Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Thoughts from the YWC
Stop reading now if you don't know the score.

I'm extremely disappointed in the United States' performance in today's Youth World Championship quarterfinal match against Italy. Is it unlucky to have to face a powerhouse like Italy after winning the group? Yep. Still doesn't matter.

The U.S. team was outclassed, outplayed and outhustled all over the field today and did not deserve to win the game. Our one goal was lucky and, yes, the Italian keeper was tremendous, but we still can't finish.

That wasn't what pissed me off.

As the game drew to a close, the U.S. reenforced the world perception that we're a bunch of whiny, petulant sore losers. We wouldn't play the ball out when the Italian player went down and Chad Barrett shoved every player he even came close to. We are going to lose matches as a nation and, as tough as it is, we need to play with class and sportsmanship. I do not want this group of players to follow in the mold of the European teams who constantly complain to the referee and harrass other players when they're losing.

Is it easy for me to say these things because I'm not on the field? Yes, it is. However, these players are representing my country and when they put on the colors of the U.S.A., I believe I have a right to expect them to represent me in a professional, mature, respectful manner.

Shame on you, U.S. U-20 team.
Monday, June 20, 2005
MLS Weekend Recap
  • Jeff Cunningham! With Ante Razov scoring two goals this weekend also, this means that Greg Andrulis let go two strikers who scored five goals this weekend. How much longer is it going to take before they sack this guy? Also, how in heaven is Jeff Cunningham, of the perenially inept Colorado Rapids, leading the league in goal scoring?

  • Someone call Dr. Frankenstein! D.C. United pulled themselves of the dust pile of MLS on Wednesday with an excellent 4-3 win over Chicago (with 14,000 in the stands ... can we just play in L.A., RSL and D.C. for the rest of the season?) and then broke up the Revs 2-0 on Saturday.

  • Now, I know this is an unpopular theory, but United needs to trade Freddy. Trade him to the Metros, to the Galaxy, I don't care. But this team works best without him and Nowak isn't interested in bringing him along. Freduardo would start with the Metros and could definitely learn great things from Youri and the newly-nattily attired Bob Bradley. Plus, it'd be a huge boost to the Metros sagging attendance and would fit the mold of what Alexi Lalas was talking about in regards to bringing in superstar-type players. I'm not sure who the Metros would have to give up to get him. Amado wouldn't help D.C. and I'm not sure if formerly-NY-NJ will give up Eddie Gaven (though I would). It'd be worth an allocation and cash, though, in jersey sales alone.

  • My favorite team, Real Salt Lake, is now the most goal-inept-for-the-longest-consecutive-period-of-time team in MLS history, bypassing the previous record set by the Galaxy. It's been 511 minutes since RSl scored a goal ... that's almost five whole games. Someone dive for a penalty already! With Mathis out this Wednesday due to yellow card accumulation, internet cult hero Jamie Watson will most likely get a start ... hopefully the UNC product will cause a goal for the Monarchs against Landon and the Galaxy this Wednesday.

  • Break up the MetroStars! My second favorite team, the one with the head coach now sporting the finery, is unbeaten in their last five and is creeping up on second place in the tough Eastern Conference. Razov, as noted, scored twice this weekend and is going to have to carry the team up front while Ibrahim is out with an injured knee.

  • FC Dallas downed the Gals without Mulrooney, Ruiz or Johnson in the lineup. And here I thought Colin Clarke was in over his head. Clearly the class of the West right now.

  • How do we put Chicago-Kansas City on ESPN2? The rest of our teams need to get good in a hurry to make our Saturday afternoon broadcasts more exciting. This weekend should be a good one, though, with the Quakes and Gals on under the lights in NoCal.
  • Wednesday, June 15, 2005
    Chelsea-United game confirmed
    It's already a popular rumor but we just got the official confirmation at work to post on the site so I thought y'all would be interested.

    July 28th
    D.C. United vs. Chelsea
    8pm
    Live on ESPN2
    from Fed Ex Field

    I wish they could have played at RFK.
    Tuesday, June 14, 2005
    What does it all mean?
    With the promotion of Alexi Lalas to the post of President & GM of the No-Longer-New-York-New-Jersey MetroStars, the question that immediately springs to mind for me is what happens next.

    Well, during the conference call Tim Lieweke announced that the oft-rumored Harrison Stadium project was within a "week or two" of being finalized. Many Metros fans will remember fondly the more recent history of "60-90 days" and are naturally cynical. Based on what I've heard there may actually be some very good news this Thursday.

    So, if the Metros have a stadium, a less-than-pariah general manager and some positive karma, what's next for the club?

    Alexi Lalas outlined some of the things he thought were most important but one of the things that stuck out most was his double focus. He wants to bring groups and youth and the kids to the stadium but also at the same time make it possible for the die-hards to find what they're looking for. Let's face it ... Giants Stadium holds 77,000 people. If there's not room for everyone, I don't know where there is. You can't really blame the lack of attendance in San Jose on 'Lexi as he's had to fight the constant threat of the club being moved (which seems more and more likely with AEG moving Lalas out of San Jose) but he's got a hard road ahead of him in the swamp.

    I personally think the fallout happens as such:

    Lalas doesn't do much this year and focuses on bringing good vibes to the stadium and watches Bradley eke the team into the playoffs and maybe get past the first round. In the offseason, Lalas dumps some of the higher salaried guys who are wasting bench space (that means you, Sergio Galván Rey) and hires a new coach in the Gus Hiddink mold. No, he's not going to get Gus Hiddink, but he'll look for someone who focuses on bringing along young talent (something Bradley's good at) who also preaches attacking soccer and is media saavy (two things which do not describe Bradley).

    Also, in the offseason, to build momentum for the new stadium, the team changes its name to ANYTHING OTHER THAN METROSTARS as that's the worst name in professional sports. They dropped the New York/New Jersey about four years ago but people insist on calling them that. Maybe they pick up Empire FC (though that lends more credence to the New York part) or call themselves the Metro Wanderers. I don't care. Just something that isn't the stupid name they have now. At least when I say Real Salt Lake, people know I'm talking about a soccer team.

    Then, next year, the Metros go out, challenge a Clint Dempsey-less (he's been sold to PSV or Feyenoord) Revolution for best record in the league and win MLS Cup 2006 (which will conveniently be held at the new Bridgeview complex, which, after the naming rights were sold, is known as Sears Field).

    Sure, it'll happen just like that.
    Monday, June 13, 2005
    Big news for the MetroStars
    Huge news coming for the MetroStars. The GM, Nick Sackewicz, who has single-handedly run this team into the ground, is moving on.

    Official word from the team, which hasn't announced this yet but will later today or on Tuesday, is that he's being promoted. Stephen Hamilton already has the job of overseeing soccer for AEG so I'm not sure where Nick's going.

    That's good news for the Metros. I don't know who the new GM will be but he's got to be better than Nick.

    Maybe Peter Wilt is available?
    Saturday, June 11, 2005
    Anyone can blog about a World Cup Qualifier ...
    ...it takes a real die-hard to write about the U-20 World Cup.

    Here's my thoughts so far:

  • I don't understand how Freddy keeps getting used on the wing. He's best used in the middle of the park where he can get some touches and dictate the distribution of the ball.

  • Not impressed with Westberg in goal.

  • Freddy has been incredibly impressive on the ball when he's had the sphere at his feet.

  • Marvell Wynne! This guy has been a beast as a right back and he's only a freshman in college (at UCLA: more on that later). His dad is the former Major League Baseball player by the same name. This kid could be a star for the Eagles when he graduates to the full national team. Marvell can run the 100-meter dash in a little under 12 seconds. That's crazy fast.

  • Chad Barrett has been huge for the US and is the one with the goal so far and has had a great game overall. On the heels of this tournament, I would certainly hope he gets a lot more playing time for Chicago Fire. He's fast and has a strong shot.

  • UCLA has four players on this U-20 team. Yeesh.

  • Hunter Freeman has not been impressive to me at left back. He seems a little like a midfielder who is being forced to play at fullback.

  • Freddy Adu missed the penalty! Granted, it was off the post and it wasn't like he put it 80 yards above the goal but it would have been amazing to have been up 2-0 on Argentina. To hold on to this win will be huge.

  • Argentina has looked very dangerous since the missed penalty.

  • Not sure what's up with Eddie Gaven. I was hoping the yellow card (that rule for an automatic yellow for kicking the ball away is good in theory but was horribly misapplied in that scenario) would really get him started but I haven't been impressed with what I've seen.

  • The man with the magic hair, Danny Szetela, has entered the contest. Looks like he's in for Barrett who has gone out with cramps.

  • Another guy I've been impressed with is Nathan Sturgis (also a freshman in college) who came on for Jonathon Spector (the Man Utd. fullback) when Spector picked up a knock in the first half. I think he's settled everyone down and played well.

  • And that's the final whistle! Quite possibly one of the biggest wins ever for the United States in any competition. We beat Argentina .... are you shitting me?! An absolutely huge win for the U.S. and gives us three huge points in the group of death. Next up is Germany. C'mon you Screaming Eagles!