U.S. shifts to European attack Lineup altered in scoring search SOCCER

June 09, 1993|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,Staff Writer

BOSTON -- U.S. national soccer coach Bora Milutinovic made a few lineup changes yesterday in an effort to get some scoring from his offense.

The United States, which has not scored a goal in its first four games, will meet England tonight in Game 2 of U.S. Cup '93 at Foxboro Stadium.

The U.S. team has eight European-based players on the roster, but only two -- forward Roger Wegerle and midfielder John Harkes -- started in Sunday's 2-0 loss to Brazil. Forward Ernie Stewart and midfielder Peter Woodring were second-half substitutes.

Milutinovic announced yesterday that midfielder Tab Ramos (Spain) would start in place of Chris Henderson, forward Eric Wynalda (Germany) would replace Jean Harbor and Thomas Dooley (Germany) would move in front of Bruce Murray.

In addition, forward Frank Klopas (Greece) was expected to see some second-half playing time. Ramos, Dooley, Klopas and Wynalda had commitments with their European clubs and did not report until Monday.

Milutinovic would not elaborate on the changes, only saying he wanted to get a look at as many players as possible in preparation for the 1994 World Cup games.

But Wegerle was more to the point.

"Goals, we need some, that's it," said Wegerle. "I don't know if we've had time to mesh, but this team is capable of scoring.

"Look at U.S. Cup '92," Wegerle continued. "Once we got our European players in, we played and defeated two of the three teams in the field."

But that field included Ireland, Portugal and Italy. U.S. Cup '93 has Brazil, England and Germany, three of the top five teams in the world.

The Americans played poorly against a Brazil team that was only at half-strength. Brazil scored a goal in the fifth minute, and the United States never recovered.

But the U.S. team will see a different type of strategy from England. Brazil liked to play ball control, and challenged the Americans one on one. England likes the long passes and fierce tackling.

"You don't have to tell me a thing about England," said Wegerle, who plays for Coventry in the English Premier League. "I know we can play against those guys. We have to prove

to a few people the 'Yanks' can play some ball."

England also has something to prove. The team is recovering from a stunning 2-0 loss at Norway last week in a World Cup qualifier. The English, who trail Norway in their qualifying group and are just one point ahead of Poland and the Netherlands, may not qualify for the World Cup.

England has made it to the past three World Cup Finals.

"The pressure is on England back home. We're expected to beat the United States," said Graham Taylor, the team's coach. "After that performance against Norway, the pressure increased.

"This type of pressure can affect a lot of players," said Taylor. "Three weeks ago, people were telling me we were going to qualify for the tournament, and now they're saying we're not. But I believe we have a lot of players with mental toughness. When you put on an England shirt, it's impossible to be tired."

Taylor has been the focus of most of the criticism.

"It's very important that someone keeps their nerve and thinks sensibly, and I'd like to think I'm capable of that," he said. "If something's gone wrong, do you mope or do you get back on with business? You have to make sure it doesn't happen again."

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