Archive for December, 2010

PSA: Don’t Mess With Free Beer

The Free Beer Movement in action....

The Free Beer Movement is all about “Spreading American Soccer One Beer at a Time” and because of the generous support of The Shin Guardian we’ve grown into a successful grassroots organization for helping build this great American game that we all love.

Because of our efforts and your help we’ve been recognized in the Movement’s hometown and nominated for one of the 2011 Austin-American Statesman Texas Social Media Awards.
We know how great the TSG community has been in supporting us in the past and reading our contributions to the publication and we hope that you’ll take the time to stop by our Texas Social Media Awards nomination page, vote for us, and leave a few kind words. It would go a long way to helping build the FBM’s legitimacy and strength as an organization here and across the nation.
Thank you all for your support.
P.S. And if we get enough of the TSG community’s comments on the nomination page we’ll finally buy Matt all those beers we’ve been promising him.

Studio 90: Jonathan Spector

Jonathan Spector talks to scruffy Michael Kammarman (street cred?)

Wednesday: Lanverton, Rafa, More

Some quick bits for Wednesday morning:

Not today...

• FC Stanky Legg

Update: Charlie Davies not in the 18 today for the match.

Charlie Davies and Sochaux head south to face relegation-hovering AS Monaco. Game time is 10AM EST, 1pm PST. Beyond Davies in this one, check out Monaco’s Park Chu-Young, who dazzled for South Korea in South Africa and has been linked to a January transfer to Premiership clubs Aston Villa and Fulham among others.

On the Davies front, the club has advised him to head on loan. Word is Charlie’s not having it. We are set to speak with the striker in early January.

Also in action Wednesday. Ricardo Clark and Hot Dog City play in the German Cup and Carlos BocaJuniors and St Etienne take on top’o’the table Lille.

Lando isn't as young as he once was...he needs the rest...

• Lanverton Breather

Smart move by Landon Donovan to rest his body this winter. If Donovan couldn’t bring it at the end of the MLS campaign, he’ll be stepping up to an even more physical EPL league where the pace of play is quicker and the time on the ball shorter.

Not a recipe for success, especially with the mounds of expectations that Toffee fans would have–who are desperate for offense and wide play–if he ditched the beach for Goodison.

Donovan will be on Everton radio Wednesday and his tweet last night make it certainly seem that Everton was the only option he would consider…and there might something a year out in the offing.

Conspiracy theory: Donovan tells Bababooey..I mean Bruce Arena…that he wants to push for a move. Arena reminds him that he hasn’t won an MLS Cup in Los Angeles (since 2005) and that he shortchanged his club team by having a World Cup focus in 2010.

Donovan agrees to defer for a year and tells Bruce he’ll give him the year. Arena stockpiles all his national team cronies for one last hurrah as he sunsets to the shuffleboard pavement up in Santa Barbara.

Okay a stretch, but still.

Continue reading

Merry Christmas from Giuseppi Rossi & the Yellow Submarine

This oddly makes me a little uncomfortable. Unsure I can root for Villarreal going forward.

Bob Bradley Summons 2011 January Camp Class

Bob Bradley goes young and looks to unearth talent here early in the cycle. Cusp players like Heath Pearce, Robbie Rogers, Eddie Gaven are not called in.

But you knew already the US Ambassador to Brazil was going to be there...

More analysis forthcoming:

GOALIES:  Nick Rimando, Sean Johnson, Matt Pickens, Dominic Cervi


DEFENDERSOmar Gonzalez, Tim Ream, Sean Franklin, AJ De La Garza, Ryan Miller, Ugo Imehlu, Anthony Wallace, Marvell Wynne, Zach Lloyd, (Ike Opara, invited, decline due to injury)


MIDFIELDERS: Brek Shea, Sam Cronin,  Alejandro Bedoya,  Jeff Larentowicz, Dax McCarty, Mikkel Diskerud, Eric Alexander


FORWARDS: Justin Braun, Juan Agudelo, Teal Bunbury, Chris Wondolowski


• “I don’t like your cuffs. I don’t like your cuffs. I don’t like your cuffs.”

Distribution, distribution, distribution. Look for Bob Bradley to make moving the ball out of the back a priority for who he tries in central defense.

Brek Shea, might he get a look? The favored horses right now are Tim Ream and Omar Gonzalez….after that the camp is wide open.

• And that leads to “Hold that ball!”

With Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey arguably cresting their prime here and incising attackers like Mix Diskerud, Alejandro Bedoya and even Robbie Rogers being a big part of the attack on the wings, it is imperative the US can find somebody up top that they can heave-ho it to and who can ward off defenders.

Jozy Altidore has the body, but his mindset says, “Theirry Henry” more than “Asamoah Gyan.”

Teal Bunbury and Justin Braun battle it out to see which, or rather if at this point, either can be a successful target striker–so desperately needed by the States–on the international scene. We say Braun can play nationally, but Bunbury’s got that better shot.

• Who’s picking it up for JB and HP?

Jonathan Bornstein’s gone south of the border; Heath Pearce gets a Jan Camp break. With Bobby Convey not in camp (you pretty much know what you have there) who’s stepping up at leftback from the likes of Ryan Miller, AJ De La Garza and Anthony Wallace. Perhaps the most fascinating battle in camp!

• Surprised omissions?

Geoff Cameron…thought he’d be there for sure. Maybe Bob Bradley is comfortable knowing what he has (which is why you likely see Robbie Rogers and Heath Pearce left out).

Bobby Convey, the talent is obvious…it’s not about  that. Perhaps Bobby Convey goes JC (Jeff Cunningham) and shows up later in the cycle if he continues to perform.

• Miscellaneous

» Looks like Marvell Wynne is going to see a lot of CB action?

» Great group of forwards…finally…huh?!

More analysis shortly…

Holden, #1 In The Readers’ Ratings

Holden, loved by everyone.

After every game, we as fans love to go through the starting 11 and the substitutes that come off the bench and give everyone ratings. Newspapers and online publications do the same, and I for one immediately gravitate to this section.

It’s a great forum for discussion and debate, and rarely do people completely agree.

Usually on a 1-10 scale, the numbers are meaningless. Aside from 1 being absolutely terrible and 10 amazing (2 numbers I’ve never seen given), the handing out of player ratings is arbitrary. Most journalists who give out these numbers tend to say it’s a quick after thought to round up a piece, or drive readers to view the report.

I for one, have never seen a “key” or explanation as to what each number represents. Does a goal automatically give someone a rating of 6 and higher? Often a casual fan watching on TV might have given Claude Makalele a 5, as that would seem average, and since he doesn’t really do anything spectacular, it would seem about right.

As all we soccer experts know, Claude Makalele was the cog and link up in the Real Madrid sides of the early naughts and Chelsea after that. He was often voted the MVP by his fellow players, because he was the guy that made the engine run, made everyone else look better and gave recognition to a role often left unsung.

Celebrating his goal against Wolves.

So a one game rating of 9 does not make a player Lionel Messi, and maybe they just happened to score a goal, but were pretty useless aside. A rating of 4 does not make a keeper terrible, just cause they let in 3.

What is a clear indication of a players worth in the fans and journalists eyes, is consistency, and in the other Guardian’s, reader match ratings after each league game, they rank Stuart Holden Number 1 (WITH AN AVERAGE OF 7.4!!!!). It’s a good and interesting read, and the final 11 in a 4-4-2 formation may not be the exact top 11 of the season so far (another topic of great discussion debate), but one would have a hard time arguing that these 11 were not having incredible seasons, and the fans have seen  that.

Is he the US midfielder the number 1 player in the premiership so far this season? Probably not, but he’s certainly up there.

Congrats to Stuart Holden and the other 10 for an ultimately meaningless accolade, but one we as fans are proud off!

The Guardian U.K. readers ratings so far…

G – Richard Kingson (Blackpool); D- Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United), Leighton Baines (Everton); M- Samir Nasri (Arsenal), Stuart Holden (Bolton), Luka Modric (Tottenham), Rafael van der Vaart (Tottenham); F- Johan Elmander (Bolton), Andy Carroll (Newcastle).


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