World Cup Watch: US-Belgium Preview - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

World Cup Watch: US-Belgium Preview

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Mike:  So coach, the big news today, USA Soccer saying that Jozy Altidore is fit and ready to go.  Will he play, should he play, tomorrow against Belgium?

Coach:  Will he play? I think he'll see some time on the field.  Whether that's as a starter or as an impact substitute later in the game...if he's fit and ready to go he'll start. Should he start?  If the coach thinks he's the right man for the job than he should. We're in the knockout phase. If he's the guy that's going to help win the game, than he should start.

 Mike:  Klinsmann, when asked about it today, said 'I'm not sure how many minutes he's going to be avaible.'  How much of that do you think is gamesmanship?  

 Coach:  All of it. I'm not even sure how happy Klinsmann is that US Soccer sent out that tweet. I think he'd like to keep his cards very close to his chest.  He's very good friends with the coach of Belgium. Any competitive coach, you don't want to give anything away to the opposition.

 Mike: What makes this Belgium team dangerous?

 Coach:  Game winners, like Edin Hazard. 23-year-old. Plays for Chelsea in the Premier League. Can change a game any time he decides he wants to.  Coutoir the goalkeeper. Was the keeper for Athletic Madrid. Won the Spanish title, beating out Barcelona and Real Madrid. Made the final of the Champions League. Stood on his head. He's had a fantastc season. Vincent Kompany, central defender for Manchester City. Captain of that team.  Won the Premier League again this year. It's a good collection of players.  They won every game in their group. Each by one goal, but they're coming in with three wins.  So that's important too.

 Mike: So they have that momentum, but how does the U.S. stack up against them?

Coach:  I think they stack up well. I think it will be Belgium's toughest game of the tournament. The knockout factor adds something to it as well. The U.S. has a good thing going on with their team, with how well they're bonding. Every player that's come in has done well, for the most part.  I think it will be Belgium's toughest game, but it will be difficult for the U.S. You're playing a team with a solid defense and genuine world class stars like Hazard. It's going to be difficult.

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