Thank you for joining Desperate America for the US v. Slovenia World Cup preview. The US has confidence coming off the 1-1 draw against England on Saturday. Slovenia pulled out a 1-0 victory against Algeria to open up their tournament. Both squads were tabbed to be contenders for the number two spot coming out of group play. The US needs to get the win and 3 points if they have any hope to advance into the round of 16. Slovenia will be looking for a victory but will be happy with a point that would keep them at the top of the group. The match is set to kick-off at 4am in Hawaii. Let’s first take a look at the team wearing the Red, White and Blue.
The United States will look to come out quickly and control the ball through the midfield. The lax defending that led to England’s opening goal must not happen again. A quick goal from Slovenia will likely result in them going into a half shell and moving forward from the counter-attack. England exposed the US weakness of coming too far forward and not being able to catch up on the back end. The US is not facing the same caliber of team in Slovenia, however, it is important that the American back line play continue their solid play from the second half of the England fixture. Look for the tandem of Altidore and Buddle to start the match for the US. Findley showed flashes of his speed and ability but it would be wise to use that in the second half against a tired Slovenia back line. Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey both played well against England. Look for them to explore the attacking midfield even more now that they do not have the same worry of being exposed in the back. The back line of Onyewu, DeMerit, Bocanegra, and Cherundolo played well against a formidable England attack. However, a simple mind lapse led to an early goal. Look for the back line to continue their form from the second half of the England match and for the full backs to move up in the attack. The US will win if their back line avoids a collapse and there is some production from the attack.
Slovenia is coming off a win against Algeria. The win did not feature a dominating Slovenia sign. Look for a quick start and early attempts on goal to test the fitness of American keeper, Tim Howard. Slovenia has a few talented midfielders that can help move the ball around for the forwards. Midfielder Andrej Komac has already predicted a Slovenian win. It will be interesting to see if Slovenia falls behind, how well will they respond. Do not take this team lightly. To qualify for the tournament, Slovenia defeated a Russian team that many pundits considered one of the best from Europe. That win will likely keep the US in a state of vigilence. Slovenia will win if they can get ahead early and the back line plays well against the speed and grit of the American attack.
Prediction: The US comes in as the favorites and for good reason. The Americans played a very solid second half against England and had a few chances to get the victory. The Yanks will come out very quickly and look to play the ball out to the wings in Donovan and Dempsey. Look for Bradley to take a more active role in the middle of the attack and for the American attack to try and spread the back line of Slovenia. An American goal after half an hour of play will likely get Slovenia out of their defensive shell and create a wide open affair. The center backs for the US will play stellar and Howard will get some rest. A second half goal will damper Slovenian spirits. The United States takes another step towards progression with a 3-1 victory over Slovenia.
Join us after the game on for a full post-game look at the match. Don’t forget to follow Desperate America on Twitter for live match tweets and updates of all US matches.