teh MLS. As their exposure increases the competition in the region, it makes the game all the much better for everyone.

No comments: