Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Curious Case of Dax McCarty

After watching every game this season...Dax deserves a shot at taking on Beckerman for 3rd or 4th spot USMNT defensive mid spot. He sprints for 90 minutes, can control the flow of the game, and always works to make sure his defense is in a position to make a play. When I think about Dax and his play this quote comes to mind:
"When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all."

I hope people definitely noticed when he did this while captaining the US National team in practice:
And then he comes to the New York Red Bulls. A team that has two legitimate legends of the game in Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill. Any fan of the team will tell you that although Cahill is probably the team MVP and hard working, no real fan would tell you he worked harder than Dax McCarty. In fact, nobody has worked harder than Dax, and he doesn't work hard for nothing either. Dax was in the top 15 most efficient passers in the league last year while scoring and assisting in some of the best and most crucial goals for Red Bull on their way to the top of the league. 
Dax's celebration after scoring the game winning header
in the waning moments
Dwayne De Rosario is an afterthought that this point for most people following the team. Going back to that trade most people were rightly angry at management for giving away one of the league's most prolific scorers and creators for what felt like nothing at the time. Turns out he's been our greatest savior. (You can read more about the trade here from SBnation) Dax McCarty is the workhorse for the team that finally proved naysayers wrong. The team that finally overcame adversity. The team that scored goal after goal in the waning minutes to secure crucial points. The team that won their first trophy ever. Dax McCarty is the quiet catalyst working his way to victory.

Plus he's cool, accessible through media, makes legitimate use of his twitter and mustache...what is not to love about Dax, and that is made even more apparent to me every time my fiance tells me how much she loves him. I don't mind Dax.

The Ball Relaxor

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Balancing Act

Today I was playing in a 5-a-side indoor game in which my team was up at halftime 7-4. Over the course of the second half, we started to get a bit tired. The other team had a few substitutes while we had none and were playing on fumes towards the end of the game. This other team started to creep in goals, getting lucky deflections to score and lucky saves to prevent us from scoring. With a minute left the game stood at 9-9, although we were markedly the much more skilled team.

Thirty seconds left. We are doing everything in our power to use every calorie in our body to push it faster. The ball flies into the box, the opposing goalie makes a play for the ball and misses the punch. At my feet, I kick the ball towards the goal and on the goal-line stands an opposing player. The opposing player raises his hand and stops the ball from going in. The student-refs don’t call anything and the game ends in a tie, followed by a dry taste in my mouth. Think: the feeling of the United States getting robbed by Germany in 2002 by a goal-line handball at the World Cup. Except this was worse because it personally happened to me, I’m selfish like that.
Earlier in the MLS playoffs, the New York Red Bulls got Roberto Salazar for assignment to their first playoff game. In Houston as part of a 2-game aggregate series. The game looked promising in the first half as the Red Bulls were up 2-0 on old Eastern Conference foes. The second half proceeded to unravel in which Jamison Olave, arguably the team’s season MVP and best defender gets a straight red card. Two goals are allowed in by the end of the game and New York loses control of the series 2-2. They then proceed to lose their home match in extra time in which calls were made to rouse the crowd into chanting "REF YOU SUCK, REF YOU SUCK".

The thing is…every single footballing fan in the world experiences something close to this. Whether it be at your over-30 game tonight or a bad taste from two world cups past, these feelings are part of the sport. Football is beautiful in the way that everything will balance with time. The highs of New York beating Chicago 5-2 to win the league table, the look on my fiancé’s face when the USA destroys Mexico and wins their CONCACAF group, the crazy elation of Manchester City taking the league at the last minute. Every indoor game, every club appearance, and every international competition is a chance to make us cry, for good or bad. Over time I hope I'll be on the winning end. Please bless me soccer gods.

Monday, November 11, 2013

25 Former Players Red Bull Fans Would Take Back

25 Former Players of Metro/Red Bull

  1. Jozy Altidore - DP3
  2. Michael Bradley - DP3
  3. Edson Buddle - at reduced salary
  4. Ricardo Clark - at reduced salary
  5. Kenny Cooper - at reduced salary
  6. Danilo da Silva - turned into a stud, currently playing for Dynamo Kyiv
  7. Brad Davis - wouldn't leave Houston
  8. Dwayne De Rosario - at reduced salary to spell Henry/Cahill for CCL games
  9. Todd Dunivant - answer for left back troubles
  10. Eddie Gaven - lure out of retirement
  11. Amado Guevara - wouldn't happen, but nice to wish
  12. Jason Hernandez - still a decent reserve back
  13. Corey Hertzog - still kills it in USL but can't get on track in MLS
  14. Tim Howard - DP3
  15. Mac Kandji - with regained form
  16. Matt Kassel - still some MLS hope for the kid
  17. Joel Lindpere - at reduced salary to push Steele
  18. Mike Magee - given considering his recent performances
  19. Danny O'Rourke - backup to Dax
  20. Dominic Oduro - speedy forward that Henry and Cahill could easily spring
  21. Victor Palsson - talent is showing in Ervedise
  22. Tim Ream - starting now for Bolton in Championship
  23. Dane Richards - answer to the right wing if Sam isn't around. May have lost a step.
  24. Jan Gunnar Solli - could have used him a couple times this year
  25. Marvell Wynne - still an MLS caliber player

Marco Reus Has a Release Clause. That is all.

Borussia Dortmund chief Hans-Joachim Watzke has confirmed the release clause in Marco Reus' contract that could see the midfielder leave Germany at the end of the season.
Marco Reus Dortmund celeb v Bayern
GettyImagesReus is becoming one of Europe's most sought after players.
Reported interest from Arsenal, Barcelona, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain in the 24-year-old led to rumours that Reus had an escape clause embedded into his deal upon joining the club from Borussia Monchengladbach in the summer of 2012.
The Germany international has established himself as a mainstay in Jurgen Klopp's side, but Dortmund could be powerless to stop him accepting an offer from a rival club.
"Marco Reus possesses a release clause option in his current contract at our club," Watzke told SPORT1media. "He could leave our club due to that. He is, however, the only player in our first team squad that has such a contract clause."
Reus has a contract with Dortmund until 2017, but media reports suggest a figure of 35 million euros (29.4 million pounds) could see him leave before then.

USA Roster Released for Upcoming Friendlies vs. Scotland and Austria

USA vs. Scotland in Glasglow on Friday November 15th at 3pm on ESPN2

USA vs. Austria in Vienna on Tuesday November 19th at 2:45pm on NBCSN


GOALKEEPERS (3) : Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)

DEFENDERS (7) : DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest), Michael Orozco (Puebla)

MIDFIELDERS (7) : Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Roma), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Stoke City)

FORWARDS (6) : Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

Biggest Surprises: 
Klinsmann did not call in any players that are currently competing in the MLS playoffs. What seem to be Brazil 2014 locks Graham Zusi and Matt Besler are staying in Kansas City to prepare for the home leg against Houston on the 23rd. Landon Donovan and Juan Agudelo are staying out injured for these friendlies but expect Donovan to be active in the off-season, while the latter will be going to Stoke in January to join Americans Geoff Cameron and Brek Shea. And speaking of...

Brek Shea: Injured in an exhibition against the Philadelphia Union, Brek has started out the premier league season injured. After getting two appearances in the league cup for Stoke in the past month and less than 90 minutes of actual playing time, he will be on the roster for the US. Apparently playing well enough to be included over the likes of Timothy Chandler. 

Eric Lichaj: After being omitted several times in the past few selections for Klinsmann, Lichaj has been showing well for Nottingham Forest in the English Championship. This was enough to get another chance to strut his stuff. Since being hailed the savior at our woeful right back position two years ago, Lichaj has done little to shore up the slot. Although if the coach likes Cameron in that spot that he's been playing for Stoke, he might have to flip sides and play left back and push Beasley or Fabian Johnson up to midfield.

Chris Wondolowski: What the F*CK. Did he not literally just have his worst season while apparently playing on a broken foot that apparently needs a few months in order to apparently be at full strength?! Apparently not.

My Starting 11:

Micah Richards Cheating Against Sunderland

Messi is Out 6-8 Weeks!

The Club’s medical services confirmed after tests this Monday morning that Leo Messi has a torn hamstring muscle in his left thigh and is expected to miss the next 6 to 8 weeks.  The first phase of Messi’s recovery will be covered in Barcelona and he will then travel to Buenos Aires. Messi was substituted on 19 minutes of the Betis- Barça game on Sunday. The game at the Benito Vilamarin was Messi’s 16th game of the season, during which he has scored 14 goals.
Unlucky with injuries

This is Messi’s third injury this season, on August 21st in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup against Atletico Madrid, he suffered a bruised thigh which kept him out for a week and then against Almeria on September 28th, he suffered a small muscle tear in his right thigh which kept him on the sidelines for three weeks.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Newest Legends Cards: Pele is Rated 95

I don't even know where to start. Basically a hybrid of Messi and Ronaldo. Look at those god damned stats on his card, not to mention the best striker workrate in the game h/l, 5* skills and 4* weakfoot?! We are all incredibly fucked. I can't wait to see the first one in game and call that twelve year old a coin buying wanker. And just for your own enjoyment, I included an actual Pele, Messi, Ronaldo hybrid.

My USA - BPL Team

This team is so far my favorite on FUT 14. Before anyone says anything about how this team could play better, it can't, this is my absolute favorite team so far. In the 4-4-2 with 2 CDM's patrolling the midfield.

Eddie Johnson - Obafemi Martins

These two are insane together. Eddie Johnson is probably the best silver striker in the game. 85 pace, 82 heading, and 4 star skills. The best part about this pairing is that they have a strong link from being on the same club team. Martins comes in with 93 pace and his heading and shot stats are amazing for what he can do. These top 2 are perfect for the give-and-go and dink it over the slower defense.

USABPL FUT 14 team


Josh Gatt got a huge upgrade this year keeping his pace but also gaining 4* skill moves. This guy is absolutely ridiculous and coupled with Jones and Chandler the right side of my team gets down the field and bombs in crosses, or finds that incisive run inside. Matt Jarvis is a hidden gem in this game. H/L workrates make him a perfect fit for a midfield that includes an incredibly aggressive Mikel and especially Jermaine Jones. If you've never used Jones before, use him now. He is probably one of the best CDMs in the game given his pace, workrates, and his mental stats: 89 AGGRESSION!


 Sliding Tackle
 Standing Tackle


Baines is awesome. He is simply like having a great defender, and a great contributor to the offensive game in one package. His stats for everything are insane including shot, free kicks, and passing. I just recently got his in-form and oh my god he is dirty. David Luiz and John Anthony Brooks are stalwarts in the middle and do not let anything get dunked over their heads, and hold firm when bombarded with crossing teams. Guzan's inform is fucking beastly, and you can interchange him with Tim Howard's new in-form as well.