Saturday, June 17, 2006

World Cup 2006 Preview: USA -vs- Italy

By Robert H. Kelly

If the USA is going to have any chance against three time world champions Italy and eventually advance to the second round of the FIFA World Cup, they are going to have to execute their game plan better than they did in their 3-0 loss to the Czech Republic on June 12.

The USA looked unorganized and as if they lacked confidence, which combined with the uninspired play of much of their talent, allowed the three Czech goals to go unanswered.

USA head coach Bruce Arena was critical of some of his stars, and stated "If we come out and play as bad against Italy as we did against the Czechs, we're going to lose. It's just that simple."

The USA managed only six shots on goal as opposed to ten by the Check Republic. No matter how well you think you played, a team cannot win a game with a shooting percentage of .000.

Indeed the Americans need to get their minds in the game and play the way they did so many years ago, when they advanced to the quarterfinals and played Germany to a 1-0 loss in 2002

I do not know if they USA can recover from the uninspired play earlier in the week. If I had to bet the rent money, I would put it on Italy, with a 3-0 win.

That decision is being made with my head. If I decided with my heart, I cannot say I wouldn’t still pick Italy. I think the Italians are simply a much better team.

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