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Several Stars of World Cup Rocked By Injuries Days Before First Kick

Yesterday saw several key players set to play in the 2010 World Cup in danger of missing matches or the tournament on the whole.

Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba was taken down on a challenge from Japanese defender Tulio Tanaka and suffered a broken elbow. Considering the match was a Friendly between two teams days away from beginning their World Cup the challenge was pretty reckless.

Here is a clip:

Rio Ferdinand on crutches and out for the World Cup. According to the Guardian and several other outlet, England captain and starting center back Rio Ferdinand suffered a serious knee injury in training and left the hospital on crutches. He is expected to be declared out of the World Cup.
Rio-Ferdinand-006.jpg

This is huge news for England and the US. For the third time in almost 5 months England will have a new captain (likely to be Steven Gerrard who is struggling with an injury himself). This means we will likely see Ledley King and John Terry in the center of defense for England. Advantage US. With the number of out of form or wounded defenders between the US and England there could be potential for some goal come next Saturday.

In the desprate need to hit the breaking news button, ESPN reported Jozy Altidore was hospitalized with an ankle sprain. Rob Stone you got this one about %50 right. Altidore did suffer an ankle sprain and did go to the hospital for x-rays. Altidore appears to be day to day and the US team seems confident he will be ready to go versus England.

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32 Golazos in 30 Days – Italy

Its not hard to enjoy the Italian national team but I chalk most of that up to recent US matches vs the Italians, match fixing scandals in their top flight league, the constant diving, and everything about Alberto Gilardino.That being said you don’t win the World Cup with a +10 goal differential with out having skill. It also helps to have Danielle De Rossi’s howitzer left foot.

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Passing is a part of the game. Some teams do it well, some teams put on a clinc.Watch the entire clip Japan strings together 22 passes. 22 passes before scoring. 

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32 Golazos in the 30 Days – Japan

Passing is a part of the game. Some teams do it well, some teams put on a clinc.Watch the entire clip Japan strings together 22 passes. 22 passes before scoring. 

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32 Golazos in 30 Days – Denmark

Yesterday we previewed the Danes and discussed how 6-4 striker Nicklas Bendter could cause problems for defenders if he was on his game. Here is a quick visual representation. 

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Better Know a Player: Tim Howard

Age: 31

Hometown: North Brunswick, NJ

Position: Goalkeeper

Number: 1

Height: 6-3

Weight: 210

Club: Everton (English Premier League)

Twitter: No

Appearances with US Team: 50 First Cap: March 10, 2002 Ecuador

 

Goalkeeper has been the one position in soccer where European clubs have been eager to sign Americans. Tony Meola made it over in the early 1990’s and the likes of Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller quick to follow in the 1990’s and into the 2000’s. All three would take the USMNT to World Cups. Over the last eight years the understudy to Friedel and Keller would be Tim Howard. 

Some scouts site the numerous sports in America that require hand eye coordination combined with athleticism that help to separate American Goalkeepers from their European counterparts. Howard grew up in North Brunswick, New Jersey and was a standout in several sports. Soccer and Basketball being where his abilities were most noticeable. Howard managed to be a standout athlete while fighting Tourette syndrome, Howard has spent most of his life fighting the syndrome with out medication due to the fact he feels the medications can make him feel lethargic. 


Out of high school Howard would sign with the North Jersey Imperials, a team in the United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues. His coach there would later take a coaching position with the NY Metro Stars and Howard would get an offered a trial from the NY MLS team. In the 99′ season Howard would make 9 appearances with the Metrostars and would receive a call up to the US under 20 team. 


In 2001 Howard would have a break out year in the MLS. He won the Goalkeeper of the year at 22 year of age and would play in 41 matches for NY over the 2002 & 2003 seasons. 


In the middle of the 2003 season Manchester United signed Howard on a 4 million dollar transfer. Howard would make an immediate impact during the 2003-2004 season for Manchester United and would be voted the EPL Goalkeeper of the Year, becoming the second straight U.S. goalkeeper to earn the honor after Brad Friedel. 


In his second season with Manchester United, he started poorly, making several errors and was dropped again for Carroll. After Carroll made several errors as well, Howard forced his way back in but his performances were unconvincing, leading to Carroll retaining his place again, playing in the FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal.

At the end of the 2005–06 season, Howard signed a new contract, which was to run until 2009. In the summer of 2005, Manchester United released both of his competitors for the goalkeeper position, However, they also bought experienced Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar soon after. Howard would only see limited action in 2005/06 and in 2006 he was loaned out to Everton. Howard made a quick impact at Everton and when the load deal was up Everton brought Howard in permanently. 

On March 10, 2002, he received his first senior cap, against Ecuador and registered a shut out. In 2006 Howard was named as one of three goalkeepers on the U.S. roster for the 2006 World Cup but served as a backup to Kasey Keller. Howard has become the team’s first choice keeper under Bob Bradley and started in the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup final, a 2–1 win over Mexico.

He was the starting keeper for the 2009 Confederations Cup, including the semifinal in which the U.S. upset Spain, then the number one-ranked team in the world. Howard’s eight saves earned him his first clean sheet of the tournament and the first shutout of the Spanish side since 2007. Following the United States’ second place finish in the tournament, Howard was awarded the Golden Glove award for best goalkeeper.

Howard is one of the top Goalkeepers in the tournament and is easily the most vocal player on the US team. If the US gets a result against England expect Howard to have played a major role in the US earning points in that match. He is a tremendous athlete and does well to get himself in front of shots. 

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