Borrowing from the Nike ad campaign slogan, I'm post off topic. Regarding the USA's first world cup match against Czech Republic, we played like crap. In short, we came out timid and tentative and the results showed. The mid-field was completely absent and we spent far too much time trying to work the ball up through Beasley. He's a speed player, we need to have him at the end of runs, not at the start. Donovan and Reyna need to take charge. This all being said, the Czech's executed flawlessly and the results show.
The game against Italy this weekend is now a must-win situation. It can be done, but the US has to come ready to play and be aggressive from the start. I think we saw more aggressive play from Eddie Johnson than McBride or Convey and would not be suprised to see him in the line up. I'd also wager that Dononvan will be brought back to play behind the striker (McBride) to help move the ball up the field. Reyna is a quality center-mid, but he needs help. We dont' have the touch on the wings to move the ball forward.
All in all, it was a great lesson in how to play soccer. The Czech's played flawlessly and look like a solid contender. If they can stay healthy (a big question mark) I could easily see them in the semis.
Aside: All the other World Cup teams can thank the US for landing a solid punch on the Czech team. Koller was sidelined with a hamstring injury and the Czech players netted 4 yellow cards. Unfortunately, it doesn't help the US at all, unless Italy and Ghana can use it to their advantages and we some how sneak into the next round. I give credit to the US for playing physical in the back and at times in the middle, but those are the only bright spots in a very dissapointing day.