Friday, June 21, 2013

We Agree on Some Things: USA 1 - Honduras 0

After a further review of his beer count, Scott remembered some additional thoughts he had on the American's 2-1 victory over Honduras Tuesday night:
The Farlieonfootie game-watching party at Coach Mark’s house was much as it should have been: mounds of chicken wings, oversized bottles of craft beer and soccer opinions flying around like mosquitoes after a fresh summer rain in South Florida.  Clearly the higher alcohol content favored by smaller production breweries contributed to the conviviality that saw United, Liverpool and Tottenham fans all putting aside their differences to agree on just about everything as it related to Team USA:

o Michael Bradley’s head should be in every wall formed by the US from now on.  If we get the rest of his body that is a plus.  But we at least need his head, which single-foreheadedly blocked one of the more ominous Honduran attempts on goal. 
o As a quick Google Images search revealed, Clint Dempsey’s perpetual look of disdain is clearly an effort to compensate for his default permanent grin, courtesy of his photogenic and paintily clad wife, Bethany.
o Jozy Altidore, recently interviewed by our host, Mark, as the pictures of his daughter and the Forward proved, is on a tear with four consecutive international games with a goal.  As his confidence grows, he is beginning to look like the strong scorer we’ve been expecting.  May his streak continue!
o After the photos of his daughter, next up from Mark were classic audio clips of commentary by the inimitable Ray Hudson.  Heads were nodding all around when it was proposed that Mr. Hudson is maybe the best at his trade.  If only Fox Soccer were of the same mind rather than enlisting the services of the enthusiastic yet hapless Gus Johnson.
o After the aforementioned nodding of heads, there was a communal scratching of those heads as we tried to piece together the mystery that is Cobi Jones having over 100 caps for the national team.  This was followed by a general, slow, side-to-side shaking of heads (accompanied by two forceful exhales and at least one eye roll) as we then reminisced about the thankfully brief Tim Ream experiment.
o Has Michael Bradley officially broken the American player in Serie A curse that began with Alexi Lalas?  Maybe.

o There was a general consensus that perhaps US soccer should lobby the Pentagon for more US bases in Germany since dual-citizen military children seem to dominate the current roster.
o One such example, Jermaine Jones, while filling the Enforcer role admirably, is most often a liability on the field with his wince-inducing, yellow-card-worthy tackles.  Of course, with Jones in the lineup, Bradley has been given the freedom to mature from the reckless coach’s son into the calm veteran who is able to work himself out of almost any danger.
o Absent an expansion of our military presence in Germany, we at least need not to lose every amazing athlete to the NFL.
o Farlieonfootie’s infatuation with craft beer has enabled him to work that fine fermented beverage into any discussion, most notably using its ingestion to explain attendance records in Seattle.  We drank to his logical gymnastics.
o Suspensions for cumulative yellow cards during a competition are BS.  Maybe getting 3 or 4 in a row, but punishment for 2 in 5 games, especially given the margin of referee error, is draconian.
o Our one area of general disagreement centered on the Graham Zusi / Landon Donovan situation.  Some felt that the USA’s leading scorer’s absence was not impactful due to the industrious efforts of Zusi.  Those of us who were correct, however, while acknowledging Zusi’s talents, still believe that Donovan’s presence would improve the squad.
o The final result was not flattering to either side.  And while both teams had their chances, the better one won.  If only because, on the one hand, Honduras could have scored a few more.  But, on the other hand, the US should have scored a few more.
This is farlieonfootie for June 21.

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