Friday, September 21, 2018

Deuce to his peeps

On Saturday, Fulham will welcome Clint Dempsey back to Craven Cottage for a tribute ceremony. Pretty, pretty cool.

- Greg Seltzer

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Pulisic pots kooky CL winner

Borussia Dortmund birthday boy Christian Pulisic bagged a late decider in their Champions League group phase opener at Club Brugge, and it could end up being the most peculiar, fortuitous goal the 20-year-old will ever score.

- Greg Seltzer

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Goal Rush

It was quite an offensive Saturday for our boys playing over in Europe, led by Fortuna Düsseldorf midfielder Alfredo Morales, who emphatically scored the opener (play starts at the 1:15 mark) in a shock 2-1 win over Hoffenheim. It was his first strike for the new employers and his first Bundesliga tally since December of 2016

One flight down, Greuther Fürth attacker Julian Green netted the capper in a 4-1 rout of Holstein Kiel. The Shamrocks are unbeaten through five rounds and tentatively stand top of the table. You can zoom ahead to the 2:33 mark for his goal play.

Finally, Jonathan Amon supplied the ice-breaker and an assist as FC Nordsjaelland sailed to a 4-1 win over Randers. It's right about time we should see him in USMNT camp, if you ask me.

- Greg Seltzer

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Your USMNT Line-Up v Mexico

Honestly, with the USMNT flank ranks thinned, I was kinda hoping to break out the 3-5-2 tonight. It may end up looking more like a pressing 4-1-3-2 trying to use Mexico's possession instincts against them. Fingers crossed, anyway.

- Greg Seltzer

Friday, September 7, 2018

Your USMNT Line-Up v. Brazil

I honestly don't have a single complaint about the starting crew, but we're gonna need Wood to drop deeper than usual to pick up play on occasion. And that will only make his get-behind runs harder to detect. Catch ya later at MLSS with the player ratings.

- Greg Seltzer

Handicapper's Guide: Coach of the Year

The first award discussions brought up were pretty cut and dry. That is now over, as we've reached the Coach of the Year race. Even after two of the three leading candidates left for Europe mid-season, there looks to be a wide field in the running - which will be the case for all the season-end prizes left on the list.

The leader: Yeah, Atlanta United coach Tata Martino has a ton of crazy talent at his disposal, but he's also been able to weather major absences and usually gets his tactical adjustments right. Some may point out that the Five Stripes haven't gone on an extended win streak since the beginning of the season, but look closer: they're just painfully (for the rest of the league) consistent. The Peach Pluckers™ have only dropped points in consecutive games once this year.

The main finalist contenders: It should go without saying (and largely kinda has), but Bob Bradley naturally deserves great praise for guiding an expansion LAFC team that's practically played most of the year without a true defensive midfielder to second in the West. Over in Philly, Jim Curtin is finally reaping real rewards from the process. The Union boss has him team winning pretty and routinely solving line-up puzzles.

In another year perhaps: Both Oscar Pareja of current West leaders FC Dallas and Sporting KC's Peter Vermes have overseen clubs that have solved problems to restore/continue winning traditions. Pareja has integrated a handful of cogs and finally may have figured out how to compensate for the forlorn space where Mauro Diaz used to be. Vermes has successfully managed to raise his team's goals for average by 63% (1.17 per game last season to 1.85) by hot hand committee, which is no easy feat.

Late chargers: Should Brian Schmetzer draw serious consideration is Seattle remains rampant until they finish atop the West? Well, gosh I guess. And I also suppose the same goes for if Ben Olsen leads D.C. United back to the playoffs. But I'd hesitate to include either on the shortlist proper at this very moment.


Tomorrow: We spy on the potential Goalkeeper of the Year winners.

- Greg Seltzer