Posted on: March 8, 2010 11:01 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2010 11:01 pm
 

10 Weeks of Landon Donovan

9 weeks ago, critics were just waiting for Landon to fold under the pressures of the EPL furthermore proving the failures of the US Soccer youth programs.  Since then, Landon Donvan has scored twice with three assists including two gimmes feet from the goal line and countless other scoring opportunities.  Evertonians now see what Galaxians have been living with for the past 6 years.  Only now does the world see this as well. Landon Donovan is world class.  Previous situations where Landon was on loan were not fitting.  He was too immature by his own accounts with Leverkusen and felt unwelcomed in Munich.  Everton welcomed with open arms, Donovan obliged.  It's really unfortunate he signed that extension with MLS earlier this year.  Now there are reports that Chelsea wants him in the summer transfers.  We can only hope for US soccers sake that he can remain that form with the Galaxy, provided a strike is avoided. 

Posted on: June 21, 2009 6:01 pm
 

The Stars Align for Bob Bradley and US Soccer

Something powerful is at work here.  Bob Bradley seems to be more of a magician than a soccer coach.  Full credit is due to the US soccer team though.  They really played well and created numerous opportunities for themselves.  The final score alone, 3-0, against the African Champions Egypt is enough to be excited about.  And now the yanks advance to the semifinals against once again heavily favored Spain with a lot of help from Brazil.

Here was the scenario Sunday morning:

In order for the mens US Soccer team to advance to the semifinals of the Confederations Cup, they needed first of all to beat Egypt by a minimum of 3 goals.  That by itself being an enormous task as Egypt had just recently beaten the World Champion Italian side 1-0.  Add to that the discouraging performances that the US team had displayed throughout the tournament. 

In addition to somehow the US winning by 3 goals, Brazil had to by some fashion beat World Cup Champion Italy by also a minimum of 4 goals.  The United States was behind that second spot to reach the semifinal by a goal differential of -7.

But, the United States could also qualify to the next round if they shutout Egypt 3-0 and Brazil shutout Italy 3-0.  They would advance having scored one more goal than Italy in group play in this scenario.  Which proved to be the case today.  Even though Italy handed the US a 3-1 defeat earlier in the tournament. 

The least likely of any scenario had actually happened.  With US Soccer fans around the country calling for Bob Bradley's head, he pulled a rabbit out of his proverbial hat.  We can only speculate on what he said to fire up the team but it worked.  They played with passion and fire.  There were still many opportunities that were missed but I can't complain.  To have any chance against Spain, play really needs to tighten up.  No one expected the US to advance out of this group but having done so they have really overachieved.  After that loss to Brazil nearly everyone gave up on US Soccer.  It was such an embarassing display.

Things have gotten better already for US Soccer.  The only change made by the team has been their way of playing, with heart.  It's the same team and same coach.  Maybe this team has what it takes afterall.  They just need to play like they belong. 

This is truly a great day for US Soccer.  Sams-Army be proud.  We have pulled off the highly improbable.  Once wednesday comes lets really support the team and hope lightning can really strike twice because it will take more than that to beat Spain.
Posted on: June 19, 2009 6:38 am
 

It can only get better for US Mens Soccer

After todays embarrassing display against perennial powerhouse Brazil, many questions have been answered about the future of the mens national soccer team.  At the same time, new questions arise.

We know now that this team will not perform well at the World Cup, if there was much doubt to begin with.  We dont have what it takes.

Is Bob Bradley the right man to lead US Soccer into the next decade?

What are the right mix of players to come together?  What is needed for a team atmosphere to be created?

After witnessing the impressive display by Egypt in the group stage of the Confederations Cup, one can see that individual talent isn't whats necessary for the team to compete with the best.  We have always wondered if we had the talent individually to compete internationally but we need to shift focus to the team as a unit.  Although talent on the player level is important, the team has to be able to work together.

The USA Mens National Basketball "Redeem Team" learned that it takes more than talent to be the best team.  These multi-millionaires came together and learned from each other.  They spent time on and off the court to find common ground.  They became brothers.  Brothers that would give it all for one another and would not accept failure.  They would do their part to make the team succeed. 

For US Soccer, personalities need to be nurtured, leaders need to step forward and players need to hold each other accountable.  Its no longer a question of, 'are you good enough?' but rather 'do you really want it?'.  It should no longer be, 'what have you done for me in the past' but rather 'what have you done for me lately?'. 

Changes need to be made, that is for certain.  What changes are needed remains to be seen.  US Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati has to decide if it's more important to bid for a World Cup in 2018/2022 or compete for one in 2010/2014. 

As a fan of US Soccer, I can see the silver lining.  Things will be different from now, hopefully a lot different. 
Posted on: June 17, 2009 7:09 am
 

Donovan V. Buffon

A matchup like this is one of dreams for US Soccer supporters.  After squandering numerous opportunities in the first half, the US National Soccer team has a 1-0 lead over World Champions Italy.  And they were playing a man short.  Not since the opening match of the 2002 World Cup had I been so excited about US Soccer.

Soccer...where Americans are truly underdogs. 

How is it possible that this world-side sport with such a strong youth-based infrastrucutre in the states makes us underdogs?

Being American, we innately root for the underdog.  This may be why I am such a huge fan of US soccer. 

Landon Donovan having twice played in the top German football league, Bundesliga, and twice returning home dismayed.  Some consider him world-class, able to compete with the best in the world and hold his own.  The best American player we have.

Gianluigi Buffon is considered by many to be the best keeper in the world and very good at penalty kicks. 

Donovan scores.  Shock is sent through the Azzurri nation and I jump off my couch.  Even though I know we won't win the match, I enjoy the moment trying to stave off reality.  Its the most excited I have been about soccer in years.  But with Brazil coming up, could this be the beginning?

Category: Soccer
 
 
 
 
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