USA stopper slams 'terrible' World Cup ball

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Tim Howard has branded the World Cup ball 'terrible' but admits the United States defence must learn to cope with it better if they are to deny the England attack in Saturday's clash.

USA's defence looked insecure virtually everytime the ball came into their box during Saturday's friendly against Australia despite winning 3-1.

"The ball is terrible. You are going to hear that next week and next month but it is what it is," said Howard. "We don't make the rules with the balls. It is tough and up to us to get adjusted and adapt as best we can for the weekend."

The Everton stopper added: "We are trying to get used to it, trying to read an unreadable situation and hopefully it doesn't come back and bite us. But I think you are going to see some crazy things with it.

"It dips, dives, moves all over. If you hit five balls with the same striking motion, you wouldn't get the same result. It is hard, it is hard for defenders to read, for keepers it is not easy.

USA playmaker Landon Donovan echoed Howard's sentiments and said: "I think the majority of the problems were due to the flight of the ball.

"I think a lot of times the ball doesn't fly true and it puts your defenders under a lot of pressure.

"Even balls that are comfortable coming in to your defenders, heading it is challenging at times and with crosses it is very difficult.

"So we are going to have to do some work this week, just judging the ball better, so we are more comfortable against England."

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Tim Howard
Premier League

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