Thursday, June 6, 2013

Notes and Sighs

photo by jake.auzzievia PhotoRee

We always had more than a sneaking suspicion that Correspondent Ed followed Justin Bieber's every move....
• It was nice to see the USA A-team beat the German B-team (or maybe C-team) in last week's friendly, especially in light of what Germany did to Ecuador in their prior friendly at FAU in Boca Raton (Nice stadium, by the way). But in another way, the top tier German players missing in that game -- Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Muller, Goetze, just to name a few -- show the enormous distance in ability between these two countries. Put more simply, the USA's best player, Clint Dempsey, would likely not make the German team. Egads, that has to change. You've got your work cut out for you, USA soccer clubs.

• I'm somewhat over Spurs' fifth place finish, one point behind Arsenal, in this year's BPL. It's also looking more likely that Gareth Bale may stay another year. But don't confuse "more likely" with "likely." If AVB is able to keep him for another year and somehow build on the squad with some depth at midfield and striker, that would be all a Spurs fan could ask. Hopefully, what seems to be a close personal relationship between the manager and the player will triumph. That said, a Real Madrid team with Bale on one side and Ronaldo on the other would look similar too and potentially even more dangerous than that Bayern team with Ribery on one side and Robben on the other. What would Bale go for on the market today? Is $70MM crazy?

• I'm disappointed that Neymar is bringing his "My Little Pony"™ hairdo to Barcelona, not because he won't be fun to watch there, but rather because I'd prefer to see talent such as his play week in and week out against the tougher competition of the BPL or the Bundesliga. He will certainly prosper there, but I expect it will take him time to fit in to the system -- a system that Cesc Fabregas has repeatedly described as complex. Certainly Barca can use Neymar, but can't they use some defensemen more? And what was with the Alex Song pickup? Song is decent but I never put him at the Barca level. He clearly isn't meant to replace Xavi (who will, by the way?). Is he intended for use in those league games that matter less?

• I'm kind of done with Damarcus Beasley. Placing him at left back doesn't make much sense to me from either a developmental side of the US team or from the "win now" mentality. Does the USA really have no defensemen better than a midfielder whose career is in its twilight? And what happened to Eric Lichaj? He seemed at least to be tougher and faster than the frail Beasley, and while injured this year did get some good experience at Villa...?

• Saw the Bieber in the stands at the Miami heat game the other night. He was in full tough guy hip-hop attire. Ridiculous. Saw that Flo Rida was bustin' out the boss-man's jumbo Jesus necklace. Sweet. Also saw Becks behind the Heat bench. Seems like he's making the rounds trying to bring an MLS team to Miami. Here's a warning, Becks: Miami is not a sports town. You've got to be good to get fans to your games; you've got to have money to be good; and the TV market just isn't big enough to get you lots of money. I hope it happens, though I'd prefer it in the FTL. A new soccer stadium (or a refurbished Lockhart) that holds about 20K would also be nice (see, e.g., Sporting Park for Sporting KC as a nice model).

• Summer is coming. Meaning MLS, Striker games, and a dull break in the soccer we all like to watch. It's not going to be easy. Sigh….

This is farlieonfootie for June 6.

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