Daily_soccer_fix_crest

Steve Davis

  • joined Aug 17, 2009
  • last login May 05, 2014
  • posts 691
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User Blog

The next six weeks just got easier for Jurgen Klinsmann, USMNT

Tuesday’s 3-2 win in ridiculously foggy Slovenia was big for the U.S. program. In fact, let's file this one under "Huge."  It must be qualified with this reality: Slovenia doesn’t look anything...

Growing concern in Camp Klinsmann; why some results matter

Results don’t matter – well, until they do. Let me explain. We keep hearing that results don’t matter when it comes to friendlies. U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann keeps saying it. He doesn’t give a...

The Klinsi compromise

FC Dallas winger Brek Shea will soon set camp at Arsenal’s training site in leafy Hertfordshire, about 45 minutes from the Emirates. (Sounds quite nice, eh? He told me last week that he’s a tea...

Reconsidering Landon Donovan's tactical role Sunday vs. RSL

In yesterday’s SI.com piece and in this blog, I talked about how Landon Donovan was a little quiet (by his standards) in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake. Well, I wasn’t exactly wrong … but I...

Where Jurgen Klinsmann spent his weekend

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U.S. men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann took advantage of his trip to Europe to stop over and watch a trio of his players at their club addresses. He was in Germany on Saturday to watch Fabian Johnson and Danny Williams at Hoffenheim, where the Bundesliga side drew 1-1 with Kaiserslautern. Johnson started as a central midfielder while Williams played the last half hour as a midfield substitute. The next day, Klinsmann scooted West into London, where he watched as Clint Dempsey and Fulham played well in a 3-1 loss to Tottenham. (Fulham pushed for and nearly struck the late equalizer, but then saw the visitors to Craven Cottage grab No. 3 at the final kick.) Williams, 22, is the latest German-born recruit to grab Klinsmann’s attention. Like Fabian Johnson and Tim Chandler (and Thomas Dooley, going even further back) is the son of an American serviceman and German mother.

The days ahead for Landon Donovan, and a possible decision

Landon Donovan may have a big decision to make today. As you probably know, Donovan is on Jurgen Klinsmann’s list for a pair of friendlies across the Atlantic, starting with the bigger one on...

Fearless predictions: second-leg deciders in L.A., Houston

First, if you put your hard-earned, 99 percenter money on anything I told you concerning yesterday’s pair of playoff deciders … you’re welcome. I will congratulate myself later today for this...

MLS Playoffs: what to expect in tonight's second leg action

Home-and-away series in MLS playoffs tend to play out like the company Christmas party: things may start out a little slow, stodgy and cautious. But pretty soon furniture is being tipped over,...

This week in Talking Tactics: Peter Nowak's gambit

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In the end, I think Peter Nowak may have picked the right tactic for his Philadelphia Union, but for the wrong game. Tomorrow night at Robertson Stadium, this thing might have found some legs. But at home, to open the home-and-away series against Houston ... not so much.

A tricky situation involving Jurgen Klinsmann and Juan Agudelo

There were talking points galore on the first legs of the four MLS quarterfinal playoff series. I tried to hit as many as possible in the SI.com review, which should be posted later today....

Reminder: memorable nights deserve deeper analysis

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A very quick one for now, because I’m marching double time today, heading into the KESN-FM studios to do some advance work before our live show tomorrow. (7 – 8 a.m. CT, recorded at Allen Wickers Pub just north of Dallas. Swing by … EPL on the tele and cold beer in the taps, if yer man enough.) Here’s something on my mind this morning: In Game 2 of a terrific, ongoing World Series, the home team led by one run going into the ninth inning. The home team, the Cardinals, lost. Last night, the visiting Rangers were down to one strike – one pitch from claiming their first championship. Not once, in fact, but twice. But the Rangers lost. Today, is anybody saying the Rangers "choked?" Or the other day, did anybody say the Cardinals "choked?" No. And I’m fine with that. Rather, we have a bunch of good discussion on the errors, the managers’ choices, the possible miscalculations, etc., that ultimately decided these riveting events. It’s great stuff, really. No need to break down these memorable nights to least-common-denominator, one-size-fits-all theory; these high-profile encounters deserve better, right? But now let me take you back a few months to an argument I made back then – that any discussion of a U.S. women’s national team "choke" in the Women’s World Cup final was just a bunch of hooey driven mostly by men and women with pretty hair (that is to say, TV types) who don’t know enough about soccer to engage in deeper conversations. That they aren’t equipped to have these conversations is fine. That’s not part of their regular jobs. But they shouldn’t try to appear to be authorities by trotting out cliché angles – plot lines they would never need to apply if they actually took the time to know more about the sport. Point is, next time the chattering class does drags out a tired, simplistic explanation for nights that deserve deeper analysis, here’s hoping more readers, listeners, viewers and downloaders – really, anybody downwind of the stinky stuff – will call them out.

Yellow cards in MLS playoffs; the jeopardy rises

So as not to be an over-complainer (the world has enough of those, no?), I’m trying hard to find things I like about Major League Soccer’s new playoff structure. Well, here’s one: I haven’t seen...

Major League Soccer playoffs – don't blink, or you'll miss 'em!

Major League Soccer’s playoffs begin today. You know the playoffs, right? It’s that high-anxiety time everyone around MLS points toward for eight months. Really, longer than that if you count the...

My MLS choices for MVP, Defender of Year, Best XI and more

I visit my neighborhood Whole Foods almost every day. And when I stand at the store's overly complex recycling labyrinth, straining to make the most Earth friendly decisions on its flummoxing array...

A fabulous 15 about MLS playoffs, which begin Wednesday

At some point today, SI.com editors will put the headlines, captions and final graphical flourishes on the lengthy MLS playoff preview I just put together. (Update: the piece is posted here now.)  Y...

I smell "over-reaction" with one Red Bulls result

All MLS beware! Hide the women and children, for the New York Red Bulls are in the playoffs! That’s the story – or something like it – going around MLS circles this morning. Prevailing winds of...

Jurgen Klinsmann setting precedent, getting this part right

Freddy Adu’s name came up this week on our SI.com podcast as we tossed around opinion on those recent, flagging U.S. national team performances. Of course, Adu hasn't been part of the proceedings...

Pinning down Major League Soccer's elusive MVP chase

It truly is stunning how little clarity there is in Major League Soccer’s MVP chase. I can best describe it in four words: “All over the place.” With one round of matches remaining (10 games...

Friday’s Big Ten: Thoughts and whatnot heading into the weekend

1. Seattle’s soccer scene rocks. I know that statement is tagged under “ridiculously obvious.” But good heavens, look at what’s happening this weekend! More than 60,000 fans are set to show up for...

While lashing Tim Ream, let's examine the real U.S. problem

We shouldn’t be too surprised that the U.S. attack currently has all the potency of a spaghetti dinner. First, there’s no Landon Donovan. Over the last few years, the U.S. attack is cut pretty...

Jurgen Klinsmann, a smart guy who got one wrong

This is why national team coaches don’t run their nation’s soccer leagues. U.S. national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann has made his feelings known about the regrettably insufficient length of...

MLS consternation ahead: annual debate over last day lineups

I don’t often find myself in the position of defending the Los Angeles Galaxy. After all, the club’s ownership group (AEG) wields a mighty sword around MLS, which is why the Galaxy is about to...

Good soccer market, or bad? A little more nuance, please

Some time back in June, on some golden and mystical night, benevolent fairies sprinkled magic soccer dust over greater Kansas City, which was wondrously and instantly transformed into a fantastic...

Seattle and U.S. Open Cup: Deserving champs, but a flawed process

For the record, the scene at CenturyLink Field on Tuesday was everything you’d want, a cauldron of mean green, awash in Open Cup frenzy. And also for the record, Seattle is a deserving Open Cup...

MLS review supplement: rising Americans, and a lot more

Each week about this time – quite early on Monday, a second cup of warm, wonderful, understanding coffee at my side – I file my MLS Weekly Review for SI.com. We call it “Five Things to Know” about...

When every game matters: What MLS can learn from NFL

A binding NFL-MLS link will always exist. The Hunt family and Kraft family were early MLS pioneers, of course. Later, Paul Allen (Seattle Seahawks and Sounders) showed everyone how an NFL-MLS...

Talking Tactics: Where is De Ro best deployed?

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Click on the headline for this week's Talking Tactics column, where I look at DDR and his various roles. (Dwayne De Rosario is so good, he gets TWO nicknames: De Ro and DDR. So top that!)

Rafa Marquez, Carlos Tevez, and the tyranny of discontent

When was the last time a problem child was truly worth it in pro sports? It does occasionally happen, where some selfish prima donna is so preternaturally talented that it’s worth putting up with...

Re-rating Major League Soccer’s MVP chase

I wrote recently that the MVP chase in Major League Soccer is a slippery, elusive beast. Things tend to shift quickly in this thing, I wrote. So, I’ll try not to bust my arm patting myself on the...

Tim Ream, Rafa Marquez and the blessedness of self-awareness

I am as perplexed as anyone about the verbal grenade Rafael Marquez tossed into the Red Bulls locker room two nights ago. It demonstrated a stunning lack of self-awareness on several levels. After...

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