Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Free Kicks- Talking USMNT and the Eastern Conference

Happy Friday to you. There were a number of games this week that had some interesting talking points. Jurgen Klinsmann also called in nine MLSers for the upcoming US friendlies. Let's get started.

Klinsmann's USMNT Roster: Conspiracy theorists were dealt a blow when they saw Jurgen Klinsmann's roster included the German-American Timmy Chandler and former coaches son Michael Bradley. At one point, due to a Tony Sanneh tweet, Chandler was rumored to be switching allegiances.

This proved to be an unfounded rumor and Chandler remains committed to the United States. Michael Bradley, who was not on the roster in the last slate of friendlies, makes this roster and deservedly so.Many questioned that he was out of favor with Klinsmann as he was not in the last camp. However, with a logical approach, one can see that  Bradley was just completing his deal with his new Italian club and it wouldnt have made sense to travel. Rest assured, both are deservedly on the roster.

A few more interesting talking points remain. Who is Danny Williams? Only the most adamant USMNT fans will know him. Williams plays for Hoffenheim as a defender/midfielder in the German Bundesliga. For more info on him, check out Yanks-Abroad's profile on him.

Other notable inclusions Oguchi Onyewu, Teal Bunbury and DaMarcus Beasley being listed as a forward. I would also note that Jeff Larentowicz, Michael Bradley, Kyle Beckerman and Maurice Edu were all on the roster. I truly enjoy each of these players, however that is a total of four defensive midfielders. Why so many? I would rather have seen Klinsmann leave a few of the MLSers off the roster or at least leave those who are competing in playoffs off. Those spots could be used on players like Alejandro Bedoya or perhaps checking out Herculez Gomez.

My point is this, Klinsmann should be respectful of the fact that MLS is in it's most important stretch and despite this being a FIFA date, some understanding is expected. Certain teams are stretched extremely thin. Brek Shea has already gone on record as saying he was tired, let him rest. Larentowicz and Beckerman are in heated playoffs battles. Make no mistake, Klinsmann is well within his rights to call players up. Still, with the CCL and MLS games packed in and wearing on players, Klinsmann could have shown more understanding.

DeRo battled for points in Philadelphia but DC fell short.

Talking MLS and the Eastern Conference: Is there a tighter playoff race in recent memory than the mess that is the Eastern Conference? This week saw Philadelphia take 3 points from DC while Chicago and Sporting KC also gain 3 points in their respective games. At the moment, the playoff standings are a mess of teams clustered together and battling for those three automatic berths. I still count DC United as making the playoffs. With games in hand and a dangerous roster capable of scoring goals (as their near comeback displayed) they pose the most likely chance of making a late run. The Revolution though are likely done (though not mathematically). They'll be working towards their jobs next year. Some players would be best served as exiting the troubled club, but the Revolution project is one deserving of a much longer article.

One bright spot with New England is stalwart defender Darrius Barnes, who we spoke to recently.


  1. At the moment, I'm thinking Donovan. He's the key component on the number one team with goals/assist to support it. However at his current rate, DeRo enters my mind.