So what did we learn today against a game but, honestly, unspectacular Socceroo side?
Deuce don't take no crap.
Findlay may not be entirely ready for prime time:
Edson Buddle continues make a hell of a case for himself:
And Bob Bradley continues to confound everyone with choices that, to us mere mortals, make no sense at all.
For example: what in the name of Joe Gaetjens were Donovan and Dempsey doing on the pitch at the end? And if the answer is "To get them ready" then where was Edu, Torres and Holden?
Do the names Didier Drogba and Rio Ferdinand ring a bell, Bob?
I guess we should be kind to poor old Bob who, John Harkes reliably informs us, tends to think, over think, rethink and then think a few more times about pretty much everything.
(Something which Harksey ought to try; then maybe so much imbecilic blather wouldn't end up coming out of his mouth)
He probably isn't all that wild about starting Edson Buddle against England, but it's beginning to look like he has no choice.
Even if he gets fit, Altidore isn't going to be 100%. Robbie Findlay is - well, I know his role is to "spread the defense" but seriously, you gotta hit that one. Herculez Gomez seems perfectly suited for coming off the bench late.
As for Buddle, it was beginning to look like we were going to have EBHTD* right there on that crummy excuse for a pitch today.
I'll grant you that Australia is a long ways from a top contender, but their defense is supposed to be a strong point and Buddle & Co.made them look like amateurs. It was only luck - and an absurd Robbie Findlay miss of an open net after he'd done the hard stuff - which kept the US under 5 goals.
As for that pitch: the organizers assured everyone that the practice facilities were all "world class". They lied.
I haven't seen this anyplace else so take it for what it's worth but THIS GUY CLAIMS that USSF has committed to allowing he players to split up $20 million if they come back from the RSA with Jules Rimet in the baggage compartment.
Not that any of them ought to be putting down deposits on beach property or anything - the odds are pretty long - but it's an interesting promise.
Conversely, if they bomb out they'll split $1.8 million amongst them.
The article does contain a contention that I find dubious, however:
The USA’s massive bonus deal has been agreed in secret as part of the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The CBA dictates pay levels and working conditions applicable in Major League Soccer and for the USA international team.
I'm not going to explore the obvious issue here, namely that Don Garber and Dan Courtemanche can't negotiate on behalf of USSF, can't spend Sunils' money and, anyway, why would 380 or so other MLS players care about the USMNT payoff?
I'll leave that one alone.
In other news, North Koreas' goalkeeper gambit has BLOWN UP IN THEIR FACE.
You may recall that Dear Leaders' team submitted an official roster which attempted to finesse the FIFA rule requiring each team to carry three goalkeepers by listing a forward, Kim Myong-won, as their third GK.
Yesterday, FIFA ruled that since Kim is listed as a keeper he will not be allowed to play any other position.
Sine the roster cannot now be changed, they're stuck with it the way it is. Unless an player comes up injured more than 24 hours before their first match.
In case you've been missing and/or ignoring it, let me direct you to the BURGEONING LIST OF BIGSOCCER WATCH PARTIES now 350-some odd strong and growing.
You know I don't generally pimp this kind of thing, even for BS, but meeting up with people you've been talking to for years (or months or weeks) on BS is always a hoot.
If there's not one near you, don't be a candyass: pick a place, start one up and be amazed at the company you'll be keeping.
Of course, if you hang around Rivalries a lot there's an outside chance that someone may want to drive 10 hours just to punch you in the neck, but we'll just assume that's not the case.
And finally, here for your listening and viewing pleasure is the latest by fervent US supporter and certified loose screw DWreck:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxWdk1sqZZY"]YouTube- Landon Donovan Score a Goal For Me - The US National Team Song.wmv[/ame]
(* Edson Buddle Hat Trick Day)