The USMNT Post Mortem

Oh, hello madam and sir. I hope you are well. As a USMNT fan, I have seen better days. In fact, for the past year or so, I feel as though I have been shouting in a black hole. I have pitched articles but heard silence. Why, I even got paid a kill fee to shut up about the USMNT’s problems. Thus, I have joked on Twitter, but kept my claws in my pocket. My sin? Casting doubt on the Arena-as-savior narrative, only to be ignored. Disregarded. Mocked.

And now, my friends, I am sad the USMNT did not qualify, but my sharpened knives must come out. Here is some of the Arena stories you and I have read this past year. Let’s all chuckle (then cry). Continue reading “The USMNT Post Mortem” »

Kane and Able?

Hello, friends. Earlier today I had some fun on Twitter. Jason Davis aka “The Soccer Eagle” (El Soccer Aguila for our friends who speak Spanish) announced that he was adopting Spurs as his EPL club for the season. I chimed in that Harry Kane scored most of his goals off crosses and was not a particularly amazing dribbler.

And then came the waves of Spurs tweets. Continue reading “Kane and Able?” »

Neymar to PSG: The Gloriously Pathetic Details

Lots of other people have written their “thinkpiece” on what the Neymar to PSG transfer deal means. Basically, blah blah more wealth blah blah spend lots of money bad blah blah. I actually care little for the so called Chicken Little // Greed in football big picture analysis. I care more about the precise details of this deal. The consummation. The exchange of money. The hard currency.

And they are hysterical. Continue reading “Neymar to PSG: The Gloriously Pathetic Details” »

Right Said Fred Adu

No country produces a never ending stream of star players. Even South American giants like Argentina and Brazil have their fair share of “the next big thing” that turn out more dud than stud. On the one hand, we as fans deserve share of the blame for rushing to heap praise and feverishly clasp at the next young prospect.

On the other hand, a player may not reach his or her potential for myriad reasons. A bad club situation. An injury. A poor attitude. All of the above.

Yet many Americans cannot stop dwelling on once wunderkid Freddy Adu. And I am one of them. Continue reading “Right Said Fred Adu” »

The Necessity of Genius

I wrote about Antonio Conte a few months back. Basically, his courage in benching underperforming players and introducing a new tactical system impressed me. Then, The Guardian ran a profile of him with an interview from an assistant. The details divulged kinda ruined my enchantment, to be honest. And some things made more sense.

First, he seems like a task master. LVG style, he stops training session games to talk with players and tell them where to stand. Secondly, his training sessions go on and on and on. That’s pretty Mou style. While I think Conte should lead Chelsea to a title this year, is he just benefiting from no European soccer (ala Leicester last year) and will he burn out his Starting XI ala Mourinho’s last time at Chelsea? Continue reading “The Necessity of Genius” »

Enter the Arena

I don’t care to link to any of the folks who are clasping at the Honduras game as proof that Bruce Arena is an elite coach and the USMNT is now back on track. I’m not sure the USMNT was ever that far off track – the opening schedule was brutal and the loss of Clint Dempsey was huge. Still, I’m no Jurgen apologist. I thought he should have been let go immediately after the 2014 World Cup. If anything, Arena’s nice opening step points to Sunil Gulati running off Jurgen at an ideal juncture: he gave Arena months to get to know the player pool and game plan.

Still, there’s one big problem: will Sunil finally grow up and not extend Bruce’s contract after we qualify for Russia 2018?

Continue reading “Enter the Arena” »