No Jones. No Kljestan. No Problem?
Jermaine Jones and Sacha Kljestan were given clearance to leave the January camp by Bruce Arena. So who’s up next and can they adequately fill the shoes of two guys Bruce seems to consider first-team regulars?
Jermaine’s departure is probably a good thing. He’s suspended for the first March qualifier and, at his age (35), his long-term fitness has to be a question, no matter how much Arena marvels at his ability to keep pace.
Kljestan leaving is less fortunate, perhaps. He only recently grabbed the reins as our central attacking midfielder, so the more minutes played there the better (generally). However, the guy’s having a kid (whom it would seem he and his wife even planned enough to have in the offseason!) so you can’t fault him for taking some time to be with his family – congratulations to him!
So who’s on deck?
Continue reading “Who takes over for Kljestan and Jones? We pick our frontrunners.”
Not kidding: I saw people on Twitter calling for Bruce Arena’s head after the USMNT’s 0-0 draw against Serbia. This was, essentially, an MLS XI against a Serbian League XI, and some people were taking their criticisms WAY too far.
We were OK. I thought we were pretty stable at the back. I liked seeing Michael Bradley sitting deeper than he has in a long time. If we’re picking a Man of the Match, I guess I’d give it to Darlington Nagbe, who I thought had some strong flashes. Our guys looked like they cared. If Nagbe and Chris Pontius had finished their chances that went just wide, or of someone had gotten on the end of that Jermaine Jones cross that skipped across the goal line in the first half, no one would be complaining. But since we didn’t finish, people are concerned. I’d say this: a lot of these guys hadn’t played with one another, this was Bruce’s first game back, and it was at best an MLS B-team against a Serbia B-team.
I’m not worried.
We’ll have our usual Tuesday and Thursday night shows this week, and we should something for you after the Jamaica match on Friday night, too.
On to Chattanooga.
Our first chance for answers to so many of the questions that have cropped up over the last two and a half months is little more than 24 hours away.
Will Bruce Arena truly bring an identity back to the USMNT? Will he follow Jurgen Klinsmann’s ideals and look to an offensive, possession-based style or will he elect to play sound defense and counterattack? How far will he experiment with positions while he evaluates the back-end of his potential choices for the March qualifiers?
Here are USfanTV’s thoughts.
Continue reading “Predictions for Serbia: Who starts? How will it end?”
The truth is, I don’t really care about pro/rel. Sure, if we could magically add it to soccer in the United States, I’d be fine with it. I enjoy a good relegation battle, and I like that failing teams aren’t rewarded. But the discussion typically annoys me.
So, on that note, Chris, TJ and I talked about it last night on USfanTV Live! Why? Because Howler dropped a massive story called “The Pro/Rel Manifesto,” basically looking at every aspect of the debate, and realistic (and not so realistic) ways we might go about implementing it here.
We spent a good part of the night talking about that piece, but we also talked about this Sunday’s US/Serbia match in San Diego, too. Speaking of, we’re planning a live show immediately after the match, so join us, won’t you?
After a week off, Chris and I are back from our respective vacations, and we’re talking Clint Dempsey’s heart, Freddy Adu’s comeback, the Serbia match in San Diego, and a bunch more. We’re back to our usual Tuesday and Thursday night schedule, and we should have a show for you right after the Serbia match is over, too. Subscribe, and thanks for watching.
I’m back from vacation, and Chris will be back soon, too, so we’ll be back to doing our regular Tuesday and Thursday night YouTube shows next week.
A fair amount has gone on since we last talked to you. Dom Dywer is on the path to becoming a citizen (great!), Gedion Zelalem looks like he might be leaving Arsenal for Borussia Monchengladbach, and Jermaine Jones finally got his wish and signed with the LA Galaxy.
But the one thing I wanted to talk about most was Tim Howard’s recent criticism of the USMNT’s foreign born players. He called them out as a group for not caring enough, then backed off those comments somewhat and specifically excluded Jermaine Jones and Fabian Johnson. Continue reading “Tim Howard isn’t wrong, he just needs to be more specific”
We thought there wasn’t much to talk about on USfanTV Live last night, but somehow we ended up chatting about a bunch of random topics for around 45 minutes. A lot of our topics and questions came from you, so thanks for chipping in!
Chris and I are both on vacation next week, so don’t count on any new videos or any new columns here on the website, but if something giant breaks I have a feeling we’ll find a way to do a show.
We’ll be back in a little over a week, just in time for our two upcoming friendlies against Serbia and Jamaica. Thanks for watching, give us a follow on Twitter if you haven’t already, and subscribe to the YouTube channel. See you soon!
Unlike our usual crap, we actually had a pretty good discussion last night about expanding the World Cup to 48 teams in 2026–there are aspects we both like and hate. On top of that, we chat about the open of the USMNT’s January camp, and Emerson Hyndman’s loan move to Rangers. We do these (most) Tuesday and Thursday nights, so take a look, thanks for watching, and as always, subscribe!
Gianni “Not Indicted Yet” Infantino’s first wish as THIEFA president has been granted: the 2026 World Cup will involve 48 teams.
Mark it down. This is the beginning of the end of the World Cup as the world’s ultimate sporting trophy. Continue reading “THIEFA walks the World Cup down the plank”
International football cartel FIFA is set to vote this week on new boss Gianni Infantino’s plan to expand the World Cup to 48 teams. And, because this will generate a shitload of extra money, you can bet it’ll pass.
When the news first came out about this plan, I had mixed feelings. On one hand, I think the current format is practically perfect and I see no reason to screw with it. On the other hand, part of the fun of the World Cup is all of the different countries and cultures coming together, and this will allow for more of it.
But, reports this week that Infantino wants to combine CONCACAF and CONMEBOL into one qualifying group have turned me squarely in favor of the plan. It seems crazy, but I love this idea. These reports indicate the hemisphere’s 46 countries would fight for 14 spots.
Continue reading “Combine CONCACAF and CONMEBOL into one qualifying group? Yes, please!”