Onalfo: Scouting Cameroon
News Jun 23, 2003
U.S. Men's National Team assistant coach Curt Onalfo breaks down Cameroon and what the U.S. expects from the Group B leaders going into the final game:Cameroon have already done their work, winning their first two matches and advancing to the semifinals. They started identical lineups in the first two games, which would suggest that they will make several changes heading into tonight's match. Having said that, first place in the group is still up for grabs, so goal difference for them could become a factor. There will also be a lot of pride at stake for Cameroon, especially since no African nation has won all three group matches in a Confederations Cup.
Whatever team they put on the field, we expect them to employ a similar tactical style, which is a low-pressure, well-organized unit that looks to counter attack. The Cameroonians are strong, fast and physical, and we must be prepared to battle for 90 minutes. In their first two matches, they lined up with a lone striker; however, we expect they will add a second attacker. They have shown in this tournament that they are very disciplined, which is not characteristic typical of Cameroon. This is likely due to the philosophy of their new German coach, Winnie Schaefer. As always, they will be very dangerous on set pieces and we must be alert.
For us to be successful, we need to play as a team. That was evident in our success in the World Cup, and even more so in the match against Turkey. Essentially, the challenge for us is to improve our performance from the Brazil match. We have continually stressed the value of gaining experience from these types of competitions; part of the exercise is to see how our players respond to being in this circumstance. We feel confident that the team is ready to perform and will leave France on a high note, putting us in the right frame of mind heading into the Gold Cup next month.