Written by The 91st

Gks

US Soccer has some huge holes to fill in net after recently losing both Tim Howard and Hope Solo for extended time.

American goalkeeper Hope Solo will be sidelined for 3-4 months following surgery to repair torn cartilage in her left wrist as she is already missing the Algarve Cup tournament in Portugal.

Howard,has sustained two broken bones in his back, an ailment that leaves him sidelined indefinitely without a timetable.

So, uhh … what do we do now?

 

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Written by The 91st

We check in with the U.S. Club Soccer id2 tour, a group of select players traveling abroad and competing against the top clubs in the world.

In their second video diary, we get a glimpse of their recent defeat to Real Madrid Academy as well as footage of the players’ visits to historic clubs and cities in Spain.

 

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Written by The 91st

Mamadou Lamine has been blind his entire life, but that didn’t stop him from identifying players on his favorite team, Barcelona.

The 9-year-old Lamine got the chance of a lifetime to meet his heroes recently, and ironically it was him who left the pros wowed.

Lamine had the team line up, and identified each player using only his touch. Pretty touching stuff, indeed. The only player he struggled with was little-used goalkeeper Pinto, but he still received a bear hug from the moved player.

 

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Amazing Hazard goal

Written by Reshad Bahadori

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Written by Reshad Bahadori

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Written by Dill Pickle

David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane in the same public location? Yeah, that’s nuts. The two titans signed autographs for a bunch of salivating fans at an adidas store in France, recently. This is actually the tame version that adidas put together for an adidas is all in commercial.

What really happened at the store was much more chaotic and looked something like this (after the jump) …

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Written by Dill Pickle

So Chris Pontius dropped by the Fox5 local news show to participate in a segment where they have special guests deliver the local weather. The vibe was really loose – to the point where we wonder if this was actually a news show – and Pontius pretty much handled his business. Which bring us to this question:

How frickin’ easy is it to be a local weather person? I mean, what qualifications do you need: speaking the local language and reading numbers? For someone to walk off the street (or pitch) and do this well speaks volumes about the job itself.

Looks like it’s 40 in this area … MIGHT get to 50.

You see what they did there? Yeah, and President Obama MIGHT declare today National Slip N’ Slide Day! Anything’s possible when we’re talking about MIGHT.

I MIGHT change careers and become a weatherman … I can read numbers.

 

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Written by The 91st

One year ago, Quaker Oats used to be a standard company. They had coffee, and meetings and wore business casual. But, then, they partnered with the Chicago Fire and everything went downhill …

 

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Written by The 91st

Was this phenomenal or just lucky? Maybe, both.

The final goal of the Azerbaijan Cup featured this backheel special from Baku’s Shahriyar Aliyev. For starters, it was amazing enough that he was able to get his heel on it, but to have it go in with that much loft was pretty frickin’ … ok, that part was lucky.

 

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Written by The 91st

5v5_landonDonovan

Trips to Cambodia; impromptu discussions with USC students … is this the beginning, or the end for Landon Donovan? The 31-year-old is scheduled to make his long awaited return to the Galaxy this month, but what does that even mean? Four writers (our fifth was sent off with a red card) discuss Donovan’s uncertain future.

 

What should we expect from Landon Donovan when he returns to Galaxy this month?

John Halloran, Bleacher Report: Well, to be frank, you shouldn’t expect to see him on the field. After his extended sabbatical, even LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena has said that Donovan won’t be ready to play until the end of April. When he does come back, he should be the same Landon Donovan he has always been. Even at 31 years of age, and with a passion for the game that he admits is waning, he is still one of the best players in MLS. He also has a great on-field connection with Robbie Keane and the two can absolutely shred a defense when they get connected.

Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times: We should expect him to need at least three weeks to be fit enough for MLS game action. I wouldn’t expect to see him in a game before late April. The most interesting thing for me is what kind of reception will he get from his teammates? Publicly, everyone has spoken in support of him. But privately many around the Galaxy have expressed frustration about Donovan’s lack of commitment to the team and the organization.

Bryan Byrne, Soccer Cleats 101: The time off should do Landon some good and I am sure he will be chomping at the bit to get back on the pitch. We don’t always get to see whats happening in the daily life of a pro player and there is a lot of pressure involved on and off the pitch. Let’s hope the spell away really reinvigorates him and gives him his passion for the game back.

Francisco Ramos, Soccer Writer/Comic: I think we should expect the same Donovan that we originally had with the LA Galaxy. Hopefully, he didn’t take this retirement too seriously, and he isn’t like 20 pounds overweight and in no running shape. However, if that’s the case, it gives me a chance to be part of the LA Galaxy, or better yet, the LA Galazy.

 

On a scale of 1-10, how concerned should we be about his commitment to
US Soccer and the game as a whole?

Halloran: 8. There is no question that Donovan is on his way out of the game. Being the face and backbone of U.S. Soccer and MLS for the last decade has clearly taken its toll. Both with his MLS teams and the USMNT, Donovan is always expected to be the difference maker and, throughout most of his career, he has rarely missed a start for either side. While the LA Galaxy might be fine without him–they did very well this weekend without him–the USMNT is still clearly not ready to move on. The U.S. player pool has plenty of good, young options at the wing, but none of them are even close to Donovan in terms of their overall game, or the impact they can have on a match.

Baxter: Very much. He’s made it clear that soccer is not his No. 1 priority right now. And that’s fine; I don’t have a problem with that. But I think Juergen Klinsmann has a huge problem with it. If the U.S. starts winning, we may not see Donovan during qualifying. If they don’t get their offense straightened out, though, Klinsmann has some tough decisions to make regarding Landon.

Byrne: 5/10. Things in US soccer are moving forward very quickly and unfortunately I think Landon is being left behind. That is not a bad thing as it simply illustrates the growth of the game here. It is concerning that he is feeling burnt out, I mean you look at players like Ryan Giggs and you have to wonder why he is struggling to find passion especially after his positive spells in England. But for every player it is different and I think the fact the Landon has had to essentially be the poster boy for so long has impacted him in an unfavorable fashion.

Ramos: I’ll go with negative one. I don’t think we should be concerned at all that Donovan is going to play for the US National team. That IS the only reason he’s coming back to the LA Galaxy – he just wants to get in shape to get ready for the World Cup Next Year. He knows the US will advance to the World Cup no matter what, so he’s taking his sweet time to get ready so he can eventually play the meaningful games.
We debate Landon’s place in US Soccer history after the jump.

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