Initiating Coverage: USMNT In RSA

A last huddle...

Now that time has passed since the Yanks–sniffle–exit from South Africa, time for TSG to take a look at which players raised, met, and, yes, failed to meet expectations at World Cup 2010. Which way did their individual stock go?

TSG will also give you some very hypothetical–or dreamy if you prefer–club scenarios for the Yanks.

Exceeded Expectations

Bradley (one word)..."excelled"

1. Michael Bradley

Overall Tournament Player Rating: 7

Analyst Recommended Action: Strong Buy

The skinny: Hard to not give Michael the biggest thumbs-up from TSG here. Junior, much maligned by this publication, proved himself to be up to the task of bossing the midfield in international play. Sure, it was Bradley Senior that authored the younger Bradley in such a role to succeed, but Michael still had to produce.

Bradley did his job at outworking his opponent’s shadow, had a near flawless game against England, and, bravo, no cards for the youngster.

While Junior can be blamed for at least one of the Slovenia goals, that’s a near perfect World Cup given just how unfathomably much he was tasked with.

Clubs that should be looking: MB90 has stated he wants to play at a top club. He’s not going to move unless it’s an appreciable jump for where he currently is. No insights unique to TSG here, but some fits for the up-and-coming Bradley in our minds would be: 1) Roma (hard-nosed team embodies Bradley’s spirit), 2) Tottenham (Tom Huddlestone is Tom Huddlestone and Wilson Palacios is oddly rumored to Barca).

2. Steve Cherundolo

Overall Tournament Rating: 6.5

Analyst Recommended Action: Strong (Value) Buy

The skinny: Cherundolo always blew hot and cold (most, though not TSG, castigate his Azteca performance during the 2009 qualifier), but ‘Dolo was firing early on in World Cup 2010. In the England game, it was Cherundolo who effectively abused James Milner and then limited the impact of Shaun Wright Phillips and Ashley Cole. That is, Ashley Cole, England’s best player in the tournament and a world class leftback.

Cherundolo was further instrumental against both Algeria and Slovenia, though his form against Ghana came back closer to Earth.

For a player who was largely considered a back-up until Jonathan Spector’s form took a turn for the worse in the Send-Off Series, Cherundolo’s play was both steady and dynamic and much needed on a shaky backline.

Clubs that should be looking: None-’Dolo’s performance got him two more years at Hannover ’96.

Lando the Magnificent (courtesy, Matt Mathai)

3. Landon Donovan:

Overall Tournament Rating: 7

Analyst Recommended Action: Buy

The skinny: Nothing short of a classy tournament for the United States’ flagship player. It’s not that Donovan needed to prove anything–most in the foreign media that TSG spoke with championed Donovan as the States top player before the tournament and a “dangerous” (the most heard adjective) player–it’s that Donovan needed to rewrite the legacy of 2006 while being a leader.

Through his work on the front end of the Slovenia comeback and the back-end of the Algeria game-winning goal, Donovan did that before his penalty shot against Ghana.

Donovan is clearly in his prime right now and he’s figured out his value as a player. He’s kind of like two-time MVP Steve Nash in a way. He’s a passer first, who’s completely able to score when the team needs it at crunch time….and he makes those better around him. Players seem to love play with both of them.

Clubs that should be interested: Will MLS hold out for a Ronaldo-sized ransom? Manchester City rumors have swirled, but Donovan is an idyllic fit for Toffee blue.

4. Clint Dempsey

Overall tournament rating: 6.5

Analyst Recommended Action: Buy

The skinny: Gone was Clint Dempsey’s pouting in this tournament. Gone was Clint Dempsey’s failure to track back.

While Dempsey was never labeled the Chosen One to put the Yanks on his shoulders, he did just that against Ghana, consistently finding his way to midfield to earn and keep possession when it seemed none of the other Yanks could.

While one might disparage Deuce for his inability to find paydirt, especially against Algeria–but also against Ghana–it wouldn’t be fair. Dempsey was consistently yo-yoed between midfield and striker and often had the focus of creation away from his side.

Clubs that should be interested: A report has Dempsey as the apple of Napoli’s eye. Not a bad fit, but Dempsey has expressed multiple times that he’s quite settled in England. Will the Deuce follow Roy Hodgson down the road to Redsland?

5. Benny Feilhaber

Feilhaber got a lot more leeway from Bob Bradley in 2010 versus 2008...

Overall tournament player rating: 5.5

Analyst Recommended Action: Buy

The skinny: I need to apologize because another writer–I believe it was Jeff Carlisle, but if not I apologize–made the point that Bob Bradley allowed Benny Feilhaber to play himself into shape. I missed that notion and I think it’s an excellent point.

Feilhaber continually got stronger as he got in-game reps and by the third game, with the help of an advanced Clint Dempsey, Feilhaber was dictating the run-of-play for the States.

Perhap it should have been Feilhaber–who quarterbacked quite successfully with Michael Bradley in the midfield through 2007 –who partnered Bradley in the middle against Slovenia? Why didn’t Bob use him in the role he used to inhabit (and did during the Confederation Cup final)?

Clubs that should be interested: Feilhaber is at his best oscillating between an advanced midfielder role and a non-defensive assignment-based holding midfielder role, sort of like a Xavi. I’ll have to rely on the TSG community for recommendations here; I still need to mull them over.

5. Jonathan Bornstein

Overall tournament player rating: 6

Analyst Recommended Action: Weak Buy

The skinny: Pipe down with your TSG favoritism comments. Jonathan Bornstein went into World Cup 2010 with–as I said on a radio show a month ago–more vitriol directed at him than any other player on the United States….by far.

He leaves the World Cup vindicating his selection. Surprising? Nothing short of shocking.

Bornstein was far from flawless and needed some support from Carlos Bocanegra, but you could argue that against Ghana he was the Yanks’ best defender! (I just heard the click of the window on about 100,000 browsers.)

More to consider, Bornstein is all of 25 and has the following on his resume: 34 caps (that’s more than half of what Onyewu has), a goal to win a World Cup qualification group, a Confederation Cup and now two World Cup caps to his name.

At 29-years-old in 2014, guess whose name is currently sitting near the top of the States defender depth chart? Those who suggest Bornstein doesn’t deserve it, I’ll ask the question: The best US defender against Ghana will have four more years under his belt and a great deal of experience, he shouldn’t be considered?

Clubs that should be interested in Bornstein: Tough one here. I’m not sure that Bornstein is ready for role outside of MLS and–the bigger question–how much development does Bornstein have left in him? That’s the golden question and I asked above as well.

Primera teams in Mexico have been rumored to be sniffing around. Frankly, I think Bornstein could really benefit–or perhaps sink–from a move to the German second division a la Kenny Cooper. Better chance for him is likely the Portugese leagues somewhere, like Adu’s old Belensenses club.

Met Expectations

Findley, what was expected?

1. Robbie Findley

Overall tournament rating: 4.5

Analyst Recommended Action: Hold or Pass

The skinny: Just about right on for a World Cup for Findley. The same player review could have been written for Findley for all three games he played.

“Showcased world class speed. Consistently worked hard. Out of ideas with the moment bearing down, lacks a final ball.”

Findley, an MLS spot sub, going into camp did the job Bob Bradley asked with the exception of scoring. It’s not like Findley was setting MLS on fire through May.

Clubs that should be interested: Without a final ball, I can only see a mid-table, cash-strapped Scottish Premier League team (because of the physical nature of the league) taking a shot on Findley.

2. Carlos Bocanegra

Overall Player Rating: 5.5

Analyst Recommended Action: Hold or Pass

The skinny: Bocanegra, the captain and team player, was tasked with leftback and central defense for the States. Bocanegra was never dominant over four games and was soundly run by Aaron Lennon against England–though England could do nothing with Lennon’s service.

That said, Captain Carlos never made any egregious mistakes. He was physically beat on Asamoah Gyan’s ultimate USMNT exit ball for the second Ghana goal.

On the downward slide of his career, Captain Carlos did all he could.

Clubs that should be interested: Bocanegra will likely stay at Rennes for another year or two, then I can see him Galaxy-bound.

DeMerit, out of contract with Watford....where next?

3. Jay DeMerit

Overall Player Rating: 6

Analyst Recommended Action: Weak Buy

The skinny: The book on Jay DeMerit was just about spot on.

“Struggles early in games. 1-on-1 defender with the best of them. Misjudges balls in the air.”

DeMerit played to his utmost potential at this World Cup, but not beyond. Truly a heart and soul player, some of DeMerit’s technical ability, or lack there-of was exposed. However the crafty veteran also minimized the damage through the middle with two different partners, one a liability through injury, the other a converted left back.

Clubs that should be looking: Despite some challenges in ability, DeMerit’s know-how and experience…both World Cup experience and Premiership experience with Watford make DeMerit a valuable veteran.

Perhaps a union with Stu Holden backing Gary Cahill–who might fly–at Bolton?

Failed Expectations

1. Oguchi Onyewu

Overall Player Rating: 4

Analyst Recommended Action: Hold

The skinny: Onyewu was a professional and gave his all. However, at the end of the day Gooch was not fit to play in a World Cup. It’s possible that Onyewu’s experience alone helped the US earn the draw against England. However, lacking game fitness and the ability to string together consecutive strong games saw Onyewu hit the pine for the Yanks final two games.

A saving grace for Onyewu is that he is locked in at AC Milan for a few years and at centerback he’ll get a shot at competing for a spot next to Thiago Silva as Nesta sunsets his career.

2. Jozy Altidore

Overall Player Rating: 5.5

Analyst Recommended Action: Hold

The skinny: I’ve now flip-flopped Altidore between the meets expectations and failed expectations category six times. Whose expectations are those? (Just before I published this I moved Altidore to “Failed Expectations” for a seventh time.)

The non-US-fan book on Altidore was this, “Big body. Load of potential. Lacks killer instinct or drive. Does not finish well.”

Jozy, all too often diving or lipping to the refs...

And the book will remain the same.

TSG asked the question a few months back if Altidore’s time at Hull ultimately stunted his development. At the time, the answer seemed like a no. However Altidore–as many commenters made this point–seemed to have donned the Italian shirt he received in his ESPN commercial because he all too often found the carpet instead of going for goal.

It seemed that nearly all of Altidore’s possessions as he headed towards goal–where he wasn’t fouled–either ended in a failed final move, an errant shot or hi-how-are-you to the turf and look-up to the ref.

Clubs that should take a look: TSG has covered potential destinations for Jozy exhaustively. (This article is great if you’re an Altidore fan.) I still think Birmingham in the EPL would be a great destination for him.

Last evening on Twitter, Pete, from the fine publication Stars & Gripes, and I conversed about the Altidore’s inclusion in Dempsey’s Napoli report–that Napoli might be a destination for Jozy. A lot going on with Altidore transferring anywhere as Villarreal need funds (they purchased Jozy for about $10M two years ago and would likely want to break even on that deal now), but Guisseppe Rossi is a much more sellable asset for the Yellow Submarine. Combine that with Altidore’s tantalizing potential offset by his inability to score….you get the picture. A muddled one.

3. Jonathan Spector

Overall Player Rating: N/A

Analyst Recommended Action: Hold

Spector's national time in 2010 was less positive than 2009.

The skinny: After a poor run-up in the Send-Off Series, Spector was one of two players not to see a minute of play in the tournament–the other was Clarence Goodson.

The thought of Specs not playing seemed absolutely incredulous back last summer when Spector’s right foot cross and intelligent defensed seemed to give him ownership of the rightback position.

A tough World Cup for Spector who will be heading back to London to “interview” with a new manager at West Ham

Clubs that should be calling: It’s quite possible that Jonathan Spector will find himself out the Premiership before this year’s 2nd campaign begins. There’s a new manager at West Ham and Spector wasn’t the most popular player amongst fans.

Clubs that should take a look: Specs’ idol might be that of John O’Shea, someone who is not a starter, but can fill in and central back and outside capably. That skill alone will make Spector of value to any of the bottom half of English Premiere League teams.

4. Edson Buddle & Herculez Gomez

Overall Player Rating: Buddle, 4.5; Gomez 5

Analyst Recommended Action: Hold

The skinny: One did some nice complementary work, the other barely got up from the pine. Neither scored or were employed regularly by Bob Bradley. Maybe they didn’t fail expecations, but they certainly didn’t improve their statue on a team whose predominant starters (Altidore and Findley) couldn’t score.

Clubs that should take a look: Gomez is headed to Pachuca for at least a year and tabloids have Buddle–like every other American flavor of the month–headed to Fulham.

No Coverage

Tim Howard: A first game injury robbed Howard of truly shining at a World Cup in the peak of his career. Rumors have Howard in consideration at Arsenal as Mark Schwarzer turned down a move and Everton have brought in a keeper.

Stu Holden: Holden’s World Cup was a failure, but only because Bob Bradley didn’t give him a chance. A brief cameo for Stuie against England.

Ricardo Clark: He’s already signed for Frankfurt–so he’s fine club-wise. Did we learn anything new about Rico?

Jose Torres: A brief and ill-fated forty-five minutes as Bradley completely threw Torres to the Wolves. Torres will rebound.

Clarence Goodson: Came on like gangbusters just to make the team. Said more about the stubbornness of Bradley that Goodson–after starting both Send-Off games–didn’t get a minute.

DaMarcus Beasley: Almost forgot to add Beasley.

Brad Guzan: No time on pitch.

Marcus Hahnemann: Made a name for himself as the heaviest player at World Cup 2010, but that’s all.

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39 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by KMac on 2010/06/29 at 11:55 PM

    Matthew, what about Bob? Any more reflections in keeping with this piece?

    Also, what about Gulati and the USSF, where I think some of the culpability for our results ultimately rests?

    Reply

  2. Posted by Marmaduke on 2010/06/30 at 4:13 AM

    What about Mo? The only thing I got by searching the page was “incrEDUlous”…

    Reply

    • Good question, I’d put Edu as somewhere between exceeded and met expectations and definitely ready for an upward move.

      Reply

      • Posted by JG on 2010/06/30 at 5:29 PM

        Yeah, I’m also wondering why Edu wasn’t in this post at all. I think given his performance, which I agree is somewhere between met and exceeded expectations, and his age, 24, he should be moving on to a better league. I realize playing for Rangers isn’t anything to scoff at but the SPL has seemingly taken a nose-dive in quality in the past couple of years and Edu should be playing in a better league, for sure.

        Reply

  3. Bradley to Spurs would be awesome, would pick up that jersey in a hot minute. although we have sandro coming in not sure if he would get playing time.

    Reply

  4. Count me as one Bornstein doubter (hater might be a more accurate term) that was very pleased with his tournament. It’s not that I personally dislike the Chivas man. I was in the stands in DC when he scored the dramatic goal to tie Costa Rica and lost my mind just like anyone else.

    I lost it when I saw him start against Algeria, but felt a groundswell of confidence see him play an extremely solid game. His inclusion in the Ghana game gave me butterflies again (thinking Algeria was the exception not the rule to his play), but he was serviceable again.

    Just wanted to note that come four years…. as long as I see continued play from his Algeria game on I’ll be rooting for the King of Honduras.

    Reply

    • Yeah, there were some positive indications that Bornstein has finally absorbed some of the lessons he’s been dealt at the international level, where his pace can’t make up for poor positioning and over-committing to the tackle like it can in MLS.

      Atalante should be a good move for him in that he will learn a less-direct, more possession focused style of play and more deliberate pace. Hopefully he’ll further develop both his possession, defensive and attacking skills (Now just work on that final ball, Jonny! And nix the passes to no one in central midfield).

      Defenders tend to mature more slowly than players further up the pitch and it’s good news for 2014 that Bornstein threw out some good signs these last two matches. If he can develop the mental side of his game to match his physical gifts he’ll be a quality left back at this level.

      Reply

  5. Posted by Paul on 2010/06/30 at 5:16 AM

    Must come clean for doubting Bornstein. Bradley certainly played him match fit–which, with more friendlies and a bit of foresight and creativity, was also possible for Torres and Feilhaber and a different formation for the Cup (4-5-1). It is not a stretch to say he was the best defender against Ghana; it is not much of a stretch to claim Bornstein flashed as much promise as Jozy during the Cup run. Starting J.B will still be the laxative of choice for US fans, but he has hopefully regained his confidence and begun the start of a bright US national team career. After all, ability is there, as is experience (with 34 caps, he has four less caps than the combined total of Edu and DeMerit.) Was a good run of form just the psychological boost Jonny needed to excel? To this skeptic, the answer seems to be yes.

    After having words of praise for Bornstein being pried out of my mouth, let me regain a measure of pride by reminding the pro-Finley crowd, as well as Bradley, that speed does not alone win games, whether against Ghana or other teams. From that assertion and the US-Ghana game, Q.E.D.

    Would also like to see comments on Edu. Great job with during the Cup run.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Brandon on 2010/06/30 at 6:15 AM

    Bornstein’s on his way to Atlante

    Reply

  7. Posted by SteveM11 on 2010/06/30 at 6:28 AM

    No Edu? He should have been starting and playing the whole tourney over Clark.

    Also, why crap on Beasley? He looked good in the minutes BB gave him. His faux handball had him in scoring position. This guy gets a really bad wrap!

    Reply

  8. Posted by T-Muck on 2010/06/30 at 6:34 AM

    Matt did you forget to look at your roster again?

    Reply

  9. Posted by Sam on 2010/06/30 at 6:35 AM

    Well phase 1 is accomplished to a certain extent, with all of our key players appearing regularly in clubs in the top leagues.

    Phase 2 has to be the movement of these players from top teams along with a constant funnel of talent from MLS academy systems. It’s happening, but we’ll see.

    In a world cup stocked full of our boys who have earned a good amount of respect by playing internationally with a top club we will inevitably have a lot of calls go our way where they don’t now haven’t in the past. Let’s hope.

    Reply

  10. Posted by DanPA on 2010/06/30 at 7:05 AM

    Count me among the Bornstein doubters that was fed some crow by his solid outings.
    I was particularly impressed by a few of his attacking forays against Ghana. My questions are: Was he riding a wave of confidence and playing above his ability? Will his next rough outing plunge him back into poor decision making patterns we saw leading up to the World Cup?

    I think that he needs to get out of MLS to continue his development. His physical tools (speed, quickness) make him a very good MLS defender but I don’t think MLS will test his positioning and football IQ enough to see him develop into a consistent international-level performer.

    Reply

  11. Posted by dallen on 2010/06/30 at 7:23 AM

    Feilhaber = homeless man’s Xabi Alonso. Whatever it is that has held him back from finally finding a place in the club game needs to stop. Benny needs to settle and put together a couple good seasons in one place.

    Reply

  12. Posted by Sinn Fein on 2010/06/30 at 7:41 AM

    Shin Guardian
    Overall Rating: 10

    Without you, following the US National Team would be a lot less fun.

    I think I have recommended the site to most of the people I know with even a passing interest in soccer.

    Great job so far this cup, Matthew.

    Reply

    • Posted by T-Muck on 2010/06/30 at 7:44 AM

      I totally agree, its the best coverage I get for the US National Team anywhere. You guys make the ESPN guys look silly sometimes.

      Just curious, how many hits do you get a day? And how has the number of hits changed over the last 6 months?

      Reply

    • I would also like to say that you guys make Ives look silly more often than not as well. How many times has my iGoogle shown me Ives following you guys by hours or days even with a scoop or an article in a similar vein. I guess the best compliment that I can pay the brothers Thomas and all who write for this wonderful site is this – this site made me stop blogging because I realized that I couldn’t hold a candle to what is written here. I’d rather contribute my thoughts and ideas to the discussions and community here than waste them on my little slice of the interwebs (which no one really read anyways).

      Reply

  13. “I need to apologize because another writer–I believe it was Jeff Carlisle, but if not I apologize–made the point that Bob Bradley allowed Benny Feilhaber to play himself into shape.”

    Can I take credit for this?
    http://theshinguardian.com/2010/06/27/homeward-bound-ghana-sends-states-packing/#comment-17569

    Reply

  14. Posted by Dennis on 2010/06/30 at 8:29 AM

    I’m going to disagree with everyone on Bornstein. I think this is the classic case of a player being so bad at times that simply not looking lost or messing up is subsequently viewed as a serious accomplishment.

    I’m just not buying into the idea that “our best defender against Ghana” was incapable of passing the ball. Bornstein was a decent fill in but if the USA is seriously trying to progress as a national team, they have to move on from players with all the physical attributes but no technical ability. Outside back is a tough position to fill, but I have to believe that there is a younger player in the pool who can pass the ball out of the back. I can’t even count the number of times I saw Bornstein just clear the ball out bounds rather than trying to keep possession. That’s simply not good enough at the international level.

    Reply

    • We may be suffering a bit from the “bigotry of soft expectations” when it comes to JB, but I honestly thought his track back and cover was really good against Algeria and Ghana.

      Some of Bornstein’s greatest troubles pre-WC was the tendency to get burned in coverage, try and recover, and then commit a silly foul that led to goals or goal-scoring chances.

      That didn’t happen in his two games during the WC. He consistently stayed on top of his marks and when he did get beat he tracked back with skill and speed to recover and stay in front of his man until more help arrived. I saw several defensive plays where he snuffed out potential crosses with his smart marking.

      JB lacks refinement, but it was a step in the right direction and certainly gives us someone with WC experience for 2014 if he continues to improve.

      Given our other current defenders with int’l experience he’s one of the few, the proud.

      Reply

    • Posted by Mark R on 2010/07/01 at 12:05 AM

      Dennis- I’m glad someone finally said it. Compared to his recent outings Bornstein played incredible the last two games, that much can’t be argued.. but the absence of a complete catastrophe doesn’t make me excited to see him 4 years from now. He gives possession away way too cheaply for this level, to the point that Dempsey would look over at him with tons of space, think about it, then pass it the other direction to someone less open. He wasn’t trusted to play a good ball and that hurts the whole team.

      He has a lot of work to do to earn that trust if he is going to join in the attack. Onyewu used to be really bad about just launching it up the field and has managed to improve quite a bit.. so it can be done. I hope Bornstein improves too.

      The real metric to compare Bornstein against is Cherundolo, who had an outstanding World Cup by any measure.

      Reply

  15. I’m pretty new at this soccer thing, but after the Ghana game, the only players I was impressed with were Bornstein, Feilhaber and Brady. In fact, my FB post DURING that game was “Is Bornstein the only one that is actually PLAYING this game!?!”

    Reply

  16. Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/06/30 at 10:26 AM

    JB reminds me of Fabio Coentrao(who has played like he’s gonna take over a world beater’s starting LB spot) in regards to playing style/similarity

    and Benny! reminds me of Deco..

    Reply

  17. Posted by Joe on 2010/06/30 at 12:02 PM

    Edu is a beast. Clark does not belong on the field at any time except for warmups. Wish I could have seen some Holden. Hes got some of the best crosses on the squad. Tim Howard disappointed me that last game. Near post and low, if you want to be the best you can’t slip up like that at ANY TIME. Yes he did save us many times but thats why hes a goalie, to save the ball. Before the tournament is over you will see a goalie make a huge save for a team that will help them advance. We didnt and lost.

    Reply

  18. Posted by KickinNames... on 2010/06/30 at 2:08 PM

    Agreed that Howard was impacted by the injury. Was the decision 75% of our best guy vs Hahnemann/Guzan? Who knows….
    JB exeeded expectations esp against Ghana (nice point by Dennis) but I think the next level is a BIG jump for his skill set.
    MB gets props for his CAM role and overall discipline and composure with and without the ball in the midfield attacker role. Still not sure how commenters see him as a “natural” CDM going forward in his career. At 22 there is a lot of room for growth for him which could make him a force in the next go round.
    I still see significant holes in Feilhabers game even though he was very composed and valuable in his limited attacking role. He also wins very few 50/50 battles which makes him a bit of a liability in the central mid. Lacks speed for the wide role that Holden definitely brings.

    I think the next 2 yrs are going to be interesting with Jozy. The word Lazy seems to pop up from many different circles (including mine at least 5-6 times per game) regarding his game and he is going to need to figure out some things or start the “Freddy Adu Slide” into confirmed mediocrity. Two words that should motivate Jozy- Eddie. Johnson.

    Findley is what he is. Can’t hate him for that. BB did not reach deep or wide enough for striker options during qualifying IMO. Waaaay too much Ching, Casey, Jeff whatever his name experiments for 2 yrs plus when you knew exactly what you were getting from each.

    I have to slightly disagree with the TSG rating of 10.0. Had to downgrade to 9.89 due to Matt’s JB man crush. )))

    Looking forward to some great super power soccer this weekend.

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/06/30 at 2:15 PM

      Thanks KinkinNames.

      Just so we’re clear….it’s not Bornstein to me…it’s speed on the flanks. I find it critical so much so that, personally, I really downgrade options there that don’t have it.

      Similarly, Branislav Ivanovic was many folks’ choice for rightback of the year in the EPL. I just can’t give him that honor–too vulnerable against the Adam Johnsons and Ashley Youngs.

      Here, here to another Los Angles fullback SEAN FRANKLIN being in the mix going forward!

      Reply

      • Posted by KickinNames... on 2010/06/30 at 2:54 PM

        We’ve got 3 yrs of tryouts ahead of us. Leave the Marvell Wynnes at home and start bringing along the 18-22 yr olds that will be hitting their prime come next cup.

        Agreed on Ivanovic. But more than sufficient to have WON THE PREMIER LEAGUE! Come on Chelsea!!

        Reply

        • Posted by BW on 2010/06/30 at 7:04 PM

          I dunno, Wynne is only 24. Already on the outskirts of the pool, I’d say he is a potential option if he continues to progress. I saw him in the CO vs. LA game earlier this year and was very impressed with his athleticism and work rate. One play I specifically remember him tracking back and breaking up a scoring opportunity for Buddle.

          To me, defenders seem to be in a similar category as goal keepers in that wisdom and maturity are benefits as long as they still have the pace to keep up with younger mids and forwards.

          Reply

  19. Posted by bloody frida on 2010/06/30 at 5:37 PM

    so where did my post go?

    Reply

  20. Posted by Bob on 2010/07/01 at 12:30 AM

    It looks like Goodson’s WC wasn’t bad for him even though he did not play as he may be moving to Denmark’s Odense in the next transfer window.

    Reply

  21. Posted by Nathan on 2010/07/01 at 3:55 PM

    100,000 Browsers… NOT IN YOUR WILDEST DREAMS.

    Why shouldnt the best defender against Ghana be considered?

    Because he is inconsistent, Positioning is horrible taken into consideration how many times per game he gets caught goofy footed and when he does try to recover he loses his composure with desperate defending ie…fouls given in dangerous areas. In addition to that, he makes more ill advised runs up into the attack than Junior. He did that twice against ghana and he is lucky the oposing guy on his flank was not composed enough to finish some of the counter attacks down that flank oh and bocanegra had to wipe JB’s arse a couple of times because of it.

    Reply

  22. [...] In a move that TSG has pined for, for some time, Michael Bradley climbs through four different leagues with a detour at Aston Villa and comes out [...]

    Reply

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