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Oh thank the good soccer lord for Paul Gardner. And Xander Crews.
*That's* what Kyle Rote Jr looks like nowadays? Sigh. Yet another made-me-feel-old moment from a childhood hero. A long way from my Wheaties box in the 1970s.
Gone: Buddle, Findley, Sasha, Rogers, Pearce, Marshall, EJ. Keeping Gooch for now a no-brainer -- it was his first time at full game speed in months. If he continues to struggle, you can still drop him as an injury cut.
Fantastic feature, Ives -- all five were well-written and highly readable. In fact, I'd hesitate to open this up to too many articles -- I'd keep being discerning, as you were here.
Toggle Commented Apr 16, 2010 on Recommended Reading: April 16th at Soccer By Ives
Nice little goalscorers' goal by EJ. Even better, he looked confident and productive in the buildup. He has to make this WC roster over the likes of Casey -- while I'll be forever grateful to CC for his contributions in qualifying, we need to ask ourselves who has the better chance of contributing vs. the elite.
Toggle Commented Mar 21, 2010 on Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind at Soccer By Ives
Flying in from Las Vegas with 10 (not a typo). Many of us making our third straight Columbus USA-MEX qualifier trip.
So we've got our B/C team out there, and we've had the complete run of the pitch vs. Sweden's B/C team. Even better, *we* look like the European side -- strong and confident and technical on the ball (while maintaining the athleticism and fitness we've always been known for). I went to the Sweden-Spain Euro match this past summer, and the Swedes gave the eventual champs more than all they could handle (Spain had that last minute David Villa goal to win, but the match was an even one). As a longtime fan of the USMNT, it's so refreshing to see matches like this one -- we are light years deeper (and more deeply technical) than all of those painful-to-watch teams in the late 80s and 90s. These are good days.
Toggle Commented Jan 25, 2009 on USA vs. Sweden: Live Commentary at Soccer By Ives
Hey Ives (and crew), I've been way impressed with this blog and the quality of analysis from both the fearless leader and the "bench" in here. A bit off-topic (or more accurately, a bit "speaking to the previous topic), but I think yesterday's game revealed something important re: 2010. It seems that since the end of the '06 tourney, we've heard a great deal of concern about who is going to replace our #10, Claudio Reyna. After the Gold Cup, though, it seems to me that it is highly likely that we would go a very different route and employ a "3-headed monster" central midfield of Bradley, Feilhaber, and Clark. Now, I've always cringed at the overly-Pablo'd (and Armas-ed, et al) reliance upon "destroyers" (which seems like a naive return to the days in US Soccer when football dads ran the show and fetishized "getting stuck in"), but notably, each of these three can "destroy" *and* distribute. Of course, this pretty much mandates a 4-5-1 ... namely this kind of starting lineup in '10: -----Someone who emerges from Confed Cup/U-20s up top----- ----Convey/Adu---3 headed monster---Donovan---- ----Beasley(he *has* to be here, won't have enough offensive firepower by '10 to play further up)--2-headed monster from the athletic, big, plodding types we seem to churn out--Cherundolo (in a final triumphant gasp)-- ---"Our Tim" Howard--- This gives us what might emerge as a "distinctly US style" -- athletic, two-way guys at all of the key "Total Football" spots.
Toggle Commented Jun 25, 2007 on Going back to Jersey at Soccer By Ives