Now that the beer has settled and the U.S. victory settled in, here’s a few Monday bullets to consider and reconsider:
• As you know, TSG is a fan of Tim Howard whether he departs his line or not. Some are questioning Howard’s play and
positioning on the 2nd Honduran goal Saturday and why Howard didn’t take care of business against Suazo when he came out of net. That’s experience. Going to ground and through Suazo might have found Howard with a yellow or worse red card on the road and U.S. battling a man down to finish of Honduras.
Speaking of cards, the U.S. collection on the night? Zero. Put that feather in Bob Bradley’s cap as well.
• Sunil Gulati’s statement about U.S. player development on Sunday is absolutely on target.
Gulati: “We don’t have a lot of players playing at Man U and Barcelona,”
“We’re getting there. Those are some of the best clubs in the world, and it’s not like we have a lot of players playing there, so for people’s expectations to be that we’re going to go out and play like that, or have a high-level performance every time, it’s not the case.”
Was Gulati speaking perhaps of Sweden who are on oh-so-tenuous ground in their World Cup bid after a 1-0 loss to Denmark on Saturday?
Sweden’s strike pair? Barcelona’s striker extraordinaire Zlatan Ibrahimovic and former Man United target man Henrik Larsson; both failed to net for country. (Not to mention Sweden’s “Mike Bradley +” clone Kim Kallstrom who plays for French side Lyon.)
That being said Gulati remember a little notion called Project 2010?
• Or was Gulati speaking of Argentina where the infamous Diego Maradona needed a late strike from Martin
Palermo just to notch a victory against “powerhouse” Peru. Maradona celebrated with a 15-yard belly slide (1 min mark) like Argentina captured the World Cup, instead of just winning a game that shouldn’t have been in doubt. Argentina’s starting line-up boasted such questionable club player pedigrees as: Liverpool (Javy Macherano), Real Madrid (Gonzalo Higuain)….not to mention a fellow named Messi from Barcelona.
Oh and for Argentine fans, it seems Maradona finally brain cramped long enough to forget the Boca-Plate rivalry in getting former River Plate player Higuain on the pitch (where he should have been all along). The Los Blancos hitman Higuain rewarded the home side with a goal in his start. (Thanks for that note on Higuain’s history Adrian.)
You think Argentina would take Bob Bradley as head coach? Just asking.
• News now the Ronaldo will be out for up to 4 weeks after his re-injury in Portugal’s 3-0 win over Hungary. CR, stirring trouble again, commented that he was less than fit on Saturday, while Real Madrid was slighlty softer then Mark Cuban would have been in their stance about Ronaldo’s inclusion in the side.
• A little lost nugget in Bob Bradley’s post-game presser was his classy reference to former USMNT captain and assistant coach Glenn “Mooch” Mynerick. It was a fitting tribute to the late former U-23 coach who passed away in October 2006 and who’s other coaching gig was with Conor Casey’s Colorado Rapids.
• Interesting video commentary from ESPN’s Tommy Smyth who calls for improvements from the U.S. backline and Charlie Davies in reaction to the USA-Honduras win, but doesn’t acknowledge the midfield. Not sure I’m there with you Tommy.
• Courtesy of Gilt Edge Soccer Marketing, a link to the online distribution success of the Ukraine-England qualifier.
• In our final salvo, don’t forget one last time to send around our link to get Billy Simmons to RFK for Costa Rica. Simmons’s BoSox are out of the playoffs, so the only thing stopping him is his wife. However, given the The Sports Guy ran an article extolling the virtues of October as being a great sports month and didn’t utter one word about soccer and the USMNT pushing for a spot in the WC finals, we aren’t holding are breath on this on. (Seems like soccer was just a distraction from getting him through the less-than-stellar sports months of July and August.)
• Oops, how did this link end up in here?