Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dirty Oyster News

GUEST BLOGGER: Adam Spangler, the Maestro of This Is American Soccer and a true friend in futbol of du Nord.


The idea of taking this site beyond links bounces around Mr. McGuire's mind, which is like the Atlanta freeway with soccer and music knowledge as the cars--no one is driving the speed limit, and nobody is safe. It's packed in there, but sometimes, what with the increasing prevalence of Twitter and quick-hit soccer blogs multiplying like Gremlins, the big man wonders what the point is.

We talked about it when Bruce came on Waiting For Gaetjens, and in our insular world that feeling can easily creep in, but out there too, beyond the brothels of social media, are plenty of people who aren't all day absorbing the latest in soccer news, gossip, and stories (when there are any of those). And for that du Nord is the Baroda Pearls in an ocean of smelly, empty oysters. His genius begins with a grain of sand.

And the greater community we live in, with all due respect to the BigSoccers out there, started with du Nord.

and now the news...

oh, and this is me.

US Soccer

TAMPA--USA beats El Salvador 2-1 to the thrill of nobody. In a game when each and every player's immediate future is up for grabs, I was hoping for a better overall effort. The fact that even after a long winter camp these guys haven't played together much plays a big part in that, but when put in that spot, coming out with guns blazing probably isn't the worst call. The often slow, hot and cold effort, topped with the all too usual poor finishing just isn't going to cut it. I give the B-minus team a B-minus.

ESPN's post-game highlights/breakdown video.

Player ratings from Soccer America if you are into that kind of thing. Few if any have done it longer than them, so if you have to, get them here.

Postgame interviews on video with players and coach Bradley.

A new writer for Soccernet, brought over from Europe, Leander Schaerlaeckens, wants Bradley to change formation away from 4-4-2. Good luck with that. But Leander gets a tip of the hat for coming on Waiting For Gaetjens and talking about something we can all agree on: The story of Joe Gaetjens is fascinating, especially after reading Leander's piece on the mythical 1950 hero that will be on starting Friday morning. He reported out the most detail we've seen to date.

That episode of Greg Lalas' and my podcast will be available on iTunes even earlier Friday morning. Alexi Lalas joins us as well to talk national team. I may or may not say something to the effect of Alexi's 1994 team could beat the present day team.

Steve Davis has the spot-on breakdown of which player made the most out of the game, but it doesn't have much of a shelf life because the roster for the 3.3 game in Holland was dropped:

GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS: Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes), Jay DeMerit (Watford), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Frank Simek (Sheffield Wednesday), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)
MIDFIELDERS: DaMarcus Beasley (Rangers), Alejandro Bedoya (Orebro), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Landon Donovan (Everton), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers), José Torres (Pachuca)
FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (Hull City), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), Eddie Johnson (Aris Thessaloniki)

  • MLS guys called in: Bornstein, Pearce, Findley
  • Non-MLS guys not called in: Cooper, Castillo, Adu
  • Interesting choices to watch: Bedoya, Edu, Torres, Pearce, Findley, Eddie Johnson, Beasley, DeMerit, Spector, Simek, Goodson, Holden
  • Notable names left off: Kljestan, Rogers, Ching, Casey

Bedoya, Torres, and the Rangers' boys have me drooling for some fresh looks. Then again, there's something to be said for letting the 11 guys you think will start against England in South Africa get as much time together as possible.

Those that aren't in Holland--well, you've got to worry about their chances. They aren't gone--the injuries the team sustained this year alone prove that out. But guys like Sacha and Ching--what's the percentage chance they have going to South Africa? Injuries, torrid form--all still possible--but the over/under line just went down for all those guys today. Ching probably has the highest chance considering his position and the trust Bradley appears to have in him. The thinking with the Houston foward could be, "We all know what he brings, so let the others battle it out." Hence Findley and EJ called in. Sacha has a couple of months to kill it or be killed. Even if it's the latter, I don't think we've seen the last of him.

Some of the names the USMNT might be seeing on the field in Amsterdam:

Michel Vorm (FC Utrecht), Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax), Piet Velthuizen (Vitesse Arnhem); Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Ron Vlaar (both Feyenoord), John Heitinga (Everton) Edson Braafheid (Celtic), Joris Mathijsen (Hamburg ), Andre Ooijer (PSV Eindhoven), Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax); Mark van Bommel and Arjen Robben (both Bayern Munich), Otman Bakkal, Orlando Engelaar and Ibrahim Afellay (all PSV), Nigel de Jong (Manchester City), Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan), Rafael van der Vaart (Real Madrid), Wout Brama (FC Twente), Stijn Schaars (AZ Alkmaar), Demy de Zeeuw (Ajax); Ryan Babel and Dirk Kuyt (both Liverpool), Klaas Jan Huntelaar (AC Milan), Eljero Elia (Hamburg).

George Vecsey has a light, but nice, little column going here about Bradley traveling to Europe to watch his players, and then ruins the whole thing by jumping on the "we have to have an American coach" wagon. The way he says it sounds as if our European players are naive children looking for a security blanket. I thought we were passed that.

Played in Tampa before the big boys played, the U17 boys whooped up on Mexico last night 4-1, but it doesn't make me feel any better about Azteca last summer, or the Gold Cup final for that matter.

Hope Solo kicks ass. 2 penalty kick saves in a 2-0 shutout against Iceland in the USWNT's Algarve Cup opener. I'd like to see Lindsey Vonn do that. And settle down Julia Mancuso, Hope has you covered on controversy too.

Which sadly still feels like the last thing we heard from the USWNT. The link above goes to the St. Louis Democrat because, why not? It's not like anyone could watch this game, and unfortunately the US Soccer Matchtracker was broken on Wednesday. Is it just me or has this team disappeared from public consciousness? Sad for what is still the world's #1 women's team.


The MLS CBA deadline #3 came and went today. Do I hear 4? Or should we just forget about this all together for another year? Nothing is clear, but for now they have no agreement, no scheduled talks, but no strike or lockout.

Goff has the lawyered statements from both sides.

I'm so sick of this topic but the future of MLS does hang in the balance, so it's deserved the attention. It's just tough when so little is actually known. My one curiosity: how many times were the words 'Soccer United Marketing' uttered during the bargaining?

By the way, bargaining? I love that word used here. Makes me think of haggling with a vendor off Canal Street, down a hallway, through a door, through a room and another door, up a flight of stairs, to a windowless room full of fake Rolexes and bags that become Kate Spade Bags with a sticker.

Yanks Abroad update us on Dustin Corea, another young American who wants nothing to do with MLS.

Landon grew up in MLS, and now there's a Facebook page set up by fans of Everton to keep him in Liverpool after his loan comes up next month. Not bad.

The new National Team away kit was officially released by Nike. It's their lightest, stretchiest, most permeable jersey ever. Each jersey is made from 8 plastic bottles. But all the talk will be about what it looks like. Here it is:

This is new to me--pasting entire AP reports on a newspaper blog. What else is there to say? But OK, there's your 3 big stories of the day--FIFA all but giving away World Cup tickets at this point; Wayne Bridge quits England over a girl or because he is one; and maybe you've heard there is a possible MLS players' strike/league lockout coming?

Button Button Who's Got the Button? Can someone make me a Willy Wonka-afied soccer something or other? American soccer as the Great Glass Elevator or something? Gat damn I love that movie. Sorry, what I meant to say was this lovely lady has your buttons. Like Bruce Arena once said--I'm paraphrasing--go be a good soccer consumer.

Which of course means also grabbing the new Bumpy Pitch Hoody before they are gone.

I'm very happy to see the indy soccer marketplace slowly growing up with the sport's culture.

Read Greg Seltzer because he is good for you. like food.

DeRo is apparently not making it rain.


Worst Headline of the day goes to the Philadelphia Daily News:

"Union’s new stadium sure to have electric atmosphere"

Compared to the Philadelphia Inquirer: "PPL signs naming-rights deal for soccer stadium."

If you are not listening to the new Sade album, or Questlove's playlist, you should be.


Anonymous Neal aka Lightning Striker said...

Nice to read you, Adam ... I don't get to TIAS often enough. Look forward to seeing you again at another USMNT game.

5:03 AM  
Blogger kj said...

Always a pleasure to read your stuff, Adam. Hope to see you in Amsterdam!

3:58 PM  

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