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USA vs Poland Preview

October 8, 2010 By William Mbaho
USA spoiled for choice as they prepare to host Poland
US coach Bob Bradley almost has too many options to choose his squad from ahead of the friendly against Poland. The Americans are missing several MLS players competing in season fixtures, but that should not spoil Bradley’s plans in Chicago.

Both teams have different ambitions at the moment. Poland will be looking to improve their groundwork for Euro 2012, while the Americans have a longer term goal of success in the 2014 World Cup. The match will allow Bradley room to experiment with a crop of talented players already playing in the top European leagues.

The US squad will mix some of the best players in the English Premier League, Italian Serie A and the German Bundesliga. Instead of missing LA Galaxy forwards Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle, Bradley has his pick of Fulham forwards Clint Dempsey and Eddie Johnson, or Villarreal’s Jozy Altidore.

The manager will welcome his options and knows he has the depth required to test his tactics, and find the right combination of experience. The challenge going into the next World Cup campaign will be how to replace some the aging faces that will be too old in four years to start.

Both the US and Poland have lost friendlies in recent months, but neither will be worried about past results. Poland have several talented young players in their squad, most notably from the Bundesliga.

Polish coach Franciszek Smuda has two prodigious youths in Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski, who play for Dortmund. Schalke player Jermaine Jones may play in his US debut, but coach Bradley seems to have an abundance of midfield and defensive options.

US goalkeeping duties will undoubtedly go to Everton’s Tim Howard. AC Milan defender Oguchi Onyewu is also expected to anchor the back line, and Bradley’s son Michael will be handed a midfield position.

While the Americans will be trying out some new players, Poland will be counting on the experience of Poland captain Michal Zewlakow. The defender will be playing in his 100th cap for Poland.



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