A little late on my weekend wrapping here.
Not as much tape for Bob Bradley to watch this weekend. His son Mike Bradley went featureless for Bo’Munchen (see nicknames). Jonathan Spector took a seat for West Ham. Oguchi Onyewu dressed, but didn’t play in Milan’s Bologna win. Milan, with a 1-0 win, are hardly looking dominating these days and with the center back a position where full field fitness rarely is a necessity, there is reason to be concerned about Onyewu’s long term playing prospects right now. TSG thinks he’ll now feature October 4th at best.
Beyond the usual starters (Howard, Dempsey, Friedel, Davies & Boca), you had Altidore playing 64 for Hull City. Marcus Hahnemann is slowly watching his RSA prospects diminish as he can’t get on the field for Wolverhampton, same for DaMarcus Beasley. Jay DeMerit didn’t dress for Watford as well and the odds are that Boca is centrally located again on 10/10 right now.
At least Jonathan Bornstein played locally against Seattle and Steve Cherundolo played 90 for Dortmund.
My brother did a great job already on the outstanding Manchester Derby. For my part, that pesky alarm that I switched off for Sunderland-Burnley (which turned out to be not-so-much of a yawner), I forgot to turn back on for the city of Manchester showdown. Needless to say I was bummed and relegated to highlights.
Craig Bellamy, though?! No Robinho, no Adebayor and Bellamy nails two. I have to tell you, despite their defense, I’m a Man City believer now when your possession midfielder (Barry) can pick up a goal and your 5th best striker knocks it in. With the returns of Adebayor and the pending return of the #2 scorer in the EPL two years ago (Roque Santa-Cruz), I’m not so sure that Robinho’s questionable attitude and play-when-he-wants to spirit stay around Citizens.
And how about Michael Owen knocking in the game winner. Earlier this year, when the Red Devils announced his signing, radio show World Soccer Daily called around to sport jersey outlets. You know how many Owen jerseys were sold across all outlets in the first week after his signing? Zero. Redemption.
Did you see Fernando Torres’s first goal on Saturday against the Spector-less Hammers, or his second for that matter? Unfortunately, I’m not sure my commentary here will do it justice. Tim Howard’s comments that we featured in the preview piece seem all the more profound though. Using style, grace and finally strength, Torres danced past James Tomkins on the top corner of the box, cut inside and as another defender and United goalkeeper Robert Green went to snuff him out, he toepoked a ball (there must be another word here because I’ve never seen a toepoke with that much power) into the top left for one of the prettiest goals I’ve seen in a while.
Torres’s 2nd goal was nothing to sneeze at either as he banged inside the box and rose up on a cross to meet a header above two offenders. Not sure anyway that this guy cannot score.
Tottenham looked downright pedestrian against Chelsea on Sunday. By the time it was 3-0, there was still nearly a half hour left to play. For USMNT fans, Tottenham is truly feeling the absence of Modric in the middle. The Hotspur started a very defensive line-up through the center and out to the left with Palacios moved out wide and Huddlestone and Jenas in the middle. While the line-up proved not to be defensive enough, it certainly wasn’t very threatening. (Sound familiar?)
At the 60′ min mark, Rednapp brought in Peter Crouch and Tottenham resorted to a US style attack with their wingfulls throwing cross after cross into the box for the tall striker. Crouch did admirably to flick on to teammates running up the pitch, including a near suicidal effort by Palacios to line one into the left netting. Alas, the ball bounded just wide.
It was truly miserable to see Hotspur’s offense so stymied by the Blues, eerily reminiscent of the US attack going cold in recent qualifier match-ups against T&T & Mexico for precisely.
Chelsea may have kept the sheet clean, but Didier Drogba fell to the ground on a pirouetting on a shot attempt in the 82nd min. Whereas last year, everything from hang nail to toothache would fell Drogba, believe that if the Ivorian is out for any period of time it’s a more serious injury as Drogba is enjoying quite a campaign thus far.