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US tones up with 3-1 win

June 5, 2010 | 7:53 am No comments
By Shaun Schafer

In the final tuneup, the borderline forwards led the US Men’s National Team to a 3-1 win over Australia in Roodepoort, South Africa.

Edson Buddle scored a first-half brace and Herculez Gomez added insurance in second half injury time in the final preparation game before the US starts World Cup play June 12 against England.

As Jozy Altidore watched from the bench, Buddle and Robbie Findley consistently put themselves in scoring position. With Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey racing on the flanks, this looks like a team that can score goals. And Altidore looked hungry to get on the field and do some damage, too.

However, with Oguchi Onyewu at less than 100 percent, Jay DeMerit trundling over opponents and Carlos Bocanegra a month removed from hernia surgery, the backline looks unsettled. Those issues are unlikely to be resolved in the next week, meaning Wayne Rooney has to be excited about his chances. The England forward is unlikely to squander what he is given.

Still, Saturday was about getting game time and staying fit. Everyone seemed to meet those goals. Buddle scored in the fourth and 31st minutes, sandwiched around a Tim Cahill equalizer. Gomez, who came on late, got the third goal. Meanwhile, Findley regularly raced into danger and nearly scored on two excellent opportunities.

Now, it’s time to get ready for England, and debate who should be in the starting 11.

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