Posted 2013/03/02 by matthewsf in Uncategorized. 65 Comments
MLS goes live this weekend. Is this your MVP?
Keane on a three peat!
Posted by KMac on 2013/03/02 at 11:46 AM
Seba Letoux….come on the U
Posted by mbw on 2013/03/02 at 2:37 PM
John Hackworth may be uninspired, but at least he understands what he has. It takes discipline to field your best team rather than your best players.
Posted by mbw on 2013/03/02 at 2:48 PM
Amobi Okugo is comically bad on set pieces (offensive end) — the only real hole in his game at this point.
Posted by mbw on 2013/03/02 at 2:53 PM
. . . and he makes a huge mistake that leads to the equalizer. He won’t be international quality until he realizes he absolutely cannot lose those kind of 50-50 battles.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/03/02 at 6:32 PM
If they’re 50/50, then by definition, isn’t he going to lose half of those tackles?! Sorry, couldn’t resist…
Posted by mbw on 2013/03/02 at 7:10 PM
Ha — touche. I’ve been listening to too much soccer commentary!
Posted by mbw on 2013/03/02 at 4:04 PM
Kekuta Manneh gets the start!
Posted by dth on 2013/03/02 at 8:02 PM
Perry Kitchen’s added a certain something going forward. Nice newish element.
Posted by mbw on 2013/03/02 at 9:50 PM
51′: Dan Kennedy remembers why he hates his life.
Posted by Eric on 2013/03/02 at 10:47 PM
I’m shocked the guy didn’t demand a trade in the offseason. Everything about the game was tough to watch… not that many people were watching based on the stands…
Posted by dutchtwista on 2013/03/03 at 1:30 AM
in a just world, it should be Higuain (The Lesser?) if you vote for the most influential or indispensable to their team’s success. He won’t get it because the Crew’s chemistry and grinding work rate won’t beat the MLS elite. So the players who will play the biggest part in a serious drive for the championship will likely be either Graham Zusi, Donovan, or Beckerman. Maybe Eddie Johnson if the Sounders surprise. Throw in a longshot pick for rookie defender Andrew Farrell, who could keep the Revolution from embarrassing themselves yet again year.
Posted by s44 on 2013/03/03 at 11:01 AM
Am I the only one old enough to be amused that Donovan is on a literal Holiday in Cambodia?
Posted by Surfndave on 2013/03/03 at 4:49 PM
Where people dress in black…
Mike McGee hat trick???!!!
Posted by Ufficio on 2013/03/03 at 7:52 PM
He still holds California Über Alles in his heart.
Posted by chris_thebassplayer on 2013/03/08 at 11:51 PM
Nice! long live East Bay Ray
Posted by CaliforniaRedskins on 2013/03/03 at 5:06 PM
So the Fire were really bad today or the Galaxy are going to be really f’ing good this year. I’m hoping for the second personally. Living in SoCal I get all of the LA Galaxy dynasty commercials and the more you watch them play, the harder it is to deny that statement.
Posted by dth on 2013/03/03 at 5:40 PM
This u-20 final is absolutely insane.
Posted by dth on 2013/03/03 at 5:45 PM
Also somewhat fun to daydream about how good this team would be with Yedlin, John Anthony Brooks, Packwood and Pelosi.
Posted by Ufficio on 2013/03/03 at 6:00 PM
What ever happened to Stevie Rodriguez? I always thought he was the greater of the two Rodrigui at this level.
Posted by dth on 2013/03/03 at 7:54 PM
Playing for Tijuana Xolos. Not sure he’d get a ton of time with Cuevas, Villarreal, Garcia, et. al.
Posted by Ufficio on 2013/03/04 at 4:27 AM
Thoroughly unimpressed with Garcia.
Posted by Crow on 2013/03/03 at 6:07 PM
I’ll have to wait for the tape delay on FoxSoccer2Go
Posted by Crow on 2013/03/03 at 6:09 PM
That Ricketts/Silvestere miscue had me laughing out loud just because I know those are two of TSG’s “favorite” players. Couldn’t have written a better combination of epic fail between those two.
Posted by Crow on 2013/03/03 at 6:14 PM
My thoughts on the Philly/SKC game:
-It’s so nice (or was) to be excited about a Philadelphia season and have Le Toux on the team.
– I was baffled by Hackworth’s starting lineup but it certainly seemed to catch Vermes off guard in the first half, and certainly worked by clogging up the middle. Amazing the Union weren’t up by multiple goals at halftime.
– I don’t believe I’ve ever seen such a display of getting outcoached after halftime, well maybe since the Eagles/Patriots Super Bowl when Belichick owned Reid in the 2nd half. I loved the live interview with the Union’s assistant coach around the 65th minute: “We’re going to see how things go before making any changes” when it was evident SKC were taking complete control out wide and over the top…. yet no changes. I was screaming for Torres for Lahoud 25 minutes before and McInerney for anyone.
– Despite my lack of confidence in Hackworth its still nice not having a complete lunatic for a coach.
– Keon Daniel.. wow. I don’t think that was Keon Daniel last year. I think he was still out of the country on visa problems. If he can play like he did that will be an unexpected bonus this year.
-Set pieces (facepalm)
Posted by Crow on 2013/03/03 at 6:22 PM
Oh I forgot- SKC observations
Even more respect for Vermes (if possible). Fantastic 2nd half management.
Less respect for Besler. I thought he was a pretty classy guy until that ridiculous “handball” in the box. Nice sportsmanship Besler. I hope you don’t get called up to the National Team for awhile.
Less respect for Feilhaber (if possible). I didn’t see him affect the game at all- almost invisible, yet he still displayed his ridiculous diva like qualities when getting called for obvious fouls.
More respect for Zusi- Wow. As much as people are blaming the D or MacMath for the first KC goal- Zusi put that in the net with such composure. He was fantastic in the 2nd half. Hopefully we see more of that form for the National Team.
-That new Spanish signing is pretty good as well. To be honest I didn’t know anything about him.
Posted by cfig on 2013/03/04 at 11:11 PM
My respect for Benny has been plummeting by the match the last few seasons. Too bad really, when he’s on the guy can ball.
Posted by dth on 2013/03/03 at 6:32 PM
McInerney illustrates one of the big problems with MLS — its inability/unwillingness to give young players a sustained chance. McInerney had a pretty darn good season last year — 8 goals, 3 assists, some help in the run of play. What do you do? Bring in Conor Casey, Le Toux, and make sure to play Keon Daniel, who’s a total mediocrity. A German team would never do this; an English team totally would. Which soccer nation would you rather emulate right now?
You want to know why development hasn’t been up to snuff? This is a big reason why.
(Hackworth isn’t even the worst at this, though he’s tried several times to do this — e.g. Bakary Soumare vs. Amobi Okugo. The worst, of course, is Schellas Hyndman.)
Anyway, this attitude toward player development is particularly mystifying in what is a salary cap league. If, say, New York were better at developing youth, they wouldn’t’ve had to dump Kenny Cooper (though I’d maintain, like the proprietor, it’s a blessing in disguise). And this is why LA Galaxy are chugging alone without caring about the salary cap — they’ve got cheap contributors in Stephens, de la Garza, Villarreal, McBean, etc. Rest of the league could learn a thing or two.
Posted by Crow on 2013/03/03 at 6:46 PM
I agree- McInerney should get a full run out and the issue as a whole- its ridiculous a guy like Agudelo can’t start. How are young American players supposed to develop if they can’t play?- I definitely agree. I nearly vomited when the Union signed Conor Casey- I don’t care if they need a “target forward”.
-side point- Casey’s first “contribution” was a dirty elbow to Collen seconds after coming on.
I really hope Danny Mwanga gets solid minutes in Colorado. I really think he can develop into a player worthy of transferring to a good European league… if he ever gets the chance.
Posted by dth on 2013/03/03 at 7:39 PM
Contrast similarities and differences between Caleb Porter and Andre Villas-Boas. Discuss.
Posted by dth on 2013/03/03 at 7:46 PM
Would’ve loved to see this team with Diskerud…would also love to accelerate 4-5 months to get to time Mobi Fehr’s ready. (Chara isn’t quite right for this team.)
Posted by Crow on 2013/03/03 at 7:58 PM
I wish Diskerud would have switched to Portland. Considering he didn’t move elsewhere, I think it would have been a much better situation for his future.
Posted by mbw on 2013/03/03 at 8:44 PM
If it was either Mix or Valeri, they’re lucky the Mix deal fell apart.
Posted by Crow on 2013/03/03 at 9:04 PM
I hadn’t thought of that. Good point.
Posted by bob on 2013/03/03 at 9:37 PM
isnt valeri mearly playing for portland on loan? why would that make it an either him or mlx situation?
Posted by mbw on 2013/03/03 at 10:03 PM
When the Mix-to-Portland deal collapsed, the Portland GM made a statement, “Next option may make more sense anyway,” then proceeded to deal for another player who plays the same position. I read that to mean they’d lined up two or more options to bring in a #10, decided to make a move for Mix, and when that didn’t work out went after Valeri.
Posted by bob on 2013/03/03 at 11:06 PM
maybe so, either way, it does look like mix missed out on a good situation. and the fans in portland, that is something to behold. on a global scale.
Posted by bob on 2013/03/03 at 11:11 PM
really mbw, my speculation would be more along the lines of portland wanting to bring in both players and perhaps the one party was offended at not getting such a good offer. but after you have agreed in principle? it is strange. somebodies ego got in the way on that deal.
Posted by Crow on 2013/03/03 at 8:09 PM
Ha I like that comparison alot. I’ll say they are two of my favorite coaches in soccer other than Mourinho and Kreis.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/03/04 at 7:41 AM
Let’s wait until Porter has coached at this level a little longer, and has more games to praise / criticize.
Plus, always difficult comparing when AVB has a very good budget and can go out and buy top players.
Posted by dth on 2013/03/04 at 12:52 PM
Right; it’s premature. Should’ve made that clear. But the parallels are interesting: both get acclaimed on the basis of dominant, pretty play at a lesser league; move up, perhaps a bit too early to a big job where they fail embarrassingly; get to new job which fits them better.
Too early to tell whether Porter will pull off what AVB’s doing this year for Spurs, but Portland looks miles better than they did last year, considering both preseason and the game against NYRB. (Portland’s still a player away though.)
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/03/04 at 1:45 PM
If one’s blemish on their CV is at Ambramovich’s FC Billionaire South, then I’d take that with a pinch of salt. Yes, he tried to change too much too soon, but I am sure that’s what his brief was. And when things went tits up, the club stitched him up proper.
I am looking forward to seeing what Porter is about. Heard many positive things.
Posted by Crow on 2013/03/04 at 4:45 PM
Porter really reminds me of a younger-American Klinnsmann. He says all the things you want to hear about play style etc. as an optimistic, yearning for greater levels of success American soccer fan. I think the failed Olympic qualifying effort exposed some of his tactical planning flaws, or the naivety that you can’t always stick to an idealistic philosophy or style in every game situation, but he certainly is the type of coach you “want to succeed.” Or at least I do.
His track record in NCAA is amazing for what it is worth and that got Bruce Arena (who isnt one of my favorite managers) pretty far.
I’m excited by these younger American coaches- Porter, Kreis, Olsen, Ramos. I’d be happy with any coaching the Senior team one day.
Posted by bob on 2013/03/03 at 9:46 PM
today was a big day for american coaches. first off, you got the style exuded by the managers this evening out in portland. wow, especially petke, with the button down cardigan and german trench coat. he must have some professionals with those digs.
secondly, tab ramos, big time future coach. playing shorthanded, he does not risk daniel cuevas and that is smart. i think we are looking at the next coach of the under/23 olympic team.
Posted by dth on 2013/03/03 at 9:51 PM
Seems like RSL have added some quality on the break.
Velazquez joins Gil as a future USMNT-type player.
Posted by mbw on 2013/03/03 at 10:30 PM
Show of hands: Who thinks Darlington Nagbe will stay in MLS long enough to become a US citizen?
Posted by Sean Tuxill (@thebostinian) on 2013/03/04 at 6:26 AM
Oh gosh. Sign me up, that boy can play.
Posted by Ufficio on 2013/03/04 at 3:03 PM
Really depends. Is he married yet?
Posted by Crow on 2013/03/04 at 6:05 PM
Does anyone know any attractive, single women that can woo him to stay?
Posted by Ufficio on 2013/03/04 at 6:56 PM
Well, he was already engaged last I heard. But, I just harnessed the amazing power of the Google to answer my own question. The clock started ticking in December 2012. IANAIL, but if he hangs around the US for the majority of the time over the next three years, he should have a shot at citizenship.
Posted by mbw on 2013/03/04 at 7:27 PM
IAANAIL; couldn’t work out the distinction between “having continuous residence in the United States as a lawful permanent resident” and “being physically present in the United States for at least 18 months out of the 3 years.” Potentially significant.
Posted by Donum Dei on 2013/03/04 at 12:46 AM
Wait, am I missing something or do the Dynamo not have a sponsor on their jersey? Also, I’m curious to TSG’s thoughts on the Cascadia Cup issue.
Posted by cfig on 2013/03/04 at 11:08 PM
You are correct, their deal with Greenstar was discontinued for some reason. No local chatter on a new sponsor yet but the team says things are in the works.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/03/04 at 9:51 AM
Anybody still think AVB made a mistake in dropping Brad Freidel for Hugo Lloris? I think Lloris has been brilliant. Huge price tag, but justified so far.
Posted by matthewsf on 2013/03/04 at 10:24 AM
It’s a tough one. I think Spurs run of form has nothing to do with the keeper as folks posture. I think there are saves that Lloris didn’t make that Friedel could’ve. That said, Lloris is the better keeper right now and does allow a higher line. He’s also much more comfortable with the ball as his feet coming back to him.
Teams really could push high against Tottenham and win those errant balls. Spurs are building more attacks now.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/03/04 at 12:21 PM
I think that Lloris’ better feet is the reason why he’s in the team, more than traditional shot stopping ability. This helps Tottenham to play a high defensive line and therefore higher midfield closer to offensive players, squeeze play in the middle third.
I have been a big critic of Valdes over the last few seasons, but you need a keeper who’s comfortable sweeping if you play a high defensive line like that.
Posted by Crow on 2013/03/04 at 4:49 PM
Knew I should have started Mike Magee this weekend. Darn it.
Crystal Palace close to promotion for George Cross.
Bolton sneaking up on a playoff spot out of nowhere due to this winning streak. Holden still on the bench, though, and where is Tim Ream? I thought he was starting again.
How serious is Dempsey’s injury? Any timetable for the return?
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/03/04 at 5:02 PM
Don’t jinx The Palace!
Posted by Crow on 2013/03/04 at 6:04 PM
ha ha, sorry George, I am pulling for them.
I have no idea how awesome it must be as a sports fan to experience promotion- I don’t think there is a feeling that can compare to it. Absolutely fascinates me.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/03/05 at 7:34 AM
I was there when Steve Claridge scored in the 121st minute to send Leicester City up. Probably one of the lowest points I have ever felt due to football. Think we must have been sat there, unable to move until security said we had to go. And IIRC, we finished 3rd that year to add salt to the wound. Although, the next year, we finished 6th, and went up thanks to David Hopkin’s 89th minute winner. Talk about rollercoaster of emotions and stress!
My home town was painted Red & Blue. It was magic. That’s why I don’t get people not supporting their local team if they have zero emotional connection to them. I will never respect a glory fan. Never have, never will!!
Posted by mark on 2013/03/04 at 6:04 PM
Speaking of Dempsey, I’d like to see a Shin Guardian analysis of whether his less than stellar season so far at Spurs is more a matter of his own shortcomings or his notting fitting in as well with AVB’s system. Or Bale’s brilliance overshadowing everyone this year, including Dempsey. Injuries aside, I do think Clint has had his opportunities but hasn’t capitalized.
Posted by Crow on 2013/03/04 at 6:07 PM
I think he has been pretty solid- yes there is room for improvement- but I thought he was very impressive through that period at the end of the year (before he started scoring the goals) setting up lots of chances, rarely making a negative touch or decision. Adebayor seems to play alot better when Dempsey is on the field.
He did seem to be going through a down period before the recent injury. Hopefully he can have a strong end to the season.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/03/05 at 5:29 AM
MASSIVE game today. Predictions?
Posted by matthewsf on 2013/03/05 at 6:29 AM
I’m going to try and get a preview out George (I know I’ve been tardy). Real Madrid, 2-1. Phil Jones AWOL does not help.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/03/05 at 7:40 AM
Matt, I was actually referring to Crystal Palace vs. Hull City. 4th vs. 2nd. The clichéd 6 pointer! If we lose, automatic promotion will probably be over.
Hopefully, Sheffield Wednesday can pull an upset, and beat Watford too. Perhaps I am being greedy!
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/03/05 at 2:31 PM
Crystal Palace 3-0 Hull City, unfortunately Watford are winning too. It’s very tight at the top of the table.
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