Skip to content

Why the United States should (and probably will) claim easy victory tonight over Canada

Jan 29, 2013, 6:00 PM EDT

Guatemala v United States - World Cup Qualifier Getty Images

HOUSTON – Don’t believe the “Camp Cupcake” silliness, the pejorative term applied to Jurgen Klinsmann’s national team camp.

Laying aside the fact that the athlete’s warm-up during the tough conditioning workouts of the last three weeks would make most of us forfeit breakfast, the players now in Houston for tonight’s contest against rebuilding Canada represent a mix of quality players who will be in Honduras in a week’s time for a final stage World Cup qualifier, and guys with some level of potential to get there.

The talent includes Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, Graham Zusi, Kyle Beckerman, Eddie Johnson (pictured), Juan Agudelo, all of whom will be front and center in the U.S. effort tonight at potentially stormy BBVA Compass Stadium. (Kickoff is 8 p.m. CT) They should all like their chances of being called next week when the United States begins its final push for Brazil 2014.

Meanwhile, the players tonight on the other side of the Houston Dynamo’s new downtown home can only help ready the banners for their own extended push: “2018 Russia or Bust!”

That’s not to be disparaging to the Canadian Soccer Association; rather, it’s just to say that these are teams in two very different places.

U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann had his men in camp for about two weeks longer. He needed the extra time to prep the legs and lungs of 8-10 players for next week’s match against Honduras. A group of 10 or fewer will join the U.S. front-page types, Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley and the rest of the lot from abroad.

(MORE: Predicted U.S. lineup for tonight)

Canada has been in camp only a few days, so fitness is on the U.S. side, big time.

The Canadians have played a friendly already, and that might be a check for the Maple Leaf. But seeing as that match was just three nights prior, any edge in greater unit cohesion is marginalized by the fatigue factor.

And let’s talk about that match Saturday in Phoenix, a 4-0 Canadian loss to a Denmark side that was hardly fully equipped; like the American team, most of its first string remains in Europe.

Yes, the Canadians have the best attacker on the field tonight in Dwayne De Rosario, who will presumably be motivated, still with many friends and fond memories of his years in Dynamo orange. But “De Ro,” valiant and talented as he possibly can be, is 34. He played 62 minutes less than 72 hours ago, and that was his first full run-out in about five months. Translation: Don’t expect anything more than about ¾ De Ro tonight.

source:

Canada today, in full youth build-‘em-up mode, is more about guys like Kyle Bekker, the 22-year-old recent MLS draftee out of Boston College. Bekker is a great young talent, but a U.S. midfield of Beckerman, Zusi (pictured right), Benny Feilhaber or some combination thereof should and likely will overwhelm a man fresh out of college.

Gonzalez will be the best defender on the field, probably by some measure.

Let’s not forget that the Klinsmann’s men are playing at home. Just because it’s a friendly, that remains a decided advantage.

Toss in these historical edges: The United States is protecting a 15-game unbeaten streak (8-0-7) in the series since 1985. Plus the obvious, that the United States has been to every World Cup since 1986, while the Canadians haven’t been to once since then.

The United States needs a resounding win here, if only to keep supporter confidence high around Klinsmann ahead of next week’s opening of “Now it counts” time.

Best bet: a 3-0 or 4-0 win for the United States.

Latest Posts
  1. VIDEO: Arsene Wenger hails Arsenal’s spirit after last-gasp comeback

    Aug 23, 2014, 3:38 PM EDT

    Everton v Arsenal - Premier League Getty Images

    Wenger believes Arsenal deserved a point after stirring comeback.

  2. VIDEO: Roberto Martinez bemoans Everton’s late collapse against Arsenal

    Aug 23, 2014, 3:14 PM EDT

    Aston Villa v Everton - Premier League Getty Images

    Martinez upset at last 10 minutes, as Everton let 2-0 lead slip at home to Arsenal.

  3. Bundesliga Wrap: Leverkusen stuns BVB, Hoffenheim cruises

    Aug 23, 2014, 2:55 PM EDT

    Germany Bundesliga Soccer AP

    Dortmund couldn’t find a goal, though castaway striker Julian Schieber netted twice for his new team as the Bundesliga roared into a new season.

  4. Saturday Premier League roundup: Chelsea win again, Arsenal fight back

    Aug 23, 2014, 2:38 PM EDT

    Diego Costa AP

    Gunners grab point at Everton, while Chelsea, West Ham and Swansea win.

  5. Everton 2-2 Arsenal: Late goals seals dramatic comeback for Gunners

    Aug 23, 2014, 2:24 PM EDT

    Britain Soccer Premier League AP

    Gunners come back from 2-0 down to bag crucial point at Everton.

  6. VIDEO: Palace manager “won’t be watching Match of the Day” after loss

    Aug 23, 2014, 2:09 PM EDT

    Crystal Palace v West Ham United - Premier League Getty Images

    Crystal Palace is a club in turmoil, and caretaker manager Keith Millen says it’s unfair to the players.

  7. VIDEO: Mourinho hails Chelsea’s “complete control” half vs Leicester

    Aug 23, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT

    Diego Costa AP

    The Blues boss says his team had to work for it, but ultimately dominated newly-promoted Leicester City on Saturday.

  8. WATCH LIVE – Goals from Coleman, Naismith has Everton ahead vs. Arsenal

    Aug 23, 2014, 1:22 PM EDT

    Everton v Arsenal - Premier League Getty Images

    Gunners defend sloppily and Everton take full advantage. Watch the 2nd half live, here.

  9. Newly promoted Burnley battling, struggling to adapt to Premier League life

    Aug 23, 2014, 12:54 PM EDT

    Swansea City v Burnley - Premier League Getty Images

    Dyche: “We knew this would be a challenge, a difficult one, and we are enjoying the way the team are operating, but we need to get points on the board.”

  10. WATCH: Leverkusen scores fastest goal in Bundesliga history at BVB

    Aug 23, 2014, 12:50 PM EDT

    Denmark Soccer Champions League AP

    Karim Bellarabi nutmegged Matthias Ginter and put Bayer Leverkusen into the record books nine seconds into the match at Dortmund.

  11. Watch Live: Everton vs. Arsenal (Lineups)

    Aug 23, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT

    Everton v Arsenal - Premier League Getty Images

    Toffees and Gunners clash at Goodison as top four hopefuls collide. Watch live, here.

  12. Swansea City 1-0 Burnley: Dyer’s strike wins it for the Swans

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:57 AM EDT

    Dyer's goal was enough to sink Burnley. Getty Images

    Dyer’s solo strike the difference as brave Burnley fall at the Liberty.

  13. Crystal Palace 1-3 West Ham United: Sam’s Hammers score freely

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT

    Crystal Palace v West Ham United - Premier League Getty Images

    Three different Hammers netted for Sam Allardyce as West Ham rebounded from a loss to Spurs to win a London derby at Palace.

  14. Southampton 0-0 West Bromwich Albion: Stalemate at St. Mary’s

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT

    Saints and Baggies battled it out in the sun at St. Mary's. Getty Images

    Saints, Baggies fail to score in closely fought encounter on the South Coast.

  15. Chelsea 2-0 Leicester City: Costa scores again, Hazard ensures win

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT

    Diego Costa, Dean Hammond AP

    The Foxes were game, but Chelsea’s class shone through by the time 90 minutes were in the books.

  16. VIDEO: Alan Pardew gives happy dance to make Remy Cabella smile

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:20 AM EDT

    Alan Pardew AP

    The Newcastle boss went above and beyond the call of duty, putting on clown shoes for a moment on the sidelines.

  17. LIVE – Premier League half time roundup: Hammers ahead, Chelsea being held

    Aug 23, 2014, 10:55 AM EDT

    Crystal Palace v West Ham United - Premier League Getty Images

    Four games on the go, but goals are scarce. Watch them all live, here.

  18. Aston Villa 0-0 Newcastle: Guzan saves a point as Villa moves top

    Aug 23, 2014, 9:41 AM EDT

    Aston Villa v Newcastle United - Premier League Getty Images

    American goalkeeper Brad Guzan helped Aston Villa stay unbeaten by keeping Newcastle at bay in a scoreless draw at Villa Park.

  19. Watch live: Crystal Palace vs. West Ham United (Lineups)

    Aug 23, 2014, 9:36 AM EDT

    Marouane Chamakh, Cameron Jerome AP

    West Ham’s second London derby in as many weeks provides a chance at win No. 1.

  20. Watch Live: Swansea City vs. Burnley (Lineups)

    Aug 23, 2014, 9:27 AM EDT

    Monk Getty Images

    Can the Swans sweep aside new boys Burnley? Watch live, right here.

Featured video

Week 2: Saturday PL preview