Monday, May 23, 2016

In case you missed the carnage in NYC.

Well... Dax McCarty got what he asked for and then some. The Red Bulls clearly remain kings of New York.

- Greg Seltzer

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Your Copa America squad

Forgive my tardiness, me and the lady just got back from seeing Muse's last show of six in Milan (FYI: It was Ba-DASS). First off, what you see below is exactly how the USMNT roster release listed the players, so right off the bat you know my stomach is churning over FabJo's apparently impending usage.

I'm also quite confused over the sudden inclusion of Horvath, who Klinsmann has (at least temporarily) cost his Molde starting job for nothing more than bench duty. I could go on with a few more gripes, but you've all heard it before. The growing refusal to learn lessons is grinding my teeth over here. Screw this... I'm gonna go eat some veal ravioli buried in freshly grated pecorino.

G - 1-Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), 12-Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), 22-Ethan Horvath (Molde FK)

D - 5-Matt Besler (Sporting KC), 3-Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), 6-John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), 20-Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), 21-Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), 23-Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach), 14-Michael Orozco (Tijuana), 2-DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham)

M/F - 15-Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), 11-Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), 4-Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), 8-Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), 13-Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), 16-Perry Kitchen (Hearts), 10-Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), 17-Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), 18-Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), 7-Bobby Wood (Hamburg), 20-Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), 19-Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)

- Greg Seltzer

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

S... WTHATT? - World Cup Edition

I haven't had time to cast about over this until now, but it's been bugging the crap out of me since I heard about it over the weekend. I'm not sure if our federation is simply being polite, but color me astonished that US Soccer is publicly entertaining the concept of a joint World Cup 2026 bid with Mexico.

Don't get me wrong. My complete and utter disdain for this idea is not an insult pointed at Mexico. They are surely capable of hosting the tournament on their own, they have the infrastructure, yada yada yada. So what's my problem? I'll tell ya all five of them in countdown fashion.

#5 - This is the least powerful (and perhaps most childish) excuse for my sneering attitude toward this idea, but... who really wants to grant Mexico a World Cup seed/more favorable draw? I don't. Hell to the no.

#4 - Plainly stated, I want to be selfish. It's certainly not necessary for us to share the responsibility for hosting, and I don't want to. My attitude would be the same if the idea was to team up with Canada.

#3- After the outright debacle of the 2022 tournament being awarded to Qatar, it seems highly possible that no nation on Earth has ever held a World Cup hosting chip as massive as the one currently weighing down US Soccer's pocket. Why anyone involved would want to dilute this advantage for what I would consider to be the risk of a joint bid is painfully beyond me. Pardon me, but I'd call that downright stupid.

#2 - The first World Cup held in the States stands among the most profitable to a host nation, if not at the top. The final was held in Los Angeles, and that alone pumped over $600 million into the local economy (and folks, that was in 1994 dollars). Throughout the tournament, hotels and restaurants in host cities enjoyed revenue bumps approaching 15%. The reason Brazil 2014 and South Africa 2010 didn't pay off for the little guys in those countries is that they required such heavy stadium and infrastructure construction. The United States has no need to melt away economic impact in that extremely costly manner. Now, you may have heard the the US economy, while recovering, could still use quite a boost. This is not the time to throw away a large share of the profits on offer.

#1 - I know this will come off as a wild notion, but how's about we consider the fans first? The US is already huge and expensive enough to bruise the wallets of tourney followers from all nations. In 2002, Germany supporters had to travel 715 miles from their semifinal site in Seoul, South Korea to the final in Yokohama, Japan. That distance, roughly the same one that separates Chicago and New York, was the longest traveled between consecutive games for any team. The distance between Mexico City (which is near-ish to a majority of the Mexican cities that would be in line to host) and New York? Over 2,000 miles. As if it already wouldn't be pricey enough in America alone, a joint bid covering these two countries would effectively kill the chances of the average Joe and Joana to follow their teams - while profit-leeching FIFA bags double the host pay-outs. My friends, this dude cannot abide.

So yeah... count me in the "This is a wildly terrible idea" camp. Resoundingly.

- Greg Seltzer

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Ummm... no. Aaaand no.

This one just sounded weird as soon as I saw it, especially considering it came out of Mexico. So I asked two German birdies if they'd heard anything about Borussia Dortmund browsing D.C. United defender Steve Birnbaum as a replacement for Mats Hummels. Both of them burst into a chuckle. No offense to the US international, but yeeeah, that always seemed more than a bit unrealistic.

Meanwhile, I've learned that a club out of the second Bundesliga is interested in a loan deal for Chelsea defender Matt Miazga, and that they really aren't having any luck with that idea. Well... I suppose it doesn't cost anything to ask.

- Greg Seltzer

Close but... #%&^@$!

You may have heard by now that Bob Bradley and Le Havre came one puny goal from earning promotion to Ligue 1 after a 5-0 closing day victory.What you may not have seen is how agonizingly close they came to bagging that one needed goal... four times. UGH.

- Greg Seltzer

Monday, May 16, 2016

Visiting The Cousins

Jurgen Klinsmann has called up 22 players for the USMNT's first match against/visit to the fellow Americans of Puerto Rico. All of these players are based in either Europe or Mexico, and have concluded their club seasons. We see the returns of Hyndman, Lichaj and Green, and there are five players on the roster seeking their first senior cap.

G - Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), Zack Steffen (Freiburg)

D - John Anthony Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest), Matt Miazga (Chelsea), Michael Orozco (Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham)

M - Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Perry Kitchen (Hearts), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Caleb Stanko (Freiburg), Danny Williams (Reading)

F - Paul Arriola (Tijuana), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Fabrice Picault (St. Pauli), Amando Moreno (Tijuana), Bobby Wood (Hamburg)

- Greg Seltzer