United States needs no Ronaldo to win world cup

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their Group G opponents, particularly when up
against Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugal
stars, but their team ethic could see them
cause a shock and reach the knock-out
“We’re not like a Portugal, where they have a
Ronaldo to count on,” said Brad Friedel, a
veteran of three World Cups in goal for the
Americans. “We really have to have 11 guys
playing seven to eight out of 10 to beat these
But Friedel, our Sony Team Ambassador
covering the USA in Brazil, believes Jurgen
Klinsmann’s team have the capability to upset
the odds. “Can we do it? Yes, we can. But it’s
not going to be a case of ‘If he plays well, we
play well’. A lot of things are going to have to
fall into place.
“Michael Bradley is going to be very
instrumental, Clint Dempsey, Timmy Howard.
Whoever plays centre-half in every single one
of the games is going to be important for us,
Friedel’s association with the tournament
began in his own back yard, at USA 94.
“My memories of the World Cup in 1994 were
a lot different to my memories of 1998 and
then a lot different again from my memories of
2002,” he said.
“In ’94, I was young in goalkeeping terms. I
had been involved in the ’92 Olympics and the
Pan-American games, but this was a massive
event and the first time I was involved in it.
And do you know what? It went by like a shot.
“You barely remember any of it. You are too
young, you’re tunnel-visioned, you’re not able
to take a step back and see everything. What I
can remember is staying in a hotel, going
training twice a day, going to the game and
getting knocked out by Brazil, the eventual
“Was it an incredible experience? Yes, it was. I
remember 98 a lot more, but we had a lot of
in-house fighting with our team in 98. The
2002 World Cup was far more enjoyable.
“I was a little bit older and we had a lot of
players that were playing in Europe, and not
just in squads but being core members of
teams throughout Europe. We had an
outstanding group of players, were very
competitive and should have made the semi-
America defeated Mexico 2-0 before losing to
Germany in the quarter-finals in South Korea.
They may have to beat the Germans, in Recife
on June 26, to progress this time.

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