Thursday, July 06, 2006

England needs an Opponent

Several days ago, FIFA suspended the Greek Football Federation, (HFF), for failure to comply with FIFA regulations. Greece is scheduled to play England at Old Trafford on August 16th, which would be Steve McClarens debut as England Manager. As Greece is suspended, this match might be in jeopardy.

Why not have the USSF step in and offer to take Greece's place, if the HFF cannot get its act together in time and comply with FIFA's demands? We don't have anything scheduled. It is a chance to play in Europe, which almost everyone realizes we should be doing more of. Some of the newer US players could get some time on the field, players like Michael Bradley, Jay DeMerit, Freddy Adu? Have some of the European based players show up, bring in some MLS players and get in a good match with England. Hell, they played us in Chicago, we should have a return match anyways.

This is the line-up I would send -

Tim Howard - Everton
Marcus Hahnemann - Reading


Oguchi Onyewu - Middlesborogh
Carlos Bocanegra - Fullham
Steve Cherundolo - Hanover 96
Jay DeMerit - Watford
Chris Albright - LA Galaxy

Marvel Wynn - RBNY
Bobby Boswell - DC United


Landon Donovan - LA Galaxy
Bobby Convey - Reading

Clint Dempsey - New England Revolution
Pablo Masteroni - Colorado Rapids
Michael Bradley - Heerenveen
DeMarcus Beasely - PSV Eindhoven
Freddy Adu - DC United
Brian Waltrip - Sandefjord


Eddie Johnson - Kansas City Wizards
Taylor Twellman - New England Revolution
Brian Ching - Houston Dynamo
Kenny Cooper - FC Dallas

Granted that the USSF would be hesitant to offer the services of the team because right now they are trying to figure out who will be the coach. Even if they are gonna plan on having Bruce ride out his contract, they should still try and get the team together and start playing again. The lack of time together could be extremely detrimental in the long run. The USSF should call the team together every FIFA international date, which the 16th is. MLS should stand down these dates, but then again, they really don't seem to understand this idea.

It is a worth while idea. It gives us a chance to play a high profile side and in Europe. It would give Tim Howard a chance to get in goal for the US and get to know what it is like to work behind the US defense, especially if England uses Crouch and Rooney (if he gets suspended, he most likely would still play in this match, the suspension should effect Euro qualifiers). Having Deuce match up against Joe Cole and Gerrard would be great for him, show that the MLS players can run with England's finest.

Win or lose, we need to start the prep work for Gold Cup 2007 and South Africa 2010 right now. Every other nation that is not Italy and France are thinking about their regional championships and qualifying for 2010. The USSF needs to adopt that mindset and have a US National team match every FIFA international match date. If they adapt their thinking in any way, this would be the first one they should do.


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