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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Business As Usual

With the US National teams elimination from the World Cup it is time to return to normal. In the upcoming days and weeks I will be back on the trail of all things involving USA soccer. There are many US players that still need to sign with teams and rumors will run rampant. Rumors are always fun. The MLS will be in full swing and will yield lots of interesting stories on the way to the MLS Cup. The next six weeks should be interesting...stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

MLS Logo Belt Buckle
The MLS released its player salaries this week. Click here to check out the salaries by team:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Could Edson Buddle Start Against England?

Edson Buddle is the hottest US player coming into the World Cup. He is leading the MLS with 9 goals and is coming off a 2 goal performance against Australia. Is it possible to think that Buddle could be a starter for the US National Team in South Africa?

A few months ago, no person in their right mind would have ever suggested Edson Buddle be invited to practice with the US National Team. After making the team and appearing in the last two matches Buddle has clearly proved his value to the team. He will see playing time in South Africa, but could he possibly start for the USA against England? With Jozy Altidore's ankle injury, it opens the idea of Buddle starting.  Steven Goff from Soccer Insider gets the sense that Jozy will be in the lineup against England on Saturday and provided this tweet: Bradley “Jozy has been able to add to his workload every day. We are pleased with his progress and will continue to move him forward.” It still remains unclear if Altidores' ankle will be 100% by Saturday. Does US Coach Bob Bradley go with a proven injured player in Altidore or an unproven player with red hot form in Buddle?

Bradley told the USA Today "Edson Buddle continues to impress by playing with confidence and having a nose for the goal early on. He finished well and now gives another option up front, especially with the current injury to Jozy Altidore." Buddle is clearly in Bradley's mind. Could it be possible for a real life under dog or Cinderella story to come true? The game is just days away and we will have to wait and see if the journeyman can complete the improbable and actually start for the USA in its opening match in the 2010 World Cup.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The 2010 World Cup Ball...A Tales of Two Sides

adidas World Cup 2010 Official Match Soccer Ball
Two US National team members have something in common, a ball. American Goalkeeper, Marcus Hahnemann has seen his share of balls over the years and he does not like one ball in particular. American Midfielder, Clint Dempsey has also seen his fair share of balls over his career and likes one ball in particular. It is a ball that both will be seeing a lot of in the next month or so, the 2010 World Cup ball from Adidas.

Adidas claims 2010 official ball called the Jabulani is perfectly round and its 8 folded panels will provide a very accurate flight. However, the Wovlerhampton Goalie says "if you get no spin on the ball, it's supposed to knuckle. If you get spin on it, it's supposed to bend. This ball you don't know what's going to happen with it," "It's a nightmare for us."

Dempsey says of the ball, "If you just hit it solid, you can get a good knuckle on the ball, and I think that causes problems for the goalie. I enjoy the ball, and I look forward to, you know, getting some shots on goal with it."

USA Coach Bob Bradley thought that Hahnemann's comments were "overly dramatic." Bradley also added "Besides, goalkeepers complain about the World Cup ball every, oh, four years. I think there'll be a goal or two on headers in this World Cup, This ball is new. It takes some getting used to. It also needs to be said that whenever you play at altitude, regardless of the ball, when you begin training, it takes a couple of days just to get used to the way the ball flies. The ball certainly takes off more."

It is the old tale of every sport, offense vs. defense. Only the games played in South Africa will decide the true legacy of the Jabulani Ball.