Sunday, September 2, 2007

WELCOME TO THE WINDY CITY

Welcome back, U.S. Soccer fans. Quick turnaround from the Sweden trip, and now the group has begun to assemble in Chicago in advance of the huge to-do against Brazil on Sept. 9 at Soldier Field. We've got tons of coverage planned this week to get you ready for the No. 1 ranked team's first-ever visit to the Windy City. Speaking of which, as you know we bloggers at ussoccer.com like to educate as well as entertain, so here's the first bit of trivia for the trip. Despite popular belief, Chicago is not called "The Windy City" because of the wind (although anyone who visits here will understand the confusion), but rather thanks to a few well-traveled blowhards who touted this city's qualities back in the 19th Century. We've added a link for those still curious...

Arrivals into Chicago have been taking place all day, with the rest of the group and the first training schedule slated for tomorrow. Check ussoccer.com during the day Monday for the official roster release. In the meantime, enjoy the barbeques and have a happy Labor Day.

7 comments:

stephanie said...

in what hotel is the team gonna stay in?? and is there gonna be an open to the public practice?? i would love to go

Warren said...

I second the public practice bit.

Also, if Conrad and Twellman make the final roster, I hope to see a face to face interview... or XS to L shirt interview. Just a thought.

stephanie said...

i'm gonna be mad if taylor is not on the roster, by the way i'm the girl that told taylor he was my hero at the gold cup practice, if anyone remember...

Warren said...

Unfortunately, neither he nor Conrad made the roster. Arnaud is the only peculiar addition, though KC is off the only MLS team off that week, so in that respect even he isn't that much a surprise.

But I still would like to know if they're going to be practicing publicly in Chicagoland. Anywhere from Lake Forest, IL to Hammond, IN will be fine by me.

The Soccer Prophet said...

How Could you leave Jozy Altidore off the roster? He has proven that he can score goals consistently and in big games. He has defeated Brazil at the U-20 level. He is our best pure striker. The American Drogba. He deserves a call up and should be in the starting XI. Jozy is the most exciting player in the MLS. To bring in U-20 GKs and young defenders is not what we need. We have more awesome and experienced GKs than any other country. Proven MLS GKs like Hartman and Perkins should be on the roster ahead of Seitz, who doesn't even start for his club which is next to last. What we need is someone young strong and exciting who can put the ball in the net. His name is Jozy Altidore!

Warren said...

Wow. Are you Altidore's dad by chance? Sorry, I just mean first off he's injured, which even a soccer phenom like Altidore can't overcome without time. Second, generally the US MNT has the policy of bringing in players for a camp, feeling them out, sending the back or having them be a bench warmer, and the later on down the road introducing them gradually into the lineup. He's doing well in MLS, granted, but his numbers aren't more impressive than many of the other people who were left off this list.

Also, the reason we have such amazing GKs is not because of an American bloodline. We train them, we introduce them into the MNT early and often. Every person you mentioned, particularly Perkins, wasn't all that amazing until he was groomed in a lengthy summer US MNT camp.

We don't need someone who is young and exciting, we need someone who knows the team's philosophy, plays well, and can be a consistent threat for the MNT. Look at what happened to Johnson. He was bigger than Altidore long before Altidore came along. Just give him time... just like Adu, Sztela, Seitz, Smith, Rogers, and whoever else you may wish to list for the starting lineup. It takes time.

The Soccer Prophet said...

OK Warren, I didn't know that Jozy was injured. His numbers ARE impressive considerring he missed a large chunk of the season with the U-20s. And no I'm not his Dad. I am a nationally licensed coach and a former professional GK. I've seen a lot of great goalscorers throughout my career and I enjoy watching Jozy and believe he has what it takes to play at the highest level. He has already shown to be more mature and intelligent than other strikers (Johnson) who are older than him.
I disagree with you. Our GKs start ahead of the world. Because soccer is not the only sport in America and is not what every dad plays with their kid in the backyard. Almost every American can catch. Hand-eye coordination is one of the earliest things American kids learn and continually develop through their youth. You could put almost any Basketball player in the goal and train them to be a great shot- stopper in two months. BUT, it is not shot stopping that makes a great goalkeeper, it is experience, day in and day out playing in games that makes a great goalkeeper. One who can lead and organize his team making saves when needed but more importantly directs his players to eliminate chances before they happen(Keller).
For a forward youthfulness and unpredictability can be a very valuable trait. A quick first step and fearlessness can make the difference. I'm growing tired of watching our team's philosophy which doesn't seem to be taking chances, shooting and scoring goals.