Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Nations Gang

Now that Gregg Berhalter has pared USMNT camp down to a final squad for the upcoming Nations League contests, I'm ready to offer some thoughts. It just seemed silly to dive into the roster before we knew who would be in the selection proper. And now that we do know, I just feel like slightly worn out.

It's not the inclusion or exclusion of certain players, per se, but the continued squad imbalance. What we have here is a roster boasting no true midfield gate-keeper (again), and with Pulisic out, no genuine playmaking type. We have five #8 types and, not counting Dest (who I assume will be pressed into left back duty), we have three right backs.

For me, it's worrying as we get ready for an important rematch game against Canada. Hopefully, Pulisic and Adams will actually be available the next time we have a round of competitive matches.

G - Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Matt Turner* (New England Revolution)

D - John Anthony Brooks (Wolfsburg), Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas), Sergiño Dest (Ajax), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact), Tim Ream (Fulham), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC)

M - Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Weston McKennie (Schalke), Alfredo Morales (Fortuna Düsseldorf), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes)

F - Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Tyler Boyd (Besiktas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew)

- Greg Seltzer

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Sounding Off

Well, that was weird. Toronto FC had the upper hand for so long, while Seattle went about MLS Cup like they were underdogs. In the end, though, the Emerald City was able to witness this...

Just maybe wait a little while before getting a comment from Chrissy Teigen.

- Greg Seltzer

The Big One

It's just about MLS Cup kickoff time, and we have line-ups - one you'd expect and one with some late decisions.

We'll start with Seattle's obvious XI, then check on the visitors...

For me, this is pretty simple.Toronto FC have to figure out a way to hang around until they can get Altidore on and properly align their attack. For that to happen, Auro and Benezet must out-do Morris and Smith, and Mavinga must entirely frustrate Ruidiaz... and then the Reds must quickly solve Frei. Frankly, I just don't think all that will happen. The Sounders should paint the town rave green.

Toronto FC @ Seattle

Enjoy the game, and I'll see you on the other side with ratings for both teams over at MLSS.

- Greg Seltzer

The Medal Collectors

Regulars here will know I update the "Honor Roll" of Americans who have won top level club silverware playing abroad. And anyone who caught my pre-MLS Cup bit over at MLSS this week will have noticed that I alluded to the five title-winningest Americans of all-time when combining those foreign championship totals with all domestic and international crowns. That may have left you wondering if I had a more detailed list of ravenous medal winners for perusal.

Well, duh.

Of course, a player had to participate in at least one game that went toward each championship, as is standard for such record-keeping. I had to draw the line somewhere, and figured a half-dozen titles should be good to make the cut here. As you can see, it will be a good while before anyone catches up to Run DMB's record career haul.

The players marked with an asterisk are still active and after further title celebrations, while the three that are underlined will hope to pad their sexy totals tonight in Seattle. I've abbreviated all the various league championships and cups, but there is a handy dandy key at the bottom.

EDIT: While Chad Marshall obviously did not appear during the playoff portion of Seattle's run to their second MLS Cup crown, he did take part during this regular season, and as such, is considered a 2019 champion. That possibility slipped my mind prior to the game, but I've now bumped him up.

DaMarcus Beasley (4 GC, 3 USOC, 2 NL, 2 SPL, 1 DCP, 1 SC, 1 SLC, 1 SS)

Landon Donovan (6 MLS, 4 GC, 2 SS, 1 USOC)

Jeff Agoos (5 MLS, 2 SS, 1 GC, 1 USOC, 1 CCC, 1 IAC)

Frankie Hejduk (5 SS, 3 GC, 2 MLS)

Omar Gonzalez* (3 MLS, 2 SS, 2 USOC, 1 MX, 1 CCL)
Michael Parkhurst (2 GC, 2 USOC, 2 DC, 1 DEN, 1 MLS, 1 SL)
Eddie Pope (3 MLS, 2 SS, 1 GC, 1 USOC, 1 CCC, 1 IAC)
Richie Williams (3 MLS, 2 SS, 1 GC, 1 USOC, 1 CCC, 1 IAC)

Chris Armas (4 USOC, 2 GC, 1 MLS, 1 SS)
Todd Dunivant (5 MLS, 2 SS, 1 USOC),
Brad Evans (4 USOC, 2 MLS, 2 SS)
John Harkes (2 MLS, 2 USOC, 1 SS, 1 CCC, 1 IAC, 1 ELC)
Cobi Jones (2 MLS, 2 SS, 2 USOC, 1 CCC, 1 GC)
Jesse Marsch (3 MLS, 3 USOC, 2 SS)
Chad Marshall (4 SS, 3 MLS, USOC)
Brian Mullan (5 MLS, 2 SS, 1 USOC)
Tony Sanneh (2 MLS, 2 SS, 1 GC, 1 USOC, 1 CCC, 1 IAC)
José Francisco Torres* (3 MX, 1 CMX, 1 CCL, 1 CCC, 1 GC, 1 SL)
Richie Williams (3 MLS, 2 S, 1 USOC, 1 CC, 1 IAC)

Chris Albright (3 MLS, 2 SS, 1 USOC, 1 SL)
Jozy Altidore* (3 CC, 1 MLS, 1 SS, 1 GC, 1 DCP)
Chad Barrett (2 USOC, 2 SS, 2 CC, 1 MLS)
Michael Bradley* (3 CC, 2 GC, 1 MLS, 1 SS)
Nate Jaqua (5 USOC, 1 MLS, 1 SS)
Kasey Keller (3 USOC, 3 GC, 1 ELC)
Pat Noonan (3 USOC, 2 MLS, 1 SS, 1 GC)Pete Vagenas (3 USOC, 2 MLS, 1 SS, 1 CCC)

Tied w/ 6: Ventura Alvarado*, Matt Besler*, C.J. Brown, Brian Ching, A. J. DeLaGarza, Scott Garlick, Herculez Gomez, Alan Gordon, Kevin Hartman, Patrick Ianni, Jovan Kirovski, Jeff Larentowicz*, Justin Mapp, Drew Moor, Clint Peay, Ante Razov, James Riley, Craig Waibel, Josh Wolff, Zach Scott

SS = Supporters Shield
USOC = US Open Cup
CC = Canadian Championship
CCC = CONCACAF Champions Cup
CCL = CONCACAF Champions League
IAC = InterAmerican Cup
SL = SuperLiga


NL = Dutch Eredivisie
SPL = Scottish Premier League
MX = Liga MX
DEN = Danish Superliga
ELC = English League Cup
DCP = Dutch Cup
CMX = Copa MX
SC = Scottish Cup
SLC = Scottish League Cup
DC = Danish Cup

- Greg Seltzer

Saturday, November 9, 2019

It's Raining Goals

It was Restaurant Day here, so you know my ass went out to eat some papa rellena and pork belly arepas. Needless to say, it was all crazy delicious. Then I got home to see that, gosh, our boys did some things today.

We'll start off with Chelsea ace Christian Pulisic, who scored for the third straight EPL game. In fact, he now has five goals and two helpers in his last five games across all competitions. So much for the struggle, eh? Blues fans are already over losing Eden Hazard, it seems.

Unfortunately, it wasn't all good news for the USMNT star. Not sure how this affects his Nations Cup particpation status as of yet.

Apparently, DeAndre Yedlin saw that Pulisic tally and thought to himself, "Hey, I want to crash home a charging header!" And so he did, starting Newcastle's rally for a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace.

Over in Germany's second flight, Greuther Fürth's Julian Green continued his hot start with a searing free kick that opened the scoring in their 3-2 loss at Sandhausen.

Green's dead call blast actually reminded me of a goal I forgot to post last weekend. It's never too late for a nasty restart, so I give you Emmanuel Sabbi's fifth goal of the season, the consolation in a 2-1 loss at Odense BK. 

- Greg Seltzer

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Fly Like An Eagle (A Black One, That Is)

It's been stupid busy around here with a guest staying at the house, but I'll riff on the USMNT roster tomorrow morning and will have some MLS fare leading up to Sunday's title rubber match. First, though, we need to celebrate a Beşiktaş duck break. On Thursday night, Tyler Boyd finally bagged a smooth first goal for the club in their 3-1 Europa League loss at Braga.

- Greg Seltzer