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.


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.

USA vs Colombia: Call in McBride!

The US will take on Colombia Friday November 14th at Craven Cottage, it is now official. More important than any ideas on how to defend James, and who will be bossing the center of the park for the USMNT is when is the last time Brian McBride wore cleats? How fit is he? Can he just show up and make the photo below happen again just for a brief moment?

Americans in London: A Success Story.

Americans in London: A Success Story.

You have to respect what Dempsey and McBride did at Fulham, McBride even has a pub at Craven Cottage named after him. A pub! What could be better?!

From Fulham’s announcement today: “Kick-off at the home of Fulham FC is set for 7.45pm local time, and the match will be broadcast live on UniMas in the States. Fans can also follow along on Twitter @ussoccer.

“Colombia showed in the World Cup that they’re one of the top teams in the world,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “They have some tremendous attacking talent like Radamel Falcao at Manchester United, James Rodriguez who won the Golden Boot at the World Cup and now plays at Real Madrid, Arian Ramos from Dortmund who was one of the top scorers in the Bundesliga, and Carlos Bacca who won the Europa League with Sevilla.

“So overall, it’s a squad with a lot of experience playing at the highest level, and this will be another great benchmark for us. We are thrilled to be playing at Craven Cottage, which holds so many good memories for U.S. players. It will be a unique experience.”

Craven Cottage has served as the proverbial‘home away from home for many U.S. internationals over the years. U.S. captain Clint Dempsey spent six seasons at Fulham, and during his Premier League tenure, broke the record for most goals by an American in the EPL with 37, surpassing the mark set by another Whites icon, Brian McBride.

World Cup veterans Carlos Bocanegra, Marcus Hahnemann, Eddie Lewis, Kasey Keller and Eddie Johnson also spent part of their careers at Fulham. Bocanegra served as Captain on occasion, while McBride became such a fan favourite, a bar in the stadium is named after him.”

By far the club that Americans have been most successful in Europe. Hell, I even own a Fulhamerica shirt. The best part is they are hyping the next generation of Americans with this match, as our boy Emerson Hyndman currently is a Cottager.

Emerson looks legit.

Emerson looks legit.

Here’s to hoping Jurgen calls up the beast that was, Mr. McBride for one more glorious night at Craven Cottage. Okay, fine, not going to happen. Interested to see who will feature, and if Clint Dempsey will get to relive some of his glory days in London. Who do you want to see on the pitch versus an extremely talented Colombia squad?

#LegenD: Some favorite memories of Landon Donovan

Started from the fountain now we here.

Started from the fountain now we here.

We reached out to some people we respect and asked them for a brief thought on their favorite memory of Landon Donovan.

TempoFreeSoccer: A regular TSG contributor and great soccer mind.

A year removed from a deeply disappointing World Cup, Landon Donovan was struggling through one of his most difficult seasons as a professional.  He famously had his Galaxy captaincy handed to David Beckham and the team limped to finish near the basement of the Western Conference.  In late June–right in the middle of the disastrous “07 season– the US national team stumbled into the Gold Cup final  against Mexico after a controversial 2-1 win over Canada in the semis.
This final happened to be the first professional soccer match I ever attended. Mexico was controlling the play in front of an 85%+ pro-Mexican crowd at Soldier Field and led 1-0 through an Andres Guardado first-half goal.  Against the run of play, however, in the 60th minute Brian Ching drew a penalty.  There was no question who would take it.  With 50,000+ screaming insults and hurling cups onto the field Donovan went through his pre-pk ritual and calmly slotted home low and to the right (seemed like he always went there).  Imbued with confidence, the US immediately took command of the game and won through a Benny Feilhaber wonder-volley.  The win qualified the US for the famous “09 Confederations Cup run and re-established continental supremacy.  That penalty was not the prettiest goal nor the most important goal of his career, but to me it was the most indicative of his greatest attribute: his ability to raise his level for the national team, no matter the circumstances.  Of the 15 penalties he took for the USMNT, Landon Donovan converted all 15.  Astounding.  Happy to say I was there for one.Kevin Black: Co-owner of a signed Landon Donovan boot and expert in ankle breaking.I think my favorite Landon Donovan moment has to be his World Cup in 2002. I remember waking up groggily to watch the United States’ first match of that world cup, which had started at 3:00 AM. I only managed to roll myself out of bed at about 3:35, and I arrived at the TV downstairs right when Brian McBride finished off a superb counter attack (started by Donovan) to make it 3-0 against Portugal’s golden generation. After being too young to really experience the 1994 World Cup and watching the States limp to a 32nd place finish in the 1998 World Cup, this was my first taste of watching the United States really perform on the international stage. 20-year-old Donovan was a symbol of everything right about the 2002 team, playing with the kind of disregard for reputation that we almost expect from our teams now. His goal to seal what was probably the USMNT’s most satisfying win (beating Mexico 2-0 in the round of 16) was icing on the cake. Only Oliver Kahn demonstrating why he was one of the best keepers of his generation stopped Donovan from cashing in on running Germany’s defenders ragged in the quarterfinals. Donovan’s performance in 2002 showed me his amazing potential, and provided an example of a born and raised American truly shining at the international level.

… I spent like 2 hours tonight looking for this quote by donovan from before the germany quarterfinal where he essentially says “why should we expect to lose against germany?” when prompted by and interviewer, and I can’t find it. fack.

The platinum blonde years.

The platinum blonde years.

Will Parchman: The man for all things USMNT retro-diarying. Trust me, search and enjoy.I can see the play laid out still, the pieces falling together like some lopsided game of Risk. It was 2002, World Cup time, and this U.S.-Mexico knockout game had consumed my relatively young, soccer-addled mind. I didn’t know much about Landon Donovan then, but I knew he was quick, had instincts and people were talking. In this particular game, Donovan had flown around the field for much of the sun-washed afternoon, and the U.S. held a 1-0 lead into the 65th minute, which was shocking enough. Not many of us expected it to hold much longer. And then Eddie Lewis broke onto the left flank, even with the 18, and with just 20 minutes of the second half gone he bulleted a cross goal-ward. I didn’t even see him at first, but as the ball’s arc reached its apex, there he was, Donovan charging toward the goalmouth like an enraged bull. He’d so surprised the defender that no recovery could’ve caught him. Just like that, header, dos-a-cero, game over. That game, for me, birthed the Donovan mythology, birthed dos-a-cero, birthed the 21st century U.S. soccer renaissance. It applied the afterburners to the game in this country in a way no goal I can ever remember has before or since. I’ll remember Donovan for a lot of moments, but that one in particular stands astride them like a colossus.Eric Giardini: TSG USMNT jersey analyst extraordinaire and Gervinho five-head aficionado.

Let’s go all the way back to June 18, 2010 for USA v Slovenia in the second World Cup group stage match. After drawing England in the first match, the USMNT was in prime position to get an “easy” three points against Slovenia and firmly state their intention for the knockout stage. As you probably remember, it didn’t quite go that way. Two first half goals saw the USA down two with its World Cup stay looking shorter and shorter.

But then, just after the restart, a glimmer of hope from none other than Landon Donovan. Donovan judges the flight of the ball and beats the defender who misplaces the ball. Alone one on one with the keeper, it seems he’s dribbling in at the wrong angle. Instead of cutting the ball back and playing it square to the late runner in the box, Landon smashes it into the top of the net, narrowly missing Samir Handanović’s face, and the comeback was on. I don’t think anyone, anywhere thought he was going to smash that shot like he did, but that was Landon at his best. Beating players with his speed, his ability to finish, as well as his ability to put the team on his back when needed. Later in the match, Donovan places in the free kick on the infamous Edu non-goal but that’s a story for another time.


Johnathon Sykes: Galaxy fan and man with that necessary LA insight.

My favorite LD moment isn’t really a moment but a year. 2009 to be exact. Coming back to MLS after another failed German stint. the year that Landon Donovan had the cojones to call out David Beckham for being a poor captain in The Beckham Experiment. MLS MVP (sorry Jeff Cunningham) and Goal of the Year. Yea, that curling volley that left a gum-chewing Matt Reis in bewildered awe on his side. The beautiful back post ball to feed Magee for the Galaxy’s sole goal in MLS Cup. Oh, and that goal vs. Brazil in Confederations Cup before the Yanks collapse. In a way, 2009 was a microcosm of Donovan’s career. Capable of spell-blinding skill and maddening inaction. For all the hand-wringing about commitment and drive (self-inflicted or not), Donovan has always had a way of coming away from every failure with aplomb. Even the failure of winning the MLS Cup drove him to a successful stint at Everton the next year. I think, above all, I will miss that the most. The ability to rise from failure and disappointment better than ever.

You know. Like a legend.

Christine Agoni: Maker of brilliant Landon Donovan supersized heads.

Poor Landon.

Poor Landon.

Favorite Landon Donovan moment: when I read in a magazine that he was getting a divorce and legitimately frightened my boyfriend with all the “there’s still a chance!” talk. JUST KIDDING, kinda…Landon, if you’re reading this now, send me a signed right boot to let me know you’re down (preferably in green to match the one you gave us in Salt Lake City during the Gold Cup)!

In all seriousness, I remember only 2 things that happened in 2010: 1. I graduated from college and 2. Landon Donovan scored the game winning goal against Algeria in the 91′ in South Africa. Nothing can top the feeling of sitting in a bar, surrounded by strangers, feeling close to defeat and in a moment…Altidore crosses the ball to Dempsey, the shot is blocked! Our hearts collectively sank. THEN BOOM, DONOVAN FINDS THE BACK OF THE NET! Go, go, USA! Beer showers for all! Sorry for crying on you, stranger! This (and the blast of a goal against Slovenia the week before) was the moment I went from being a casual soccer fan to an OBSESSED one. I went out and bought a Donovan jersey as soon as we left the bar and have worn it to every USMNT game I’ve attended that Donovan has played in. You’re a class act, Landon. Thanks for introducing me to US Soccer and to the love I have for the sport.

Biggy: Landon hater and Landon lover, all at the same time. It’s a complicated thing.The World Cup in South Korea was a proper coming of age for me. Old enough to watch games and stay up all night but young enough to struggle with staying up past 1am without passing out on the couch with no remorse. When the US played Mexico in the round of 16, it was probably the most important match of my young life. 1998 in France hurt, but 2002 was glorious. My dad and I stayed up to watch that one, and we were ahead of Mexico and boom, Eddie Lewis to Landon Donovan to give us that most dangerous lead bullshit. Couldn’t help but yell when that happened. How glorious. My dad told me to shut up as we jumped around the living room at 2:30am celebrating the most thrilling goal I’ve ever seen (well, outside of Landon vs. Slovenia and Algeria). That was the start of my love affair with the US. That game led to so many good things, and I will forever be appreciative of Landon for that goal. What a run. What a team.In case that didn’t take you down memory lane, this will. Just remember, it’s okay to cry at work on Thursday.

USA roster vs. Ecuador 10/10: Landon’s last ride

Jurgen has made it clear that youth will be served right now. Well, youth and this guy:

Here’s the full roster:


GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (7): John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Puebla), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Joe Corona (Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Julian Green (Hamburg), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt)

FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Joe Gyau (Borussia Dortmund), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich)

Good to see Gil in the mix, a great opportunity for a bunch of the guys on the back line to assert themselves, and Miguel Ibarra gets a shot to show MLS what they are missing. The real story of course will be Landon Donovan, and his last appearance with the USMNT. Certainly could write a novel about his importance to this team, but I’ll stick with this trip down memory lane of just one of the big goals he scored for the US. It was slightly important.

Who do you want to see starting next to Landon? Really interested to see how this midfield shakes out and if Bedoya – Mix – Corona line up together again.

TSG giveaway: Free gear from Who Are Ya

Our August fantasy winner didn’t claim their prize, so we are going to give it away to one of you lovely people. We have teamed up with Who Are Ya designs and are giving away a shirt of your choice ($25 value) and all you have to do to enter is head over to the TSG Facebook page, like it, and comment on the latest post with which shirt you will pick if you win. Check out their awesome selection by clicking here, then head over to comment on the Facebook post to enter. The winner will be determined randomly at 9pm PST 9/24.

I think the deuce face is my current favorite:



If you don’t have a Facebook, no worries, just comment on this post with which shirt you would pick if you win. We will update this post with the winner/contact them via Facebook or the email address in their comment, so put your actual info, so we can reach you if you win. Good luck, and may the deuce be with you.


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