07 June 2007

Coffee is Good

SCOUTING REPORT: If you caught the Toronto-RBNY match last night, let me see if I can quickly summarize: Juan Pablo Angel is that good, putting two goals against Toronto's backup keeper. That being said, RBNY did not play particularly well. Are they scary with JPA on the field? Sure. Are they beatable? Without a doubt. Even with Reyna, the midfield and defense were not entirely organized except in terms of keeping a line. This team is not invincible (as if you ever thought they were.) That being said, this may have been a game in poor form for them, and they may play (and should play) better against DC. Still, I walk away from last night's game more optimistic than perhaps I was at the start of the week.

THE SIMMS: Steve Goff with a quick write-up on the Clyde Simms Experiment, and with some notes at RFK. Both good reading. He also says this:

Remember those scoring opportunities that Nate Jaqua botched the other night for Los Angeles against D.C. United? Juan Pablo Angel will not miss them.
Of course, that news won't be a surprise to you, right?
But if you're not troubled by the opening of this game, just think about New York coming to town. Angel and Altidore won't allow us to get by the same way, and that has to make you nervous. It certainly does me.

LANDON - "I'M JUST A HUMAN": I'm going to stray a moment from our ostensible DCU focus to talk about a post Luis Bueno has at Sideline Views:

Except, there is one thing they [Landon's critics] probably don't take into consideration. Landon actually lives his own life. He's not a figure in a video game; he's actually flesh and blood.
With all due to respect to both Luis and Landon, this is bullshit. We know he's human. But as a human, he made a choice to become the face of US Soccer. He's the one being interviewed on the beach. He's the one starring in the MLS ads. He's the one doing "Don't Discriminate" Public Service Announcements. He's the one that took on the role of a leader to broker a labor deal between US Soccer and the US National Team union. Maybe it wasn't his idea to become the embodiment of US Soccer, but it is a role he chose to accept and embrace. And once he did that, he takes on responsibility when it comes to playing on the field. It's not all just being in adverts and talking to the suits, you also have to put your cleats on and play to represent your country. Luis quotes Landon as saying "I've done it pretty much every year for eight years. I can comfortably say that I deserve to have one tournament off." Dude, you took the 2006 World Cup off. If you don't want to be the face of US Soccer, then give that role up to someone else. That's a fine choice to make, become like any other US National Team player. But don't pretend to be a leader if you won't represent your country. Copa America will be the most significant tournament outside of a world cup final that the USA has played in since the 2003 Confederations Cup. Go ahead and make your choice, but have some integrity about it.

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At 07 June, 2007 11:00, Anonymous Unitedfan18 said...

For gods sakes, what is with this vendetta against Goff? Yes, you guys both expressed the same viewpoint, big deal! It's not like that is a unique piece opinion there, its pretty common knowledge and I'm absolutely certain the Goff is not ripping off you blog. I really enjoy reading this site, but that is tempered when you repeatedly put up comments like that. Grow up.

At 07 June, 2007 11:03, Anonymous Still Kicking said...

Have to agree with your suspicions regarding NYRB based on play against TFC. I am at a disadvantage having been at the DC United game, but only saw NYRB on television. Apart from the Angel scoring streak, I would pick DC as the stronger team. However, please keep a sense of caution. Toronto is a swirling young creation and although we are thrilled that we have a measure of consistency, I would not bet the house...

At 07 June, 2007 11:08, Blogger D said...

UF18: You're overreading on this one. It's not a vendetta at all. I know it's not a unique viewpoint, I just think it's part of the running joke around here that we manage to be just a few hours ahead of the conventional wisdom. And that's the thing: It's conventional wisdom, not owned by anyone at a certain point. See here for a previous non Goff example. I just like to note the occasions when we express something early that pretty much everyone seems to agree on. Is that so wrong?

Still Kicking: Oh, I didn't be the house. I do have my pride on the line though, thanks to a bet with The Kin of Fish.

At 07 June, 2007 15:08, Blogger elopingcamel said...

What makes Copa America "the most significant tournament outside of a world cup final that the USA has played in since the 2003 Confederations Cup"?

At 07 June, 2007 15:12, Blogger D said...

Several items. First, while the Copa Oro is our confederation's cup, it's one that we've demonstrated we can win. Placed in the USA, it is one that we should win.

However, this will be the first time we've played in Copa America since '95. That means it is the first chance to test MLS player development against some really tough opposition (argentina, Brazil's B Team, as well as Columbia and other teams that aren't exactly chumps). In short, it represents a huge test for US talent and a great benchmark as to where we are. Copa Oro is a match where we have a decent shot of winning, and getting to the Confederations Cup, which would be interesting. But that's a hypothetical, though a tantalizing one, while Copa America is here now.

At 07 June, 2007 15:48, Blogger elopingcamel said...

That makes sense. I guess I was wondering why it was being equated with a World Cup final. There is no question but that you'd send the very best you could to a World Cup final. However, an argument could be made that the experience for our younger, untested, unproven players against mighty (even as a 'B' team) Brazil and Argentina would make it acceptable to let Landon "take a break".
I don't really know where I stand on the subject.
I'd love to see us win 'em both, but how likely is a win at Copa America even with LD?

At 07 June, 2007 15:53, Blogger D said...

Probability of a win? Asymptotically approaching 0% in Copa America. But the probability of having a tremendous learning experience and a chance to truly understand where we stand vis-a-vis the best int he world is huge. Outside of Mexico, and perhps Costa Rica (and perhaps Canada) there just isn't a lot to test yourself against in CONCACAF. In Copa America, each game is a test, in tough conditions, against good opposition.

At 07 June, 2007 16:19, Anonymous bdr said...

I wish the US Soccer Fed thought Copa was as important and you and me do. Either they don't, which is a stupid shame, or they're insinuating they don't, which is loser talk.

As for Goff and you and JPA this Saturday: I said the same thing too. That it's that obvious speaks to United's problems.

At 07 June, 2007 16:25, Blogger D said...

BDR: Correct on all counts. And I saw you noting the exact same thing we did wrt JPA. It is, at this point, obvious.

At 08 June, 2007 08:48, Anonymous Jeremy said...

After LD's performance at the World Cup, I personally don't even want him at Copa. I think that our chances of winning are better if we are not relying on the prima donna of US Soccer to decide if he really wants to play or not. He has proven over and over that he can't handle real competition, so give someone else the chance to step up.

At 08 June, 2007 11:44, Blogger Kinney said...

I beleive the Copa Oro is more important because if we win it we go to the Confederations Cup in South Africa. This is basically our best chance to play "quality opposition" next year. Also, the Copa Oro is a must win for the US. They don't have any excuses. I wouldn't bet on the US against Mexico but as a fan I expect them to win it. That is a much different mind set than "showing well" at the Copa America.

I think that we should bleed our young guys a the Copa America. Let them get used to it. We have enough depth now (and no real superstars) that there won't be too much of a dropoff and those guys are the ones that we will be looking to fill out the roster in 2010.


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