Archive for April, 2010

Finally: The Deuce’s Sixty

Reason #2923 Why The Yanks Can Stomp Three Lions

OR

Guest Post: The USMNT Needs A Mascot!

Wow, looks like TSG just found a loophole….

Remember this bit of secrecy?

A few months back TSG actually considered putting together a top-secret brief to send to Sunil Gulati and the United States Soccer Federation suggesting a new name for our beloved USMNT. The “Yanks” had too much baggage, and not enough uniqueness.

Yanks’ supporters around the web got wind and–as TSG is not a dictatorship but a great democracy where all our welcome–voted to retain the Yanks’ moniker (see bottom of the linked post above).

The argument over the USMNT’s national identity sat dormant for a while, but the rumblings of Eyjafjallajökull must have awoken something.

So today a guest post from Matt Biggerstaff of Constantly Offsides. Let the record state unequivocably that we are not lobbying for a name change, but what about…..

(..and you may notice some stunning similarities to the former piece.)

Give Us Liberty and Give Us a Mascot!

The mascot. It can make or break the public affection for your team.

Not a single orange has ever been grown in Central New York...but WHO CARES?!

Considering it’s often the first thing anyone thinks of in association with the squad and it directly influences how your fans dress and act, it is often overlooked unfairly.

Currently the USMNT does not have an established mascot.

Today, that changes.

From this day forward, my humble opinion, combined with TSG’s previous research, will be the defining breakthrough in American soccer “mascotdom.”

Is “mascotdom” even a word?

Whatever, if I’m defining the National Team mascot for the future, I must be important enough to make up words too.
At least that is what I keep telling myself. So we are off to the races. Even though Racers aren’t even one of the options. Because it isn’t good enough for the national team, which, like a classy lady, deserves only the best.
The Militia

I just like the sound of the Militia. It’s intimidating. Makes me want to be a part of it. Sounds militaristic, but in a cool way. Sounds like The Crew, which I think is the best MLS mascot, partially because it is so vague and because they have a sick logo.

The guys' name is already Sam, just throw some Stars & Stripes on that git up...

Pros: Sounds awesome. I don’t think I can state that enough. Being a part of the militia would be cool. Guru (RIP), he was all about the militia….so we have a song….that is timely and honorary. Sounds organized and compact, like the USMNT. It’s threatening; could strike fast and out of nowhere.

Shirts and matching outfits would be easy to manufacture. The fans could organize the militia. Would help rally fans because who doesn’t want to join a militia. Defined as a military force of ordinary citizens, which describes our national team as they defend our nation on the pitch.

Cons: Competes with the Outlaws in terms of theme, which I don’t really like. The militaristic theme has some negative connotations. When I think of militia I automatically think of a website called whiskey militia. How does one dress in a militia? Do girls like guys who are part of a militia? Slightly nerdy, sounds video game-esque. Apparently you need a drummer?

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Charlie Davies: Practicing Now In Pads

Charlie Davies, resumes full training with FC Sochaux.

#9 is going to be on time!

Get’em Charlie!

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TSG wishes you the best Charlie.

Now we got to harangue Stu.

More: A solid New York Times article on Davies….sorry folks tried hard to get this interview.

Jozy Altidore: A Place To Call Home

A few weeks are all that separate Hull City from a move southward to the Championship circuit. Mired in an awful slump that claimed points they should have had–an unbearable beatdown at home by relegation cohort Burnley perhaps the most foul–the Tigers are a mess as are their finances.

TSG bids adieu--sniffle--to the beloved City tiger.

The quandary over where Jozy Altidore plays next season while less messy is not simple either.

From learning to earn a spot, playing at the highest level league in the world and improving his “hold-up ability,” it’s hardly a debate that Altidore gained valuable experience at Hull City and is a better player for it.

Remember, he could have been relegated to Villarreal B team appearances this year.

Here’s what’s known:

• Altidore went to Hull City this year on the lease-with-an-option-to-buy plan. The buy component approximately $6.5M GBP. As the pound has weakened during the dollar this year, at the time that was approximately $10M+ USD and is now closer to $9.75M USD.

• Before Saturday’s Sunderland game, Hull City’s chairman Adam Pearson issued a statement saying two things in reference to his team’s finances:

1) The club is $35M in debt with $25M owed to banks. The other $10M is owed players and agents which makes it difficult to deal with the premium of those lots. Hull also has been the beneficiary of so-called “parachute” payments–in they’ve received further payments from the football association in advance.

2) The club’s “wages” bill is $40M and Pearson is aiming to get that close to $15M in the Championship with relegation a near certainty.

• Villarreal and Jozy’s situation…here’s what I know about the loaner and I welcome further insights from experts:

1) Villarreal purchased the US striker from Red Bull for $10M US.

2) Villarreal look somewhat set up top with the starting duo of American-born Guisseppi Rossi (8 goals on the campaign) and Brazilian national and up-and-comer Nilmar (10 goals) backed by 30-year-old Joseba Llorente, who has produced 7 goals in 25 appearances and is also signed to Villarreal thru 2012. Llorente is the holding striker among the three.

Young Argentine Marco Ruben rounds out the front four.

If you remember from Jozy’s brief time at Villarreal his appearances were usually in relief of Llorente who is still a contributor as a back-up.

3) Because of JZA’s Haitian ancestry and due to the Kolpak ruling, Altidore does not count as a non-EU player–La Liga allows three per team. (Altidore has a work permit in the UK through 2010.)

4) Villarreal has only transferred out players to another La Liga squad or the Premiership over the past 2.5 years. The Castellón-based club has not sent a player to any other league.

Okay, so we’ve got the boring facts out of the way. What is TSG’s take?

Will JZA regret his last appearance in the Hull City kit?

First, let’s not expect Altidore to head back to Hull City. (Odds? 1000 to 1)

Hull is going to need and want a striker that can produce for a quick return to the Premiership–Jozy’s not that guy–he still needs work.

Even if they did want Altidore, Hull City can’t afford him on their target budget given the transfer fee.

Finally here, say Hull wanted to buy Altidore and then loan him out for year with the hope they’d return to top level soccer and bring back the American, it’s a risky gambit….for Hull. The club would need to foot that bill and then do the hard work of loaning out Jozy and negotiating on the fee from a position of weakness–all teams would know they couldn’t possibly afford Big Jeezy for the full year.

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Jozy Makes Statement On Red Card Affair

Altidore Hutton handbags

Update: Jozy issues an apology via Twitter.

I’m so sorry about yesterday. Made a stupid, immature and costly mistake. I apologize to hull city and the fans who I let down. I let my emotions get the best of me and lost my composure. Believe it or not this year playing for hull was to date the best trip I’ve ever been on.

——

Altidore sent off in the 1st half in Hull’s must-win 1-0 loss against Sunderland.

Our thoughts at TSG: Reserved. Didn’t watch the game so I don’t know the lead-up to the incident shown below.

Here’s what I do know. You’ve got to keep your cool, but from time-to-time blow-ups happen (see Drogba, Didier). Excusable by Altidore, no. We’ll invoke our TSG motto on this one: “You can’t look at observations in isolation, you need to evaluate the whole body of work.”

To read further into it, or make a statement on Jozy’s entire body of work at Hull is probably too severe. A few weeks ago we issued this column, largely in admiration of the last year for Altidore. There have been blemishes and this incident is another that calls into question Jozy’s maturity. At 20-years-old, he is what he is and he’s going to need to improve his maturity in lockstep with his ability to become a better player.

Classy move by City fans towards the end as they rained down ‘This is the best trip I’ve ever been on” which Phil Brown sung when Hull staved off elimination last year.

A little bit on how the Hull fans saw the incident.

How Sunderland fans saw it.

The Weekend…

Update:

• Jozy chucked at the KC (along with Allan Hutton of Sunderland) Hutton through the ball; Altidore a tirade.

• A goal for Jonathan Spector! An OG that is….West Ham message boards are going to go Christmas tree over that.

Apologies folks. Duty called today and TSG had to travel to NYC–you know investors and such.

Did I make the right decision? Yup!

I’ve got two op-ed pieces for you next week now…just not finished yet.

Games I will be trying to catch this weekend:

• Arsenal – Manchester City

• Tottenham – Manchester United

• Everton – Fulham

• Columbus – Real Salt Lake

More to follow by Sunday….

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