Thursday, November 15, 2018

Your USMNT Line-Up v. England

In basic theory, I can't have too many complaints. Keeping the "top back line" together is fine (though I'd advise a certain right back get his act together in Red, White & Blue if he wants to stay on it).  However, I definitely feel like Red Bulls fans should be rightfully pissed if Dave Sarachan starts their players in the second friendly. Oh, and has Wil Trapp really earned such slavish starting role devotion? Hmm, don't think so. I will be quite happy when we finally bother to appoint the permanent manager (even if the so-called process looks a sham) ...

- Greg Seltzer

Yes, hello, I'd like to make an order.

It's actually a tricky assignment to mock up a USMNT starting line-up for today's friendly away to England. There's a lot to consider, and for the sake of pragmatism, it doesn't simply come down to what I want to see. For instance, with only one left back on board (and an already familiar one at that), it might seem like a wondrous time to run out the 3-5-2. However, there's actually a ton of wide talent worth testing in camp, so that idea went out my window.

So... factoring in the MLS playoff participants in the squad, the varying styles of England and next foe Italy and other variables, this is what I'm hoping for on Thursday night.

- Greg Seltzer

Monday, November 12, 2018

FA Cup winner for Gooch

It might have gone unnoticed because Sunderland is now down to League One, but Lynden Gooch is finally getting a genuine shot there and he's off to a helluva start to the season. On Sunday evening, he celebrated his first career FA Cup outing by firing the stand-up winner at Port Vale. Next up in the draw? A second round trip to Walsall.

Now if the Black Cats can also stay top two in league play and get their butts back up to the Championship...

- Greg Seltzer

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Sarachan calls 28* to (his last?) camp

In what seems likely to be his final camp in charge of the USMNT, Dave Sarachan has called a rather large group to prepare for November friendlies against England and Italy. Why so big? Well, a full quarter of the players listed below are on clubs still alive in the MLS Cup chase (marked with an asterisk), and as such some may not actually end up showing. The only potential debutant is hot wing hand Romain Gall.

G - Brad Guzan* (Atlanta United), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge), Zack Steffen* (Columbus Crew)

D - John Brooks (Wolfsburg), Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Swansea City), Aaron Long* (New York Red Bulls), Matt Miazga (Nantes), Shaq Moore (Reus Deportiu), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic), Jorge Villafaña* (Portland Timbers), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC)

M - Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids), Tyler Adams* (New York Red Bulls), Luca de la Torre (Fulham), Marky Delgado (Toronto FC), Julian Green (Greuther Fürth), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Weston McKennie (Schalke), Darlington Nagbe* (Atlanta United), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Wil Trapp* (Columbus Crew)

A - Romain Gall (Malmö), Kenny Saief (Anderlecht), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain), Bobby Wood (Hannover 96)

- Greg Seltzer

Sunday, November 4, 2018

He's Got Gall - Part Treize

Malmö winger Romain Gall is up to third on the league goal chart after bagging his 13th of the season to kick-start a 3-0 victory at IFK Göteborg. The win kept the Sky Blues within two points of Sweden's last Europa league invite with one match to play.

- Greg Seltzer

Goal Exports

As I sat here waiting for the clip to surface on yet another goal from Romain Gall, it occurred to me that he's barreling down on Charlie Davies' record for goals scored in a single Allsvanskan season by an American. And then I though, hey didn't I make up a list of the top American scorers in a season for the most historically prominent European top flights and stow it on one of my scratch notepads somewhere?

Why. yes. Yes, I did.

Austria: Terrence Boyd 15
Belgium: Sacha Kljestan 8
Denmark: Aron Johannsson 14
England: Roy Wegerle 18
France: Alejandro Bedoya 5
Germany: Eric Wynalda 9
Greece: Eddie Johnson 2
Italy: Armando Frigo 5
Netherlands: Jozy Altidore 23
Norway: Brian West 6
Portugal: Oguchi Onyewu 4
Scotland: Emerson Hyndman 4
Spain: Jozy Altidore 1
Sweden: Charlie Davies 14
Turkey: Jozy Altidore 1

- Greg Seltzer