The US has qualified for the World Cup

I fuckin’ wish.

He’s doing very well at the Deathstar, actually, their fans seem to love him, and a few months ago some British rag (can’t remember which) that did a player-by-player analysis of the current Rangers squad referred to him (and him alone) as “world class”. There are whispers about him moving southward, I hope that’s true.

Ben Olsen’s loan spell at Forest was extremely successful. He was awarded player of the month and from what I could tell from spying on their official website forum, the fans would almost universally love to have him back. Hopefully he puts that injury behind him soon.

I never get to see the MLS living over here but I heard Clint Mathis was scoring some astounding goals, he’s been injured for awhile as well though.

I’d also rather see Keller in goals than Friedel. Keller’s never really impressed me at club level, but his performances with the national team have always been fantastic (remember Romario’s comment in the 1998 Gold Cup about Keller’s performance being the best he’d ever seen?). But I guess you really can’t blame Arena for preferring a keeper that’s actually first choice at his club.

(And I still wish Espen Baardsen hadn’t declared for Norway…)

notcynical, I’m sure at you can find a list of the national players and where they are originally from. The vast majority of them are born-and-bred yanks, David Regis and Preki being the two exceptions that immediately come to mind.

Last I heard from Lalas, after he fell from grace in the Italian leagues, was he was doing TV commentary here in the states.

Meola, who after his day in the spotlight, played American Football, as a place kicker, for a while. If I recall correctly, he actually made his way back onto the national squad within the last few years, but since has been dropped.

Cobi Jones is very much on the squad. I don’t have numbers, but I know for a fact that he came in as a sub (and quickly earned a red card) in the last match I watched – (against Honduras, maybe??).

Besides Ben Olson and Brian McBride, I think out best man is teenage sensation Landon Donovon.
Here is our active roster:

Goalkeepers: Brad Friedel (Blackburn - ENG); Kasey Keller (Tottenham - ENG); Zach Thornton (Chicago Fire)

Defenders: Jeff Agoos (San Jose Earthquakes); Carlos Bocanegra (Chicago Fire); Robin Fraser (Colorado Rapids); Greg Vanney (Los Angeles Galaxy); Eddie Pope (D.C. United), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96 - GER); David Regis (FC Metz - FRA)

Midfielders: Chris Armas (Chicago Fire); Richie Williams (MetroStars); Preki (Miami Fusion); Manny Lagos (San Jose Earthquakes); John O’ Brien (Ajax - HOL); Claudio Reyna (Rangers - SCO); Tony Sanneh (Nurnberg - GER); Earnie Stewart (NAC Breda - HOL)

Forwards: Landon Donovan(San Jose Earthquakes); Ante Razov (Chicago Fire); Cobi Jones (Los Angeles Galaxy); Jovan Kirovski (Crystal Palace - ENG); Joe Max-Moore (Everton)

To clarify – the roster I listed is the roster Bruce Arena had put together for the recent Jamaica match.

Thanks folks.

What position does Olsen play? I’d heard he can play at full-back, but then again I heard wide midfield and striker, so what do I know?

I haven’t heard much about Marcus Hahnemann or Eddie Lewis recently (both Fulham, I think): any good? I know McBride did well enough on loan at Preston that they’re willing to let Jon Macken go without a fuss (and he’s a great striker) if they can get McBride permanently.

Cobi Jones … gah. There’s a guy that never played well when I was watching. He seemed to be from the Franz Carr school of play: run very quickly in a straight line until you either (a) run the ball out of play, (b) fall over and lose possession, or © get a lucky deflection into the box. Cynic, me?

Preki I always liked, even though he never seemed to settle in the Premiership. Too physical, maybe.

If I recall correctly, Olsen usually plays, and shines, at mid-field, out wide – and very offense minded. He is the first American player I’ve seen in a great while, in whom I can detect no intimidation from foreign teams. He just has this air of cockiness, that he can back up.

Brian McBride falls into that category as well. He is the one player who has defined what it means to play in the air, at least in this country. Any ball floating through the box, he will get his head on it.

I’m afraid I’d have to agree with you about Cobi. Fast little booger, but muffs it better than half the time.

Lalas, Jones and Meola are all playing in the MLS here in the States. Lalas and Jones on the LA Galaxy and Meola for the Kansas City Wizards. I, too, am of the opinion that Jones is overrated. He seems to be a hot dog and ball hog, but then he never does anything with it. I don’t see him that much, though. He was playing on the national team earlier this year. Lalas is playing again, and not doing too badly for someone that everyone had written off. I guess a big defender is like a big center in basketball. You can always get work. Meola makes that Kansas City team what it is. Without him, they really sucked. With him, they were looking like champions of the MLS - too bad they ran into the Miami Fusion in the first round of the playoffs. Miami had the best record in the MLS.

The US/Jamaica game was supposed to be shown at Noon CDT on ESPN. Let’s hope it was, because I was recording it.

They asked one of the forwards on Trinidad & Tobago what he would get if they won the World Cup. “They would give me Tobago, man” :smiley:

If the US wants to get past the first round of the World Cup, they have to play better than they did against Mexico - I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game played that badly. From coaching decisions (weird substitutions) to strategy (let’s just let Mexico shoot - maybe they’ll wear out all their boots and have to forfeit) to skills (how many times can you fall down??).

Fear not; it wasn’t many years ago that any US sports fan knew anything about pro soccer, either.

Simply played on them, or still do. The question was asked by someone across the pond, and I tried to link them to teams the questioner might best associate them with. Oh, Cobi Jones is on the team, but it appears Harkes got cut again. My bad.

Celtic, Rangers, what’s the big difference?
Ow, stop hitting me! I didn’t mean it! I’m a dumb Yank, what do I know?

Mostly they grew up in the US, many the sons of immigrant ex-pros from Britain and elsewhere. There are a few exceptions, though. The US federation scoured the birth certificates of the European leagues looking for players qualifiable as Americans (apparently inspired by the Instant Irishman program). Presto, Thomas Dooley and David Régis were wearing USA jerseys before either of them learned English.

Olsen is a winger or wingback. He usually plays on the right, but has done a decent job on the left before. A great attacking player and not a bad defender either.

As for the performance against Mexico, the US always sucks at the Azteca. So do most teams, in fact. I wouldn’t worry too much based on that performance. The home loss to Honduras was more worrying, but everyone screws up once in awhile. We’ll see how it goes anyway. I don’t expect us to finish in last place this time, at least :slight_smile:

Keller is definitely a better shot stopper and seems capable of singehandedly winning games. Friedel is better at distributing the ball and is starting right now. Until Keller gets playing time, Friedel will be the #1.

McBride had a life threatening blood clot about a month ago. I expect it will be quite a while before he plays again.

RE: Keller.

Casey Keller is the reserve goalie at my team here in England (Spurs). It doesn’t argue for a burning ambition to play for your national team that you accept a second berth (albeit a lucrative one). There is simply NO chance that he will be selected against Sullivan, who IMHO is the best keeper in the premiership.

I would assume that the USA will be in the fourth tier of seeds for the draw, and as such face an almost impossible route out. It would be quite an achievement to get to the next stage.

However this is a topsy turvy cup, with no Dutch, and the Brazilians and the Germans all over the place and no home advantage for anyone, so a few surprises could happen.

Maybe, given the heat, this could be the year an African team finally really do something? Maybe Nigeria?

Oh and I think England will get to the quarter finals, and possibly the semis. But Euro 04 and WC 06 Watch out!

It’s going to be very odd watching football at 09:30 am, stone cold sober.

Joe-Max Moore seems to be rated as third or fourth choice striker at Everton. He’s played in five out of eight games for us this season, but mainly only for about 20 minutes as a substitute. Danny Cadamarteri’s personal problems mean he’s certain to leave the club, so that will secure Joe-Max a bit, but like so many strikers he’s in a Catch 22 situation – he needs to prove his scoring ability to earn a regular place, but if he doesn’t play regularly he won’t find his scoring touch. He’s never shown any lack of committment, which I appreciate, especially in comparisson with some overseas-born players in the Premiership who expect guaranteed first team football or they’re off.

I always expected Preki would do better in the US than here. He showed plenty of close-control when he was with us, but took too long to deliver his crosses, and also found English football too physical. He was always likely to be a crowd pleaser if given more time on the ball.

Believe me, Elvis, you don’t want to go there – but if anyone can give you a short answer with no swear words, maybe ruadh can ;).

It really shouldn’t put anyone off watching the World Cup because their team isn’t going to win because that means most of us. It took Brazil 20 years to do it after the world’s greatest ever team of 1970.

I’d give England a QF chance at best, and would agree that Argentina and France have the best chances, but as always you should expect surprises.

The point I was trying (badly) to make is that our perception of US sports fans is that they are only interested in things they can win. Hence the popularity of such barrel-scraping activities as Rugby in tights or netball for giants.

Would football fans in the US be interested in watching a tournamant in which the US will lose more than it will win, and also lose against “small” countries? It would seem from the replies that the answer is yes.

Here in England we have the reverse problem. We can’t see why we don’t win every tournamant. I mean we invented the game right? So when the horrible realisation of being not as good as whoever (fill in blank) happens we are distraught.

England fail to function as a team. Great players, no team. They rely on Individual performances too much.
And can anyone explain why every football commentator seens to want to give David Beckham oral sex?

'cos he’s quite good (though grossly overrated). He’s not the best player at Utd (Veron) or even in the England side (I rate gerrard higher) but he has the public profile.

Reminds me of my favorite newspaper sports section quote, from the Times the day before the 1966 England-Germany Cup final at Wembley: “If, on the morrow, we should be beaten by the Germans at our national game, let it be remembered that twice in this century we have beaten them at theirs.”
OK, got it, Reyna’s with Rangers. Sorry. Then it must have been a Celtic fan that taunted him after a recent goal by pantomiming an airplane hitting a building.

Seems the federation no longer schedules US-Mexico games for the LA area. Most of the tickets usually got bought by Mexicans and it was essentially a road game for the US.

Don’t worry about that. If there’s a bunch of people in “USA” jerseys in a tournament we know is important to the rest of the world, we will automatically watch and cheer, in our knee-jerking jingoistic way. It doesn’t much matter what the sport is or what the US team’s actual chances ar, but a good chance of winning is even better.

Now, if it’s some corporate-sponsored off-season invitational thing, we won’t bother, even if the same teams are involved. The rest of the world doesn’t care about those either, so there’s no joy in putting them in their places. It has to be the Olympics or the World Cup or something on that caliber.

And if Arena gets his way, they’ll stop scheduling qualifiers at RFK. No matter the country we’re playing, there are enough immigrants in the area to buy a bunch of tickets. Hopefully the USSF will overrule him. I took my son to his first WC qualifier this year at RFK and he loved it (despite the US loss).

In fairness to Arena, it wasn’t simply a case of them buying a “bunch” of tickets. According to all reports the crowds at US-Mexico games in LA and the US-Honduras game in DC were dominated by away fans (or in the latter case, temporary away fans - the numerous Salvadorans in the DC area turned out to support their Central American neighbours). There may be immigrants all over the country, but there are certainly places where the homefield advantage would not be so thoroughly ceded to the visiting team as it was in those cases. It is just silly for US Soccer not to take that into account when crucial games are being scheduled.

I wouldn’t say the US-Honduras game was dominated by away fans, but it was a pretty good showing. They were loud in the way that away fans usually are, since they’re trying to show that they can rule your stadium.

Wait just a minute, pal. This is about me. How am I supposed to go to qualifying matches if they don’t play at RFK? It’s time for USSF to start thinking a little less about Bruce Arena and a little more about me. But, really, I do understand Arena’s concerns. They had even tried to ensure a very pro-US crowd by distributing tickets through youth soccer groups and US soccer fan clubs (which prompted an investigation by the Department of Justice).

In the end, though, we’ve qualified and finally put together a great midfield. I just wish Keller hadn’t made a cash run at Tottenham, so he could be our first choice. Nothing against Friedel, Keller’s just better.