Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Confederations Cup Wrap

Eduardo Alverez is probably too concerned about one bad result from Spain. Although he raises an interesting question about Casillas: has he begun to slip in form? I'll leave it to HalaMadrid to comment on his club end-of-season form.

Dunga has improved the unity and determination of the Brazilian side. They won the Confederations Cup and sit atop CONMEBOL. If only there were more back heels.

The Confederations Cup final was watched by 3.9 million people. It was the largest audience ever for a non-World Cup US soccer match and third largest ever, behind Germany (2002) and Colombia (1994).

Jen Chang looks back at the tournament as a whole for the Americans. Gabriele Marcotti says pedigree was the difference in the final (along with, of course, talent). Jamie Trecker celebrated how far the US has come, but also what needs to improve. His biggest mistake to fix: "stop making stupid fouls." Couldn't agree more, even if the referees seem to be less charitable whenever the Americans are involved.

The US now looks ahead to the Gold Cup, starting Saturday against Grenada. The current Gold Cup roster features just four holdovers from the Confederations Cup: GK Luis Robles, D Heath Pearce, M/F Freddy Adu and F Charlie Davies. Only Davies appears in South Africa (and made quite an impression). However, seven more additions are coming, as the US will be permitted to expand the roster to 30, apparently because of the Confederations Cup. I admit I don't really understand the decision because it's basically an entire new roster. Regular first team players Steve Cherundolo and Brian Ching will return from injury. It will be interesting to see both players in action now that we have competition both at the back (Spector, Demerit) and up top (Davies). After Grenada Saturday, the US meets Honduras Wednesday and Haiti the following Saturday.

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