Monday Bullets: City-United Fallout, Wynalda Misses, Etc.

Monday Bullets:

• And then they were even….

Kolarov, for City, with a tackle on Nani here...and a free kick goal there...

Yesterdays 3-2 Manchester United over Manchester City FA Cup win was a sidewinder of drama. City control the run of play, United score. Vincent Kompany gets a pink card (that’s what we’re calling a soft red card from now on over here).

Paul Scholes comes out of retirement.

Owen Hargreaves…comes out of retirement.

However, the most amazing scene all day. The look of the petrified faces of United fans as City–down a man–kept coming in waves at their neighbors at Old Trafford.

United, it’s hard to disagree, minus a penalty here and the brilliance of Nani keeping the pressure on looked no match for a City team missing Yaya Toure in the middle. Don’t rate Gareth Barry so his absence doesn’t get a mention here–but just did.

United have some real problems. It’s been long documented here on TSG that United’s midfield is in shambles. Michael Carrick can be championed all you want, but when Paul Scholes is brought out of retirement it says something about your ability to dictate the game in possession on the attack.

And for all the talk of Nemanja Vidic slowing down, United backline minus the stalwart is a step below as Vidic more than the rantings of a fading Rio Ferdinand kept that backline in line.

Congratulations Citizens, you’ve officially arrived.

• Wynalda Off

Nice interview with US Soccer veteran and sh*t-disturber extraordinaire Eric Wynalda by our fiends over at the Free Beer Movement. It’s the Part I at least.

Wynalda grouses about the MLS schedule being aschew to what is commonplace in most FIFA-speaking nations, about Fox Soccer bullying MLS into changing that schedule and about the US needing to win under Klinsmann.

While it’s easy to disagree across the board with Wynalda’s sentiments–actually check that, the scheduling makes some sense. (On Fox Soccer’s failure to pay up for MLS, that one’s all about cash, not the schedule. Very clear to see Fox’s content MO across the board. In fact, as we’ve mentioned before, quite a coup for Fox to pick up the World Cup rights in 2018 and 2022 after ESPN has so kindly agreed to promote soccer in the US through 2017. That was very smart business.)

Anywho, the bigger challenge with Wynalda’s comments is…it’s not a black-and-white world. Whether it’s Don Garber’s plan or Wynalda’s plan the key for continued growth of the sport is to iterate that plan on an annual basis–something that MLS has at least proven it is all too willing to do.

That and where’s the money for everything Eric?

Deuce striking a familiar pose after his 3-ball...

• Clint Dempsey…from DOWNTOWN!

A 3-ball, trifecta, hat trick…honestly can there be a better celebration and moniker attached to three goals in a soccer game than the term “hat trick”…yes? Please?

Anyway, Dempsey with three onions in the bag against the EPL basement resident formerly known as Charlton (where Jonathan Spector once played…that’s rather irrelevant.)

Dempsey is more than likely going nowhere in the transfer window. While Fulham has enough quality to avoid the drop, inconsistent hit man Bobby Zamora is not exactly fond of coach Martin Jol (whose team is finally starting to come together.) Zamora, despite his injuries and age (30) is still masterful in little space. he’s also English and helps on the homegrown front.

If any scorer is headed away from the Cottage it’s likely Zamora this transfer season–though don’t bet on that either.

• Centerback slacker?

Might that be Geoff Cameron? We’re just messing around however quite a run it could be on US centerbacks over the past six months.

Carlos Bocanegra to Rangers. Oguchi Onyewu to Sporting Lisbon. Tim Ream perhaps to Bolton? Looking real likely. George John to West ham? Supposedly a done deal.

Omar Gonzalez to FC Nurnberg if the whole ACL thing didn’t materialize. (Was the prep work for a drop (relegation) or genuine infatuation with the Texan’s talent?)

So who is Geoff Cameron’s agent. And why doesn’t the Dynamo man have a host of team doting on him? Is it just the work permit thing?

Prediction: Cameron gets his caps this year, helps houston ringing in the new stadium and then heads overseas on a transfer right before the calendar turns 2012.

• The Golden One

With FC Dallas signing Blas Perez we’re cautiously backing away from the Dominic Oduro for MLS Golden Boot 2012 pick. More predictions later this week.


Thanks for everyone’s patience. We’ll ramp up more content here at TSG as January gets going.



25 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/01/09 at 12:15 PM

    A better term than “hattrick?” How about “perfect hattrick?!”


    • The perfect hattrick involves scoring a goal by breaking John Terry’s ankles (figuratively speaking of course), scoring a second goal by posterizing him on a corner kick for a header to the corner, then receiving your marching orders for pansting him during the celebration.


    • Posted by dth on 2012/01/11 at 10:04 AM

      Always thought “perfect hat trick” was one with your left, one with your right, and one off your head.


  2. Posted by dth on 2012/01/09 at 12:50 PM

    Some excellent, troubling reporting on Livestrong:

    Wondering if the Kansas City people know about this.


    • Posted by KickinNames... on 2012/01/09 at 3:39 PM

      Article is terribly written unfortunately. Outperforming EVERYONE else for 7 consecutive years in a sport where PED’s or EPO were used by EVERYONE else that he raced against is just too good to be true. Hincapie’s testimony is the killer as he has a very respected character in the sport. Within 3 yrs Lance and his marketing brand will be coasting downhill without brakes. I just never bought into his story.

      To answer the question- doesn’t look like KC loses anything here as they weren’t generating naming rights revenue anyway.


      • Posted by dth on 2012/01/09 at 3:48 PM

        PEDs aren’t the issue–it’s the foundation, as the article makes clear. Doesn’t look like there’s much there there.

        And while KC doesn’t lose anything tangible, it was sold in the press as being a good branding decision for everyone involved. If it’s true, and there’s not much to what Livestrong actually does, then what is there?


        • Posted by KickinNames... on 2012/01/09 at 4:28 PM

          I disagree re PED’s/EPO. Lances/livestrongs brand is inextricably tied to his dominating the sport after his incredibly courageous fight against testicular cancer. If , as his many teammates have testified, he did dope then the brand goes down the drain.
          Re KC as with any branding decision in todays transient world, the name will come down and stadium will be called something different the next day. I don’t think it has an impact.


          • But the point of the story was that Livestrong had issues notwithstanding the PED question.

            Though I think Livestrong comes out OK in the long run. They don’t spend a lot on research, but they don’t claim to do so. They’re in the business of awareness, inspiration and health tips. The charity watchdogs still give them pretty good ratings.


  3. Posted by Antonio H. on 2012/01/09 at 12:50 PM

    Is trifecta to cliche? I’ll be silently rooting for FC Dallas this season because Blas And my father rep the same flag.


  4. Posted by dth on 2012/01/09 at 1:06 PM

    Also, Freddy already thinking of leaving:

    Freddy’s Union tenure certainly fits in with the rest of his career, hype- and production-wise.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/01/09 at 1:07 PM

      Agreed on Adu for certain. I “miswrote” a piece earlier this year. Seems like “the next destination” is preferred over “making a mark.”


      • Posted by KickinNames... on 2012/01/09 at 3:10 PM

        Apart from some flashes with the MNT, what (or who) convinces him that he’s ready for anything other than a development program. Watched hm regularly with the Union this year expecting to see flashes and he was marginal without really making an impact on their play. If he has difficulty influencing the game consistently with a 2nd tier league here in MLS how will he even get PT in Liga?
        He just looks more and more out of touch with reality with every decision.


        • Posted by dth on 2012/01/09 at 3:50 PM

          Freddy’s the soccer equivalent of those seven-footers in basketball, or absolute physical specimens at wide receiver in football, whom coaches imagine that they and they alone can unlock their potential. They rarely can.


  5. Posted by EFG on 2012/01/09 at 2:38 PM

    It makes me sad to know I’ll never love anything in life as much as Mr. Henry loves Arsenal.

    Also, am I the only person who finds Blas Perez as the most annoying player in CONCACAF?


  6. In a massive amount of hilarity, a sampling of the Henry/Arsenal tweets prior to the game today usually included a fair amount of

    “MLS defending is terrible, Henry has lost a step, he won’t be able to play anymore, bench warmer” comments from British/overseas folks.

    Now all the tweets are “Return of the King!” “F*&$ the bulls! stay with Arsenal”


  7. The Mirror (which is generally a small pile short of a large pile of excrement newspaper) had this delightful tidbit.

    “Yet when the call came, just as Wenger and his men looked set to be blocked, stymied and thwarted by Leeds’ containment policy all the way to an Elland Road replay next week, Henry answered – just like he used to.

    Maybe he is 34 now.

    Maybe he has been in semi-retirement in New York.”

    Good times.


  8. Posted by evan on 2012/01/09 at 7:14 PM

    Cameron gets his caps this year, helps Houston ringing in the new stadium and then heads overseas on a transfer right before the calendar turns 2012?

    what is he a time traveler too?


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