The Weekend: Live Commentary

Rough end of week for TSG. We’ll have more stuff next week.

Enjoy the final days of August(a).

Man City v. Liverpool the big one in Britland. RBNY vs. Sporting KC (and unfortunately no chance for another Espinoza-Henry tete-a-tete) the big one from the domestic selection.

Differencemaker? PLEEAAASSE!

57 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by EFG on 2012/08/24 at 4:27 PM

    Ahem, Serie A kicks off. Ahem.


  2. Posted by mbw on 2012/08/24 at 6:40 PM

    Amobi Okugo. What a player.


    • Posted by mbw on 2012/08/24 at 8:41 PM

      P.S. I hope he moves soon so I don’t have to watch any more Union games.


      • Posted by dth on 2012/08/25 at 4:35 AM

        Wouldn’t mind. If Nowak had played him as regularly as he should’ve, Okugo would’ve moved by now.

        They’re a strange mishmash right now. Guys like Farfan and McInerney want to play relatively stylishly, but it’s really hard to do that consistently with a guy like Danny Cruz, who is one of those players you wish picked up the game at a younger age.


  3. Posted by dth on 2012/08/24 at 9:05 PM

    Watched a bit of college soccer–UCLA v. New Mexico. Keep an eye on Grady Howe as a possible homegrown player for Galaxy in the future.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/08/25 at 9:33 AM

      Jurgen Klinsmann has the ins at Stoke City. Beyond the USMNT tactical game planning, outright coup to have Klinsmann involved.

      Know–from sources–that Cameron and Edu to Stoke City *does not happen* with Klinsmann’s contacts.


  4. Posted by wixson on 2012/08/25 at 8:53 AM

    edu/cameron pairing for club and county, has a nice ring to it.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/08/25 at 9:33 AM

      Will be interesting to see at Stoke like to play on the counter and Cameron is suppose to play midfield. I bet Stoke go into an almost sweeper like set-up this year.


      • Posted by Eric on 2012/08/25 at 11:49 AM

        If Stoke decides to play Cameron at midfield (besides making him an automatic starter for my fantasy team), think that will limit his development at CB for the Nats? His international future is certainly as a back but he needs reps at a high level outside of a US jersey.


        • Who knows what Pulis intends to do with Cameron but is Cameron in a position to tell Stoke that he should only play CB?

          Cameron is an older guy who is probably excited to finally see a life long dream come true. Doesn’t it strike you as a little arrogant for the new guy to tell Pulis he will only play center back, especially when Cameron has had some success already in playing in midfield?

          It seems to me Cameron, even if he is in midfield, can only benefit from playing time in the EPL.


          • Posted by dth on 2012/08/25 at 2:50 PM

            That seems to read much more than Eric wrote there.


          • Posted by Eric on 2012/08/25 at 3:58 PM

            I don’t recall suggesting that Cameron tell his coach where he should play. I’m merely asking a question about how Cameron’s national team future could be affected IF he’s moved to midfield in the EPL.


            • Posted by schmutzdeck on 2012/08/25 at 5:23 PM

              Edu did okay at center back in the Mexico game. He had nowhere near the kind of experience at the position a guy like Cameron has at center back.
              Do you supposed Cameron will forget how to play there so soon?

            • Posted by Eric on 2012/08/25 at 7:12 PM

              No but it’s hard to improve at a position you don’t play regularly. I’m not worried about him forgetting how to play CB, I’m worried about him not continuing to improve at position that he could make his own by the next world cup.

            • Eric,

              I would guess Cameron, would make Pulis aware of his preferences but will do his best to succeed even if they put him in midfield. And if he does well he could become yet another USMNT midfielder candidate, albeit, one who we know can play center back fairly well.

              Regardless of where he lines up, the greater competition, assuming he actually gets on the field, should make him a better all-around player.

              If this happens, I suspect JK , who does not seem to care about US soccer orthodoxy, will pick him to play center back regardless of where he is playing for Stoke. JK doesn’t seem too worried about playing guys “out of position” so to speak. I think that is because he has seen it work a lot. After all he just did that with Edu.

              Obviously it would be ideal if national team guys were always played where they also play for their clubs but oftentimes the composition of the player pool available to a national team for any given game is far from ideal. It’s the nature of the beast.

              Besides, there are quite a number of other center back candidates who very well could emerge between now and whenever it is that JK has to set the roster for the World Cup, should we qualify.

              I’m confident that if Cameron cannot make the USMNT CB slot his own, someone else will do a fine job with it. It’s not about Cameron, it’s about the USMNT.

            • Posted by Gregorio on 2012/08/26 at 1:29 PM

              I think I’m with Eric on this one. Although Cameron can be equally effective in either roles as DM or CB, the issue of how much time is spent in one those roles with at least maintaining some of the other position is the issue.
              If he, for example, is used exclusively as a DM with no reps at CB for an extended period (not sure how much time weakens the position’s required skill set 6 momths, a year, 2 years?)
              What I’m meandering to is that although Cameron is a top athlete who can adjust back to whatever position the USMNT requires, he will be rusty at it and perhaps that lack of role sharpness might prove costly. Edu did a decent job but there is still work to be done if he is to be a CB, if one of Edu’s errors costed us a goal against Mexico or if Chicarito heads one in, the dialogue about Edu & JK’s line up choices would be more aninmated I’m sure (At least he with our astute analysts).
              Now as a disclaimer there are a few soccer genius who can move back and forth between positions seamlessly, much a kin to someone who is fluently bilingual who can shift languages in seconds, I don’t know if Cameron is one of these high soccer IQ & instinctual individuals, more will be revealed.
              I know this is perhaps non-transferable but after being abroad for a few months in Europe, upon my return, I found I forgot words. I took time to regain my vocabulary but then again maybe I’m just suffering form early alzheimer’s onset.

            • Gregorio,

              I’m not against Eric or you.

              I made it pretty clear that ideally the USMNT should cap guys in the positions they play for their clubs. I don’t think there is any doubt that if Cameron plays in midfield for Stoke all season his CB skills will suffer. The question is, will they deteriorate where it is a big deal?

              That is for JK to determine. After all, Cameron had just transitioned from playing midfield for Houston on a regular basis to playing center back for the USMNT did he not? So there is evidence to suggest that Cameron is capable of transitioning more or less seamlessly. Make no mistake Cameron is an exceptional athlete. He is where he is in part because he can do things that people like you and I and most of the people on this site cannot do.
              And if he can’t do it then there are other center backs; these things tend to take care of themselves.

              National teams always have to deal with the issue of not just position changes but also tactical/scheme changes for their players.

              Spain is lucky enough to have Barca and Real Madrid as their base. This means that Del Bosque can field a team with minimal tactical issues since the majority of the players either play on the same club or are extremely familiar with the style Del Bosque wants to play.

              The USMNT on the other hand has guys from clubs literally all over the globe playing a variety of styles. So to me the issue in having a guy like Cameron having to move back to center back from midfield is far down the list of “big deals”. Ideally, he would play center back for Stoke but overall, if he does well at Stoke, it can only be positive for the USMNT, even if he moves to midfield for the US. You can never have too many good midfielders.

              After all it was not that long ago that it looked like we had too many good candidates for goal keepers and centerback.

            • Posted by chris_thebassplayer on 2012/08/26 at 10:02 PM

              I’m not worried about where Cameron initially plays. I believe over time he’ll be in the mix at CB. Stoke have solid CBs, it would be unrealistic to expect Cameron to waltz in and put a veteran on the bench in a few weeks. I’m just happy he’s on the pitch gaining valuable experience marking high quality attackers. Edu is going to have a much tougher time getting on the pitch as long as Cameron is at Dmid.

  5. Let the battle be rejoined.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/08/25 at 4:35 PM

      Mrs Cross and I will be at the Portland – Vancouver game tonight.
      Took a walk up to the stadium earlier and members of the Timbers Army were gathering 4 hours before kick-off…

      Anybody know any good bars for a pre / post game beverage [zero proof, of course!]?


  6. Posted by KickinNames.. on 2012/08/25 at 6:05 PM

    Just checked into GolTV and found out that Al Jazeera beIN Sports Network was awarded the bid for Serie A, La Liga and Ligue 1 rights in US this past week. Its only available on DirectTV. Essentially closing out the US market. Pretty bummed as I’m a Roma fan and looking forward to seeing Mikey in the kit.

    Rumor is that beIN is looking to purchase GOLTV and this was the killer blow.


    • Posted by dth on 2012/08/26 at 8:41 AM

      thought they made a deal with Comcast?


    • Posted by Jason on 2012/08/26 at 9:49 AM

      Don’t get too bummed yet. beIN is already on Dish, DirectTV, and comcast and is negotiating with other major cable providers. You will probably need a sports package of some kind but it’s likely that within the year lots of folks will have it. beIN also just secured the right to ALL of the USMNT WCQ away games which is great news I think because that means no more pay-per-view BS.


      • Posted by Jared on 2012/08/27 at 5:47 AM

        They have negotiated a deal with Comcast but from my understanding it won’t be available on Comcast across the board for a few weeks. Might not even be on in time for the US v. Jamaica game that bein has the rights to. What a stupid friggin name by the way. Absolutely awful to type/look at.


    • Posted by EFG on 2012/08/26 at 1:45 PM

      It’s early days but it looks like beIN has a preference for northern Italian clubs with stripes on their shirts. I think they’ll get it situated eventually.

      I couldn’t tell from my terrible stream but it didn’t look like Bradley had the best of games aside from the assist on the 2nd equalizer. Nothing for concern though.


      • Posted by mbw on 2012/08/26 at 1:51 PM

        He played nervously for the first twenty minutes or so, looking a bit like the old MB — overrunning plays on defense, diving in on challenges and so forth. After that he settled down and played pretty well, though he still didn’t have his best outing. As you say, no cause for concern. He’s already contributing at a good level, and he’ll only get better.


  7. Posted by dude on 2012/08/26 at 5:38 AM

    7th minute, Cameron has already shown his quality. Once he settles in and other players get in sync with his passing, great things will happen.

    Which begs the question of whether Edu and Cameron are destined for the midfield, or if Cameron knocks a starting CB to the bench. Assuming Edu starts, of course.


  8. Posted by Eric on 2012/08/26 at 7:12 AM

    Arsenal may have a bunch of attackers but I’m still finding it hard to believe they couldn’t use someone like Dempsey right now. His skill set (someone who can create a little more than Podo or Giroud up top and had a tendency to find garbage goals) is something Arsenal seem to miss still.


  9. Posted by dth on 2012/08/26 at 8:42 AM

    Can’t wait for the English media to overhype Sterling. I mean, nice stuff so far.


  10. Posted by dth on 2012/08/26 at 8:43 AM

    If Sahin plays like he did at Dortmund, probably the steal of the signing season. Can’t believe he wouldn’t help Arsenal or Manchester United.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/08/26 at 7:39 PM

      I read that Mourinho’s close friendship with Rodgers was very important. Plus Gerrard asked Alonso to get on his case. Obviously just hearsay.


      • Posted by dth on 2012/08/26 at 7:47 PM

        That’s certainly possible. It just seems difficult to believe that if United or Arsenal had made Sahin a priority signing, that they wouldn’t have gotten him. But who knows.


    • Posted by Damon on 2012/08/27 at 4:56 AM

      It sounds like Real Madrid were only willing to do a loan with no option to buy. It would take a pretty exceptional set of circumstances for either one of those teams to decide to be a farm club for Real Madrid for a season. Maybe Jack Wilshire’s injury would have made Arsenal interested but I still think it would have been a poor decision for any team who has champion’s league aspirations.


      • Posted by Jared on 2012/08/27 at 6:28 AM

        That’s what I read as well. Not surprising that Arsenal would demand an option to buy as it’s the smart way to do a loan deal. Arsenal like to consider themselves rivals to a club like Real Madrid (not true though based on finances and performance recently) while Liverpool can’t be that picky right now.


  11. Posted by SurfNdaVe on 2012/08/26 at 9:30 AM

    Given at face value, Stoke fans seem rather positive on Cameron’s performance today @TheOatcake message board. Fan feedback suggests Cameron fits the mold of a Stoke City defensive mid. Off to watch the game replay…


    • Posted by SurfNdaVe on 2012/08/26 at 11:56 AM

      ~86th minute replay…Cameron voted “man of match” via stadium announcer? Regardless of Stoke’s inability to muster meaningful possession, that’s a nice way to start off a first game in the BPL. Absolutely stoked for GC.


      • Posted by KickinNames.. on 2012/08/27 at 6:17 AM

        He was a literal beast out there for Stoke. Positionally fantastic, calm and composed on the ball and very solid on ball defending. Very impressive first start and you could see him taking Whelan’s spot very soon. Not good news for his CB time though which I do think is important as he has rapidly emerged as a solid candidate for the starting USMNT role.


  12. Posted by Nelson on 2012/08/26 at 12:23 PM

    Roma is down 1-0 and Bradley already has a yellow. It’s the 37th min and MB90 has done pretty well, just missing that little chemistry with his teammates that comes with time. promising


  13. Posted by Nelson on 2012/08/26 at 12:29 PM

    the goalscorer appears to have been offsides too. Steklenverg just came up with a huge save. Bradley forces a corner on the counter


  14. Posted by Nelson on 2012/08/26 at 1:01 PM

    Golazo! Osvaldo! 1-1


  15. Posted by Nelson on 2012/08/26 at 1:33 PM

    Bradley with the assist! 2-2


    • Posted by mbw on 2012/08/26 at 1:41 PM

      Great ball over the top and terrific finish by that kid.

      Good stroke of luck for US soccer fans that Bradley landed on one of the most entertaining teams in Europe, no?


  16. Posted by Andrew M. on 2012/08/26 at 5:19 PM

    I love Dallas, but this is just weird. Never in my life have I seen a guy with as much space as Brek Shea has had in this half with no one even attempting to get him the ball. Ok, not really, It’s been going on all year. It’s not like they can’t see him, he’s the biggest guy on the field not named Omar Gonzales and George John.


    • Posted by dth on 2012/08/26 at 6:17 PM

      Everything about Dallas is weird. I’ve given up trying to figure them out.

      Nice performances from Omar Gonzalez and Jose Villarreal.


  17. Posted by dth on 2012/08/26 at 6:19 PM

    Bill Simmons always likes to joke about teams needing a “VP of Common Sense.” It’s a bit of an oversimplification for many situations, but New York desperately needs a VP and assistant coach of Common Sense. “Hey, uh, Hans…what if you kept playing your players in their best positions? Is that hard?”


    • Posted by Eric on 2012/08/26 at 8:21 PM

      Yeah, don’t quite get putting Conde at LB while moving Pearce inside, especially when KC likes to put a lot of speed at those two wing spots along with Myers getting high as well.

      Also, Le Toux is wasted on a wing. This problem is compounded by having Cooper up top who tends to drift wide, typically into the same space Le Toux likes to run into.


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