Drink this one in.
Your first YouTube highlight package as a pro is a notable moment. It means a random stranger felt strongly enough about your performance to boil up a pot of questionable music and all of your touches. It doesn’t necessarily mean you made it, but it kind of means you made it.
Tommy Thompson now has his first “touches” video as a pro. He got his first start against Seattle earlier this month and did some fun things, like that chest swirl at around 0:30 that gets him around Osvaldo Alonso and utterly confuses Jalil Anibaba (it was a handball anyway). Or the deceptively difficult touch to open up Wondo for a chance at about 1:50.
Almost certainly won’t be the last of Thompson’s pro highlight reels to hit YouTube, but at least you’ll remember the first.
Last week, the guys previewed the women’s college season in a watershed podcast for the ages of podcasts. This week, the gaze turns to the men’s game, where the guys interview defending national champion Notre Dame midfielder Nick Besler, talk about whether this is UCLA’s year and postulate on the greatness of a certain Stanford forward. And more. Dig in.
Turns out Manchester United is pretty terrible.
In Louis van Gaal’s first cup game with United, the Reds faced MK Dons, a small third tier side based just north of London. I repeat: third tier side. Third. Tier. League One. Not in the Championship. OK? Got it.
United proceeded to bumble their way through a horrible series of miscues that resulted in a 4-0 victory for MK Dons, the greatest victory in the history of the team. OK then. Meanwhile, the game birthed this meme that will probably stick with us until the end of time. Or at least until van Gaal stops so closely resembling his predecessor.
Rubio Rubin is now playing for Utrecht in the Netherlands, which is good. It also means a lock for the U20 World Cup next summer just became a vital cog in the future of the YNT setup. We all know how much Jurgen Klinsmann values European playing time, and the fact that Rubin is getting some in a very good European league with a first team is an important factor for the future. When looking at random YNT call-ups down the line, Rubin now springs off the page even more than before.
A few notes on the video.
By now, you probably know the name Indi Cowie. The freestyle champ went to UNC to play in 2012 but tore her ACL and eventually retired from college ball. You can read more about that journey here. In this space, we’re just concerned with her prodigious and world class freestyle skills, which are apparently as sharp as ever. This time she roped in sister Skye for a bit of a kickabout in a Scotland skate park. Scope it.
The seated juggling is still so ridiculous. Doesn’t matter how many times you see it.
Francesco Totti and Landon Donovan have a lot in common these days. Both club legends are on heralded farewell tours, turning opposing stadiums into glorified recognition chambers. While Donovan gets the “We’ll Miss You But Now We’ll Try And Beat You” treatment Stateside, Totti’s undergoing the same in Europe.
Roma was recently in Athens for a matchup against AEK, and the club gifted Totti a plaque to commemorate the 37-year-old’s incredible one-club career. And then, while taking pictures, Totti dropped the plaque on the running track and broke it.
Totti doesn’t care about your stupid plaque.
Last season, Liverpool had won 11 straight through late April and, with just three games left in the season, needed just six points to put the title away. As we now know, the Reds choked away the title by losing to Chelsea and then, incredibly, gave up a 3-0 lead to Crystal Palace to draw 3-3 and effectively end their title hopes. Suarez cried. Manchester City won the title. It was something else.
Monday was Liverpool’s chance for vengeance against the team that yanked the rug out from under them in Manchester City. Only the game was at the Etihad in Manchester, and Liverpool didn’t really show up in the final third. City won 3-1.
This was probably the game’s greatest moment. Just 23 seconds after subbing on, Aguero latched onto a gorgeous long ball from Jesus Navas and, with his second touch of the game, pushed home City’s third for a 3-0 lead. Liverpool scored one late, but that moment was as appropriate a microcosm as any for this game. Liverpool being old Liverpool.
After a long, seemingly interminable offseason of hibernation, the TopDrawerSoccer.com College Goal of the Week competition returns for its second year of action. If you’ll flash back to the end of last season, Rutgers’ Rachel Cole carried the vote for our 2013 College Goal of the Year with her incredible golazo in the American Athletic conference tournament. We begin that journey anew today.
There was a moment early in the second half of Sunday’s Timbers-Sounders match when Darlington Nagbe faced up fellow Akron product DeAndre Yedlin on the fringe of the Sounders’ box. The matchup had been a continuing font of frustration for Nagbe over the course of the afternoon. Yedlin had harassed Nagbe up and down the field, even tracking back on his probing runs in time to reject Nagbe’s one-on-one attempts. Most of them were futile.
This particular matchup about 10 minutes into the half was Yedlin’s biggest triumph. Nagbe went to his most familiar ally, the right-footed chop to his left that he pairs with a vicious hip shimmy. As soon as Nagbe cut down on the ball, you see immediately that it lacked its typical venom – it’s almost lethargic – and Yedlin, hardly the best heads-up defender in the league, is on top of the move instantly. Yedlin stretches out his right and megs Nagbe on his own fake, punching the ball out of the box and away from danger. Nagbe, beaten completely, wraps both arms around Yedlin and drags him to the ground to draw a deserved foul. It’s over in four seconds.
This is hardly the Nagbe we’re used to seeing, but it’s the Nagbe that’s been on display for long stretches of 2014 with only occasional interruptions. At this time last year, Nagbe had seven goals and three assists. After being subbed off of Sunday’s 4-2 loss to Seattle at home, Nagbe is sitting on just four assists.
What’s happened to Darlington Nagbe?