Holland Preview

Ryan Babel has World Cup and Champions League experience/photo from the BBC

The Netherlands entered the Olympic Men’s Football Tournament as the favorite in Group B. However, following a scoreless draw against Nigeria, the other highly touted side in this draw, Holland needs at worst a draw and ideally a victory against the US to realistically stay alive in Group play. Ryan Babel the Liverpool attacker is a well known commodity but quite honestly he looked outmatched in the first group game against Nigeria. Following Roy Maakay’s exit from the match due to a foot injury, Holland was on the back foot more often than not. Maakay will not be available Sunday which is a huge blow to the Dutch. Also unavailable is Evander Sno who took down Nigeria’s Emmanuel Ekpo (of Columbus Crew fame) when Ekpo made a move to his inside and Sno was beat. The result was a straight red card, a harsh call for what appeared to be a professional foul meriting merely a yellow card.

Holland’s most dangerous midfielder could be Jonathan DeGuzman. A question for Canadian readers of our site: Do you root for or against this player whose brother of course plays for Canada, and who choose to play for Holland after he received Dutch citizenship recently after meeting his residency requirement since he signed with Feyenoord at age 12? Much like Owen Hargreaves, DeGuzman opted to forgo playing for his country of birth, Canada in order to play for a world power.

The Dutch defense is anchored by Kew Jailens, like Maakay an accomplished international who was an overage selection to the Dutch squad. Jailens played very well for the Dutch against Argentina in the final group game of Germany 2006 but then did not feature in the controversial and surreal second round match against Portugal.

Another veteran of the Dutch 2006 World Cup squad is Hedwiges Maduro who plays for Valencia. Maduro will anchor the midfield along with DeGuzman. The Dutch Goalkeeper Kenneth Veermer was very good against Nigeria.

What does everyone think of the Netherlands’ side and can the US get a result on Sunday?

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About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
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4 Responses to Holland Preview

  1. Tom says:

    They need the result and thus are going to shred us.

  2. bandeeto says:

    I would like to see us start in our traditional defensive “bucket” then transition into a more attacking setup about half way through the first half. Here’s why:

    1. I believe our boys can hold the fort, and soak up the pressure, for 20mins or so.

    2. I believe, once we change to a more balanced/posission oriented formation, we can give Netherland some pause, and perhaps take some important momentum into half time.

    If nothing else, it will keep Ned on their toes. they are a better team than we, but if we can keep them guessing, and force them to deal with us having stretches of posession, then perhaps we can take some pressure off of defence and open up further oppurtunities in the second half.

    If Nowak can continue to insert the unexpected into our tactical game, then I believe the doors are wide open for an upset.

  3. Berlin says:

    “The Americans are more of a team on the same level. They don’t have anybody extremely good.” – Dutch Head Coach

    I hope we beat their f’ing brains in.

  4. Joe says:

    The Dutch were gasping for air in the summer heat after about 30 minutes the other day.

    They area typical European side that wows when conditions are ideal on the continent but cannot play outside of Europe.

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