Thursday, September 06, 2007

Nothing Much To Say

I'm on vacation in southern Utah right now. It was odd this morning being in Tropic, Utah in a small general store and having a bunch of old people speaking in German around you. Not the sort of thing that I'd expect in Utah, let alone a town of a few hundred people. Bryce Canyon National Park has been great. One thing I have notice don the trip is soccer. With the rental car I got Sirius. It seems that if they don't have one of their 2 call-in shows on, they're re-broadcasting a game. Today they had Fulham-Spurs. I caught the end of it. As I left Bryce Canyon National Park, Tottenham were up 3-1. Before I even got back into town, it was 3-2. And after sitting in the car knowing it would come, it was 3-3. It had me thinking tonight, how much more money and time will Jol get at Spurs? I think he's down well to improve the team. The question is what does the board actually expect from him? Do they expect a Champions League spot this year? Are they happy with UEFA Cup? No Europe at all? Surely they haven't let him spend loads and loads of money on players. What exactly do they expect in return?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Football + Stripping

Leave it to the French... :)

Crew - Rapids Game

FC Rocky has a good take on the Crew - Rapids game from Sunday. I agree that Conor Casey looked good. He's finally match fit and seems to be healthy (knock-on-wood). If he can continue to play as he has it will show why Colorado gave Toronto a major allocation to bring him back to his home town.

Monday, September 03, 2007

US - Brazil Roster

Below is the list of players named to the US - Brazil match. Am I the only one surprised to see Chris Seitz named to this one?

Forwards: Davy Arnaud (Kansas City Wizards), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (Kansas City Wizards), Josh Wolff (1860 Munich).

Midfielders: Clint Dempsey (Fulham), DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers), Michael Bradley (Heerenveen), Bobby Convey (Reading), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids).

Defenders: Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham), Jay DeMerit (Watford), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock), Frank Simek (Sheffield Wednesday), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United).

Goalkeepers: Tim Howard (Everton FC), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake).

Is It Time For Conor Casey To Be Called-Up?

You may be thinking "Conor Casey called up to the US Men's National Team?" and I can't blame you. But that's what Kartik over at Major League Soccer is calling for, Ben Olsen and Conor Casey to be called up by the USMNT coach Bob Bradley. I don't have a problem with Olsen. I have 2 issues with Conor Casey being called up.

The first issue is the quality of play, or lack of it, that we've seen out of Casey. As Kartik states " his early play in MLS after leaving Germany earlier this year was pathetic." Why would someone call in a player that has recently played so poorly? Well, the answer in MLS talk's case was "But Casey has in the past four Colorado Rapids game completely regained his confidence, scoring two goals and contributing to several more. Casey has held off Daniel Osorno, the longtime Mexican National Team forward to keep the starting striker position with the Rapids." Where does one start? First off, Osorno came to the Rapids out of shape. He first showed up in Colorado before the 4th of July. The word on the street was that if Osorno couldn't show he was improving his fitness, he wasn't going to get a deal. More so Osorno was brought in to play on the left side of the midfield. There really hasn't been direct competition for a spot between Casey and Osorno.

Beside not wanting to take someone because they have allegedly beat out a washed up ex-Mexican national team player for a starting spot at their club (as stated, not really the case since Osorno is used as an LM), why would you want to use criteria like "did they play really well in the last 4 games?" when selecting a player for the USMNT? If that were the criteria for making the national team every American in DC United's starting 11 should be on the USMNT for the game against Brazil.

Has Conor Casey looked good the last 4 games? Yes, he has. 2 goals and an assist are great. And in a game like the one against New England he could've had another one or three. But when it comes to the US Mens National Team surely higher standards than playing well in a few games are needed. It should be ones play over a long period of time combined with their talents, skills and how they can make the USMNT as a whole better.

And that brings me to the other big issue with calling up Conor Casey at this point, the timing. Part of Casey's issues with clubs in Germany has been the timing of his call-ups. He was at a time when he was trying to establish himself at a new club and would called away for the USMNT. One time he came back from USMNT duty with a serious injury. It's hard to impress your new coach and gel with your new teammates when you're not playing even on the training pitch. And in this case Conor Casey is still relatively new to the Colorado Rapids. He's still working at getting back into shape after having some minor injury problems that have kept him out of the team. Bob Bradley, if you're reading this, just let the guy get his land legs back. Let him continue to focus on playing well for his club, learning his new teammates and most importantly staying 100% fit and healthy. Let's worry about calling him up until after this MLS season is over. Until then, just give the guy a chance to try to be healthy.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Salaries Updated

Props to Laurie for this link. It looks like the MLS Players Union does publish a list of salaries that is updated during the season. Interesting to see Osorono is making $138,000 while Sanneh is only making $60,000.

KSE Being A Bit Touchy?

Apparently there are people in KSE who aren't happy with blogs like this one that don't walk the party line. Apparently they don't have very thick skin. When things happen like the Colorado Rapids only winning 10 of 40 games and fans, including people at Black Panther, start calling for a new coach some people at KSE get offended. Is Kroenke Sport Enterprises shocked that the very public businesses they own would end up having all sorts of people criticizing how they're managed?