DC United to play… Ghana?

Maybe, if you believe this story:

On February 11, next year, Ghana’s Black Stars are expected to clash with America’s top notch side, DC United, in an international friendly in the United States, Washington DC.

Indications are that plans are far advanced, regarding the friendly match expected to offer the two sides the opportunity to put their houses in order, ahead of their future engagements.

I am not so sure I believe this.

Heading back to the Capital City

You can count me as satisfied to see that the USA-Mexico home qualifier will return to Columbus. You can also count me as surprised, I figured that would end up in Salt Lake, where they have a better stadium and just as good of recent history hosting USA matches.

But with all the new stadium construction, and the growth of USMNT crowds around the country, no one, not even US Soccer “heritage sites” like RFK or Foxboro, can be too confident of getting a match.

2-Nil in O-HI-O …

Ed here.

… It was announced today on GoffBlog that the US-Mexico qualifier to kick off action in the Hex will indeed be played at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday, February 11. I plan on being there – hotel room is already reserved. Ticket information hasn’t been announced yet.

I know there was some sentiment and even some reports that the new Real Salt Lake stadium was up for consideration for this game, but I have to think here that the Columbus pick is the right one. There’s a good history vs. Mexico there, of course, and it’s the right kind of venue for this game. Small, limited fans, tickets will have a demand to them, and the fans that go should be more of the vociferous kind, which is exactly what we need against Mexico.

Who woke Brazil up?

Brazil threw down a performance worthy of their best teams from the 70s as they simply thrashed Portugal, 6-2, outside Brasilla. Fernando Duarte’s report on Guardian Football Weekly said that Christiano Ronaldo completely lost his head and was just picking fights all over the field. Hopefully he carries that form back to the Premiership. The highlights are below. Continue reading

Donovan to Munich on Loan

Landon Donovan will spend the winter in Munich.

Landon Donovan will spend the winter in Munich.

Ed here.

Soccernet is reporting that Bayern Munich have agreed a loan deal with MLS and the Los Angeles Galaxy for Landon Donovan – starting in January and going through March, but possibly to the end of the season.

Donovan was on a training stint with the club for the last few days and now will go there for what appears to be a limited time (at least right now).

“As a person and a player, I am completely different now to how I was then, I have matured,” Donovan said in the Soccernet article. “I am ready. I believe I can keep up with all the other players, even if I am not the best player here.” Continue reading

US-Guatemala Recap

Freddy Adu scored a goal and the US beat Guatemala, 2-0.

Freddy Adu scored a goal and the US beat Guatemala, 2-0.

Ed here.

In case you haven’t heard, the United States finished off Guatemala, 2-0, last night in Commerce City, Colorado, eliminating the visitors from the upcoming Hex and finishing with a 5-1 record for this round.

I know somewhere, deep in the recesses of BigSoccer or other gathering places for US fans, there are folks working through their brains to highlight all of the things that the US did wrong and how that all means coach Bob Bradley should be fired and all that.

If you are looking for that here … wrong blog. But thanks for reading. Continue reading

Wrapping up CONCACAF

And in the end… Mexico qualfied. But they did so by backing in in the largest possible way by losing to group winner Honduras. Does anyone think Sven is even going to make it through the Hex at this pace? Just to reitereate, Mexico has not won in its last three qualifiers. If Mexico so much as wobbles in its first hex match, Sven is going to be on the next flight back to Stockholm.

Otherwise, there were no real surprises last night. The USA b-team didn’t really put it into gear until the 2nd half, but won comfortably over an absolutely dreadful looking Guatemala team. Cooper scored his first off a scramble, and Freddy put away an outstanding free kick.

So the Hex is USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, T&T and El Salvador.

The real fun starts on Feb. 11.

Rumors of my demise have been exaggerated… slightly

Hello everyone, it’s your favorite blogger Aaron. That’s right, it’s Aaron, the one on the business trip, with the sore throat and soul-crushing fatigue. I come to you live from Denver where I will not be heading out to Commerce City to watch USA-Guatemala. Why?

  1. We’re located all the way on the other side of the city, and like so many western cities, when they say sprawl out here, they really mean it.
  2. If I were to stand outside in the cold for two hours I would probably come down with tuberculosis, dysentery, consumption, and every other 19th century illness.

My hotel does have ESPN Classic so I will be watching to see how our young guys do against Guatemala, or to use their full name, 10-man Guatemala.

I’ll have more later. I promise.

Walcott: Possibly Out 3 Months

Theo Walcotts shoulder has Arsenal concerned.

Theo Walcott's shoulder has Arsenal concerned.

Ed here.

Aaron is still in Denver – and I can report there’s no truth to the rumor that he is now part of the new coaching staff of the Rapids. Though if he can tackle at all, he might get signed to play safety for the Broncos.

Anyway, Soccernet is reporting that the shoulder injury to Theo Walcott of England and Arsenal could cause him to be out up to three months. It is left to question whether this is just bluster a bit on the part of the English press, and how significant the evidence is regarding Walcott’s possible absence.

Let’s argue for a second that the news is worst for Walcott, and he’s gone until mid-February (roughly). Once Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gets over his rage about losing Walcott to an injury suffered in training for a friendly – I won’t say a “meaningless” friendly, because I don’t guess the English folks consider any match with Germany as meaningless, but anyway – the long-time leader of the Gunners is going to have some thinking to do. Continue reading