The USA soccer team took on the Swedish national team in an International Friendly match on January 19, 2008 at the Home Depot Center. The Americans had some of their star players there but there were many new faces as well. The Swedes brought an abundance of younger players and not their number 1 team. USA Captain Landon Donovan led the group to a 2-0 win with a penalty kick score to become the all time goal leader for the USA in only his 97th game. He passed Eric Wynalda who played for the team between 1990-2000. Goalkeeper Brad Guzman made some key saves and preserved the victory.
Defender Eddie Robinson made his national team debut and scored early after a corner kick by his MLS teammate Brad Davis. There was a skirmish in front and the Swedes couldn’t clear the ball, which enabled Robinson to drive it home. Ricardo Clark also played a solid game. There seemed to be some nice chemistry between Robinson, Davis and Clark who are all from the MLS Champion Houston Dynamo team.
The US team is looking forward to a good season after an up and down 2007 campaign. The National team started the year with 10 wins and 1 tie including the CONCACAF Gold Cup Championship over Mexico in June. The team then traveled to Venezuela for the COPA America Cup and was badly outplayed by Argentina, Paraguay and Columbia losing all three of their games. In August they came home and lost to Brazil in an International Friendly game before closing out the year with 2 1-0 victories against Switzerland and South Africa on the road.
Coach Bob Bradley (above) was pleased with his team’s play as they now prepare for a game vs. rival Mexico on February 6th in Houston. Saturday’s 14,000+ crowd was pro USA at the Home Depot Center in Carson. Expect a more mixed crowd when the team takes on Mexico as they play close to the Mexican border in Houston, TX. This is a huge year for US Soccer as they not only prepare for the summer Olympics in Beijing but also begin World Cup qualifying.
More information and their 2008 schedule at www.ussoccer.com