Tuesday, June 23, 2009
According to attacker Landon Donovan, a US win over Spain on Wednesday may rival what happened in South Korea seven years ago.

The run to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup will always be remembered by US soccer fans thanks in large part to the play of then-20-year old who tallied two goals during the tournament.

As memorable as that summer was, the now-veteran forward does not hide the fact that advancing to the Confederations Cup final could be the biggest accomplishment in US Soccer history.

"We've never been to a final of a tournament of this kind of caliber," Donovan told YA following Tuesday's training session. "In some ways, you could say that it is more difficult than the World Cup because the level of teams is so good."

"It is a big accomplishment for us to get to this point and we want to keep the momentum going against Spain."

The reigning European champions have been unstoppable of late with 15 straight wins and have not suffered a defeat since a November 2006 friendly against Romania.

Despite the long odds, the Los Angeles Galaxy man feels he and his teammates are capable of pulling off the upset.

"It will be difficult considering that Spain has not lost in a very long time," continued Donovan. "But we believe in ourselves and if we play well, we have a chance. That's our intention. We have a good game plan and we'll try to get it done."

Unlike the knockout rounds in World Cup play, the amount of rest days for the Red, White and Blue in the tournament has been significantly fewer with the squad only getting a two day break in between matches.

Add to the fact that Spain will have the advantage of one more rest day, it would be easy for the US to point to fatigue as a possible excuse should they go down in defeat.

But such rhetoric is quickly discarded by the former Bayer Levekusen man as he is acutely aware that alot of other teams would trade places with the US in a heartbeat.

"Playing every third day is difficult and physically you get very tired but mentally we are very excited," the California native added. "A lot of teams are home and we're still playing so I think the big key for us is to stay strong mentally and keep going physically."

"Spain has more rest but we're not worrying about that. We're going to be prepared and keep fighting."

The opportunity to play Spanish head coach Vincente del Bosque's world number one squad puts the US in a situation where the 'Nats can play without pressure which is welcomed by Americans' all-time leading goal scorer.

"Spain is the best team in the world, but we have nothing to lose. It would be a great victory for the US to beat Spain and we plan to leave everything on the field."

Donovan and his fellow Yanks hope to earn the US' first ever victory against their foes from the Iberian Peninsula on Wednesday at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.
Wednesday June 24, 2009 12:28 am
"In some ways, you could say that it is more difficult than the World Cup because the level of teams is so good."

uhhhhh, huh? anyway, good luck!
Charlie G.
Tuesday June 23, 2009 9:01 pm
Wishing the boys well !

Would love to see them compete well, play with good effort and consistancy, regardless of the outcome. Please no red cards ! The first 15-20 minutes should be telling...hopefully no goals conceded, and able to hold the ball a bit and make some space; otherwise, I'm going to have a short lunch hour !

4-4-2 please...and if we fall behind, say 2-0 at the half, "let's do the Freddy" ! and the Torres....Bring 'em on !

Thanks to Yanks-Abroad, and to all US Soccer Supporters !

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