The game itself? Nothing to get worked up about. But the back story to the rise of both teams in world football? Now there’s a story. Switzerland vs USMNT has a lot more to it than meets they eye.
In a half empty stadium on a Tuesday evening a game kicks off at 5:08, the USA are in Zurich to face the ‘mighty’ Suisse. The USMNT play with their beloved diamond formation, which actually has developed since they first brought it to the masses at the World Cup in Brazil last June. With Clint Dempsey out injured the key players for the USMNT are Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) and his teammate for club and country Jozy Altidore.
The Suisse men to fear are Xherdan Shaqiri (Internazionale), Josip Drmic (Bayer Leverkusen) and Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus). This game is important, as these are two nations who are becoming bigger and bigger in the football universe.
The USMNT impressed with theit performance at World Cup. While the Suisse teams rise to 6th in the world rankings before the World cup. Both sides really are encouraging the new way to play football. Using youth teams in order to mould the next generation into players that know the differing roles when it comes to senior level.
Having unfortunately sat through those miserable coaching courses run by the FAI, one starts to understand where they are coming from. Both teams here are playing exactly the system they teach the youngest kids with crisp passing, tactical minds and also a great versatility in different positions.
These are two teams incredibly influenced by Germany and the Bundesliga. The USMNT team features sons of Amercians who moved to Germany and grew up there such as John Brooks who scored that famous goal at last summer’s world cup v Ghana and Fabian Johnson the speedy full back born to members of the US forces based in Germany.
With seven of the United States’ team playing in Germany and twelve of the Suisse. The impact this has is huge, as the Germans development of these players is key due to the spectacular infrastructure available to them. There is also a German coach (Jurgen Klinsmann) at the reigns of the USMNT which has really helped the German born Americans to integrate better into the squad.
It’s highly possible and an opinion held by some, that within the next fifty years they will both become powerhouses in football, Especially the US due to its vast population, resources available and the growth of MLS even in the last year or two. The Suisse are also making ground at club level with teams such as FC Basel progressing in the Europa league but also in the champions league.
The game itself was just what to expect from a friendly on a rainy Tuesday night. Decent passing, slow build up and of course many 6 yard misses. The first half was bland until just before the referee blew the half time whistle when Brek Shea curled the ball into the top corner from a wonderful free kick which brought the USMNT ahead going into the dressing room.
After the sending off of Jozy Altidore the game did burst into life as players started to forget their tactical instructions, there was end to end play and more of those 6 yard misses, an embarrassingly large amount by full-time.
Just before the clock hit 80′ Valentein Stocker rose above the USMNT defence, who had been defending for their lives to push his header from the corner to put them level. The game died after this point. The first half was painful second half less so but there can be a lot to take from this game for both teams. Full time in Zurich 1-1, but one found the whole story behind each team the interesting aspect of the game.