- June 4, 2011: USA vs. Spain
Castrol Performance Recap
“The trick on a day like today is trying to figure out who are the guys that we think can potentially go 90 minutes and how to have enough of them on the field at the beginning that you have some options and that you feel like you have everybody ready to go. We’ve done it different ways but we felt today that that was the way to go.” U.S. head coach Bob Bradley
One doesn’t normally go into a match against the defending world champion thinking about protecting the fitness of the players, but that’s exactly the situation U.S. head coach Bob Bradley faced when taking on No. 1-ranked Spain on Saturday afternoon in Foxborough, Mass.
With a little more than 72 hours following this match before the USA’s first game of the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup where the regional championship and a spot in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup are at stake, the coaching staff had the difficult task of carefully examining the playing time of each player to defend against injury and fatigue for the critical match on June 7 against Canada.
Even before the game started, decisions had to be made on whom to put on the 18-man game-day roster. U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra logged 28 straight matches for club and country since November, going 90 minutes in 26 of those games that included the 1-1 draw against Argentina. Having put that kind of high mileage on the field and looking at four games in a span of 11 days, the coaches chose to keep him out of the lineup.
In the match against Spain, the coaches managed minutes by having 10 players record 45 minutes each of action, making five subs at halftime. The sixth sub came in the 65th minute, leaving five players to go the full 90. The coaching staff was successful in managing the team's minutes in advance of a busy Gold Cup schedule during which the team needs to be hitting on all cylinders.