Saturday, June 25, 2016

Your USMNT Line-Up v Colombia - Part Deux

As this game has a 3 am kickoff time here in Russia, I took a little night nap to rest up. As soon I woke up, a grave thought hit me: "He's not going to run out the same field group that lost to Colombia in the group stage opener, is he?"

Well, no, he has not... it's just the same group minus arguably our two best players (Brooks & FabJo) replaced due to injuries. Oi.

- Greg Seltzer

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

TDAY: Argentina

My patience is short for this business today. Here were my US v. Argentina player ratings. Here are my thoughts as we all hope for a better effort on Saturday...


  • This thing where the manager never puts his hand up and simply accepts some blame for his maneuvers on bad nights is really grating. Really. He talks about wanting to to stare down Argentina unafraid, then goes with that line-up/game plan and says the players showed too much respect. Muh huh.
  • What the hell has happened to our set piece defense? Far too often, this has become nap time. I'm still trying to figure out how no one was anywhere near Messi on the first goal.
  • I'm sure I'll take some guff and it's certainly possible my mind may change about a couple of positions tomorrow, but as of right now, this is what I'd go with in the bronze medal match. I'm not interested in sacrificing anything to bleed green players (except maybe Horvath); I want to win the game. Period. I want to see rally efforts from certain guys, and I like the idea of using Jones and Zardes as sub weapons.

- Greg Seltzer

Erm.... can I get you a lozenge?

Hey, guess what. Iceland is advancing to the Euro 2016 knockouts. I certainly hope somebody makes sure this lady is okay.

- Greg Seltzer

Monday, June 20, 2016

Reds Flag

It's not for the first time, but Germany attacker Lukas Podolski is again being linked with Toronto FC. I asked the person who was involved in peddling him to MLS the last time his name came up in these reports, and he said he's heard nothing of it lately. So there ya go about that.

- Greg Seltzer

Friday, June 17, 2016

TDAY: Ecuador

While you're all busy focusing your juju into pulling for Venezuela to stun Argentina tomorrow, let's do a quick rewind on the USMNT's quarterfinal victory over Ecuador. Here are my player ratings. Here are my extra stray thoughts...

  • Today's edition of "Did you know?": This was the first time the US has won three straight competitive matches since the Ghana win to open World Cup 2014 gave them four in a row?
  • Can you believe plenty of people were screaming for Clint Dempsey to be yanked from the line-up mere days ago? I honestly don't know where folks can get such wacky ideas.
  • I can't imagine it working, but the Nats have filed a protest to have both Bobby Wood's yellow and Jermaine Jones' red rescinded. Here is a look at the Jones incident. My initial though was "Wow, that's the most gentle straight red I've seen in recent memory." However, I eventually settled on "Wow, what a dumb move to put your hands up to his face."
  • I'm still in shock that it took Jurgen Klinsmann 29 minutes, seven Ecuador shots and their lone goal before he subbed in a midfielder to replace Jones. No clue what he could have been thinking, but that inaction seriously almost cost us the lead.
  • SO... what do we do with the line-up card, assuming that Jones and Wood remain suspended? Nagbe in for Jones is a no-brainer in my book. I'd also like to free Johnson from the back line (surprise, surprise). Pulisic can be the ace up the sleeve. With much trepidation, this is what I'd suggest, while again mumbling under my breath about the selection policy for this particular squad.

- Greg Seltzer

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Your USMNT Line-Up v Ecuador

Well, after playing it fairly straight for three games, Klinsi couldn't help himself. Let's all hope there's a denial plan involved, because I'm skeptical that sliding Besler out wide to handle Antonio Valencia is the shrewdest play. And so the selection policy moves back under the spotlight...

- Greg Seltzer