Saturday, August 16, 2008

Deja vu all over again

It's not as if the final four haven't met before.

In fact, it was only days ago. Here's my picks for who will go through, and yes, I have changed my mind since the start of the tournament.


ghostwriter said...

Hope you're right about US result, but hope you're wrong about Kai getting back in the starting side for the game.

A-Rod and Hucles have been developing a nice rapport in what essentially amounts to a fluid 4-5-1 formation for Pia Sundhage. And I sure would take out HAO, Tarp, CL, or the Boxxster at this juncture. I think they'd do well to keep that whole group intact in the starting XI.

Kai's got gobs of energy and some scoring intincts, but her technical on the ball skills seem rudimentary at best, and she's so slight that, shoulder to shoulder, she loses almost every challenge. I'd rather see her as a spark late off the bench when needed.

It would just be SO sweet to get to the final after losing Abby and the first game of the tourney. But Japan will be tough. There's always one Cinderella, it seems, in every event... and you never want to play them before the final itself.

This is one where, if the US were to lose, the Bronze Medal game could be more interesting/competetive than the Gold...

Anonymous said...

GW - I agree. Kai did exactly what she was supposed to - be the spark plug off the bench. I think that would affirm her role in the mind of the coaches not win a starting role for her.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but Hucles is terrible. She wastes more shots than A-rod, if thats possible. Kai is far better than A-rod or Hucles and her previous goal scoring record proves that. If you want shots into the stands, play A-rod and Hucles, if you want real goals, play Kai.

Also, Japan is really good side and in my mind played better than the USA when the two met previously. It will be tough to beat that team now that their shots are going in.

ghostwriter said...

Last Anon,

I like Natasha Kai, and I don't want to be provoked by exaggerated negativity toward Hucles and A-Rod into saying anything that would suggest otherwise.

But there were reasons Pia took her out of the starting lineup after Norway, and similar ones why she came in for HAO in ET v. Canada not for one of the A-Team (Angela and Amy).

And, conversely, there's nobody else on this team who can bring such an infusion of late energy in order to pick up her mates as the Kaister.

If I were my decision, I'd keep NK in reserve. Fortunately for US hopes, that's Pia job, not mine, and I suspect she'll get it right.

But I agree that Japan will likely be a tough nut to crack.