Sunday, January 14, 2018

Who's On First?

Considering who's on board, I actually think a 3-5-2 would suit just fine for the USMNT's upcoming Bosnia friendly. Granted as always, I won't see training - but there's a host of defenders I'd like to see. I started in goal, where Steffen seems the appropriate choice at this time. Then, we ink in the no-matter-whats, which for me means Adams.

If we do run this set, it seems only fair to give Morrow a run on the left, see what he can do in his regular role. Might as well let Polster take the right side, he may be better suite3d at this level as a true wingback. I'd also kinda like to find out if Trapp can transfer his back-half of the season form to a US shirt, but would prefer that not be in a 4-3-3. The idea of giving him 4-5 runners to aim at going forward while three guys have his back sounds good.

It would be cool if there was a dyed-in-the-wool #10 around, but maybe it's best to learn how Rowe can operate there. Dwyer would have been my pick to run off Sapong, but his injury opens a place for Morris to run the left channel and help bring Morrow into the attack.

Of course, I've also gotta offer up a 4-3-3 look. This time, Morris fans wide and Arriola comes in on the opposite flank. I could also live with Rowe on the left wing, with double #8's leading the midfield triangle. Canouse enters to guard the gate, and that's the first thing I want to see him do.  Acosta joins to work left back, hopefully defense first.

- Greg Seltzer

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Espera... ¿Qué?

So, yeeeeah, I guess this is not a marketing prank after all. Many will be left baffled by the news that Sir Landon Donovan hath come out of retirement again by signing with - wait for it - Club León. I simply figure he finally decided to make good on a long-held desire to try playing in Mexico. The real question mark is, how will it go for him after sitting out a full year?

- Greg Seltzer

Monday, January 8, 2018

Yes he Dan

Sorry to piggyback posts, but it took awhile to find a good clip of the FA Cup 3rd round bank shot buried by Huddersfield Town's Daniel Williams on Saturday. It was his first Terriers strike, and lifted them past home side Bolton. The goal play starts at about 1:36 mark.

- Greg Seltzer

January jones

No less than 16 of the 30 players summoned to the annual USMNT January camp will be fighting to earn a debut cap when the team tackles friendly visitor Bosnia on the 28th. For 10 of them, it will be their first ever Nats training experience. It's fair to argue that what we have this year is quite arguably the optimal squad vibe as we embark on a longer-than-usual cycle odyssey - dudes should need no motivation to operate in peak form this month.

And hey, I shouldn't complain after getting everyone but Stefan Frei from my top 10 wishlist. Of course, it's fair to argue that the Seattle backstop shouldn't be behind Cody Cropper. Sure, I could micro-manage a nit pick or two, but there's already more than enough to learn from/impart to the January group.

For our purposes in camp, I'm especially happy and eager to see Delgado, Glad, Lima (who was the final cut from my list), Opara, Ramirez, Sapong and Vincent.  You may notice there are no FC Dallas guys (most notably, Kellyn Acosta), but there's a good enough reason for that.

I'll be back later in the week with some potential line-up sketches. There are many ways to go with the new year/cycle selection. Maybe now my brain can turn away from asking endless questions about how our 2017 missed the mark. I'm looking forward to it. Only wish I could watch what should be fever pitch training sessions.

G - Alex Bono* (Toronto FC), Bill Hamid (FC Midtjylland), Cody Cropper* (New England Revolution), Zack Steffen* (Columbus Crew)

D - Danny Acosta* (Real Salt Lake), Justen Glad* (Real Salt Lake), Nick Lima* (San Jose Earthquakes), Justin Morrow (Toronto FC), Ike Opara* (Sporting KC), Tim Parker* (Vancouver Whitecaps), Matt Polster* (Chicago Fire), Brandon Vincent* (Chicago Fire), Walker Zimmerman (LA FC)

M - Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Russell Canouse* (D.C. United), Marky Delgado* (Toronto FC), Marlon Hairston* (Colorado Rapids), Ian Harkes* (D.C. United), Brooks Lennon* (Real Salt Lake), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders), Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

F - Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Dom Dwyer (Orlando City), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Christian Ramirez* (Minnesota United), Rubio Rubin (Out of contract), CJ Sapong (Philadelphia Union)

- Greg Seltzer

What. The. &@$#????

As if the USMNT program needed another stern kick to the balls... what have they been doing over there besides counting their unused stacks of money?

Unreal. Unforgivable.

- Greg Seltzer

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Double-Barrel Eric

Nottingham Forest defender Eric Lichaj picked a fine time to bag his first career brace, striking the first two goals in a 4-2 FA Cup third round upset of Arsenal on Sunday. The US right back nodded home a free kick to open the scoring, and after the Gunners leveled matters, put his side ahead to stay with a nasty volley.

- Greg Seltzer