Archive for December, 2010

Thursday: Los Angeles Galaxicos, Buddle, Davies, More…

Thursday:

• Los Angeles Galaxicos?

Sweet Bayer Leverkusen.....I'm coming home!

But can they get there?

The MLS Re-Entry Draft, Phase II, went down Wednesday and the Los Angeles Galaxy came away with Juan Pablo Angel and Luke Sassano who they then parlayed into the Iron Lion, Frankie “The Haircut” Hedjuk.

After bumper-carring through 2010 with former greybeard USMNTers Gregg Berhalter, Jovan Kirovski and Chris Klein in varying roles, Bruce Arena and his national team friends are back to try it again with Hedjuk and Juan Pablo Angel, both of whom crested the peak of their careers years ago and are choo-chooing down the other side. Bad moves.

There is no more clearer statement made yesterday by the Galaxy than “Win now!” and there is no coach that will be under the tractor beam of the microscope than Bruce Arena.

In fact, you could argue that now that Arena has assembled a team–Arena convinced Juan Pablo Angel to come to New York in 2007 and Frankie Hedjuk was key cog in Arena’s 2006 World Cup (disaster)–that only he would. Arena won’t have to get buy-in for “his way” and there shouldn’t be any chemistry issues, but a look back at 2009 shows three hot button issues that Arena will have to confront….and that he failed to in 2009.

First, depth.

The Galaxy came out smoking to start the 2010 campaign. They were a pleasure to watch, but then Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle were called to World Cup duty and a chain reaction of events exposed the fraility behind LA’s best 11. With Donovan and Buddle gone, young UCLA stalwart Michael Stephens was keyed on by opponents and slammed–hard–into the rookie wall. To his interior, Juninho with Stephens faltering and Donovan absent had little room to work his linking magic and that only contributed to his inconsistency–inconsistency not to be unexpected from a 21-year-old player.

On the backline, the chain reaction continued as Gregg Berhalter went down and Omar Gonzalez had communication issues with Bruce Arena’s first choice replacement Leonardo. With more pressure on keeper Donovan Ricketts both through the backline and now with an offense unable to possess the ball as much, the elder keeper was exposed for being more ho-hum than awe inspiring, displaying a shocking lack of organization and clear slowing of his reaction time.

Result: A midseason swooning and inability to regain peak form.

Hand in hand with the first point, goes lack of adaptability and development. Let’s start with the latter.

In the beginning of the year last year, when the Galaxy were torpedoing opponents I mentioned that Arena had the luxury at that point of bringing along players like Cazumba, Tristan Bowen and Juninho. Arena, whether through lack of accompanying veteran guidance or one-game-at-a-time focus, did nothing of the sort.

As the the season wore on, Arena–in an eerie similarity to yesterday’s moves–went back to his tested veterans as the exclusive adjustment to right a mediocre vessel. Gone was Tristan Bowen–though admitedly injured frequently–from playing time. Cazumba? A late game defense replacment often at best.

Kirovski couldn't turn back the clock in 2010...

In game–are you ready for this–Jovan Kirovski to play both midfield and forward. (Perhaps nowhere more than forward last year the Galaxy lacked depth–actually…certainly.)

In came Eddie Lewis to “fly” down the left flank.

Seattle series nonwithstanding Arena’s “veteran” moves often imploded on him rather than resulting in inspired play.

The Galaxy flailed. For a game that TSG was at in San Jose in August, a visibily and audibly frustrated side hollered at one another as passes led to turnovers….as offensive space for the Galaxy disintegrated…as teams recognized they could could outrace and-or outmuscle the Galaxy and that Arena would not make sufficient adjustments.

Which leads us to point three. Steel.

A late game loss at home to the Red Bulls saw a an overmatched Dema Kovalenko (clearly showing the season’s wear-and-tear) and Juninho can dominated by an average-at-best Rafael Marquez and youngster Tony Tchani.

The Galaxy severely lack steel in the midfield. A Jeff Larentowitz-type would be godsend, even a Dax McCarty a bonus. Though players of that ilk are likely unattainable now.

In 2011 when a team is owning the midfield, who will the Galaxy turn to as their defensive stopper? And further who can they get now with their current gaggle of players’ compensation is already abutting the salary the cap?

Perhaps Leonardo will get another run out with Omar Gonzalez and we’ll see AJ De La Garza as a central midfield defender (that’s probably Arena’s best current roster option). Will Frankie Hedjuk play an extremely deep lying midfielder-defender like were seeing Johnny Heiteinga play to such success with Everton in the EPL these days?

But these are Arena’s issues to confront in 2011 where–and we haven’t even talked about the potential of a Ronaldhino, the lack of a speed player up top, a potential Buddle move, or a potential Landon Donovan loan (Arena’s comments to the contrary yesterday nonwithstanding)–he’ll have a lot more to accomplish than he even did yesterday.

Here’s your early checklist for a 2011 MLS Cup raising experience Big Bruce and Los Angeles: (1) Develop depth or find it cheaply somewhere, (2) Get some steel in the midfield (3) be more experimental in the beginning of the season so you can adapt later on.

• Buddle

Update 12/16 12PM PST: Galaxy spokesperson says Bruce Arena expects to sign Edson Buddle to a new contract to be with team in 2011. (Not a complete denial of anything).

———-

As we actually reported yesterday, the Los Angeles Galaxy confirmed that Edson Buddle was “in Birmingham” until “around the 22nd or so” of December.

When prompted by the question of whether it was training or a trial, TSG got a “no confirmation on whether it’s just training or a trial.” In media speak, that’s a non-denial of a trial in our mind. Why? Because if it was a training the team would look to make that public to ease fan issues (for peace of mind, perhaps season tickets). (In stark contrast, SportingKC laughed at the “mountain of the molehill” that was create with the Teal Bunbury-Stoke news and told us outright that Bunbury was “training” with Stoke City.)

So in our mind, Buddle’s on trial and the work permit thing will be figured out.

Cameron Jerome...making Edson Buddle to Birmingham more of a possibility with each miss....

Perhaps that “trial” factored into the Juan Pablo Angel move yesterday. Either way, it would appear that the New Rochelle native is one player that the Galaxy can ill-afford to lose unless they have a Plan B already set in motion. As we mentioned during the Galaxy’s final game against the Union last year, Arena overused Buddle that game and down the stretch often sending him to battle two and even three players on the opponent’s defense for over the top ball.

You’re not going to find an easy replacement for the ability to combine that “targetness” with Buddle’s scoring prowess.

On Birmingham’s side of the ball, a Buddle move makes a ton of sense in our mind. Big man Cameron Jerome has disappointed this year, with only three goals on multiple chances (we’ve witnessed) and Serb Nikola Zigic is rumored to the apple of many a big club’s eye in the January window.

Edson Buddle price-tag in our mind? Somewhere between $2-4M.

Another addendum here to silly season…for now.

Update: A 2nd-hand BBC Report makes a trial seem to be the correct label as well.

• CD90%

Charlie Davies out today pleading for a chance to get on the pitch against Bordeaux this weekend.

I like that striker’s squawk. I really do. I like the bravado. I like the sense that they are the most important person on the pitch and they gain attention because it just heaps the pressure on them even more and the good ones like that even more.

But at this point our good friend Charlie, you’ve got to let your actions speak louder than words. Everyone’s still behind you–boneheaded speeding ticket move and all–we’re looking for an “I told you motherf*ckers” not a “Watch what I’m about to….”

Keep pushing though.

• And Now For Gooch?

TSG mancrushed Pastore re-ups–big time with Palermo through 2015 with a major $60M buyout escalation clause. Who’s the bidder? Barca? Real Madrid? in about a year?

Sadly enough, I’d love to see him and–gulp–Chelsea is he’s allowed the lattitude to control the flow of play. Can’t see that happening at Barca (Messi) or Real Madrid (Ronaldo)

Can miss a chance to showcase Pastore. Thanks to Eric Giardini on Twitter for the info.

And thank you VidRiver on YouTube…the Gonzalo Higuain Euro Music Train just dropped us off in Javier Pastore Hair Band Land! (Is that a Cat Stevens riff in the background…wow this video is just TOO AWESOME!)

Wait…wait…did someone just say….

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Cupcakes? Check. Who’s Camping In January?

Camp cupcake invites are supposedly out…tomorrow. We know one guy already gearing up to cascade past the San Fernando Valley into LAX.

Who's cupcaking in January?

Also, we’ll be making the short hop on Virgin down from SFO to take in a practice at some point and talk to the guys. We’ll be at the Chile game as well.

Here’s a revised look–our best stab–at whose name makes tomorrow’s announcement tomorrow:

GOALIES: Kevin Hartman, Nick Rimando, Sean Johnson, Bill Hamid

The skinny: No change from our list below. Sean Johnson was solid over in Europe for Generation Adidas. We still think Bradley takes a look under the hood of Hamid.

Also in contention: Will Hesmer, Matt Pickens.

———-

DEFENDERS: Kevin Alston, Omar Gonzalez, Clarence Goodson, Chad Marshall, Heath Pearce*, Marvell Wynne, Tim Ream, Sean Franklin, Michael Parkhurst

The skinny: Removed Ike Opara who didn’t have a stellar Generation Adidas campaign we’re told. Gale Agbossoumounde is supposed to head out on loan to Sweden I believe.

Don’t see a call-in for Nat Borchers–just can’t see him cracking the central defense. Jay DeMerit…could be call-in.

AJ De La Garza just misses out from our original list and Bobby Convey…flat out, no idea?

I remember watching Jeff Cunningham last year at January camp and with his age and demeanor he really looked like an interloper. I just don’t see Convey going to a Jan Camp…maybe if he continues his form a friendly camp next year.

———

Cameron will be there, Bornstein's gone fi$hing in Monterey, Mex...

TWEENERS: Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea

The skinny: Because we can, we introduce a new position here. The Tweener today….only temporary. The following two guys could play pretty much anywhere, but striker and goalie and your guess is as good as mine.

We learned that Geoff Cameron is on the radar of some teams overseas for his size and ability to play across the backline. Coach Bradley played him primarily at right mid last year in camp. Brek Shea just got lauded by Atletico Madrid…for his central defense play.

———-

MIDFIELDERS: Alejandro Bedoya, Benny Feilhaber, Eddie Gaven, Jeff Larentowicz, Dax McCarty, Robbie Rogers, Mikkel Diskerud, Collen Warner

The skinny: Dropped Tristan Bowen as he now deals with a transfer crosstown and I just don’t see. Free Benny Feilhaber plays the midfield quarterback again for Bradley. Remember, Feilhaber attended nearby Northwood High School in Irvine…only makes sense to get him in there.

And even money says the pairing in central midfield against Chile is Feilhaber and Larentowicz. Just smells right there.

Logan Pause may, just may slip in there as Coach Sweats needs a little steel in the middle.

Possible sleeper: Dilly Duka.

———-

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

The skinny: We drop Jack Mac from Philly…though he may slip in and toss in Chris Wondolowski in his place. I’d like to see Jack Mac get a spot though. Edson Buddle may get the call as well, but I kind of feel that with Bradley not playing him when he was in amazing form for the World Cup, he’s not going to select him in a little lower value January camp.

From December 6th, 2010:

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Wednesday Notes: Buddle, Bunbury, Draft, More…

Update: Did you follow all of that on the MLS Re-Entry Draft:

Captain Conrad....with his infamous bobblehead.

Round 1

  • D.C. United: Josh Wolff
  • Chivas USA: Jimmy Conrad
  • New England Revolution: Ryan Cochrane
  • LA Galaxy: Juan Pablo Angel
  • Chicago Fire: Cory Gibbs
  • Sporting KC: Frankie Hejduk
  • Seattle Sounders: Chris Seitz
  • Columbus Crew: Jeff Cunningham
  • LA Galaxy: Luke Sassano
  • Colorado Rapids: Tyrone Marshall

Round 2

  • New England Revolution: Fred

• Juan Pablo Angel to Los Angeles. That is a money move, however if you’re a Galaxy fan you have to wonder why the Galaxy couldn’t have found a way to bring in a second striker last year (so desperately needed). Angel should have enough in the tank and with Buddle battling at the target man he’ll play off him beautifully. Looking forward to that first LA-NY match.

• Don’t understand anyone taking a chance on Fred at this point, regardless of round. The last thing you want is inconsistency in someone who generates–or is supposed to–generate the offense.

• Chris Seitz meet Kasey Keller…for a year?

——-

Apologies TSG was “conferencing” in (beautiful) Half Moon Bay yesterday and is today. Reports still qualitative (ha), but sporadic.

Some things to both chase down and follow-up on today:

Ground control to Major Shea?

• The Next Gooch?

Just got turned on to Extratime Radio from MLS. Good work by those guys. They had a segment on Monday where they had a phenomenal interview with MLS talent director Alfono Mondelo who accompanied the Generation Adidas trip this month to Spain. He made sure to belabor and belabor one big takeaway.

That takeaway? That Euro scouts–Atletico Madrid specifically–raved about Brek Shea…at centerback. Shea moved back to the position later in the scrimmage against the Madrid reserves.

Mondelo went on to say that Bob Bradley should highly consider Shea for a centerback role at January Camp because of his aerial strength and because he was cool on the ball in distribution.

So that would leave January Camp with two lefties in Tim Ream and Brek Shea at worst to compete for that centerback spot if Coach Sweats heeds that advice. Sounds to me that Sweats should at least cover his ass because of the Real comment and trot Shea out at least for part of a scrimmage, no?

Might–and yes this point TSG has belabored and belabored–Bradley also try Shea on the outside at leftback. It would only seem natural that either Shea and or Robbie Rogers get a runout back there.

Also getting plaudits, the Columbus Crew’s Dilly Duka.

A good podcast, check it out.

• Buddle To Led Zeppland?

Word from Alexi Lalas on Twitter last night was that Edson Buddle is trialing for EPL side Birmingham FC. If you remember this piece from last year (and if you don’t just Google “Jozy Altidore Birmingham and…tada! TSG has the first result), we thought that Altidore would be a perfect complement to what Alex McLeish was trying to do up at St. Andrews.

As for Buddle, watch out if he impresses at Birmingham. He’s certainly got the talent and the body for the EPL and now matured, playing with slightly more service and being challenged away from MLS. Sounds interesting. The Galaxy have no comment on this as of reaching them this morning and the report of Buddle to Birmingham has not surfaced elsewhere…yet.

(And to go back in that article, spot on in the commentary… TSG was wrong. Hull City, in retrospect, bad move for Altidore.)

Sporting KC "stoked" and sure Bunbury is merely training.

• Striking Up Some Excitement

More from Generation Adidas folks in that Teal Bunbury and Juan Agudelo had a great partnership going on the trip that saw them play Atletico and Rayo Vallecano

Teal Bunbury is in Stoke City right now doing a training arranged through the league. It’s not a trial….it’s a training…specifically and without equivocation. He’ll be back in the United States in a few days according to Sporting KC and then on the field for the Faux Wizards come 2011 looking to honor the four, yes four, I believe remaining years on his contract.

As for Agudelo, the Red Bulls are talking brash after Mondelo said Atletico expressed interest in the promising striker.

• Re-Entry

Expect names like Juan Pablo Angel (Philly?), Cory Gibbs (DC United?), and Jimmy Conrad (Fire?) to go in today’s re-entry draft.

Miscellaneous

• Please to announce Gerard Houllier has approved TSG’s request for an interview with Eric Lichaj and apparently he didn’t want him interviewing before his first start. Pepper us with questions and we’ll try to sneak a select few in.

• Tim Howard wins US performance of the year for his gritty, rib-bruising effort against England June 12th. That’s the performance we voted for, you?

• The USMNT Camp Cupcake roster comes out tomorrow.

• Frank Simek, the forgotten defender. That 2007 Gold Cup seems so long ago, doesn’t it.

A Little Last-Minute TSG X-Mas Shopping, You Know…

Incomplete of course, but a few things we still need to check off…:

For you Sunil....

For Sunil Gulati:

The Sepp Blatter Punching Bag….For someone who couldn’t punch the United States ticket to hosting the World Cup 2022. We also get Gulati one of those disappearing ink pens for when he has to resign Bob Bradley in the Winter of 2014 because Jurgen Klinsmann takes the Chivas coaching gig but then subsequently gets fired and becomes available….finally.

For Maurice Edu:

An injury free campaign followed by a transfer to Serie A or the EPL so he can strut his top level stuff.

For JP Dellacamera:

The John Harkes Ventriloquist Doll. Here’s the plan for Dellacamera. He chloroforms Harkes, takes the doll and throws the voices himself. He doesn’t do this to improve the broadcast but more just not to lose his mind at having the worst seat in the house.

Last time we use the word “chloroform” I would imagine on TSG as well.

For Andy Najar:

….Dax McCarty. Congrats you already scored brother with the stocking-stuffer-sized center mid who can move the ball.. What an early gift! Can you say, “Switch Field!”

And to Ben Olsen, a five-game win streak to open the season. The young coach deserves it. Which reminds us…

For Najar, Mwanga and Le Toux:

Eligibility.

For Carlos Tevez:

Some respect…give me a break. Hasn’t he pledged his heart to West Ham, Manchester United, Manchester City and Maradona ad nauseum?

And while we’re at to Dimitar Berbatov, how about a conscience or some drive or a super tight elastic manband to act as a tourniquet.

Yeah, that last one.

For Taylor Twellman:

Peace of mind…literally and a megaphone to shout at youth soccer coaches from his pulpit in Boston.

For Detroit:

The MLS franchise they deserve. You get one too Atlanta and you Florida. Heck, who else wants one before the Cosmos marketing machine gobbles up another city’s slot?

No need to worry about a FIFA regulation 20-teams now, is there?

For the Los Angeles Galaxy:

Wisdom….to pass on the mercurial potential transfer-in of Ronaldinho…that move has disaster written all over it.

For Fox Soccer:

High definition cameras and some studio sets not made out of sound proof foam walling, jerseys on hangers, and/or paper mache.

Other one, honey...

For my daugher, Little Miss Shinguardian:

…a left foot just like Juan Vargas.

Nestled into a hilltop in Tuscany in a Fiorentina kit is Juan Vargas. The Peruvian international would be “that household name” if Peru ever made a run at World Cup qualifying.

A left foot...just like Vargas...

Vargas is a left overlapping defender in the vain of a Danny Alves or Ashley Cole which a little bit more one-on-one break down ability. This year the prodigious defender has been moved up to midfielder and rumors have circulated that Barcelona are sniffing around.

Oh momma, can you say “Left footed defender” and “College scholarship to Brown!”

For Bob Bradley:

…Teal Bunbury and Juan Agudelo buddy-buddy.

A great point made by Dean in the comment section Monday to follow up on Taylor Twellman’s comments on a strike partnership for Jozy Altidore:

“I agree with Taylor on needing a better pairing for Jozy Altidore with the National team. Remember when he was paired with Juan Pablo Angel in the Red Bulls?”

Let’s hope the January camp sees a developing strike partnership between Agudelo and Bunbury up top as a start. Word is the pair dazzled in their recent Generation Adidas tour.

…or, or we could just get Coach Sweats a wider field so he can play seven central midfielders.

For USSF:

Some…cough..sack.

To stand up to FIFA if there was corruption in the World Cup 2022 bid process that is known even if it can’t be proven and too come out publicly in admonishment of statements like Sepp Blatter’s yesterday on gay sex in Qatar at 2022. Maybe Jews shouldn’t go to Temple on Saturday’s. Or maybe women shouldn’t dress as they deem appropriate too?

Seriously, the…world is okay with this? USSF…is..okay with this? C’mon land of the free; home of the brave.

Your done with this look, right Edgar?

 

For Robbie Findley…

Prescription goggles…oh you didn’t know? Okay, let’s start with an eye exam (that at least fakes that diagnosis.)

For Arsene Wenger:

No goalie…ever. It’s almost like Wenger is teasing his fans year after year as they keep asking the question, “If we only had a first rate goalie.” May you transfer in Robert Green in January. Done, dusted.

For Charlies Davies:

A chauffeur, 24-7. Same goes for Sporting KC coach big Pete Vermes (sorry buddy, you asked for it.)

This is...Dan Flynn

For Dan Flynn:

Who? An identity.

For the Columbus Crew:

Respect for their elders…oops…too late.

Maybe I can paddle out with Frankie now though?

For Kyle Martino:

A David Beckham suit, as he mentions here. Congrats to our good friend Martino who will now be known always as Eva Amuri +1 (and be better for it.) Congratulations on the engagement and get ready to be a perennial red carpet date good man.

Or you just may be a…wait for it…a Dead Man Walking?

For our good friends, the American Outlaws:

A flashing neon sign in ESPN’s offices that broadcasts, “That’s not Sam’s Army” every time John Harkes or Julie Foudy are about to speak.

Or maybe just shock them when they drop the wrong moniker on the burgeoning US Soccer Supporter Group.

For Ives Galarcep:

What do you think he wants? What do you think he is hoping for? Do you think he’ll like what you get him? (All in good cheer.)

For Mikey Bradley:

A transfer to Roma to replace Daniel De Rossi. How ironic, an American to replace the most hated Italian by American soccer fans. Seems so very…Mike Bradley-like.

For Stu Holden:

An audition in central midfield where he belongs for the national team. Can’t show this strike enough, can we?


For Don Garber:

Some TV ratings and a little more respect for a job well done. Now let Donovan…if he wants…go in peace.

For Landon Donovan:

A dog walker…so he can explore the pitches overseas and maybe stay for good?

For the USMNT:

An annual match against Mexico.

To our good friends at the Freddy Fund:

Just a little more coin to get that field. Good luck guys. We’re pulling for ya!

To the Colorado Rapids

Smelling salts to make sure their owner is still alive and consideration for a DP to follow up on their championship campaign.

To Sporting KC:

Season ticket holders in abundance. Merry Christmas! Good luck with that stadium! For the New England Revolution….GET ON THE BUS TRAIN! (Thanks Patrick!)

For The Shin Guardian:

Some advertisers at some point in the future, some budget and some more great reception from players, coaches, etc that we request interviews from. Thanks again to all of you.

Additions:

For our friend Super Revs (fan) Prairie Rose Clayton:

A Qatar constitutional change impacting dress code, etc.

Her response: “If you added the Qatar line, you’d have to do it not on my behalf, but on behalf of the entire nation of Brazil.”

Our reply: “How bout more like on behalf on everyone going to the World Cup…especially the Brits?”

Feliz Navidad: Everyone Loves Xavi

Maybe the pops in me is making me soft here on TSG….or not.

Barca’s Xavi with an adoring fan:

The Effects Of A Concussion….Story

Twellman having an impact beyond the field...

The Taylor Twellman Interview: Part I, Part II

With permission from Eastside FC in Washington State, it was great to be able to repost the below post from their blog and a credit again to Taylor Twellman for sharing his story so that others can be motivated to be preventative.

——

Proactive...

Here’s an eye-opening interview with Taylor Twellman of the New England Revolution by The Shin Guardian yesterday.  He talks about the impact of concussions that led to his retirement.  It’s a sobering read.

Thanks to Coach Ryan Dortch for sending it along….

It sparked the following message from Director of Coaching Chance Fry to all our coaches.  Coincidentally we had a training session on concussions last night.  Chance’s email reflects the club’s position on concussions and playing soccer.

Dear Coaches,

It was great to see most of you last night. Ryan Dortch sent this story to me about Taylor Twellman, one of the best strikers the U.S. has ever produced, who had his career cut short with multiple head injuries. Yesterday’s presentation was an excellent reminder about where the game stands in the order of importance.

It is one thing to have a player “loopy” and quite another to have them in a wheel chair or even dead…..and as Dr. Laker explained, the gap between those scenarios can be very small. I realize that most of us grew up playing when it showed toughness to get back out there after having your bell rung. Now there is so much more research and proof that we have to trump toughness with being smart and safe.

The slide last night that hit me the most was the one that asked…”What is this game worth?”  In comparison to the health and lives of all athletes, whether they play for us or not, all games (including state, regional, national or even higher) are really meaningless.  If you always keep that in mind, you can rest assured that you will make sound decisions for your players and you will always be supported by the club.

Have a great break in December!

And more here from a later post:

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Confirmed: USA vs. Egypt, February 9th 2011

The United States confirmed today a Februrary 9th, 2011 friendly against Egypt to be held at Cairo International Stadium in Cairo, Egypt.

Dempsey, going for it against Egypt...

Say one thing about life under Bob Bradley. The team tries to play the best competition. The confirmed schedule for 2011 includes World Cup attendee Chile at HDC on January 22nd in Carson and now Egypt on February 3rd in Cairo.

A much rumored March date against powerhouse Argentina has been snaking through the grapevine without confirmation as of yet. Most expect it to happen.

The triumvirate of 2011 opponents follows on the heals of the United States playing friendlies against both Brazil and the Netherlands in 2010 after closing 2009 against the likes of World Cup caliber Denmark and Slovakia away as well.

Expect a squad of “A” teamers for the game Pyramid Land as Cairo is just a shade under 5-hour flight from London. Excellent.

If you remember the last time the United States played Egypt it was the 2009 Confederation’s Cup and the States need a confluence of circumstances, an Italian mauling by Brazil (happened) and 3-goal differential thereafter by the States (they got it) to advance in South Africa.

Charlie Davies had a Conor Casey-esque goal and Michael Bradley sounded off to the cameras, Alexi Lalas and everyone else about disrespecting on his pops and Team USA.

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