Posts Tagged ‘Freddy Adu’

EJ Nets Brace Over In Greeceland

Two deposited today by Eddie Johnson in Aris’s 2-0 win over Olympiakos.

Freddy Adu assisted on the first and Johnson charlie hustled the 2nd all by himself.

First Weekend Runaround: Freddy Adu & More

Updates…

Edu: Old Firming it....

♦ Sunday Update: A fitting 1-1 tie today between Rangers and Celtic with Maurice Edu relieving early in the game in the 13th minute as Spaniard (and candidate for the “best name” team) Nacho Novo takes a knock and Edu replaces him. DMB still out with an injury and not in the 18.

♦ Holy Shnickes! Mike Grella didn’t get any run out (though he was in the 18), but a major upset today as, minus the injured Vidic, Manchester United fall to Leeds in the FA Cup. After the half, Sir Alex threw the kitchen sink of veterans (Giggs, Valencia and Owen) on to the pitch, but no joy for the home squad.

♦ First reader question from CJ: Freddy Adu

"Hey, anybody there got any advice on this one?"

Monday update: Adu’s latest…not much here.

Sunday Update: As of Sunday morning, Freddy was twittering  (message 1, message 2 ..message 2 has now been deleted by Adu) out there whether he should go to Aris (where Eddie Johnson went on loan) or Hull and where presented the best opportunity for playing time.

Jozy Altidore weighed in on the decision as well.

A few TSG comments on this one:

Freddy–if you can get that work permit–you should head to Hull. You’ll get exposure to a league that can toughen you up and you’ll be able to draft under the wing of Jimmy Bullard– a consummate professional with a great understanding of the game–and Geovanni–who are arguably has a very similar game albeit it better.

The ability to move and get playing time amongst the reserves and the senior club will at least deal Freddy some more pitch time.

Does this just smack of desperation by Hull? Self-professed, Hull needs to cut payroll. So a loan for an out-of-favor Adu who doesn’t make a drastic amount of money seems to align. Hull is absolutely so desperate for an affordable option in their midfield who can move the ball that Freddy might get some run-out.

Maybe a pairing with Altidore will resuscitate Adu’s career? Funny how it was once Adu who was the most talked about American to move to the Iberian peninsula and now Altidore has that title. Wow, is Ante Razov’s extremely modest “success,” the best any American has ever done in Spain or Portugal? That’s a story in and of itself.

Aris: A  non-English speaking side without a reserve squad and an Argentinian manager who has a boatload of his homeland players on the squad…TSG still favors Hull (wink).

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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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EPL Week 4: Rummaging Through the Weekend

Doing a little lite league-hopping overseas this afternoon:

Poor ESPN and ESPN.com.

I’ve criticized them before for not promoting soccer enough across their site and externally and now they do it…..for Liverpool-Burnley. Did you really just do a match-up piece with a segment on Steven Gerrard vs. Graham Alexander? Apologies to Alexander, but if you think a 37-year-old who is in his first year of Premiership football is a “match-up” for arguably one of the top five players in the world…..are you kidding me?

Tune in Saturday and watch this image over and over and over....

Tune in Saturday and watch this image over and over and over....

There are banner ads on the ESPN site and even major promos during Sportcenter to add to the hype and hoopla….for Liverpool-Burnley and the Reds are at home. I’m not a gambler, but LadBrokes has the chance of Burnley (shellacked by Chelsea last outing) eeking out a draw at 12 to 1 in this one.

This is on a day when Arsenal travels to an Adebayor-led Manchester City and Manchester United travels to White Hart Lane (to face the white-hot Harry Rednapp-skippered Hot Spurs); this game after the Man U’s comeback last year is going to be a good one. The punishment should fit the crime…I mean the promo should fit the piece.

Look ESPN we know you don’t have the cream of the crop games yet, so let’s not pretend they are with the American fanbase. Shaun, c’mon, add something in here: Graham Alexander vs. Steven “I own the nighlife scene” Gerrard!

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Fan Stats: Jones, Hedjuk…and Nguyen?

We’re rolling up our two polls today at the close of the halfway mark of round four of World Cup qualifying. The poll questions seem apropos.

Nguyen in action

Nguyen in action

What better intro than Lee Nguyen. Tucked into the “other” category for our first poll, “What absent USMNT player are you most interested in seeing on the pitch?” was a single write-in vote for Lee Nguyen–I think that’s the first time I heard his name since I saw him sub in for the US of A at Spartan Stadium in 2007.

Nguyen is a US U-23 rostered player who just missed the cut for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He is currently playing in Vietnam after a cup of coffee at PSV Eindhoven (DaMarcus Beasley is an alum of the club). Nguyen is having a more than solid year with 12 and 16 through 24 games. More on Nguyen at Goal.com.

Nguyen plays like a mishmash of Shaun Wright Phillips, Jose Francisco Torres and Ji-Sung Park. Very staccato like moves, can keep attack in possession, and an indefatigable motor. Wow, I think someone just gave TSG our darkhorse Aaron Lennon-Jermaine Defoe-Theo Walcott X factor…though not in time for 2010. We’ll follow-up more on Nguyen at another point.

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Freddy Adu Finally Transfers

Adu: Headed just down the street

Adu: Headed just down the street

Last week, we wrote a piece imploring US midfielder and South African hopeful Freddy Adu to push for a new club so he could get some extremely vital playing time.

Today, just ahead of the transfer deadline, TSG has learned that Adu is finally off the pine and headed to historic club Belenenses, currently 7th in the standings in the same Portugese Liga. Both teams are based in Lisbon.

We hope Freddy dresses and gets some run in his first game on September 13th, because it’s against none other than the team that loaned him, Benfica.

Freddy: Adun’t Make A Mistake

Freddy: Take charge!

Freddy: Take charge!

We’ve all seen the talent and we’ve all heard the hype–though both have quieted a bit on all levels over the past two years.

Take a look at a USMNT message board and you’ll see his name come up more times than Bob Bradley vilifications.

Freddy Adu is the answer! Freddy Adu doesn’t do anything.

Where’s Freddy Adu in the squad for the game?

Now, news comes yesterday that Freddy Adu’s loan move from Benfica’s Stadium of Light is scuttled until further notice and TSG is going to weigh in with a little commentary after taking an evening to think about it. ESPN, as well as a number of other sources, are reporting that Adu’s loan move hit the skids because of an issue over compensation, specifically Odense not wanting to pay the full salary for the 20-year-old….which I guess brings us to our main point.

What is Adu thinking and, more appropriately, how is Adu’s agent playing this one? Freddy, you’re all of 20-years-old. You’ve made money through both play and promotion (Adu is still signed to Nike). On that playing front, you’ve been making wages since you were 14! Sir Alex Ferguson annointed your potential at 17….others that Ferguson has knighted go just by their last name: Rooney, Giggs, Ronaldo. (and maybe Macheda, but we’ll see on that one)

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