As what can only be described as a fringe version of the true United States national team gets ready to take on Honduras for seemingly the hundredth time in the last twelve months, I think every fan of the Yanks is looking for something different out of this match. Ultimately the opinion that’s going to matter most of course belongs to USMNT coach Bob Bradley, but these are some of the things we here at Yanks hope he’s looking for:
- Consistent offensive pressure out of Robbie Rogers. In his time with the national team Robbie has shown flashes of brilliance in regards to both attacking creativity and quality touch. He’s also had a knack for getting unnecessarily fancy with ball tricks from time to time and committing bad turnovers that kill the team’s buildup. If Robbie can cut down on the turnovers and play smarter, his speed and quality make him a viable attacking option off the bench for the World Cup. Expect him to get the start tonight.
- Sacha Kljestan. Period. Which Sacha will show up tonight? There’s the dude who controls the ball in the midfield and makes dangerous diagonal passes to his teammates when he’s not going for goal himself. There’s also the tentative Sacha who doesn’t look comfortable on the ball when pressured, gets dispossessed easily, and tends to disappear on the pitch. I’m a Sacha fan and would like nothing more than to see him have a great performance tonight, Sweden friendly anyone? Then again, sometimes Bobbo’s decisions regard Kljestan are inexplicable, hopefully he sees the field tonight.
- Jeff Cunningham keeping it up. Cunningham may be ancient by soccer striker standards, but he was one of the only players that performed well in the USMNT’s end-of-year friendlies against Denmark and Slovakia. He scored and played well even when he wasn’t putting the ball in the back of the net. And guess what, the team has a need for depth at striker. A couple goals tonight could punch Cunningham’s ticket to South Africa.
- Kyle Beckerman’s hair. The dude’s hair is in the all time top five of U.S. Men’s Nat Team player hair. Expect a post from Puck on this topic sometime soon. Also, it must be noted that when I asked Puck what I “needed” to write about Kyle he responded with this, “Kyle Beckerman. I love him.” A bromance or mancrush may be brewing.
Enjoy the game and go Yanks!