Tuesday Tumble: Happy Champions League Day!

A quick check of the TSG bylaws reveals that the “Jumble” is reserved for Thursday. So, in a burst of uncreativity we present the Tumble…a quasi-Tuesday-version of the infamous Jumble.

Happy Champions League Day!

The big boy tournament begins its knock-out round today in fine style with Real Madrid v. Lyon and Milan v. Manchester United. Fox Soccer Channel has arm-wrestled the CL away from John Skipper and ESPN and broadcasts both games back-to-back starting at 11:45am Pacific. (SAF and Beckham will be getting the “delayed” treatment from FSC.)

While not as impressive as the first entry into the Don’t Tread Challenge, here is the 2009 – 2010 CL intro.

More:

• Here’s hoping that Manchester United walks into the San Siro and plays an aggressive game, seriously looking for an away goal. However, let’s also hope that the biggest World Cup roster omission, the Duck…Mr. Alexandre Pato nets a brace and forces himself further into Dunga’s discussion.

• Lyon host Real Madrid in the other Champion’s League match-up. The pairing of Kaka and Ronaldo lately…better than peanut and jelly.

Donovan, Howard take on Europa!

The newly named UEFA Europa League gets going with its round of 32 with Everton versus CP Lisbon at Goodison Park. The Toffees gets an early jump on the rest of the Europa League to avoid a conflict with Liverpool’s home match in the same tourney versus Unirea on February 18th.

Everton’s recent victory over EPL leader Chelsea has given them some confidence according to Mikel Arteta heading into the tournament.

This one is only on DirectTV for those stateside, unless you can jimmy a Setanta Ireland or ESPN UK feed.

In the Elsewhere League:

• Plymouth Argyle fighting for their Championship spot up againt Swansea City. Up off the bench Kenny Cooper….

• Looking for Captain Watford or Mr. Jay DeMerit, as the lay person might know him, to pitch a shutout at Marcus Bent-less Queens Park Rangers?

C'mon...just a sprain...just a sprain!

Benny! Ankle! No!

Despite Twitter reports, Matthew has not flown to Aarhus to work on Benny Feilhaber’s ankle Mr. Miyagi style, but he’s on stand-by should he get the call.

According to news reports, the USMNT midfielder was knocked out of training yesterday with AGF and sent for x-rays. The early prognosis as the team “awaits results” is an ankle sprain so we are setting Benny! at Training Table status on the TSG Match Fit Index.

The silver lining to this injury cloud is that TSG has found a new “restaurant name” when reserving a table in the form of AGF team doctor, Jens Bo Vestergaard Jorgensen. Can’t wait for hostess to say that one out loud.

Update: Cartilage damage for the US super sub Feilhaber (1:30 PST)

Clarence Goodson Goes to Carson

USMNT defender Clarence Goodson hopefully had a window seat and blanket on his long trip from Spain to Los Angeles. Goodson will be joining the USMNT squad in preparations for their February 24 friendly versus El Salvador following his duty in IK Start’s preseason tilt versus KSP Polonia in Malaga, Spain.

Matthew believes Goodson’s late addition is a strong indicator for the World Cup, I’m not so sure.

Charlie Davies Tweets Make Me Happy

Good to see CD9 hitting us up with 140 characters of grit and determination. Let’s choose hope over cynicism today, consider what could be and send good thoughts Charlie’s way.

Jermaine Jones…More of the Same

Making progess…no timetable set for return…doesn’t want set-back according to this interview translated by Mr. Google.

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34 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Dylan on 2010/02/16 at 11:34 AM

    Landon largely ineffective in the first half. The first 15 min. he was non-exisitant then they switched him to the left side. He became more involved, Had one nice pass to cahill at the top of the box but that was about it. Hope he gets a little more aggressive in the 2nd half. 1-0 Everton

    Reply

  2. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/16 at 11:56 AM

    Interesting match-ups between Ferdinand vs Huntulaar/Ronaldinho and Rooney vs Nesta.

    We’ll see if SAF can get a result at the San Siro. A score draw would be a fantastic result for United. And will Beckham take free kicks around the box ahead of Pirlo and Ronaldinho? I can see him gettng physical…

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/16 at 12:19 PM

      My bet is no free kicks yet for Beckham….

      Score draw — preciesely.

      @Dylan — thanks for the Everton update.

      Reply

  3. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/16 at 12:49 PM

    Complete brain freeze. Forgot about Hugo Lloris and am happy to get another look at him as there was a rumour that a number of leading EPL clubs have been monitoring him.

    Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/16 at 2:09 PM

      Lyon have had the chances to pretty much be out of sight in this tie. Will they rue the missed chances?

      Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/16 at 3:05 PM

        Madrid have got to be happy only to be taking a 1-0 deficit back to the Santiago Bernebau. Could’ve and should’ve been more.

        After spending all that money in the summer, how hilarious would that be if they got knocked out in the last 16?!

        Reply

  4. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/16 at 1:52 PM

    No Watford game today — raining like frogs in Magnolia over there.

    Reply

  5. Posted by kaya on 2010/02/16 at 2:48 PM

    Can’t believe I came back home to watch the last 30 minutes of the Milan/MU game. Ugh.
    Shrek’s still on fire. Ugh.

    Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/16 at 5:14 PM

      Wow. Milan had so many decent chances in the first 30 minutes, they should have been 3 up (although ironically, their first goal came from a lucky deflection). They really had the chance to put this tie to bed. They paid the price for being wasteful.

      Rooney was the main difference. I thought his movement was unbelievable tonight. His first goal was just class, sublime – but give credit to SAF for taking off the ineffective Nani and bringing on Valencia. His second, well you have to question Nesta and Silva’s positioning – Rooney just ghosted in between them and easily headed home unchallenged.

      With Rooney in that sort of form (25 goals already), I feel sorry for DeMerit and Onyewu – he is going to make them look like the mediocre clowns that everybody (deep down?) knows they are!

      Reply

      • Posted by Dylan on 2010/02/16 at 6:07 PM

        Yep Milan should have at least tied lots of missed chances in the beginning and at the end.

        Lucky for US that Rooney will have no idea what to do with Onyewu towering over him in the box. He’ll have wished he played some more physical teams after getting beat on all game. Onyewu clears that first Rooney goal without leaving his feet.

        Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/16 at 6:49 PM

          “Towering Onyewu”? You must be talking about when Onyewu conceded that penalty against Ghana in 2006, and the USA were sent packing their JanSport bags after the group stage, gaining just the one point!!

          Will he even be match fit?

          Reply

        • Posted by Dylan on 2010/02/16 at 6:55 PM

          The rumor was that he was going to be training with Milan come Feb. but we are already half way done with that so……. If he is I promise you wont be winning any unchallenged headers come June.

          Reply

        • Posted by KL on 2010/02/16 at 7:21 PM

          Now George, even you have to admit that that was a harsh call. I didn’t see the game live, but I’ve seen it replayed more than its fair share and there’s no way that was a clear-cut foul. Just my opinion.

          Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/16 at 8:01 PM

          Dylan – we will be pinging the ball around on the deck and you’ll be chasing shadows for 90 minutes (well, it will be game over in 45, and we will close the game out in the 2nd half).

          KL – it was never a penalty, probably one of the most ridiculous refereeing decisions in the tournament. I just like the banter!

          Reply

        • Posted by i like tuesday on 2010/02/16 at 8:43 PM

          Someone’s wearing St. George’s Cross shaded glasses. Rooney is a force no doubt. That said, this Milan defence isn’t exactly watertight. I’m glad he’s in blazing form now since it won’t last forever.

          Reply

        • Posted by i like tuesday on 2010/02/16 at 8:48 PM

          No doubt George, just give the ball to Stevie G and he’ll ping it right off the pitch. What’s the over-under on goal kicks?

          Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/16 at 9:18 PM

          Tuesday: Judging by your WCQ campaign, the USA’s defence isn’t exactly watertight either – you shipped 13 goals in 10 games against the likes of Costa Rica, El Salvidor and T&T and had a massive GD of +6.

          Whereas, we scored almost twice (34) as much and conceded half as much (6) in our 10 WCQ games. Not a bad GD, eh?

          I have visions of Lennon or Walcott showing Captain Bocanegra a clean pair of heels time after time. Or when they cut in, the clumsy oafs (DeMerit and Onyewu) bringing them down in the box.

          Reply

        • Posted by Dylan on 2010/02/16 at 9:47 PM

          Even so, as BIG Timmy Howard calmy stops his over zealous efforts, just what appliance will be stopping the shooting prowess of Donovan, Altidore, Dempsey, and Davies? If I were you I’d go with a refrigerator at least it will have better hands than your current options.

          Reply

  6. Posted by Swa on 2010/02/16 at 9:54 PM

    Not to discount two absolute thrashings of Croatia, but were we not supposed to notice that 23 of those goals came against Belarus, Kazakhstan and Andorra? Or that the first Croatia victory was the infamous “Theo Walcott Game”?

    Reply

    • Posted by Dylan on 2010/02/16 at 10:22 PM

      Right I guess if wanted to try to re-assure myself of our quality I could throw in the 9-0 thrashing of Barbados or the +11 goal differental from five games of round 2 qualifying I could but I don’t because I’m not the one who’s scared. The English, always so insecure. You keep throwing out those big numbers, at least it’ll be good practice for when your trying to figure out how many goals you need in your third game to advance.

      Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/17 at 7:02 AM

        Dylan: I thought it was you Yanks who loved their stats? Regarding Altidore, Davies, Dempsey and Donovan; well Altidore is unproven at this level, Davies might not even be match fit, Dempsey is a very good player, but is hardly a prolific goal scorer against quality opposition, and Donovan, well how many of his say last 10 US goals have come from open play?

        We slaughtered Croatia 1-4 in Zagreb ‘where they don’t lose’ and 5-1 and Wembley. And the first 30 minutes at Wembley was the best I have seen England play in a long time. The one really difficult and testing game you had in qualification, was at the Azteca, and you choked.

        The last time England and USA played, we beat you 2-0. Granted, it was at home, and England didn’t play well at all, but we beat you at an absolute canter. Me insecure? No, not at all. Arrogant? No in the slightest. Confident (with a fit squad under Mr. Capello)? A liitle.

        Reply

        • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/02/17 at 7:47 AM

          I find it funny(and ironic) that the nation where the beautiful game was born, with all this supposed world class talent, will never win a World Cup. This is the “Golden Generation,” yes? Your confidence is a side-effect of the high expectations that the England side just can’t seem to achieve. How far do you expect to get this summer?

          Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/17 at 8:31 AM

          Apart from Rooney and A.Cole, who is World Class on the England team? The reason why the expectation is sky high is because we have a proper football culture. We have Champion’s League quality players in most positions. Whether the expectation to win the World Cup is realistic is another matter.

          But I would rather have that hope and buzz and disappointment than just to turn up and make the numbers up, keeping my fingers tightly crossed hoping that we get out of the group stage like the USA.

          I compare England to the Red Sox pre-2004. Every year, the Sox fans ‘B’elieved it was their year. Spain and Netherlands have never one the World Cup and they do not get cussed in the same way – and before Euro08, the last time they won a tournament was Euro64, but nobody talked about their underachievement pre-tournament. BTW, who won the World Cup after the last time Spain won the Euro?!?!?

          Most of the big guns in Europe have high expectations to win, but I am guessing that because most people cannot read or listen to their media, things go unnoticed more.

          I *expect* England to get to QFs at the very minimum. I think being a top eight side, that is fair. I also think that with a little luck we could get the the SFs (quietly confident because the other side of the draw looks more difficult), after all, there is little to choose from in the top eight aside from Spain and Brazil.

          But we do need luck, as I cannot remember a team that has won the World Cup in recent history that didn’t get the rub of the green or penalty shoot-out (with the possible exception of Brazil in 2002).

          If we can get our first XI fit and in form, and play to our maximum, and get some luck, then who knows once we get to the knockout stages? We do have Capello too.

          Oh, and a Russian linesman would be nice…

          Reply

        • Posted by Dylan on 2010/02/17 at 8:55 AM

          Oh here we go again, (insert whiny voice) nobody says stuff about Spain and Netherlands, were good stop picking on us. (end sarcasm). Always the English referring to their “proper” culture is because of that we will probably score on you during tea time.

          You expect england to get to the QF because they are a top 8 side? But the US is hoping to get out of the group stage? That rational makes 0 sense. We are a top 14 side, if I used your rational that makes it only fair for us to be in the round of 16 and with “little luck” move forward.

          Ashley Cole is your only other World Class player huh? How’s that ankle? I was just joshing around before, but wow, you really are scared that your going lose. That is priceless.

          Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/17 at 9:44 AM

          Touche Dylan. Nice come back.

          I think on current form, it would be difficult to include Ferdinand, Terry, Lampard and Gerrard in the ‘world class’ bracket, but that’s just me. Their form this season has been inconsistent when they haven’t been injured.

          Always the English, “refering” to proper culture, eh? I think you’ll find a lot of bleating on here about ‘getting the US where it needs to be’ and ‘supporting your local MLS team and not Man U’**… The fact of the matter is that most of the USA haven’t got a clue about the summer. They’ll just jump on the bandwagon (like they did in 2006) as per usual, then jump off until next time around in Brazil.

          Me scared? No. Just *trying* to give the respect that I believe all teams deserve. But if you want me to be 100% honest, I think we’ll blow through Group C^^. And then we’ll hear US fans say (insert whiny voice) how England should have won because of the players we have, nobody expected the US to win this game blah blah blah (end sarcasm). I’ll tell you what, when I get to Cape Town on 16th June, I’ll buy an American an (imperial) pint, just for being a good sport old bean…

          **which I wholeheartedly agree with BTW.

          ^^I guess one of us will be wearing an egg facial come 17:00 EST on the 12th June, right?!

          Reply

      • Posted by Dylan on 2010/02/17 at 11:57 AM

        There is one thing we can agree that it will fun as hell. I’m just hoping everyone (from both squads) is healthy and we see some incredible football this summer, not that I’m worried about the latter.

        So hows about a truce for now? We’ll resume banter at a later date.

        Reply

  7. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/17 at 7:52 AM

    You guys are rocking and funny this morning…can’t wait wait to be the next salvos in this debate….

    Reply

  8. Posted by Swa on 2010/02/17 at 10:48 AM

    Have the Three Lions ever played at Azteca? And I hate making excuses but the game winning goal was largely Donovan’s fault and he had a touch of the old H1N1 at the time. And if we’re talking about Wembley it can’t be ignored that Fabio’s squad was essentially what he’s going to be throwing out there in Rustenberg (including 83 minutes of Ashley Cole which at this point is a toss-up). It’s doubtful that David Bentley or the Big O will be making the trip but otherwise it’s not that far off. And now if we look at the US squad from that day, despite what George may have just said about Altidore, Davies and Donovan, they are certainly upgrades over Eddie Johnson/Nate Jaqua, Josh Wolff/Freddy Adu, and DaMarcus Beasley/Eddie Lewis.

    Terry’s goal came off an absolutely perfect set piece from Beckham, and it was gorgeous but it was the kind of absolutely perfect placement that even George admits Aaron Lennon doesn’t have. Gerrard’s goal was class but it was against a rather cold Brad Guzan who had just entered the game, and he was arguably offside. The commentators that day didn’t seem to think so, but they were English.

    These may or may not be seen as excuses but what they do prove is that the game at Wembley is not an accurate representation of how Rustenberg is going to go.

    Reply

  9. Posted by kaya on 2010/02/17 at 12:42 PM

    Wow… Not to get in the middle of your discussion here… but just adding my $0.02
    There is a reason so many people love around the world love to watch England lose… as a matter of fact, if there was one hope for world peace (minus 1 country), I would call that our greatest hope.
    I think Oneyewu is a different player than he was in 06. He was a deer caught in the headlights from the time Koller got the first cross of the first game. I do worry that his injuries and belated return to some sort of form will have an impact on his confidence. Ping Pong totally dove, btw.
    I’m less worried for DeMerit. I think he’s used to being overlooked and probably appreciates attitudes like pity from englishmen everywhere ;)
    Man U has made hay from a brand of football I don’t care for, but they’re good at it because they’re a professional team. How it will work out for England nationals remains to be seen.
    And George…. I sincerely hope the entire English team shares your sentiment! This is the reason the golden balls generation has been such a disappointment to their countrymen (and a delight to me =))

    Reply

  10. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/17 at 1:59 PM

    Swa: Relax. Just a little banter. Do you honestly think I would look at a result in a FRIENDLY as an accurate barometre?

    England qualified for both 1970 and 1986, but I don’t think we played Mexico at the Azteca. But we’ve played Brazil in Rio, France in Paris, Germany in Munich, Italy in Rome, Netherlands in Amsterdam and, wait for it, USA in Chicago – and got a result in all.

    Now I understand what you’re saying, but Sweatpants has been the US coach for longer, no? And he should have an idea about his best XI and stop experimenting. As a goalkeeper, I always blame the defending team at set pieces, especially when it’s not exactly well works (see Argentina’s second goal vs England in France98 – even though it was against England, I applaud good football).

    Kaya: most countries that want to see England lose are the other Home Nations and CommonWealth Nations. It’s nothing new to me, I have seen it for ages in football, rugby and cricket.; so you and the rest of the Americans can join the back of the queue!

    We certainly won’t be underestimating the USA, but if you do not give England the respect they deserve, like Croatia didn’t, then we’ll give you a hiding!!

    Reply

    • Posted by kaya on 2010/02/17 at 5:10 PM

      Well, it certainly sounds like you’re underestimating the US. Last time I checked, the reputation for lack of respect for ones opponents remained firmly in the vice-like grip of the English…. but thanks for reminding us to keep our arrogance in check (and giving me a chuckle.)

      Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/17 at 5:25 PM

        I have been around far too long to get sucked into any media hype to underestimate any opponent. I am cautiously optimistic / quietly confident – but only if we play well and produce a performance that we’re capable of.

        Reply

  11. Posted by Swa on 2010/02/17 at 4:58 PM

    No worries, GC, just in my debating nature to pull out all the stops. As for giving us a hiding, we’ll just have to see but I’d love to be the American on the receiving end of that June 16th pint.

    Reply

  12. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/17 at 5:27 PM

    Well, if you’re in Cape Town, 16th -27th June, I am sure my pocket money would stretch to an extra pint.

    Reply

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