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JV
Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 07:32 pm:   

Does this friendly mean anything? 4-1 Germany.
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Alistair Rennie
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 03:23 am:   

It means a lot to Germany, but I don't think it matters much for the US.

A couple of weeks ago Germany were thrashed 4-1 in a friendly against Italy, which sparked a wave of panic in Germany as regards whether the team was good enough to qualify from the group stages, let alone reach the latter stages of the competition. Given that they're the hosts, it's understandable that they're a bit worried. So the need for them to prove something in the game against the US was absolutely critical, almost as crucial as if it had been a qualifying game.

I doubt the US players would have given anywhere near what they've got. They'll be more concerned about when they return to Germany in summer for the serious stuff and wouldn't want to risk injuries and so on.

The result is really an indication of how desperate Germany are to get some momentum going prior to the finals. Personally, I fancy the US to do quite well and think they might spring a few surprises in their very tough group.
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EJ
Posted on Monday, March 27, 2006 - 07:11 am:   

The final score line meant nothing for either Germany or the USA, other than that the German varsity obtained confidence that it could, in fact, still get a win at home. The Germans played nearly their full-strength top team.

But of the 10 US field players (not counting KK), I'd only expect 2 (Eddie J & 'dolo) to be on the field for kickoff of USA-Italy if everyone is healthy. And another 3-4 of the players who started against the Hun are not expected to even make the US roster as bench players.

Of potential concern for the Germans, despite the final score line, the game was 0-0 at half, and 1-0 in Germany's favor until about the 75th minute. Most of the US players who took the field play in MLS, and so are not in top game form, whereas the German players are in midseason condition.

For the USA, the only good was that none of the better players suffered injuries and that some of the marginal players rendered easier the decision as to whether to include them on the final roster.

If the USA can get, say, 6 of their top 8 players healthy and in match condition for the WC, they should be capable of competing for the second spot in their, admittedly tough, group.

for more soccer talk/analysis that you could possibly want, i recommend the site bigsoccer.com.

cheers,

Erik J

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