Welcome to 2010. Pop the champagne.
And welcome to TSG’s first column on suggesting who–through Bob Bradley’s eyes, not ours–gets extra peanuts, foot rests and more pinotage on the plane to South Africa….and who’s happy just to be making it.
Boarding our Gold Club Elite Members, please proceed down the jetway:
Bob Bradley: “And the witness will address this court as Judge or Your Honor. I’m quite certain I’ve earned it. Take your seat, team.” You want answers? Bob, I think the TSG community is entitled to them.
Tim Howard: No explanation needed (NEN)
Landon Donovan: (NEN)
Clint Dempsey: (NEN)
Jozy Altidore (NEN)
Drogba Jr., Jr., Jr.
Carlos Bocanegra: (NEN)
Michael Bradley: (NEN)
You know how they have in the NBA, “DNP – Coach’s Decision” — we say, “ATP” (Absolutely Totally Playing) – Coach’s Son.” We’re kidding Jr., now remember the last time you were here you missed the best game because of the red misdemeanor ticket the pitch cops gave you.
Oguchi Onyewu: Narrowly making it into first class seating on this one, Gooch we think will be “fit enough” to make the flight and game-timing it if he starts. We say if he’s there, he trots out the tunnel.
Jay DeMerit: Fully recovered from eye surgery and after a rousing return, JDM gives up his offer from Bob for a seat in first class to the lankier Onyewu. DeMerit, team player.
Stu Holden: Holden already has an aisle or window seat–his preference–as he’s went across the pond and found Jason Roberts David Nugent on the end of a handful of crosses. The Rovers Clarets escape relegation; Houston weeps.
Brad Guzan: Guzan keeps looking ahead at Tim Howard traveling in style and thoughts of sugarplum fairies and of flying into Sao Paolo in 2014 in Row 1 dance in his head.
Benny Feilhaber: After a stellar season in Scandanavia, Benny’s dealt himself into the conversation on the starting 11 and asking for an upgrade.
Jonathan Spector: Specs uneven season at West Ham still sees him the apple of Bob Bradley’s eye for his versatility on the back line.
Stevie Cherundolo: Dressed in vintage attire, Cherundolo is bring his vintage game and sayonara tour with him to South Africa. Cheers, Dolo.
Ricardo Clark: As the door vacuums to a close, Rico steps through just beforehand. Stuie and Benny have been looking over their shoulders during the boarding process wondering if Rico is even sitting in Coach, leading to this exchange:
Stu: Rics, I thought you were a goner man.
Rico: Look at you Stuie all dressed in your Kappa gear and Kangol cap–who are you? Beckham Jr.? Is that…Is that a satchel?!
Stu: Rico, why no tan? Not spending any time on the pitch at Livorno.
Benny: Oh snap!
If you’re not counting, we’re nearly two-thirds of the way there at 14 out of 23 seats checked-in.
Mo Edu: Walk in the park after playing all those hacks at the bottom of the SPL. Take a seat Rico….my turn.
Jonathan Bornstein: “Damn, if I had just shut down Huntelaar in Amsterdam, I’d be cruising up there with Dolo, Specs and the crew. I’m a starter, goddamnit! Wait…is that…yes..Gooch..up…there…so DeMerit…Boca….Coach class is just fine.”
DaMarcus Beasley: “I need two of these coach seats boys so that my hammy doesn’t clam up. Damn I miss 2002 and 2006….those were the days huh, EJ….Eddie? ”
Conor Casey: South Africa is just like Honduras. South Africa is just like Honduras.
Chad Marshall: Should have went to Europe instead of staying another season in Ambercrombie & Fitchville.
Marcus Hahnemann: After a stellar season at Wolverhampton, Hahnemann is still merely holding a clipboard. He’s just happy to be here. Somewhere, World Cup tweener Troy Perkins is sobbing.
Edgar Castillo….has six copies of his passport, his bank statements, Safeway coupon card and a letter from his mom.
Robbie Findley: Charlie-In-A-Bottle. Though the transfer to Chicago to replace Rolfe and be closer to Soccer House doesn’t materialize, staying in the MLS keeps him on Bob’s radar.
(Findley keeps asking the flight attendants to check the lavatory, gesticulating in the direction of his leg and moving it around in a “stanky-like” fashion. “Look Miss, they are already calling me the Theo Walcott of 2010…just check one more time if you would.)
Robbie Rogers: Skin of his teeth…and maybe only because his name sounds like it came out of a Matt Christopher book.
Running To The Plane on the Tarmac
Jermaine Jones is seen frantically doing shuttle runs in front of the nose of the plane as a bemused Bob Bradley purses his lips. Jones moves to the standing long jump and vertical leap drills. As Jones begins to annihilate a one touch passing drill with…with… why it’s Kenny Cooper (who’s just came over to bid his friends farewell…and give the bird to coaching staff), Bob Bradley is seen knocking on the cockpit door begging the pilots to delay pushing back from the gate….Robbie Rogers starts biting his nails….Rico tightens his seat belt….Edgar Castillo stows away with his carry-on gear under the seat in front of him….Stay tuned….
Jose Francisco Torres: Damn you DaMarcus….DAMN YOU!
Marcus Tracy: “All I needed was the one goal against Heitinga. Shoot.”
Omar Gonzalez: “I beat the Goodson kid…just couldn’t edge out the dude with the Stanford degree”
Chris Pontius: Four more years of seasoning….
Brian Ching: A 2nd World Cup is not in the cards for the Big Aloha….
Jeff Cunningham: “So I leave my family after the season to head to freaking Denmark in November, score a goal–left-footed for crissakes–and I can’t even sit the bench in sunny South Africa?! Thanks for nothing Bob.”
Chris Rolfe: “Hey Coach B, I’m doing it in Denmark!” TSG: See R. Findley seated in Coach.
No Taxi To the Airport
Sasha Kljestan: Look Bob I’d love to play hard….I really would. It’s just there is this Victoria’s Secret get together that I need to be a date at.