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FF’s Keys to Beating England

June 11, 2010

1) Attack John Terry- Now, I know this may seem somewhat counter-intuitive (or obvious?), but I think that Jozy needs to be super aggressive in going right at the John Terry (and whoever plays in the center with him). Terry is nowhere near the defender that he used to be, and I think that Jozy can take him one on one. If Jozy can go right at Terry I think it will do one of two things: force an outside back to pinch down and help, giving space to our wingers, or force one of the center mids to drop even deeper to help. I actually hope that it forces one of the center mids to drop deeper since that would hurt the entire teams shape. Also, I think our guys can “bait” Terry into some stupid moves/fouls.

2) “Bait the hooks”- While I love Wayne Rooney, he has a huge temper that is quick to show. In a pre-World Cup friendly, he was shown a yellow card for dissent. According to the ref in the game, Rooney told the ref on multiple occasions “F**k You”. If our (hopefully) smart backs can get under his skin then there is a chance of him exploding. This, however, is a dangerous tactic. I have personally seen Rooney eviscerate teams that piss him off. That being said, he can also destroy teams when not pissed off. Another thing to keep in mind is that Ingerlund has several guys who are very, very good at set pieces. Any fouls need to be sure to be far enough away from goal to give Tim Howard a chance to make a save.

3) Tim Howard- I think the hockey term (Canadian Fans anywhere?) is “stand on his head”. This is what we need from Tim Howard, specifically, and the entire D in general. Communication is a must, and they have to defend this game like their soccer careers depend on it. We beat Spain in the Confederations Cup due to this type of performanceand we will need it again to beat the 3 Lions.

4) Team over Individual- By this, I mean, everyone of ours guys have to realize that they are not trying to get on the roster anymore. If they are on the pitch on Saturday the badge on the chest has to be more important than the name on their backs. England has many very talented players who have shown their entire careers to be incredibly selfish. This list includes the likes of Gerrard, Lampard, Cole, Terry, Barry, and Rooney (although not as much as the others). The US must absorb the pressure that is sure to come and catch the English out of position and counter attack as a team. We did this to great success against Spain and Brazil in the Confed Cup and it must happen again. We have very few matchups on the field where any reasonable person would rather have the US guy over the English guy across from him. The only US player I can think of that would be “better” than the man across from him would be Landon, and that depends heavily on if he plays on the left or right.

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