(The return of Will Parchman. That escalated quickly.)
I can’t do it you guys.
I know Jeff Agoos is staring at me from the bar over there.
I told him about this whole thing a couple weeks ago and I think he hates me now. I’m not trying to make enemies. I just wanted him to know I liked Julian Green. I mean, he’s young, but he’s pretty great. I told Jeff I thought he should be in Brazil the other day over our customary Thursday dinner of Grilled Cheese Martinis and Olestra Pancakes, and he just started yelling something about David Regis. How life is unfair and I think he said something about ponytails but I couldn’t make it out over all the carnage. I was running away by then.
Apologies to Jeff, but this is the first day on the new USMNT Julian Calendar. Whether or not he ends up in Brazil – which he should, as I’ve written about before and will defend – this is something like a recruiting coup during the last hour of signing day. I won’t get too deeply into the specifics or detail of my opinion because it’s all been thrown at you by verbal gymnasts more adept than I over the past couple weeks.
But I will say this – don’t hate me Jeff. I like you. But I like Julian Green too. And he doesn’t throw my Grilled Cheese Martini in my face.
Anyway, hier kommt die Mericaschaft. TO THE XI MY GREENIACS (I’m already so sorry for everything).
U.S. Soccer @ussoccer 18m
#USMNT lineup (plain text version): Rimando; Beltran, Gonzalez, Besler, Parkhurst; Beckerman, Zusi, Davis, Bradley; Wondolowski, Dempsey
First reaction is FULLBACKS ARE DEAD. I don’t know what it’s like to feel confident about a fullbacking corps, but I DO know how it feels like to feel confidence in a corpse of a fullback. ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED. IS THIS NOT WHY YOU ARE HERE. Anyway. We’ll see. Beltran’s started the MLS season well, as has Parkhurst, who’s splayed out a bit wider in the Crew’s scheme even as a central defender. Also, I’m not particularly fond of Gonzo, and if that makes you upset feel free to send your hate mail to my coworkers. Thanks.
Brad Davis starts on the left to give us all a stark reminder of why America needs Julian Green in its player pool. Yes? Yes. This is Klinsmann just saying SCREW ALL OF YOU I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING. I don’t know why else that happens. Davis has some utility, but internationally I’ve had enough of his plaintive grunts and frustrated ears. Clint drops in behind Wondo, Graham Zusi does some shuttling on the right and hot damn am I excited to see Beckerman next to Bradley. Just a couple lovely midfielders.
This is supposedly a diamond. No way it ends up that way. No chance. Don’t care what Klinsmann wants, Bradley won’t reliably stack on Beckerman the way a diamond demands, and Dempsey won’t stay high. It’ll rearrange itself into a 4-2-3-1. Send me all of your anthrax if I’m wrong. Promise.
The rollout for the damned polo (The Damned Polo?) was one of the worst games I’ve ever seen. Time for The American Dream-sicle’s turn. You can use that. You should use that. Tell your friends.
Ian Darke’s voice fades in and immediately millions of multi-lingual babies with an encyclopedic knowledge of rich aged whiskeys are spontaneously born across the nation. Game time. Leggo.
‘1 – It’s too early to say anything, so I’m going to say something. Bradley is high. Maybe this will end up being a diamond. Should you listen to thinks I say? Hold on I’m making a Buzzfeed list about it.
‘2 – Tony Beltran already looks bad. More jokes about fullback corpses. More wine, stewards!
‘6 – Early thoughts: Parkhurst is so high. I mean the Colorado way. I also mean the tactical way. Mexico looks horribly disorganized. Beckerman and Bradley will make this look a lot more comfortable than it seems. And it probably won’t seem comfortable because Tony Beltran hates everything you hold dear.
‘9 – Wondo just gave Rafa a shove off the ball which, I mean, he plays for the Quakes but you’ve still got to root for that. Also, let’s talk about how much better Bradley is than everyone in the building tonight. My word. There’s calm, and then there’s Bill Murray, and then there’s Michael Bradley.
’13 – Odes and string music to Kyle Beckerman here. Have you seen his engagement photos? See his engagement photos.
’15 – THE DOOOOOMEEEEEEE GOOOOOALLLLLLSZZZZZ. Such marking. Many bad. Feels. Jesus Zavala just decided, you know, what the hell, who needs this bullcrap? Halfway to dos-a-cero, you know.
’20 – FIRST JULIAN GREEN SIGHTING ON THE BENCH. He sits next to DeAndre Yedlin, who was laughing because Tony Beltran is actually playing cricket right now. Drunk.
’24 – Besler flubs a header and Ian says, “Make mistakes like that against Cristiano Ronaldo and YOU’LL DIE YOU MISERABLE MAGGOTMAN.” OK. So not exactly. But I think if you wrote him, I mean, that was the gist. Are you scared? You should be scared. Omar isn’t very good.
’26 – Dempsey drops deeper than Bradley sometimes, which is not good. A sign he’s trying to prod the game open instead of letting it breathe. Bradley is settling atop Beckerman, but this is no 4-4-2. Dempsey is dropping back but needs to stay stacked on
’28 – GOAL WONDOFACEEEEE. Beltran did a thing! What! What! What! Beltran’s cross hits Bradley’s beautiful STATE CAPITAL DOME, which heads on for Wondo, who Wondo’d it Wondo tip you Wondo’d yourself. #DosACero
’30 – You’re happy about this if you’re the USMNT. I mean, you can’t be upset. Tony Beltran just did a thing. But Mexico is just John Tesh trying to sing you to sleep through a megaphone made of hypodermic needles right now. It’s sad and I can’t be apart of it.
’37 – No chance Klinsmann takes four forwards to Brazil, right? ArJo and Jozy are there. Which in my mind, with so many spots needed in midfield/defense, you either take EJ or Wondo. I know Wondo scored tonight. But he’s Wondo. Sorry, blacked out, were we talking about a third forward? I’m sad. What’s Julian Green doing right now?
’40 – Brad Davis just tried a back heel. It ended with Davis waking up in a Tijuana side street wondering why he’s covered in purple crepe paper.
’45 – Ian Darke: “THIS IS A RAZOR SHARP DISPLAY FROM THE UNITED STATES.” Yeah. What’s Clint done tonight? Why is he so high.
HALFTIME – US to win the World Cup? US to win the World Cup. Steward! More wine!
’46 – Michael Bradley led all players with 54 first-half touches. At this point you wonder how many staples it takes to make him Pirlo? No subs at half, but Julian Green comes on soon
’48 – Roger Bennett tweets Julian Green running around on the sideline. We all start jumping around like schoolchildren at this point, yes? OK?
’50 – Mexico goal off a set piece. Omar Gonzalez got picked, yeah, but he’s so shaky. Do you trust him for Brazil? I don’t know. 2-1. I’m going to go ahead and say Omar Gonzalez is not an international level center back and then #CameronOverEverything. Just going to leave that here.
’54 – Another set piece and this time Besler ball watches, only luck that leaves the header begging. Scaaaary.
’58 – MOTHER OF GOD THAT’S JULIAN GREEN’S MUSIC. ALSO LANDON DONOVAN WHO IS A HUMAN ALSO. You are free to officially start your Julian Calendars. Flip over to 1 AJ. Again, I’m very sorry for all of this.
’59 – Green on for Brad Davis. Light some candles. Put on some Barry White LPs. We’re getting real.
’61 – Mexico looks ascendent. Goodson looks terrible already. Omar is drunk. What do we do? Oh yeah Julian Green. NM.
’66 – Bradley’s deployment higher means Dempsey pushes higher himself, running channels almost like a runner on the final leg of a 4×200 snagging the baton from his relay partner. It at times leaves Dempsey left out of the attack, but he’s more effective than he’s been in recent games. Which admittedly isn’t saying much but you know. Deuce.
’67 – Yeah, Mexico goal. Deserved. Good cut-back pass there, and Goodson/Omar are terrible together so it all makes sense. Goodson is a giraffe on marbles. Always.
’70 – BUCK UP IDIOTS.
’74 – Donovan came on for Zusi in the 58th, which I didn’t mention because Donovan’s been invisible, and this is just the fifth time Donovan/Dempsey/Bradley have played together under Jurgen Klinsmann (which goes back to August 2011). They have a 1-2-1 record together. Their only win together is 3-1 over Antigua & Barbuda. It does not look like No. 2 is on the way tonight. This is crumbling.
’76 – DEMPSEY JUST DID A THING WITH A TOUCH AND MAN DO YOU REMEMBER THAT GUY TREADING ON PEOPLE I’M KIND OF SAD NOW WHERE’S MY WINE STEWARD
’78 – Yedlin is on at RB for Beltran and already he’s combined with Dempsey for good times, great music. The best player to ever have worn the No. 2 for the USMNT is Frankie Hejduk. I’m not lying.
’80 – Julian Green injures his shoulder falling to the ground trying to trap a ball with nobody around. Suddenly a lot of people feel really stupid. Not me. Definitely not me.
’85 – EJ GOAL BUT THE FLAG IS UP BECAUSE COMMUNISTS. I’m sure EJ scored. Bradley started that whole thing. Let me see the replay, ESPN. OK. ONSIDE. Not close. I told you guys. Communists.
’87 – JULIAN GREEN PENNO BUT NO CALL BECAUSE COMMUNISTS. Guys. Punch something. Punch anything. Punch everything.
’89 – Both wrong calls. If this was the World Cup, I mean, I’m not saying this is all about Slovenia 2010, but it’s about Slovenia 2010 and I think somebody needs to be punched in their secret spaces.
’92 – This back line is like Uwe Boll’s directorial career. Gaping holes, sadness and trash fires.
Ok. So the diamond kind of held more than I figured, though Dempsey dropped somewhat deep as we all figured. I was (somewhat) wrong. I owe all of you beers or something.
Good and bad things. The defense should scare you witless for Brazil. It’s bordering on DUKES OF HAZARD BROS JUMPIN’ OVER STUFF. Bradley is a mangod. Julian Green looked young but, I mean, I’d take him. Yedlin should start at RB (I SAID IT YOU WANNA FIGHT BRAH). Dempsey is still kind of scary but he looked better. Ian Darke can sire my children. The end. Thanks for joining. I’m going to find my wine steward. I think he’s drunk.