USA defence not coping with new ball

United States goalkeeper Tim Howard says his side must deal better with the new erratic World Cup ball if they are to stand any chance against England on Saturday.

UNITED States goalkeeper Tim Howard says his side must deal better with the new erratic World Cup ball if they are to stand any chance against England on Saturday.

The USA back four looked insecure virtually everytime the ball came into their box during last Saturday’s friendly international against Australia in Johannesburg despite winning the match 3-1.

Everton shot-stopper Howard said: “The ball is terrible. You are going to hear that next week and next month but it is what it is.

“We are trying to get used to it, trying to read an unreadable situation and hopefully it doesn’t come back and bite us.


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“But I think you are going to see some crazy things with it.

“It dips, dives, moves all over. If you hit five balls with the same striking motion, you wouldn’t get the same result.

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“It is hard. It is hard for defenders to read, for keepers it is not easy.

“We don’t make the rules with the balls. It is tough and up to us to get adjusted and adapt as best we can for the weekend.’’

USA playmaker Landon Donovan, who was on loan at Everton this season, echoed his team mates sentiments. He said: “I think the majority of the problems were due to the flight of the ball.

“I think a lot of times the ball doesn’t fly true and it puts your defenders under a lot of pressure.

“Even balls that are comfortable coming in to your defenders, heading it is challenging at times and with crosses it is very difficult.

“So we are going to have to do some work this week, just judging the ball better, so we are more comfortable against England.’’

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