American ‘soccer’ certainly appears on the rise following the USA’s recent draw with England. C
apello’s men certainly held no fear for the American team, owing in part most likely, to the fact that many of the players currently ply their trade in the Premier League and/or the Championship, or have experience of it.
The three goalkeepers included in the squad, Tim Howard, Brad Guzan and Marcus Hahnemann all play in the Premiership, as well as defender Jonathan Spector at West Ham, Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Stuart Holden (Bolton) and Jay DeMerit in the Championship at Watford. Add to that Landon Donovan who spent time on loan at Everton last season, Jozy Altidore, on loan at Hull City, and Carlos Bocanegra who previously played for Fulham and Oguchi Onyewu who played for Newcastle and the American squad is littered with English league experience. Landon Donovan’s vast experience with 124 international caps, can only have benefited from his spell at Everton and he remains the key player.
The team’s victory over Spain last year in the Confederation’s Cup also demonstrated their ability to achieve results against the bigger football nations, a victory which I’m sure will have given the squad confidence for the World Cup. If, as now seems likely, the USA manage to progress beyond the group, they have a real chance of making the quarterfinals. Much will depend on the remaining group figures to determine who will end as group winners. The US will certainly fancy their chances against the likes of Serbia and Ghana from Group D if they surprisingly manage to finish top of the group.