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U-20 USMNT in Trouble in Jamaica

The US U-20 team has gotten itself into some trouble in their quest to qualify for the U-20 World Cup this Summer in New Zealand. First up was El Salvador 0n 1/9.

A little too reminiscent of the senior team isn’t it. Creating good chances, not converting, getting a single goal, giving up a late goal that leads to a draw. Not good.

Next was Panama 1/11.

Ouch. A serious lack of cohesion and no great chances led to this result. The shoddy refereeing certainly didn’t help them either. Now the US faces three games in a row that they likely must win just to get into the second or third place spot which would get them a spot in the one game playoff with a team from the other group. 2 vs 3 play each other from the opposing groups, here’s how things stand currently.

u20s standings

 

Not good. This team is likely the most talented US team that has tried to qualify for the U-20 World Cup, they have players spread around the globe playing for big professional teams and guys who are already getting playtime in the MLS. They look short of ideas and composure in the final third though, which has seriously cost them so far. They desperately need either Bradford Jamieson IV, Romain Gall, or Lynden Gooch to step up and start delivering some goals up top. They have matches with Aruba, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica left, and need at least 7 points to get into the playoff. Here’s to hoping Tab Ramos and his coaching staff can figure it out ASAP and get these guys back to the form they showed during 2014.

US Roster Finalized for 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship

It’s 2015 and that means important international soccer tournaments! First up is the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, which runs Jan. 9-24 in Jamaica for a spot in the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand later this summer. Four teams from this tournament will qualify for the U-20 World Cup, and to get an automatic spot the US needs to finish first in their group of six. Their group matches are as following: against Guatemala on Jan. 9, followed by Panama (Jan. 11), Aruba (Jan. 14), Jamaica (Jan. 18) and Trinidad & Tobago (Jan. 21). The second- and third-place teams in each group (four teams) will be reseeded based on group-stage results to form a playoff group. In this playoff stage, the top seed will play the No. 4 seed and the second seed will face the No. 3 seed. The two winners from these respective games will also qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

U20 MNT starting ix

This is a deep and talented squad, with six MLS players who will likely play a big role in these matches, and four teammates at Club Tijuana also making up part of the squad. The full roster is below.

GOALKEEPERS (2): Ethan Horvath (Molde FK), Zack Steffen (SC Freiburg)
DEFENDERS (6): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur), Conor Donovan (N.C. State), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Shaquell Moore (Unattached), John Requejo (Club Tijuana), Tyler Turner (Orlando City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Fernando Arce (Club Tijuana), Russell Canouse (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim), Junior Flores (Borussia Dortmund), Romain Gall (Columbus Crew), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham)
FORWARDS (5): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy), Amando Moreno (Club Tijuana), Ben Spencer (Molde FK), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes)

The midfield in particular is stacked, with Romain Gall, Lynden Gooch, Junior Flores, Emerson Hyndman, and Kellyn Acosta all highly touted and bringing a lot of attacking firepower to the table. Head coach Tab Ramos said “This is a deep group, particularly in the midfield, so we will have some tough decisions to make” about the final roster and the depth that is at his disposal. The crazy part is that if this team does qualify for the U-20 World Cup, it could get even stronger with the additions of both Gedion Zelalem and Rubio Rubin joining the squad for the World Cup. In case you want an idea of who is who and how this team plays (spoiler alert: they look gooooood), check out highlights of the USMNT U-20’s two tune up matches against Honduras in Honduras at the end of 2014, where they won both games 2-1.

All the USA matches will be broadcast on Fox Sports 2, so you can get your international soccer fix early in 2015 and hopefully it will lead to a U-20 World Cup spot that would put some of the brightest US talent up against that of the world this summer.

Where to Watch the MLS Cup in San Francisco

mlscup

 

It’s MLS Cup time. The upstart New England Revolution takes on the favored Los Angeles Galaxy in LA at the Home Depot Center this Sunday, 12/7. If you happen to not be attending the match, but live in the Bay Area and want to enjoy the game with a bunch of great people and support a tremendous cause, then you should head to McTeague’s Saloon in San Francisco Sunday for the game. Local soccer organizations FootySF, San Francisco City Football Club, American Outlaws San Francisco Chapter, The San Francisco Football Supporters Association and I Play For SF will all be there for the game, and there will be drink specials and a raffle, with all proceeds support Street Soccer Bay Area teaching life and job skills to underserved youth and young adults through soccer.

There is nothing better than enjoying some tasty adult beverages while watching the MLS Cup and supporting a great cause while doing it. Get to McTeague’s early Sunday so you can get your raffle tickets before the noon kickoff and win some of the sweet prizes. Last time a game worn, signed Chris Wondolowski USMNT jersey was one of the prizes. I’m sure the prizes this time around will be just as awesome. Be there to support a great cause and enjoy the MLS Cup. RSVP for the event and get more details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/308811515988867/

mlscupsf

USA vs. England at the 2014 Nike International Friendlies

The US U-17 men’s national team has been impressive this year. They are quite fun to watch, and have some potential future stars in the likes of Christian Pulisic, Haji Wright, and Luca de la Torre. They are at the 2014 Nike International Friendlies this week, as they played their first match today, and take on Australia on Sunday at 3pm EST. The matches are being streamed on YouTube, which is really handy, especially since you can see the full match after the game if you missed it. So if you missed today’s match where they took on England, clear your schedule for the next two hours and enjoy.

USA vs Ireland preview: Five players to watch

After a challenging match with Colombia on Friday, the US takes on Ireland tomorrow. Instead of a typical preview, we decided to focus on five players and some specific things to watch for on Tuesday. Trust us, you can’t help but focus on these things going forward, they will practically consume you.

First, a very important tactical video focused on a couple critical players for Tuesday. Pay special attention to Alejandro Bedoya and his phenomenal movement here in case the embed doesn’t work.

Landed in Dublin Suavemente @alebedoya #stache #usmnt #izi #roomies 😂🙈 🎵🎤

A video posted by Cameron 🇺🇸 Geoff (@geoffcameron) on Nov 11, 2014 at 10:08am PST

 

You see those eyes? They are moving like crazy. That look is just extremely hard to defend. The stache really compliments the movement well. It’s clear he has been training hard of late. We can’t ignore the unsung hero of this video though, Geoff Cameron. He really sets up the strengths of Bedoya quite well, and assists his killer performance, as a great backup singer does. The real question for Tuesday and Cameron is if he is going to go for the mustache alone. It has a lot of potential, but we will see which tactical look he comes out with tomorrow.

Next, two up and comers with the US of late. First is Greg Garza, a recent TSG favorite with a lot of potential.

garzastache

He’s showing some serious promise here, but clearly has some room to grow. Once his mustache fills out a bit, it will be keeping up with more established players like Mustache Diskerud that have been with the team longer and have really put together full showings. We can only hope that he continues with this good run of form he has had and keeps growing with the top lip side of the squad.

Another factor in the match will be how Jozy is deployed.

Needs a bit of work up top.

Needs a bit of work up top.

He’s looking really strong on the outside, but the stache just isn’t fully there. Could he switch it up and ditch the beard and go stache only? Maybe he ditches the mustache altogether? Jozy really has a wide variety of looks he can pull out here, it will be exciting to see the haerial decisions he makes for tomorrow.

Finally, the x factor who is just undefendable currently. Mustache Diskerud.

I'm ready for anything you throw at me.

I’m ready for anything you throw at me.

Who can defend this man right now? No one, because they are all running the other direction, looking for safety. What. A. Stache. Phenomenal work rate. Tactically beautiful. It’s clearly in late season form, looking to win the title. With these flowing locks and dirt stache, Mustache Diskerud is on another level right now. One might even say it is Kljestan-esque. The only question is, can it get better? Can it haunt defenders, viewers, and my dreams after tomorrow’s match? Only time will tell.

Honorable mention to the following guys, who almost made the shave, I mean cut.

It's just not there yet, but someday!

It’s just not there yet, but someday!

Mr. Consistent.

Mister Consistent.

Sign the two on the right up, they are stars in the making.

Sign the two on the right up, they are stars in the making.

Finally, we leave you with this parting thought:

I'm everywhere. On the field and off. Trust me.

I’m everywhere. On the field and off. Trust me.

All the goals from the 1966 World Cup as GIFs

An awesome post popped up on reddit this week where a user uploaded GIFs of all the goals from the 1966 World Cup. Some amazing strikes in here, here are a couple of my favorites.


What a hit from Garrincha!


Franz Beckenbauer take a bow.

Can’t forget the eventual World Cup winner, creating the original need for goal line review.

Go check out all the goals here on r/soccer, it is a pretty incredible compilation. Some serious stunners in here. One thing is for sure, goalkeeping has come a long way.

MLS Realignment Done Properly, 2014 Edition

MLS did some realignment recently. People are calling for promotion and relegation in MLS too. We’ve got some ideas of our own. Time to put the teams in the conferences they deserve, and give the fans what they really want: promotion and relegation…. based on money spent. After all, that’s how they do it in Europe right? Spend to stay up baby. Without further ado, we give you the new MLS and its conferences: “We Got Money to Blow, Oh, We Got Money to Blow”, “Spending (only) On the Finer Things”, and “No Money Mo Problems”. If your team needs to be promoted or relegated, tell us why. We are open to that sort of movement. All about that CREAM (Cash Relegates Everyone Around MLS).

You know what's up.

You know what’s up.

We Got Money to Blow, Oh, We Got Money to Blow:

NYCFC – New Kids on the Block signed a bunch of stars, named Villa and Lampard. All their owners got so much money, so much money. They need to find a home that doesn’t have foul poles, Sheikh Mansour will have em ridin around in Rolls, Kreis ain’t gonna be short on money, on money.

LA Galaxy – The original ballers. Probably have annoying conversations about how obnoxious new money is with NYRB, except they might be about to lose NYRB’s number. On accident. Likely have the Beckham Rule original documents framed on the wall where everyone can see them. Probably gonna get loose with their cash this offseason. May have a tiny case of WE DID THIS FIRST REMEMBER. Respect for doing it first as always. But as the lovely ladies in Vegas say, what have you spend on me lately?

Seattle Sounders – That Dempsey move though. Got Obafemi Martins out of Spain and on to turf. Seattle is the club most likely to have a full on nightclub somewhere in the stadium where Deuce sips champagne and records music videos.

Portland Timbers – Made a defender a DP. Not only that, they are paying him more than $1 mil a year! And he isn’t even good! Some true YOLOing with that scrill. Who needs the playoffs when you got money to burn.

Toronto FC – Defoe. Bradley. $100 million dollar offseason, no playoffs. Truly what the WGMTBOWGMTB conference is all about.

Sporting KC – Besler, Zusi + Bieler make three DPs for KC. Not exactly crazy, but certainly not afraid to spend. Might be the poor rich kid in this crew, every rich crew has one. I think. I wouldn’t know.

Orlando City – Kaka + Flavio Augusto da Silva number 121 on Brazil’s richest people in 2013 chillin with about $446 million dollars. Status TBD, unlikely that they don’t belong here though.

LAFC – 22 Owners. 1 Cup. Wait, that can’t be right. One thing is for sure, they have money in abundance. And then some extra money for later. Plus, have you seen Vincent Tan with a jersey over his shirt and tie? That look just oozes class. Or just having enough money where no one will tell you you look silly.

Spending (only) On the Finer Things:

Real Salt Lake – Morales and Sabo holding down DP spots plus the aggressive pursuit of Sebastian Jaime shows that Real Salt Lake is keeping it real when it comes to throwing cash around. Doesn’t have to be a ton, just has to work.

Keeping DC fly at all times.

Keeping DC fly at all times.

New England – promoted due to signing Jermeezus, this leaves us with important questions: Robert Kraft knows the Revs exist, much less spent money on a player? Is the world ending? Can anyone recommend good weapons to fight off zombie Joe Buck? Gotta be prepared.

DC United – They gave Eddie Johnson DP money. That keeps them out of No Money Mo Problems just barely, and this could change this winter when the raccoons start asking for DP money too. Splashing cash on the raccoons that are holding the stadium up is critical this offseason to avoid relegation. If they give Eddie Johnson even more DP money though, hellllllo Toronto status.

Columbus Crew – Precourt Sports Ventures have spent enough money to make sure the scoreboard isn’t on fire and that is what really matters in Columbus.

FC Dallas – All about them Young DPs. No, like literally, they have three. No one else can say that. Young DPs sounds like an up and coming crew in the rap world. Not to be confused with Young Boys though.

Houston Dynamo – Have Run DMB, DMB has a jewelry line, therefore cannot be down with the peasants. None of the peasant teams have jewelry lines, clearly.

Montreal Impact – All about importing fine Italian made goods. They tend to be cranky goods though, especially when they start to fall apart. Wonder what sort of return policy they are looking at.

Philadelphia Union – An eye for keepers, no matter the price. Hide yo keepers, the Union have some cash and it is burning a hole in their pocket. Oh and Mo Edu, he’s good and cost a pretty penny. WAIT IS THAT A KEEPER THAT WE CAN ACQUIRE?!

New York Red Bulls – Recently relegated to this division, could they fall further? Big bosses in Austria declining to invest in a USL PRO side for next season, what does that mean for 2015 and beyond? Playing the Chivas USA role in the NYC market? Is this what it is like to be poor? Stuck with DC United and the Union? How could you do this to us after everything we’ve done for you Billy Ray Galaxytine?

Vancouver Whitecaps – The Caps splashed some cash on Pedro Morales, but the exchange rate is holding them back from joining their Cascadia brethren in the top division. Tough to lure big players in when your money is the loonie. Unless you are loony with it like TFC. Nobody wants to do that.

No Money Mo Problems:

Chicago Fire – Signed Juan Anangonó as a DP in 2013. In 2014 he is on loan in Ecuador. That’s not good. Andrew Hauptman’s wife’s family is worth billions, but it appears he is getting the Ari Gold treatment when trying to get to that money. Here’s to hoping she is as legit as Mrs. Gold is.

You don't see me and my team down here.

You don’t see me and my team down here.

SJ Earthquakes – World’s Largest Outdoor Bar. World’s Largest Outdoor Bar. World’s Largest Outdoor Bar. World’s Largest Outdoor Bar. World’s Largest Outdoor Bar. World’s Largest Outdoor Bar. According to GM John Doyle, “I think the owners see this (the opening of the World’s Largest Outdoor Bar we assume) as an opportunity to start to spend a little bit more. I wouldn’t say we’re going to be one of the highest-spending teams in Major League Soccer that’s for sure, but I think we’re going to start to catch up a little bit with the league.” Let’s hope it’s a lot of bit.

Colorado Rapids – Tim Hinchey on spending “Let’s be honest, spending at that level doesn’t always guarantee success. Toronto, I think, is an example this year, for sure. And there’s teams fighting for playoff spots this year with three DPs, so that doesn’t always mean that is the right formula.” In other words, nah, we good. We don’t want to spend and end up like Toronto! So we just won’t spend at all! Hahaha look at Toronto, they suck more then us! Look at them, over there!

 

It’s the realignment and promotion/relegation scenario that all MLS fans, including Jürgen Klinsmann, truly desire. We know, because we were poppin bottles in Vegas at XS last weekend and overheard J Klins and Donny Garbz discussing it at the table next to us while they were getting down to some Skrillex. Good times fellas, good times.

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