England defeats South African club team in final tuneup
It wasn't pretty, but England defeated the Platinum Stars, 3-0, in its final match before its showdown against the United States Saturday in Rustenburg.
It wasn't classified as a "friendly" so head coach Fabio Capello could use as many subs as he wished -- and he did. Only the injured Gareth Barry -- who will sit out Saturday's match -- and goalkeeper David James didn't see the field when the Italian coach made 10 second-half subs. It was a risky move by Capello to play all his starters, but England escaped unscathed.
Jermain Defoe, Joe Cole (the only player to go the full 90) and Wayne Rooney all scored for the Three Lions.
After a disjointed first half, Capello was not pleased. At halftime, he barely budged before ripping into his team. According to the Telegraph: "The horn-blowing fans dancing in the aisles were not being moved by the quality of England’s football, and neither was Capello, who delivered one of his trademark half-time roastings in an effort to shake his side from their lethargy.
During the match, Rooney was warned by referee Jeff Selogilwe for cursing at him. Rooney tried to apologize after the game, offering the ref his jersey as a sign of peace.
England's lineup is finally falling into place with the midfield of, from left, Cole, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Aaron Lennon set to go against the U.S. Although none of the other forwards really dazzled, according to reports, Emile Heskey likely will be paired up top with Rooney.
On defense, it appears imminent that Ledley King will get the start at center back with former captain John Terry while Glen Johnson and Ashley King will patrol the flanks.
The big question remains, who will start in net? It was a shocker that Joe Hart started ahead of Robert Green yesterday. There really isn't a frontrunner. Veteran David James could still get the nod.