February 2010, World Cup 2010

Czech-ch-Czech-Czech-ch-Czech It Out

On May 25th the USMNT will continue to challenge itself by facing the Czech Republic in a pre-World Cup schedule that now has a catchy name (so you know it must be good) – The Send-Off Series. Furthermore, it’s rumored that the series has one more fixture yet to be scheduled, possibly against the Republic of Ireland. Now that would be one hard-nosed match. Can you imagine how pumped Michael Bradley would be for that 90 minute fist-fight? But that game isn’t set in stone, so I digress.

Either way, the Bobbo strategy of playing against Europe’s NIT All-Stars (excluding Netherlands, they’re an NCAA one seed) prior to the World Cup is a good one. Europe is so deep with quality soccer playing nations that good teams are bound to miss out on the big show every year. These teams are on par with a lot of squads in the WC, and even better than some of them. So why not test-drive CONCACAF’s top qualifiers against teams like Turkey, Czech Republic, and maybe even Ireland? The fact that U.S. Soccer is seizing the opportunity to play these matches rather than making excuses based on scheduling conflicts and risk of injury or revealing too much of our World Cup game plan is a big step. I’ll gladly write another Bobbo pat-on-the-back-post if we do get that Ireland match scheduled.

It’s also significant to note that each team we’ve scheduled plays a different style and will provide the team with a vastly contrasting set of challenges to figure out how to deal with. The Czech’s play a balanced style that isn’t quite as easy on the eye as Holland’s or as hustle-intensive as Turkey’s. Their attack has dwindled a bit since 2006 because apparently Pavel Nedved and Jan Koller had to get old. But the likes of Baros, Rosicky, Sverkos, and of course Special Ed himself, Petr Cech still populate the lineup, meaning they’re dangerous no matter how long they’ve seemingly been lying dormant.

It should be an evenly matched game, and hopefully one in which Tim Howard outperforms Cech… I hate that helmet-wearing jackleg.

No venue set for the match yet, hopefully they decide on my backyard; we’ve got a fire-pit out there!

Jon Levy is a senior writer and managing editor for The Yanks Are Coming. He can be reached at jon@yanksarecoming.com.

Jon Levy

  • I’d like to see this match somewhere on the east coast. Any time they go out west, the ticket sales seem to underwhelm. Unless they chose Seattle. But the east coast always turns out for games. I wouldn’t be surprised if the south got a match as they already announced the one in Philly. The last two games in the south, we had around 30,000 tickets sold for each game. Money talks. We shall see. But I would not be surprised if they chose the new Red Bull Arena for the Czech match. I would love to see that actually, even though I live in the south and want another game.

  • Wow this is great for the USMNT. Much better than that ’06 send off. I mean Latvia really? I’d really love to see this match in, like Andrew said, Red Bull arena. It’s a win for all parties involved. The teams get to play in a great new stadium, hopefully with a full crowd of US supporters. The new stadium gets a proper introduction to international football. Most importunately it could possibly benefit our world cup bid. If FIFA sees us holding an international match with passionate fans in a brand spankin’ new soccer specific stadium it may help sway them in the right direction. Eventually though, I hope we get another game in Nashville or Chicago so I can go.

  • The only problem is that a World Cup match could never be held in RBA, unfortunately, as it isn’t large enough. However, I could definitely see some matches at the new Meadowlands stadium that opens this year.

    Back on topic, yes this send off is MUCH better than 06. I recall we played a lot of games leading up to the WC, but obviously the opposition was subpar. Playing quality opponents in advance of the WC can only help. Also, a poor showing in a friendly has no repercussions, so we might as well get any poor play out of our systems before June 12th!

  • Yeah, that’s definitely true about the RBA not being big enough. There goes my point. hahahaha

  • Go check out the Meadowlands, its REALLY nice. I bet if we win the 2022 Cup, that some games will be played there. I honestly think Dallas would get the final, just because it has everything you could want, plus its got a retractable roof, so FIFA wouldn’t worry about the final being rained on.


  • Yeah, apparently Sepp was there recently! Looks like they are at very least considering it.


  • If we get 2022 with all these stadiums fifa will never want to have a world cup in any other country.

  • Daniel Seco

    Good point, Justin. There are so many great locations and facilities to choose from. The U.S. can make a great case for any World Cup from here on out.

  • Thats the great thing about the United States. We have the greatest facilities and stadiums in the World. In all honesty, if FIFA approached us and said they had to relocate the World Cup, and we were chosen to host it, we could be prepared in a month. We wouldn’t need to build any stadiums at all. In fact, we could probably host the men’s and women’s World Cups simultaneously in the States no problem.

  • If we do get it in 2022 It is really going to push American soccer over that edge. We have so much potential in this country to have the greatest team and the greatest league and I want that badly for the game. Europeans would have a hard time embracing the idea of the MLS becoming the league where all of the greatest players in the world play but the players would love all the money they could make.

  • Amy

    Not sure it would “push it over the edge.” That’s an argument we’ve heard forever, and while progress has undoubtedly been made, the “emergence” has never come to fruition. That said, we have a competitive league in the States (I’d argue better than European leagues in Greece, Holland, Scotland, Turkey, Denmark) and it has done wonders for developing young American talent. I think a 2022 success magnifies that impact. Throw in the Beckham effect, a successful World Cup, and more new stadiums– and yes, the game’s appeal in the States will be at an all time high. I think the issue is– we don’t really know what “the edge” is– we just talk about “the edge.”

  • Andy

    For a match against the Czech Republic, I am there, wearing my Cech jersey. And if they play Ireland, well, I will buy one of those too.
    Both would be fun to watch, and I hope the US Team decides to get a warm-up against both.

  • You’re a jackleg Andy. Planning the Feb. 24th tailgate today! Hope to see some of you out there!