I was seriously geeked for that Red Bulls-Royals game. And now...I mean, is it me? Am I just not able to appreciate a tense game where not a heck of a lot happens? I just saw a lot of fouling and a lot of diving, many times on the same play. If that's an MLS Cup preview - and it very easily could be - Toronto's in for a terrible disappointment.
At least the US-Poland game made up for it. Turns out without all those crappy MLS players, we look pretty good!
Topic one is Germany Jones, who looked great. Sweet passes, sweet command of the midfield, sweet assist - you didn't really need stats to back up what you saw with your own eyes, but World Soccer Reader gave them to us anyway.
But I still have a very bad feeling about the guy.
This isn't because he grew up in Germany - Thomas Dooley did, and he was a class act and a fantastic addition to the national team in the 90's (offer not available in Columbus) (yeah, so he couldn't cover Klinsmann in '98). Although having Jones around pretty much kills the joke I was going to make about getting the Department of Homeland Security to round up the Poland fans in Chicago and check their papers.
This isn't even about his personality. Although...I mean...for Christ's sake, he's wearing an Ed Hardy hoodie on his official website. Which looks like an ad for a German Grand Theft Auto ripoff (oh, and by the way, how about updating the "Nationalitat" row?)
I admit, personally, I don't want to cheer for a guy who didn't want gay players in the Bundesliga. Presumably he also wouldn't want gay players on his national team, which for me crosses the line from a prejudice to an actual on-field issue. The fact that every gay professional player in the industrial world is currently closeted isn't entirely the fault of Jones...but it's the fault of people like him.
But that's not going to keep him off the field, certainly not for a team as shallow as the United States. It's all about what happens on the field. I just honestly --
-- wait? Oh, this is a pleasant surprise! Ladies and gentlemen, it's Cynical Cindy!
Who always thinks the worst things will happen?
Who always craps on anything good?
Who always spoils the positive outlook?
Everyone knows it's Cindy!
Hey, Cindy! You're here to talk about the Charlie Davies situation?
"If Charlie Davies can still play, then it doesn't matter whether or not he was driving 125 mph and lied to police. And if Charlie Davies can't play anymore, then it doesn't matter whether or not he was driving 125 mph and lied to police."
Well...thanks for that. Bye, Cynical Cindy!
Who tells you things that aren't very helpful?
Who's always negative and dull?
Who's not as fun as a plate full of maggots?
Everyone knows it's Cindy!
Where was I. Oh, right.
I just honestly get the feeling that, between him and Michael Smith, we're in for at least one important game where we have to overcome an early red card. Or two. Smith is young enough to stabilize his temper - maybe his national team coach could help with that, assuming they have a good relationship - but Jones? He's 28, and being welcomed to the US as a messiah. I kinda don't see him changing his game to adjust for CONCACAF diving and CONCACAF refs.
I like Edu better. Sue me.
I realize it's not easy to break into the starting lineups of first division European teams, but Onyewu and Altidore are wasting their lives right now. They're good players who could be great. Say what you want about Freddy Adu, at least he's trying to get playing time. Although it's worth it if Altidore does beat out Giuseppe Rossi for a starting spot.
I was very encouraged by what I saw, except in the back line. I just don't think both Cherundolo and Bocanegra are realistic 2014 options, simply because of age. The odds are against it. The defense was a problem this summer anyway, and simply bringing back three quarters of the backline for October friendlies is not reassuring. Bash Bob Bradley, but I don't think he's missing anyone in Europe. It's up to MLS to develop a young defender or four in the next three years, or else.
Although at least we'll be exciting to watch.
Oh - yeah, for first time readers? I call #4 for the US "Michael Smith" because otherwise his last name tends to distract discussion away from his actual contributions. I find it helpful.