USfanTV: What to expect from the USA-Costa Rica World Cup Qualifier

Over the next six days, the Yanks have a chance to put away any doubts over whether they’ll qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Wins against Costa Rica and Honduras can, depending on what happens in the other Hex matches, either lock up their spot, or come very close.

Both matches are winnable, too. Costa Rica is tough and has the best goalkeeper in CONCACAF in Keylor Navas, but we tend to do well against the Ticos at home. And while Central American road games are especially tough for the US, Honduras is pretty bad. It isn’t crazy to think we win both, but this is CONCACAF so anything can happen.

So who starts for the US Friday night? We’re thinking Bruce Arena keeps it simple, with a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield: Continue reading “USfanTV: What to expect from the USA-Costa Rica World Cup Qualifier”

USfanTV: Who makes the USMNT 23 for the upcoming qualifiers? Here’s our list.

As we reported earlier on Twitter, a source tells USfanTV Cristian Roldan and Chris Wondolowski will make Bruce Arena’s 23-man roster for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Costa Rica and Honduras. So who makes the rest of the team? We have some guesses:

GOALKEEPERS: Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando 

No surprises on the first two choices, and Rimando will grab the third spot, according to several reports. Continue reading “USfanTV: Who makes the USMNT 23 for the upcoming qualifiers? Here’s our list.”

USfanTV: Pulisic dominates, plus Lynden Gooch’s big game, and is Julian Green leaving Stuttgart?

I had a dream I went to Dortmund last night. It went something like this: my wife and I were in Paris, and I managed to secure two $970 train tickets to make it to Dortmund in time to see BVB play Hertha Berlin. I felt the price of the train tickets was reasonable considering it gave me the chance to see Christian Pulisic play live, and see the Yellow Wall in person. Because my dreams rarely make it to the end, I don’t know if I ever got to see the match.

So this is where we are. I’m having dreams about almost getting to see a soccer match.

After a week off, we were back for another live show on YouTube last night. And as much as we try to discuss other things, Mr. Pulisic dominated our conversation again. His goal and assist over the weekend were outstanding, and basically said to the world, “Dembele Who?” Every time we ask ourselves if we’re hyping him too much, every time we wonder if we’re all putting too much pressure on an 18-year-old, he manages to amaze us. Continue reading “USfanTV: Pulisic dominates, plus Lynden Gooch’s big game, and is Julian Green leaving Stuttgart?”

USfanTV: You helped us select our US Soccer Mount Rushmore. So who made the cut?

Who’s on your US Soccer Mount Rushmore? We spent the majority of our Tuesday night USfanTV show debating this, and in the end we narrowed the list to four players. Despite the video thumbnail, Christian Pulisic didn’t make it! Give the kid a year…

The rules: First, we decided this should be a men’s soccer Mount Rushmore. Obviously, the USWNT has produced some ridiculously good players, but it’s too hard to compare, say, Tim Howard to Hope Solo or Abby Wambach to Clint Dempsey. So the women will be separate show at some point. We also decided honorees had to play for the US national team. Guys like Pele and David Beckham did more to change the sport in this country than almost anyone, but we excluded them.

With those rules set, we threw out a bunch of names, from Chris’ favorite goalkeeper from the 1930 World Cup, James “not Buster” Douglas, to Joe Gaetjens, to Alexi Lalas, to Claudio Reyna to Christian Pulisic.

So who made it? Continue reading “USfanTV: You helped us select our US Soccer Mount Rushmore. So who made the cut?”

USfanTV: Rafa’s narco mess, and welcome back to the Premier League!

If you watch our show you already know this, but Chris and I are Arsenal fans. We both enjoy the Premier League, which is to say we watch it even though it causes us great pain and misery. So welcome back, Premier League!

We’re interested to see how the Premier League’s US contingent will do this season. Geoff Cameron should be fine at Stoke. Danny Williams should open the season as a starter for David Wagner’s Huddersfield Town–will Bruce Arena notice? DeAndre Yedlin is back up with Newcastle, but faces challenges with both injury and competition for his spot at right back. We’re hoping for big things from Emerson Hyndman at Bournemouth–if he matches his performance at Rangers we’ll have a new star on our hands. And will Cameron Carter-Vickers see the field for Tottenham? He better, or it’s time for a move.  Continue reading “USfanTV: Rafa’s narco mess, and welcome back to the Premier League!”

USfanTV: Will the Neymar transfer chain reaction strike Christian Pulisic?

Okay, to be clear: We don’t actually buy the rumors that Christian Pulisic will jump to Liverpool. But that move would make sense in some ways, wouldn’t it? When Philippe Coutinho jumps to Barcelona, Liverpool will need to fill the void with someone, and they’ll have a ton of money to make it happen. Pulisic and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp obviously know each other from their time together at Borussia Dortmund, and we know Klopp is an admirer. And an English bookmaker has the move at 5/1, so it’s not completely crazy.

But, and this is a big one: Barcelona is also likely buying Ousmane Dembele. Borussia Dortmund probably won’t want to lose two young stars in the same window.

So, really, whatever happens, you can thank Neymar in the end for starting the chain reaction. Continue reading “USfanTV: Will the Neymar transfer chain reaction strike Christian Pulisic?”

USfanTV: You helped us draft the 2018 World Cup roster, and some of you were not happy

We debated. We argued. And finally, in the end, we somewhat agreed.

Together, we drafted our 23-man USMNT roster prediction for next year’s World Cup.

First, the rules: Chris and I took turns, but at times we deferred to one of our viewers to make a pick. To make the team, a player needed not only Chris and I to agree, but the bulk of our viewers as well (By the way… we need a name for our viewers. Someone come up with one, please!) We gave three slots to goalkeepers, eight to defenders, eight to midfielders, and four to forwards.

What we learned: The first 13 or 14 picks were pretty easy. No one really disagreed. After that, it became a bit of a shit show trying to finish this out. There were disputes. People were MAD.

We also learned we’re gonna see some big names left off this roster no matter what happens, especially in midfield.

In the end, this is our first stab at a roster: Continue reading “USfanTV: You helped us draft the 2018 World Cup roster, and some of you were not happy”

The MLS All-Star Game succeeded in doing whatever you think it does in the first place

FullSizeRender (1)MLS is better than we thought.

MLS is worse than we thought.

All-Star games are great. We get to see how our league stacks up against a great European team!

All-Star games are the worst. We should go East vs. West, or kill it altogether.

[Something angry about pro/rel and MLS, US Soccer and the media all colluding.]

Whatever preconceived notion you had about MLS going into the league’s annual All-Star Game in Chicago, last night’s match may have done nothing but reinforce your opinion. It did for me.

I went in with expectations of a fun night of possibly sloppy-soccer, and I got exactly what I expected.  Continue reading “The MLS All-Star Game succeeded in doing whatever you think it does in the first place”

USfanTV: Our chat with former pro player and new author Bobby Warshaw

I read a lot of soccer books, but there are only a handful I loved. Joe McGinniss’ The Miracle of Castel Di Sangro and Robert Andrew Powell’s This Love is Not for Cowards are both fantastic fan accounts. Grant Wahl’s The Beckham Experiment is a great look at David Beckham’s early time with the Galaxy. But when players write their own memoirs, I tend to at best tolerate them, or at worst hate them.

Bobby Warshaw’s When The Dream Became Reality is the best book written by a soccer player I’ve ever read. It’s a fascinating look at a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff about the business of soccer fans rarely get to see, but even more than that, it’s a look inside Bobby’s mind as he juggles his career with his personal life. Sports fans tend to forget this, but players are real people who get happy, sad and mad just like the rest of us.  Continue reading “USfanTV: Our chat with former pro player and new author Bobby Warshaw”