Whatever we hoped to learn from Tuesday’s match in Houston, where the United States caps its January camp with a friendly against Canada, perhaps we should temper it even more than usual.
Friendlies are tricky exercises anyway. Minus any meaningful pressure, they are highly imperfect as an instrument of analysis. Leave a favorable impression in a match with nothing on the line, well, that’s great. But it doesn’t mean you can do in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, or even in Denver against a Costa Rican team desperate for a point on American soil.
So, any individual or team analysis in a friendly needs to run through that filter. And now we have this …
The team Canada brings … uh, it’s not so good.
Last night, a young bunch of Canadians fell hard to Denmark in Phoenix, 4-0. That was not Denmark’s best, by the way; most of its stars weren’t brought in for this one.
So if Eddie Johnson goes off for two or three, or if Graham Zusi or Benny Feilhaber command the midfield, or if Omar Gonzalez looks utterly unbeatable along the back line or whatever … let’s remember the real deal here.
It’s a friendly. It’s against a young team in transition.