The defensive selections had me excited as Edgar Castillo finally got a chance to claim his spot as left back, and even more importantly, I didn't have to watch Jonathan Bornstein attempt to play soccer. Castillo was partnered with the reliable, but aging duo of Carlos Bocanegra and Steve Cherundalo. The final piece of the backline was Michael Orozco Fiscal, which I admit I know nothing about. I know he plays in Mexico making him one of three players who apply their trade in Mexico in the USMNT starting eleven.
The other's being Castillo and midfielder Jose Torres. A really good sign since the previous coaching regime seemed to ignore anyone who played below Texas. At first the backline looked shaky, Castillo, who has a tendency to attack on the left side, was caught a few times, and Cherundalo barely missed out on getting a red-card, but all in all nice performance by the US backline.
The rest of the half was pretty un-watchable, failed opportunities, little creativity and barely any possession. ESPN kept going to shots of Klinsmann on the sideline and my first instinct was telling me that this guy looks in over his head. He just didn't look confident at first, but as we found out later he had a couple of cards hidden up his sleeve.
Mexico would score first on a lovely cross that Oribe Peralta got a boot on despite excellent marking by Michael Bradley. The US went in to halftime and I felt much like I have in the past, these guys stink! You can see more about wix contest here.
Quick sidebar: Clint Dempsey, Stuart Holden, Jozy Altidore, Tim Chandler and Maurice Edu all missed the game some with injuries, others with club commitments. Big factor, almost excuses some of Klinnsman's choice, with the exception of Buddle, because let's be honest, he sucks!
Second Half - "Brek on through to the other side:" I'm sorry I really can't help myself, when I see a good pun at my doorstep I have to let it in. The Brek I refer to is Brek Shea, the 21 year old 'Wunderkind' of FC Dallas. Shea helped "Brek" through and actually make the game worth watching.
Regardless, EPL Losenoidoomock is back this weekend and here is what I'm watching:
1.)New Faces: Arsenal picked up five new signings (Andre Santos, Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker, Park Chu-Young and Yossi Banayoun) right before the window closed, but lost two bigger names in Fabregas and Nasri. Will Arsene Wenger and his wait until Christmas Eve to purchase gifts approach pay off? Find out on FOX SOCCER CHANNEL 10am Saturday.
2.)I'm a homer: What can I say, I'm a homer who loves his National Team and by default all their players (Except you Ricardo Clark, Eddie Johnson and Edson Buddle). Not to mention Clint Dempsey embodies everything I appreciate in an athlete, a tireless work ethic, a take no shit approach and actual skill. Even though Fulham have only scored one goal this season (Dempsey's), and at times they have been unbearable to watch, I'm still tuning in to FSC on Sunday at 11am so I can tell everyone that I saw Dempsey score. It's one of the little things in life that still brings me joy.
Stoppage Time:Local Flavor
Fear the Turtle indeed. Since most Maryland sports fans have been too infatuated with the College Football 'Fashion Scene' to notice anything else, I'm here to tell you that Maryland Men's Soccer team is #2 in the Nation.
This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone with knowledge of the team; Maryland has been a contender for years now winning national titles in 2005 and 2008 while making the NCAA tournament for the past 10 seasons. That's the kind of consistency that reminds me off the old Gary Williams vs. the World Era. Maryland has produced a steady stream of pro's including Taylor Twellman, Marc Burch and Current DC United defender Ethan White to name a few.
The man in charge of the Terrapin program is head coach Sasho Cirovski. Cirovski who just entered his 19th year as head coach, captured his 300th win this past Sunday against Radford. See more here.
I've had the privilege to make it out to Ludwig Field, home of the Terps, for two NCAA Tournament games last season and I had a great time. The atmosphere has that old Cole Field House vibe, you remember the one where the students run the show and appear as organized as the players on the field, when it comes to their chants. During halftime the Terp faithful move from one end of the field to the other to make sure they are behind the opposing team's goal for each half. Oh, and I need to mention that they have some of the best hot chocolate around.
Last night before a crowd of more than 30,000 fans, after five years of flirting, the Jurgen Klinsmann Losenoidoomock era finally began. And guess what? He had fun!!!
I won't lie seeing Klinnsman's interview after the game, in which he said "I really had fun tonight", summed up how the whole US Soccer contingent is feeling today, we're truly excited and for once in a really long time, we feel optimistic. I didn't feel that way when the game started or for that matter even after the first 70 minutes, but then something happened, something I'm not used to seeing a USMNT coach do, Klinsmann inserted youth and more importantly took a freaking chance. Before the insertion of Juan Aguedelo (18 yrs.), Brek Shea (21 yrs.) and Robbie Rodgers (24 yrs. /Former Maryland Terp) the game was anything but enjoyable for me, so let's reflect on game one of the Klinsmann regime.
Kickoff: We have to begin with the starting line-ups. I quickly got that uneasy feeling when I saw the likes of Edson Buddle and Kyle Beckerman trotting out of the tunnel. Where had I seen these guys before? I will however, give Beckerman credit as he played a solid game in the midfield, and really made a difference winning balls and pushing forward. And you can visit this website.
Buddle is another story. You will remember Buddle from his LA Galaxy days, where he greatly benefited by playing with Landon Donovan, David Beckham and being coached by Bruce Arena. Buddle as a national team player is pretty pathetic to watch, think a poor man's Eddie Johnson. The buddle inclusion had me worried, add the fact that he was playing as the lone striker, and you've got a recipe for no possession up top and failed run after failed run. Much to my chagrin, I was right, he stunk up the pitch.