France vs. USA: Players Who Need to Step Up in Landon Donovan's Absence

Chris Siddell@@siddellcCorrespondent IIINovember 9, 2011

France vs. USA: Players Who Need to Step Up in Landon Donovan's Absence

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    If the US National Team are to beat France this week, then these players really need to step up their game. With Landon Donovan missing, there will be no room for mistakes, and these guys will need to put in everything.

    Recent results have not been great, and Jurgen Klinsmann is yet to convince everyone. The game against France is a great opportunity to win over a few critics.

    France may not be the side they were in the late '90s, but they shouldn't be taken lightly. Several players are really going to have to play incredibly well, especially now that Landon Donovan is missing.

5. Jozy Altidore

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    Jozy Altidore has not scored for the national team since the Gold Cup victory over Guadeloupe.  He did miss a few games with injury, but it's about time the big striker started scoring.

    In the past two years, Altidore has managed just four goals for the USA.  With Donovan missing he's really going to have to step up, and score more goals.

    France are a deceptively strong team, especially defensively.  Altidore will need to be at his best if USA are going to win this game.

4. Jermaine Jones

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    Jermaine Jones has not had the best of times recently, but he is back playing first team football in Europe, and back in the Nation team.

    He needs to make an impact, and with Donavon missing, there is space for a match-winning performance.  Against France, the team will need more than one match winning performance.

    A top performance from Jones will see his reputation bolstered on his return to the squad.

3. Maurice Edu

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    Maurice Edu has just passed 100 games for Rangers in the Scottish Premier League.  Against France he is going to need all of his experience to help the USA come out with a victory.

    Playing in the centre of midfield Edu will need to work incredibly hard and move from box to box throughout the game.  Not only will he need to contain the threat of attacking French midfielder players, he will need to get creative at the other end.

    Without Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore will need someone to play through that perfect ball, and Edu can be that man if he steps it up enough at the weekend.

2. Clint Dempsey

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    Fulham player Clint Dempsey will almost certainly need to make a big impression against France.  Without Landon Donovan, the team needs someone to step up and replace his creativity and experience.

    Clint Dempsey needs to do that.

    A vast amount of experience in the Premier League and Europa League, means few others are in a position to do so.  Team USA needs Dempsey to step up.

1. Tim Howard

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    Tim Howard is not a replacement for Landon Donovan.  Of course he isn't, he play in goal, but against France he will need to step up his game.

    Without Donovan, attacking France will be a lot harder, therefore defending becomes more important. Any mistake from Howard could put France ahead, or take the game away from the USA.  That can't happen.

    Howard needs to be at his best, he will need to step up and make some amazing saves.  He will need to command to defense and make sure it stays solid.

    Against France, Tim Howard needs to step it up.