Looking At Tonight’s Match

This will be the first time I’ve ever watched the United States Men’s National Soccer Team live, and I’m reading anything and everything ahead of tonight’s match vs. Chile at the Home Depot Center.

There’s this one from Noah Davis at mlssoccer.com, is more of a contemporary preview. Davis is forthright when he writes, “This is a match about both countries’ youth movements.” He summarizes both the U.S. and Chile, projects starting XIs for both sides and the picks a winner.

This one from Matthew Doyle, also at mlssoccer.com, praises Bradley for “an admirable willingness to try different tactics, formations and talent in an effort to create a winning blend.” Doyle’s column go on to detail many of the new faces to this team, none of which were at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

ESPN.com’s Jeff Carisle writes more of a tradition preview here, and tries “to read the tea leaves and divine which players will make the jump into the full team.” He projects as many as five roster spots are up for grabs heading into next summer’s Gold Cup.

Sport Illustrated’s Steve Davis gives the match a back-handed compliment here, where he is very clear in describing the match as one played by “domestically based hopefuls from the fringe of the first-team pool.” After all, Davis writes, “this camp and these matches are easy to overlook.” Bleh. Almost not worth the time.

There’s an excellent slide show at bleacherreport.com, co-written by Matt Bick and Sean Monaghan. It’s sort of a running conversation. It’s halfway interesting.

Finally, the most complete preview of the match can be found at goal.com. Thorough and balanced, it includes statistics and a poll.

So yeah. I’m well read ahead of tonight’s match. You should be too, then look for me waiving from the nosebleeds (7 p.m. PST, Telefutura, ESPN3.com).

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