Posts Tagged ‘USMNT’

Get well cd9

Tragic news has struck today with the report that Charlie Davies and two others were in a serious single car accident at 3 AM yesterday morning. One passenger was killed immediately, while the other two were taken to the local hospital. I will let the professionals explain all the details. Goff, SBI

Davies will be out for 6 to 12 months at least and will require massive rehabilitation on his broken leg, and while worrisome, it means nothing in comparison to how generally lucky he was. Seeing the picture of the car makes the whole situation hit home even more clearly. However, I have seen accidents and professional athletes hurt before, but none have filled me with this deep sense of  sadness like this one has. It was like a classmate, or distant relative was hurt, not an athlete who I have only seen on television. I felt a pain that made me think of the good times I have had with Charlie not on the pitch, but as another young 20-something figuring out the world. I feel a kinship to him, like I know him personally.

I think this is due in large part to the access we get to our favorite stars these days as American soccer fans. The rising talent of US soccer is different from nations like England, and Spain. They grew up doing the same things we did. Playing on little league teams, going through the throes of high school and struggling in college. Now, they are out in a world they love and we love. They use twitter to tell us anything from their feelings after a crushing loss to the hottest new song they just heard.  They update their facebooks with pictures of parties and their normal (in comparison to WAGS) girlfriends showing us that while being stars, they are, in fact, young, immature and human, just like me. European starlets don’t seem the same in this sense. I don’t feel any connection to them beyond the fact that they play football, and I love football. Beyond that, I don’t know who they are or what they do with their spare time. The connection isn’t as strong because since they are stars, they lead such different lives from such an early age. Guys like Wayne Rooney, or Cesc Fabregas have spent their entire lives in academies designed to make them great players, but I have no connection to them. I did not spend time in those academies.

Of course there are other reasons why I wouldn’t feel a kinship to these players and do for American players; like their different nationality, my lack of exposure to them on the national team or many others, but my argument is that some of this American affection is in part due to the fact that players like Davies, Jozy Altidore, and Stuart Holden are easy to relate too, and through this, they are easy to love, cheer for, and worry about like a friend of the family.

Look across the blogosphere today and the rest of this week, and you will see a coming together, a unification of bloggers, intent not to talk about strategies and point totals, but of a common heartfelt sorrow for a young man who may never have the career he was destined to have before this fateful day.

My thoughts are with Charlie and his family, and I hope he has a speedy recovery from his injuries.

The USMNT faces off against Costa Rica Wednesday night. During the 9th minute, do something special for Charlie Davies, the number 9 for the US Men’s National Team. I will be in my home holding a candle and thinking positive thoughts.


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With the recent transfer of Charlie Davies from Hammarby to Sochaux, he is now leaving the Gold Cup squad to join up with his new team. He is now the fourth player to leave the squad.

The other three were Freddy Adu, Micheal Parkhurst, and Steve Churundolo.

The loss of Davies leaves a US attacking group that is a little toothless. Ching, Cooper and Santino Quaranta are the remaining forwards in the squad while Jozy Altidore can be brought in if necessary. I doubt Altidore comes back, as he will either be returning to Villareal, or moving on loan to another club to gain playing time. Cooper hasn’t had a great tournament and Ching is returning from an injury which will lessen the power of the attacking duo for the rest of the tournament.

Freddy Adu’s return to Benfica happened last week and his absence really won’t be missed. He has had a mediocre tournament in his two appearances and did not climb the mountain like I hoped he would. He had a few moments of skill, but even more moments of disappointment. He will need to find playing time somewhere, and should be loaned out again. The best move for him would be to move to a club in Sweden, or Denmark where he can get playing time, and slowly build his confidence back up to where it should be.

Micheal Parkhurst was not on his best form in this tournament, and did not help his cause for playing time with the US Men’s National Team as the other centerbacks in the player’s pool look stronger and stronger. He moved back to his club in Denmark, Nordsjaelland.

Steve Cherundolo was good in the tournament, providing some great crosses and anchoring that right side of the defense. He will be missed, as the other right backs in the squad are pretty meagre. Brad Evans has played a few games there, but he is a natural midfielder, while Jay Heaps’ performance against Haiti shows that he is not of USMNT quality. Sam Cronin has played a few games as a right back for Toronto.

Of note as well is the absence of Benny Feilhaber, who was brought in for two games from the extra players allotted to the US team for their performance in the Confederations Cup. He has moved back to his club as well so that he could begin preseason training.

This is how I see the team lining up in the Semi-Finals.





The midfield is still very good, and Holden has been a beast recently, so I still think the team reaches the final, but I don’t know if they can become champion without more of a strike force, and better right back.

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In a summer that should be full of Americans moving to promising clubs, Charlie Davies has been transferred from the Swedish club Hammarby to Sochaux, a team in the French first division.

Reports of the deal have been anywhere from €2 million to €2.5 million.

The deal seems like it will be a great move for Davies whose speed and control on the ball will fit in well in Ligue 1.

Here is SBI’s take on Davies’ move.

Davies has been with the USMNT in the Gold Cup, where he scored a goal, but is now leaving camp to join up with Sochaux in preseason training.

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Big news in American Soccer news today. Oguchi Onyewu signed a three year deal with European powerhouse AC Milan today, and Fifa handed out a 3+1 match ban for Micheal Bradley after an altercation between the ref and himself after he was sent off during the Spain v. USMNT match in the Confederations Cup.

My thoughts in two sentences. Great for Gooch, as he will be challenging for a starting role in one of the best leagues in the world. The ban on Bradley won’t make him miss the Mexico match in August, so it doesn’t mean too much besides the fact that he is a little bit of a hothead who needs to mature some more.

Since I was in class when all of this broke, here are some links from every other blog that has covered it. Check them out to learn more about both.

SoccerByIves: Onyewu, Bradley
du Nord

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Here are some links from today, just because I am feeling nice.

Ives throwin’ down some knowledge: Soccernet
Micheal Owens to Manchester United! Unprofessional Foul
UEFA tightens down on racism. about time. : The Original Winger
Superliga hitting home in KC: Advantage Played
Brad Evans Interview: USMNT Blog

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The climber looks up the mountain as he struggles for breath. 8000 feet up,  and the air is thinner than he remembered. He has been here before, walked these steps, seen these tress. Once when he was younger, he made that long daunting trip up through the foothills, and to the base of the mountain. The mountain was ominous and dark then, as he was barely 18 but now it looked promising and he was determined to make it to the top this time. He didn’t quite reach it before, as he began to read his own press clippings and proceeded to bite off more than he could chew.

The path had been laid down by others, leading to success and goals achieved. The way was clear, his mind was clear, he was ready.

Freddy Adu will look to make his mark on this year’s Gold Cup, hoping to impress Coach Bob Bradley enough to warrant an inclusion in next year’s World Cup squad. However, he also must see this as a way to impress his club coaches at Benfica as well. He knows that this is his best opportunity to shine. The only question is will he.

He has technical skill, now he just needs to refine it, get stronger on the ball, and start making better decisions with the ball. The good thing about all that is that it can all be attained with time and practice.freddyadu

Fredinho as he has been known, is a product of too much hype at too young an age. He was compared to Pele, Maradona and Cruyff at the tender age of 15, and was told that the future of US soccer rested on his thin gawky shoulders. No one lives up to that hype. If Pele had grown up in this day and age, with that sort of media pressure, I doubt he would have ever lived up to the hype that would have been attributed to him.

He knows the pressure is on him for this month’s tournament, but he should be used to it, as he has been under pressure since he was a boy.

Fate has a fickle finger, but I hope it begins to point in Freddy’s direction soon, so that he can being to relax and enjoy the game. Until then, he will continue the journey through the foothills to the base of the mountain, look up on it’s powerful peaks and invulnerable crags and smile. He has been here before, and knows the path to success.

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US Gold Cup 2007

On Saturday, the USMNT starts the second tournament of it’s long summer against Grenada in the Gold Cup. The team will not be the same as the one that traveled to South Africa last month, but it looks to achieve many of the same goals as the A team achieved against the best teams in the world. The quality of opponents in the Gold Cup is lacking, however, a young, inexperienced American side will be able to learn a lot from this tournament as well as try to garner the attention of head coach Bob Bradley before the World Cup in 2010. The squad looks like this:

Goalkeepers: Jon Busch (Chicago Fire), Troy Perkins (IK Start), Luis Robles (Kaiserslautern)

Defenders: Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Jay Heaps (New England Revolution), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaellands), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock)

Midfielders: Davy Arnaud (Kansas City Wizards), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Colin Clark (Colorado Rapids), Sam Cronin (Toronto FC), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Logan Pause (Chicago Fire), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)

Forwards: Freddy Adu (AS Monaco), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas), Charlie Davies (Hammarby), Santino Quaranta (D.C. United)

Seven players have also been allowed to be added to the pool since the Confederations Cup ended so close to the start of the Gold Cup. The US will still have an 18 man game day roster but, will be able to call in these players to individual games if the coach decides to do so.

These players are:

Jozy Altidore, Brad Guzan, Conor Casey, Sacha Kljestan, Benny Feilhaber, Jonathan Bornstein, and Ricardo Clark

The lineup I see Bradley using is this:






However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Holden and Adu switch places, or for Beckerman to come in for Pause. I also think we will see Jimmy Conrad and Chad Marshall in the center of defense at some point as well. The above lineup is what I would like to see for the first game against Grenada.

Honduras and Haiti are also in the United States’ group.

What do you think? Good lineup, or do you want to see somebody else in there getting some playing time? Wish someone who wasn’t called up would have been? Let me know in the comments.

I’ll be back later with some key players to watch in the tournament.

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