Archive for August, 2009

Freddy: Adun’t Make A Mistake

Freddy: Take charge!

Freddy: Take charge!

We’ve all seen the talent and we’ve all heard the hype–though both have quieted a bit on all levels over the past two years.

Take a look at a USMNT message board and you’ll see his name come up more times than Bob Bradley vilifications.

Freddy Adu is the answer! Freddy Adu doesn’t do anything.

Where’s Freddy Adu in the squad for the game?

Now, news comes yesterday that Freddy Adu’s loan move from Benfica’s Stadium of Light is scuttled until further notice and TSG is going to weigh in with a little commentary after taking an evening to think about it. ESPN, as well as a number of other sources, are reporting that Adu’s loan move hit the skids because of an issue over compensation, specifically Odense not wanting to pay the full salary for the 20-year-old….which I guess brings us to our main point.

What is Adu thinking and, more appropriately, how is Adu’s agent playing this one? Freddy, you’re all of 20-years-old. You’ve made money through both play and promotion (Adu is still signed to Nike). On that playing front, you’ve been making wages since you were 14! Sir Alex Ferguson annointed your potential at 17….others that Ferguson has knighted go just by their last name: Rooney, Giggs, Ronaldo. (and maybe Macheda, but we’ll see on that one)

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Thank you American Outlaws!

My brother and I want to give a really loud “Let’s go US!” to the American Outlaws for selecting us as USMNT commentary for their fan club supporters.

TSG got an email two month ago from Justin Brunken who fronts the up-and-coming supporter club. Brunken was appreciative of our commentary and a phenomenal spokesman for his group–he certainly conveyed the sincerity of their support for the USMNT. Mark, on our side, and Justin got it going and voila.

Check out the American Outlaws and check out where we’ll be appearing.

More importantly check Sunil Gulati addressing the support group before the Honduras game in Chicago in June of this year.

(Holy smokes, guys, I just got goosebumps watching this! Thanks!)

Iran – USA, Not So Friendly on the Pitch Either

Do we need cap leader Kobi Jones to step in and make this happen?

Do we need cap leader Cobi Jones to step in and make this happen?

According to the Tehran Times (TSG has no idea the rep of this paper) this evening and Iran football personnel, the US-Iran friendly eleven match scheduled for the Fall is likely not to be.

Ali Kaffashian, Iran Football Federation president, “We have announced our readiness to hold matches with the U.S. team via letters but have not received any answer yet. In this case, the matches will be canceled.

Far be it from TSG to even slightly interpret fact accuracy, rhetoric and political correctness, however regardless of who, what or how, we feel it would be phenomenal for soccer to be the ambassador sport for opening up relations between the two countries.

In fact, chalk another one up for soccer in the US, it’s not like we can send an American football or baseball team to Iran, Indonesia or even Iraq and have a sport that involves the largest portion of the opponents fanbase.

Clint Dempsey through Marvin Gaye’s Words

C'mon Clint: What's going on?

C'mon Clint: What's going on?

(Update:  How Clint Looked Versus Chelsea)

“What’s going on?
Tell me what’s going on.”

A few days ago we launched a little primer entitled, “What’s Up With Clint?,” to get us thinking on how the still very young (CD is all of 26 years old) and in the prime of his career Deuceman has become virtually irrelevant for the US team over the past few months. Mind you, when we say irrelevant, we’re talking about being a difference-maker within the game. Clint has scored goals–but those moments have accounted for easily less than 2% of the time he’s been on the pitch for the USMNT. Remember the fierce Clint Dempsey attacking the Italian iron curtain defense at will and with reckless abandon (though not successfully) in the 2006 World Cup, yeah so do we. We want him back.

Today, we were jogged with the news that Fulham have signed former Chelsea and Newcastle left flanksman Damien Duff to their squad. Note, if you had the pleasure of watching Chelsea’s first year under supercoach Jose Mourinho in the 2003-2004 EPL campaign, their midfield, from right to left, of Joe Cole, Frank Lampard, Claude Makelele, and Damien Duff was just a pleasure to watch.

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Braveheart has zero, nothing on Celtic FC

Celtic FC fans: Just warming up

Celtic FC fans: Just warming up

This ones for the newbies.

Shaun commented earlier this week on Arsenal, their style of play, and the Invincibles–the magical 2003-2004 season where the Gunners went a staggering (and record) 49 matches without a loss.

Arsenal will take on Celtic Tuesday in the inaugural match of the UEFA Champions League opening rounds. Celtic, for their part, have as glorified, or more, a history.

Celtic, hailing from Glasgow, Scotland, coupled with their home city rivals the Rangers, perhaps present one of, if not, the most storied (and bloody) rivalries in all of soccer and probably all of global sport. Kind of makes the Red Sox-Yankees look like a backyard wiffleball game.

If Bill Simmons (ESPN.com’s “Sports Guy”) commentary on the US – Mexico powder keg got your blood percolating, I implore you to purchase (yes purchase it, you will not be disappointed) the book, “How Soccer Explains the World” and take a read of Chapter 2. It will, without question, knock your socks off.

For a quick excerpt, courtesy of Google, see here.

*Live commentary from Shaun on the Arsenal-Celtic clash after the page break

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“Disco Stu” or “Iceman?” You Call It

Disco Stu?

Disco Stu?

Or The Iceman?

Or Iceman?

(Update 2: That’s right, Iceman is the winner here by a nearly 60/40 split for Holden’s uncanny resemblance to Val Kilmer’s Kazanski in Top Gun. Uh, the plaque for alternates is down in the ladies room folks.)

(Update: Iceman is pulling away here)

And then there were 2….

Two poll answers left that is. Will Stu Holden be christened Iceman or revert to his nickname of legacy, Disco Stu (of Simpsons lore) on TSG?

Get your vote on….and get your friends to weigh in. The vote is closer than Gore-Bush–don’t worry Florida won’t be a problem.

(Note: One of the reasons that TSG is coining nicknames is that when we’re writing a piece on a player, we need a few other monikers throughout the piece to make it read well. It’s really tough to write and read a story where it follows, “Stu this” and “Stu that” or “Holden this” or “Holden that.” We’ll have all our current nicknames up shortly.)

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