Posts Tagged ‘international

02
Jun
08

USA vs. Spain Roster Set-and it sucks.

Her is the roster for the US vs. Spain via USMNT Blog:

Goalkeepers (3): Dominic Cervi (out of contract), Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Tim Howard (Everton FC)

Defenders (7): Carlos Bocanegra (out of contract), Dan Califf (FC Midtjylland), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jay DeMerit (Watford FC), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock)

Midfielders (6): Freddy Adu (SL Benfica), DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Eddie Lewis (Derby County), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids)

Forwards (4): Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC), Nate Jaqua (out of contract), Eddie Johnson (Fulham FC), Josh Wolff (out of contract)

Another piece of shit roster. It was nice to see him drop Rico Clark after having a horrible game against England. Which was surprising I must admit.

However, where are the fucking goals going to come from is Donvan is out? Dempsey looked invisible against England, so much so that I even forgot to mention him in the recap. Also, Josh Wolff has no business being on the field for this.

Also, for the love of all that is holy, Bob, do not play Gooch and Boca in the center of defense.  Spain’s attack has TONS more pace than England’s and Gooch has the speed of an oak tree. Orrozco was called up and should be given a look. He played great from a very good Mexican club and looked great in the Olympics.

On a side note: why the fuck hasn’t Jorge Flores been called up into the youth teams yet? He is on FIRE for Chivas USA and if my sources are correct he is eligible for the US and Mexico. Do you wish to lose ANOTHER player to El Tri because of shit scouting, sticking with your old standby players and lack of action? This kid should be capped NOW. Hell, he should have been brought in against Spain. I’m not saying he is the cure all, but he is a tireless worker on the LM with fantastic pace. Let’s not waste that.

With this roster I’m looking at 3-1 Spain. I have a feeling we’ll sneak in a late garbage time goal. However, with what I am sure will be the bullshit empty bucket formation and lack of quality up top, I am pretty sure we are fucked no matter what the score is unless El Nino ruptures both Achilles tendons in warm ups.

02
Jun
08

England vs. USA recap

I’m late with this and don’t have much to say about this piece of shit game.

The US lost 2-0 and it was a deserved result given a few factors that I would like to talk about.

1) Bradley calling in a team with 1 decent striker (Donovan–even though he is more of an AM or SS than a striker if we are going to be honest) and 3 stiffs (Eddie Johnson, Josh Wolff & Nate Jaqua) Donovan was injured and unavailable and the results showed.

Wolff absolutely sucked and EJ had one good chance on goal and otherwise sucked. Jaqua came in for a cup of tea at the end of the match and had no real chance to ultimately suck like he would have.

2) These are combined: Employing the empty bucket formation (4-2-2-2) and playing Michael Bradley out of position.

Bob: enough with the fucking empty bucket. It’s a ridiculously defensive minded formation that is negative in every way possible. It opens up the team to counters and just sucks.

Compounding that madness, is Michael Bradley being asked to play as a D-mid when he is a center mid–and excelled in that role for Heerenveen. A lot of people think there is no difference between the two roles but there really is. Michael isn’t the world strongest defenders, he’s good but not great. He is great at getting into the attack, linking the midfield to the front line and yes, scoring some goals (he had what, 18 in all competitions this year? That’s a lot, Bob)

Of course, rather than use that attacking prowess, we use Michael in a way that accentuates his weak points and leaves his strong points in the shadows. Dumb, Bob. Dumb.

Also, regarding the formation, it’s a friendly. A FUCKING FRIENDLY. Experiment. You claim you were experimenting with new blood, which was bullshit. Why not experiment with the formation? It’s not like England wasn’t every beatable with the right personnel and attack minded formation. We have held our own against Brazil and Argentina the last year and both of those nations are light years ahead of England in terms of class. Sorry England fans, but it’s very true.

3) Bring on fucking Adu. Stop sitting him til the 80th minute. Start the fucking kid and lets see what he can do. This will require you to dump the bullshit empty bucket, but it could benefit us. He showed some flashes but had no real chance to impose his will on the match since it was over by the time he stepped on the field.

4) related to #1, call up Altidore. Fuck what Osorio says about worrying about Jozy wearing down. Who gives a fuck about RBNY? I don’t. I care about the USMNT playing well. I would say the same thing if Jozy was in Chicago. Hell, I’ve often advocated Rolfe getting another look and gladly would have relished seeing him against England, Spain and Argentina.

There are probably a ton more I could list but it’s making want to vomit. The roster for the Spain friendly came out and it’s basically the same old bullshit. I will comment on that in another post.

30
Mar
08

USMNT: USA vs. Poland Recap

I don’t have time to write a full recap right now but will have one up later once I’m home from work.

logline: a game the US should win.

result: USA 3 Poland 0

Goal Scorers: Bocanegra, Onyewu, Lewis

formation:

—————Ching———-Johnson————-

Donovan—–Clark———Bradley———Dempsey

Pearce——Bocanegra——Onyewu——-Cherundolo

———————-Howard————————-

subs: Feilhaber for Pearce; Wolff for Ching; DeMerit for Onyewu

recap:

Don’t let the pundits (like Ives Galarcep) fool you. Many of them were calling for a massive mountain for the US to climb but that simply wasn’t the case. The US handled Poland pretty easily before the World Cup in ’06 and that was a better squad than the one Poland was trotting out this time around.

Many pointed to the Poles qualifying for the Euro ’08 tourney as proof of their strength but look at the group. Group A was abysmal. Portugal was the only good team in there. If you switched Azerbaijan for Scotland, Poland is sitting home this summer; simple as that.

My player evaluations will come later tonight (needless to say, the forwards will be suitably raped 😉 )

UPDATE: Sorry for the long delay. I fucked up and saved as a draft not as a post whoops.

Ching & Johnson: 2 – they sucked in every way they could suck honestly. I should give Ching 1 more point since he actually managed to put a shot on frame.

Donovan: 7 great service on free kicks. The breakaway can’t really be blamed 100% on him as Boruc played it pretty well.

Bradley: 8 his game was subtle and you really had to be paying attention but he was in passing lanes all day and had some nice thorough balls. (that usually went squandered by the front line)

Clark: 6 he was solid as usual. He’s never flashy. He gets stuck in and pounds on people. That’s his job and he did it.

Dempsey: 3 Did he actually play? I hadn’t noticed. He’s another player who needs to be dropped from the team if he’s not going to play for club. Playing on a reserve team in ANY league will never be as good as playing on the first team in ANY league. Sorry. Deuce needs to move on.

Pearce: 4 he had a pretty shit game honestly. He set up the one free kick but his clearances were utter shit and his defending was rough to say the least. He really shouldn’t be the option at fulback.

Cherundolo: 7 solid game from Cherry. He got forward into attack in the typical German style and defended well. We need to hope he remains healthy. He is too good to be missing out on.

Bocanegra & Gooch: 5 yes, they both had goals, but their defending it simply atrocious. Gooch is still getting burned far too much and looks clumsy more often than not. Boca is showing the rust not playing for club brings and needs to sit. With a player like Orozco waiting in the wings, there is no reason to hold on to those two like they are irreplaceable.

Howard: 9 solid game again from Timmy. Made all the saves he needs to make and distributed the ball well. I wouldn’t give him a 10 because a player needs to have a god like performance in a HUGE match to get a 10 (think: Zidane vs. Brazil in the 2006 World Cup –one of the greatest performances EVER)

Here are some video highlights from German TV:

24
Feb
08

Africa Cup Of Nations Peeve

No this isn’t going to be an article asking why it’s played when it’s played. I am going to bitch about people bitching about when it’s played.

This came about as I was watching Barca dismantle Levante (hooray! Sorry Levante fans and Madrid fans who were Levante fans for a weekend) and one of the announcers on Gol! TV Rafael complained about Eto’o missing time and saying that the Africa Cup of Nations (ACON) should be played in the summer so it doesn’t interfere with the “European season.”

Now, I am sure there are many in Scandinavia who are sad to hear that they are no longer part of Europe since their season doesn’t occur during this so called ‘European Season’ that Rafael talked about and aren’t affected by the ACON.

He claimed that the ACON should be played during the summer. I have to ask: “Are you fucking insane?”

This year the tournament was in Ghana. If it was held in the summer, the ‘normal’ humidity reading in Ghana is well over 85% and the temperature is pretty much guaranteed to be in excess of 80-85F with much higher temperatures being common combine that with the humidity and you have less than ideal conditions to be playing in during the day….and Ghana is a relatively cool place by comparison to some of its neighbors.

Now imagine playing in the summer in Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia or any other nation that lies mostly in the Sahara desert. As you may know, it’s not a desert because it’s cold. Do they simple get left out of the chance to host their continent’s tournament? Should it always go to Ghana and South Africa since they are about as close as you are going to get to non-oven temperature/humidity combinations?

Sorry, for me the tournament is just fine where it is. I hear people whine and bitch about MLS scheduling games during international dates and they should. However, their ire should be raised that the “European Season” keeps on running through the ACON as well then, but it’s not.

Look around the top leagues in Europe and the top teams in those leagues. What do you see? A lot of African players right? Right. Now if they are going to make millions upon millions on these stars, it seems the least they can do is take 3 weeks off for their tournament or shut up and not bitch when it comes around and let them play for the glory of their country.

I know the argument is ‘but these clubs pay them big money {{growl}} {{grrrrr}}” and that is true. However, there is a fund now to compensate clubs for players who are injured so the argument is a bit weak now.

Lastly, football (soccer) has always been and international sport. Part of the charm of the game is that there are international competitions every year and every couple of months we get individual one off games between nations. There is no other team sport I can think of that does this. It’s a truly unique experience. Basketball could do it if the NBA wasn’t so protectionist (sound familiar European club defenders?) in its desire to not have players injured which is why the game doesn’t explode into a firmer place as the #2 sport in the world.

So let’s take it easy on Africa. Every federation has their championship let Africa have theirs. I mean listen, if MLS ever becomes a dominant league, would you like to hear fans hear bitch about the World Cup and European Championships coming in the middle of the season when European players have to leave for international duty? It could happen as MLS isn’t changing to a fall-spring sked any time soon unless they take a 2-3 month winter break, as Toronto and Chicago are colder than any place in Europe that plays during the ‘European Season’ by a fairly large margin and they aren’t the only cities that get past that pain threshold. I don’t think anyone would think much of fans bitching about that. They would say the very things I say to you now: let them have their championship when it works for them.

08
Feb
08

what did jozy altidore say to rafa marquez?

I am trying to find the original link from Yahoo Sports, but they had the scoop on what Jozy said to Rafa that made him laugh.

Basically, Jozy ran from all the way across the field to tell Rafa that he was a huge Barcelona fan and watched them every week. Rafa apparently was taken aback by Jozy’s youthful exuberance given his less than youthful frame and poise on the pitch.

It was a, for lack of a better word, ‘cute’ moment. It’s hard to remember that Jozy is barely out of high school sometimes.

I noticed a lot of people searching for it in the dashboard so I figured I’d toss it up there for those wondering.

07
Feb
08

USA vs. Mexico 2.6.2008 recap

So as you no doubt know since you are here, the result of the match was a 2-2 draw.

It was painful to see the USMNT (Moor in particular) give up such cheap equalizing goals. However, credit to Magallon and El Tri for putting forth a higher level of urgency and effort all game to try to achieve the draw.

In the end, the result was a fair one.

Thoughts:

Jozy Altidore, while still raw, is the future of the USMNT. He was a load to handle and Rafa Marquez, one of the premiere defenders in the world, looked like he really earned his paycheck out there today.

The biggest thing Jozy needs to do is be more aware of his positioning and raise his aggressiveness a little bit. He has more drive than any other striker in the US pool right now, but he could be so much more with a bit more of a nasty streak in him.

Drew Moor and Ramiro Corrales effectively ended their USMNT careers. They were truly awful. They both had moments. Moor served in a great cross on Altidore’s goal and Corrales subdued Giovani Dos Santos (except when he allowed Gio to get beyond him a bit and had to foul him in a dangerous position to the left of the box) in his limited minutes. However, they looked out of sorts.

Dos Santos: Barca is one of the European teams I follow. I’ve wanted this kid to be a hit but he has yet to really break out. He has flashes but he continues to be weak on the ball and is basically in the business of trying to dazzle people with his pace. He is fast, but he is not so fast that he eclipses everyone else on the pitch. (hell on his own team Henry could run him down with a 10 yard penalty) The same held true except for the aforementioned free kick he won; despite the glowing praise from some people who just seem set on talking the kid up based on potential alone.

Right now he is basically Eddie Johnson. Tons of talent. Speed to burn. Unfocused and ineffective far too many times to be dubbed a star.

One bright spot, other than the continued good play of Magallon vs the USMNT, was Vela. He looked dangerous and threatening all day on the flanks. Dos Santos gets the ink, but Vela gets the job done for club and country. If there is a future Mexican superstar, it’s Vela.

Michael Bradley is a conundrum. He played poorly, but perhaps not as poorly as we’ve seen come people play in the central midfield. I think perhaps the expectations he’s brought in with his form in Holland hurt him a bit. He still made some very cheap fouls and got a cheap yellow card that he NEEDS to control.

That being said, Bob Bradley needs to stop making him ‘the man’ in front of the back line. Michael has shown in his club play that he is more natural playing more advanced. He’s not good at the whole ‘last gasp defensive effort’ think that marks the best of the best D-mids. Many of his cheapest fouls come in those situations and it’s not good. Perhaps it will come with maturity, but for now, he needs to play more advanced.

Finally, Gooch and Benny. I have been as hard on both of them as a person can be. Gooch began the road to redemption with a goal and some good work in the back (unlike Bocanegra who looked totally out of sorts far too many times and colliding foolishly with Howard) Gooch is still guilty of cheap fouls and soft cards though. I don’t know if that’s every going to end.

Benny shouldn’t have been called up. I stand by that. The USMNT shouldn’t be in the business of calling people in who have not featured in their club side for 4 months. Sorry.

That being said, Benny came in and put in a workmanlike effort in relief of Bradley. His energy was apparent. His touch and feel wasn’t always there, though that’s to be expected with the layoff, but for the first time since the Gold Cup, he looked like someone fighting for a spot which is something everyone on the team should take to heart. The talent pool of the US, while not Brazil, Germany, Argentina like, is deepening and the days of automatic selections are thankfully nearing their death. It’s time to fight and claw and scratch for your spots, boys. Once you get the spot, keep clawing and fighting and scratching on the field for victory. That is the only acceptable way of continuing going forward and the only way we will ever win anything on the international scene.

MLS skeds will be coming out soon and there may be an announcement on a matchup with a ‘top 5’ opponent coming up soon. All indications point to it being Argentina. I talked to people at the DFB and they said there was no plan to play the US and the schedules of the European Championships wouldn’t allow anyone else to play us (save for Spain who is already on the sked)

There is also talk of a ‘top 20’ European side playing us, who I will stake my life on based on what I’ve heard from some little birdies, will be England. We should get the official announcement soon though when I’m proven right. :p

Continue reading ‘USA vs. Mexico 2.6.2008 recap’




MLS ASG in DENVER- by eBatty

MLS All Star Game in Denver

MLS All Star Game in Denver

MLS All Star Game in Denver

MLS All Star Game in Denver

MLS All Star Game in Denver

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MLS All Star Game in Denver

MLS All Star Game in Denver

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