Player Ratings: U.S. 1, Czech Republic 0

September 4, 2014

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“Despite missing many of its veterans, the United States men’s national team opened the cycle that will lead to the 2018 World Cup with a hard-fought exhibition win over the Czech Republic on Wednesday in Prague. The United States started strong, with a solid performance from its central midfield, composed of Alejandro Bedoya, Mix Diskerud and Joe Corona. It was through those three players that the Americans scored the game’s only goal. Through it all, the team got outstanding goalkeeping from Brad Guzan and Nick Rimando, who are seeking to supplant Tim Howard during his hiatus from international play. Central defenders John Brooks, Michael Orozco and Tim Ream played well as well.” NY Times

For U.S. youngsters, win vs. Czechs about ideology, not victory
“Future editions of U.S. Soccer’s media guide will note Alejandro Bedoya scored the only goal in Wednesday’s 1-0 win over the Czech Republic. Press reports will praise goalkeeper Nick Rimando for his stalwart second-half showing and box scores might indicate that Joe Gyau, Greg Garza and 18-year-old Emerson Hyndman made their international debuts. But that’s all it is – trivia. The performances and moments that shaped Wednesday’s friendly will have no bearing on U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann when he selects his team for the 2018 World Cup. And that’s no slight against those men. Four years can be a soccer lifetime.” SI


Five transfer window bargains

September 4, 2014

“It was another record-breaking transfer window in terms of money spent, but sometimes the most intelligent transfers cost extremely little and clubs that take a chance on overlooked players are frequently rewarded with fine performances. Here, then, are five of the bargains of this transfer window…” ESPN – Michael Cox


Tactical Analysis: Roma 2-0 Fiorentina | Giallorossi overcome Viola

September 4, 2014

“Roma 2-0 Fiorentina | A match that was about discipline and pressing culminated in the home side grapping their first 3 points of the Serie A 2014/15 season. With the result, Vincenzo Montella’s record in the Olympico as a coach reads an uninspiring 8 matches, 0 wins, 2 draws and 6 losses.” Outside of the Boot


Argentina takes World Cup final rematch with 4-2 win over Germany Print More

September 4, 2014

“Angel di Maria set up three goals and scored the fourth himself as Argentina trounced Germany 4-2 in their friendly game Wednesday to get a small measure of payback after losing to the host in the World Cup final. Argentina was up 4-0 after just 50 minutes to dampen the home side’s World Cup title celebrations in its first game since winning the final 1-0 in extra time in Brazil in July. With Lionel Messi absent due to a right leg injury, Di Maria assumed the instigator’s role, setting up Sergio Aguero in the 21st minute, Erik Lamela’s outstanding volley in the 40th, and Federico Fernandez’ headed goal two minutes after the interval.” SI


Tactical Analysis: Tottenham Hotspur 0-3 Liverpool | Difference in pressing & runs from midfield

September 4, 2014

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“Tottenham Hotspur 0-3 Liverpool | Two young managers, similar systems, exciting football, insistence on ground play, hard pressing, and quick pace. Both these sides and the men in charge had similarities, which even extended to their ambitions for the season. The game was meant to be close on paper, and turned out as planned for large parts of the opening 45, but the gulf in class showed as the game wore on with Liverpool emerging the better side.” Outside of the Boot


Idiot Ruins Game? Brief Interviews With Not-So-Hideous Pitch Invaders

September 4, 2014

“When you see someone running on the field during a sporting event, you probably think, That will never be me. Announcers shake their heads so vigorously it produces an audible rustling of their collars. The word ‘idiot’ gets tossed around a lot — ‘idiot on the field’ is often the phrase of choice. In fact, the Great American Idiot, Homer Simpson, ran onto the field once: The headline read ‘Idiot Ruins Game.’ It seems like there have been a lot of these idiots recently. There was Jordan Dunn, the man who took the free kick in West Ham’s opening match against Tottenham.” Grantland (Video)


Julian Green is walking into a mismanaged disaster club at Hamburg

September 4, 2014

“Imagine if Chelsea, the team that ranks third in the all-time Premier League table, wasn’t challenging for the title every year, but rather was fighting to avoid relegation. That’d be strange, right? Like watching a drunken executive wallow in the gutter. Chelsea isn’t supposed to be down there. To continue this thought experiment, imagine Chelsea’s answer, because it’s a “big club” that aspires to more, and because it has some resources, was to bring back a former star–let’s say Arjen Robben–to save the team. That’d be cool right? A returning hero riding into town to set things right again? This is basically the situation in the German Bundesliga, at Hamburger SV–the hero being Rafael van der Vaart, who returned to the club in 2012 but has been unable to affect much change.” Fusion