Moving day here at TSG. Just going to link you up with a few pieces and observations.
Let’s just get back in the swing of things with some random musings on a Monday.
• Liverpool Back To the Vanguard
That’s two games and two wins for Liverpool in their 3-6-1. Faced with having few wingers and few outside backs, Kenny Daglish–nearly a decade removed from his last gig–has stirred the pot in Anfield.
It’s a bold move, one that draws attention to and creates excitement around a team that is only shortly removed from being a year-in, year-out Champion’s League contender.
Wait until Andy Carroll gets employed at the one and can bring the ball down for Saurez, Kuyt and Gerrard.
• Two thoughts for Team USA
Two things that I might consider if I were Coach USA.
(1) All subs sit upstairs until they’re called upon
Yes, I get it. Keeping a sub down on the field level keeps their head in the game, keeps them rooting for their fellow countrymen in this case, and has them immediately close if or when they are to be called on.
But, first, there are only three subs a game in most matches, so that means four players won’t get in and one will likely be the keeper (we’ll get back to that.)
Put them up near the press box in one endzone so they can see tactically see the game better.
First, they’ll get a better understanding of what the coach’s strategy is and whether their compatriots are executing it.
Secondly, they’ll learn what precisely they’re supposed, how they’re supposed to do whatever if they go in.
Beyond the match day, they’ll be able to share things with their teammates in practice that they’ve learned–specifically the keeper–and it will be an overall educational experience.
If you’re like us at TSG, looking at X’s and O’s on a graphic or looking at Tuesday’s photos from Turkey, tell a much better story of what’s occurring.
(2) Bring veterans into camp
One of things I loved about Peter Nowak’s Olympic team in 2008 was his calling in of Brian McBride. You don’t conjure up that type of leadership or calmness that Bake brings, especially with a group of youngsters.
One thing I never understand is why a veteran–ideally one who has tens of caps, competed on the world’s biggest stage and has just grown a smidgen to old for international duty–isn’t called in to camp to show the younger players the way, educate them on the game and provide an example.
Sticking the McBride metaphor, wouldn’t Teal Bunbury, Juan Agudelo or Robbie Findley have benefited if he were to take the trip with them to South Africa. More specifically to Bunbury or Agudelo, are they really going to learn more in camp from a veteran in Robbie or one in Brian McBride.
Of course, there are the argument of merit and of seeing as many players in possible.
What about Frankie Hedjuk or Eddie Lewis teaching the leftbacks, Gregg Berhalter, the centerbacks or Pablo Mastroeni educating Jeff Larentowicz (okay that doesn’t work.)
You can’t replace experience, but you can learn from it.
• Ben Folds (In) Nine
Pretty certain that any time an MLS team can get take a qualified risk on a player who has achieved in one of Europe’s top leagues, it’s a good situation.
Charlie Davies–with a goal today in a scrimmage–is a no-lose proposition for DC United….and Sochaux. For Davies, almost as much so.
First, I don’t think it’s any coincidence that I got over ten emails from DC United fans last week who received calls about their season tickets, or potentially purchasing season tickets, when the Davies trial was announced.
Valuable PR obviously.
On the pitch, Davies needs to be fit and able to contribute. If he’s fit, then he’s only going to get better as the season wears on. Davies’ contribution is one that should be weighed at the end of the season, not the end of the first month.
As for Sochaux, they come out smelling good in the short term as well. They put Davies away from Europe, he gets valuable playing time and he’s out of there for a while.
As for CD9…first, let’s assume that he’s fit and that’s known already by DC United–because if Charlie Davies weren’t to be signed on for the full reasons by DCU that would be a major tomato on Davies’ agent Lyle Yorks.
As long as Davies is as far along as he tweets he is, it should be a win for him as well.
Thank you Emirates, for proving that the four-goal lead in football is really the most dangerous. Lots of heart by the Tynesiders especially with their leading scorer now gone.
• EPL USMNT midfield Battle Royale
I’ve been watching the various comments on Michael Bradley, Stu Holden, Jermaine Jones and Jonathan Spector–and even Maurice Edu unfold under a few columns here at TSG.
All I’m saying is that Stu Holden has more tackles and more fouls suffered then the entire lot on the season. Will be very interesting in the 2nd stanza here in the EPL with the Americans.
• MLS on schedule: It’s not about the uber-fans…
…and that’s a good a thing.
No doubt the TV contract is holding up–or held up rather–the MLS schedule.
Lot of chatter coming into TSG about the season being less than two months away and still no schedule. Also, lots of folks talking about how they can’t factor in travel plans.
However, MLS knows that the uber-fans will still find a way to get to away games–and won’t go away from MLS because of a delay in the schedule.
Their focus–and rightfully so in my mind–should be on winning new fans with the TV contract and the scheduling. Hopefully, this will be reflected in the announcement out this Thursday.
That said, for the second year in a row, MLS has allowed a negotiation to go down to the wire and missed the opportunity to build positive marketing buzz going into the season. A minor blemish, in TSG’s opinion, for a well-marketed league.
• One American likely in action today…
On a day with a very light schedule, US U-20 squad member Bobby Wood likely to be in the 18 for 1860 Munich.
• Galaxy & Revs: Still Striker Searching
Some buzz a few weeks ago when John Carew’s name came up with a rumored MLS move. In this article, Carew said he, in fact, had an offer from the Galaxy.
Landon Donovan may think the Galaxy have something special going this year, but with Edson Buddle now one goal and one assist into his European holiday the Galaxy are still looking awfully light up top.
And…courtesy MLSSoccer.com where I found this, the Revolution are apparently interested in South African striker Benni McCarthy.
take…. This is the same Benni McCarthy who ate himself out of the EPL and, with the World Cup in his home country forfeited his spot on the national team when he was found sneaking women into his hotel against team rules.
Ask San Jose how an unmotivated, aging striker (Geovanni) works out in MLS. Take a pass Revs.