• Apology #1: Completely flubbed the Borussia Dortmund preview over the weekend and as such we’re not fit to comment on their shellacking of Bayern Munich with a starting team that averages 22.8 years of age.
• Apology #2: Daniel Sturridge. We were wrong. You are good. And you’re actually making that Fernando Torres purchase (wouldn’t Chelsea rather have someone like Ashley Young creating some width?) look pretty short-sighted.
• Apology #3: Scotty Parker with one of the best goals–easily–of 2011. Parker with a crafty little give and go received a pass back on the wrong foot and toe poked the ball in. Ho-hum you say? That toe poke was passed Pepe Reina and clinked the inside of the left post….oh and it was near the 18’!
We mused it on Saturday. Kind of hard to put Michael Bradley in as a starter against Argentina unless he starts getting some games in our opinion….if only because Stu Holden and Maurice Edu are playing so masterfully. Then there’s Jermaine Jones.
Will be very interesting to see Bob Bradley does unless MB90 starts going 90.
• Shilling for Foreign Cash
Had this sentiment for a while and just not keen on a whole column on it. Added bonus of a reserve league and the increased talent level seeing the pitches in MLS these days?
How about bringing in foreign dollars on players sales (not consequential yet, I know), in other words using foreign investment to fund the domestic league.
Hiccup here: Probably a bit easier if the transfer seasons matched, you know?
• Milan v. Napoli
A methodical Milan squad today (excepting Robinho here who is quietly having a wonderful season) versus the frenetic chaos that is the Napoli attack.
If Milan wins they build on their Serie A lead, if Napoli wins, they co-habitate that top spot with the Rossoneri in the race for the big cannoli.
The game is on ESPN3.com and FSC at 11:45 PT.
• Buddle’s Bundle
Edson Buddle scores (on Luis Robles) in FC Ingolstadt 04 4-1 win over Karlsruher.
By my recollection, that’s six games (only three as a starter?), two goals, and 1 assist for the US striker who came in straight from an offseason regimen and plays for one of the poorer Bundesliga 2 sides currently (read: “not great service”).
• U-17, but not playing like it.
The US youngsters captured the CONCACAF U-17 title for the Yanks last night. Nathan Smith with the exclamation point boombosa in extra time.
Arshavin-esque? Name it!
• Africa: The rich getting richer?
Ghana, the only African nation to make it to the Round of 16 at World Cup 2010.
Now, word out of London (courtesy DTH in the TSG commentary section), that super Arsenal starlet Emmanuel Frimpong–who had donned the Three Lions garb at the U-17 level–will likely play for the Black Stars.
• Mind Your Wicket
Speaking of Arsenal, the Carling Cup runner-ups, who somewhat incredulously allowed an Obafemi Martens open-netter in the waning minutes of regulation, Professor Arsene Emirates and his troops will need to hold the fort in a hurry.
Leyton Orient, who surprised Arsenal, at the end of regulation just two Saturday’s ago, pays a visit in the race for the next piece of silverware, the FA Cup. How will Arsene deploy in this one?
I feel for Arsenal fans–and got some stick on Twitter for some jokes–but Arsenal is cursed at keeper. Like the clichéd business axiom (“insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”), Arsene Wenger still believes he can “skimp” on a keeper and develop one with all the skills over time.
It just doesn’t work like that. Good keepers are imported (Van Der Saar, Cech, Reina, Howard to name a few).
Just to break the spell, you have to get one. Who cares if every team holds you ransom? It’s a known weakness. Just bring in Hugo Lloris already.