14 June 2007

Lazy Thursday blogging

First of all, hi to Soccerblogs and Seven Guys Short! I've been using Soccerblogs for a while now, and Seven Guys Short is new to me, but I wish I'd been reading sooner.

Second, the Premier League released the fixture list for the upcoming season. Here's Liverpool's schedule (pending Champions League qualifiers, cup replays, and, as always, life-threatening fog.) This is nice, in that it puts us all a little closer to the start of the new season, but it's still two months away. I know some people get really excited about this, but I'm not really one of them, I guess. Didn't we know that every team plays every other team twice? But it's the off-season, and Liverpool's not setting the transfer market on fire at the moment (Benayoun? Huh), so you blog with what you have. If you want a real look at the calendar, though, Sven's got it covered.

Speaking of off-season boredom, I seem to have fallen into watching the US men in the Gold Cup. I'm not entirely sure how this happened, really, but I think I blame their friendly against China. While Landon Donovan is, sadly, in the team -- I admit he's skilled, but I just do not like him -- they retained a lot of the younger players from the China game as well. So it's the US, but it's a different look for the US, and one I like a lot more. I think getting their asses absolutely handed to them at the World Cup last year, after going in ranked in the top ten by FIFA, was a really humbling experience. A lot of the players from that side have retired or are aging out, and Bob Bradley seems to be focusing on bringing in a lot of European-based players, which is only good for the team in the long run, I think. I'll be interested to see how they do in Copa America, where they'll be facing much better opposition than in the Gold Cup. The fact that they're even going to Copa America, after turning down invitations for years, is nothing but a good sign; even if they have to play a weakened team, getting more players in the rotation and playing more challenging internationals is worth it.

As far as the Gold Cup, the US was apparently in "el grupo de la muerte" -- sorry, I don't get Fox Soccer, so I've been watching on Spanish TV -- but qualified for the quarters with a game to spare, and absolutely destroyed El Salvador 4-0 in their final group game. So far, it doesn't seem like they've really been tested, though the first game, against Guatemala, was pretty scrappy. Like I said, it's good to see the new boys getting a lot of playing time, and I continue to like the midfield with Feilhaber and Bradley together in the center. Twellman's goal was absolutely gorgeous as well, and the whole team seems to be working pretty well, I think. They meet Panama in the quarterfinals Saturday, and yeah. I'll be watching en vivo.

In slightly related news, I'm about 93% certain that Bob Bradley is a robot. It's the steely eyes that do it.


Anonymous said...

"and I continue to like the midfield with Feilhaber and Bradley together in the center."

Yes, but tell us WHY... *laugh*

And as for Bob Bradley, as I've been saying for awhile, he bears more than a striking resembalance to Robocop/Peter Weller.

Carlo said...

Benayoun -- wtf? But I guess when Zenden's gone, somebody has to fill that hole. And I'm not talking about the "useful left winger" hole.

I find it fairly depressing that Donovan continues to be selected for the team, never mind captain it. I can't remember the last time I saw him put in a decent performance.

Amanda said...

Scott: I'm kind of afraid of him. Which is probably better than being contemptuous, like I was of Arena. (God, Arena was a tool.)

Carlo: Donovan hasn't actually been too bad in the Gold Cup. He's far from my favorite player, though.

Carlo said...

Donovan's seemed pretty invisible to me. He's been inoffensive, but not particularly effective IMO.