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Better surface = better U.S. chances. Let’s talk …

Portrait of US player Brek Shea taken be

Portrait of US player Brek Shea taken before the friendly football match France v. USA on November 11, 2011 at Stade de France in Saint-Denis, northern Paris. AFP PHOTO JACQUES DEMARTHON (Photo credit should read JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

Well, look at the Big Brain on Greg Lalas!

The ed-in-chief took in yesterday’s U.S. practice in Columbus and made himself some keen observations.

We all know the field at Crew Stadium will be a cut above the surface at “The Office” in Kingston. In fact, the patch of grass in Ohio will look like the No. 8 green at Pebble freakin’ Beach compared to the grass under foot in Friday’s loss.

And we know how a sloppy or choppy field helps level the competitive field by subtracting some edge from the more technical team. But Lalas got a word with Clint Dempsey to help explain it a little further:

You take more touches trying to get the ball under control, and they’re so athletic they’re on top of you and tackling you when you did that.”

Lalas also observed in the piece that Brek Shea (pictured) looked sharp and was singled out by one assistant for special and public praise. Pare that with all the talk about needed width and … hmmmm.

There were three other observations on Lalas’ list; you can see those for yourself, if you’re so inclined.