USfanTV Live: USA v. Ghana preview, plus FC Cincy, Mexico and more!

Well, I’m never betting against Germany again.

As you no doubt recall, I said Mexico would find a way to beat the German B team. But eight minutes into the match, it became clear I’m an idiot. This got me thinking–maybe I should pick our rivals to the south for every match from now on. Maybe it’s some kind of curse I’ve created? We can only hope.

Also on last night’s show, we talked about FC Cincinnati’s national TV win over the Chicago Fire. For non-soccer fans, it was a great example of how a scoreless game can actually be incredible. Based on some of the tweets I saw, I think others agreed. Fantastic atmosphere, a lower division side going up against one of MLS’s top teams (that’s still very strange to write, but I’ll take it), and the College World Series ending one game early allowing the match to get on ESPN in the first place–everything came together for this one. I’m sad my favorite MLS team is out, but I’m pulling for Cincinnati the rest of the way.

Finally, we looked ahead to our friendly with Ghana in Connecticut this weekend. Here’s how Chris has our guys lining up: Continue reading “USfanTV Live: USA v. Ghana preview, plus FC Cincy, Mexico and more!”

USfanTV Live: NBC wants $50 to watch the Premier League

The free soccer thing was fun while it lasted, I guess.

For the last few years, NBC’s Premier League coverage was held up by fans as the gold standard of how things should be. Great pre- and post-match production, and the ability to watch any match you want. Your team isn’t on TV? No problem, just stream the match through Extra Time. As long as you had a cable, satellite or streaming option that included NBCSN, you were good to go.

That’s going away–at least the free part of it. Starting next season, NBC will charge $50 to watch 130 of the 380 matches. Every team will see at least three matches move to the subscription service. If you’re a fan of the big five teams, or even Tottenham, you’ll only probably miss three matches if you don’t want to pay for the service. But if you like a mid-table or lower-table team, you’ll probably have to shell out $50, or risk missing a good chunk of your team’s matches. Continue reading “USfanTV Live: NBC wants $50 to watch the Premier League”

USfanTV Live: Our Gold Cup roster picks, and how did Chris end up with that hat?

We’re off to Nashville in two weeks for the US v. Panama Gold Cup match, and it certainly appears Chris is ready. Did he steal the hat from Ted Nugent? Kid Rock? Either way, he’ll be able to move seamlessly between the American Outlaws section and the bars on Broadway. Imagine that hat paired with the new Gold Cup jersey!

Anyway, we all learned Bruce Arena’s 40-man provisional Gold Cup roster a few weeks ago, and since then, he’s made it clear some of the big stars on that list aren’t going to be there for the group stage, if not at all. With that in mind, here’s the group we think will be there in Nashville: Continue reading “USfanTV Live: Our Gold Cup roster picks, and how did Chris end up with that hat?”

USfanTV Live: The new jersey, and who stands to gain the most at the Gold Cup?

We’re calling it the Evel Knievel jersey.

Even if we bomb out of the Gold Cup, the stars on the sleeves of the new USMNT kit make it perfect for jumping a motorcycle over a canyon or a row of school buses, so we’ll still have a use for these things.

Overall I like it, but this isn’t a jersey you throw on to run to Target when you’re a 37-year-old dad. This is a match day only shirt. But it’s so, so close to perfect. If you removed the stars from the sleeves, it might be my favorite jersey ever. Will I get it? Chris says he is for sure, but I don’t know. Apparently Nike’s only offering this in the authentic version–rather than the replica–so we’ll have to shell out $155. We’ll see.

As for the players who will be wearing it, we asked you on last night’s USfanTV Live for the player who stands to gain the most at the Gold Cup. Some popular choices: Continue reading “USfanTV Live: The new jersey, and who stands to gain the most at the Gold Cup?”

USfanTV Live: Is Bruce making the right call to rest Pulisic and other stars for the Gold Cup?

It’s pretty clear at this point that we’re sending a B-team to the Gold Cup. Christian Pulisic was one of only a handful of Europe-based guys on the initial 40 man roster for the tournament, and he was the only regular starter.

But, after suggesting Pulisic might get called in for the knockout rounds (teams can make up to six roster changes between the group stage and the knockout rounds), Bruce Arena said this week it’s “unlikely” we’ll see him at all.

As for some other stars? Don’t count on them, either.

“Almost none. Very few. Maybe González and Besler. Maybe Dempsey and Altidore at some point. Nagbe is a possibility,” Arena said.

Can you imagine a European or South American country sending a B-team to a Euro or Copa America? Probably not, but it goes to show how countries actually view the Gold Cup. We’ve said it many times, but playing the tournament every other year, and hosting it in the US every single time shows it’s nothing more than a cash grab. If CONCACAF doesn’t view it as special, why should fans? Why should teams? Continue reading “USfanTV Live: Is Bruce making the right call to rest Pulisic and other stars for the Gold Cup?”

USfanTV Live: Should we be happy with that point at Azteca?

One of the criticisms I keep hearing from Mexico fans–and I think it’s valid–is that we got too excited about the draw. El Tri fans say it’s how they know they’re better than us. Right now, they are. I do think the Mexican team is a bit better than the US at the moment. But they’re only half right. I was satisfied with the point because that’s what we needed, but I wanted the win. That said, Mexico would have celebrated a draw in Columbus, and they sure as hell celebrated when Graham “San” Zusi punched their ticket to Brazil in 2014.

We sit third in the Hex standings after Panama’s draw with Honduras last night, meaning we control our own destiny going into the final four matches, all of which are winnable. Considering how we started, that’s pretty good.  Continue reading “USfanTV Live: Should we be happy with that point at Azteca?”

USfanTV Live: USA 1 Mexico 1 – what a crazy, crazy match

Michael Bradley told Grant Wahl he knew Chicharito would make that sloppy pass. He’d seen it while studying video.

And when he got his chance, he stepped in to the center circle, picked it off, saw Memo Ochoa off his line, and let it fly.

That goal will go down in US Soccer lore as one of the greats. And that moment eased the nerves of a lot of US fans, who were confused and concerned after the team was announced. Seven changes? Was this a 5-4-1? A 3-4-3? Brad Guzan over Tim Howard? What the hell was Bruce Arena doing?

We said last night on our USfanTV Live post-match show that Geoff Cameron was the Man of the Match, and Michael Bradley was a close second. But the biggest takeaway was that we can all absolutely trust Arena. Continue reading “USfanTV Live: USA 1 Mexico 1 – what a crazy, crazy match”

#USAvMEX match day is here. Three reasons the USA will win, finally.

A QUICK REMINDER: We’ll have pre- and post-match shows on our YouTube channel, calm

The USA visits Azteca tonight for a World Cup Qualifier, and I woke up feeling good. I have this deranged feeling we might actually win.

My son and I got home yesterday from Colorado, after we threw in a side trip up to Mount Rushmore, and I’m feeling very patriotic and very American.

So, while I understand this might be a bit insane, I’m predicting a win. Here’s why:

Azteca is not the fortress it used to be. We managed a draw in our last World Cup Qualifier, and a win in a friendly before that. We’re not wide-eyed amateurs anymore. Our guys are playing at the highest levels in Europe. As for the altitude and smog? A huge chunk of the Mexican guys don’t play regularly in Mexico, either. Unfortunately, the bags of piss and batteries are still probably gonna be there tonight. Continue reading “#USAvMEX match day is here. Three reasons the USA will win, finally.”

USfanTV Live: USA 2 TRI 0 – aka The Christian Pulisic Show

The good news: The US grabbed the three points it absolutely needed from this match against Trinidad and Tobago, and did it without any cards or injuries heading into Azteca.

The bad news: It seems we can only score lately when the ball runs through Christian Pulisic. It’s both amazing and depressing that our best player is 18, but, yeah, he’s ridiculously good.

My son and I watched the match from temporary seating in the corner, and it was tough to see what was going on at midfield because there was a giant pole in our way (you can see it in the photo from the YouTube thumbnail), but here’s what I could gather:

Continue reading “USfanTV Live: USA 2 TRI 0 – aka The Christian Pulisic Show”

USfanTV Live: #USAvTRI match preview

Hello from Denver! Chris and TJ handled most of the show while I was busy hanging out with Michael Bradley, Brad Guzan and Alexi Lalas, who wasn’t even part of the event and was just hanging out at the bar doling out wisdom to people who wanted to chat him up.

Guzan and Bradley were at the Celtic on Market in Denver, talking to Fox Sports’ Rob Stone and the fans in attendance about what it was like to play in the 2013 SnowClasico match–the last time the US played a World Cup Qualifier in this city.

Toward the end of the event, the guys were answering questions about the upcoming two matches. Bradley said the team needs four points–a win against Trinidad and Tobago and a draw against Mexico. I absolutely agree, as does Chris, but TJ (surprise) says we only need three.  Continue reading “USfanTV Live: #USAvTRI match preview”