Clashing: Lando v. Ashley Take One, Big Jeezy, +

Who's gonna get Round 1 bragging rights?

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. This is what we wanted when Lando’s loan was announced.

Fresh of a Super Jozy weekend, comes a midweek doozy, Stateside at least, to get you through the week.

Goodison Park welcomes Chelsea, John Terry, and bad boy Ashley Cole to their pitch on Wednesday.

Bad news that Everton service man supreme Marouane Fellaini is likely out with that ankle knock from that gnarly derby Saturday morning. Further bad news for the Toffees that Pint-Sized Pienaar won’t play either.

That being said look for Everton to try and attack a little more frequently up the right flank in Pienaar’s absence, into Landon’s galloping grounds and squarely into Ashley Cole’s kitchen.

Beyond his personal life, Cole is class and he’ll be making his own runs up the left flank in abundance to threaten Big T and stymie that attack for the Blue Nosers.

Can LD10 (#9 on Everton) shake free for a counterattack? Can Landon beat Cole mano-a-mano on Chelsea’s left side? Once beaten, how does Donovan contend with John Terry?

If I had control of a camera, I would just focus it on that side of the pitch all day long.

Unfortunately, you’re going to need Setanta for this by the way.


Big Jeezy Goes Kiwi

In the other “American in EPL” game, Jozy Altidore and the Tiger ambush head to Blackburn.

Jozy will be rumbling all over the back line there, taking on journeyman Gael Givet at left back….poor Givet and then coming up against New Zealand strong man Ryan Nelson. That will be a good battle and test for Altidore as Nelson may not be the most agile central defender, but he definitely plays stout.

Looking for a good follow-up here from Big Jeezy who has struggled in back-to-back games this season. Admittedly the confidence must have risen for the Haitian youngster as certainly the fitness has.

For a better appreciation Altidore’s progression check out this video…

More to follow….

Big Bird Friedel and his Villa friends try to chill Manchester United after their Portsmouth feast.

The very quiet and steady Jonathan Spector and the Hammers takes on Birmingham. Alas Cristian Benitez is out with ankle trouble. Bummer, consider Benitez a mixture of Amr Zaki and Jermain Defoe…would have been a good test for Specs.

Speaking of Defoe, Marcus Hahnemann tries to become the second American keeper to shut out Tottenham in less than a week. That would be something.

And in the big one, the Lack of an Arsenal host Liverpool who seem to be gathering steam at just the right time. Wow, will the Wengers actually lose three in a row to their main rivals?

48 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Evan on 2010/02/10 at 12:24 AM

    Will be watching this game as well as the hull game simultaneously on two screens. I don’t feel like Everton are going to get a result based on current form and the players missing, but I’m confident Jozy can break this 4 day goal drought against Ryan Nelson and co.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/10 at 12:31 AM

      Evan, about to add in the Hull preview…


      • Posted by Evan on 2010/02/10 at 12:32 AM

        Make sure to put in something about Ryan Nelson being the best Kiwi to ever play in MLS (its true!)


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/10 at 12:39 AM

          We’ll just mention here and that is in fact true.

          Having watched — incredulously — a healthy dose of New Zealand games this year I also have no problem saying that Nelson is head and shoulders above every other NZ player.


        • Posted by Evan on 2010/02/10 at 12:44 AM

          Why would you ever watch a New Zealand game, I thought you guys liked soccer.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/10 at 7:34 AM

      I was eager to watch this game and specifically this match up. But it’s not on FSC.

      It will be interesting to see how Donovan does against somebody in the class of Cole (and potentially Lampard). It will also be interesting to see how Chelsea deal with Everton’s set pieces after the 3-3 draw at The Bridge.

      I think it will be a tight game, but I suspect Chelsea will be too strong and have too much quality when it matters.


  2. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/10 at 12:46 AM

    @Evan…I have no answer for you other than I tend to just leave FSC on in my house and one comes in late on a weekend night here and there and can’t find the remote. :>


  3. Posted by Evan on 2010/02/10 at 12:49 AM

    Haha, I was only kidding if I had FSC I’m sure I would watch stuff like that, and I’m not completely guilt free of watching horrible soccer (I’ve been to a California Cougars game (RIP)).


  4. Posted by KMac on 2010/02/10 at 12:52 AM

    Latest Tweet from Chuck D (CD9)!

    “Thank you all for the support. Surgery was a success & still have a lot of bending to do. No pain No gain. Bless!


  5. Posted by Bob on 2010/02/10 at 2:03 AM

    Speaking of national team players, has anyone noticed that ESPN Deportes is doing a 2-month documentary series on the Mexican National Team? The series will focus on the theme “who will make the team?” The last episode will supposedly feature Jose Francisco Torres and his quest to make the USMNT.

    It seems to me that this would have been a good series for ESPN2 to do on the USMNT as well. I mean if they are going to broadcast the WC why not try to promote the team more? Instead they focus on poker championships, X-games, Australian Open, etc. Since the casual American fan will not know who 95% of the USMNT guys are, then a quick documentary series is necessary imo. They could have episode on Davies and Gooch, the guys who just moved to Europe, the guys like EJ, and Adu, and Cooper who have moved several times just this year in order to get playing time, etc. Hell, they could even focus on Dempsey and his hot SI model wife (who knew he was such a stud). It would be an awesome series with so many different angles. I could even see a show focusing on Brad Friedel as they ask him if he regrets not playing at the international level anymore.

    Man, it seems like there are soooooooooooo many lost opportunities to promote our team, esp. on ESPN.


    • Posted by Evan on 2010/02/10 at 2:47 AM

      I completely agree with this although I’m not sure if they would get good ratings with such a thing, but I would watch it


    • Posted by Mark T on 2010/02/10 at 7:53 AM

      From the time TSG spent at ESPN, I think the USMNT will get a tremendous amount of coverage leading up to the World Cup. Whereas Deportes spends a significant amount of time on soccer, ESPN’s American channels are incredibly diverse, as one would expect. So, look for things to ramp up 90 days out.

      On a positive note, you’ll notice that during every big event broadcast (NCAA National Football Championship, ABC football) ESPN is running promos for the WC.

      However, they are only interested in promoting ESPN-related soccer programming, not the US team or sport in general. As an example, the “highlights” of the Honduras friendly were followed by promo for the June 12th US-ENG game with no mention of any intervening friendlies.


  6. Posted by Matt Mathai on 2010/02/10 at 6:15 AM

    OK, I know I shouldn’t, but he used to be one of OUR players at DC United. His name is Ryan N-E-L-S-E-N. Not Nelson.

    OK, I’m done now.


    • Posted by Evan on 2010/02/10 at 11:58 AM

      My bad, I failed, also being a DC fan. This is what I get for starting to watch soccer in 2005, after he transferred away.


  7. Posted by Timmy on 2010/02/10 at 7:03 AM

    Anyone have a link to the Everton – Chelsea match they would like to share so we can watch from the PC? Thanks.


  8. Posted by Matt Mathai on 2010/02/10 at 7:52 AM

    Apologies if this has been mentioned elsewhere and I missed it, but there are two pretty nice compilation videos out (Steve Goff mentioned them in his Insider blog)


    A really good one of Donovan: all his USMNT goals


    • Posted by Mark T on 2010/02/10 at 7:58 AM

      Thanks, Matt.

      Saw the Lando one last night (in right side bar) and added the Jozy video to this post above a few minutes ago. I hope that there are more on the way from whomever 723FootballFilms is.

      Overr 1/4 of Lando’s goals have come from the spot including 8 of his last 11…crazy. 9 of his last 11 have come from set pieces when you add in the Honduras qualifier goal.

      Is it time to add a USMNT Lando-meter? “It’s been XXX days since Donovan scored in the run of play?”…i kid.


      • Posted by Matt Mathai on 2010/02/10 at 8:07 AM

        Sorry about that.

        Guess I’ll withhold my comment raving about Altidore’s first EPL goal then? :)


      • I don’t know if someone else was taking the spot kicks early in ‘Cakes’s international career (it looked like he started taking them pretty young) or whether the US has started earning more PKs lately but he had a recent run of 6 in a row from the spot (I think 4 were in the 2007 Gold Cup).


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/10 at 10:47 AM

          Good comment Nick.

          You know I was just thinking this morning, that Donovan has been the model of consistency on his corner and free kicks at Everton.

          Whether he feels more confident in the head of Fellaini or is just on a good tear I don’t know, but your comment opened up me to add this….


  9. Posted by Dylan on 2010/02/10 at 11:03 AM

    I wouldn’t mind seeing an all Donovan assist video for USMNT.


  10. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/10 at 11:33 AM

    I am not sure how one would go about this, but it really gets up my nose when somebody is awarded an “assist” when it was a bread and butter ball, that the defensive should have cleared. I am not talking about a defence splitting pass or a great bit of vision. That should clearly get the plaudits and credit it deserves.

    This comment is not aimed at any one player, but just a general statement.


    • Agreed. Donovan’s pass to Casey for Goal #2 against Honduras should be an assist. Gooch’s pass out of the back to Casey/Honuras kepper for Goal #1 against Los Catrachos should not be an assist.


      • Posted by Dylan on 2010/02/10 at 12:50 PM

        If anybody it would be an assist for Davies right? He headed Gooch’s ball in the direction of Casey and the goal, but I agree it was not a pass that was meant for a shot on goal.


        • I didn’t even recall Davies being involved, all I remember is Gooch and then Casey. If Davies flicked it on, it’s a little more questionable…


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/10 at 1:11 PM

          I am also sceptical about calling corners assists, unless there is obviously a set play that was practised on the training ground. I mean, there is one thing aiming for the space that the known arial threat is going to attack, but quite another when it’s floated in and the 5’7″ left back gets on the end of it. That’s just bad defending…


  11. Posted by Bob on 2010/02/10 at 1:38 PM

    Lando corner leads to a Saha goal. Awesome!!


  12. Posted by Bob on 2010/02/10 at 1:51 PM

    Lando wins PK, but Saha blows it.


  13. Posted by Dylan on 2010/02/10 at 2:01 PM

    Saha blew two finishes that landon set up. The ball he played in before the PK was gorgeous, should have been put away.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/10 at 2:04 PM

      Hey Dylan — keep up the commentary here…thanks for the updates thus far…or rather..where is the feed you’ve got?


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/10 at 2:17 PM

        How is the Cole / Donovan match up?


        • Posted by Bob on 2010/02/10 at 2:21 PM

          Cole is injured and subbed out by Ballack.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/10 at 2:27 PM

          I am guessing that Zhirkov has slotted in the left-back position, right?


          • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/10 at 2:31 PM

            I feel like it’s high school and I’m driving down the road and one of my drunk friends from the back seat has found it funny to put his hands over my eyes. Ooops…did I say that out loud.. I need more data on this game. :>


  14. Posted by Bob on 2010/02/10 at 2:04 PM

    I agree! Why not let Lando take PK to change things up? He is really playing well tonight.


  15. Posted by Bob on 2010/02/10 at 2:05 PM not the best but it works


  16. Posted by Swa on 2010/02/10 at 2:32 PM

    Haven’t seen the specific fouls but don’t know whether to be proud that Lando and Jozy aren’t afraid to mix it up or disappointed that officials still have it out for us.


    • Posted by Bob on 2010/02/10 at 3:48 PM

      I was thinking the same thing. Lando played real tough in the first half and almost received a yellow before halftime. Great stuff!


  17. Posted by Dylan on 2010/02/10 at 2:56 PM

    Hey Sorry Matt, I didn’t see your reply until after the game. But I’ve gotta say, absolutely great performance from LD. He was by far the most dangerous player on the pitch for Everton. Saha will finish with two goals but today was all Donovan in my eyes.


  18. Posted by Dylan on 2010/02/11 at 12:04 PM

    Ashley Cole out with a broken ankle for 3 months, I’d say round one went to Donovan. Question is will Ashley come out for round 2?


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/11 at 12:50 PM

      He won’t be fit for the WC. It is a shame becasue he is one of out best players.


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