USfanTV: Picking the USMNT 23 for two of the most important games in US history

We’ll soon know who Bruce Arena thinks gives us the best shot to beat Panama and Trinidad and Tobago and save our asses from a summer without a World Cup appearance. Last night on USfanTV we gave our picks–not on who we’d like to see, as we always say–but on who we think Bruce will take to Orlando and Trinidad.

Here’s who we think will make the team: Continue reading “USfanTV: Picking the USMNT 23 for two of the most important games in US history”

USfanTV: Christian Pulisic to Real Madrid? Plus, we review the latest USMNT kit leak

 

If The Sun is to be believed, Arsenal have now joined Real Madrid, Tottenham and Liverpool in the hunt to sign Pulisic. To be clear, The Sun is NOT to be believed, but this sort of thing is fun to talk about, at least.

So let’s look at the potential suitors:

Arsenal – On one hand, it would be incredible to see Pulisic play for my favorite team. On the other hand, Arsenal is a toxic train wreck right now, and I don’t want Wonderboy™ anywhere near it.

Real Madrid – If he’s gonna start? Sure. But I’d rather Pulisic actually play and star for Dortmund than go to Madrid and act as another CR7 ego fluffer. That said, Ronaldo’s run there is almost over, and it would be fun to see an American starring at the world’s most famous club. Continue reading “USfanTV: Christian Pulisic to Real Madrid? Plus, we review the latest USMNT kit leak”

USfanTV: Random thoughts on the USMNT and US U17s

Last night was a bit of a quiet show. We talked about the Bobby Wood-Christian Pulisic matchup Wednesday in the Bundesliga, a bit about the U17 World Cup roster, and Josh Sargent’s announced move to Werder Bremen next year.

With the growing number of Americans heading to Germany to develop, our show is becoming a bit like a Bundesliga review show. And that’s fine, because right now, there’s no better place in the world for a young player to develop, especially a young American player. Continue reading “USfanTV: Random thoughts on the USMNT and US U17s”

USfanTV: Weston McKennie starts against Bayern Munich

We now have two 19-year-old Americans doing big things in the Bundesliga.

Weston McKennie got his first Bundesliga start yesterday. Against Bayern. What could possibly go wrong throwing a 19-year-old in against one of the best teams on the planet? Not much, actually. While Weston didn’t set the world on fire, he didn’t really fail, either. He was fine. And fine is definitely enough when you’re making you first start against Bayern.

Meantime, our other teenage Bundesliga star turned 19 this week. Since he rested on Sunday, Christian Pulisic should celebrate by getting a start for BVB against Bobby Wood and Hamburg. On last night’s show, we asked whether you’re worried his starting days are over (they’re not), and whether some of the recent tweets celebrating his birthday went too far.

This one, in particular, is pretty intense: Continue reading “USfanTV: Weston McKennie starts against Bayern Munich”

USfanTV: #USMNT Players fire back at Alexi Lalas

There are shows, much like Tuesday night, where we’re focused, on-topic, and thorough.

Last night’s show was not one of those times. To be fair, we did start with soccer, though.

Several US players reacted to Alexi Lalas’ scathing remarks on their play. Michael Bradley channeled his inner Zlatan by saying “lions don’t care about the opinions of sheep.” WonderBoy™ Christian Pulisic said he’s not losing sleep over the comments. Alejandro Bedoya seemed to think the comments were fair, and Jozy Altidore again wins with humor. Jozy’s on fire with the comedy this year. I never knew the guy was so funny. Continue reading “USfanTV: #USMNT Players fire back at Alexi Lalas”

USfanTV: BVB-Tottenham match day, and is Alexi Lalas right about the USMNT’s stars?

Christian Pulisic and his Borussia Dortmund teammates roll into Wembley today to take on Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League. Presumably, since Tottenham is dreadful at Wembley in the Champions League, and since BVB have WonderBoy™, Dortmund gets out of London with–worst case–a point. But it’s a new season, so maybe this is the year Tottenham makes a DVD about actual success, and not just “putting the pressure on.”

Seriously, though: it’ll be fun to see an American starring on club soccer’s biggest stage.

We previewed the match for a bit last night on our USfanTV live YouTube show, but we opened by discussing Alexi Lalas’ scathing remarks about the USMNT’s stars needing to do better.  Continue reading “USfanTV: BVB-Tottenham match day, and is Alexi Lalas right about the USMNT’s stars?”

USfanTV: We won’t actually miss the World Cup, will we?

Will the USMNT miss the World Cup? The short answer is probably not, but the fact that we’re even questioning this with two qualifying matches to go isn’t fun. As we discussed on last night’s show, everything hinges on that Panama match in Orlando. We HAVE to win that one, and then take a point in Port of Spain and we should avoid the Asian playoff against Australia or Syria.

But we just had a disappointing draw with Panama two months ago in Nashville, and we’ve struggled in our away qualifiers, so I’m not betting the house on the US making it to Russia. It feels like a 60-40 thing right now.

We also discussed why our team tends to be so old right now. There are quite a few regulars in their 30s, including Michael Bradley, who just joined the club a month ago. For the Costa Rica match, four of our starters were over 30. In Honduras, we had six over 30, including 35-year-old DaMarcus Beasley. If you consider a soccer player’s prime to be 24-28 years old, in our player pool we have Jozy Altidore (27), Bobby Wood (24), John Brooks (24), Darlington Nagbe (27), Omar Gonzalez (28), DeAndre Yedlin (24), and Jorge Villafana (27). Continue reading “USfanTV: We won’t actually miss the World Cup, will we?”

USfanTV: USA 1 Honduras 1 – The Americans escape with a disappointing draw

First, the good news: With tonight’s point the USMNT controls its own destiny going into the final two qualifying matches next month. In the end, that’s the most important thing.

But for the second straight match, the Americans played out of the back, controlled possession, and lost the ball in the final third after getting swarmed. Like Costa Rica, Honduras knew the key to frustrating us was to sit deep, wait for a counter attack opportunity, and kick Christian Pulisic every time he touched the ball. Continue reading “USfanTV: USA 1 Honduras 1 – The Americans escape with a disappointing draw”

#USMNT-Honduras: Breathe or hyperventilate?

So here we are. Three games to save our World Cup dreams.

The good news? Those three games are against the three teams beneath us in the Hex.

The bad news? The USMNT have shown a very soft underbelly most of this qualification cycle and two of CONCACAF’s World Cup spots are all but claimed.

Fighting for third

As the clock ticks down to kickoff versus Honduras, the USMNT stand in third place in the Hex, tied on points with Honduras but ahead on goal differential. To add to the discomfort, we’re only one point ahead of Panama, who play T&T at home tonight, a game most will expect them to win. Continue reading “#USMNT-Honduras: Breathe or hyperventilate?”

USfanTV: Costa Rica 2 USA 0 – Here we are again

Hello darkness. I remember you.

Again, the US loses to Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifier. And again, it feels like we’ve found ourselves in crisis.

Last time, after the US’s disastrous 4-0 loss in Costa Rica in November, Jurgen Klinsmann lost his job. Bruce Arena won’t lose his after just his first loss of the year, but he clearly lost the tactical battle tonight, and his US players were absolutely outworked.

As for those two excuses I keep hearing: Continue reading “USfanTV: Costa Rica 2 USA 0 – Here we are again”