Bruce Arena has a lot to say, it seems. And some of what he’s saying is pretty exciting.
Our old new USMNT coach answered a wide range of questions yesterday. It’s really refreshing to hear how plain, clear and direct he is with his words. Here’s some of what stood out, to me:
He clarified his statements on “foreign” players.
“My comments were referencing player development. They had nothing to do with the citizenship of players and that type of thing. I think the phrase foreign nationals is a very poor term, whoever uses it. I will not use it. I will not use dual-citizens. They’re national team players.”
“The comment regarding foreign born players at the time, I believe was referencing player development and I was simply saying if our senior national team program consists of a large minority of players, a large majority of players that were born elsewhere, where are we going with our development? It had nothing to do with who should be playing on the national team and who should not. It would be my way of evaluating the program at a certain point. Today, we’re very capable of producing players that play in our National Team, and we do. I think that whole thing got twisted.”
This is good to hear, and I tend to agree. Anyone with a passport and a desire to play for us should be allowed to be in the mix. But, I tend to get a lot more excited about guys who we actually developed in the US, whether they were actually born here (Pulisic), or just grew up here (Zelalem).
Good morning. We did a “USfanTV” live thing last night, which I encourage you to watch below, although it’s no longer “live.” But it was at the time. Trust me. In said video, we talk about Jordan Morris’ great game, Josh Perez’s Serie A debut, Jermaine Jones’ next landing spot, the upcoming Toronto/Montreal match, the New York Cosmos, the state of Arkansas, Amanda Knox, and sex acts performed by Costa Rica on the United States.
Also, we made the decision we’d do these on Monday and Wednesday nights, unless news breaks. So there. We have a schedule.
Seriously, how great was Jordan Morris last night?
Battling a stomach virus (or maybe it was food poisoning), a bad hamstring, altitude, and Jermaine Jones, the rookie pulled out a gritty, clutch goal and an overall strong performance to put Seattle in the MLS Cup. It was the kind of stuff that new USMNT coach Bruce Arena surely liked to see– with grit, heart and skill on full display. Morris reminded me a bit of Brian McBride–that was the type of performance you’d see from him.
Morris looked winded early on, but he kept chugging. He took a nasty hit after scoring the game’s only goal, and hobbled off looking like he was done, but he came right back out there after yelling at his dad–Seattle’s team doctor–while he was checking for ligament damage.
Stanford, California – Thursday, May 22. 2014: USMNT portraits, 2014.
The January transfer window is still a little more than a month away, and if we were like most English or Italian “journalists,” we’d already be making up crap about “spectacular” moves and “stunning” bids. Then, none of the rumors would come true, and people would, for some reason, believe our crap again during the next transfer window.
But, here at USfanTV, we’re not lying bastards. Speculating idiots? Sure. But not liars. We have some standards, at least.
So anyway, I’ve been thinking about which USMNT guys I’d like to see make a move to a new club, and which ones I want to stay right where they are.
Three guys I’d like to see go somewhere else:
Michael Bradley: Our captain seems to be happy and thriving at Toronto FC, but there have been rumors recently about interest from a couple of teams in Italy. Grant Wahl recently reported that both AC Milan and Bologna are interested in bringing in the 29-year-old. And, of course, there’ve been rumors of a loan deal at Swansea from the moment his dad, Bob Bradley, took over as manager of that club. If he’s physically and mentally up for it, I’d love to see Michael go on loan during the MLS off season. I’ve wondered recently if his declining play for the national team was due to his move back to MLS, or whether it was Jurgen Klinsmann’s crap tactics. Selfishly, it’d be cool to see him go to Swansea over Italy so we can see him on TV all the time, but I would hate for him to have to deal with the “daddy’s boy” stuff again. I could see a loan deal going down, but a full transfer away from Toronto seems unlikely. I seriously doubt he’d get the $6+ million a year he’s getting in MLS, and he’s got small kids he’d need to uproot–although living near grandpa and grandma in Swansea might be a plus.
USMNT captain Michael Bradley and striker Jozy Altidore may be focused on the second leg of the MLS Conference Championship Series for Toronto FC, but both took time to weigh in on the US’s coaching change after a recent training session.
I’m amazed at this every year: the moment I finish stuffing myself with Thanksgiving goodness, head over to the couch, and look at my phone, I’ve got like 30 emails from stores with Black Friday deals. It’ll be like this nonstop until Christmas. ‘Tis the season, friends.
As I was swiping through and deleting them all, one (shown above) caught my eye, from soccercorner.com.
Let’s review what’s happened in the US Soccer world since we launched USfanTV in early October:
we won a crap friendly on a bumpy pitch in Cuba
we drew with New Zealand in a sleepy friendly at RFK–a game so boring, I had to go double check the score just now because I couldn’t remember
we lost in Columbus to Mexico on a last minute header by a guy who’s in my top-two most hated players of all time, Rafa Marquez (Diego Costa occupies the other spot, if you’re wondering), ending 16 years of Dos a Ceros in that match
we played our worst game in decades, a 4-0 loss to Costa Rica, where we quit trying
we dragged things out for a week, and then fired the guy who was supposed to take US Soccer to the next level, Jurgen Klinsmann
and, we hired Bruce Arena to repair the damage.
So, things haven’t been good, to say the least. But you know what? Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and we really do have a lot to be thankful for in the soccer world.
I can think of quite a few things:
Copa America: Due respect to the Gold Cup, but we actually got to see a real men’s soccer tournament hosted in this country for the first time since 1994. It was glorious. I took my then-five-year-old son Finn to his first US match–the USA’s 4-0 win over Costa Rica at Soldier Field. Then, a few days later, Chris and I watched Leo Messi score a hat trick for Argentina after coming on for the final 30 minutes, then literally sprinted to my car, and drove from Chicago to Philadelphia to watch the “Wall of Brooks” game–the USA’s 1-0 win over Paraguay the next day. One of the best soccer weeks of my life, and I’m still burning off all that cheesesteak.