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Mike Ufford
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Anyone else want to see Osvaldo Alonso get a shot? He's a naturalized citizen now, this is 'just a friendly,' so there won't be any eligibility issues, and he's equally as in-form as Beckerman or perhaps even more-so right now. He's also settled in his club situation and won't have pre-season rust, unlike some of the Euro league guys who are in the conversation.
To think that Junior Lopez and George John are on about the same salary makes me quite disappointed as a Galaxy fan. Bruce could have offloaded expensive bench players like Barrett or Cristman for allocation money and picked up George John at double to triple the salary and it still would have been a bargain.
Too bad Gus Johnson is contracted to CBS. I'd love to see him as the third commentator in a play-by-play-analyst / ex-player-color-commentator / guy-yelling-random-stuff-when-something-happens combo. It'd be as close to the iconic Latin 'Gooooooaaaaall!' call we can get without it being tacky.
I assume the two playoff games are the new 'wild card'/play-in games for the lowest ranked teams that still qualify. ESPN should still cover the same amount of post season games, essentially everything after the wild card game through to the the final.
George John should be called in. He's had a solid season so far at the club level and I was surprised he wasn't on the call up list to begin with.
While I wish RSL the best of luck, why is this match 'historic'? DC won it all in '98 and LA did it in 2000. If RSL can win the final it'll put them shoulder to shoulder with those two teams, which will be an incredible achievement considering how good those teams were. I think the quality of MLS has improved across the board to the point where it's reasonable to think we'll regularly see at least one team getting to the semis or beyond if they field their best 11.
Is that really Arena's fault in particular though, as opposed to Chris Klein, who is the current director of the youth teams? Even then, Klein just took that post at the end of last season and hasn't really had any time at all to 'make an impact' so to speak. And the G's just signed 3 or 4 guys from their Academy this season. Bowen broke through last season before being traded, and McBean has been doing well with the US U-18's, no reason to think he won't be knocking on the first team's door in a year or two.
I'd have rather seen the 1 and 2 seeds from each bracket get a bye week while 3,4, and 5 played a grinder group of 4@3, 5@3, and 5@4, with grinder runner up playing away at seed 1 and grinder winner playing away at seed 2, then the winners of those play home and away series with the last game at home for the highest remaining seed. Oh well. The format they've chosen might be cool if we get to the point where we have as many MLS teams as NFL teams.
Toggle Commented Feb 23, 2011 on MLS releases new playoff format at Soccer By Ives
He was an Arsenal youth product who once asked what his odds were of getting called up if he got into good form and found himself playing for a winning team. Someone in the FA told him that no matter how good his form was, he could never play for England because he didn't grow up as a part of the national England set up. So Smith packed his bags and came to America, where we'll judge him on how well he plays rather than what one scout thought of him when he was 15. I think Ives covered it somewhere on here right after he signed with MLS.
Not sure if Ryan Smith is eligible, but I'd like to see him get a shot if it's possible. He's one of the better wingers in MLS, and the story behind his switch from England makes me want to see him make an impact for the Yanks that much more. I think Sean Franklin is a quality wingback who can swipe a spot from Pearce or Bornstein. Give him minutes. Same to AJ DeLaGarza. Or maybe its just the Galaxy fan in me being biased. But whatever Bob does, I want it to be in a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3. We've maxed out the 4-4-2 and its more or less tactically obsolete at the upper end of the international game.
The many people who are saying that the EPL is a bad fit because it is too physical and slow are mistaken. Its quite a good fit actually. MLS is easily as physical as the EPL. The games Donovan has played against Mexico and Chivas USA are far more physical and dangerous than anything he'll see in the Premier League with Everton, even the Merseyside derby. He can handle it. The Premier League is statistically the quickest league in Europe, both in time between passes and average player speed. Donovan can pass the ball under pressure and can probably outpace most of the wingbacks, so speed of play won't be a problem. Getting first hand experience with the English style he'll encounter this summer is the best possible use of his time during the next three months, both for himself and for the Yanks. If I were in Moyes' shoes and had to get a good temporary replacement to cover for the absent Africans and long term injuries, there's no forward who represents better value for the money than Donovan. Its a perfect match really. Cheers, CrazyMike
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Dec 10, 2009