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Leagues: MLS

Morning Thoughts from London

With a few hours sleep in the books for me to digest the performance last night, let me elaborate on some of my initial thoughts about the match.


  • Josh Wolff’s time as a National Team member should be over. Thank you for the spectacular goal against Mexico in 2001 and the setup for Brian McBride in the World Cup 2002 match against Mexico but his play in recent matches culminating last night has been well below par.
  • Michael Bradley has a great deal to learn about international football still. He doesn’t seem able to anticipate his team mates as well as he should and he commits silly fouls. In addition much like the Mexico match in Houston, Bradley has shown a lack of understand with Rico Clark which will limit the US midfield going forward
  • Heath Pearce despite being on a relegated side in the Bundelsiga has gained the confidence to become a reliable left back for the U.S.
  • Carlos Bocanegra’s history of bad giveaways and poor clearances reared its ugly head again last night.
  • I’m not sure what Freddy Adu has to do to prove he should start and that he is much better than the other, unskilled and inconsistent attacking players we have.
  • Eddie Lewis is still at 34, one of the better players in our player pool. Can you imagine that?
  • The US attack is terrible without Landon Donovan’s pace and skill on the ball. Both Clint Dempsey and DaMarcus Beasley are limited in their ability and when playing against skilled defenders like Ashley Cole and John Terry, they look pedestrian at best. Some of our readers and listeners wanted to see how the US would do without Donovan. I cautioned that it wouldn’t be pretty. Sadly, I wasn’t pretty.
  • Spain will be an even tougher test than England, and Argentina even tougher than Spain. The US squad better get their head around what is going on football wise or risk being completely humiliated in the next two matches. Against Argentina this sort of performance instead of being a 2-0 loss will be a 6-0 loss because Argentina’s skill and finishing is far superior to England.


Some Thoughts on the Wembley Experience:


·         Wembley is massive but the concessions are too pricey and the sightlines are somewhat poor.

·         Public transit to/from Wembley is poorer than I had thought and gets confused on game days with bus routes being withdrawn and underground/over ground trains skipping Wembley Central and Wembley Stadium stations.  The reason is logical: the traffic going through the game will congest rush hour London traffic, but it doesn’t help football fans at all and put my plans to arrive at Wembley two hours early into total chaos.

·         England’s fans seemed to want to avoid talking about Premier League with me. Those who I spoke to seemed to mostly support lower league teams and wanted to discuss those sides rather than the PL. To me that is a concern for the Premier League going forward, because these fans represent the heart of English Football.

·         Jermain DeFoe is so bad he could play forward for the U.S. The gentleman that won the halftime PK contest could probably win the starting striker spot for the U.S.

·         England has a lot of issues and Fabio Capello can be pleased with the result but not with some of the execution.

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  1. emmettoconnell

    May 29, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    What happened to the show this week on iTunes? 5/21 and 5/28 are the same show!

  2. bandeeto

    May 29, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    So since we supposedly have pretty decent depth in midfield, and our strikers are all so non-existent they may in fact be part of the witness protection program, I’ve arrived at the perfect solution. Against Spain Bradley should field a 6 man midfield, along with a 4 man back line. Why waste people in positions that we don’t use? Its perfect.

    Some obviously ignorant people might disagree thinking, “but who will our midfielders punt the ball to when they aren’t turning the ball over by “passing” (wink wink) it to eachother”? Well, stupids, the midfield can punt the ball forward all game long without forwards and get the same results. Man, I could be US MNT coach.

  3. eplnfl

    May 29, 2008 at 8:41 am

    Well, Captain America is not a happy camper for sure. A well done to England who played hard and smart. This was the most thoughtful performance by England I have seen in some time and speaks well about the new coaching staff. There midfield was spectacular and managed the game well. If there is a minus for England it is the man up front, Wayne Rooney in this observers opinion will never be the scoring machine England wants and expects him to be.Overall a professional performance by England.

    As to my guys the USA, the best one can say is that with Donovan out the B team may have become a C team. Beasley should not have been on the field, Bradley needs to play in friendlies like this but has a lot to learn, the defense showed signs of being lost again as it did early in June last year at the Gold Cup. Given the other international commitments for Adu coming up, I can understand why he wasn’t playing but certainly he needs the playing experience and with Altidore, whom we hope to have together for 10 years.

    Hopefully, the USA will keep it close vs. Spain, and watch for a tie against Argentina. At least hoping so.

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