On To The Weekend…Thankfully…

Let’s get going:

Eight left for THE prize...

• It’s Not Beer Pong:

We’re down to the final eight for the College Cup and this is where–if you haven’t been paying attention–it’s time to start…because honestly, the zeal and passion combined with the talent left the rest of the way, makes this a very fun tournament to watch.

I would say over the past few years, I’ve been very impressed with the maturity of teams being on the rise. Teams keeping their cool, muted trash talking etc.

Tonight you have SMU at North Carolina. And then tomorrow you’ve got some of the bigger guns going with Michigan at Maryland, Cal at Akron and UCLA criss-crossing the States over to Lousville.

TSG will be rooting for Cal since USF didn’t have the make-up this year (and we could see them giving Teal Bunbury’s Akron some real trouble Saturday), but we really like Taylor Twellman’s Maryland (because G Zac MacMath is scalding right now).

If David Estrada’s UCLA deals with the time change as well, I can see them knocking off the #1-seeded Cardinals.

And, lest we fail to mention it as we always do, one of TSG favorite games ever was the 2007 NCAA Championship Game between Ohio State and Wake Forest that we mentioned in this column here.

In that game–as we mentioned in the piece–Wake Forest captain Julian Valentin went–unselfishly–head first to defend a loose ball near the Wake Forest 18 and received a cleat in the face that is one of the worst if not the worst cosmetic injuries I’ve seen in soccer. The 1-minute mark. (Other players in that game by the way? Ike Opara and Marcus Tracy).

Holden, "DeJonged"

Holden, "DeJonged"

More Hits From DeJong?

All American eyes will be on the City of Manchester Stadium on Saturday where nervous American fans will look to see if a) Stu Holden passes fit and starts against the citizens and b) the first time that Nigel De Jong and Iceman Holden tangle in central midfield.

That moment has to be in the back of the American’s mind. Bolton takes on Manchester City, 7am PT on Saturday.

• Spector’s encore

The former Manchester United signee Jonathan Spector figures to be in the starting line-up again on Saturday when the Hammers look to spook the Black Cats at the Stadium of Light.

If you though Holden was the only one that had to look for his health this weekend, if Specs is in the midfield he goes up against Lee Cattermole, who never met a Red Card he didn’t try to collect.

West Ham Sunday in the early game against Sunderland.

• Fulham Head Intercity

Fulham to the Emirates to face Arsenal. Arsenal’s home form has been challenging…nay it’s been atrocious. American father Clint Dempsey could sparkle–if he gets service–in this one as Arsenal’s central defense has been softer than Santa’s belly lately.

Fulham play Arsenal early Saturday and please, please “Don’t Climb On the Cannons!” Another favorite video of ours.

• All Points Bulletin: The Gooch Watch

Yes, The Shin Guardian just re-issued The Gooch Watch, not seen in these parts for some time AND we’re putting out an All Points Bulletin for Oguchi Onyewu to be on the bench this weekend when Milan welcome relegation candidate Brescia to the San Siro.

Milan has a critical midweek tussle against Ajax in the Champion’s League (Onyewu is not on the Euro roster) and word is that suitors are in the offing for Onyewu. A little run out would certainly help his value.

Odds: 3 to 2 on Onyewu in the 18.

More coming….

32 responses to this post.

  1. You can root for Cal, but it sucks. Why do that to yourself? Do you enjoy rooting for a school that knows only heartbreak and torture, which is an honest return, given how much it sucks?

    (Stanford alum)


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/12/03 at 12:33 PM

      Oh wow DTH, I didn’t know you were a Stanford alum. I categorically root against Stanford–sorry–as I come up against their former college players with our Black Sox club team and against their players in ultimate frisbee…and, frankly, against their alums in tech business world. :>

      I just cannot root for a university (Stanford) who’s endowment is larger than the GDP of nearly every country in Africa or Oceania.


      • Fair enough, won’t disabuse you of that.

        I think we’re a pretty good bunch of people, though of course I’d think that.


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/12/03 at 12:46 PM

          You are — I just root for the underdog. :> Are you Bay Area?


        • Posted by dth on 2010/12/03 at 1:09 PM

          A lot of my family and friends are; sadly, I’m not. I would go back in a second though–you’re living there, so you know exactly what it is to be missing the place.


  2. Posted by nelson on 2010/12/03 at 12:49 PM

    I feel you you matt. When my uni Oglethorpe plays Emory I sing the Empire theme from Star Wars.


  3. Posted by kaya on 2010/12/03 at 12:59 PM

    I too started off unliking Stanford. I’ve come to have a begrudging respect as my life has become more involved in the tech end of engineering vs the structural (go Cal) from which I come.
    Doubt I’ll catch any of the college games, but I like that TSG learns me on aspects of the game I won’t quite catch on soccernet.


  4. Posted by Alex on 2010/12/03 at 2:12 PM


    – Alex from Kaintuck


  5. Posted by John on 2010/12/03 at 2:27 PM

    Anyone but SMU.


  6. Posted by Ryan Rosenblatt on 2010/12/03 at 2:57 PM

    I hope Gooch gets a run out, but I doubt it. Milan’s match against Ajax doesn’t mean a thing because they’re already locked into the second place spot in their group. I doubt Milan sits any of their first choice players especially now that Lazio has won, although I sure hope I am wrong.


  7. Posted by Alex on 2010/12/03 at 3:02 PM

    Hope I’m wrong too, but I also think Gooch does not dress this weekend. He’s way down in the pecking order. They don’t like him there, plain and simple. And here I thought a while back that his little skurmish with their best player was going to help his chances . . . Ah well.


  8. Posted by John on 2010/12/03 at 3:13 PM

    Gooch is more invisible right now than Freddy Adu.

    This joke brought to you by New Belgium’s Trippel Ale (brewed with coriander)



    • Posted by kaya on 2010/12/03 at 4:15 PM

      Folks, come see him at tomorrow night’s 8 and 10 PM shows.

      (I should also point out I just noticed Matt’s clever “Hits from Dejong” ditty.)


      • Posted by John on 2010/12/03 at 4:19 PM

        Thanks folks for the warm welcome….

        Say.. did you hear the one about Sepp Blatter?



        Well Sepp Blatter has so much money!

        *HOW MUCH MONEY?*

        What a great audience you are gorgeous.

        Sepp Blatter has so much money that he was RUSSIAN to a 2018 World Cup Decision!

        Thanks I’ll be here all evening, try the pie.


  9. Posted by chris on 2010/12/03 at 4:01 PM

    how do i follow the college soccer? i am from nc and would love to room for unc team. but my assumption is that there is no tv for this. right?
    any games at UNC?


    • Posted by chris on 2010/12/03 at 4:04 PM



      • Posted by BW on 2010/12/03 at 7:51 PM

        wish i would’ve seen this earlier for you. go to ncaa men’s soccer website. a fair amount of games have links to web broadcasts from respective schools. carolina covered this one. won’t give it away in case you go seeking a replay…


  10. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/12/04 at 7:26 AM

    No Stu Holden in the 18 for Bolton at Man City today.


    • Posted by Kevin on 2010/12/04 at 5:24 PM

      That’s probably for the better. If I was Owen Coyle I would rather play one or two games without Holden than 5 or 6. Still if I was Holden, I would have liked to get a shot at DeJong, but that doesn’t really seem to be the way he rolls.


  11. Posted by Hercules on 2010/12/04 at 8:04 AM

    Bradley with a Free Kick goal!

    BMGB up 1-0 in the 32′ over Hanover.


    • Posted by Hercules on 2010/12/04 at 8:09 AM

      Beasley and Clark on the bench.

      4′ ManCity up 1-0 over Holden-less Bolton.
      37′ Eintracht Frankfurt 1-0 over Mainz.


    • Posted by Hercules on 2010/12/04 at 8:28 AM


      Mainz has tied up Frankfurt.
      M’Gladbach still with the 1 goal lead, but down a man.


  12. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/12/04 at 8:42 AM

    Dempsey gorgeous assist for the Fulham equalizer.


  13. Posted by dth on 2010/12/04 at 9:17 AM

    The way the Fellaini-Rodwell partnership is working in the Everton-Chelsea game should be a model for how the USMNT approaches a, say, Bradley-Jones partnership in a 4-4-2: neither is super creative, but they’re each clever about running forward at somewhat opportune times and each responsible enough to cover for the other. Of course, Everton is losing but it’s because of a terrible error and a lack of quality in Everton overall (no Arteta and no strike force really hurts them)


  14. Posted by Dylan on 2010/12/04 at 12:22 PM

    The Gooch watch will have to continue, left out of the 18 again.


  15. Posted by Iggystar on 2010/12/04 at 1:24 PM

    I’m eagerly looking forward to seeing Jonathan Spector play.

    It was weird typing that.


  16. Posted by BW on 2010/12/04 at 5:50 PM

    aww man i got all excited that fulham had won….but they lost??


  17. Posted by Alex on 2010/12/05 at 3:59 AM

    Louisville beats UCLA 5-4 with a last minute golazo.


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