World Cup 2010

Tuesday Kickoff: England cruises, Argentina rolls and more

BlancoGerrard (GettyImages) 

Good morning all. The U.S. men's national kicks off its World Cup preparations tonight when it takes on the Czech Republic (8pm, ESPN2) in a friendly that will decide the roster fate of several fringe players.

On Monday, it was the U.S. team's opening World Cup opponent in action as England's World Cup preparations kicked off with a 3-1 victory against Mexico at Wembley Stadium.

Goals from Ledley King, Peter Crouch and Glen Johnson made the difference against a game Mexican side that played the better soccer through most of the match. Mexico connected on twice as many passes as England, but squandered several quality scoring chances in defeat.

The English weren't the only world power to win in exhibition play on Monday. Argentina flexed its attacking muscle in a 5-0 thrashing of Canada in Buenos Aires. Maxi Rodriguez scored twice while Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero added goals in Argentina's final pre-World Cup tuneup match.

Here are the highlights (along with some other news items from Monday and today):


Portugal humbled in scoreless draw vs. Cape Verde

If Cristiano Ronaldo is going to have that statue erected like in the new Nike commercial, both he and Portugal are going to have to step up their game.

Portugal failed to score a goal in a 0-0 draw vs. Cape Verde on Monday. The tiny nation is currently ranked 117th in the world.

Hurtado suffers torn ACL

Seattle's forgettable season got a bit worse on Monday amid word that standout defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado had suffered a torn ACL. The injury should keep Hurtado out for the rest of the season, though Sounders officials were still holding out hope that he might be able to return before the end of the season.

Algeria loses midfielder to injury

USA Group rival Algeria won't have the services of Mourad Meghni, who failed to overcome a knee injury in time to make the Algerian World Cup squad.


What did you think of Monday's friendlies? Impressed with England, or did you come away believing the United States can beat the English? Think Seattle can overcome the loss of Hurtado?

Share your thoughts below.

  • playmaker

    CAPE VERDE??? You must be out of your mind. You might as well say Gaudaloupe is an improving football nation then.


  • afd

    I can see you know a lot about football; specially when you criticize Guatemala style of play against the US. Ironic isn’t?


  • 87_no_spice

    This is correct, this “one-goal” bashing of Jozy has to stop.

    When you consider the way Jozy manufactured goals for a team that only outscored Rooney by 8 goals on the season, it paints a much diff’t picture.

    Jozy scored or assisted on 8 of Hull City’s 34 goals (23.5%). Rooney scored or assisted 31 of Utd’s 86 goals (36%). When you consider that teams can’t just play Rooney since Utd has other options, but defenses can concentrate all their efforts on Jozy (lest they feel the wrath of Craig Fagan???), even this difference makes sense. Then, considering that Rooney started twice as many games as Altidore, it’s not unrealistic to say that Jozy is the more productive player. Numbers don’t lie.


  • afd

    Gonzales is good for a defensive type of team. If he was playing for Mexico he would be like Torres in the US, a good prospect but not really a place for him.


  • Frank

    If you saw the game then you saw the good performance by the 6’6″ Maza Rodriguez of PSV. He is better than Omar now. People here lose the fact that this game was played at Wembley and Mexico had their third string goalie. I was not impressed at all with England. Mexico also experimented with Marquez in the midfield that I think backfired. Considering that South Africa at home will be easier than England at home and the way Mexico played I think they will be fine in SA.


  • K Bone

    Sigh. Rooney carried Manchester United to within 1 point of the championship on a team that quite frankly should have struggled more. He was EPL player of the season, and in many, many cases was solely responsible for providing the goals. You really think every single team wasn’t focused on him entirely? You honestly think Jozy would have scored even half that many goals or was capable of carrying United if he was on that team? Sure United have much better players than Hull, but Rooney was without a doubt the center of everything. Jozy wasn’t even good enough in the eyes of the managers to start every game. Obviously their coaches sucked, but really, if he was good enough, he’d be starting every game. I’m sorry, but you can’t pretend that one goal scored is good enough for a player of his potential. The reason he was on Hull is because he’s not good enough to play on a better team. He had 7 assists apparently? So what, Berbatov lead the lead in assists 2009 and everyone said he sucked. I really don’t see how you can justify Jozy’s performance in the EPL compared to Rooney. Jozy isn’t even good enough to play with United, so the whole hypothetical BS doesn’t even matter. Good lord people, let it go, he’s not even close to a world class striker, and Rooney defines it…


  • K Bone

    And I’d like to add that this is on par with those guys who said Everton could win the EPL if Donovan played for them full time…


  • Andy in Atlanta

    WOW…what a bunch of punks… I said “world’ football…there are in fact teams outside of our regions and with the internet you can follow just about anyone… Cape Verde was not extremely far of qualifying for the World Cup in 2006… They have had some very nice results recently and are actually unbeaten since March 2009 including a win and a draw against Angola and a 2-0 away win @ Malta who gave gave Sweden fits just 5 months earlier on the same pitch and escaped with only a 1-0 result(2006 WC participant)…

    Also in no way was a slamming the way the Chapinas play…sometimes you have to play a certain way to try and get a result…if that means pack it in, you pack it in… worked for Cape Verde yesterday as it is their best result in history and a big deal for all their country’s fans since Portugal ran slave trade from there since the 1600s…

    The fact is world football is ever shrinking and putting your nose up at opponents that you might know much about is pretty arrogant…


  • Dave

    No mention of this here, but Canada was missing its entire starting midfield to injury, as well as other key starters. Would Canada have won with those players? No, but at least it would have been a better game. Really it’s too bad because it’s not too often Canada gets a chance to play a team like Argentina.


  • Andy in Atlanta

    Actually…Gaudaloupe is not a “nation” at all but an overseas department of France… sorry.. but yes they do play football in some competitions un sanctioned by FIFA…


  • Andy in Atlanta

    Maza was very good yesterday and was mentioned several times with glowing praise in the British media… I think he has a bright future beyond PSV


  • Andy in Atlanta

    I thought 6’6 sounded fishy…most have him at 6’3… still played well and I did not know he was that old…28 already…

    He was very good though.


  • Erik

    And Walcott’s horrible final decision making pass… He’s a fast winger but can’t cross the ball or do anything with it once he’s make the run.

    Also, I now see why Carlos Vela doesn’t play at Arsenal… he can’t finish easy opportunities.


  • JJJ

    Mexico is only half as good as they wish to believe. I hope England plays the same game against the USA and we kick their azz. The goals are what matters and England clearly won. 3-1 is pretty much a whoopin, weather it is pretty or not.


  • Jigga

    This is well put. Some of our players are faster, but Mexico probably /plays/ faster.


  • Ron

    maza rodriguez did play well. That slide tackle against rooney was quite the surprise. I was confused as to why mexico, generally, had 3 people defending(maza, osorio, torrado/marquez) against a squad who have more talent than they do.


  • Kevin Smith

    Oh, I guess the US team missing 6 starters would crush Argentina, right?


  • adam

    You’re expecting every soccer fan to be rational about a result and the play that led to it? Being the most popular sport on the planet lends itself to having the widest collection of fans from every background and upbringing… for better or worse. It’s a lovely game, isn’t it?


  • Marco

    Mexico are a far superior technical side to England, but the teams potential will not be maximized until the lapses in concentration are taken care of. Having said that, we will see what happens with Moreno and Magallon in central defense tomorrow against The Netherlands. Also Marquez played mid field yesterday which I’m sure will not be his position in South Africa.

    I think Mexico have a hugely talented squad that by curving errors will have a good advantage as most South American teams from the weather and altitude.

    One thing no one mentions is that as a tactician Aguirre completely outdid Capello yesterday. Giovani was never never in a static position, Marquez played midfield, Salcido was basically a winger, confounding the English players as to whom they should mark.

    The 3-1 score is very deceiving, but when a team wins no one will question the performance.

    What I do see is an incredibly cocky attitude this time around from the USMNT fans. Let’s hope it pans out for you!


  • bizzy

    Wow…England beats Mexico “only” 3-1 and now all of a sudden we have a chance to beat England? England??? I cant believe what I’m reading…..mexico that whooped our behinds in Giants Stadium 5-0 and then after we thought we were just playing with scrubs and called out our “A” team, beat us in Mexico City 2-1. Yet when England beat them (even with bad defending) and score 3 goals we start dwelling on the fact that the US all of a sudden will beat “that” team!!!! England beats a team with a better winning record against us and that gives us what?…..

    Even more crazy than that is that some people put Rooney and Altidore in the same conversation, and trying to ACTUALLY compare the two!!!!! Wow…comparing arguably one of the best players in the world to someone not even the best player on our team!!!!! How much more delusional can you get?!!

    Our only real weapon is that we are underdogs with nothing to lose so all the pressure is on England. If we approach at match (in our minds!!!) like the playing field is level, stand the “F” by. With that kind of mentality we are in for a very rude awakening in Royal Bafokeng Stadium, on June 12.


  • Brad

    That’s cute how Blanco and Stevie G are running hand in hand to the ball together.


  • Marco


    I tip my hat to you! Both the U.S. and Mexico need more fans that “get real”, it’s the only way to go…and to grow!


  • BFBS

    I don’t know why everyone is ganging up on you. Portugal barely beat Angola (another former colonial possession without much of a soccer history) in 2006, and that didn’t stop them from reaching the semifinals. The fact is, Portugal is pretty darn good but a small inspired team with some talent could pull a result out at any time. Anyway, here are some people that are or at one time were eligible to suit up for Cape Verde: Nani, Gelson Fernandes, Patrick Vieira, Henrik Larsson, half of Southeast Massachusetts, my friend the Gay Cape Verdean.


  • davidaubudavid

    to compare john terry, frank lampard and ashley cole to donovan dempsey and bradley is silly at best. By even comparing the two groups, you are admitting that terry, lampard, and cole are by far and away England’s best players, when in fact they aren’t and only one of them is the best player at their given position: Cole. Ferdinand is a much better player than Terry, Carrick than Lampard (and though gerrard isn’t better he is similar enough that it doesn’t matter which one plays). Who is better than donovan or dempsey on the wings (or even on the field) for us? Who is a better central midfielder than Michael bradley?

    Add to this that Mexico will never play any other team with the intensity that they do us, and that the u.s. has yet to have a pure home advantage (like what i saw at Wembley) and it is plain to see your entire argument is just a bunch of sh*t.


  • DaveW

    I was under the impression that assistant coach Carillo was the tactician and Aguirre the motivator.

    I had seen Mexico move the attacking players around a lot, but they moved the defenders and central midfielders too.

    Also, you’re right that this probably won’t be Mexico’s exact lineup for South Africa.

    Of course, if their opponents don’t throw crosses into the box constantly, their coaches should be fired.


  • texescape

    I’m a Hispanic USMT fan living in South Texas too and agree completely about the Mexico fans.


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