Orange Slices: Beat The Republic

Our “Orange Slice” post is back.

Go time!

Orange Slices is our game day, catch-all post that we update throughout the day. Everything goes in here (links, photo, video) that seems interesting and pertinent. Honestly, I hate attempting to do a column on gameday. This–the match–it’s what we’re all here for.

The USA takes on The Republic today at Renstchler Field in Hartford, CT. Coverage begins at 4:30PM PST. Game time is 5pm PST.

For TSG’s full preview see: Preview: Who’s Bob Czeching Out?

• I harp on Soccernet quality, but never Jeff Carlisle. One of TSG’s favorites has an excellent, in-depth, non-frothy piece on Landon Donovan.

• I’ve received this question in email and I’m sure I’ve seen it in the commentary somewhere: The USMNT will be boarding for South Africa in D.C. (not Philly) — no other details are known at this time.

• Update:  From Steve Goff at the Washington Post:

“The very early — and very unconfirmed, unofficial — buzz is that several regulars will remain in street clothes. The names I hear are Jozy Altidore, Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley and Carlos Bocanegra. Other veterans will be in reserve.”

*Note (no disrespect to Steve at all) – the last buzz from the WP was that Freddy Adu was in the 30-man roster.

• The USMNT will be wearing their new home Nike Grey, White & Blue jerseys for the game.

• The weather will be around 80° F when the USMNT takes the field. Altitude (ha) will not be a factor as Hartford, home of some great pizza, is only 75 feet above sea level.

• 23 men dress, 6 subs allowed.


PSA: TSG Corporate Announcement: New team players and one man’s World Cup goal


• A very “cool” move by Bob Bradley, inviting the pride of the University of San Francisco, Bill Russell to USMNT training. Well done Sweatpants (who’s wearing shorts in these pictures).

• Carlos Bocanegra had a little-seen chat on ESPN on Monday. One statement caught our eye, “I’m hoping that Finley will be one of the surprises of the tournament. I think he’s got something special to take guys on one on one.”

Might Carlos know something that we don’t know?

• Landon Donovan on SportsCenter, says the US can go to the World Cup finals.

Question here, why doesn’t the US trot out another young face with Donovan? A Stuart Holden, a Michael Bradley? Everyone knows Donovan. Want to interest casual fans….introduce them to a new star!

• The US last played Czech…yes…in 2006. 3-0 to the bad. Tomas Rosicky–two goals in that one–is not with the team for their American roadtrip; neither if not-so-gentle giant Jan Koller. Lowlights here.

• Other major friendlies today include: Nigeria vs. Saudi Arabia, Greece vs. North Korea, and Paraguay vs. Ireland.

• Heath Pearce to Turkey reports are afloat again.

• The man known as Algeria’s “Zidane” will not be making it to South Africa for the Foxes.

• Two new Twitter folks you’re going to need to check out? FakeBobBradley and GoochsKnee; we assume they mean his left knee.

• Clint Dempsey after practice yesterday with Hall-of-Fame Boston reporter Frank Dell’Apa….more on Clint at The Yanks Are Coming as well.

More coming….


• All part of his masterplan? Noel Gallagher says US will earn draw versus the Queen’s best.

55 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Shay on 2010/05/25 at 12:04 AM

    I think this is a game of evaluation and well see the likes of:
    G- Hahn
    Def-Cherundolo Gooch Goodsen Bornstein
    MF- Holden Edu Torres Beasley
    F- Buddle Johnson

    I did some deep evaluation and based on the articles I’ve read and personal judgement theses are the players with the most to prove in the most different of ways. Any thoughts?


  2. I think the Czechs are due for a good dusting. Why not us? I’m sick of those guys. That 3:0 match in Germany ’08 where that 40 yard Rosicky bomb broke my heart. The 5:1 drubbing in Italia ’90 where someone must have said something to Wynalda about his momma, because he hit a dude and got sent off for his trouble.

    Having gotten that out of my system, I think that if Coach Bob does this right, and the Czechs field their first team we are probably more likely to lose. I think Coach Bob should get a last look at the bubble guys and be certain who should remain on with the team through the World Cup Finals. I think it’s worth sacrificing a result to figure this out. If the Czechs field their reserves, our ‘B’ guys could very well make a game of it or at least make it clear who isn’t comfortable playing up when it’s World Cup time.

    Good wholesome exercise in the sun never hurt nobody either…except in rather extreme cases involving skin cancer…

    I hope no one from either side gets hurt.

    About teams from Eastern Europe:

    The tackles are “no nonsense” – our boys might want to leap over those.

    Look out for the counter. Granted that is a de rigeur sort of thing now in football, but that is the bread and butter of the Eastern European game. Thus managing risk by not taking so many risks. Better to punish us when we risk pushing up numbers and lose the ball.

    If we lose the ball we may not be seeing it again for quite some time.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/25 at 5:55 AM

      It’s a World Cup warm-up game. As long as Bradley gets what he needs to out of these games to be ready for the World Cup, then that’s what matters.

      It’s the ‘result vs performance’ debate that comes out about before every World Cup for all finalists. In a perfect world, you’d know your 23 and you’d you’d have both (result & performance)…


    • Those Eastern European tackles can be managed, send Paco Torres out there to whack the shit out of a guy in the first minute and send a message that he may be tiny but he’s not to be messed with. I don’t mean to intend to injure but definitely lay some good wood on a guy.


  3. Posted by Bob on 2010/05/25 at 5:19 AM

    Interesting comments by Boca about Findley. I also read somewhere that Demps had high praise for Beasley and claimed he was very fast in camp.

    To be fair to ESPN, they did do an E:60 piece on Demps and a commercial with Altidore as well as an ESPN Deportes piece on JFT. Just saying…


  4. Interesting that when Dempsey was asked about the good young talent coming up he mentioned Torres and Bedoya.


    • We need to find a way of better integrating players from a Latin background in our system of play… When we figure out to combine our “athleticism” and Euro-style defensive organization with a bit of Latin attacking flair we’ll have a “style” and be getting somewhere. I would really want to see both these players on the plane but I think we’ll only see one.


  5. Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/05/25 at 6:11 AM

    The Square Root Republic?


  6. Posted by Tom on 2010/05/25 at 7:15 AM

    Man that Donovan interviewer from ESPN was sad. He read it all off his prep sheet. Hard to believe they don’t have anyone on staff who actually knows soccer…


    • Posted by Tom M on 2010/05/25 at 9:16 AM

      That was Josh Elliot who apparently is a soccer fan. He also always seems to the soccer highlights when they are in top ten plays. I didn’t think he did a bad job at all.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/05/25 at 9:17 AM

        Note: As of now, we’ve been declined for an interview with Josh Elliott. Emailed our contact Sunday evening and no response yet.


  7. Posted by i like tuesday on 2010/05/25 at 7:18 AM

    If Boca is saying Findley is schooling our defenders in training then we should be worried.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/05/25 at 7:29 AM

      Excellent point and temperament.


      • Findley vs. Gomez vs. Buddle

        I think Bob sees all these guys as “his” guys and they have roughly equal shots at the last spot. Bob called Gomez into the Copa America side, so his recall validates that decision. Buddle has also been previously involved with the team during Bob’s tenure. The fact that Bob saw something in them then and decided they weren’t quite ready doesn’t mean he won’t feel good about choosing any of those players now that they are ready.

        Findley’s running is actually very good. It’s just he has no final ball. I wonder if Bob could shock us by bringing all three of these guys and dropping Ching, if he feels like Buddle can do what Ching does, only better. Anyways, my couple of cents on the forward situation.

        I do think it’s much more meaningful if we see a couple of these guys play with Altidore rather than picking two buddle candidates to pair together. We need to see who potentially has chemistry as Alti’s strike partner.


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/05/25 at 8:06 AM

          Agreed on your last paragraph Tuesday — case in point: HDC January….Findley pairs Cunningham and they both look are utterly confused as to who makes what run….


        • Posted by Kevin on 2010/05/25 at 11:39 AM

          I completely disagree on the note that Buddle is anything like Ching. Sure he’s strong and CAN hold up the ball like Ching does, but so can Altidore. It’s a matter of playing style. To me, Buddle seems like a smaller, older, less skilled, faster version of Altidore. I also struggle to see a reason to strike Ching from the 23 man roster. By not naming Casey to the 30 Bradley clearly said Ching is the target forward, and not only do I not see Bradley going to South Africa without a true target forward, I don’t know many managers who would. What happens if we’re getting knocked off the ball, and can’t play up the middle? Insert Holden and Ching. Cross, finish, goal.


        • This makes me miss Brian McBride….a lot.


    • Posted by Jennifer on 2010/05/25 at 7:43 AM

      +1 to Tuesday.


  8. Posted by MichaelN on 2010/05/25 at 9:05 AM

    Man have I missed this….almost a two months wait and now some serious USMNT live-game action coming up. Long live the Yanks….Long live TSG.

    Also – Stuart Holden nets a goal tonight: my token meaningless prediction


  9. Posted by Dylan on 2010/05/25 at 9:39 AM

    Mostly I’m looking for some solidarity in the back, and an injury free game. That would make me feel good going forward. Of course a Buddle goal would be a bonus.


  10. Posted by B-Mac on 2010/05/25 at 9:50 AM

    Steve Goff reports Jozy Altidore, Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley and Carlos Bocanegra are all in street clothes tonight. If that’s so, I predict a line-up of:


    6 Subs: Pearce for JB, Edu for Clark, Gomez for Findley, Ching for Buddle, Torres for Feilhaber, Bedoya for Holden.


    • Posted by i like tuesday on 2010/05/25 at 10:07 AM

      I think it’s short-sighted not to start Jozy with his potential strike partner. It’s not like he needs a rest like you could argue that Dono, Demps, Bradley do. Boca isn’t quite fit, I reckon.

      That said, I like that starting 11.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/25 at 10:14 AM

        Playing devil’s advocate here:

        Do you think that Bradley has seen someting in training to suggest that Altidore isn’t necessarily a shoe-in for a starting place? I mean, he hardly had a prolific season.

        Maybe Bradley wants to take a look at others (against a good team) in case Altidore gets injured?

        Does anybody know the stats of the US offensive with and without Altidore?


        • Posted by uncle dude on 2010/05/25 at 10:23 AM

          “I think it’s short-sighted not to start Jozy with his potential strike partner. ”

          “Do you think that Bradley has seen someting…”


          Maybe he’s already set and gonna go with Altidore and Dempsey up front?


        • Posted by sfshwebb on 2010/05/25 at 10:41 AM

          Then he should play them so they get some time to gel and play against a good opposition. It’s not like he’s giving anything away.


        • Jozy wouldn’t be the first player to have drastically different fortunes between performances for country and club. Jozy totally pwned at Confed Cup. I hate to admit this, but it’s not like there are a ton of palatable choices at strike for the auld US of A. Not since Brian Mac and Wynalda aged out.


  11. Posted by kaya on 2010/05/25 at 1:07 PM

    I’m of 2 minds about whether to use this game as an opportunity to czech out alternative combinations that don’t involve Jozy or as an opportunity to have our second choices gel with Jozy. Given what I read about the level the Czechs played against Turkey, I’m inclined to go with the former.
    Either way, I’m looking forward to czeching off puns involving the Czechs from the to-do list.


  12. Posted by Soccernst on 2010/05/25 at 1:25 PM

    The only thing that can stop the body-czeck of Czeck puns is to czeck mate them in hartford. But given our czeckerd past, and the players who may or may not czeck into the game, I foresee the czeckered flag resulting in us czecking out with a loss, dooming us to czeck into the pun-itentury till the next tilt.


    • Posted by kaya on 2010/05/25 at 1:58 PM

      Have you czeched into the possibility a czechmate by the US will not in fact lead to more czech puns?
      Given that the Czech team appears to have taken a rain czech on this round of friendlies, I forsee the opposite result, but we’ll have to czech back and see.


  13. Posted by uncle dude on 2010/05/25 at 1:25 PM

    “Then he should play them so they get some time..”

    I would guess tonight is about looking at other options and the remaining matches will be about fine tuning the the starting 11.


  14. Posted by Hardman on 2010/05/25 at 1:28 PM

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    This site rocks . . . a friend shared it with me a few months ago, and I am completely hooked. Ecellent analysis, great discussions, and clever banter without any of the petty-racist nonsense or silliness on so many other sites. Thanks to all of you!

    I am glad to see Donovan and Dempsey dressing in the sense that it puts added pressure on other players to step up there game and preform. If Sweapants, Jr. does not play tonight, it gives the opportunity for Torres and Benny to step forward and assert themselves more. We are going to need depth if we are going to get out of our group and we will need it in spades if we are going to make a run, this is the perfect opportunity to do that. Having said all this, we have to be realistic in judging the bubble players based on the absence of some key cogs.

    Thanks again for creating a great community.


    • Posted by kaya on 2010/05/25 at 2:17 PM

      I suspect it’s because Matt creates an awful lot of original and unique content himself rather than the typical “here’s a link, what do you think?” stuff I’ve seen elsewhere. Of course, there have been a number of very knowledgeable contributors to keep the level of discussion high from the beginning, but it is curious how TSG seems to have escaped any signs of trolls.
      In the immediate aftermath of the CD roster exclusion, I decided to hold my nose and read through some of the comments in one of “the leading blogs” and was pretty horrified to see people were self-aligning their political views with their perception of what happened.


  15. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/25 at 1:46 PM

    Effing Noel Gallagher. Still trying to line his Manc pockets with State-side wonga? Bloody northern scrote – can’t take ’em anywhere!


  16. Posted by kaya on 2010/05/25 at 2:02 PM

    I just czeched back and noticed the title of this post has changed.


  17. I want to see Bedoya succeed a whole heap. After I read the interview he did with TSG, I decided that not only is he talented, but he seems like a decent person with a good sense of humor. Good on ye Al.


  18. Posted by Hercules on 2010/05/25 at 4:00 PM

    So, we now have the lineup, but who are the subs?

    For those that haven’t gotten the line-up…

    ‘Dolo Goodson Onweyu Bornstein
    Holden Edu Torres Beasley
    Buddle Johnson

    Lineup thoughts?


    • Posted by Bob on 2010/05/25 at 4:04 PM

      This pic might help with the subs.


    • Posted by Bob on 2010/05/25 at 4:05 PM

      I was pretty sure that Buddle or Gomez was going to get the start.


      • Posted by Bob on 2010/05/25 at 4:09 PM

        Here are the subs: subs tonight: Hahnemann, Spector, Ching, Clark, Kljestan, Pearce, Marshall, Rogers, Findley, Bedoya, Gomez


        • Posted by Shay on 2010/05/25 at 4:15 PM

          Im pretty sure that was the lineup I posted at the top of this discussion late last night as well as on “Who’s Bob Czeching Out” article…just flip flop Hahn for Guzan! HAHA I nailed it! I did take a lot of time to filter and prepare my lineup. I’ll also have the next two games lineups posted before game day as well. LOL…Sorry just throwing it out there. Lets go Yanks!!


  19. Posted by Bob on 2010/05/25 at 4:02 PM

    Not sure but here is a pic of the guys arriving. May get a clue from this pic:


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