Thursday, May 27, 2010
Last Week 4-3 Overall 32-39
Thursday May 27th
Chicago 2 Dallas 1
This game could go either way. Chicago is terrible at home and Dallas is terrible away. I will give the edge to Chicago; they have better players.
Saturday May 29th
Columbus 2 LA 0
I’m picking LA to get their first loss because not only are they missing Landon and Buddle, but Robbie Rogers and Chad Marshall are back from USMNT camp and from what I hear Robbie Rogers is really motivated to show that Bob Bradley made the wrong choice in not choosing him. On an unrelated note, the fact that Rogers didn’t make the USA team means that of the players on the roster that lost 5-0 to Mexico, only one (Stuart Holden) made the World Cup team.
DC 2 Chivas 1
It looks like DC is back and motivated to turn their season around after their big win against AC Milan. Chris Pontius looks motivated to make this season his.
NE 2 New York 1
Shalrie Joseph just returned to the lineup from his drug suspension. It was revealed today that he was suspended 5 games for marijuana. Wow. 5 games? Really? That’s like giving someone their third strike for jaywalking. I’m not advocating drugs, but Santino Quaranta didn’t even get suspended and he did coke. Just saying.
Houston 3 Philadelphia 0
Colorado 2 Seattle 0
Seattle is really struggling right now and I don’t see them getting out of their slump in the altitude in Denver.
Salt Lake 2 KC 0
Kansas City is really struggling right now and I don’t see them getting out of their slump in the altitude in Salt Lake City. I feel like I have said something like this before.
San Jose 3 Toronto 0
San Jose is playing some of the best soccer in the league right now and is facing a tired team at home that includes Chad Barrett. This is pretty much the recipe for a 3-0 win.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Okay guys so I may have slipped up a bit on my predictions last week by going 1-7. But that's okay because this week I will go 8-0 (In seven games!)
Predictions: Last Week 1-7 Overall 28-36
Thursday May 20th
New York 2 Columbus 0
This would most definitely be a different game if GBS was playing. Unfortunately for C-Bus he got suspended and won't take part in this game. I'm really not sure how they expect to do anything offensively without him or Robbie Rogers. They will miss Chad Marshall in the back as well. This is probably the easiest pick of the week.
Dallas 0 LA 0
I don't like Dallas to score based on the fact that LA's defense is playing amazing right now. This being said, I don't like LA to score based on the fact that their entire offense just left for the World Cup. The only question about this game is how many people will come to see the Alan Gordan – Jovan Kirvoski forward partnership.
Saturday May 22nd
Toronto 2 New England 1
I was really impressed with Toronto's performance against LA. They were one of only two teams to get a result with them this year and they got it on the road. I expect them to get a win against the most depleted team in the history of time.
Seattle 3 San Jose 1
I reserve the right to change this result if Fredy Montero doesn't try.
Houston 3 DC 1
Houston has been the hardest team for me to pick this year. Sometimes they just flat out win in the first five minutes (see: at Chivas) and sometimes they let Robbie Findley score on them (how did that even happen?). The only reason I am picking a big win here is because DC is trying to get fewer points than New York did last season.
Chivas 1 RSL 2
The 2005 expansion bowl! Gone are the days when RSL would lose 1-0 at home on a Hector Cuadros penalty and then be forced to throw Brian Kamler in goal for the last ten minutes of the game. Honestly, games will never get as classic as that. Kyle Beckerman is a beast.
Sunday May 23rd
KC 1 Columbus 2
That's one exclamation point for each goal he's going to score against KC.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
With Carlos Bocanegra about three years past his peak (2007) and likely to retire from the national team after the World Cup, I started thinking about who the next captain for the USMNT should be. I had been thinking about this for a while as I don't think there is any realistic way that Bocanegra can continue on with national team until 2014 unless he was just there as a bit role, which a captain should not be. To start the discussion, I asked four friends and soccer fans who they would choose to be the new captain and I got surprisingly similar answers from all of them. One of them said Tim Howard, one of them said Landon Donovan, and the other two said either Howard or Donovan. When I asked them why they basically each stated that both are fiery individuals, natural leaders, and extremely experienced internationally, not to mention probably the two best players on USA. In my opinion whoever the captain is for the next World Cup cycle, they should be a sure pick for the starting XI every game as well as a great leader. So before I discuss Donovan and Howard, I would like to put forward the players I see as every day players in the 2014 World Cup cycle and why they shouldn't be captain.
Name: Jozy Altidore (Villarreal)
Age in 2014: 24
Caps (Goals): 24(8)
Pros: He has the potential to play at a top club anywhere in the world and to be one of the starting USA strikers for the next three World Cup cycles.
Cons: His personality is much too laid back and he has shown some immaturity (understandably) this year at Hull City. He could also fail to become the world class player that many Americans are hoping he will be.
Outlook: Not only is he too young, but he isn't a natural leader. I don't see him ever being the captain of USA.
Name: Clint Dempsey (Fulham)
Age in 2014: 31
Caps (Goals): 59(17)
Pros: He has scored many important goals for USA including the only goal in the 2006 World Cup. He has also shown to be a fiery individual who won't let anything come between him and success. His tears after the Confederation's Cup loss showed how much he cares about the national team.
Cons: At times he seems disinterested in playing and can be inconsistent. He also seems like too quiet of a person and would have to lead by example.
Outlook: In terms of leadership he is completely overshadowed by Donovan in every way which doesn't bode well for him. I don't think he wants to be captain and this is all well because he probably isn't the best choice.
Name: Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan)
Age in 2014: 32
Caps (Goals): 51(5)
Pros: He has the look of a captain. He is an enormous central defender who is an automatic starter when healthy. Just his presence commands respect. He plays for the best club out of anyone on this list.
Cons: He is the most injury prone of the players I am considering and as big as he is, it is unclear if his body will hold up for the next four years. There are a lot of strong young central defenders (see Ike Opara, Tim Ream, and Omar Gonzalez) coming up in the pool that could take over his place.
Outlook: I would support the choice to make him captain as he is the kind of player and person that I respect. This being said, we don't want another 2003-2006 Claudio Reyna in which he was captain but pretty much never on the field. There are simply better choices.
So now that I have stated which players that it definitely won't be, it is time to compare Landon to Timmy.
Name: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
Age in 2014: 32
Caps (Goals): 121(42)
Pros: He gets a lot of respect from every USA player being the youngest to 100 caps as well as our all-time leading goal scorer. Even though Bocanegra is the captain right now, Landon has been deputy captain for six years and it really feels like his team, not Boca's. Landon is by far our best player and will be an automatic inclusion for every USA team up until 2014 (and hopefully beyond). Lastly he is possibly the least injury prone player I have ever seen. In the five years that I have watched soccer, I remember Landon being hurt exactly once (a sprained ankle that kept him out of the England and Spain friendlies in 2008).
Cons: He has coasted through games in the past and often gets in trouble for speaking his mind. His age is somewhat of a concern just because he could start getting injured.
Outlook: Landon would be a great pick for team captain and I would be fully behind it.
Name: Tim Howard (Everton)
Age in 2014: 35
Caps (Goals): 49(0)
Pros: At 35 in 2014 he will be in his prime for a goalkeeper. He is one of the top players at his position in the world; something that no one else on this list can boast. Tim is a huge competitor who doesn't shy away from vocally leading while leading by example at the same time. He has a great story, overcoming turret's syndrome to achieve what he has. He is easily one of the most respected USMNT players.
Cons: He is more reserved then Donovan; this is not his team. Also I am not a fan of keepers being captains. Keepers stay on one side of the field and often aren't near a lot of important action so there is less chance to be assertive.
Outlook: I would support a Tim Howard selection but I think Donovan is the better choice.
So as you can see it looks like the general consensus is that Donovan should be captain. But wait! Those astute readers might have noticed that I named five players who should be starters in the 2014 World Cup but forgot to mention Michael Bradley. That is because I am saving the best for last. Now presenting my choice for the Captain of the USMNT from 2011-20??
Name: Michael Bradley (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Age in 2014: 26
Caps (Goals): 41(7)
Pros: Is there any question that Michael Bradley will start every game that he is healthy for the next ten years? I can see Bradley making the next three World Cups and being instrumental. If we had the same captain for so long, I feel like his influence would be monumental on the younger players. He is only 22 and he already has played 41 times for USA. His dad is a well-respected coach (yes this is a pro; he can get guidance and advice from a great source at any time). Lastly when you watch him, it just seems like he cares about the game more than anyone else on the field. I love the way he plays and I love his competitiveness.
Cons: He has been red carded in the semifinals of both of the international tournaments both for tackles that he didn't have to make (even though the one against Spain was complete BS). His dad is the USMNT coach. I have a hard time believing that if Bob Bradley remains the coach after the World Cup (which I don't think he will) that he would make his son the captain.
Outlook: Bradley could and should be the captain for the 2014, 2018, and 2022 (the one that USA hosts and wins) World Cups. I think the opportunity for him to be the team leader for this long is an amazing one and he will go down in history as one of the best USA players of all time. I would love this pick more than any other.
By the way did you guys notice that I just called six of our 11 starters for 2014? It is unlikely that these six will all be starting in 2014. One of them will likely Bobby Convey himself out of contention while one will likely get too old. Still I like the future that the USMNT led by Captain Bradley has.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Predictions: last week 5-6, overall 27-29
Thursday May 13th
Salt Lake 1 Houston 2
Go Go Jamison Olave! That last game against Houston has to be in the back of his mind. Brad Davis is playing amazingly so I am going to give this to the Texas side. Although watch out for Captain Dreadlocks who could be looking to prove something after his world cup snub.
Saturday May 15th
Philadelphia 2 Dallas 1
Dallas has only lost once this year but I think Philly will be pumped up for their second ever home game and will get their second ever win. Dallas got outplayed by DC last week but luckily Kevin Hartmen showed us why he should be playing and not Dario “worse then Martin Zuniga” Sala. If you don’t know what I am talking about, just look up Nate Jaqua’s only career hat trick.
New England 1 San Jose 2
I have no idea what is going on in New England but I know that SJ (and by SJ I mean inverse Superman himself; Bobby Convey) is playing amazing right now. They have scored some amazing team goals and Wando is on fire up top. Watch this game be 8-0 New England….in the first half.
Columbus 3 Chivas 0
You heard it here first.
DC 1 Colorado 0
Connor Casey is “disappointed” to not be in the 30 called into camp. If you read between the lines from his latest quotes you can see that he is clearly upset with Bradley. Fortunately Bradley doesn’t call up players who suck fat ones unless they are Serbian-Americans with really hot girlfriends and MOLESTaches. My point: its your fault for sucking Connor.
New York 2 Seattle 1
Last week was definitely not Bouna time. Also at least Tim Ream didn’t get burned on all four SJ goals (OH WAIT!). Seattle looks worse and worse each week. I have no idea what this 4-3-3 is doing for their offense besides nothing.
KC 1 Chicago 2
I think the Fire decided that week 8 was the week they were going to start trying in. And when I say the Fire, I mean Justin Mapp. Didn’t he used to be good?
LA 4 Toronto 0
Mark Buddle down for a beaver trick. It’s happening.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Dempsey has been, simply put, amazing this year. The only season that I think compares to this one is DaMarcus Beasley’s 2004-2005 season at PSV Eindhoven. Eindhoven won the Dutch league with Beasley scoring 6 goals. They also won the KNVB Cup with Beasley scoring in his only appearance (the final), but most importantly he led the team with 4 goals in their run to the Champions League semifinals where they lost on the worst rule ever (away goals). Beasley was the first American to play in a semifinal and the only thing that stands from making this season clearly better is the difference in the level of play in the EPL to the Dutch Eredivisie. In all this is just the start, we need to have many American’s having these types of seasons every year in order to be one of the top national teams in the world; but until that happens these are the two seasons that stand out the most for me.
Predictions: Last week 3-5 Overall 22-23
Wednesday May 5th
DC 1 KC 1
I’m going to be honest, I don’t really have a lot of faith in my team right now, but who does? I think that I am being optimistic here and they will probably just lose. DC may not have any points by the time Thierry Henry allegedly arrives.
New England 2 Chivas 1
I don’t think New England played that well last week, but Chivas is terrible. I really like Zach Schilawski to score at least one against this terrible defense.
Houston 2 Dallas 0
I think winless Dallas has gotten very lucky in the past few weeks to not have been losing. Jeff Cunningham can’t score to save his life (or his World Cup bid for that matter). Houston played perhaps the most complete game of the season this year against KC but more importantly Luis Landin and Dominic Oduro actually looked good. Apparently Brian Ching may play as well so the offense that once had a terrible outlook looks pretty good now.
Colorado 1 LA 2
Even though this game is being played at altitude, it would be a very poor decision by anyone to pick against the Galaxy right now. I don’t really think I need to defend this pick.
Saturday May 8th
Seattle 0 LA 2
LA is on the road twice this week, but I think they overcome it. Seattle can’t score and LA has the best defense in the league. LA should also be motivated by visiting the site of their MLS Cup loss for the first time this year. This should be a good match as it is a potential Western Conference Final preview.
Toronto 1 Chicago 2
Chicago seems to only try on the road for some reason. Maybe they don’t like Toyota Park. I really don’t know. Marco Pappa has been amazing this season and I think he absolutely destroys Toronto’s new left back whose name is absolutely impossible to spell.
Columbus 3 New England 0
Rested Columbus will take on a depleted New England squad (no Shalrie Joseph) in what could be a first round playoff match up with Columbus being the 1 seed and New England the 4. Columbus hasn't played particularly well yet this season but Stephen Lenhart just opened his account, and I think he wants any excuse possible to jerk on his home field.
RSL 2 Philadelphia 0
Kudos to possible USMNT player Jack MacInery for getting his first professional goal, but he will have to produce something special to score at Rio Tinto. RSL played well last week against Toronto, a team with similar skill. With Sebastien Le Toux out, Philly seems unlikely to score.
Dallas 2 DC 1
Once again I think this result is generous. If DC scores a goal in either game this week I will be happy.
SJ 1 NY 1
Opara vs Ream!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Battle of the 2014 USA World Cup center backs. I would try to go out to Buck Shaw for this game, but I’m working and don’t have any money. Shame as I would have liked to see my brother play.
Chivas 1 Houston 1
Chivas isn’t good enough to take 3 points from Houston at home. It’s as simple as that.