So the "old man" is coming back to the MLS. I'm assuming he wants some first team action to get back into the mix of the USMNT. Unless he plays really well, I don't see him making the roster for the upcoming friendlies vs Costa Rica and Belgium. I'd say Agudelo, Robbie Rogers, Shea, Stu Holden, Altidore are all ahead of him. Good to see him back in the US though!!!
OT: Freddy Adu to Philadelphia Union
I dont understand how soccer gets on the MGoBoard so much. The sport is dreadful to watch.
If I had to guess, it would be because some people enjoy it.
How is that trolling?
Telling a group of soccer fans that the sport is dreadful to watch? What's gained?
Now had you genuinely asked what it is about soccer that captures people here, that would be different IMHE.
Believe it or not soccer has a lot of fans (e.g. most of not America) so it shouldn't surprise you that a sports blog talks about that sport. On a different note, why do so many who don't like the sport insist on going out their way to bash it. There are many sports I don't like (baseball, hockey, nascar if you consider it a sport) but when I see a thread about the Angels or Tigers, I just skip it. To me, soccer is much more exciting than baseball or nascar, everyone has a preference.
I think of a thread as an ongoing conversation. A conversation doesn't work well if people's statements get ignored. It also doesn't work if there's some annoying guy saying "this is a stupid conversation" all the time.
Edit: might be better to say that I think threads work best when they are ongoing conversations. (which is also why I tend to stay away from threads that are a bunch of people posting clever gifs and images, but to each his/her own).
I don't venture into the baseball threads and make comments on how baseball is dreadful to watch. If you don't like it just don't click on the threads. It is not that hard of a concept to understand.
I think baseball is as fun to watch as going to the dentist. While I'm not a fan of soccer either, to each his own. Everyone has their own tastes and I prefer not to put people down for enjoying and talking about their interests.
Seconded. Let me add all non-football pro sports on there.
If he had played for Ghana instead, he would've probably had more playing time but I'm sure traveling that far wouldn't have been ideal. Also. I think the USMNT pays more/ more exposure.
If he can't get on the field for the US he likely wouldn't for Ghana either -- do recall that Ghana has beaten us in each of the last two World Cups.
Ghana has a really good team and good youth development. They have had pretty good success in the U-20 and the Olympics. They have lots of international stars like Essien, Gyan, Muntari and Boateng.
The Sounders' average attendance is over 36,000 per game. Some teams in the NBA would kill for that
They now have a rivalry with the Portland Timbers too. I went to a playoff game when the Sounders came down to the Home Depot Center and their fans travel really well.
I would love to see a Portland vs. Seattle game. I heard the atmosphere is amazing.
The MLS is certainly growing, largely because they are being smart about where they are expanding (unlike the NHL). Seattle, Philly, and Portland have all been great examples, and I guarantee Montreal will have great attendance when they enter the league next year.
That being said, the gains the league has made is often overstated. The most spacious NBA and NHL arenas only hold at most a little over 20,000, and the majority hold fewer than that. Many MLS teams now have their own stadiums which hold about that, but their attendance numbers are skewed by the Sounders and a little by the Galaxy as well, who play in larger venues (although they are also a little negatively skewed by the Earthquakes, whose stadium only holds 10,000). Attendance by percentage of capacity still lags behind the NBA and NHL, and I bet there are certain teams in those leagues who could sell out 25,000 most games if they had the opportunity.
Soccer is really only as high as the second most popular sport in Seattle (behind football) and Portland (behind basketball). In most places, it's still lucky to be fourth, if not fifth (I'm not including NASCAR). I think soccer will pass hockey on a national scale within the next thirty years, but the MLS still has a ways to go if it's gonna rival basketball or baseball.
You never know, I say it passes hockey in the next five years. MLS just signed a big contract with NBC Sports to broadcast 40+ MLS games and 4 USMNT per year
MLS avg attendance actually just surpassed the avg NHL game attendance. Consider that with the little amount of current TV exposure they are getting and the low salaries paid to players, and you'd see that the MLS is doing very well for itself.
And as mentioned, NBC/Versus will now be televising games in addition to ESPN continuing to televise games (same for local Networks). The NBC deal is expected to increase the amount of TV exposure by at least double where it currently is at. That is huge.
Like it or not, but the MLS has a working business model. As revenues continue to grow, and as players continue to get paid better, you'll see that the MLS has a very bright future.
Of course, that's apples/oranges, because MLS teams play 15 home games per season while NHL and NBA teams play 41.
MLS is surprisingly doing very well.
I figured it would fold within ten years.
I live in LA and heard a lot about Chivas USA getting him.... Shame, because he's coming into his own as a player.
Good luck to Freddy, but I don't see him breaking into the USMNT first team on a permanent basis anytime soon. He has far too many head games to deal with to just focus on getting better, and getting attention by coming back to the US, and potentially starting with ease, will be bad for him. I don't think he has a problem with not being confident enough, but rather he has enjoyed too much of people just handing him things, in life, on a silver platter. I almost think he should have kept on keepin' on in Europe, until he found a second or third league team where he could work his way back to stardom.
After the Gold Cup there was some talk about how he was revived, and had begun to realize that talent needs to be supplemented with effort. Bradley had talked about how important it was that Freddy joined some lower tier club, thereby demonstrating his humility and willingness to work.
I hope he works his ass off and becomes a regular with the USMNT. I loved watching him in the Gold Cup.
He did play in a lower tier. He was loaned out to Rizespor a second division team in the Turkish league. He scored 4 goals in 11 caps.
I personally disagree with what was said above. I think all those things about him feeling entitled are correct, but I believe that he has become more mature recently. I enjoy watching him play too, so I hope he can continue to be in contention for playing time with the USMNT.
I definitely love watching him play, there's no doubt about that. And I know he was loaned to Rizespor, which I think was good for him, and he put in good work. I just fear that coming back to the US will put ihm back to a mindstate of "well I don't need to work hard, because everyone here already knows how talented I am." I think he needs to learn how to earn what he deserves, and I don't think he's there yet. Can he learn that here? Definitely. I just think it will be more difficult here than overseas. I'm hoping it's not, because the kid could have a very bright future if he had his head on straight and wanted to gain more knowledge of the game. He had a very good couple games in the Gold Cup, and I hope that continues for him in the future.
I would say that Adu has more talent than Robbie Rogers. If he can get regular time (I think he will) with The Union, I think he might leap frog Rogers.
Since most leagues are starting in the coming weeks it might be hard for the guys who play abroad to be called up. Some clubs don't want their guys to go play and possibly get injured just from a friendly.
Honestly the Rogers call up was pretty surprising to me. I don't know if there were other players ahead of him that weren't able to play because of club commitments, but there are other players that I would put ahead. There is also the fit factor. MLS is in season and players like Shea and Rodgers are in shape and fit to play full 90. I'm glad that he got the chance to preform and prove that he deserve to be in the running.
Now all I ask for is for Mixx to get called up and get some significant playing time. He is one guy that I always wanted to see play. Also I hope Jurgen can get the Timmy Chandler thing taken care of.
I agree, once Freddy Adu gets some more PT, he'll be better than Rogers. It would be great to add another creative player like Adu to the USMNT. What happened to Chandler?!
Nothing serious. I just want him to play since he is such a threat down the flanks.
Back in March it seemed like Bob Bradley had found a diamond in the rough when Timothy Chandler made his first appearance for the USMNT. The wingback impressed the US with his pace and crossing ability during his first two international caps. The problem is either Chandler or his club, Nuremberg, has rejected his recent call-ups to the USMNT.
The most recent snub was for this week’s game against Mexico when Chandler was replaced in the USMNT roster because of a knee injury. However, a “miraculous recovery” allowed Chandler to play 90 minutes for Nuremburg this past weekend. If he does not want to play because it is the start of his club season, he should say so. The US has never had a problem with a star player refusing to wear the USA kit, so hopefully this madness will stop.
The good news is Chandler reaffirmed his loyalty with the USMNT in an interview over the summer. Maybe the Gold Cup and Mexico friendly is just bad timing for Chandler. US fans do not need to hit the panic button just yet and think Chandler is going to play for Germany. But there will be cause for concern if Chandler is healthy and ignores Klinsmann call in September when the USMNT plays Belgium.
Ah, I see. If he replaces Castillo, the back four will look much better
Chandler -- Ream/Goodson/Orozco -- Boca -- Cherundolo
I think Chandler is a RB, right? Lichaj looks much more promising at LB than Castillo.
It seems like you had the faster click.
Also I'm looking forward to Fulham's season this year.
Me too! Although they had a much quieter off-season than I expected. If the forwards stay healthy and some of the younger players start to contribute in the Europa League matches, it could be a really interesting year.
I guess Cherundolo could play on the left then. I think he has before. And you're right, Lichaj looks very promising
He is a RB, but Klinsmann's shown a willingness to play a right-footed left back in Philip Lahm, though I'm not sure if he was playing on the left for his club prior to when I became aware of him at the 2006 WC.
Lahm's also really, really good, which certainly helps.
I'm not sure if Chandler can play left back. He plays right back for his club. Dolo is getting pretty old and I'm not sure if he will be in the next WC, but Chandler is prime to take his spot when needed.
The guy to watch at LB is Eric Lichaj who I think is on loan right now to Leeds United.
He and his club wanted him to stay in Germany for this one. He's already said he's in for the pair of friendlies in September if he's called in (and he will undoubtedly be called in) and it sounds like his club is on board with that.
I'm glad that is taken care of. We have lost too man talented players to other countries.
I think one factor with Rogers was Klinsmann's previous knowledge of him. They played together on Orange County Blue Stars for a time, when Klinsmann just wanted to stay in shape. Maybe Klinsmann liked what he saw back then, and since. I agree, Rogers is quite far down in the USMNT midfield pecking order, but it was nice to see him get a look.
I don't think Adu's talent level has ever been questioned...it is his tactical ability. He looks great in practices/scrimmage and makes the occasional amazing play, but in a real game situation he doesn't contribute like he should.
Anyone who has played competitive hockey knows that the beer leagues are absolutely littered with players who are fast, can stick handle, and shoot the puck hard. But they never went anywhere because they don't have "hockey sense" and tend to be invisible in games where the other players actually employ strategy or systems.
I get the same vibe with Adu. Then again...I don't know shit.
I don't know that Adu lacks tactical sense, he just isn't very good playing a conventional, well-defined role. He's a guy who needs touches on the ball and freedom of movement. I've seen him playing at the youth level internationally (against guys who went on to be big stars) and he tore things up because he had the opportunity to run the show like a point guard in the middle of the park and be creative. He doesn't have the speed/discipline to be a true winger, he isn't big enough to take on a box-to-box role in the middle of the park, and he isn't a pure striker.
But he can still be a very effective player. Landon Donovan is a lot like that but playing against lesser competition in MLS and having a national team staff that gave him lots of freedom has allowed him to be very productive. Even a guy like Frank Lampard is not really a complete player (great around the box poaching goals and combining with others, not so good in the middle of the park). At Chelsea he's been allowed to do what he's good at (while guys like Essien, Makelele, and Mikel take the midfield/tackling burden). When he plays for England and they try to pair him with Gerrard in a 4-4-2, you just see Stevie G shaking his head because he has to spend the whole game chasing/kicking guys in the middle of the park.
Adu has enough talent to be effective at the international level. He just needs game experience in the type of role he'll play (which he should get in MLS) and a coach who can put him in a position to succeed while protecting his weaknesses.
A great post.
A mere "normal" wasn't sufficient here.
I think this should be a good situation for Adu, Philly will be a playoff team and they have a really good forward duo with Mwanga and LeToux. Adu can step in and be the play maker in the midfield and make Philly a legitimate MLS cup contender.
Thank God you reminded us.
He was ridiculous for his talent level and completely blew expectations at 16, which is why he got so much exposure and then underwhelmed because his expectations were way too high. Now that everyone forgot about him temporarily I think he could definitely come back and make a splash, the talent level at Benfica and in Europe in general was way too high for him anyway, plus unlike Altidore he's better in international play than club play, so I think he'd be good for the squad
Personally I'm more excited to see how far Soony Saad can go
He had pretty bad management. The Benfica transfer ended up being a disaster (coaching change after he showed well initially there) and then he just could never find a good club situation on loan (other than this last one). His high wages prevented any transfers to lower level clubs from happening, as well.
He's also the type of player that clubs have to build a team around for him to be most effective (the way that Barca's built around Messi to a large degree, mid 2000s Argentina was built around Riquelme), and he's certainly not good enough for any high level team to do that. It doesn't happen much in the modern game anymore, anyway. The highest level it ever happened was the US U-20 team, where he was legitimately great and earned his transfer to Benfica.
thank god its not chivas!
I, for one, found last night's game to be really good television. That is, after the Little League game, which I did not and do not find to be really good television.
I guess I'll disagree with a few here saying Freddy won't make the USMNT. Shea, Rogers, Torres, Jones, etc, etc have not been consistent or they have had one good game - like Freddy in the Gold Cup. Obviously it’s up to Klinsmann, but seeing Freddy's pace, control and several well paced balls in the Gold Cup made my jaw drop. Is he EPL caliber, no, but really only a few USMNT players are. There are several more friendlies in '11 and now Freddy is in the USA and I'm hopeful that he can impress. I still think, outside of LD, TH, CD and SC every position is open. Agudelo is close to that level he just needs to get to a top tier Euro team. Arsenal!
the optimal 4-4-2 consists of Altidore, Agudelo, Landon, Bradley, Holden, Dempsey, Chandler, Boca, Ream, and Cherundolo. Id say the only spots that have serious question are the forwards (also possible 4-5-1 although landon or dempsey would have to pushed forward so theres no buddle island), and central defense. No way anyone can really break past LD, MB, SH, or CD if theyre healthy and theres 4 mids, although jermaine jones, shea, edu, adu, diskerudd and a few others could try to make some noise. Also lichaj, omar gonzales and a few other defenders are in the mix. Overall, its a pretty solid squad, especially in the midfield, although lacking true creativity, which is hopefully where klinsman comes in.