Poland 0-3 U.S. – Um, wow.

Here’s the funny thing about last night: we won the game. By that I mean, we have won games in the past – e.g. by the means of scoring at least one more goal than the other team – but the remarkable thing about last night was that we won. And this was in Europe and against a decent team and we looked better, collectively, certainly, but also, in some places, on an individual level. Well, all right.

As you’ll gather below, I’m just in love with the U.S. Men’s National Team right now – or the Yanquis, as I like to call them. Rather than bore you with a blow-by-blow run-down, I’ll bore you with several quick, hopefully interesting observations:

– Was Landon Donovan man of the match? Tempting thought. If nothing else, the man actually delivered solid set-pieces, several of them – a “holy shit” kind of thing all by itself. And I don’t care what anyone says or thinks, he did damn well on that breakaway in spite of missing the goal.

– Speaking of set-pieces, I would be freakin’ the frank out if I was Polish, or just supported their national team; they were all over the place on set-pieces. And against the U.S.

– If you’re wondering about the odd use of the word “frank” above, that was inspired by the show about the ghost hunters from Rhode Island that broadcasts on the Sci Fi Channel. Freaked out and unable to say “fuck,” one of the guys said something like “that is so frankin’ weird.” I just liked the sound of it. Back to the game… Continue reading

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USA in Poland, Roster for Wednesday: No Real Surprises

Except for the one and only Cory Gibbs – the oft-injured defender might make a return for his country before he returns for his club, Charlton.

GOALKEEPERS: Marcus Hahnemann (Reading FC), Tim Howard (Everton FC)

DEFENDERS: Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jay DeMerit (Watford FC), Cory Gibbs (Charlton Athletic), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)

MIDFIELDERS: Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Eddie Lewis (Derby County)

FORWARDS: Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC), Eddie Johnson (Fulham FC), Josh Wolff (1860 Munich)

Clearly, no Edu, Altidore or Adu because of the Olympic Qualifying. Is there anyone else that should have been included…? Is Eddie Lewis really that important to this squad that we need to keep calling him in? Despite their 1-0 OT loss to Honduras, is there anyone else other than the three mentioned above that you would like to see apart of the set-up soon – Orozco, Hill, Holden?

The game will be shown on FSC at 3:30pm.

England win, EPL goes even more foreign?

ENG vs. SWI: England got by a mediocre Switzerland side led by teenager (and now cap-tied, thankfully) Eron Derdiyok. The Three Lions’ 2-1 win over the Swiss featured old David James and a “there’s only one David Beckham” chant, the return of Jermaine Jenas and Matthew Upson, and a final reflection of Capello amounting to “we need lots of work”. Only several on the field showed any sort of urgency – the two Coles (Joe and Ashley), Steven Gerrard fought to get things moving in the midfield, and Shaun Wright-Phillips came on and ultimately provided the winner. Wayne Rooney was shut-down by Senderos until he found enough time to provide Gerrard with space to hit SW-P for the winner. There was little flash and pizazz showcased by the English and if any were expecting that, they clearly forget that Fabio Capello is at the helm now. This is the same guy that was axed from Real Madrid after not playing Madrid’s fluid, attacking style (still winning La Liga no less, and clearly there were more factors than just tactics). Either way, England is going to have a whole spring and summer to improve as they make their charge towards World Cup 2010 without a European Championship to play for.

FOREIGN GAMES?: The 2011-2012 EPL season looks to be one to remember if the Premier League goes through with an outlined plan they have set up a press conference to announce today. There is expected to be an addition of 1 extra game for each of the 20 squads, in a foreign destination. This is to take advantage of the growing worldwide interest of the EPL. Ultimately, on and even under the surface, this just looks like another way for EPL to make more cash…and I don’t think they’ll even deny that. The EPL has a home and away structure right now – why add an odd game in there against an opponent picked out of a hat, in a location they could play a friendly at and STILL make the same amount of money (apparently, the ‘Big Four’ would be kept from playing each other. That’s acknowledging the fact that it’s only a four horse race all year and the parity in the EPL is for shit). The report referenced a successful NFL match-up between the New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins held at Wembley Stadium – but what they didn’t mention was the fact that it was WORKED into the existing schedule structure. The NFL didn’t add a game to make things work. Listen, would it be cool to see Manchester United take on Reading in New York City? Sure…hell, it would be heaven for some. But to add another game to do it? Let me know what you think…

Here are the pros.