Posts Tagged ‘Conor Casey’

The Jumble: Roundtable, Ref Respect & More

Just seemed like a good image for this one...

TSG is back with the Jumble!

…and this time we brought friends…

We’re going to do a little roundtable with some TSG commentators and some folks that write around the Internet and we’re going to separate it into three parts, one today and two tomorrow. Wow!

Beautiful. Let’s get going.

• Hoping the prognosis is “Africa” for Charlie Davies elbow surgery yesterday.

• A solid performance against Chelsea for Big Jeezy.

Donovan: Building a bigger name in Toffeetown

Lanverton earning his keep at Goodison.

Beyond USMNTers getting valuable minutes in the highest possible league.

Beyond learning about the opposition in first person.

Consider this….

Make your name in the EPL this season Mr. Altidore and Mr. Donovan and push your name further Mr. Dempsey and when you waltz on to the international stage on the south side later this year, you’ll have a much better standing, not quite a LeBron James treatment, but a better standing….with the refs.

Don’t thing stature and “brand equity” make a difference? Maybe ask the Ireland national team, or England after Ronaldo complained in 2006, or Diego “Come hug me, or the referee isn’t going to allow it” Maradona.

• Player affairs and DaMarcus Beasley’s car getting bombed? Soap Opera Week for the Yanks. TSG will follow-up on the racial overtones this year for Rangers…hopefully it’s not linked to the Beasley car incident.

And no without further ado I give you our commentator card game:

He’s a Newhouse student from Syracuse (my alma mater rock’on!…and the alma mater of Mike Tirico, Ian Eagle, Dick Stockton and others) and is kick-starting a blog on the Philadelphia Union. He may be a senior or a freshman, but  either ways he’s welcome. Howdy, Kevin Morris of C. Horridus, a blog on the Philadelphia Union.

He’s been a frequent contributor since the beginning and favors obscure reference to Brazilian blogs focused exclusively on the 3-5-2 formation. He coined the nickname Mr. Clean for Conor Casey and please don’t call Clint Dempsey a striker in front of him. We’ve been trying to get him to write outside of the comment section for a very, very, very long time, from our nation’s capital, “Tuesday.”

He writes the “The Yanks Are Coming” blog, but is headed to Teach for America in the land of James Booker, Irvin Mayfield Jr, and Bourbon St. He’s also a grad student in journalism at the University of Florida. Daniel Seco…..and posse…setting the screens and driving and dishing to Seco is the rest of the team at TYAC (…can I call them that?), Jon Levy a radio professional from South Florida and Doug Beard, a musical composer from Boca Raton. Love it…we sent a simple email and we got a team effort. Thanks boys.

The aforementioned triumvirate will now be referenced in this article as Team Seco.

…and then there is a little bit of Mark and I….let’s get going:

1. (USMNT) Beyond Jozy Altidore, the USMNT is likely going to need a knockaround guy up top for the post-up game. It’s likely Conor Casey. But should Brian Ching get the nod? Should we forget about both of those options and go with something else….if so, who or what?

The New Mr. Clean

Tuesday: It’s Mr. Clean himself, Conor Casey.

Otherwise we’re quite thin in attack and there’s a serious gap between Altidore and Davies and the rest.

Despite Casey’s lacklustre Confederations Cup performances at least you know he’s on the pitch, rumbling around like a cement mixer.

Brian Ching finally played himself off the team in Mexico City after a slow, painful decline at the international level. Along with Cunningham and Findley, other options that could possibly re-enter the mix include Kenny “Argyle” Cooper and Eddie “The Greek” Johnson, who would really have to start knocking them in to get Bob’s attention at this point.

Kevin: I like Brian Ching but I just think he’s in over his head at the international level.

Same goes for Conor Casey. To be honest, if Eddie Johnson keeps scoring goals I wouldn’t mind seeing him get called up. I know he’s inconsistent and can be very frustrating to watch, but if he can enter into a patch of confidence for  the World Cup he could be very effective–he does still have that world class speed, after all. He might not be so useful against a team like England, but against Algeria or Slovenia he could provide that extra little spark that we miss without Davies.

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Wrapping Up 2009…And Hopefully Denmark

USMNT Aarhus: Late day training

USMNT Aarhus: Late day training

It is nearly time to cue the end of the year pieces.

After an uneven, nail-biting and ultimately euphoric World Cup qualifier run, the USMNT is in Aarhaus, Denmark set to take on the Danish Dynamite this Wednesday to close the 2009 campaign. By the way, yet another kick*ss nickname for a team.

Per our column yesterday, excused from the team’s Slovakia roster are: Steve Cherundolo, who was last seen rolling off the field on Saturday and has an emotional situation to attend to; Chad Marshall, whose knee continues to bother him after playing a single game in the last month; and

dynomite

Uh, no, Danish Dynamite...not DYN-O-MITE!

Clint Dempsey, presumably to get some pitch time for more midfielders.

The man nearly all TSG fans wanted to see on the starting pitch once added to this roster, Pachuca’s José Francisco Torres, was called up, but then excused. Odd in it’s own right, Torres also only played 45 minutes of Pachuca’s contentious affair this past Saturday with U.A.N.L.

Bee-lining eastbound for the Yanks are the Dynamo’s Stu Holden and Ricardo Clark and a man who now needs no introduction, Edgar Castillo, who is making his way to Coach USA’s roster for the first time. Here, here! JFT’s roster spot will go unfilled.

Taking on the Yanks will be the Dynamite who did more than just survive (and top) a difficult WCQ group that included both Sweden and Portugal. The Danes dismissed Sweden in their last 2nd to last WCQ qualifier, dropping the Swedes and blanking them on the goal sheet. In September, Denmark’s defense was just as stiff in limiting a Portugese squad that included Ronaldo, Deco and Nani to a single goal in a 1-1 draw.

Alas, Denmark’s November star has lost some luster as Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner is scheduled for groin surgery and Liverpool central defender Daniel Agger is taking a breather…er…rather…bowing out with an undisclosed nagging injury. Five additional players that started in the last legs of Denmark’s qualifying run, including Ajax striker Dennis Rommendahl, were absent from the Dynamite’s 0-0 draw against Ji-Sung Park and South Korea this past Saturday.

poulsen

Poulsen: An important cog at Juve

Actually trotting out to the pitch Wednesday for Denmark in a starring role will still be Danish player of the year in 2005 and 2006, Christian Poulsen who cleans up the middle for Juventus. In a little bit of interesting trivia while Poulsen shipped in to Juventus from Sevilla he spent the bulk of his earlier career at German side Shalke 04…where his replacement in central defense was none other than Jermaine Jones.

Others to watch out for Vladimir Weisse-style (as in little known players that cause problems, see Slovakia: Saturday), are Thomas Kahlenberg (Wolfsburg) and Duncan Rasmussen (Danish side Bronby). We know Johnny “Be Good” Bornstein is up to the task though….yup just coined a new TSG nickname. (Note: ESPN reporting that Kahlenberg won’t play; we’ll find out — he started and played Saturday against South Korea).

On the flip side of the ball, if the USMNT thought they had a difficult time finding offense in Bratislava on Saturday, they’ll not find it easier this time around. Only 5 goals against the home side in the WCQ trials (again in that group that included Sweden and Portugal) and heady Stoke City keeper Thomas Sorenson in net. If you’ve read TSG over the past two months, you know that we think quite highly of Sorenson who has been tested more often than perhaps any other EPL goalie in the last two years.

Let’s get right to our customary preview.

    1. TSG’s “What We’re Looking For”
    2. 11 at the Whistle
    3. *Disclaimers

TSG’s “What We’re Looking For”

Overview: As we saw in Bratislava, Coach USA is looking to be competitive in the first half and investigate new players in the 2nd half. Coach USA’s recent roster additions (only Castillo, new, amongst the group) suggest that he’ll employ that strategy again.

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With Davies in Repair, Who Strikes?

Now that the harsh, though thankful, realities of Charlie Davies’ injuries are known, it’s time for Bob Bradley and the braintrust to start contemplating the front line going into World Cup 2010.

Davies: Speed and strength

Davies: Speed and strength

Taking a step back, TSG would promote that Charlie Davies was the 3rd least replaceable player on the States’ roster. That’s quite a statement for a player who only factored regularly starting in July 2009 and has less than 20 caps to his name.

Think about it.

There is Landon — irreplaceable on offense, on the left wing and defense. And there is Tim Howard. While Brad Guzan would deputize capably, USMNT fans have come to expect and probably demand Howard’s one to two saves a game and on field direction that change the score.

Next up? Mike Bradley? Nope, you’ve got Benny and Rico, not to mention Paco and maybe Jones or Edu. Dempsey, no again, in fact Stu Holden might be more than his equal on the right wing. Gooch or Boca? I guess we’ll find out here with Gooch’s knee tear but it’s not not incredibly hard to envision Chad Marshall , JayDeMerit, or even a Jimmy Conrad or a Clarence Goodson filling in admirably for either of them.

Altidore? A player who remains the single biggest wildcard for 2010’s Cup theatrics oddly wasn’t on the pitch to start for the States’ two most important qualifier matches, away at Honduras and away at Mexico and remains on the bench at his club team. Ruminate on that.

Davies? Well there is….

In fact there is no one for an abundance of reasons. Charlie Davies, the 3rd least replaceable player on the US national team, and now likely gone through the World Cup.

In July that wouldn’t have seemed like much. In October, it means the entire team dynamics.

Take a look at what Coach Bradley was developing on the left side: Bornstein, Rico, Davies and Donovan–perhaps the four fastest players at their position.

With the Davies-Donovan combination on the left, the U.S. was first using it’s offensive prowess to cover for what deficiencies the team may have at left back (depending who you speak with).

Is it coincidence that both Mexico and most recently Honduras started their attacks down the right side? Nope, they knew that throwing numbers up the U.S. right flank was much less dangerous. Had they tested the U.S. left flank, either opponent would have had to deal with the explosive, yes that is the right word, counter potential the Yanks deployed. (See Confed Cup, Brazil, Rico to Donovan to Davies to Donovan.)

In fact the Davies-Donovan offensive pairing, more than covering for defense, was perhaps the U.S.’s best 1-2 strike combination ever. Yes, I said that–with apologies to Joe Max-Moore and begrudgingly Eric Wynalda. This combo wasn’t lofting a cross onto McBride’s head or Reyna slotting a run for Clint Mathis–this was much more. This was World Cup-grade striking teams avoiding the U.S. left flank.

"Who's this ball going to?"

"Who's this ball going to?"

This was Donovan being able to have a player that matched his speed in possession who knew how to create space for the offender behind him. As we talked about in our Costa Rica review piece (see the LD section in player ratings), Donovan clearly suffered from Altidore, though strong on his own, and Casey not clearing or positioning fast enough for his midfield runs against the Ticos. Charlie knew exactly where to go and got there…fast.

Additionally, Davies speed in and of itself with the ball would open that filling position for Donovan to trail the play and execute. Opponents had to respect Davies’s ability to get up the pitch and round the defense. Altidore, sure he will turn the corner on the defender, but whereas Davies “happens,” Altidore “unfurls.”

Get my drift.

And even smaller subtle things were developing. Davies penchant to go extremely wide and throw a cross on frame as opposed to just breaking down his man (see El Salvador). With Casey and Altidore lining up on the other side that was a very healthy and high probability-type attack.

Yes, CD9 you will be missed on the pitch.

The riddle now is two-part: Who replaces Davies? and Does Bob Bradley change his entire attacking scheme or does he try to slot in a player with some of Davies attributes (speed, one-on-one ability) in front of Donovan?

Come to think of it maybe it’s just one question: Who allows the USMNT’s best player, Landon Donovan, to have the biggest impact on the game?

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Stop Hating on Conor Casey!

Get the foot out of my way!

Get the #@$foot out of my way!

Are you kidding me?

The USMNT roster for the game on the 12th gets announced and message boards and blogs are lit up everywhere with “Conor Casey this…,” “Conor Casey that…,” “Conor Casey can’t score against my grandpa…” etc. etc. etc.

TSG is here to scream, “Stop the madness!”

Really…

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