Brevard Soccer Experts Comment On USA vs Belgium
By Space Coast Daily // July 1, 2014
USA VS. BELGIUM SET FOR Tuesday at 4 p.m. EST
ABOVE VIDEO: A compilation video of fan reactions from John Brooks’ late goal against Ghana, a monumental moment in USA soccer history.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The USA has survived their “Group of Death” and advanced to compete against the best 16 soccer teams in the world.
Next up for the USA is the talent-packed Belgium team on Tuesday at 4 p.m EST.
USA Coach Jurgen Klinsman has his team highly confident, loose and will undoubtedly have them very well prepared, in true German fashion, for their do-or-die match on Tuesday.
The USA is focused on Belgium but knows that if they win, they will face the winner of the Argentina versus Switzerland match-up.
The Belgian team is packed with young stars and they relied on late winners to claim victory in all three of their games so far in 2014 World Cup Finals action.
Belgium, like USA, have some injury problems with their talisman central defender captain Vincent Kompany, and USA has Jozy Altidore still doubtful with a hamstring injury. However, Altidore has been running and may be available for Tuesday.
Klinsman will use every bit of his experience from his highly successful international and pro career to draw the maximum out of his never-say-die Americans.
Klinsman has not said USA will win the World Cup but has asked all his players to not book their flights home until after the final on July 13.
ABOVE VIDEO: Striker Jozy Altidore remains the biggest question mark for the United States ahead of their World Cup Round of 16 game against Belgium next week, but he’s the only obvious injury concern after a physical run through the “Group of Death.”
BREVARD SOCCER EXPERTS COMMENT ON USA’s CHANCES AGAINST BELGIUM
• JEFF CARR, Vice President Eastern Florida State College and Women’s Head Soccer Coach:
This will be a game of mental toughness, physical prowess and tactical wizardry. Belgium goes into this match with only allowing one goal in three matches and that was on a penalty kick.
Belgium is very talented but has some injuries at this point and Michael Bradley will need to have a big game in the middle against the very skilled Belgium midfield.
The USA must be sharp in the back and not allow Belgium to get in behind them, the backs must have an extraordinary game for the U.S. to prevail.
Don’t take for granted the never-say-die attitude of the U.S. Tactics and player selection will be huge for Klinsmann and the success of the team.
Coach Carr Prediction: USA 2, Belgium 1
• FITZGERALD HAIG, Florida Tech head womens soccer coach and member of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame:
“The USA’s performance at this World Cup so far has been astonishing. It’s a huge achievement to get out of the “Group of Death” and a great effort by the players, but it’s all done. Now, it’s all about understanding the dynamics of the knockout stages: you lose…you are out!
The US should feel confident going into that game. Belgium is an impressive side, but they haven’t been at their best at the World Cup so far. Jermaine Jones, one of the most dominant players for the USA, will have a very important role to play. I’m expecting this match to feature plenty of aggressive, fluid attacking plays.
The USA can’t play Belgium hoping to give them a good game. They have to attack and play to win.
This World Cup has been full of surprises and excitement. I’m sure there will be more surprises and excitement!
• COURTNEY BAINES LUNDY, UCF Soccer Star and member of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame:
I think we have the same odds as when we played Portugal.
We will have to fight till the end.
Courtney’s Prediction: I believe that we will win.
• ROBIN CHAN, Florida Tech head mens soccer coach:
The USA has quality leaders and collective spirit and it is clear every player, on or off the field, has given themselves to the team.
This alone has meant they can overcome tough situations and moments in the game as they work for and trust each other fully and that is great to see.
Clearly the USA will need to be more assertive than they were against Germany, if they sit too deep too early it could be a long day.
Belgium is filled with world class talent but they are very individual and young so could have difficulty the longer the game goes on if the USA can frustrate them.
It should be a very exciting day!
• GERRY McCABE, Melbourne High School head boys soccer coach:
Belgium definitely has more talent, but USA has the heart and character required to compete at this level.
If we can play Germany as close as we did, winning this game is within reason.
Coach McCabe’s Predicition: I say we have a 50-50 chance.
• GILES MALONE, partner Maverick Multimedia and former Florida Tech assistant soccer coach:
If the USA plays to the same level as they did versus Germany, it will be a close game. Bradley must have a big game in central midfield, keep possession of the ball and not give it away needlessly, which will make a big difference to the USA.
The longer the game goes scoreless the better for the USA as Belgium will begin to panic, lose confidence and play deeper. I feel as though Jermaine Jones may be ready to break out as a new and surprising star of the World Cup if he plays to his maximum potential.
• Keith Malone, Space Coast Daily’s special international correspondent in Rio:
USA’s never-say-die attitude will win the day against Belgium – by a single goal. Coach Klinsmann has instilled in his players the solid belief that they should expect to win.
Marginal defeat against Germany will only strengthen that belief: they saw they were not far behind the standard of many people’s favorites for the trophy itself. So just a small improvement, plus a slice of luck, could even see them make the semis for the first time in their history.
“They shall not pass” – USA’s clarion call to victory.
CLICK HERE FOR SPACE COAST DAILY’S 2014 WORLD CUP EXCLUSIVE ON-THE-SCENE COVERAGE