USA Downs Turkey

Clint Dempsey celebrates his game winning goal.

In a game that showcased a team that we’re much more likely to see in South Africa, the United States beat Turkey 2-1 in Philadelphia.  Two days ago I outlined the team that I wanted to see take the field today.  As it turns out, that was very close to the team we saw this afternoon.  Bob Bradley’s decision not to start Oguchi Onyewu in favor of Clarence Goodson was probably due to the lingering affects of knee surgery, but Onyewu saw significant minutes in the second half.  The one move that surprised me was Benny Feilhaber getting the start at one of the outside mid spots opposite of Landon Donovan.  It looked as if that decision would backfire immediately as Feilhaber made a terrible cross field pass right to the feet of a Turkish player who thankfully pushed the ball wide.  From there, he failed to make a serious impact before being taken off after halftime.  I think Jose Torres may have swiped his spot with his inspired second half play.  But more on that in a bit.

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Friday 5 – ESPN Commercials

I’m going to go ahead and rule out all of the Peyton Manning ones right now, because I could do an entire Friday 5 on just those. However to make up for the lack of Peyton-love in this post I’m going to make this Friday 5 extra special, and go ahead and make it a Friday 10. There are just entirely too many awesome ESPN commercials. I can sit here and watch them on YouTube all day long, so I couldn’t limit myself to just five. So without further ado, here are my ten personal favorite ESPN commercials of all time… well at least the ones I could find clips for. There was a great commercial when I was in grade school and it was for the Stump The Schwab show where the contestant is asked “who is the only Chargers wide receiver to ever make it to the Hall of Fame” and then the camera goes down under the floorboards and there’s this little puppet character sitting there watching the show that’s going on right above him on a minuscule TV and he’s sitting there saying “Laaaaance Allllllworth! Laaaaance Allllllworth! Laaaaaaaaaaaaaance Allllllllllllworth!” over and over again. It’s easily one of my favorite ESPN commercials ever. Continue reading

USA Makes Final Roster Cuts

I meant to do this yesterday but I was busy.  It happens.  Anyway, Bob Bradley made his final cuts from the provisional squad down to the 23 man team that will be representing the US in South Africa.  For the most part, I think he did a fine job.  One pick in particular confused me a bit, but we’ll get into that later.  First, let’s take a look at the team:

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USA Fails to Impress In First Warmup

I guess that headline is misleading since most of the first team wasn’t used tonight but it was still a disappointing performance.  Some players played their way into my good graces (not that it matters) and some certainly did not during the United States’ 4-2 loss to the Czech Republic.

Once again, this was not a good indication of how we’ll do in South Africa, it was more of a test run for the players who are on the bubble.  We’ll find out around noon tomorrow who is on the team and who will watch it from home.

We’ll start with the few players who impressed me tonight.  I was really watching two things this game: how the forwards performed and how Oguchi Onyewu held up in his first action in seven months.  What I got was a stellar performance, except for one ball that handcuffed him, from Clarence Goodson.  His play in the air was essential to both US goals.  Every set piece was sent to the back post toward Goodson who managed to get his head on a fair amount of them.  The US has relied on Onyewu to get his head on most set pieces since Brian McBride retired.  It would be nice to have another reliable threat in the air.  He also looked solid at the back, aside from the one glaring error that led to the Czech’s third goal.  Goodson should be packing his bags to Africa.

None of the forwards really impressed me, but if I had to pick two I’d go with Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez.  The announcers kept mentioning how Buddle and Eddie Johnson were working well together but Johnson never did anything that jumped out at me.  Brian Ching was also a nonfactor while he was in the game.  Still, Ching gets a spot on my team for experience alone.  At this point, Buddle would get the nod with Altidore up front for my team, assuming Dempsey stays in the midfield.

Robbie Rogers played well off the bench.  He showed some creativity on the flank and wasn’t afraid to test the Czech goal from distance with good shots.

Now for the bad.  Heath Pearce completely demolished any chance he had of making this team.  He was beaten badly twice leading to Czech goals each time.  He wasn’t in the game long enough to have that much of a negative impact.  He was bad.

I was also not a fan of Jonathan Bornstein’s play in the back.  He tends to get beat and then give up fouls in dangerous areas.  That’s not good enough in the World Cup.

Oguchi Onyewu’s performance was…meh.  Not good, not bad.  He was obviously out-jumped on the first goal, which should never happen, but the rest of his game was fine.  I was not encouraged by the way he was limping after he exited in the 65th minute.  I’ll be interested to see how much and how well he plays on Saturday against Turkey.

I’m not sure anyone played his way onto or off the team tonight since Bradley is set to announce the final squad tomorrow but it’s still fun to speculate.  I’ll try and get another post up tomorrow about the final squad, but I have sketchy internet around here, so no promises.

Doggin’ It

I know it’s been a few days, but I haven’t had the time to post and this is pretty important.  A few nights ago Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez was pulled from the 2nd inning of a game after lazily jogging to a ball he had booted into the outfield.  Crappy video below:

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A Good Read

I came across this article on StampedeBlue.com (one of my favorite websites for Colts information) and found it quite interesting. BigBlueShoe wrote it and I found it informative, thought provoking and very well written so I figured I’d go ahead and link to it here, seeing as how Bryan and I haven’t done too well at posting our own material lately. As most of our readers aren’t Colts fans, you likely won’t be quite as intrigued by the post as I, but I hope you’ll enjoy it nonetheless.

Here’s the link: http://www.stampedeblue.com/2010/5/18/1474393/the-winds-of-change-a-j-foyt-and#storyjump

2011 NFL Mock Draft I (05/15)

Well the 2011 NFL Draft is only about 341 days away, which means it’s time for my first 2011 mock draft. I’m determining the draft order by using vegasinsider.com’s odds on who will win Super Bowl XLV, which I am listing with each team. The only exception to this is Oakland, because they traded their first round pick to the patriots, so in that slot I am listing the Raiders odds of winning the Super Bowl, not the pats. This is just one round, because let’s be real about it, a mock draft of any length with the actual draft this far away is just ridiculous… but it’s fun to do, so here it is: Continue reading

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