♦ Sunday Update: A fitting 1-1 tie today between Rangers and Celtic with Maurice Edu relieving early in the game in the 13th minute as Spaniard (and candidate for the “best name” team) Nacho Novo takes a knock and Edu replaces him. DMB still out with an injury and not in the 18.
♦ Holy Shnickes! Mike Grella didn’t get any run out (though he was in the 18), but a major upset today as, minus the injured Vidic, Manchester United fall to Leeds in the FA Cup. After the half, Sir Alex threw the kitchen sink of veterans (Giggs, Valencia and Owen) on to the pitch, but no joy for the home squad.
♦ First reader question from CJ: Freddy Adu
Monday update: Adu’s latest…not much here.
Sunday Update: As of Sunday morning, Freddy was twittering (message 1, message 2 ..message 2 has now been deleted by Adu) out there whether he should go to Aris (where Eddie Johnson went on loan) or Hull and where presented the best opportunity for playing time.
Jozy Altidore weighed in on the decision as well.
A few TSG comments on this one:
Freddy–if you can get that work permit–you should head to Hull. You’ll get exposure to a league that can toughen you up and you’ll be able to draft under the wing of Jimmy Bullard– a consummate professional with a great understanding of the game–and Geovanni–who are arguably has a very similar game albeit it better.
The ability to move and get playing time amongst the reserves and the senior club will at least deal Freddy some more pitch time.
Does this just smack of desperation by Hull? Self-professed, Hull needs to cut payroll. So a loan for an out-of-favor Adu who doesn’t make a drastic amount of money seems to align. Hull is absolutely so desperate for an affordable option in their midfield who can move the ball that Freddy might get some run-out.
Maybe a pairing with Altidore will resuscitate Adu’s career? Funny how it was once Adu who was the most talked about American to move to the Iberian peninsula and now Altidore has that title. Wow, is Ante Razov’s extremely modest “success,” the best any American has ever done in Spain or Portugal? That’s a story in and of itself.
Aris: A non-English speaking side without a reserve squad and an Argentinian manager who has a boatload of his homeland players on the squad…TSG still favors Hull (wink).
And honestly Freddy…while TSG loves the access on Twitter…it’s time to mature as a professional and keep the news to yourself until decided.
————— (from yesterday)
Heading back cross town to Benfica, Freddy is sure to be loaned out again–if he hasn’t been by the time you read this. Soccernomics, a book I had a hard time with, actually does a decent write-up suggesting Freddy peaked at an early age. May or may not be true–it’s a decent and sound theory for those that have read it.
With Freddy, we only have bits and pieces of information. A twitter account that shows us a gentleman of the sport, but a strange focus on entertainment over soccer and then there is news bits here and there which seem to suggest Freddy needs to focus more on training. (A report in October that Belensenses Joao Carlos Pereira was taking Freddy of his 18 for “lack of focus” and “too much late night.”)
The data, playing time, blatantly tells us that a player with some serious on-the-ball creativity is doing something wrong–whether it be improving himself or attitude is not known.
Freddy is categorically not ready to help the national team this year. Remember, he didn’t really factor for Bradley’s Gold Cup squad and, when returning to Benfica, Coach USA really didn’t lament Adu’s absence.
Our wish for Freddy for the New Year is that he go to an English-speaking club where there are veterans to counsel him on what it takes to be a pro…and categorically not the MLS as the hype and expectation will follow him there. Someplace where Freddy Adu is not a “known name,” but just another player joining the ranks.
That being said, it is likely Real Salt Lake who own his rights (I believe) and with Kyle Beckerman and, more acutely, Clint Mathis on the squad that might be enough veteran presence to help.
—– Saturday —–
Old Firm game tomorrow. Rangers vs. Celtics in the tale of a league and two teams that have fallen from their lofty soccer perch of the late 1980s and 90s. Three Americans factoring, Mo Edu, DaMarcus Beasley and Dominic Cervi for Celtic.
♦ Liverpool getting held by Reading today. Sure Reading bounced up and down ever so often to the EPL–they’re not a bad team…but your Liverpool side had Gerrard, Torres, and Reina on the pitch. And, of course, it had Aquilani off the pitch for the bulk of time. Any other manager would be hitting the road right now, but Benitez stays?
Either Rafa is being allowed one last shot to purchase in the January window or maybe he’s just hanging around as the glue to (attempt to) keep Fernando happy….is Atletico Madrid’s Maxi Rodriguez’s forthcoming sojourn at Anfield going to be enough? (Long time TSGers know we never mention Maxi without “The Goal.”)
♦ Everton manager Davie Moyes commenting that Landon Donovan–the new spokesman for G2 Gatorade by the way–is in town.
Get ready for microscope son. Maybe his first cameo at Arsenal….yowsers! And shouldn’t the USSF provide him with a bodyguard or something? Is anyone on top of this?
….and did you ever think it would be a soccer player that displaced Tiger Woods as the spokesperson for Gatorade? We did…..not.
♦ With Bobby Zamora firing on about 90 cylinders (another deposited in the net today), Zoltan Gera playing well and now Andrew Johnson back in the fold, look for Clint Dempsey to spend a little bit more time in the midfield for Fulham instead of reserved striker/forward role.
♦ Big Jeezy getting 10+ in Hull’s shellacking at Bolton. Don’t worry, Fagan was out and Phil Brown with V of H up top by his lonesome…anyone see this one?