Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Some Soccer News for Nov 18, 2015

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton on Syrian Refugees: "This is Minnesota. You have every right to be here. And anybody who cannot accept your right to be here should find another state."

I finally got to watch the Ronda Rousey v Holly Holm fight last night, thank you Pat!, and its obvious why Holm won - she was perfection. Footwork, speed, defense, right jab, straight left, take downs, leg kicks, and an almighty head kick to finish it off. Best performance I have ever seen in the UFC. Amazing job by Holly Holm. Wow.


On the flip side, before watching the fight I watched the USA at Trinidad and Tobago World Cup qualifier and it was unimpressive from a USA standpoint!
-Some of those USA players were near lifeless out there. While others put out the effort to snag the needed road point.
-How many missed and poor passes, and terrible shots, and weak attempts can you put together in one game? Especially against an opponent that was beatable.
-T+T barely put up a fight. OK T+T was simple and solid in defense, but not some impenetrable wall of power. No way.
-That is 2 points lost for the USA.
-But the bigger story is that CONCACAF teams now know that they don't even have to play a great game to get a point(s) from the USA.
-This USA team seems to have the gears ground into neutral in a bad way.
-Usually a road draw is a decent result, but when you look at the rest of the nights games around CONCACAF you can see that our team has taken a step backward comparatively.
-And tactically, well, this team has no tactics. I think we can forget about this important aspect of the game until the next coach is hired. End of story.
-The biggest proof is the continued use of Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones as a midfield "pair". They simply can't play well together, never have, never will. THEY PLAY THE EXACT SAME ROLE. Its painful to watch, mainly because with them on the field together its like the team is playing with 10 men, there is no need for both of them.

Here is my assessment of the team from last night, position by position:
Howard: not much to do, but solid job when called upon.
Orozco + Ream: not terrible, but at times struggled with speedy wingers - they are centerbacks after all so whats the point of having them at fullback? Seriously, what is the point, cuz they added nothing to the game going forward.
Belser + Cameron: decent, but not enough pace or strength. Luckily T+T just isn't very good, so they were never strongly challenged.
Jones + Bradley: (see above) Jerm-Germ had his typical rugged game and came on stronger as the game wore on, while Bradley had a bad game, and his poor choices (giveaways and fouls) could have been disastrous against a better opponent.
Yedlin + Johnson: not used nearly enough. The team played very narrow, when width could have unbalanced a defense that put 8 behind the ball at all times. Johnson is a star that barely gets used.
Altidore + Zardes: Jozy had the one great performance on the night, giving everything he had. While Zardes had the poorest, missing one header completely and having another clank off his head and then the crossbar, when a composed striker would have finished it. Neither forward has great touch to begin with which does not help the hold up play, hence the even bigger need for width.
-And with all that said, the coach only made 2 of his 3 subs, bringing on Nagbe and Wood who were invisible.
-Not having Clint Dempsey on the roster is inexcusable.
-I am sure T+T was satisfied with the point.
-If the USA was satisfied with that performance and outcome then we should fear for the future.
-Last thing: When he came on the field last night I loudly declared that Darlington Nagbe will never have the impact for the USA that people are dreaming of. He just isn't made of that tough stuff you need for the international game. I hope he proves me wrong, but I don't believe he will.

On 2015 and 2016 for the USMNT. By Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated.

Rd 4 Game 2 Group C
-Tue Nov 17
Trinidad + Tobago 0-0 USA - oof
-Match report from the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian.


Other results from CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying:
-Mexico had a historic victory, winning at Honduras for the first time in 50 years.
-Costa Rica, Jamaica and Guatemala all won on the road as well.
-Canada got an important road draw at El Salvador.
Rd 4 Game 2 - Tue Nov 17
Honduras 0-2 Mexico - Mex goals by Jesus Corona + Jurgen Damm.
El Salvador 0-0 Canada
Haiti 0-1 Jamaica - Jam goal by Clayton Donaldson.
Panama 1-2 Costa Rica - Pan goal by Luis Tejada. CR goals by Bryan Luiz + Marco Urena.
St Vincent + The Grenadines 0-4 Guatemala - Gua goals by Stefano Cincotta, Minor Lopez, Denniss Lopez + Gerson Tinoco.
-Games 3 + 4 of the round take place on March 25 + 29.
-USA will face Guatemala on both dates. First away and then at home, with stadium still TBD.

Group C Standings
4 USA (+5 gd)
4 T+T (+1 gd)
3 Guatemala (+3 gd)
0 St Vincent (-9 gd)


MLS Cup Playoffs
-And now we return to MLS! With Semifinal 1st Leg games on Sunday.
1st Leg Schedule
Sun Nov 22
Columbus Crew v New York Red Bulls - 4:00pm CT on ESPN
Portland Timbers v Dallas - 6:30pm CT on FS1
-2nd Leg matches on Sun Nov 29
-Final on Sun Dec 6


MLS has signed a new TV deal with FOX for more international distribution, this time to Sub-Saharan Africa. (Thats about 70% of the continent.) Previous deals with FOX already show games in 140 countries across the USA, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.


Former American international Steve Cherundolo is an assistant coach at Hanover 96 and tells us what he knows (not much) about the possible terrorist threat in Hanover on Tuesday night that saw the cancellation of the Germany-Netherlands friendly. By Liviu Bird of Sports Illustrated.
-German authorities now think there was no actual threat in Hanover.


Famed Spanish language American soccer match commentator Andres Cantor talks about a wide range of soccer in America topics, including what he sees as a lack of attention being paid by the current regime at US Soccer to the large soccer loving Hispanic segment of the USA. By Mike Woitalla of Soccer America.


Ottawa Fury has signed their award winning goalkeeper Romuald Peiser to a contract extension.


Holy smokes! This new song from Santigold is a lot of fun! Can't Get Enough Of Myself


Euro 2016 Qualifying Playoffs:
-Hungary, Ireland, Ukraine + Sweden are the last 4 to advance to the tournament next summer.

2nd Leg
Hungary 2-1 Norway - Hun advances 3-1 on aggregate.
Ireland 2-0 Bosnia + Herzegovina - Ire advances 3-1 on aggregate.
Slovenia 1-1 Ukraine - Ukr advances 3-1 on aggregate.
Denmark 2-2 Sweden - Swe advances 4-3 on aggregate.

The Bird Is The Word


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