Saturday, December 31, 2011

Random thoughts

This is the type of junk I come up with on a typical day watching Americans play:

  • Aston Villa really does have one of the most underrated youth/reserve set-ups around. That probably explains how they've finished sixth or better in the Prem nine times in the last 16 seasons and haven't been relegated since 1987.
  • On that note, U.S. Under-20 left back candidate Danny Potts had a nightmare opening 30 minutes or so against Derby today. He inadvertently flicked on for the first goal play against and then was beaten by the scorer of the second leaked in a 2-1 loss. After that, however, he started grabbing hold of the game fairly well.

    Yes, I said he's a left back. Stop drooling.
  • When was the last time both Chelsea and Manchester United looked that bad at home on the same day? This winter transfer market is gonna get driven, jack.
  • As Nottingham Forest went down 1-0 (in a match that saw Robbie Findley out after only six minutes due to a shoulder injury), I thought to myself: "Gosh, they seem to lose 1-0 a lot."

    So I checked. The Reds, who have not scored in 540 minutes, have fallen by that exact scoreline seven times since mid-October and in five of their last six games. It's happened four times at home, including (gulp!) three straight there.
  • When Clint Dempsey's header rang the frame on 33 minutes, he missed out becoming the second U.S. international this "Euro-season" to hit five goals in a month. Jozy Altidore pulled off that feat in August, marking the first time since Michael Bradley bagged five in January of 2007.
  • Thinking ahead, it is conceivable that a baker's dozen of Americans or more (not including those who play for another national team) could see Champions League action next fall.

    Josh Gatt is in (if not also Sean Cunningham with him). Jozy Altidore, Bryan Gerzicich and Sacha Kljestan lead their leagues. Jermaine Jones, Brad Friedel, Oguchi Onyewu and Michael Parkhurst occupy Champions League slots. Of course, we have at this time a Rangers trio. A team like Bayer Leverkusen is still within range of a berth and has two keepers ahead of David Yelldell that may not be back after summer. To that end, we have yet to traverse the January transfer session, much less the summer market.

    The record for the most U.S. internationals to play in a Champions league group stage and/or later is four in 2004/05 (Beasley, Donovan, Howard and Russell). Most of those names above will require a round or more to reach the group phase, but I sense we are looking good for another Americans Abroad record smash.
  • Fulham have rotten luck.


Have a safe and happy new year, everybody.



- Greg Seltzer

15 comments:

dikranovich said...

is it possible that maybe usa has a potential left back playing for blackburn rovers?

Greg Seltzer said...

Though born in Tennessee, Henley is a Wales U-19 international and to date I have seen no reason to believe he wants to switch.

RM said...

Due to rangers recent collapse, they are now in 2nd I believe, no longer a champions spot....I think.

Have a great new Year!

Greg Seltzer said...

Second place in the SPL gets you to the 3rd qualifying round.

dikranovich said...

so is he born in the usa to two welch parents, or is one of them american? im also curious how many years he spent here and of course it would be interesting to know if ussoccer has made any inquirees.

Justin said...

"U.S. Under-17" does not accurately describe Potts, who trained with the U-20 (not U-17) team but has not pledged himself to either national team (and is widely expected to play for England).

Matt said...

Happy new year, Greg. Thanks for all you and your team do. Speaking of, where's Sean been?

Sanjit said...

Potts plays for West Ham.

Greg Seltzer said...

Oops, I missed a bullet point there - those should be separated. Thanks, Sanjit.

Cam said...

with all do respect....I am positive that 2nd place in the SPL does not lead to Champion's League qualification...this was the 1st year that it did not

Greg Seltzer said...

Both first and second get into the 3rd round of qualifying.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011%E2%80%9312_Scottish_Premier_League#League_table

Cam said...

ok, now I feel like an idiot, I actually went to wikipedia and ended up on another SPL page...but now I'm curious why was that not the case this year? I didn't think coefficient changed yearly

Greg Seltzer said...

It happens to the bets of us. The UEFA co-efficients do change yearly, but the effects from a particular season don't go into effect until the next year. If I'm not mistaken, the SPL will lose one of those CL slots next season.

Cam said...

cool beans...have you heard any reason for Mo Edu being left out of Rangers starting lineup recently? Does it have anything to do with his contract/transfer hopes?

Greg Seltzer said...

"Does it have anything to do with his contract/transfer hopes?"

That's a great question. I've made it well known I have a feeling he'll move on before long. Whether that is this winter and the line-up change is them "starting to move on" remains to be seen.