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Archive for the ‘U.S. National Teams’ Category

Lubos Kubik

Jesse Marsch and Lubos Kubik have recently joined the coaching staff of the US Full Men’s National Team under Bob Bradley. I have seen a few stories mentioning these appointments, but I thought I would take a closer look. My interest is how these choices will affect the performance of the team.

I thought that losing Piotr Nowak as an assistant was a major loss due to his experience and pedigree. He played in Poland, Turkey, Switzerland, Germany, and MLS. He also captained the Polish National Team after the fall of Communism. He also had head coach experience at DC United, where he was fairly successful.

I wasn’t that worried about losing John Hackworth, but he was quite good with young players. He had experience coaching college soccer. He also headed up the Bradenton, FL US U-17 Residency Program. As a player he wasn’t that outstanding. (more…)

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If you’re a USA fan who isn’t up on the Oranje, Manchester City, or the Hamburgers before that, you might have wondered “who was that objectionable oaf who broke poor Stu’s leg?”, and later on “who is that cowardly s%!$head who blatantly dove for a free kick while under pressure in his own half?” That, my friends was Nigel De Jong, who along with cementing his role as the Netherlands’ midfield enforcer has thrust himself into the upper echelons of the new generation of dirty players. While diving is no strange thing in the Dutch side (see Robben, Arjen and Sneijder, Wesley), De Jong’s nasty play for club and country has added a new dimension to Holland’s game. “Total football” indeed.

Inspired by De Jong’s brilliant display of anti-football, I began to think, who are some of the bigger dirt-merchants in today’s game? Here goes..

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The US loses to the Netherlands in Holland by one goal. Coming away with a 2-1 loss to a full strength Dutch side at home without some of your key players is a pretty good result in my book. I thought that there were positives to take away from the game. I also like that Bob Bradley was able to use all of his 6 substitutions.

The positives were that the US walked out of Holland only having lost by one goal, especially when both Dutch goals were a bit lucky. The foul on Sneijder was foolish, but Sneijder obviously dove on the play. I think the referee could easily have waved play on. In addition Klaas Jan Huntelaar’s goal went in off an unlucky deflection. Beyond that I liked how the US pressured over the entirety of the field on many occassions. I thought the US looked like it could play against the Dutch even if they were on their heels a bit. Furthermore, I like that the US showed again how they will fight the whole game and not give up. It is nice to see the attacking flurries even at the end of the game when you are two goals down. (more…)

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Winners of the 2010 Algarve Cup

The US women's national team, winners of the 2010 Algarve Cup

The wind swept pitch at the Estadio Algarve in Faro, Portugal may have been worse for the wear after steady rain and three previous Algarve Cup matches but the sun came out to shine as the US women’s national team took to the field at the start of their 3-2 victory over Germany to win their seventh title in the history of the tournament.

The three Philadelphia Independence players on the US squad all featured in the final with Heather Mitts at the back for the full 90 minutes and Lori Lindsey replacing Amy Rodriguez in the 59th minute.

Delran, New Jersey’s Carli Lloyd, who plays for Sky Blue FC in the WPS, scored the first US goal in the 18th minute against a German side that had outscored their opponents 16-0 in group play. Amy Wambaugh of the Washington Freedom’s scored the second US goal and her third of the tournament in the 22rd minute with an assist from Lloyd’s club teamate and fellow New Jersey native Heather O’Reilly. (more…)

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The opening, much like the entirety of the first half, was marked by the usual stuttering of two teams feeling each other out that’s seen in many a friendly. For the US, there was the danger of risking a perceived “major setback” to their World Cup hopes should a world power- Holland, who went 8-0-0 in European qualifying with 17 goals for and a mere two against, was the first team to stamp its ticket for South Africa- hand them an embarrassing result, while the Dutch couldn’t stomach any shortcomings before a raucous orange clad crowd in Amsterdam against a team still considered to be an afterthought on football’s grand stage.

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The USA plays the Netherlands today in a match in Holland. The game is scheduled to start at 2:30pm ET and can be seen on ESPN2, ESPN 360, and Galavision. The rosters for the teams are below:

USA ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS (7): Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes), Jay DeMerit (Watford), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Frank Simek (Sheffield Wednesday), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)
MIDFIELDERS (7): DaMarcus Beasley (Rangers), Alejandro Bedoya (Orebro), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Landon Donovan (Everton), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers), José Torres (Pachuca)
FORWARDS (3): Jozy Altidore (Hull City), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), Eddie Johnson (Aris Thessaloniki)

NETHERLANDS ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax), Piet Velthuizen (Vitesse Arnhem), Michel Vorm (FC Utrecht);
DEFENDERS (7): Edson Braafheid (Celtic), Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Feyenoord), John Heitinga (Everton), Joris Mathijsen (Hamburg), Andre Ooijer (PSV), Ron Vlaar (Feyenoord), Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax);
MIDFIELDERS (8): Ibrahim Afellay (PSV), Orlando Engelaar (PSV), Mark van Bommel (Bayern Munich), Nigel de Jong (Manchester City), Stijn Schaars (AZ Alkmaar), Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan), Rafael van der Vaart (Real Madrid), Demy de Zeeuw (Ajax);
FORWARDS (5): Ryan Babel (Liverpool), Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool), Eljero Elia (Hamburg), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (AC Milan), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich).

The Dutch have brought a full strength team and boast some well known international stars, while the US has brought a strong team that boasts a number of players still trying to earn their place in the US World Cup Squad. (more…)

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Lori Lindsey of the Philadelphia Independence has three assists for the USWNT at the Algarve Cup

The US Women face current Women’s World Cup holders Germany in the Algarve Cup final today. You can follow today’s match from 11 a.m. at US Soccer’s Match Tracker.

The US and Germany are currently listed first and second in the FIFA/Coca Cola Women’s World Rankings and faced off against one another in the 2005 and 2006 Algarve Cup finals. The US won the first encounter and lost the second on penalty kicks.

This will be the the US team’s eighth consecutive Algarve Cup final. Having previously beaten Iceland 2-0 and Norway 2-1 in the earlier rounds of play in Group B, on Monday the US defeated Sweden 2-0 to finish undefeated in the group, sweet revenge for the loss last year on penalty kicks to Sweden in the tournament final.

Lauren Cheyney leads the US with three goals and an assist while Inka Grings leads Germany with five goals. While ten different players have scored for Germany, only Cheney and Abby Wambach, with two goals, have scored for the US. The US record against Germany is 17-4-4, with a record of 7-1-3 since 2001. When the countries last met in Germany on October 29, 2009, the US won 1-0.

Representing the Philadelphia Independence at the tournament are defender Heather Mitts, midfielder Lori Lindsey, who had an assist in each of the group games, and forward Amy Rodriguez. (more…)

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