Mid-Day Musings (More thoughts on USA-Spain, MLS All-Star Game and the Showdown in Chinatown)

BocanegraVilla (ISIphotos.com)

                                                                              Photo by ISIphotos.com

Plenty to discuss in the world of soccer on the day after the Miracle in South Africa so let's get started:

Know how many fouls Michael Bradley, Jay DeMerit, Oguchi Onyewu and Ricardo Clark combined for against Spain? Try two. Bradley's lone foul was the one he was issued a red card for. One foul, one red card. Good job there Jorge Larrionda. Between that call and the two red cards he gave American players at the 2006 World Cup, you can't blame U.S. fans for hoping Larrionda isinvolved in a scandal at some point.

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Aside from the million the U.S. national team has made the federation for reaching the Confederation Cup finals (yes, teams are awarded prize money for advancing), several U.S. players have bolstered their transfer prospects with some amazing performances.

Heading that list? Oguchi Onyewu, who is out of contract. There was a report that he had signed with Fenerbahce, but his representatives say he hasn't signed a thing.

Who else should see their paychecks get a boost? Jay DeMerit absolutely must get some EPL offers after his performance against Spain and you have to think Landon Donovan has upped his stock. Ricardo Clark has been a European target in the past, at least there's been passing interest, but he just might be the next MLS player to make a move to Europe.

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Remember back in 2007 when Bob Bradley took a young team to Copa America and the team was whipped up? Plenty of critics called it a wasted opportunity. Well, here are some of the players who gained some experience in that tournament: Jay DeMerit, Charlie Davies, Benny Feilhaber, Jonathan Bornstein and Ricardo Clark to name a few. Suddenly that tournament doesn't look like such of a waste, does it?

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Take a bow New Jersey. Jozy Altidore's goal vs. Spain increased the number of goals scored by New Jersey-born players in the tournament to four (Altidore, Michael Bradley and two from some Italian guy). I don't know where that ranks among states in the world, but it's still pretty impressive.

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I know there was some talk about Spain and not wanting to trade jerseys after the match. As far as I know at least three players swapped jerseys. Oguchi Onyewu and Fernando Torres, Jay DeMerit and Xabi Alonso and Jozy Altidore and Joan Capdevila were the jersey swappers I noticed.

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After throwing together a preliminary MLS All-Star ballot, I was reminded that D.C. United, Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls (stop laughing) have CONCACAF Champions League games that day. Well, if Dom Kinnear takes that into account and leaves those teams untouched, this is the ballot I would cast right now:

———Landon Donovan———Conor Casey—————

—————-Guillermo Barros Schelotto——————-

Brad Davis————————————-Shalrie Joseph

———-Osvaldo Alonso———Paulo Nagamura———–

Geoff Cameron—Jhon Kennedy Hurtado—-Wilman Conde

———————–Zach Thornton————————–

Closing fast on this group? Omar Cummings, Stuart Holden and Dwayne DeRosario.

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Tickets for Real Madrid-Toronto FC at BMO Field on Aug. 7th have sold out while more than 35,000 tickets have already been sold for Real Madrid-D.C. United at Fed Ex Field on Aug. 9th. In other words, if you're hoping to catch a climpse of Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo with their new team you had better hurry.

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The Showdown in Chinatown, the charity soccer match hosted by Steve Nash and Claudio Reyna, managed to dodge the rain clouds to give New York fans a great treat as NBA and international soccer stars played some soccer.

Here are some highlights:

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That's all for now. Share your thoughts on any of the above topics in the comments section below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Major League Soccer, MLS- D.C. United, MLS- Toronto FC, U.S. Men's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

61 Responses to Mid-Day Musings (More thoughts on USA-Spain, MLS All-Star Game and the Showdown in Chinatown)

  1. Johnny G says:

    Connor Casey in the MLS All Stars? I know he’s scored quite a few goals this season, but his work rate leaves MUCH to be desired as displayed in his appearances in the Confed Cup. Surely there are better strikers to put up front with LD..Freddy Montero for example. Yes, he has fewer goals so far, but he looks like he’s a lot more in form and could keep up with LD’s pace.
    I want to see the ALL-Stars keep their unbeaten streak going against international clubs.
    The only ALL-STAR game I attended in person was the 2002 game at RFK. MLS v USMNT. The game was delayed at one point due to a down pour, but it was still a great game.

  2. Adam C. says:

    Is there anyway that the US Soccer Federation can apply for an overturn of Bradley’s red card so that he can play in the final? That was such an absolutely awful call.

  3. gas huffer says:

    Hey Ives,

    How does Osorio STILL have his job? The situation is beyond disgusting. Can you please illuminate the RB thinking on this?

  4. BMer says:

    i don’t mean to be a hater, but Jozy hasn’t impressed in this tourney. his shot against Egypt that was blocked by a hand, was right at that defender. he had a lot of time, and the ball on his good foot, inside the box and his shot was a low grounder right at the defender.

    then his shot yesterday was better, but still right at the goalie, luckily Casillas couldn’t control it and it slipped in the sidenet.

    this is supposed to be our best striker and if he doesn’t get that goal yesterday, i this his performance was average.

  5. Rory Miller says:

    Conor Casey has been a beast for Colorado. There is a HUGE difference between being the man for your team and how you will play than it is when you’re given 8 minutes with the instruction to hold the ball up.

    I want to see Conor Casey start for the National team.

  6. 505anthony says:

    Gas Huffer, I couldn’t agree (and wonder) with you more. The most nauseating of recent JCO quotes (about the Sounders match):

    “I can’t deny the fact it was a blow to the guys that we conceded such a soft goal at the time (vs. Seattle). That made it difficult. That’s why in the second half we weren’t as good as we were in the first half.”

    Really? So our team goes down a single goal and we can’t get back into the game? Was it that much of a psychological blow? (Kind of makes you wonder what JCO means by “soft”.) What is halftime for? Why does Osorio have such a hard time getting the team motivated to fight back? The man has lost the dressing room for sure. And he can’t blame injuries when all the substitutes are players he brought in to be star players and that we pay hefty sums to bench-warm. Please, Red Bull Corp., since you’ve already dismissed this season, fire Osorio before he has the chance to bring in any more players (I worry about those draft picks he just acquired). This season is sure as heck over, so I suppose it doesn’t matter who manages our team for the remaining losses. Just so long as we’re don’t have to put up with this next year.

  7. socmin says:

    You mean Larrionda isn’t already scandalous?

  8. franks from sf says:

    yo BMer, that’s right and what we’re you doing when you we’re 19?! damn it never gets old finding something negative to talk about our mnt. just STFU.

  9. Chase says:

    Funny thing BMer…he did SCORE, that is all that matter. Get off of his back…It blows me away that some people can still find things to complain about after yesterday…

  10. Turtle says:

    Ives, Charlie Davies was also in the Copa America. I mentioned this in a post yesterday :)

    I’ve been defending that move by US Soccer ever since it happened. I was actually excited about how well our inexperienced and MLS guys did against Argentina. Ben Olson played great in that game.

    In any case I think yesterday’s win also needs to be credited to the approach US Soccer has taken in the last few years to get our guys experience against better competition. Would we have been as cool and calm last night without having played Spain one year ago? The experience of drawing against Argentina? And what about the other road games we’ve played against teams like Poland, Sweden and Switzerland? Would guys like Clark, Demerrit, Davies have been so clutch without having been on that Copa team?

    It’s just a guess, but I think there would have been a different outcome if we would have continued the pattern we had prior to WC 2006. I gotta give credit to Sunil and Co for stepping it up.

  11. Hopper says:

    I don’t think Conor Casey deserves to be on the National Team, let alone a starter. He’s a big target forward, but he moves as if he’s running on mud. Kenny Cooper is the MLS man we should be talking about here. The dude was in the Man U youth system for Chrissakes. He actually has a great shot, great touch, and is calm on the ball. Oh, and he works hard. Can’t really say the same about Casey.

  12. kpugs says:

    Obviously I can only speak for myself here, but I never doubted the experience those players would get in 2007.

    My problem was that Bob Bradley treated a(n) (at least quasi-)prestigious tournament as his training ground. I thought we should have shown respect and sent as close to an A team as we could have, and actually tried to make a run in that tournament.

  13. Andre says:

    There’s something about seeing Chris Bosh make a backpost run with an in swinging cross from the right and try to head it in.

    That’s fantastic. Wish I went to see it. Works sucks.

  14. Supsam says:

    WOW! If the tandem of just Bradley and Clark got under 10 fouls a game, i would be impressed! But 2!!!!!

    MLS refs may suck, but these confed refs are either hella awful, hate americans, or are ordered by FIFA to protect the “elite” countries.

    USA got a red card in every game except for one. Yes, and that was against Egypt who isnt a elite country. Not only that, but ALL of them were STRAIGHT RED CARDS! Yet we overcame them!

  15. Mike says:

    Yo BMer…I’m with you. I’ve been saying that Altidore needs more of a scoring touch since he needlessly blasted his chance directly at the Egyptian goalie. Thankfully, Casillas was caught leaning a bit. The rest of the game, Altidore was invisible as well.

    Yes, he scored, and in the end that’s all that matters….but if people want to anoint him the world’s greatest striker, shouldn’t we be able to put some things in perspective?

    Chase and franks, this is a forum, where people are allowed to express their opinions without being told to “STFU.” I’m guessing both of you are firmly in the “Fire BB” camp.

  16. Carl says:

    How about this… Incredible, not sure if it is true.

    link to translate.google.com

    Says Bradley waited in the tunnel and tried to attack the ref after the game….

  17. KingSnake says:

    I hate to break this to you, but if that one foul is delivered with “excessive force”, then a red card is indeed the correct call.

  18. jp says:

    Michael Bradley’s tackle at the 87th minute of the game was not clever and unnecessary.

    No need to discuss the merits of the call itself. MB took an unnecessary gamble on that one.

    We need to mature fast.

  19. Bonecollector says:

    What type of FIFA action can the US take against the refs in this tournament, if any? Also, take note of what Omar Cummings did with Conor Casey out of the lineup. 2 games: 3 goals, 1 assist.

  20. Supsam says:

    i dont think its true or it would have been more widespread. If its true than shame on Michael Bradley. I wonder if his dad lectured him or joined him haha. But if its false, than shame on the Spanish media

  21. AlexS says:

    @Supsam

    Welcome to FIFA tournament officiating. If you’re playing a team who are favourites coming in, prepare for a few fishy calls to go against you, more if you’re leading.

  22. Strider says:

    kpugs, Are you forgetting that by focusing on the Gold Cup instead we landed in the Confed. Cup? You really can’t play well in two successive tournaments (just like we will be more challenged in the Gold Cup this year) and have to choose which one to go for and which to use for training/evaluating new talent. It seems pretty obvious right now that the correct choise was made in 2007. Even if things had not worked out so well, making wise choices to obtain the best options is the key.

  23. Josh says:

    I didn’t realize they only committed two fouls, esp. with Rico in the game! Nice job, fellas!

    I said that Clark made a mistake in the Italy game by putting the ref in a position to make that call, but that was a late challenge. You simply cannot say the same thing about Bradley, who got the ball before the player. That’s simply an atrocious call for player who had not been making reckless tackles during the course of the game. In that situation, it’s the ref’s job to call a foul (yellow card at most), and tell Bradley to calm down. Then he’s on notice and you can (yellow) card for further infractions. There’s no FIFA conspiracy here, but shoddy refereeing.

  24. Derek says:

    Any slide tackle from the front into a player appears to be a straight red (at least for the USA) in FIFA tournaments.

    I couldn’t disagree more, but you gotta be able to figure that out.

  25. Michael F. - SBI Mafia Original says:

    I watched the foul a few times. Seemed to be a fair 50-50 challenge. Am I really that biased?

  26. Mikemike says:

    The fact is that it was a straight red and MB’s first penalty of the game.

    If there is any question of it being a red, then it should not have been a red.

    Carl-

    I really hope that’s not true. I would think that he is smarter than that.

    -Mike

  27. Leonardo says:

    Ives,

    Agreed. Ref was solid. He let them play. only a few dives “embellishments” on both sides (villa, Land-O) and neither were called. I thought the ref was fantastic! let them play!

    Re: Card. whenever a foul is within a 10 yd radius of the ref, i have to go with the ref.

  28. goalscorer24 says:

    Ives, why no Torres for the Gold Cup! Is Torres in the dog house?

    As for Bradleys red, hopefully everything happens for a reason, and Feilhaber (whom I assume will start) steps up.

  29. ag nigrin says:

    To hell with scandals,Ives, I am just hoping Larrionda keels over and dies very suddenly!

  30. USA4Life says:

    Funny that Cummings has scored 4 goals in 3 games since Casey has been gone.

    Maybe Casey is just the product of Gary Smith’s system, and nothing more.

  31. John Godfrey says:

    you slide tackle, you get a card — possibly a red.

    stay on your feet, yanks!

  32. MiamiAl says:

    I heard an interview with Donovan this morning, and he said basically that that Spain stormed off the field like little b*tches! But we all saw a few jerseys being traded at the end, but it did certainly look like Spain took off in a hurry…What little b*tches! I guess its back to being choke artists! I would love to see them lose the 3rd place game too!

  33. timpramas says:

    Slide to block a shot, slide to intercept or deflect a pass, but why do US players keep sliding to tackle?

    Blaming the ref is incorrect. He’s considered one of the best in the world. Mastroeni’s bad slide tackle in the World Cup not only deserved a red, FIFA tacked on an additional two game suspension after reviewing the play on film. Both yellow cards on Pope were warranted. The second one involved obstruction to prevent an Italian breakaway.

    Bradley came in way too hard. Getting to the ball first does not render a challenge legal when the player uses excessive force to make the challenge.

    All three red cards in this tournament are from slide tackles gone bad. Unless you are blocking a shot or pass, the US players would be well-advised to STAY ON THEIR FEET. Really, how many more red cards before this lesson gets absorbed? Or will people (and the US players and coaches) keep blaming what are now three different refs in this tournament who have issued red cards for bad slide tackles?

    Bradley also got a red card in the ’07 Gold Cup semifinal against Canada for a bad slide tackle. But let’s blame the ref again, obviously loved Canada.

    NO MORE SLIDE TACKLES PLEASE!

  34. franks from sf says:

    mike & BMer- the thing w/ altidore is that he’s 19! was mcbride , donovan, or even torres for that matter the finished product at that age? of course he needs plenty of work. and i have yet to here he’s the best forward ever(yes he has potential to be the best in our camp).i can care less who coaches the team , it’s all about the players. spain had the experience on the feild & on the sidelines,yet it didn’t really matter at the end.

  35. Jake says:

    “i don’t mean to be a hater, but Jozy hasn’t impressed in this tourney.
    then his shot yesterday was better, but still right at the goalie, luckily Casillas couldn’t control it and it slipped in the sidenet.”

    Both shots went off the goalie/defenders hand. One was a goal and one should have been a straight red. I’m not sure what you want out of him. The way he created the Spain goal was unbelievable in my opinion against a highly rated and pretty big in his own right defender.

  36. dman23 says:

    VOTE FOR USA VS SPAIN FOR BIGGEST UPSET AT THE ESPY’S !!!

  37. Jack K. - SBI Mafia Original says:

    Anyone watch Rome is burning after the Brazil vs S.A. game? What’s that’s guys problem? I knew this guy existed till today, but man does that guy hate the Nats.

  38. Scott C says:

    Copa America and this gold cup are great proving grounds for new American talent. I just wish Bradley would bring a stronger squad, and not cater so much to clubs.

    The Copa America squad was very weak, and this Gold cup squad is as well. I wish he’d use this tournament to get good long looks at Torres, Feilharber, Szetela, etc. Seems like he only looks at MLS players in these tournaments….

  39. Harvey says:

    John Godrey,

    Any time we get a bad call (which Clark’s red probably was and Bradley’s red certainly was), Euro fans make comments like yours. However, we see with our own eyes that other countries make similar slide tackles and they don’t get straight red cards. Elite countries get fouls called. Non-elite countries get yellow. We get reds. There was a foul today by South Africa that was late, cleats up, and nowhere near the ball. The South African received a yellow card. After the last World Cup, it’s getting a little old.

  40. SBGarrett says:

    Great Points on the COPA America experience, which most SMART soccer fans were advocating even with the problems they faced down there. (I e-mailed Gulati pleading for US involvement)

    Larrionda must have some Brazillian coffers.

    Torres/Alonso and the Villareal teammates are class acts. (Notice they’ve all played against/with one another in club matches)

    DeMerit should leave Watford while he still has the legs, he’s put in his loyal time and deserves another Prem shot. Rico too Europe would be funny… Denmark at best.

  41. patrick says:

    @BMer,

    Jozy’s goal against egypt may have hit a defender, but he shot it far corner like you’re supposed to do. He put the ball where it should have been a goal. A defender was there and a red card should have been given. If a defender leaped up and headed a ball out that was going to be an upper 90′s rip, would you say the same thing? Defender was doing his job watching the post. Jozy did what he had to do. As for the goal yesterday, yes it wasn’t pretty, but he did get casillas going the other way and as we all know, luck plays a factor in games, and it helped us out yesterday.

  42. adam says:

    Jozy did well with the chances he’s had, which have not been many, but he has not done well passing the ball. Seems most of his passes are either off the mark or he forces something that is not there, which is easily picked off by the defenders. And his first touch recieving balls has been horrible. Many times he gets a ball played to his feet and it pops up or out away from him and gives the defender time to knock it away or simply take possesion from him.

  43. BMer says:

    to the haters, i like Jozy, and i’m not trying to find something negative as much as i’m hoping he fulfills the potential and hype that we’ve set for him. he can only get better, and i love the fact that Bradley is playing him a lot. i’m just wondering if anyone else thinks his accuracy could be holding him back. could be because he’s not been playing the last few months too.

    only asking ?s here, so you dudes can chill, i’m excited about Jozy just like the next guy

  44. patrick says:

    @ BMer

    Hey buddy,

    in your original post you didnt ask a question, you were simply criticla of Jozy. Now that you’ve been called out, and shown to be wrong, now you’re just being inquisitive, asking questions? Please, just stop talking

  45. BMer says:

    ha, “proved wrong” i missed that part. some of you guys brought up good points about him being young and still improving. totally agree, maybe i was too harsh.

    but he has the potential to be the best striker in US history (is that saying much ;) ) and with his hype you’d think he already was. i’m so excited about having a reliable, exciting striker and i’m only pointing out what i’d like to see improved.

    are there currently better options? no. just because we beat spain doesn’t mean every player gets an A+ . i’m glad you guys are responding, i’ve been looking to bounce these ideas off someone so even if you guys want me to STFU at least its some dialogue.

  46. USA4Life says:

    What is the biggest advantage of being in the CC this year? It is to get used to the facilities in South Africa.

    Why should we have brought our A team to Copa america? Toget used to the facilities being used before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil…too bad we went and messed that up.

  47. Aquaman says:

    Ives,

    I know that Altidore was born in Jersey, but it’s funny how both New Jerseyians and those of us in the Palm Beaches are claiming him as our local boy right now.

  48. SG says:

    Bad call by a bad ref. The US doesnt get the respect. that dick ref is prob biased against the United States clearly

  49. bigtfw says:

    What about Chelsea v Sounders and Barcelona v Sounders both games are nearly sold out from what I know. I have tickets to both.

    Can you find out Ives what the numbers for those games looks like? Thanks.

  50. Xander Crews says:

    Wow, the ignorance on the part of some of the people posting here is stunning…

    It doesn’t matter if “he got the ball first.” There’s nothing in the Laws of the Game that mentions, “well, he got the ball first, so it shouldn’t matter that he wiped the guy out.”

    The reason for the run of reds is a lack of discipline and defensive positioning. If you’re in position, you don’t need to slide into someone. It’s not a conspiracy, but rather a reflection on our philosophy, which starts at the top.

    I said it yesterday, and I’ll say it again now: Bob Bradley needs to go. If the team can get that type of result like we did yesterday, why can’t we get that on a regular basis? And why did it take him so long to make the lineup adjustments that even most posters here saw months ago?

    I’m resigned to the fact that we’re not going to make a change before next summer. But I’ll bet anyone here that all three of Spain, Italy and Brazil will all advance farther than the USA will next summer.

  51. Gary says:

    Articles like this one: random sh!t, awesome clips, etc. make this the best blog inside my whole computer.. Love this.

  52. deuce says:

    Ives, well said about the Copa America!@#$%^&*()
    Even back then I understood that it was iimportant and was excited to see the young guns. I just didn’t know HOW IMPORTANT IT WAS! I enjoyed watching the new kids, but also I remember a ton of critics….In fact, i think that is when the whole “Fire Coach Bradley” movement started on this site!!!
    Wow. Look at that.
    Anyways, we get to see our best team compete right now on Sunday, and then we get to see who will get to fill in the holes during the Gold Cup! jejeje

  53. deuce says:

    Carl, I wouldn’t worry to much about that. He may have waited in the wing to talk to the ref, and the ref was probably a complete dick about it and whined saying he attacked him. he probably knew he was wrong about it, probably paid off, and was afraid. He probably peed on hisself he was so scared, and then claimed that he was attacked. he probably faked the whole thing. he probably will go to hell. : )
    hopefully, nothing will happen negative to bradley, and hopfully his card will get repealed, and hopefully the ref will get a broken leg, and never be able to ref again, and be forced to watch the USMNT win the world cup in his small apartment.

  54. TR says:

    The M Bradley in tunnel report doesn’t make sense.

    1-From what I saw Bradley didn’t complain much on the field and got off pretty quick. I’ve seen guys put up a real protest in a number of Premiership matches, and this wasn’t anything close.

    2-The red didn’t happen right before the final whistle, so there was time for him to cool off.

    3– They won. How hot and bothered would he have been after winning. I expect he went right to his teammates.

    He might of said a word in passing, but I doubt he was waiting for the ref.

  55. smokeminside says:

    I’m wondering what the spanish news outlets are saying about the match? Anyone know?

    (Obviously, no habla espanol).

  56. Jim says:

    Jack K- that was just Jim Rome being Jim Rome. He’s still the same guy who talked big to Jim Everett a decade ago and then scurried away like a b!tch. He says stuff like that just to provoke a response and get ratings.
    But in the end, he always fails. Still the same hack delivery with the same small audience buying in. No substance or intelligence to back it up. Just ignore him.

  57. Scott A says:

    I want to take this opportunity to say that Jorge Larrionda is a horrible, horrible, incompetent ref and I hate him. We have been on the receiving end of some truly horrible calls

  58. r.benjamin says:

    The red was a bit harsh, but the US players have got to be more disciplined. I thought Rico’s red was legit.

    The copa america is a prestigious tournament. It should never be used to get young players minutes. I know the US went big in the Gold Cup and yada. But a better team should have been fielded in the copa. It was embarrassig.

    I think it is amazing that it took Bradley this long to figure out that back 4… And that DMB is washed up. I still think Torres and Adu deserved minutes in this tourney. Casey is a joke. He doesnt even run hard nor does he hold off players or have any dribbling skills.

    The Confed Cup was a blessing. BB and the team know a ton more now than 14 days ago.

  59. West of the Cascades says:

    So there is a correlation between a state having the most Superfund sites in the US and producing the most goals in the Confederations Cup? Must be something in the water there in Jersey …

  60. John says:

    “you slide tackle, you get a card — possibly a red.

    stay on your feet, yanks! ”

    what candy ass league do you play in, John Godfrey?

  61. Keith G. says:

    Ives: First I was woundering where you think Onyewu will land, and if he will have a better stint, then is last go in England?

    Second, I just wanted to say that I have tickets the the Gold Cup Final, and I amd a little disapointed in the team selection, but do understand, those guys in the Confederation Cup team need a break. I just wounder about the starting line-up and also think that maybe Guzan could have been the #1 keeper for this tourny, and that maybe Hanhmann should have been on the roster. Is there guys that you think should be on the team that are not?