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USMNT - World Cup

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We are fast approaching the World Cup in Brazil.

 

Biggest news so far is Landon Donovan not making the squad.

 

I think it's a mistake, what say you?

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It just seems like a goodwill mistake, if nothing else. I can't see why the tenth guy off the bench is that important that he couldn't be left out in favor of the Face of US Soccer, even if he's on the decline.  We're not gonna win the darn thing anyway.

Edited by lambertman

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I was listening to YahooSports yesterday and it was suggested that Donovan's style of play wouldn't be effective against Portugal. I mean, it's going to be a near miracle to get out of the group stage, and if JK thinks that beating Portugal is what's going to do it, then who am I to argue. No offense to Donovan, who sure is popular, but pick the best 23 players that give you the best chance of winning.

 

Honestly, at this point, Michael Bradley is more the face of this team now and a JK type player; technically proficient, fast, physical, and can do a lot of things. 

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I'm ok with Landon Donovan being left out of the WC squad. The US will struggle to get out of the group, and I'm not convinced his presence would have made much difference in that effort.

 

Are we creating a separate overall thread for the World Cup?

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There probably should be a separate thread.

 

Bottom line: if USA advances out of this group, JK's a geniu; if not, then second-guessing about Donovan. 

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Who's watching U.S. Soccer's March to Brazil on ESPN? I was ready to write it off as mere propaganda, but it's actually quite an engaging show. Favorite bits so far:

 

-Mix Diskerud & Matt Besler watching the UEFA Champions League final in their hotel room.

-Aron Johannsson's southern accent

-Any and everything having to do with Michael Bradley. For some reason, I'm crushing on him a lot right now.

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Because Michael Bradley is made of awesome. That's all the reason you need. Did you see his setup for the first goal today?

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Was tonight's episode of U.S. Soccer's March to Brazil the last one? It ended on a good note (U.S. winning over Nigeria before boarding the plane to to Brazil). Wish i felt as good about the team's prospects in the tournament.

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So, Cristiano Ronaldo is slated to start against the U.S. tomorrow. Good luck to whoever has the job of marking him. 

Needed luck to the man marking his cross.

 

What a gut punch.

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At least they go through to the knockout stage.

 

It's a different kind of sport where you get a draw, then a loss, and you're actually doing well.

 

Clint Dempsey has been really good (kind of invisible today) but this team really needs Jozy back to deliver more offense.  And Bradley needs to pull his head out of his ass.

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Pleased to see the USMNT go through to the round of 16 for a second consecutive World Cup (first time ever for that). Game against Belgium will be a tough one.

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That can't be right. I saw them taking shots... and the ones at the end looked to be 'on goal' to me.

 

In other news, after World Cup Tonight last night, I caught the first few minutes of Olbermann... man, he really hates soccer, doesn't he?

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They really weren't planning to win against Germany. If it was there, they were going to take the chances, but the critical point in advancing is that Germany blew out Portugal and they they couldn't blow out USA.

 

USA did have one decent shot in the first half that curled over the net. And at the end I think they had two. 

 

They won't be playing the same way against Belgium because both sides are fairly evenly matched so they won't play 10 men behind the ball. I expect they'll play like they did in the second half in Portugal. 

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Belgium will be tough (as would any team in this stage) but they have not been as sharp as people were predicting. The game seems to be shaping up as a near coin flip according to the experts, though Belgium is getting the slight advantage.

 

I think the US can win. Time to finally beat a European team at the WC in the modern era.

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Belgium will be tough (as would any team in this stage) but they have not been as sharp as people were predicting. The game seems to be shaping up as a near coin flip according to the experts, though Belgium is getting the slight advantage.

 

I think the US can win. Time to finally beat a European team at the WC in the modern era.

 

They beat Portugal in 2002. This would be their first win in the KO rounds over a Euro team, though.

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Michael Bradley finally showed up, but he still wasn't great all game long, and had a terrible tournament.

 

For all the hand wringing about the forwards, it was the midfield that was the biggest disappointment. They could not control the ball and kept giving it away too easily.

 

Tim Howard deserved better.

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Bradley should have played better, but they didn't play their midfield diamond formation because of the injury to JA. They played an unnatural 433 for them and Bradley was asked to play in a way not suited to his style. They went into the diamond in the second half of the ET against Belgium and scored and almost tied it up right at the end. 

 

They played the 4231 against Portugal iirc and that was really their best overall performance. Dempsey doesn't like played in the 1 spot, but I think if they were going to play so defensively against Belgium, I don't know why they only went with the 3 midfielders. 

 

They were playing a counter attacking style so they never were going to get possession much, but they didn't make their counters effectively. Don't forget, there's 2 years of qualifying and nearly 20 games. Bradley was a big part of that too. Considering they lost JA so early in the WC getting to this point was still something.

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I've heard this a lot lately, "The US really needs a star, but, unfortunately, all the great US athletes are playing football and basketball." Well, all the great 280 lbs. athletes are playing football, and all the great 6'8" athletes are playing basketball, but what about the 5'9", 165 lbs. athletes? Calvin Murphy had a successful NBA career at 5'9" and 165 lbs., but that's about it. You'd have to look long and hard to find someone of those dimensions who really made it in the NFL, too. US soccer should really push the point that they have a sport where you can be normal sized and still compete at the highest level.

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Baseball players are fairly normal sized for the most part too.

 

Part of that argument is that when these kids are playing 2,3 sports in high school they are pretty much normal sized. If they've got real talent, then the decision to play basketball, baseball, football is made based on $$$ and playing at a big time college. Once they make that decision, then they bulk up. 

 

Soccer needs more exposure, really. MLS isn't going to be EPL, but MLS needs to be a better product and it needs to be on tv more. USNMT needs to be nationally televised for anytime they play. The fact the WC qualifiers on the road are relegated to a tiny pay channel that no one has is unacceptable. 

 

There needs to be more top Euro games on too. 

 

Most casual fans only watch when it's the WC so they don't follow the players like you do with the major sports, but also, they only think soccer is WC soccer. Which isn't that great quality or scoring wise. They need to see that's not the case. The USAMNT stars aren't marketed well. 

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In the last 4 years that I've been following the sport, the pre-season tours have been getting more and more publicity - especially with the International Champions Cup - which I admit I still can't get into.

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That's what I meant: They've done a good job with this recent "tour" than in past years.

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