Weekend: Live Commentary

Opening this up for the community. Have a great Labor Day Weekend.

Playing like a young Red buck...I mean Bull this year.

39 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/09/03 at 2:34 PM

    Stud muffin


  2. Posted by dth on 2011/09/03 at 6:15 PM

    Someone needs to investigate this whole Kyle Nakazawa thing. It’s getting ridiculous.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/09/03 at 6:15 PM

      Oh, yeah, and Stanford took its first step on the path towards the national championship. Good stuff there.


  3. Posted by Martin Tyler on 2011/09/03 at 9:35 PM




  4. Posted by dikranovich on 2011/09/04 at 5:21 AM


    dempsey was probably closer to a transfer to arsenal then maybe some people wanted to believe. even though he did not make the move, it has got to be a sign of good things on the horizon for americans who want to play pro ball in europe. it does not seem to far fetched to think that by 2014, the usa could field a team made up of guys all playing champions league soccer for their club team.


    • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/09/04 at 7:29 AM

      If you mean CONCACAF Champions League, then, yeah, it’s not at all far-fetched.


      • Posted by dikranovich on 2011/09/04 at 7:47 AM

        dont be scared of it unifficio. embrace it.


        • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/09/04 at 12:16 PM

          Scared? I’d be ecstatic if it happened. But considering we have precisely zero players currently in the CL, and by my count zero can’t-miss CL starter level prospects and that 2014 is only three years away, I’d call my outlook quite realistic.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/09/04 at 7:50 AM

        Does playing CL qualication games for Rangers et al, count?

        I do not think it’s too far fetch that it will eventually happen, but I do think your 2014 claim is a little far fetched. The core of the USNT are in their prime now or have just passed it [so by 2014, their levels will more than likely have declined]. Where are these players coming through who will be better than their international counterparts?


        • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/09/04 at 8:39 AM

          Altidore, Chandler, Holden, Edu(eh) IMHO will be competing in the CL for their respective squads in 2014. I have 75% confidence in that statement. But we certainly have some young talent that are better/unique or have the potential to be better and play at a higher level than our core players over 26 right now. I could go on and on but just look at Chandler, Lichaj for sure (and I dont know much about Fabian Johnson so I wont say anything) can do better than Dolo, Borny. Lok where Edu is(and Bradley I guess) compared to a Pablo Mastroeni, etc. The one thing though is now we have different kinds of players coming through, in the midfield mostly, than weve had for years. Cant remember a deeplying playmaker like Torres that weve had. And weve never really had a CAM in the Sweatpants era. Brek puts in better service from out wide than Ive ever seen from Landon. There will never be a goalpoaching LM/CF like Dempsey tha we’ll ever see agin. But yes farfetched is an understatement for us having a whole starting xi of CL players. maybe 2016 :>


        • Posted by dikranovich on 2011/09/04 at 10:55 PM

          ill ammend my statement a little and say that out of a 23 man roster for brasil, 11.5 will play in the european champions league, and to further qualify, the player has to get group stage experience, any less champions league will only count as .5

          im a little dissapointed that someone tried to suggest brasil or spain did not have eleven players on their team with champions league experience. spain had 17 players, brasil had more than 11 as well


    • Posted by dth on 2011/09/04 at 12:36 PM

      How many countries in general is this true of? Not for England. Not for Germany. Spain is close, but not true. Not for Brazil.

      No one does this; folly to think we’d be the first.


      • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/09/04 at 9:00 PM

        More realistic would probably be to have a starting 11 that starts in a top 4 league or a CL (Rangers type) team outside of the top 4. I think that its possible soon.

        If you assume a starting 11 of Howard; Chandler, Boca, Goodson, Fabian Johnson; Bradley, Holden, Donovan; Dempsey, Shea, Altidore the US would have 6 out of 11 (and potentially 8 as Goodson’s team was an early round CL qualifier – I think – and if Bradley wins a starting spot). The three holdouts would be Donovan and the two young guys in Altidore and Shea. Its not impossible to see Altidore and Shea going to a top 4 league next year.

        Obviously starting for QPR is not the same as starting for ManU but 11 strong players is more likely than the US developing the next Messi.


  5. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/09/04 at 8:04 AM

    Did anybody watch Scotland vs. Czech Republic? Wow. I knew Scotland were poor, but they were extremely pants yesterday. I do feel sorry for them [maybe only a little bit!]. That equalising penalty for the Czechs was a blatant dive. But Scotland will blame failure to qualify on that one decision, rather than the whole campaign. They couldn’t win in Lithuania, and couldn’t avoid defeat in Prague. Considering Spain were the heavy favourites to win the group, Scotland and Czech Republic were basically playing for 2nd place, and CR have taken 4 points from them. Even if that penalty was not given, and Scotland took 3 points, I am still not convinced that Scotland would finish 2nd, therefore earning a playoff spot.

    Where are the Dalgleishs, Hansens, Sounesses, Laws, Strachans and Millers in the Scottish system? I know that they only have a population of 5.25M, but they are fast becoming the minnows of European football, and will be rubbing shoulders with Wales and Northern Ireland.


    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/09/04 at 8:40 AM

      seemed like a barn-burner from the highlights I saw…


    • Posted by Martin on 2011/09/04 at 9:08 AM

      As a big fan of Dennis Law,the Lisbon Lions and Jim Baxter, Gordon McQueen and Alan Gilzean and someone who was always surprised that Scotland never won a World Cup or a European championship and now probably never will, this is about the best article I’ve seen on the topic:


      It confirms what my Scottish friends from Peebles have told me; basically Scottish kids don’t play football as much as they used to.
      And when you have such a small population a small drop in interest is quickly expressed in a reduction of the talent level and once that starts, it becomes a vicious circle. It will be along time before we see the kind of mass produced high level talent Scotland used to put out.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/09/04 at 9:40 AM

        All very true, Martin. But those arguments can be applied to children all over the world.
        The fact is that Scotland and the SFA have stood still while many other countries are progressing, and investing in their football infrastructure.

        Obviously, Scotland’s small population and the growth of the sport in ‘non-traditional’ markets has caused their decline. But look at the Dutch – they have a population of 16M and are competing at the highest level. So, it’s not just a population issue is it?


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/09/04 at 10:02 AM

          I have friends who live in Scotland [Perth], and one thing that they say is that in the winter, it gets dark so early, so there is no way they will let their children ‘kick the ball about’ outside, not in this day and age. There basically is a lack of indoor facilities for children to use in the winter. And the ones that are in operation, aren’t cheap – so then it becomes a money thing too…


          • Posted by dth on 2011/09/04 at 10:36 AM

            Kind of a vicious cycle thing at play, I imagine.

            Compare to ze Germans. They’ve built a huge network of clubs with indoor and outdoor facilities. Of course, the reason that they can do this is that they’ve got tons and tons of money. The reason that they’ve got tons of money is that they’re already successful…and you see where this is going.

            This is one reason why I’m not as critical as some are of the USSF/SUM/MLS’s various money grabs. We have a lot of opportunities to get top-level type funding and should grab it whenever possible.


        • Posted by Martin on 2011/09/04 at 10:07 AM

          The Guardian article makes it pretty clear that the SFA and other bodies share in the blame.

          The Netherlands has some similarities with Scotland but unlike Scotland, Holland continued to have a vibrant league and top drawer national teams.

          If you are a Dutch kid you need look no further than Wesley Sneijder for an example of what you can achieve while if you are a Scottish kid, Darren Fletcher is the best you can do.

          I don’t know if this is exactly a chicken and egg situation in terms of which came first but what is clear is that when you have such a small population size, a decline in the production of good players, for whatever reason, can take a while to recover from. Hopefully, Holland will not have to worry about it any time soon.

          In my view the US is currently is a far better situation than Scotland, though Scotland does possess the ability and the expertise to recover if they start now. Funding may be another matter.


          • Posted by dth on 2011/09/04 at 10:38 AM

            Does Scotland possess the expertise? It’s not a situation in which, say, Scotland produces some absolutely exceptional talent that’s thin in depth. Instead, Scotland produces basically the same types of players as the rest of the British Isles. That style’s not going to cut it.

            The U.S. has a much more diverse set of coaching ideas than Scotland.


            • Posted by Martin on 2011/09/04 at 12:55 PM

              “The U.S. has a much more diverse set of coaching ideas than Scotland.”

              Yes, the US does but there is certainly enough expertise in the UK to get Scotland going if that is what they want.

              However, this next wave would be produced under much more regimented conditions than what SAF was referring to in the Guardian article. That kind of “street football” be not be reproducible and hence Scotland may not be able to replicate the kind of instinctive geniuses they used to regularly produce.

            • Posted by sfshwebb on 2011/09/04 at 1:37 PM

              Scotland produces much better coaches and managers then the US

            • Posted by dth on 2011/09/04 at 2:25 PM

              at the senior level, certainly.

              At the youth level, while it’s hard to know for certain, they seem to produce the standard British player with monotony. While the U.S. can’t brag about the standard of player it produces in general, it can argue it produces a more diverse player pool. For example, there are several potential American #10s. I don’t know of one Scot #10.

            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/09/04 at 3:44 PM

              Yeah, the problem isn’t the number of coaches that Scotland has at the highest level, it’s the quality of the players the manager has to choose from. Do you think Ferguson, Dalglish, Coyle or Moyes would do that much better with the players available?

              Does this sound issue sound uncannily familar?

            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/09/05 at 2:48 PM

              I think the kind of player that DTH is talking about is the classic player that grew up playing football in the 80s and even early 90s – where it was pretty physical, and the “get stuck in” was the mantra of the day. It didn’t really matter if you couldn’t use both feet or trap / control a high ball instantly, as long as you didn’t chicken out of a challenge and stood your ground, it was OK. But football in England has evolved from the classic 4-4-2, playing a long ball to a little and large up top. You can see that with the players that have been produced in academies over the last 10 years and especially over the last 5. Unfortunately, not all of these are British – but the youngsters today are more technically gifted and comfortable on the ball than their peers of 10 years ago [with the notable exception of Paul Scholes].

          • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/09/05 at 11:32 AM

            In a country as small as Scotland, how many professional bodies do they really need?


  6. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/09/04 at 11:01 AM

    Will UEFA punish Bulgaria for the monkey chanting aimed at England’s black players? Some drastic action needs to be taken, not a small fine that won’t change things, but is merely a token that UEFA are doing something. Make them play behind closed doors for an entire qualification campaign. Yes, you might be penalised the majority because of the idiotic minority, but the next time it happens, people in the crowd will tell them to STFU, rather than sit back and say / do nothing.

    Can’t believe that we are still talking about racism at a football match in 2011.


    • Posted by crow on 2011/09/04 at 2:33 PM

      You should have been at the gold cup final and heard the abuse TIM Howard was getting. I love how nobody ever acknowledges how many of the Mexican fans are some of the worst behaviored fans in the world. And I’m not talking about you George cross. FIFA needs to stop pushing out all of this fair play and no racism BS and actually enforce it. And clean up their organization while they’re at it.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/09/04 at 3:32 PM

        What was the abuse?

        As disgusting as I am imagining it was, it was Mexican-Americans [?] inside an American stadium, no? Isn’t that something that the USSF should police?


        • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/09/04 at 4:31 PM

          I’m guessing a lot of the fans at that game were not US citizens. There are about 12 million Mexican-born individuals living in the US. I’m sure how many of those are US citizens, but the number is certainly less than half.

          That said, I’m not sure why the USSF should be responsible for policing fans of different federation’s team at a CONCACAF event, regardless of the citizenship of the fans.


          • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/09/04 at 4:38 PM

            *not sure*, of course.


          • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/09/05 at 11:36 AM

            Clearly, the Mexican Federation need to control their fans. But as the host nation, the USSF are responsible for tournament security; pretty sure that’s in the job description.


            • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/09/05 at 6:31 PM

              Maybe for FIFA tournaments, but not for the Gold Cup. I’m pretty sure CONCACAF controlled all the logistics. I recall Sunil claiming as much as well, in his open letter to US fans after all the security problems during the final.

  7. Posted by crow on 2011/09/04 at 2:40 PM

    If the Union misses the playoffs Nowak should possibly lose his job. He is at best a poor man’s Bob Bradley. His unexplainable affinity for Nakazawa, musical chair lineups, lack of usage of Mwanga and Okugo, multiple absences from the team, and blaming the fans for the Ruiz situation is really wearing on me and some others I know. He seems to have lost the team. Well see. The Union desperately need 3 pts on Wednesday.


  8. Posted by Soccernst on 2011/09/04 at 5:52 PM

    I officially back to rooting against all aspects of Spanish soccer. Their performance against chile was everything that personifies the unbeautiful game. Petulant thespians. That is all.


    • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/09/06 at 9:46 AM

      I’m still trying to figure out how on neutral ground in Switzerland they managed to get so many calls in the 2nd half. And the announcing team not pointing out that Arbeloa was never touched on the penalty? He had already started his triple Lundy before the Chile defenders foot landed nearby. Very ugly and Cesc celebrating a little too much for a questionable penalty in a friendly…
      I like that they’ve brought style to the game but not if its going to be a dive fest.


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