The changing of the guard in U.S. soccer, with former star Landon Donovan coming off the bench the last two games, may be a sign of progress, but "El Tri" may be too formidable.

gblockus@tribune.com

Much Adu about U.S.

Paul Doyle

Hartford Courant

If nothing else, the U.S. team has stirred some excitement heading into the Gold Cup title game. And it was more than just the hard-fought, 1-0 victory over Panama in the semifinals that has fans intrigued.

Freddy Adu? Who saw that coming? The former prodigy, just 22, stepped on the field in the second half and helped set up Clint Dempsey's goal.

In an otherwise uneventful game, the sequence provided hope for U.S. fans and may spark some momentum for a team that has won three in a row.

Mexico is still the favorite Saturday night at the Rose Bowl, but I'm feeling the U.S. mojo. The Americans will need to be better, but I'm expecting an elevated performance and a U.S. win.

pdoyle@tribune.com