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TimN
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I was at the Railhawks-Rowdies game on Saturday. Carolina realistically should have won 2, perhaps 3-0. Their midfield creativity was good, had several opportunities go just wide, and totally wiffed on a wide open look at the goal early on. I know the stats say each team had 13 shots, but Carolina's opportunities were much better. Tampa Bay also played very physically, bordering on dirty. Late in the game Carolina had a fast break on goal and was pulled to the ground by a terminal defender...guy got a yellow, but it should have been a red. For the Railhawks to advance past Fort Lauderdale next Saturday, they're going to have to finish their chances.
Toggle Commented Sep 24, 2012 on NASL Week 25: A Look Back at Soccer By Ives
I'm not sure why so many people don't realize that Jamaica is no pushover. They are a physical, fast team that can finish. I remember watching them play the MNT in Raleigh, NC back in 2006 ahead of the WC, and their speed was what really stood out. While they don't have as many skilled players as Ghana, I equate them to that style of team, another team with which the MNT has struggled. I think Jones definitely needs to be part of the midfield, as he provides that physicality and tenacity that we will need against them. I don't think Torres would be a good option, as I agree with others here that he can have a tendency to disappear against physical teams. Having said this, I think I prefer the "Pit Bull 4-3-3" above. Williams and Jones can lock things down in the midfield, allowing Dempsey to create with Shea, Altidore, and Gomez.
I think a lot of people underestimate how difficult it is to play on the road in CONCACAF. Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, etc...these game are not "gimme's." I think there is some perception by many US fans out there that our only tough game should be Mexico.
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2012 on USMNT reacts to Guatemala draw at Soccer By Ives
Carolina really dominated play, particularly in the 2nd half. They had 4 very good chances to score in the final 15-20 minutes, but just couldn't convert...one header that I'm not even sure how it was physically possible to miss. I was fairly underwhelmed by Agbossoumonde, as a side note.
Toggle Commented May 21, 2012 on NASL Week 7: A Look Back at Soccer By Ives
You can be assured that Chelsea is going to put several guys behind the ball and look for quick counters in the 2nd leg. However, I don't see Barcelona squandering multiple open looks two games in a row. I predict Barcelona will possess the ball to death, and Chelsea will finally cave...3-0 Barcelona at Camp Nou.
This tackle was clearly carried out with intent, and the end result was serious injury. This is every bit on the same level as Mullan's tackle on Zakuani last season, and should receive a 10 game ban and a fine. You simply cannot have this kind of crap...it's not part of legitimate soccer.
Toggle Commented Apr 16, 2012 on Marquez's latest bad behavior at Soccer By Ives
To sit and debate who is the greatest player ever is difficult at best. You're often comparing guys who played in completely different eras. Sure, nobody will argue that Messi isn't the best player in the world right now, but just a few years ago that was all the same hype and talk around Ronaldinho. Then you have Zidane, Ronaldo, Baggio, Maradona, George Best...all guys that sat atop the soccer world at one time or another. Right now Messi rules...in two years it may be somebody else, perhaps Neymar. These debates are pointless.
The problem with the women's game is that it's not marketed well. As well, unfortunately, most wealthy investors in the U.S. who can afford to own a soccer team want to invest in the men's game, which is immensely more popular, fair or not.
I'd love to see this loan end in a buyout of his L.A. contract. Signing that extension prior to WC 2010 so that he could get the first loan was one of the worst moves I've ever seen. Yes, it guaranteed him money with L.A. until 2013, but at what cost? A move to an EPL club back in 2009/10 would have been hugely beneficial to his development as a player...it's always advantageous to play week in and week out against more skilled competition. It's done wonders for Dempsey's career. Landon has one more WC, MAYBE two if he can avoid major injury, and an EPL move certainly has the potential to make him an even more dangerous option for us in the midfield.
This really seems odd. Ream has been very average, and at times very shaky for the MNT. As the article also points out, it has not been a particularly strong year for him w/ NYRB either. Why in the world would Arsenal be looking at him?? The only thing I can surmise is that they are looking for a player that could be potentially developed with their reserves. There's simply no way I see Ream suiting up for the first squad at Arsenal
These rankings are difficult at best because you're putting together results from teams with often vastly different personnel from match to match. The U.S. may field a B+ side against one opponent, then an A side against another, then a C side against another, then another FIFA ranking comes out that takes those three games into account. Having said that, Klinsmann has been fielding some vastly different line-ups since being in charge. He has to do this in order to figure out the best core of players to play his system. Klinsmann also knows that friendly results don't mean squat in the grand scheme of things, and the real measure of his success will come in WCQ, the next Gold Cup, and WC 2014.
I'm glad to see that Klinsmann is bringing in lots of different looks at multiple positions...this team is a work in progress that's only going to get better, although the W-L results don't show it right now. I'm convinced that by next summer, the MNT will be pretty carefully "dialed in" to the best available talent at each position that also works cohesively. The main trouble spot for us at the moment is finishing. I think ultimately the starting line-up that we will see is Dempsey up top, with Donovan, Jones, Bradley, Torres/Kljestan, and Holden if healthy in the midfield, and Oneywu, Chandler, Lichaj, and Goodson in the back. Howard is a lock at keeper.
You need to more carefully read what I posted. Nowhere in my post did I say or insinuate that the majority of MLS DP's were old. BTW, you also forgot Thierry Henry, who's 34, and Robbie Keane is awfully close at 31. So, that's now 9 versus your original 5/22 stat, 10 if you count Keane, that are in their early 30's...just sayin'. Now, if you bring in Ferdinand, that's 10-11 of 23 DP's that are in their early 30's, and Ferdinand is assuredly a risky wager with his injury history. Is this the kind of player a team needs to spend $2-3 million a year on??
I think a DP should meet a few criteria: 1. MOST IMPORTANTLY, be healthy enough to contribute consistently on the pitch. 2. Be someone who's capable of being an icon image for the club to raise PR; Beckham meets this nicely despite failing on criteria #1. 3. Be a player who fits into the overall chemistry of the team; Freddie Lundberg was an example of how this did not work in Chicago. I also agree with other posters that MLS needs to avoid bringing in aging, "washed up" international players who are just looking to cash a nice check for a few more years. I know MLS may never draw a top-form European or South American player in their prime, but DP's still should have a reasonable expected career span, and be in the highest echelon of talent for the league.
That's really bad news...repairing cartilage damage can be very difficult. Six months is essentially the season. What a blow to his promising career...This is the very reason that FIFA needs to crack down on hacks like DeJong and Evans. Tackles like that deserve LONG suspensions.
Learn to "reed." LMAO...learn to write! Guys like you on here are nothing more than a nuisance...
Uhh, actually they essentially are...they thought it could be done next summer, now it has to happen immediately. And exactly how does this detract from my point, which was that having surgery now is better for his MNT situation than next having it next summer? You're quibbling, and missing my point...
Conversely, I think it's actually good news. The article says that the follow-up surgery was initially planned to be done next summer, which would have thrown a major snag in his ability to play a role in WCQ for the MNT. Getting it done now enables him to still compete in the EPL this season, and also to be fully fit and ready for WCQ. Unfortunately, this is the kind of crap you have to deal with when guys make reckless challenges that cause serious injury.
Anytime you get a "head case" in the locker room it's time to part ways. His behavior and statements over the last two years have shown little loyalty to Mand City, so why should they keep paying this guy top coin, while putting up with disrespectful, ridiculous behavior. He left his team high and dry when he was assuredly needed against Bayern, and at the end of the day, the name on the front of the jersey matters more than the one on the back. There are plenty of quality players out there that they could go after in the winter transfer window.
I'm not so worried about the results of the last two matches as many seem to be. This was not a full strength U.S. team in either match. What I am encouraged by is the fact that Klinsmann is trying lots of different looks, and really digging deeper to assess talent at various positions, rather than repeatedly going to favorites and "stand-bys" like Bradley did. People complain about Torres, but I think we'll find that with the right combination of players on the pitch, Torres will be a fantastic asset for the U.S. He holds the ball well, and is one of our more creative passers out of the midfield...that through ball in the Costa Rica match was top notch vision and laser precise. I'll also defend Castillo. Name a player that has performed at the LB position CONSISTENTLY any better. Lichaj has had flashes of promise there, but also significant errors. Bornstein is simply horrible...so who does that leave?? Maybe Jonathan Spector. Castillo has good possession, and is a calm distributor out of the back. Remember that MOST teams are right side dominant, so anybody who plays LB is going to get challenged heavily most of the time. It's one of least desirable positions on the field. It's also an easy position of which to be overly critical. With all of the crucial cogs such as Donovan, Dempsey, and Holden in place at the SAME TIME, the U.S can be a very dangerous team. Where I'm most concerned for us going forward is at the striker position...we simply do not have that ultra-fast guy with a good first touch and a nose for the goal...well, we did in Charlie Davies, but I'm not sure if he'll ever return to that pre-injury form. It will be very interesting to see how the next year unfolds as we head into WCQ. The best possible starting line-up that I see as things stand right now: ---------------Howard--------------- --Chandler--Goodson--Bocanegra--Castillo ----------Edu----------Bradley---------- -----Dempsey-----Holden-----Donovan----- ---------------Altidore--------------- You could possibly insert Lichaj for Castillo. Remember though that we have some interesting prospects that nobody has seen yet, Like Fabian Johnson. I'd also like to see Starikov get an opportunity up top. There too are still guys out there who could find their way into the mix, like Hercules Gomez and Teal Bunbury.
Certainly a disappointing scoreline, but I think that there remains quite a bit of adjustment with our entire line-up. A couple of players really disappointed, mainly Donovan and Rogers. Rogers' first touches were often heavy, and his timing on passes left a lot to be desired. Donovan, YOU CAN'T MISS WIDE OPEN LOOKS AT THE GOAL, not a player of your experience. If we go up 1-0 in the first 6 minutes of that game, the entire complexion of the game would have been different. The U.S. totally dominated possession for much of the game, but we let CR stay in it too long. When you do that, you always run the risk of getting sucker punched, and that's exactly what happened. Castillo is catching a lot of flack on here. I watched the game, and really don't think he looked all that bad. The goal was certainly not his fault. As well, many seem to want to complain about his lack of offensive punch...guys, he's a LEFT BACK. A defender's primary role is to hold their marks and not concede goals. Yes, it's nice when they can make occasional runs forward and get in the mix, but on defense I prefer stability and calm ball movement out of the back, and his ball skills and possession are superior to anyone who's played that position for us lately. He needs to keep playing to gain more confidence in that role. Realize too that Lichaj, our other LB option, is going to be out for 4 months, and then once back, who knows how long it will take him to regain form.
I could see a 4-2-3-1 with the following starters: ----------Hamid---------- Chandler--Goodson--Bocanegra--Castillo-- -----Larentowicz-----Edu----- --------Shea--------Rogers----- ----------Donovan---------- ----------Altidore---------- I could see Hamid getting the start mainly because "Why not?" We all know Howard is the starter until he decides he's going to retire, so I think we need to get a look at who's capable of filling in for him in case of injury or suspension. I also think Rogers and Shea performed too well in the last outing against Mexico not to get the nod. I wouldn't be stunned if Bunbury or Agudelo got the start over Jozy. I'm still not convinced that Jozy is our best option up top. He has moments of greatness, but also has long spells of "disappearing."
Arsenal has to make a big move today. I've heard rumors of Eden Hazard heading there, as well as Clint Dempsey. After the 8-2 drubbing by ManU, even with all the suspensions, you've got to believe Arsenal is depleted, and needs some big signings to be competitive amongst the top 6-7 teams in the EPL this season. I'm not sure if Arsenal would be a good move for Dempsey...the unknown is always scary, especially since he enjoys such security and popularity at Fulham. However, if he could go to Arsenal and play, it would really vault his already very successful career. Anybody heard anything on Donovan? One has to think that if he's going to make a permanent move to Europe, now is the time. He's 28/29, and probably at the height of his market value.
Arsenal is severely talent depleted at this juncture. You don't lose Fabregas and Nasri within two weeks of each other and not suffer, no matter how deep you may be. Since those major transfers, I'm surprised Arsenal has not been aggressively seeking replacements. There's now only 3 days left in the transfer window. Even with all those players Dave above mentions back and healthy, if Arsenal doesn't pick up two top strikers or midfielders, it will be a long season.
It seems Nurnberg is mainly worried about one of their players getting injured outside of club play, which is understandable to a degree. However, I think they're starting to carry that too far. They used the same "he's trying to establish himself in a starting role" excuse this summer with the Gold Cup. Nurnberg seems to be holding club playing time over Chandler's head as a threat if he plays in an international match. I hope this pattern does not continue. I don't care so much about the friendlies, but we SORELY missed a defender of Chandler's quality in the Gold Cup final versus Mexico. I also worry that the German NT may be pulling some kind of strings in the background with Nurnberg...