Daily Sweeper (DS), 10.10: US Roster Talk; MLS to PDX (Still?); SEVERE TV Issues; Best Dang DP

I’m going with an acronym for this feature: DS. That way I have more room for witticisms in the title…

– My colleague Breton already tackled the heavy lifting and thinking regarding the just-named U.S. roster for next Wednesday’s friendly against Switzerland. Read his stuff, of course – he thought about it more, after all – but I stand by the comments I made to close his post, particularly that these out-o’-the-ass lineups make these friendlies worth watching; real shockers like Robbie Findley and Maurice Edu only add intrigue…

…and then along comes USSoccerplayer.com’s Ian Plenderleith to take a big ol’ poop on my fun by pointing out that a few of these players owe a debt to circumstance for their call-ups (thanks a lot, friend). Looking elsewhere, Goal.com’s Ben Brackett seems wary of fielding such a green lineup given his opinion that the U.S. Men need to start winning on European soil. Eh, maybe. I’m not to worried about that, nor am I much concerned about building team chemistry for World Cup qualifying. Sure, we’ll have to get to latter one of these days, but with qualifying not starting till some time later than early 2008, I figure we have time to experiment. As for the European soil thing, it’ll come.

– It looks like the possibility of Major League Soccer (MLS) coming to Portland remains live. Better still, some relevant parties seems interested in placing the team in PGE Park and moving the Portland Beavers (baseball) to another facility. This would be a good thing. No, a great thing. The only piece to the conversation I think they’re missing is what happens with Portland State University’s football team? Then again, since they’re not mentioning it, maybe it’s not the issue I think it is. Anyway, great to hear that Portland’s still in the hunt. Continue reading

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Missing from the MLS Vortex

Which teams are not* (or not yet) in the MLS Vortex?

With that out of the way, what the hell is the MLS Vortex*? Time to explore…

(* Horrible name, by the way. I don’t know how many of visitors are familiar with Monkey Ball, never mind Monkey Ball racing, but, I tell you what: the little “shock bomb” available in the game – a.k.a. the best damn, most punishing weapon available – I call that one the Vortex. This is why it’s hard for me to view the name positively.)

(SIGH: As confessed in the comments, the original of this post implied only one team was missing.  As Emmett O’Connell pointed out, there are (still) two.  To be frank about it, I can certainly be a little sloppy.  But I like to think I make up for it by admitting my errors and prominently correcting them.)

An Initial 21 for Switzerland

Bradley released his initial roster to train in Europe for the October 17th friendly coming up against Switzerland. As expected, we get to see some new faces – whether or not they actually dress for the game is a different story.

Goalkeepers: Marcus Hahnemann (Reading [ENG]), Tally Hall (Esbjerg [NOR]), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)

Even Hahnemann’s recent 7 goal drubbing (in his defense, several of those goals were deflections and/or ridiculous) couldn’t keep him out. Despite his age, he deserves his shot and even though it might not have staying power, I am happy he’ll be in Switzerland. Expect him to be your number one with Seitz in back up. The 22 year old Tally Hall has yet to play at the senior level in Norway, but his inclusion doesn’t really surprise me. My question: if you’re going for youth, why not throw in Quentin Westberg who has shone in his chances with Troyes.

Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham [ENG]), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover [GER]), Dan Califf (Aalborg [DEN]), Jay Demerit (Watford [ENG]), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard Liege [BEL]), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock [GER]), Steve Purdy (1860 Munich [GER])

Heath Pearce is enjoying learning the hard way in the Bundesliga but has shown real well to have a good chance to get into this line up. You’ll probably still see ‘Dolo, Boca, Gooch, and Demerit start. Steve Purdy has been lining up for 1860 Munich’s second team and is a big defender (6’4″, 190) that most likely won’t see time, but his first training camp will be an eye opener.

Midfielders: Freddy Adu (Benfica [POR]), DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers [SCO]), Michael Bradley (Heerenveen [HOL]), Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Hamburg SV [GER]), Eddie Lewis (Derby [ENG]), Danny Szetela (Racing Santander [ESP])

Eddie Lewis is back in there after making the jump from Leeds United to Derby County in the EPL with renewed vigor. Between Kenny Miller and Lewis, they’ve been Derby’s only lifelines. Feilhaber has found his way into the first team, playing in the 1-0 loss to Reading this past weekend. Maurice Edu’s presence in this roster has been a long-time coming as his play – though erratic at times – has NOT been typical of a rookie. I look forward to seeing him get a chance.

Forwards: Clint Dempsey (Fulham [ENG]), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), Preston Zimmerman (Hamburg SV [GER]), Sal Zizzo (Hannover [GER]).

Clint Dempsey has become a fan favorite at Craven Cottage and not given back his starting position since Hamuer Bouazza’s busted shoulder a month and a half ago. Zimmerman keeps scoring goals for HSV’s second team and is hoping to eventually get his chance, but for those scared of a Kamani Hill-like outcome it seems like this kid is ready for a couple sub appearances. Zizzo has yet to break into the first team at Hannover, but ‘Dolo says his progress is coming along. Findley is everyone’s question-mark, but his speed could complement Dempsey up top – although I think you’ll find Adu in that position. Many wanted to see Altidore but Bradley was right to leave him off for MLS Playoff duties (which you’ll notice that every MLS player included is part of team already statistically eliminated from the playoff race).

Overall, it’ll be an interesting look at the breadth of American talent. See how far it runs deep. Biggest surprises? Possible line-ups?