03 September, 2011

Still Waiting on Bradley

If you were looking here to find out if Bradley was hired as the Egyptian NT coach, I wish we could tell you that someone, anyone was hired. Reportedly, the hold up on Bradley is that he's asking ~$1mil where Egypt is offering ~$680K ($80,000 more than he was paid by the USSF).

Why someone who got fired for subpar performances (albeit 3 good ones too, like upsetting Spain), should get a $400K pay raise is beyond me, but regardless... Filgoal, an Arabic soccer news site, has an update for you:

American coach Bob Bradley is gearing up for the task of managing Egypt even though he has yet to agree terms with the FA, as revealed by former US goalkeeping coach Zaki Abdul-Fattah.

Bradley, the closest of three candidates to land the Egypt job, is keen to follow the training of some Cairo clubs as he is still in talks with Samir Zaher and his board over the vacant seat.

“He is extremely excited,” Abdul-Fattah, the Egyptian who worked five years with Bradley with the US national team, said in an interview with Ahli TV. “When the FA contacted him, he phoned me saying ‘get ready we’re heading to Cairo’. And since then he cannot stop thinking about his potential mission. “Bradley asked me to make arrangements so that he can attend the training of Zamalek, Arab Contractors and ENPPI, like he had done with Ahli. “He now knows everything about Egyptian football and is totally ready for the job. He is also delighted with the friendly behavior of Egyptian people.”

Bradley was sacked as USA coach by the end of July, nearly two months after Hassan Shehata parted ways with Egypt.The 53-year-old led his nation to the 2010 World Cup round of 16 before being ousted by Ghana.

And several Egyptian bloggers have voiced their opinion that Bradley is doing more to try to earn the job than previous coach, Shehata, did to maintain the job. Many times, the Egyptian national team would field players almost exclusively from Al-Ahly and Zamalek. Granted, both teams have a huge history in Egyptian football and deep roots to draw from, but the idea that a coach would come in and try to actually scout other clubs when the previous one never did is apparently a shocking revelation.

The NT coach position was supposed to be decided prior to the African Cup of Nations kickoff qualification match in Sierra Leone tonight, but instead, Egypt announced they would be sending their Olympic team to play as qualification is almost now impossible after several recent stumblings.* The first real test of the next new NT coach will be against Niger in October.

* Egypt just lost 2-1 to Sierra Leone away, so they are effectively eliminated after having won the last three Cups.

Photo: USSF

Costa Rica v USMNT Highlights

For the first 30-35 minutes, we saw the future of US Soccer. Quick, lots of passing, efficient, and everyone looked surprisingly dangerous. Unfortunately, we got away from that and got back to a game of long ball, and for this I don't blame Klinsmann.

I actually think he wanted them to see the difference between the two styles of play. Not because he told them to play that way, but because we started getting tired and lazy and started holding the ball up and just looking to bomb it in to someone and pray for an open shot from the top of the 18. And just like usual, that didn't happen.

Perhaps our two most dangerous shots happened within minutes of each other as Brek Shea threaded a sweet cut back pass to an overlapping Donovan who knocked it just wide. Seconds later, Altidore fended off two Costa Rican defenders to destroy the camera behind the Costa Rican goal.

In a night that saw Dempsey not play because of back spasms, and had us start Timmy Chandler, Orozco and Castillo with Bocanegra on the back line, Torres had probably his best game for the red white and blue and for most of the 1st half, Shea looked the best on the field before he got tired and disappeared.

I'm going to mention Edu now, because that is more than you heard about him or from him last night during the game. Well, ill-advised shot from 30yrds out late in the game aside. Am I the only one who thinks we need to feed Castillo? The kid looked absolutely like some kind of anorexic back there and was constantly pushed around. Chandler threaded some great passes through early, but looked absolutely lost through long stretches of the game. Landycakes had a pretty much off night and Rogers was atrocious. The only thing as bad as his play was the weak clearances off our back line by Orozco and co.

That said, it looks like our boys need to work on fitness because they were very tired in the 2nd half, but if we can dominate possession like the beginning of the match and actually play quick controlled passes, we are going to well... very well.

Video: footytube

Euro 2012: Austria v Germany Highlights

Germany is the first team to qualify for the Euro 2012 finals after wrapping up a perfect run behind goals from Ozil, newcomer Goetze, Schurrle and forgotten man Podolski. Goetze actually had another setup in the 8 minutes of action he saw that could have resulted in a hat-trick for Ozil, had Ozil not scuffed it over the net.

Austria loses yet again to big brother, 6-2.

Video: footytube

Friendly: Chile v Spain Highlights

Most everyone else was watching Euro qualifiers. I was watching Spain v Chile. Good thing I did. Iniesta started the scoring for Spain... in the second half. They went into the locker room after 45 minutes down, 2-0 behind goals for Isla and Vargas. Later Fabregas would hit one, and despite being down to 10 men, it wasn't until the 90' mark that Spain got a last chance to win it. Fabregas took his shot, but Chile's keeper knocked it wide and into a post.

That's when one of the strangest things happened. It deflected back to Fabregas who put it away for the last second winner. Great match.

Video: Footytube

Euro 2012 Netherlands v San Marino Highlights

It wasn't pretty. Well, not if you were cheering for San Marino at least. Yeah, so, um, Netherlands runs out winners 11-0. I'm pretty sure I saw the Dutch pulling fans from the stands at halftime and telling them they could play the rest of the match against San Marino and still win.

Video: footytube

02 September, 2011

Euro 2012: England v Bulgaria Highlights

The first half was all England needed for the three points. Lothar Mattheus and Bulgaria go down to goals from Cahill and two from Rooney as Berbatov sits in the stands watching.

Video: footytube

Costa Rica v USMNT Preview

In case you'd forgotten, the USMNT takes on Costa Rica tonight at 10pm CST on ESPN2 and ESPN3. I'm sure there will also be video available for you on should you not be lucky enough to be near a tv or have access to ESPN3 (because some cable companies are stingy on video).

In a departure from Skeletor Bradley (who may or may not be announced tomorrow morning as the new Egypt NT coach), Klinsmann will be telling the US to actually get creative, get excited and if they mess up, to get back and win the ball. Bradley, whether verbally or otherwise, instilled fear in the US that the idea of soccer was to not mess up, and frequently you saw the life drain out of team because of that approach.

Contrary to accepted thought, this doesn't mean he wants to see a defender trying to rainbow flick a ball forward from our own 18. That would be suicidal. What he wants to see is that play where we pull something out of a hat, something positive, and try to make a goal happen. I'd give props if anyone here can remember the last time we scored on a bicycle kick (Prof, I'm looking at you to remember this one...) or if anyone has pulled a rabona in NT play for us.

We can fully expect to see another 4-2-3-1 lineup again tonight:


Depending on the score at half, we may get to see Hamid take Howard's place in goal as well as Rogers and Teal take the field. With kickoff an hour away, we'll hopefully get you a post game analysis from the Professor tomorrow and I'll try to tack in some highlights.

Photo: TSI

30 August, 2011

Michael Bradley in Serie A

A.C. ChievoVerona tonight just signed Michael Bradley from Borussia Mongladbach for an undisclosed fee.

Bradley joins a team that is in need of help in the midfield and Bradley is expected to help solidify that lineup. They are expecting to introduce him to the media at noon tomorrow.

Unfortunately, Bradley has a daunting task ahead of him. No American (USMNT) player has plied their trade in Serie A successfully, and it has meant the death knell for many such as Ferrari and Szetela.

Bradley has had a mixed career in Europe. 26 goals in 133 matches between Heerenveen and Borussia, so a logical step in development would be Italy or England and with no one knocking down his door after a brief loan to Aston Villa, Bradley signs with Serie A outfit Chievo.

What happens, we'll see as soon as the league decides to start their season soon.

Photo: USSF

28 August, 2011

All is Not Lost

So, no more Holloway in the EPL this season. So I've been left to troll around the rest of the leagues, trying to find that manager that incites some fire in his players. Someone that has that fight.

I think I found him.

Introducing, Grimsby Town's Rob Scott.

Now, sorry the vid/sound quality is not the best, but basically, a Grimsby Town fan is obviously upset with Scott and the team after yet another loss. "If you don't like it, don't f'n come." Awesome.

Grimsby are one of only a handful of teams to now have competed in every level of football (EPL, Coca-cola, 1st, 2nd and now currently Blue Sq. Premier). John Thorrington used to play for them, if the name sounds familiar.

In his first year managing the club, Scott (as a co-manager) is looking to turn the team around and it seems Grimsby's new manager has as much drive as the fans, if the video shows anything. Sit back and enjoy, and we'll try to find some more choice pieces from the man.

Video: gfcgeorge1

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