CARSON, Calif. – England’s campaign for the 2012 European Championship may be going on half a world away, but Chivas USA’s English winger Ryan Smith is keeping daily tabs on the Three Lions.
A former England youth international, Smith admits that he reads online versions of the English newspapers daily to check up on the English squad. Currently, the lightly regarded England side is tied for second in Group D after opening the group with a 1-1 draw against France.
Although expectations are low for the English, Smith believes that the low expectations could help the nation flourish.
“For a while now – and this is no disrespect to any of the players, this is just my honest opinion – I would say that with England, we think that we’re above ourselves [as in] we’re not as good as we think or at least show it on the field,” Smith told MLSsoccer.com. “Or at least we haven’t shown it on the field in recent tournaments.”
The Three Lions return to action on Friday when they take on Sweden and the London native admits that there needs to be more attacking bite from Hodgson’s side.
“We’re pleased with the result against France, but we’re not pleased in the way that we attacked," he lamented. "We defended well, but we didn’t attack so well. We had a few chances, but a few chances is not enough and you need to always make chances because they win you games as well as good defending. There needs to be more emphasis on attacking as well."
Rest key ahead of RSL match
Going into the international break, the Rojiblancos were rolling, and with MLS action set to resume this weekend, they’ll look to continue their recent success.
On Saturday, when Chivas host Real Salt Lake they’ll put a six game unbeaten streak in all competitions on the line. After returning to training on Wednesday after a three day rest, the Rojiblancos believe that the only way to extend their streak will be by being aggressive from the outset against RSL, over whom they recorded a shock 1-0 win at Rio Tinto Stadium earlier in the season.
“That’s the million-dollar question,” defender Danny Califf told MLSsoccer.com of maintaining the club’s run of form. “We’re not going to find out for sure until Saturday, but I feel that we’ve had a mental rest and a physical rest. And [we’ve] come back with an agenda of training this week that has been about trying to be on the front foot.”
Chivas youngsters called up to youth national team duty
It’s been a banner few days for the Chivas USA youth academy as a trio of academy stars were called up to US youth national team duty. Midfielder Adonis Amaya and forward Bradford Jamieson were called up by US Under-17 head coach Richie Williams as part of his 24-player roster for the Copa Saprissa tournament in San José, Costa Rica
The pair has been training with the Chivas first team for the past two weeks and will now depart for Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., where they will train with the rest of the squad starting June 17 before departing for Costa Rica on June 21.
Meanwhile, fellow academy player Malcolm Jones was called up to the U-15 boys’ national team for their Copa Mexico tournament in Mexico City.
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.