USA v. Austria: Will It Be The Sound of Sweet Music for The States?

Will Space Monkey play the disruptor again today?

Will Space Monkey play the disruptor again today?

Here’s a little bit on Das Team by Oxford, Mississippi-based Scott Schroder who writes at SB Nation:

To come at it from my area of expertise, Austria would be a mid-table Bundesliga team with a star in the midfield who would likely be angling for a move to a bigger club in the near future.

Alaba sets the beat for Das Team

Alaba sets the beat for Das Team

That star is Bayern Munich defender David Alaba, but who is deployed within the Austrian team as a midfielder. Truthfully, the only reason he is a defender at Bayern is because he has European Footballer of the Year Franck Ribery ahead of him on the left wing, but the Austrian gets forward a lot for a defender and is known for his skill on set plays.

Back to the broader point of Austria’s level of play, they have only a selection of second division players to choose from in goal, being Energie Cottbus’ Robert Almer and Austria Wien’s Heinz Lindner. Almer has gotten the bulk of the playing time of late and was featured in their last meaningful match against Sweden on 11 October, when Ibrahimovic sealed their World Cup fate in the 86th minute.

If there is a match the team would like to have back from their qualification run, it would have to be their meager 0-0 draw against Kazakhstan back in October of 2012. They controlled play but couldn’t find the net, leaving Kazakhstan empty-handed.

In defense, they have been strong in all matches aside from conceding three goals away to Germany in Munich, the first of which was the record-breaking goal for Miroslav Klose that pushed him ahead of Gerd Müller all-time for the German national team.

Their captain, Schalke player Christian Fuchs, anchors the back line for his country although his time in the Königsblauen side has been limited of late due in large part to positional experimentation.

Austria’s weapons in the midfield, aside from Alaba, include Stoke City man Marko Arnautovic, formerly of Werder Bremen, and Stuttgart’s Martin Harnik. Harnik was born and raised in Hamburg, but decided to play for Austria after never having been called up by the DFB despite always residing in Germany.

Weimann for the Villians today.

Weimann for the Villians today.

In the forward positions, many will recognize Aston Villa’s Andreas Weimann, but also of importance is Trabzonspor’s Marc Janko, who has scored in nearly half of his appearances for Austria.

The match is in the Ernst-Happel-Stadion, named for one of Austria’s best ever players after he died while technically still the coach of the national team in 1992. He also reached great success coaching the Hamburg sides of the 1980’s who won two titles under his reign.

Another Austrian legend, former Werder Bremen and Galaxy man Andreas Herzog currently sits alongside Jürgen Klinsmann on the USMNT bench. He is his nation’s all-time leading scorer.

13 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Izzy on 2013/11/19 at 11:54 AM

    Any idea what starting lineups are looking like?


  2. Posted by Izzy on 2013/11/19 at 11:57 AM

    I would also like to tack on that If there were a game for Juergen to be experimental and try Aron Johannsson on the flank, it would be this one. It’s the end of a really, REALLY good year. He’s entitled to try something a little different.


  3. Posted by gaug on 2013/11/19 at 12:06 PM

    Shea Johannson Bedoya
    Bradley Jones
    DMB Brooks Gonzo Cameron


  4. Posted by markwal on 2013/11/19 at 12:28 PM

    I like the attack-minded lineup. Surprised Shea got the nod since he’s become something of a super sub off the U.S. bench. Boyd should get decent minutes in the second half, and probably Lichaj as well.


  5. Posted by Chazcar2 on 2013/11/19 at 2:41 PM

    Memo to the us players/coaches:
    The part of the field between the edge of the 18 and the sideline isn’t out of play. You can use that. Please do.


    • Posted by Chazcar2 on 2013/11/19 at 2:43 PM

      Also why do we cross from 35 yards out to the top of the 18. That has to be the lowest percentage ball in all of soccer.


  6. Posted by Chazcar2 on 2013/11/19 at 2:47 PM

    Klinsmann needs to go back to his 4-1-3-2 that he was trying out instead of the 4-2-3-1. No Jones please.



  7. Posted by KickinNames.... on 2013/11/19 at 3:20 PM

    Jozy is winning hearts and minds.

    Johannson is showing his youth today. Way too many cute touches instead of the direct soccer that was so effective in his other showings.

    Jermaine Jones….????…I have no idea what he was doing out there most of tonite.

    Mike looks like he’s playing off a hangover or something. Slow and way too conservative in his play and distribution. Looks somewhat disinterested TBH. Very unMikey like. Interesting that he is much more aggressive and positive now that Jermaine ” ” Danger Mouse” Jones has gone off.

    Brooks looks like the most mature of the defensive group oddly enough. Like him more and more.

    Cameron looks like he’s playing out of position on right.

    Strange lack of touch and connectivity and distribution choices on the break all night. If it wasn’t AJ dawdling or backheeling it was Mike slowing the ball and playing square or backwards. Altidore deserves to bitch tonite as he worked his ass off and got little reward or imagination from his mates.


  8. Posted by giantleap4 on 2013/11/19 at 5:01 PM

    that was horrible. that was crap. that was ugly.

    our defense was torn to shreds seemingly at will (shades of Sarajevo) and our midfield was absolutely clueless. passing heavy, wayward or just pointless. no combination play and no creativity.

    once again: can anyone explain jurgen’s infatuation with jones?? even donovan and dempsey are fighting for starting spots yet jones delivers shit performances every other match and is etched as a starter?

    you’ll hear that we had a goal disallowed or that it was raining or that it wasn’t our A team. well austria could’ve scored 4 in the first half while playing on the same slick field with their B team.

    I really want to believe with this team but I dread a nightmare world cup.


  9. Posted by Dirk on 2013/11/19 at 5:30 PM

    Yes Jones was awful again. Remember, Klinsman is a VERY slow learner. Remember Danny Williams out wide? J F Torres out wide? Castillo anywhere? Lichaj nowhere.

    Jones keeps Bradley from being really good. That’s the bottom line. As for Geoff Cameron, I thought he was excellent. Best American for me today.


    • Posted by giantleap4 on 2013/11/19 at 6:16 PM

      agree that cameron was good today. ideally i think a healthy, experienced cherundolo is the the best option at RB but he’s probably not going to be healthy. yes castillo, lichaj, and williams are busts. but I still hold out hope for jose! he simply can make passes no one else on the team can. including bradley who I like- but he doesn’t possess the lock-pick passing required to open a sophisticated defense.

      will be great to get fabian johnson back. another player with great vision.


      • Posted by giantleap4 on 2013/11/19 at 6:17 PM

        btw…I’m not saying torres replaces bradley- i’m saying find a way to get torres on the field somewhere.


        • Posted by Dirk on 2013/11/19 at 9:39 PM

          When I said Lichaj nowhere, I was referring to the fact that Klinsman failed to call him up when I thought he deserved a shot. I don’t think Lichaj is a bust, still would like to see him get a full run out. I like him because he can provide cover at both RB and LB.

          Jury is still out on Lichaj but if you ask me the verdict has been reached on Torres, and it’s not good. He just isn’t strong enough on the ball or as a tackler or creative enough as a deep lying mid to make this squad compared to better options IMHO. And he can’t play wing.


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