And some quick thoughts as we roll into our Spain and Gold Cup coverage:
Per the Washington Post: DaMarcus Beasley is seeking a deal at Pachuca.
Per Brian Strauss and the Sporting News: Herculez Gomez has moved from Pachuca to Tecos.
• A small, abstract positive if Freddy Adu has a positive Gold Cup? Perhaps a little bit more showcasing for Adu to move to a better team more in the limelight or against better competition. That next could have the positive see-saw effect of Adu developing further for the US national team.
A lot hanging in the balance here for Adu and his US Soccer career this June.
• Obscure loser in what we’ve dubbed #fifapocalypse: Sunil Gulati and USSF.
Sure you may suggest that the United States and perhaps a World Cup 2022 bid may yet be in the offing if Gulati and USSF remain mum. However, think of the positive marketing that the federation would be reaping now if they tactfully and quietly voiced their concern after the World Cup voting process.
The United States had an excellent platform to project their concern on the selection process: the technical score of their bid was very strong while Qatar’s ability to host was called into question. Instead the United States, in a very un-American way, decided to keep quiet as a country that does not recognize equal rights made of with the prize.
It is worth remembering that with the acknowledgement of the temporary CONCACAF World Cup qualifying format and the lip service of considering a seasonal switch of the domestic MLS league to the traditional soccer schedule that the United States still pandered to FIFA, although perhaps not monetarily.
All of this to this writer, makes USSF look nothing but weak on the global soccer stage.
• In case you missed it, Brian Sciaretti talked to Timmy Chandler’s agent who commented that it was a mutual decision of everyone involved to forego the Gold Cup. Agent Thomas Kroth also commented that a possible change of heart by Tim Chandler to investigate his German national team potential was not at all behind the move.
While it’s a negative that the US can’t introduce Chandler this June, the move should give US coach Bob Bradley some leverage in dealing with Nurnberg, Chandler’s club team, in the future.
• Disagree with Sports Illustrated Steve Davis’s dislaimer yesterday that “If Stu Holden were healthy, we wouldn’t be having the Freddy Adu conversation.”
Holden’s value and role seem to be continually mislabeld by many. (Perhaps TSG has it wrong?)
For the US, since 2009, Holden has never played in a true attacking role. Yes, he played more advanced at the 2009 Gold Cup, but upon moving to the “A” team, he’s always played one one of the midfield flanks. Bob Bradley’s primarily used Holden in the attack to link north-south to a striker or forward in front of him or to drive up that flank and issue a cross, not to create offense on the interior.
For his club, Bolton, Holden has been used much like Bob Bradley has used Michael Bradley, as an advanced CDM (pardon the expression). Holden has typically been tasked defensively with taking the first attacker coming into the center of the pitch and then deployed offensively as link in moving the ball from the backline up the field. Not as a #10 or CAM.
Conversely, Clint Dempsey, Benny Feilhaber, Eddie Gaven (as rumors have circulated that Gaven was extended a camp invite) or even Mix Diskerud have been used a more of the an attacking midfielder for the States and this is presumably the role where you would try a Freddy Adu. A role where a player can take on a defender and beat him if the opportunity presents itself or slot a pass to a teammate for a scoring opportunity if the defense is drawn.
Also, don’t rule out Bob Bradley using Adu–because of his speed with the ball and handles–as more of a second, withdrawn striker from time to time.
Next up: Our TSG Official US vs. Spain Preview