Let me begin this review with a quick note on stadiums. Playing a USL match in an MLS facility is a mistake. I don’t care if your name is LA Galaxy, the II matters (or as they are known, Los Dos) . Average attendance for LA II last year was just a hair over 1,000. StubHub Center seats 27,000. So what you get is a lot, lot, lot of empty seats. Apparently the USL club typically plays in a smaller (capacity: 2,000) facility in StubHub Center’s area, and that makes sense. Them playing this match in the big club’s stadium, not so much. But what the Galaxy II lack in fan base, they have tons of talent including Home Grown talents Jack McBean and Bradford Jamison. The club has offensive talent for days and, at least in their first two matches, a back line that hasn’t been put to the test at all.
Facing them this evening was newly formed expansion team St. Louis FC. While StL FC is brand new, I hadn’t realized the long history of soccer in St. Louis, dating all the way back to the turn of the last century. Club after club has set up shop, achieved success and folded up over time. Maybe the most successful franchises were the St. Louis Steamers, an indoor soccer club that lasted 9 years (1979-1988). During the early 80s, they actually outdrew the St. Louis Blues four consecutive years. Clearly St. Louis FC has a foundation of soccer fans to draw in and it bodes well for their future success in USL.
Yesterday, when we sat down to record Episode 5 of our podcasts, I went nuts on the USMNT, Clint Dempsey in particular. “He’s got no heart. He’s not running out long balls. He looks like he doesn’t care.” Thankfully, we didn’t attempt to predict what the result would be of tonight’s match in Columbus. I’m sure I would have continued to heap on the team and predict another loss. And we both know, I would be very wrong.
Tension was high before kickoff in Twitter and in Columbus, people everywhere were calling for Klinsmann’s head left and right. And then instead of the lackluster performance of the 25th, a renewed US team showed up and attacked from minute number one. And of course, Deuce scored the first goal. After a lopsided match that could have ended 10-0, the US claimed a 4-0 win and all is well in Klinsmann land. Continue reading “Klinsmann knows Best”→
Tomorrow United States takes on Guatemala in a must win match to qualify for the upcoming World Cup. The match is scheduled in Columbus, the hallowed grounds the United States always seems to retreat to when they need a win. However, the night before and we’ve still got tickets available, over 7,000. Some might say its because it’s a Tuesday and others might say it’s the cost, but I firmly believe it’s because this team lacks the heart to inspire a crowd. We’re doomed.
Charleston Battery took on expansion team Cincinnati FC in week one of the USL season. For 90 minutes both teams looked great, pushing the ball forward and getting great opportunities. With regular time up, it looked like both teams would settle for a draw, but instead both teams continued to push for the win. And with maybe 15 seconds left of the 4 minutes of extra time, Montreal Impact’s Romario Williams (third overall pick in the 2015 MLS draft and on loan to the Battery) took a slick pass from O’Brian Woodbine, dribbled around the keeper, and buried it in the net.
24 hours later I can say, without a doubt that we lack leadership, heart, and maybe talent as a national club. We went into the match with Guatemala, patting ourselves on the back for the 3 points that were destined for our total. And then we played worse than our U-23 team. We’ll be discussing this loss on Monday in the Pod. See you then. Oh, Bradley, stop breathing your own farts, you aren’t that great.