Archive for May, 2011

Gold Cup 2011: What’s Your Yankee Brew?

And it’s finally back!

These guys, um, yeah, they got it covered...

The Beer & Soccer Series. Bang!

Today, we offer just a morsel, a tidbit, a spec of the beer and footie pairings for your 2011 Gold Cup enjoyment. A primer, if you will.

And basically if you have a question–it’s the 2nd half and Panama is up 1-0 on the beloved States and about to take a corner kick. I need the perfect beer that’s going to knock that ball out of the box–it gets answered right here. Just drop it in the comments.

(Our first entry in the series. Our second here.)

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Now, Our Experts

Professor Free Beer Movement, educating on what responsibility really means when it comes to beer.

He’s the reigning winner of the Texas–that’s a BIG state–Social Media Award and he does it all with beer…and a computer.

Say hello to Dan from the Free Beer Movement He’s like the Xavi of soccer and beer. He’ll glady pass many around for free each game and watch his buddies celebrate.

Eric Giardini knows everything there is to know about Roma, Totti and Serie A. He hails from DC but he might as well be checking in from ‘da Boot. Giardini accurately predicted the Landon Donovan to Roma “news” when Thomas DiBenedetto became owner would be nothing but a rumor….4 months ago!

He’s just as omniscient about picking his–and your–fermentations as well.

Scott Riley is the head brewmaster at Die Hipster Brewing, the purveyor of such fine, smooth libations as Dax McCarthy Pale Ale and Kyle Beckerman Pale Ale. He’s also been paid to write about beer…by GQ nonetheless. You handsome devil, you, Scott.

This next participant was the classy digital media voice of Sporting Kansas City and is now doing damage as the “current strategist” for the new Sporting Club membership product.

He’s so connected in , so up on, tech that he knew about Foursquare when it was Threesquare. He goes by the name Kyle Rogers and he knows almost just as much about libation. However, he’ll gladly tell you the following is (was) his claim to fame.

Al Gore may have invented the Internet, but "Web 2.0" didn't arrive until Rogers says it did.

“Grew up playing sports against current SKC center back Matt Besler. He nutmegged me once pretty bad during a high school game, but it was totally an accident.”

Our next expert is John Nyen. A Liverpool fan, a Timbers fan, and from what we’ve heard, personally responsible for keeping Denver’s British Bulldog Footie Pub in business. His contributions are always valued around TSG as well.

World Football Daily is the only daily English language show exclusively, yet this next contributor goes by the name Rafa, but he’s a fan of historic Scottish team, Glasgow Rangers. Go figure. Nevertheless, Rafa Gonzalez, producer, World Football Daily.

…oh and our final panelist?

Well he doesn’t need any introduction.

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Video: The US’s 23-Man Gold Cup Roster

Jay Bell does the hard work, slogs long works and then pops this video out there–filled with contemporary clips–for a motion picture look at who’s in play to grab the Gold Cup trophy.

Thanks Jay.

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Do Jay a favor if you would. Let him know some suggestions below for a video compilation of those players that didn’t get the call. Thanks.

The Day After: The 2011 US Gold Cup Roster

Bob Bradley was in a chipper mood on Monday’s conference call with reporters, addressing questioners by name and asking some how they’ve been.

Here we string together some thoughts on the US Gold Cup roster:

Chandler, incredibly not named on the day...

• On Timothy Chandler: Clear from Bob Bradley ‘s pre-roster announcement sentiments that he expected to have Chandler with the team.

And Timmy Chandler is very much a Bob Bradley type of player; you could actually feel Bob Bradley’s giddiness when he talked about him (“a very exciting player” phrase was used a few times).

Seems to be “concern” that Timmy Chandler isn’t cap-tied and now won’t be this summer. We’re going to try and get our German correspondent on the story.

I would think Chandler’s non-inclusion is more a matter of negotiation between FC Nurnberg and Bob Bradley and USSF rather than a change of sentiment or inquiry from the German federation. Germany is stacked at outside back with Phil Lahm, Jerome Boateng and even Sedar Tasci.

Additionally, most of Germany’s players come up through the system; it’s important to their team ethos.

That said, the curious thing is that this seems a perfect opportunity for FC Nurnberg not to dispute a call-up. It’s offseason. Steve Cherundolo is clearly the number one, relegating Chandler–for now–to a back-up role at least in Game 1 and Game 2.

And you would also think that Bob Bradley would want to see Chandler against a team like Spain where the flanker with the herky-jerky stride would appear a perfect foil for Iniesta ahead of Cherundolo on the right flank. (Okay, maybe I just feel that way. Bob Bradley should.)

Time will tell here.

• A dynamic collection of attacking players for Bob Bradley with diverse skill sets.

Freddy Adu might be used when Bob Bradley unbalances to the right, leaving open space for Adu to exploit on the left.

Freddy Adu, of course, being the biggest surprise inclusion, but also Wondoloski and Robbie Rogers.

Bradley favors offensive action up front that that is typically unbalanced to the right flank and opens up space for Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan. The graphic to the left shows how Adu might be tried out in Bradley’s unbalanced formation and how his movement differs from, say, Clint Dempsey in the weakside attacker role.

Adu, as shown, would be a speedy, creative option off the opponent’s backline after it shifts and gets pinned back on the right.

Some other occasions when Bob Bradley has used this deployment include: (1) the 1st half against Turkey during 2010’s Send Off Series with Dempsey and Donovan swapped in the formation and Altidore pulling right and (2) DaMarcus Beasley in the role in the Send Off Series game against the Czech Republic with Edson Buddle and Eddie Johnson pulling right.

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Silly Serie A: Sampdoria “Funeral”

Sampdoria loses Cassano and gets relegated this year…

…and archrivals Genoa decide to hold a funeral to mourn celebrate their relegation

Bob Bradley Names Freddy Adu & 22 Others To Compete In Gold Cup 2011

The Roster: Who Does Bob Bradley Have Coach Goggles For, Wondo off the ball, &  more….

On the US Gold Cup Roster…

Well, we nearly had the roster spot on. Um, not really.

Bob Bradley–needing a Gold Cup tournament win here in 2011 to assure passage to the Confederation’s Cup warm-up tournament in Brazil in 2013–went with veterans and just a sprinkling of youth.

I'm back!...

Household names like Donovan, Dempsey, Bocanegra and Howard lead the list while youngsters who could crack the starting line-up in the group stage, Ream and Agudelo all head to training camp this week.

The US’s Gold Cup 2011 roster:

G: Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann, Nick Rimando

DEF: Steve Cherundolo, Oguchi Onyewu, Clarence Goodson, Carlos Bocanegra, Jonathan Bornstein, Tim Ream, Eric Lichaj

TWEENER: Jonathan Spector

MID: Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Jermaine Jones, Sacha Kljestan, Freddy Adu, Robbie Rogers, Benny Feilhaber

FWD: Jozy Altidore, Juan Agudelo, Chris Wondolowski

The skinny:

Surprises in Robbie Rogers, Freddy Adu and Chris Wondolowski on board. And only three strikers. Plus no Teal Bunbury.

Bradley had quite a conundrum on the backline. Veterans are always favored. Experience, especially, at centerback trumps youth. However on thing I liked that Bob Bradley did against Paraguay was go to the 3-man backfield and really push his flankers players up the pitch. This is a wrinkle in the vain of David Luiz getting ahead for Chelsea and I like Bradley’s thinking there.

Still not sure why we’ve never seen Jonathan Spector in that role or tried more in central defense.

• On Adu: I like the call-up. I personally don’t rate Adu as a player, but the call-up by Bob Bradley is smart. See how much Adu has matured in a camp and tournament where he doesn’t really need to be relied on. See if you should develop him further. My guess is if Adu wows in this camp–and by that I mean he’s a team player, plays hard all the time, works on his fitness etc–he keeps going. If not, you won’t see him for awhile at the senior level.


Catch-All: Discussion on US Roster Gold Cup 2011

September 8th, 1999. First cap, Steve Cherundolo

Just putting a column for folks to interact until the roster announcement is made public tomorrow.

Given all the information and data that’s out there, nearly all of it public to you as well, about two roles up in the air.

G (3): Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, David Yeldell

DEF (7): Steve Cherundolo, Oguchi Onyewu, Clarence Goodson, Carlos Bocanegra, Tim Ream, Eric Lichaj, Jonathan Bornstein

TWEENERS (2): Timothy Chandler, Jonathan Spector

MID (7): Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Maurice Edu, Ale Bedoya, Sacha Kljestan

FWD (4): Jozy Altidore, Herculez Gomez, Teal Bunbury, Juan Agudelo

BUBBILY: Jay DeMerit, Benny Feilhaber

See you tomorrow.

Oh and a perplexing complete absence of Jose Francisco Torres anywhere.
This is a player who is 23-years-old and started a World Cup game less than a year ago. To clarify, it’s not that I rate him a certain way, it’s just been an odd national team career trajectory for Torres, filled with large chasms of playing time after a critical start here and there.

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From TSG Contributor John in the commentary:

Just to help everyone along, here is the “crib list” for player hate on the USMNT.

Bornstein – Not Talented, No Offense
Spector – Terrible on Defense
Onyewu – Slow, Can’t Distribute
Lichaj – Unproven, Overrated
Bradley – Nepotism, Erratic Passing
Edu – Caught in Possession, Doesn’t think fast enough
Clark – Makes big mistakes, can’t complete a pass
Altidore – Doesn’t play for club team, can’t score a goal, low on confidence
Adu – Can’t play defense, played too early, doesn’t fit in.
Bocanegra – Too old, too slow
Bedoya – Hasn’t done anything, overhyped
Ream – Too slow, can’t tackle
Dempsey – Disappears, aloof, doesn’t tackle
Donovan – Disappears, doesn’t play in EPL
Agudelo – Too young, too overhyped, hasn’t produced
Bunbury – Too Canadian
Torres – No Defense, Bob doesn’t like him, can’t play internationally
Jones – Too many injuries, stupid fouls, too slow
Goodson – Too anonymous, isn’t physical enough, bad positioning
Kljestan – Passes to the other team, doesn’t fit in, moustache, name too difficult to type
Demerit – Not talented enough, not fast enough

Does this cover just about everyone?

From TSG and others on Twitter:

Benny: Failed out of Europe, too many injuries, 2007 strike just a fluke

Kljestan: Hot girlfriend, listens to club music

Add yours below.

EPL: Relegation Day: Who Stays, Who Goes

"You and your buddies are going down, man!"

How are you feeling–better how do you take responsibility today–if you’re a player like Morgan Gamst Pedersen. The frosty-tipped Norwegian has been at Blackburn’s Elwood Park since 2004. He recently–2010–re-upped for four more.

Yet, if a confluence of circumstances shake out a certain today, Pederson could see his life in Lancashire turned upside down.

Down to the Championship–not likely, but still–will he need to be transferred or will the club move other personal to accommodate his contract–on the larger side.

Pederson, just one of the players whose next year at least will be decided by today’s action.

The other clubs looking to stay afloat on Premiership.

Look Back: Clint Dempsey’s give-and-go scoop shot against Liverpool keeps Fulham up in 2007. Long considered the most important goal by an American in club play.

Drop you commentary here and vote below.

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