Sunday, January 22, 2012


Last night I watched an interesting and rather entertaining friendly match between the USA and Venezuela. As this is not season for FIFA encounters, both teams largely played with their reserve side, but it was interesting nevertheless, as both nations are in a very good process of preparing for their World Cup qualifiers under two very good coaches, Cesar Farias from Venezuela and (the German) Jurgen Klinsmann from the USA.
Venezuela played rather more defensively, basing their match on occassional counterattacks. But Venezuela did nevertheless seem shaky in defense, and in particular the air game was giving them problems; Venezuela's defense is very vulnerable without Vizcarrondo and Amorebieta.
On the other hand, the USA was more interesting. Klinsmann wants to attack, as well as try new young players, and they tried this in the match, with mixed results: they missed many chances, but in the end, in the very last seconds of the match, pulled home a 1-0 victory on a goal by Ricardo Clark, the Eintracht Frankfurt defender.
It was a good match, with a bit too much drama for the lack of importance of the match, but I think it was more useful for Klinsmann than for Farias.
Finally, I had thought that no commentators in the world were as bad as the Danish ones, but I must say that the Venezuelan commentators are...


DKDynamite said...

As I stated in my text to you:
Good game.
USA deserved at least 3 goals.
Players of the game:
VEN Morales (G)
USA Jones (CM)
VEN played very very dirty and cheap.

USA had many players that have not had much INT experience but play professionally in EU and USA,
Like Jones for Shalke.

Some standouts for USA: Jones, De La Garza, Burnberry, Shea, Fielhaber

El Erik said...

I agree that USA had the game. I do not think Venezuela can use this game for much. None of the players are starters, and most are not even in line for the world cup qualifiers. In fact, I think the US side, no matter what you said, was far more experienced than the largely Venezuelan-based side.
They thus got a bit too excited during the match.
As usual, Farias tried a smart tactic, an organised defensive, but the players were simply not good enough. In particular the defense was bad, and it shows how much the Venezuelan side depends on their starting central defenders, as there is really no quality replacements for them. It shows how small the breadth is in Venezuelan football, in spite of their recent success.
I thought de la Garza and Shea were both excellent. That said, the US still suffers from never having produced a really world quality striker.