Can't believe I didn't do this sooner, but lets talk about what I watched this past weekend.
It was all about the EPL this past weekend. Even after staying up till 3am, I was up early to watch Liverpool vs Stoke City. I made it through the first half before needing to run out to Trader Joe's to pick up some coffee. Little disappointed in Stoke, they seemed content to play boom ball, and Peter Crouch was pretty much left to scramble for scraps of shoddy service all coming from deep. I tuned in mostly for Geoff Cameron, and was disappointed to see that he is still stuck at RB. Turning to Liverpool, I am becoming a fan of Daniel Sturridge. I would much rather see him up top than Luis Suarez, who is my least favorite player (probably Charlie's too if I remember correctly). I missed the second half while out running errands
I watched the first 30 minutes Everton vs Norwich City game on my phone while out and about, theres something very funny about watching British Soccer while rednecks scream at their children in Wal-Mart. I thought Norwich played very well, Everton's defense didn't give up a ton of chances, but NC took advantage of every one of them. Fellaini finally got to play as a defensive mid, and I thought he did admirably. Barkley played very well, and his goal was sublime. Really a shame the Toffee's could nip 3 points here. I guess Merryside is getting used to draws early this year.
I briefly flipped over to Aston Villa vs Arsenal & Sunderland vs Fulham, didn't take too much away from them, I did see Kasami's goal but that was about it.
I watched all of the Man U vs Swansea City game. My only thought was Chicharito is going to struggle to find playing time this year. Welbeck has now clearly passed him on the depth chart.
Also, can I just throw this out there. NBC, you guys are awesome. This was so much better than Fox Soccer.
That evening I tuned into LA Galaxy vs Real Salt Lake, I absolutely love the new LA Uni's. Not much I wanna say about the game, Keane and Donovan were great, I truly approve of Gonzo's trash talk (but why at Nat Borchers of all people?), I strongly prefer Pinedo to Cudicini, and Plata is a beast, I mean for such a little guy he is as strong as an ox and doesn't take crap from anyone, even Omar Gonzalez who is more than a foot taller.
Also I came to a weird realization, you can mention the two most significant tactical features of the LA Galaxy, best on the counter attack & weak on set pieces, and that would accurately describe the USMNT.
Sunday I tried to wake up and watch Spurs play Crystal Palace, I saw maybe 10 minutes before I fell asleep. I was awake enough to watch Chelsea beat Hull City, how great was that free kick from Frank Lampard?!?!
I did stay up late and live tweet San Jose vs KC. Sporting KC looks impotent without Kamara or Zusi in the line-up. Peterson and Feilhaber are just not adequate replacements.
Unfortunately I have to work this Saturday so I will not be following the games as closely as I would like. Tune in shortly for our Podcast game of the week, the Cascadia clash between Portland and Seattle, and Clint Dempsey's first home game for the Sounders
Barclay's Premier League Kick-Off with a lil Tanner's Jack
We shared this on Twitter a few weeks ago, thought we'd post it to the blog.
USMNT roster for B&H was just issued, keep an eye out for my analysis in a bit.
The biggest and best 4 soccer leagues in the World are arguably; Germany's Bundesliga, England's Premier League, Spain's La Liga, and Italy's Serie A. I wanted to breakdown the best 10 teams in International Soccer (as of the FIFA World Rankings on August 6), so that we can see how many of their players come from "The Big 4" and how many are represented in the nations domestic leagues.
These are from the most recent squads (23 players), be they Confederations Cup, International Friendlies or World Cup Qualifiers
15. England - 23 from England; 23 from Big 4
22. United States# - 8 from United States; 8 from Big 4
Bold indicates Big 4
#- US roster pulled from June Qualifiers, instead of Gold Cup (clubs as of July 1)
^- Indicates 26-man roster
*- Indicates 21-man roster
%- Indicates 25-man roster
Quite impressive that teams like Croatia and Columbia find themselves in the Top 10 with so little representation from the Big 4. Many of these teams also feature players at top class clubs that don't belong to the Big 4 like PSG, Benfica & Ajax, they may not compete against the class of Europe every week but they do play many of these squads in European play.
Very impressed with England going 100%, though we haven't seen many big English players in continental Europe, the only one I can think of over the past several years has been David Beckham. Even looking through their call-ups going through last September, the only non-English club represented is Celtic of Scotland.
How does the US look now that Landon Donovan is back in the fold and Clint Dempsey 7 Clarence Goodson have made their returns to the MLS? Looking pretty good for the Stars & Stripes moving forward.
New FIFA rankings come out on August 8th.
News and opinions about the soccer world.