Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Two Great Reads

I have been busy the last few days with visitors, but not everyone with access to a keyboard has been slacking.

First, we have yet another hallmark moment in an already legendary Mikkel Diskerud thread over at BigSoccer: today, former teammate and employer Inge André Olsen drops by to write a "recommendation letter" for Mix (as if he would need one) to clear up some incorrect rumors that once went around Norway.

Next, we have a Tony the Tiger-style grrreat bit on why tactics do actually matter by Bobby Warshaw, an American forward playing in the Swedish second flight for GAIS. It would seem this fella has two soccer talents. Every fan that thinks formations and such do not really amount to much should read this. Maybe twice.

- Greg Seltzer

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Win Crowd (updated)

Yeah, Alejandro Bedoya was along with all the cool kids today, scoring the second goal in a 6-2 Nantes romp at Valenciennes. The American scored in both games as his side pulled off the season sweep, with this one taking his total to five.

UPDATE: Voila!

- Greg Seltzer

How does one say "slumpbegone!" in Bavarian dialects of German? (updated)

Rapid Vienna are getting to the hour at Grödig and our man Terrence Boyd is sniffing after his first hat trick by bagging his first two league goals in seven games. The US forward nodded home just past the half hour, then deposited a spot kick just after halftime to take his overall season total to 16 (or one less than he had last term).

UPDATE: Boyd has the middle two goals on the clip.

- Greg Seltzer

On days I feel like an alien...

This is the angle that people (who I can only assume have conscious or unconscious leanings at play) are repeatedly offering, with a strange certainty this proves the Jozy Altidore call from yesterday was wrong - if not additionally an outright dive.

Now setting aside the delightful fact that this camera view is about 80° and further in distance away than the linesman who called it, I do not see the confusion, let alone any call for cries of a dive. The trailing foot of the defender takes out the planting footing of the attacker, who has his head turned.

I think some people like to see what they want to see and work backwards from there. Why? Dunno. Maybe they love Chelsea, maybe they dislike the player, maybe they just think like a defender.

Now, I am certain some folks may accuse me of a bias. They are correct, I do have a religious adherence to events as they happened and agreeable facts, in this case known as The Laws Of The Game. After Sky announcers and studio mopes spent the better part of a half hour dissecting the play over and over from every conceivable angle at a variety of speeds, straining to prove it could not possibly be legit (or even that at full speed it could look legit to the linesman standing nearby), thank goodness Jamie Redknapp came along to read them the reality act. If I can find a clip of that, I will post it here. 

Yeah, sorry. I see a foul in the area. And I am not really clear on what else there is to see or discuss.

- Greg Seltzer

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Oi Vey - Part Soixante-Deux

Yeah, so apparently the reason John Anthony Brooks was dropped from the selection this past weekend (for a 2-1 loss at Bayer Leverkusen) is because he got a large and apparently super-sensitive tattoo on his back, which caused him to miss training.

Hmm. Setting aside that this was surely not wise timing for such personal expression, I cannot help but wonder what has happened to tattoos. When I got mine back as a teenager back in 1987 (shut your face), I played ice hockey twice the same week. If you have ever played (or stood near someone who just had), you will know this is just about the sweatiest endeavor an Earthling can undertake. Don't believe me? Go smell the inside of a hockey glove after it's had some time to dry post-game, then check back with me.

But who knows with this order for the hothouse flower of tattoos? Seems to me being crawled on by defenders might be worse than perspiration, but one could certainly wear some sort of undershirt set-up that helps both conditions. Maybe Brooks just got a big tattoo of Sheldon Cooper. In any event, I think Tim Ream is sizing up his USMNT inside track right about now...

- Greg Seltzer

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

To answer your questions...

Yes, Jozy Altidore is back in the traveling squad for the to trip to Manchester City tonight. Does he make the 18? We shall see. You already know what I think they should do, but Gus Poyet even got some stick for it in England when he entirely left the US striker out of the cup final loss to Citeh. Yeah, that was weird.

Meanwhile, Timothy Chandler has resumed training with the ball, but still on the side. May both he and all my dinged St. Louis Blues stars regain full fitness very soon. Amen.

Also, folks have been wondering what suddenly happened to Sacha Kljestan at Anderlecht. A mainstay for most of his time in Brussels, Inspector Kljouseau has started just four of 12 matches since returning from a winter injury, with a DNP in in six of them and another two in which he was pulled at halftime.

What has changed? Well, Cheikhou Kouyaté is now sliding into defensive midfield, but there is a much more pronounced reason. And that reason is a 16-year-old Belgium prodigy named Youri Tielemans. Here is a sample of what the kid can do, from a Champions League group phase match at Olympiakos.

YOURI TIELEMANS vs Olympiacos (Home) 2013/14 HD from Belgo TV on Vimeo.

- Greg Seltzer