Rio here we come!
by TSG staff
Welcome to 2013! Ready for 2014?
We are a few whiskers over 500 days away from finding out whether US’s central defense is ship-shape, though we may never get there because this is one hellacious qualifying campaign. Yes, qualifying this year will be more volatile than Facebook’s post-IPO stock price during a Long Term Capital crisis.
Last week, TSG took to our Proof Labs to meticulously cull dumpsters full of data to come up with “January 2013: Jurgen Klinsmann’s Depth Chart,” a 5,000 word must-read missive designed to completely explore the possibilities of the US roster come World Cup Qualifying and beyond.
This week? No such luck.
We’re bringing back one of the most popular columns here: “World Cup 201x Boarding Passes.” It’s 2014 of course, at least Dan Flynn and Sunil Gulati are praying it will be.
There’s been massive change over in our personnel here since we last spoke in 2010.
We’ve swapped out Air Bradley One for Air Jurgen One and my how plush the interior of this flying hotel is. Landon Donovan is still around or so we think. Ricardo Clark is not.
Well, let’s get to boarding.
Here is our very first installment for 2014. We’re early this year…amazing.
Please note, all tickets are completely refundable and subject to restrictions. The standby list is currently looking pretty good too.
We’ll board The Crew and Gold Club Elite Members now, sitting in First Class. Please proceed down the jetway:
Jurgen Klinsmann: Well of course you knew Jurgen Klinsmann (COTUS) would get an extra 15 minutes on the airliner before anyone.
Four pieces of luggage already down below and now five carry-ons–one that appears to be … moving? — four hair dryers, three mobile phones, two passports, and SURPRISE one …Jose Torres? Yes indeed that bag was moving.
Torres escapes the duffle for a second as Klinsmann stuffs his head back in. Torres is no good at defense as we know.
Torres, muffled, “Agua.”
Klinsmann, welling up with … something, to the flight attendant, “I just … I just couldn’t bare for him to be left back.”
Wait just a second, Klinsy. Didn’t you once say, “Anybody can play leftback?”
Thank you. Thank you. We’re just getting started here.
Klinmann hefts the bag up into the overhead space as Torres continues to scratch at the zipper, saying over and over again, “Not de plane. Not de plane.”
Martin Vasquez: Vasquez takes his seat right next to COTUS. He’s got an Etch-a-Sketch, a copy of Inverting the Pyramid and the new app from Bleacher Report for his Windows smartphone. The USMNT Smithers feels he’s prepared.
Wait… no one’s told him yet?
Caleb Porter is joining for the trip in the same role he had for the U-23’s. No-so-innocent bystander. Ouch. Just remember Caleb, they’ve got chainsaws with freaking laser beams up in P-Town.
TSG has been impressed thus far with The Porter–can we make that his official nickname?–up in PDX–both beer and organizational moves.
At your service Mr. Jeremy … Mr. Howard rather…
(1) Tim Howard: Howard ambles onto the plane. Immediately three vivacious and bodacious “flight attendants” in bikinis come bounding and bouncing towards him with what look like glorified feather dusters.
Apparently there’s a plane scene in Pulling the Brazilian Keeper, Volume II!
Oh c’mon the f off it, you’re a USMNT fan. You’re acting like you’ve never seen Tim Howard Keeper Porn. Tim Howard is gosh damn darn near the Ron Jeremy of Goalkeeper Porn.
May I remind you of this?! Or This?!!!
(BTW, in at least American lore, the Tim Howard “double head nod” is only slightly south of the Thierry Henry “shoulder shrug” and the Deuce “dumbfounded that foul wasn’t called stare” on the Official Soccer Gesture List.)
(2) Michael Bradley strides into first class, sits down, takes out his iPad and starts analyzing how to mark Ángelo Henríquez.
Bradley calls out to Klinsmann. He wants to know who he’s bunking with because last time in South Africa it was a 4am wake-up with Pops and two run throughs of P90x before
hitting the gym before Maurice Edu and Jozy Altidore got home from the club.
Michael Bradley recently got a back tattoo with all the thing he wants to improve in his game. He’s crossing them off one by one in ink, not having them removed.
Loddy Doddy, don’t pass to Totti…
(3) Clint Dempsey: Next up is Clint Dempsey looking a little bleary eyed from the birth of his fourth child. No matter, Deuce still has the flair. He plops down, puts up his Air Nagododos on the seat in front of him and reclines back to reveal a not-so-subtle t-shirt “I AM THE ARSENAL, FUCK THE EMIRATES!”
Clint carries a chip on his shoulder always. And don’t let Deuce’s stoic demeanor fool you, he cares.
This tale by Alecko Eskadarian on playing with Dempsey in a January camp is excellent.
Josh Gatt: In walks …. Josh Gatt and takes the first window seat in first class … to which Clint gets up and lets him know where his accommodations are. Gatt skillz? Yes and a Hardaway crossover to boot. Gatt respect? You’ve got to earn that at the big show, Speedy McMichigan.
(4) Hey, it’s Jozy Altidore!
Somewhere in Merseyside Jamie Carragher shits his pants as the guy next to him at the bar mutters without missing a beat “Just ‘Being Liverpool’ I guess.” Everyone laughs.
(5) Steve Cherundolo: Cherundolo’s up next. US Soccer called it in and did it up nice for Steve. He’s got a personalized seat pillow cushion with a gold-plated footrest that says “Wonderboy” on it. Cherundolo rests his right sneaker on it.
Kammarman has also gotten him a tote with a tub of metamucil and an EntertaintPak with plenty of $30 off his first hooker senior citizen discount for the ladies of Rio.
Dolo’s about to become The Mayor Below The Equator. Hey-O! Get some Steve!
(Quick add here, Steve Cherundolo is just about one of the nicest guys to interact with in the Mixed Zone after a game. He’s not going to give you much drama, but he always takes all the time in the world. Classy fella.)
(6) Geoff Cameron: Geoff Cameron trots on … singing some Stevie Wonder.
Okay we can dig it:
I’ve got something that I must tell
Last night we shutout the Red Devils.
And it was me and you, my Shawcross brother.
And when Van Persie was in the box
Jazzy Geoff stamped on his socks
It’s only dirty pool if you get caught,
Like you taught me…
My Shawcross brother.
Just like Aaron Ramsey. Oh yes…
My Shawcross brother.
Bum, bum nananana.
How many times did US fans wish they were Stevie Wonder watching the US central defense over the past 5 years. Cameron finally gives hope for …. Higher Ground.