Archive for September, 2009

Late Commentary: Spector Behind the Scenes

Holy smokes! Why didn’t anyone Twitter us on how solid Part II of Jonathan Spector’s video interview and commentary on the El Sal match was on

Some feedback on the clip:

• Let’s get more field level video from U.S. Soccer. This doesn’t cost anything and the fans will love it. I don’t even care if it’s edited or they play some strange macabre music in the background to start the clip (what was that?). Want to get more fans interested and promote the USMNT more, let’s get more behind the scenes video.

• How about some Bob Bradley halftime speech in the clip imploring his wing fullbacks to get further up the pitch and their teammates to find them up the pitch. Can’t fault Bob in rattling the sabre there.

• I watched the entire clip and I don’t think I saw any American “talking” or “communicating” on the pitch once. Is it me or does this cement that the USMNT needs more on field chatter?

• A great quick crowd shot of the American Outlaws.

Below is Part II of the Spector video(s) focused on game footage:

Weekend Headers: Track Suits & Duct Tape

Let’s go in reverse and end with the EPL this time.

Let's hope Ronaldhino doesn't go Ronaldo on us

Let's hope Ronaldinho doesn't go Ronaldo on us

We start with non-Gooch Milan news. Each week prior, I think we’ve ended with our Gooch Watch segment. Now’s it Ronaldinho watch.

A midweek report that Ronaldinho might retire early were refuted by the former player of the year. TSG sees a Ronaldo-like revival for the Brazilian….oops that doesn’t bode well.

A Slightly Different World Cup Preview

Murders are down! Burglaries are up! I really don’t know what to say on this one. Good job, Jo-burg?

Less than a year to pitch time in South Africa and crime is on the rise. Killings are down though, so if you can deal with the little stuff like lost items and assault you should be fine.

As someone who has spent time in South Africa, I can’t begin to tell you the  amount of deterrent security there that is accepted as a standard way of life. If you’re traveling to RSA for 2010, please make safety a priority. I’m not trying “just to scare you.”

Double the Dos Santos

That’s right. Looking into the future, the USMNT will have to contend with not only striker nightmare Gio Dos Santos from ElTri, but his midfielder brother. Jonathan Dos Santos, all of 19,  has been called up for a friendly between Mexico and Columbia slated for Dallas, TX on October 30th. The younger Dos Santos–gasp–is currently on the B team at Barcelona and apparently close to being promoted. Great, just what the USMNT defense needs.

DeMerit Deactivated

Seems Jay DeMerit’s groin injury has healed, just in time for him to focus on healing his eye. According to Yanks Abroad, DeMerit won’t see the field for the foreseeable as he’s having trouble just seeing out of an eye that he sliced with his contact and became infected. Read the whole story at Yanks-Abroad.

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Sifting Through Muck: Honduras WCQ TV Rights

This piece is hopefully just Part 1 in the series.

Just like you were, TSG was extremely frustrated by the recent news that the USMNT would not be playing on an easily clickable channel come October 10th. Should the game still be played in Honduras, TSG and all the rest of the USMNT fans are currently on the outside looking in.

Is that a beer stain on the screen or is it just blurry?

Is that a beer stain on the screen or is it just blurry?

So we decided to do a little sleuthing, a little digging and ended up with mostly a lot of head scratching.

One thing this situation is *not* is unique. Apparently, the English vs. Ukraine Cup qualifier is also suspended in it’s own dilemna with the only option to watch the game currently being the world wide web-o-sphere for a cost per feed. Across message boards and blogs overseas it has been “reported” that a figure of $1.3M for the rights to the event was rejected. You can be sure if a $1.3M price tag is too high for the Three Lions then, anything approaching $1M for the U.S. should also be out of range.

Here is the litany of players and peripheral players we reached out to try and get a better understanding of the media situation over here:

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Wednesday Morning Hitters: Messi & More

• Quick reminder that Everton are in action at Hull City today. Will Tim Howard continue his iron man streak in goal for Everton? Is Altidore likely to feature? TSG says yes to both. Everton will want to keep their Carling streak alive and unless Craig Fagan gets a surprise start, JZA should take the pitch.

As for the game? Hull’s at home, but Everton finally has it going on. Pick Everton to place in this one.

• Also in action today, Villa takes on Cardiff City at home. Does Brad Guzan finally get some reps? Fulham head northward to Man City–will EJ even feature in the squad on the day?

Will the Guz get a shot?

Will the Guz get a shot?

•  No takers yet for El Hadji Diouf in our poll on the right for the most annoying global football player. Why does Diouf deserve at least one vote? How about his latest asinine move: Accusing a Goodison ball boy of throwing bananas at him when Blackburn visited Everton’s home turf Sunday? Diouf’s reputation precedes him, no bananas were found on the pitch, and no one near the episode saw one thrown. This story is just ridiculous.

• Take a look at this slicing run and goal from Barcelona great Lionel Messi in yesterday’s 4-1 putdown of Racing Santander. Either the announcer in the clip is so deflated as the score is already 3-0 for the visitors or he’s seen some other clips and considers this latest Messi masterpiece nothing above ho-hum.

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The Gooch Watch: Silva Out!

Silva....we're just one Nesta misstep away

Silva....we're just one Nesta misstep away

Update 1: Match starting now on FSC. Gooch in 18, but not starting.

We’re on full blown Gooch Watch over here at TSG.

And while we don’t wish injuries upon anyone other than Gio Dos Santos and the entire Mexican team (and maybe a few others–we’re kidding on all fronts here), we are “saddened” by the news from that starting center defender Thiago Silva is out for what looks to be three games for A.C. Milan.

Before we call in Oguchi, he’s going to need to make his case, in practice, that he is a better selection than Kakha Kaladze who Milan looked to deal earlier in the year (mostly for financial reasons), but who also deputized for Silva on Saturday against Bologna.

We’re just one Nesta limp away from big guy getting himself some run.

On another note, both Jonathan Spector, for West Ham, and Michael Bradley, for Bo………Munchen!, played 120 minutes and 90 minutes, respectively today.

TSG Corporate Communications: Bob Bradley

Even a few camera guys are wearing button-downs here!

For crying out loud, borrow that cameraman's get-up

We’re still working on our Bill Bradley 20 questions piece. However, I just had to put this little blurb in here this morning.

From the TSG Corporate Communications files, my brother just txt’d me: “If we didn’t have to focus on the Bill Simmons campaign, I’d start a campaign to send Bill Bradley ties before the Costa Rica game.” Hysterical.

Can I induct my brother into the Jimmy Conrad Wing?

Don’t go get any ideas…oops, how did this get in here:

U.S. Soccer Federation

1801 S. Prairie Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616

Remember to keep pushing that Simmons campaign by the way. We’re still trying different avenues to reach out. Suggestions appreciated.


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