We’ll be back to regularly scheduled programming here shortly at TSG.
• Kyle Beckerman, out for Wednesday Concacaf Champion’s League.
According to RSL GM Garth Laerway, “In the 37-game unbeaten streak at home we’ve played 10 times without Kyle Beckerman. We’re 7-0-3. So 10 out of 10 times when we’ve been in this position, needing the result we need we’ve succeeded.”
Take a step back. Yes, that’s a tribute to a few things. First, Jason Kreis and his system. Second, the outstanding centerback pairing behind him.
But consider this. Kyle Beckerman–the Dale Murphy of MLS–arguably not quite good enough for Bob Bradley’s USMNT A team. Beckerman, the lone holding midfielder for RSL.
The stat speaks to the power of playing with possession. Limiting chances for the other team when a key central piece of cover is missing.
By the way, loved that Real Salt Lake wore their Club America unis in Monterrey. That was too funny.
• Rumors abound that Jersey kid Giuseppi Rossi is wanted at the Camp Nou. Got to be honest. That’s be a near perfect pick-up for Barca with Rossi able to play up top on the inside or or outside. Yes, I’d like to see it happen.
• A wonderful piece penned by Tim Ream in the New York Times blog. Ream talks about his mentoring by Mexican international and Barca alum Rafa Marquez. Take this season for it Ream and then apply it as you go to Europe to challenge. Same with you Juan Agudelo. Take the year and then go challenge yourself.
Yesterday, in the commentary, discussion on Liverpool’s up-and-coming backline bookends in Jim Flanagan and Jackie Robinson. They’re 18- and 19-years-old respectfully.
• Mentioned on Twitter yesterday. A “good” goal (1:48) by US national Chris Rolfe over the weekend up in Danishland, but why does the US soccer media feel the need to fawn over each time a US striker scores a goal abroad. Shouldn’t the US players be good enough to do that.
The disposition to “See Striker A score” and “anoint the return of said Striker A” to the national team needs to be curbed. Consistency is what should matter on the value meter. Ironically, or not, Rolfe’s goal game against the 2nd worst Danish league defense against a keeper that FC Nordsjælland was trying to replace at the beginning of the year. Yes, the curmudgeon in us is back.
• Business of soccer:
Last year we gave our MLS Player of the Week award to Lyle Yorks for his ability to hypnotize MLS into lining Benny Feilhaber’s pockets with no other suitors in sight.
This week, we will bestow the award early to Sporting KC’s Kyle Rogers who kicked of a Teal Bunbury, Juan Agudelo twitter follower-52-card-pick-up contest.
In case you didn’t know Kyle’s Sporting KC team plays at New York this weekend. So another case of a smaller team using bigger team’s marketing dollars to get their name out. Nice job Kyle.
And then there were four…..UEFA Champion’s League back in action today with Manchester United taking on Schalke 04.
Key match-up in this one? Schalke’s right flank versus United’ left. Jefferson Farfan with an overlapping Atsuto Uchida (the first Japanese footballer to play for a team that reached the semi-finals of the Champion’s League) versus Nani and Patrice Evra.
Other than that, look out for two of the best false nines in the business, Wayne Rooney and Raul trying to wreak havoc on the other team’s defense.
(Oh, and we love reposting just how Javier Hernandez got smuggled into the EPL. Good read if you haven’t read it on TSG before.
• Stoke City versus Wolverhampton in the Barclays on Tuesday. Or two teams that love the foul the crap out of others.