Tim Howard says Ref’s Unfair

Howard205Tim Howard has said that he doesn’t think the officiating was too fair in the loss vs Mexico yesterday.Says SI.com:

“It seems like when we come to a place like this, the most intimidated person in the stadium is the referee,” said goalkeeper Tim Howard after the USA’s 2-1 loss to Mexico. “The bar was probably tilted in their favor, and that’s unfortunate because it was a hard-fought game. We went in hard, they went in hard, and for some reason, we keep coming out with the foul.”

I don’t like to blame the Ref’s usually, just because its not the right thing to do and you can’t fix it or really prove anything, but the fact that we lost Onyewu for the next game is very frustrating. Also we have to deal with the fact that its everyone against the US in every aspect of our games.

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Back to Bussiness

The only Jersey he scores in...

The only Jersey he scores in...

So with the US loss at Mexico behind us it is time for the start of the Club soccer to begin (besides MLS) and for our players over there to really improve their form. To start this off Clint Dempsey has signed an extension with Fulham:

The Club is delighted to announce that Clint Dempsey has signed a contract extension that will see him remain at Craven Cottage until the summer of 2013.Dempsey signed for the Whites in January 2007 and guaranteed his status as a fan favorite with the all important winning goal against Liverpool that ensured Fulham’s top flight status that season.The 2007/08 campaign saw Dempsey make 36 appearances and score six goals. He bettered that tally in the 2008/09 season, netting eight times in all competitions.Dempsey also played a pivotal role in the United States’ recent Confederations Cup success – with goals against Egypt, Spain and Brazil helping guide his side to the runners-up spot.

Dempsey has been the most successful American in the EPL that is not a Keeper possibly ever, and more time there will hopefully make him stronger.

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USA 3- Mexico 2 (Aggregate)

So Mexico won 2-1… When you consider the lack of importance for the US, the win or they’re probably done mentality for Mexico, and the fact that they played at awful Azteca, this is not the worst result ever.  This game undeniable confirmed that the US are the superior team in CONCACAF, or at least in the US v Mexico rivalry (I wont take anything away from Costa Rica yet). 

When you take the two games together, our 2-0 win in Columbus and the loss today, this would be a win overall if we considered it a home and home, the way that the Champions League is played, for example.  If there is anyone who thinks that Columbus is a harder place to play away than Azteca I would love to hear why, but for now I think that fact makes the overall score even more impressive…

For a recap of the game you can read it on ESPN, but I’m just going to touch on a few things then I would like to hear other peoples thoughts. First I think Charlie Davies has transformed as a player this summer more than any other American and his goal today just confirmed that. Also Landon’s pass was world class and I feel he could still be immensely successful in Europe if he found the right place. I’m glad that I called the two guys who would be left out, although that was not the biggest deal ever.  And lastly Tim Howard made some unbelievable saves like always, to help confirm that he is the best in the world.

So tell me what you all think about the game.

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Gameday!

If only we could be like the Mexicans in NY...

If only we could be like the Mexicans in NY...

So today is the big game! The game is at 3pm and will be shown on Mun2 in English and Telemundo in Spanish.  There will be a pregame show on ESPN the first ever pre-game show they do for a soccer game that they are not actually showing.  If you are like me than you do not get Mun2 (although they are adding it to all satellite customers for the game today free) because I have cable.  So I will be out and not able to add posts about the game today.  I will be able to comment though and will try to update that way.  Go USA!!!

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World Cup Qualification Odds

So there’s a website called Sports Club Stats that does the odds for making the World Cup out of the CONCACAF region.  They say that our current odds of making the WC are 95.5% while our chance of finishing number 1 is 31%.  There are some neat charts and tables but this one shows the implications of our game with Mexico tomorrow:

Wednesday, 8/12
Mexico vs USA 4:00 PM
Chance in World Cup if:
Mexico wins USA wins Draw
Mexico 66.1 30.7 42.7
El Salvador 26.6 37.4 33.3
Honduras 65.3 75.6 72.0
USA 89.3 99.4 96.7
T & T 4.1 7.5 6.1
Costa Rica 98.6 99.4 99.2

So pretty much if we beat Mexico tomorrow were in almost for sure and their odds are very bad.  If we lose they are probably going to make it, and we are still sitting pretty well but a little less certain.  If we draw our odds are pretty great as well.  So while tomorrow is very important for pride and revenge, it is not the most important game for us in terms of the WC.  But it is for Mexico…

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Who to drop?

brian-chingSo the current roster for the game against Mexico is 20 guys, but the only 18 players actually get to be on the roster come game time, so the question is who to drop?

Here is the roster to look over again:

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION Full Roster Click Here
GOALKEEPERS (2): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa: 5/3 SO), Tim Howard (Everton FC: 11/7 SO)
DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes: 21/3), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA, 2/0), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover: 18/0), Jay DeMerit (Watford: 2/0), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew: 1/0), Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan: 16/1), Jonathan Spector (West Ham: 2/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach: 10/4), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo: 5/0), Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC: 17/4), Benny Feilhaber (AGF Aarhus: 1/0), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo: 0/0), José Francisco Torres (Pachuca: 5/0)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Hull City: 8/5), Conor Casey (Colorado Rapids: 5/0), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo: 15/6), Charlie Davies (FC Sochaux: 2/1), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy: 30/11)
*numbers indicate all-time World Cup Qualifying caps/goals

Which two players will be dropped to get to the 18?

To me it seems that it should be 1 D player and one Forward/Midfielder.  I don’t Bob Bradley would call a player from overseas to come back if they were not going to play so that only leaves the MLS guys to eliminate.  For the D that is Bornstein or Marshall. Of these I think it is more likely to be Marshall but I’ll put it at 60% Marshall and 40% Bornstein. 


For the F/M it is between Casey, Ching and Holden.  I don’t think it will be Holden because both Donovan and Dempsey can move up to play Forward if need be.  For Casey and Ching, while Casey played in the Confed Cup and Ching didn’t, Casey has been hot scoring a Hat-Trick this week, and while considering Ching has been hurt, I still see Casey as the most likely to be left off.  Ching just has so much experience and in a game in Azteca experience could play a big role.  I will put the odds at Casey 60% Ching 30% and Holden 10%.

What do you think? Who should be left off? Who will be left off?

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Update: Offical Change

The official for the Mexico game on Wednesday has been changed! ussoccer.com reports:

Posted by ussoccer at 8/10/2009 6:59 PM CDT
U.S. Soccer has been informed of a change in the referee crew that will officiate Wednesday’s match.  Roberto Moreno of Panama will now run the middle, replacing Joel Aguilar of El Salvador.  Fans who followed the Gold Cup will remember that Aguilar served as the referee in the 1-1 draw between Mexico and Panama from the group phase in which Mexico coach Javier Aguierre and Panama midfielder Ricardo Phillips were sent off, with the Mexican manager receiving a subsequent three-match ban from the sidelines.
You would think that this is a good change for the US, as Aguierre kicked the Panama player and there is now a ref from Panama.  Also the same things apply that Panama has a better chance to get in through the 4th spot than passing the US…

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Bradley Press Conference

bob-bradleyIf you want to listen to a conference call with USMNT Head Coach Bob Bradley from Miami you can check it out on the USSOCCER website.  Tim Howard was also on the call.

My notes from the call:

  • They are currently training in Miami.
  • They will not train in Mexico, they will get there late Tuesday and not go to Mexico City till the last second possible.
  • Bradley talks about altitude, consulted experts from the Olympic committee.
  • They believe its either get fully acclimated in about 10 days or spend as little time as possible in the altitude
  • 14 guys are currently in Miami. Guys yet to arrive are MB JA BF BC RC SH
  • Giovanni Di Santos is of concern.  Had a very good gold cup, but we know his tendencies now… prefers his left foot a lot. Tim Howard not scared.
  • Gold Cup was disappointing but most player were not involved and don’t think it is a problem.
  • Tim Howard has never been to Azteca but has played at much more intimidating venues and so have his teammates.
  • Win doesn’t guarantee top seed in WC
  • Tim doesn’t care about seeding, everyone in the WC will be a challenge.

The total call is very long this is only about half of it.

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Adu to Denmark

U-20 Captain Adu

U-20 Captain Adu

Freddy Adu is in negotiations to transfer to Denmark club Odense, who finished second in the Danish Superliga last year, on a one year loan.  Steven Goff from the Washington Post reports:

The Insider is getting word from contacts close to Danish and American soccer that Freddy Adu is in final negotiations with Odense on a one-year loan from Portuguese club Benfica. If all goes well, he would be formally introduced this week. Adu, 20, is in the third year of a five-year deal with Benfica and played sparingly while on loan at French club Monaco last season.

Odense finished second in the Danish Superliga last season and is coached by former Denmark national team defender Lars Olsen. The club will face Genoa in a Europa League playoff later this month.

Other Americans in Denmark include Danny Califf, Jeremiah White, Benny Feilhaber, Marcus Tracy and Michael Parkhurst.

Its not a big club or a big League, but its competitive, and probably can offer Adu lots of playing time.  The most important thing for Adu right now is to get playing time, becuase he needs to develope as a player and be in top form if he wants to compete in the World Cup in 2010 and be a key member for the USMNT for the future.

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American Recap

Ives Galarcep of ESPN has a really good review of how all the American players who played league matches (no preseason included):

England

COCA COLA CHAMPIONSIP

  • Jay DeMerit started and played 90 minutes in Watford’s 1-1 draw vs. Doncaster on Saturday.
  • Frank Simek dressed but did not play in Sheffield Wednesday’s 2-2 draw vs. Burnsley on Saturday.

LEAGUE ONE

  • Ian Joyce dressed but did not play in Southend’s 2-2 draw vs. Huddersfield on Saturday.
  • Zak Whitbread did not dress in Millwall’s 1-1 draw vs. Southampton on Saturday.
  • Mike Grella dressed but did not play in Leeds United’s 2-1 win vs. Exeter City on Saturday.
  • Jemal Johnson started and played 90 minutes in Milton Keynes Dons’ 0-0 draw vs. Hartlepool United on Saturday.

Germany

BUNDESLIGA

  • Michael Bradley started, played 70 minutes and received a yellow card in Borussia Moenchengladbach’s 3-3 draw vs. VfL Bochum on Sunday.
  • Steve Cherundolo started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Hannover 96’s 1-0 loss vs. Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

BUNDESLIGA 2

  • Kenny Cooper started, played 72 minutes and scored a GOAL in 1860 Munich’s 2-0 win vs. TUS Koblenz on Sunday.
  • Luis Robles dressed but did not play in Kaiserslautern’s 2-1 win vs. Furth on Saturday.
  • Matt Taylor came off the bench and played 19 minutes in FSV Frankfurt’s 2-1 loss vs. Duisburg on Sunday.
  • David Yeldell started and played 90 minutes in TUS Koblenz’s 2-0 loss vs. 1860 Munich on Sunday.

France

  • Carlos Bocanegra started and played 90 minutes in Rennes’ 3-0 win vs. Boulogne on Saturday.
  • Charlie Davies came off the bench and played 19 minutes in Sochaux’s 1-0 win vs. Auxerre on Saturday.

Denmark

  • Benny Feilhaber started and played 90 minutes in AGF Aarhus’ 2-1 win vs. Koge on Sunday.
  • Jeremiah White came off the bench and played 19 minutes in AGF Aarhus’ 2-1 win vs. Koge on Sunday.
  • Dan Califf did not play in FC Midtjylland’s 4-1 loss vs. Randers FC on Sunday.
  • Michael Parkhurst started and played 90 minutes in FC Nordsjaelland’s 3-0 win vs. Silkeborg IF on Saturday.

Norway

  • Troy Perkins started in Valerenga’s 4-3 win vs. Tromso IL (Norwegian Cup).
  • Mikkel Diskerud started in Stabaek’s 3-1 loss to Aalesund (Norwegian Cup).

Sweden

  • Alejandro Bedoya started and played 90 minutes in Orebro SK’s 1-0 win vs. Helsingborg on Sunday.

Mexico

  • Jose Francisco Torres came off the bench and played 37 minutes in Pachuca’s 2-0 win vs. Atlante on Saturday.
  • Michael Orozco started and played 90 minutes in San Luis’ 2-1 loss vs. Morelia on Sunday.
  • Edgar Castillo started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in UANL’s 1-0 loss vs. Chiapas on Saturday.
  • Marco Vidal started and played 90 minutes in Indios de Ciudad Juarez’s 1-0 loss vs. America on Saturday.

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