Tag Archives: 2010 FIFA World Cup
So I’m just finishing up an internship in the city and getting ready to head back to school and have basically finished up all of my assignments there so I have a ton more time to write and waste time thinking about completely meaningless things that would fit right in place for this blog. I’ve started posting on the bigsoccer forums I’ve been lurking in for months. I’ve started looking through U-17 rosters and reading up on the progress of 11 year olds (hint: we’ve got one in La Masia). It’s great to have this kind of time back. This internship is the primary reason I haven’t been writing much at all this summer. Hopefully during the school year I can get back to writing a piece for every game from either team, and maybe a bit more. We’ll see. Anyway…
I’ve been thinking a lot about formations and how exactly we can best use our best players (and those we expect to be our best players by 2014). I can’t really imagine seeing many of these things happen in reality because some of them are very odd shapes and involve players playing experimental positions that would be extremely hard to adapt to unless they were doing it more often than they are able for the national team(read:doing it for their clubs). A few of the key issues I’ve seen, is how to get all of our best midfielders on the field in a formation that makes sense and isn’t uber-defensive; where exactly to play Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan who have defied position for club but been stuck on the wings by Bob; what to do to cover some of the flaws of our younger players, Paco Torres and Tim Ream’s relative defensive inability and our entire backlines relative offensive inability. I wanted to see if I could come to an optimal lineup in my head and an optimal formation for that team.
First I wanted to start by gathering a very loose 23(turned into closer to 45 but i’ll still be shocked if I have half the 2014 WC roster on this list). The numbers are loose as I took anyone who currently has a spot on the team or I expect to be in serious play for the team, as it currently stands, in four years. Presumably players will come out of the woodwork and force they’re way into the starting lineup consistently, the way Stuart Holden had before his injuries and other players will fall of the map entirely. Players will also be totally unavailable due to on the field injuries and possibly even crazier things, again Holden and Charlie Davies, but I can’t do much to take those into account yet for obvious reasons.
My roster of options looks something like this at the moment. I’m sure it will change again a million times before the Belgium match in two weeks, not to mention the World Cup 3 years away.
FW Donovan, Agudelo, Altidore, Davies, Bunbury, Braun, Sapong, Doyle, Salgado, Mcinerney…
M Bradley, Jones, Edu, Torres, Adu, Dempsey, Holden, Diskerud, Beckerman, Shea, Bedoya, Klejstan, Gatt, Gyau,Lletget…
D Lichaj, Gonzalez, Ream, Chandler, John, Kitchen,Spector, Whitbread, Opara, Marshall, Pearce, Clark, Ihemelu, Agbossumunde,Franklin Castillo…
GK Howard, Guzan, Hahnemann, Hamid, Johnson …
Thats not quite everyone that could possibly end up on the team, but after a bit of skimming through a few BigSoccer forums these are the names that I decided would be the most likely to end up on the team. So anyway this is the roster of 45 that I decided on, maybe I’ll trim it down and add a few names to it over the next few years. Also my lineup ideas are going to heavily favor players who are already playing with the team. I figure the odds of picking which of the U23 players who arent already playing with the senior team will be starting for them within four years is too low for me to mess with.
The USMNT will take on Spain at Gillette on June 4th. Anyone interested in buying me tickets should do so because I want to be there.
More importantly the US has lined up a very legitimate list of teams to play against this summer. Obviously having all these teams in the US is a perk, but its also worth pointing out that the US is facing these teams. Between the end of the World Cup and this match up, the US will have faced Brazil, Argentina and Spain all in under a year. Of course they only played a handful of other matches but Chile and Paraguay are far from the bottom of the barrel. Both would compete and do well with the top teams in CONCACAF and dominate the bottom in the same ways that the US and Mexico do.
Here it is. The Red USMNT Jersey’s are officially out. The new motto which is yet to be decided will presumably be on the back, but here is what the kit will look like for this week. Pretty much what we expected, a red version of the World Cup kit, but I’m a big fan of the look.
More images here at US Soccer’s Facebook Page
Although some may be out celebrating some Irish holiday today, I would like to bring up the fact that today is a great day in American soccer history. 39 years ago today, one of the most dominant American athletes in the history of sport, along with one of the most prolific goal scorers in the history of American soccer was born. The athlete with the most goals of any international soccer player was born in a small Alabama town. They have been called one of the best 125 soccer players alive by Pele, and “perhaps the most important athlete in the past 15 years” by Michael Wilbon.
Mia Hamm is to this day still probably the most recognizable US soccer player around the world. Mia Hamm and the 1999 World Cup team created unimaginable interest in both soccer and and womens sports. As much as people talk about why America hasn’t ever brought out a world class player it seems that they forget about the importance and significance of Mia Hamm. To this day she is still in the very top level of greatest players in the history of womens soccer. Only a handful of players, if that many, have done what Hamm did for women’s soccer.
A veteran-laden roster, very much an A-team will be brought in for the two March friendlies. Headlined by established stars, 16 of the 24 players were a part of the the World Cup roster this past year, the team is expected to be a preparation for the Gold Cup this summer. Of course a few young players (ie. Tim Ream, Mix Diskerud, and Juan Agudelo) made the cut along with a some never before capped dual-nationality players including German-Americans GK David Yelldell of MSV Duisburg and D Timothy Chandler of FC Nürnberg.
“This is an important opportunity to get our core group together along with some relatively newer faces as we consider the roster decisions for the Gold Cup this summer,” Bradley said in a statement. “We have not had these players together for quite some time, so this is a great chance to get in a solid week of training and then face two quality opponents in Argentina and Paraguay.”
The players will have a week to train before the two friendlies; against Argentina on March 26 and against Paraguay on March 28.
GOALKEEPERS Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton Wanderers/England), Tim Howard (Everton/England), David Yelldell (MSV Duisburg/Germany)
DEFENDERS Carlos Bocanegra (St. Etienne/France), Jonathan Bornstein (UANL Tigres/Mexico), Timothy Chandler (FC Nürnberg/Germany), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96/Germany), Jay DeMerit (Vancouver Whitecaps/M.L.S.), Oguchi Onyewu (FC Twente/the Netherlands), Tim Ream (Red Bulls/M.L.S.), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United/England), Zak Whitbread (Norwich City/England)
MIDFIELDERS Michael Bradley (Aston Villa/England), Clint Dempsey (Fulham/England), Mikkel Diskeruud (Stabaek/Norway), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy/M.L.S.), Maurice Edu (Rangers/Scotland), Benny Feilhaber (AGF Aarhus/Denmark), Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers/England), Jermaine Jones (Blackburn Rovers/England), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht/Belgium)
FORWARDS Juan Agudelo (Red Bulls/M.L.S.), Jozy Altidore (Bursaspor/Turkey), Edson Buddle (FC Ingolstadt/Germany)
In another instance of the USMNT getting a hair older, Landon Donovan turned 29 today. Not that that means he’s old but it does mean he’s no longer the young up and coming player we saw in the 2002 World Cup. Landon has been one of the best players I have ever seen put on a USMNT jersey, and is for many people up towards the top of the list of best American soccer players. Donovan may not have been the best American player during his career (although many would say he has, I would still argue Dempsey, and Howard might be a click or two better, but that’s an argument for another day) he has been the face of US Soccer for years. Donovan was the only current USMNT player to take part in the most recent failed World Cup bid. Donovan is the face of the national team for many American soccer fans and probably even more so for those who don’t closely follow the team. Landon Donovan may not have been the first American soccer player to be a house-hold name, but I would argue that as long as I’ve been watching soccer he has been far and away the most widely recognizable face of the national team. To remember just how far Donovan is away from that 2002 tournament, here are his 45 career USMNT goals (only for those interested in 10 minutes of Landon Donovan-centric USMNT glory). Of course I also had to throw in a little extra video of one of his most recent goals, seeing as the video literally never ceases to bring a tear to my eye I thought it was necessary for any celebration of Landon Donovan.
Although CONCACAF has been hoping to receive a full four places in the 2014 World Cup, FIFA voted to have the allocation of World Cup spots stay the same. There is only a slight change, although it is a key one as far as CONCACAF is concerned. 13 teams will automatically qualify from UEFA, 5 from CAF, 4 from CONMEBOL, 3 from CONCACAF and 4 from AFC. The first team to miss qualifying automatically from CONMEBOL, CONCACAF, and AFC will be placed into a pool with the winner of the Oceania. Rather than the team from CONCACAF automatically facing the team from CONMEBOL and the team from Oceania automatically facing the team from AFC the matchups will be selected randomly between the four. For the most recent World Cup, the four teams which would have been in this pool were Bahrain, New Zealand, Uruguay and Costa Rica. Instead of Costa Rica being forced to face Uruguay, their opponent will be selected at random from the other three teams. Obviously comparing the strength of CONMEBOL to AFC and Oceania this is still an improvement for CONCACAF and will likely make it easier for CONCACAF teams to qualify for future World Cups.
CONCACAF President and FIFA Vice President Jack Warner will face a FIFA ethics committee for again selling World Cup tickets on the black market. He did the same thing during the Germany World Cup in 2006 but kept his job and apparently his right to do it again. Warner was again caught in a ticket selling scandal during the 2010 World Cup. Warner planned to buy tickets from FIFA for the 2010 World Cup and to then sell them to different European agencies making much more than the tickets are worth. This man practically runs both of the organizations that are above the USSF, and he is still willing to make these blatant attempts to make money off of his job. As much as we harp against Sunil Gulati, he is definitively not in it for the money (Gulati does not get paid by USSF.) Jack Warner seems to be doing whatever he thinks he can to make extra money off of his position.
The Shin Guardian got an interview with USSF President Sunil Gulati, who specifically talked on the Striker issue which has caused so much of a fuss in recent years. Jozy Altidore is not a terrible player, he may not be a great player, but just because he hasn’t scored in 7 World Cup games doesn’t mean he is completely incompetent. Of course Gulati talks on other subjects too, all equally worth reading about.
TSG: A striker got fouled this evening [Juan Agudelo against Chile]. A striker scored [Teal Bunbury]. Much has been made about that a US striker has not scored at the past two World Cups.
But then you look at a country like Paraguay. A very successful country on the international front.
For the past two World Cups they had less collective goals than the US and a striker only scored one of them.
Do you think the US striker situation is scapegoated a little too much?
SG: I think when you talk about a total of seven games it is a very small sample size.
We won our group without having a forward score so there is obviously other ways to win games.
Clearly you would like the players up top to help in that area and I’m sure they’ll help in that area in qualifying.
First Sepp Blatter mentions that Spain and Portugal and Qatar were involved in vote-trading before the World Cup Bids. Then Blatter proceeds to say that it didn’t really have any effect so it’s not a problem. Of course it is speculated that a total of seven votes were involved, meaning all seven of the votes for Spain and Portugal, along with seven of the twelve votes that ended up awarding the vote to Qatar. Also naturally irrelevant to this conversation is exactly how Blatter knows whether or not it had any effect as all of the votes are made in a secret ballot, in which case no one should know who voted for who, or which votes were traded or not traded for, not even Blatter. Also worth noting is that within the last few days FIFA has also rejected appeals from Reynald Temarii and Amos Amadu for accepting bribes involved with the World Cup bid. As far as I know there has been, and is no plan for, any punishment of Qatari, Spanish or Portuguese officials. What exactly explains the difference in significance between trading votes for votes and selling votes for money. I assume that it’s got nothing to do with FIFA being morally opposed to the barter system, although that might be the most solid reason I’ve heard. Of course nothing will come of this as far as the 2018 or 2022 World Cup’s are concerned. There will undoubtedly be no re-vote, and Qatar will host the even despite this, but the important question to ask is how can such significant proceedings be so basically flawed?