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JV
Posted on Sunday, June 26, 2005 - 03:45 pm:   

I'm starting this thread for the US team, even though I'm sick of watching their two-dimensional style of play and don't think they'll advance far.

JeffV
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Minz
Posted on Sunday, June 26, 2005 - 04:01 pm:   

So is this where I can vent about the women's team as well?
WTF is up with that punkass wannabe interim joke of a coach not even allowing Brandi Chastain to try out for the team? She's forgotten more about soccer than this jackass has ever known.

Citizens of the US, unite, and demand the head of Greg Ryan. I can't even figure out how this guy got the fulltime gig. He took over for his boss after he got _fired_. And then they removed the "interim" tag and made him fulltime. And then this jackass, who's got a whopping four years experience as a head coach, at friggin Colorado College no less, with an underwhelming record of 40-28-6, and he has the balls to tell Brandi friggin Chastain she can't even tryout for the World Cup team.

Forget about his head, let's lop off his balls and stuff 'em down his throat. (Hey, if Brandi ain't got it, and they need fresh young legs on defense, it'll show in the tryouts. The woman's earned that much, at least.)
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JV
Posted on Sunday, June 26, 2005 - 06:22 pm:   

Oh yeah--sure--vent away! I couldn't believe they wouldn't let her try out for the team. Insane!

JeffV
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neilw
Posted on Monday, June 27, 2005 - 02:31 am:   

Coach issues aside (and for what it's worth it'd be worth having Chastain in the squad purely for the experience she can share with the younger players),how is the womens team looking guys? Here in the UK we've been watching the womens European Championships and I have to say any team that beats Germany in the next World Cup is going to have to be special.
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Minz
Posted on Monday, June 27, 2005 - 06:42 am:   

EXACTLY, Neil. The women's team is loaded with talent, and I suspect will be a favorite, if not the favorite, but I think the rest of the world is close enough that the coaching could make all the difference. (I really haven't been paying too close attention--I tend to only watch the Cup, the rest of the time soccer doesn't register on my radar much--and in truth, I've long been a bigger fan of women's soccer over men's, mostly due to the quality of the teams at the Universirty of Wisconsin, where I went to school.)
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neilw
Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 09:00 am:   

The US womens team has been among the favourites for years now, but the ladies teams need to be more and more tactically aware these days - great individual players aren't enough any more I'm afraid. So, you're right, an experienced coach is an absolute must.
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Alex
Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2005 - 12:46 pm:   

If I can gear this back toward Germany '06...

Jeff, I don't know how long you've been watching the US team, but as one of those diehards who watched Italia '90 on TNT, I can tell you that this US team is leaps and bounds better than any other we've ever fielded. By next summer, when guys like Eddie Johnson and Clint Dempsey are a little more comfortable in the team, we're going to be in a very good spot. Beasley's playing like a holy terror, Donovan's going to come around now that he's back in LA from exile in Germany, etc. etc.

We finished final eight in '02, and the team sure isn't any worse now; I mean, is there anyone who's gotten a game recently who is a poorer player than Jeff Agoos was in '02?
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JV
Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2005 - 12:49 pm:   

I haven't watched much, but I saw England take us to school and I watched Mexico kick our asses.

I guess it's more this: I don't like the style of play, whether they win with it or not.

I'm also more tied to teams like the Netherlands, so...

JeffV
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Alex
Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2005 - 01:27 pm:   

England was a friendly played with some experimental players. I don't get too worried about those, since they exist for Bruce Arena to try things and see if they work. Mexico kicks everybody's asses in Mexico City in WC qualifiers. They have lost exactly once at Azteca Stadium in their history of playing qualifiers there. (And that was our first loss against Mexico in quite a while...last time we had a quallie in Azteca, we tied 0-0--after Jeff Agoos got ejected for throwing a dumb elbow--and it was a huge tactical victory.)

Netherlands is one of my favorite teams too. I saw them play the US in May '02 at Gillette Stadium. Good game.
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JV
Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2005 - 02:15 pm:   

Both good points, Alex.

Regardless, I'm excited about the World Cup.
JeffV
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neilw
Posted on Friday, July 01, 2005 - 01:01 am:   

Guys is Reyna still playing international football?

I was an admirer udring his time with Rangers, but I haven't seen much of him since his move to the Premiership's more anonymous clubs.
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Alex
Posted on Friday, July 01, 2005 - 09:09 am:   

Neil--Reyna's been hurt all the time, which I'm sure you remember was a problem at Rangers too. When healthy, he's still on the national team. He hasn't played much for the nats recently, but I think we'll see more of him in the upcoming qualifiers, and if he's healthy he'll be on the '06 team.

Can't wait for the draw this winter. That six months of endlessly imagining various scenarios against our group teams is one of the great distracting pleasures of life. God, I want to go to Germany.
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JV
Posted on Friday, July 01, 2005 - 09:31 am:   

Of course, they've got the lottery system in place. Ann and I probably won't buy tickets for that reason--can't know what week the tickets would be for, and we have to be in Germany for a particular week, so we'll just soak up the atmosphere in a local pub--my German editor has promised it'll be as good as being at a game, really.

But, Alex, if you do make it over there, let me know.

JeffV
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Alex
Posted on Friday, July 01, 2005 - 11:12 am:   

Hey Jeff, pretty soon they're going to release tickets to the individual federations. If the US happens to be playing during the week you're there, you could go to the USSF and get tickets that way. Or at least try.
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JV
Posted on Friday, July 01, 2005 - 11:21 am:   

Shows what I know. I'll try that. Thanks.
Jeff
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EJ
Posted on Wednesday, August 31, 2005 - 02:11 pm:   

Good luck to the forces of light as they host the green rats on Saturday in Columbus.

Predicted starting lineup:

McB, LD (withdrawn btw McB and mids)
Lewis, Reyna, Armas, DMB
Vanney, Boca, Gooch, Hejduk
Keller
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Anonymous
Posted on Tuesday, January 24, 2006 - 10:25 am:   

Hey Jeff,

Don't forget that the USA style of play was one stolen goal from tieing them with Germany in a Round of 8 game, and it was plenty to deal with Portugal and Mexico (ion pretty dominant fashion) in group and Round of 16 play.

Also, don't forget that Mexico is rather a tough team to beat at Azteca, and whne they travel to US soil, they suddenly become very mortal.

I doubt it's coincidence that the US drew one of the single hardest brackets in the WC. The rest of the world _hates_ seeing us ranked in the top 10 worldwide -- they can't believe that America could actually learn how to play soccer/futball well enough to compete.

Watch Eddie Johnson. If healthy, the guy is going to shock the world.

BTW, I know it's too late now, but in the lotteries, yo could apply for tickets only on certain dates/by match. Lowers the odds, but you would have had a shot.

- David Reagan
http://coolmajaka.com

PS I'm going to to Germany in June. I have a ticket to the Portugal/Iran game (two of the top 18 in FIFA ramnkings) and I'm eagerly awaiting the results of the next ticket lottery.
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neilw
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 01:34 am:   

David - you don't have any Scottish blood in you by any chance? That kind of optimism is straight out of Ally McLeod's hymnbook, pal!

Not that that's a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination. You gotta have faith after all.

Not sure I can share your optimism about USA's chances this time round though. I think Arena has done an amazing job to get US international football up to a decent standard, but they need new ideas now to get them to a state where they can really compete. More of their players also need to play outwith the US league. And to top that, they've drawn a really difficult group. I can't see past the Czechs and Italy to go through from that, to be honest - and Ghana will give you a real game too.

Don't get me wrong, I was rooting for them against Germany last time round, and I don't think the rest of the world is at all annoyed that they have been doing well. We all enjoy watching the underdog beating up the minnow from time to time - that's been Scotland's stock in trade from day one.

Hope Johnson is fit. His scoring at international level record was pretty hot before he got injured. It's always good to see young, skilful players making a splash at the World Cup. I love that.

Looking forward to it (especially with the African Cup of Nations getting us in the mood at the moment) - might even see you in Germany if I can get away for a few days.

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