Thornton: Ball, Altitude Not Factors in WC
Chivas USA goalkeeper Zach Thornton has joined the 2010 FIFA World Cup fever like many soccer fans around the world. While others are rooting for Brazil, Spain or Germany, Thornton is an all-American guy. Not to mention that Thornton has a total of eight caps with the United States National Team and most recently, Thornton joined the team in their training camp early in the year. The two-time Goalkeeper of the Year fully supports his national team in the World Cup.
The U.S. National kicked off the World Cup last Saturday, June 11th in an exciting matchup against England that ended in a draw.
“I think the United States had a pretty good match against England,” Thornton said. “I’ve know [U.S] Coach Bob for a while now and I know he’s a very detailed and organized guy and the team looked organized. Unfortunately, England scored an early goal, but we were able to score our goal, too.”
The goal for the United States came in the 40th minute when U.S. midfielder Clint Dempsey kicked a shot on goal as England’s goalkeeper Robert Green’s saw the ball fumble into the goal. This was not the first goalkeeper mistake in the World Cup. Fellow Group C team Algeria had the same mistake in their match against Slovenia, as they saw their first match slip away after the goalkeeper fumbled the ball into the goal, giving Slovenia the three points. The “Jabulani,” the World Cup ball, and altitude have been pointed out as possible game-changers.
However, Thornton believes that neither the ball nor the altitude has played a major role when it comes to goalkeeper mistakes.
“The ball is lighter but the mistakes just show that the forwards are just getting better in their tactics,” Thornton said. “I think the altitude change doesn’t have anything to do with the mistakes. There have been unfortunate mistakes that unfortunately happened in the World Cup.”
The next match for the United States will be this Friday, June 18 against the leader of Group C, Slovenia. Thornton predicts a win for the American team but says that continuity will be key in order for the United States to obtain a victory.
“I’m sure the result against England gave them confidence for their match against Slovenia. They need to avoid giving up an early goal but they can definitely build from that result.” stated Thornton.
“Slovenia is yet another tough opponent,” Thornton said. “The majority of their team plays in Europe. I think that with the confidence that we got from the match against England, we can move forward, and get another three points.”