Recap of World Cup Soccer Action
Best Spectacle on the Planet – No Matter How Controversial – Luis Suarez demonstrated that world class strikers only need two chances to score two goals. Thomas Muller, Robin Van Persie, Arjen Robben and Benzema all score but can Jozy Altidore, Aron Johansson or Chris Wondolowski help Clint Dempsey bring victory to the USA?
Every four years, fans from across the World unite for one month, to watch the most entertaining and dramatic tournament on Earth: the World Cup. No matter what club team you support, who your favorite player is or if you’ve never quite been a fan of the beautiful game, the spectacle of the World Cup is magnetic. Thursday, June 19th, was another historic day with England humiliated @ the World Cup when Uruguay’s Luiz Suarez scored a 2-1 win in a nail bitting Group D match.
Here is new columnist, professional player Nick Perera on Goals Make The World Cup Go Around
The success of a team can often lie quite simply in how prolific their attackers are. The World Cup shows us more than ever that no matter the quality of the team, or the style of play, what dictates games and their outcome is which team has the better striker.
A defender is judged based on his distribution, work rate, ability to organize, physicality and so on, a forward is judged on several factors, but all are trumped if he scores goals.
Forwards come in different sizes and styles; from speedsters all the way through to target men, but one thing dictates their value: whether or not they score goals and how many.
90-minute matches can be decided in a moment of genius. No matter the performance of the striker prior to the goal, the forward will always be the hero of the day after his ball finds the back of the net.
Luis Suarez demonstrated yesterday that world class strikers only need two chances to score two goals.
With a quick snap of his neck he put a beautifully crafted Edison Cavani cross away. Suarez doubled his goal rate late in the game with a right foot missile that came out of nowhere.
England created chances, dictated the pace of the game, but Daniel Sturridge; who is Luis Suarez’s strike partner for Liverpool FC, showed that true world class strikers like Suarez are extremely rare and worth every penny they’re paid.
Suarez’s second goal showed just how lethal he can be, and how a true strikers instincts can’t be taught: upon his approach to Joe Hart, from inside the box, the striker didn’t even need to pick his head up to take a last glance at the goal. He rifled a shot by Hart’s ear and reeled off with his trademark “pistolero” celebration. No problem for the best pure goal scorer in modern soccer.
Croatia struggled to put their chances away in their opening match against Brazil, but the game against a severely weakened Cameroon showed that when Mario Mandzukic is in the line-up, goals will follow. Germany destroyed Portugal on the back of 3 Thomas Muller goals, Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben have been piggy-backing Holland through to the next round of competition, and Benzema scored 2 (should have been 3) to put France ahead in their opening match. The bottom line is: if your striker scores, you win; when your striker can’t convert chances, you lose.
Cue to my central argument: social media has been ablaze with the news of Jozy Altidore being excluded from the Portugal game on Sunday due to injury, and this columnist thinks it’s good news for Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann and the USA.
Altidore had a torrid season in the English Premier League (EPL), and based on the argument Klinsmann proposed for Landon Donovan’s exclusion (that players must be picked on current form, not past success,) Altidore should not be starting for the national team.
The way the USA National team plays, they need two things from their strikers. First is to hold up the ball, relieve pressure and be able to be the beginning of a counter-attack. Second is score goals.
Altidore can do the first well, occasionally, but as of late, not the second. Working in Altidore’s favor: he has proven his ability to score in the past, but following Klinsmann’s argument, his current form isn’t up to standard.
If the USA had a player of the caliber of Luis Suarez or Van Persie to accompany Dempsey, half the issues which have plagued our team over the last three World Cups would be gone. Altidore will no doubt break the slump eventually and become as dangerous and prolific as he was during his time in Holland, but until that time comes, the USA needs a goal scorer. Whether Aron Johansson can do it, or it falls to Chris Wondolowski is another debate altogether, but in my opinion, the future of US Soccer and it’s future success hangs on a simple search for goals.