Thursday, September 08, 2005
World Cup brings out the best in us (bloggers, not the team)
Sorry I've been away for a while ... with plenty of coworkers off work and all the Katrina stuff, soccer blogging's been the last thing on my mind. But I'm back ... dunno if that's good for y'all or not.

My thoughts on tonight's WCQ:

• What does it say when the U.S. can send basically a B team (Landon came on late and so did EJ, but, still ...) and realistically be disappointed not to come away with a win on the road in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. Granted, we stopped playing defense late but I don't expect to see Jimmy Conrad on the World Cup roster.

• Yeah, EJ should have scored. Would have liked for him to keep up his goal-scoring streak but a guy who hasn't played a national team game in months still looked pretty good in action.

• We didn't have a ton of scoring chances but was not impressed with the finishing. Question: Would McBride have finished those chances? EJ is otherwise a first-choice striker.

• I know Donovan is the Talisman but I really think the U.S. looks much slower and less dangerous without Bones in the lineup. Without his speed, it doesn't open nearly as much space for the rest of the team.

• I'm not convinced Convey is the answer at left wing and I'm less sure of who the right winger is. I know Bones is set but it seems to me he can play either left or right so one of those positions is up for grabs. Convey? Not sold. Quaranta? Not dangerous enough as a starter yet (though I do think he'll be good). Dempsey? The Steven Gerrard of the U.S. national team. Ralston? I just don't feel he's consistent or dangerous enough.

• So if Beasley starts on the left, who starts on the right?

• I'm not impressed with Mastroeni ... I don't know what it is but I just don't feel like he's effective.

• Hanehman did alright tonight but it's just a reminder of how great Kasey is.

• We looked slow tonight. Donovan may be The Talisman but Bones is the engine that makes this team go.

• Cap Adu! (I just had to toss that in there.)

8 Comments:

Blogger D said...

Cap Adu... in the same friendly where Eddie Pope gets to say goodbye. I love Eddie, but his best days are behind him and have been for about two years. His international play, even in the GC, wasn't what we need.

9:00 AM  
Blogger maradawga said...

I want Eddie to succeed so badly ... he went to high school just down the street from where I grew up.

But I agree ... Gooch and Gibbs in the center with Stevie C and your choice of left back. He just doesn't have what it takes to compete at that level anymore.

10:33 AM  
Blogger D said...

I love Eddie... I still have my copy of EA's FIFA with him on the cover, just because I couldn't beat to throw it out. Hell, he won DCU's first cup. The guy should get some say in when he goes, but I think he has to know it's soon. That being said, if he wants to hold on for the trip to Germany, he has earned that right for past service, the way few players can claim that sort of right.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Tim Froh said...

Just two things:

1. With Lewis' move to left back, Convey is now the de-facto Beasley back-up. He can also play central midfield in a pinch, and I would've preferred to see him running the show last night. With Dempsey in the middle, Convey's ability to do things with the ball were considerably depleted.

2. Mastroeni is John O'Brien's back-up. He doesn't offer nearly as much as John offensively, but he's strong in the tackle, plays the destroyer role as well as or better than Armas, and isn't nearly the offensive liability that Armas is.

6:04 PM  
Blogger maradawga said...

2. Mastroeni is John O'Brien's back-up. He doesn't offer nearly as much as John offensively, but he's strong in the tackle, plays the destroyer role as well as or better than Armas, and isn't nearly the offensive liability that Armas is.

Which begs the question why does Armas continue to get called in? Does Il Bruce feel bad for Chris' knee injury in 2002?

6:11 PM  
Blogger D said...

Does Il Bruce feel bad for Chris' knee injury in 2002?

Actually, don't you sometimes get that feeling? That Bruce will make choices on emotional feelings and not intellectual/strategic reasons? I do. What's more, I think there might be a reason, but I'm not sure it is a good one.

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Joe said...

If Arena likes to give less-than-masterly players recovering from injuries a chance, it would explain Quaranta.

I love Tino because he plays for DC, but I don't think he's been any more impressive in the red-whit-and-blue than he has in the black-and-red.

And I'm pretty nuts, but if Adu keeps playing like he has through the middle of this season, you gotta cap him. But a goal or two on the road this weekend would certainly help make his case.

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Kristy said...

I read some quote from Arena about his players constantly surprising him and how he's ALWAYS looking for something to impress him. I'm don't think Bruce would make a decision based on feelings over strategy- especially when it comes to important games. He only plays the players that he's not sure about in games like the gold cup and this qualifier.

EJ is not close to 100% for sure- though he will get back to that point and blow us all away- and I can't wait!

The game was purely about Bruce seeing who was strong/fast enough to make the wc team. It was pretty obvious which players won't be getting called up again until next fall.

11:51 PM  

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