Written by Will Parchman

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Sometimes I do live blogs of USMNT games. This is one of those times. Follow along as I crash through the 1-0 win over Panama in the Gold Cup final minute by minute. One word: Brekkanize.

I’m wearing black today. Pouring out drinks. Saving front row seats (or just one for my German Bro). Jurgen Klinsmann, our Herr, our Fuhrer (eh, too soon?) is watching the game like the rest of us. His exposition on his one-game suspension after UNTOWARDLY THROWING A SOCCER BALL SOMEWHERE was “it is what it is,” which makes me want to stab the eyes out of baby pandas. But so does this suspension, so there you have it.

CONCACAF. You suck. I mean it. Love, Will.

Honestly, it means little. If not nothing at all. Klinsmann wears heather-gray half button-downs with that Euro swag on the sideline during games and yells a lot. Jumps around a bit. Mutters German obscenities. Yells some Hasselhoff. Most of his work is done on the training ground before and after games. So that he’s left it up to Martin Vasquez and Andreas Herzog, two guys who share the same training ground and the same hilariously lofty ideals, is not a big deal.

But here comes Panama, a team the US splashed into the core depths of the Pacific Ocean in Seattle in a brilliant, vibrant attacking display. Lineup.

#USMNT lineup for Gold Cup Final: Rimando; Parkhurst, Goodson, Besler, Beasley ©; Beckerman, Holden; Bedoya, Donovan, Corona; E. Johnson

Eddie Johnson’s hair starts up top. Like it. Love it. Can we talk about how good Kyle Beckerman is at this level? He’s literally the perfect B-team midfielder, because he’s a B+ player most every game, and an A- player when he’s streaking. Which is like, now. In competitions like this, he’s a pissed off tank in a suburban Kia dealership.

Also, DaMarcus Beasley gets vampire blood infusions before every game. It’s the only way. Holden deep in a 4-2-3-1 is interesting. Basically ensures this will not be an actual 4-2-3-1. He won’t sit deep with Beckerman. More or less ensures an attacking ethos from the outset. Like it.

Gus Johnson and Wynalda for the broadcast. Players will be simultaneously hammered and mispronounced. CAN’T WAIT. Jokes. Seriously though, I like Gus. He was thrown in too deep initially with the Champions League stuff. This is his venue here. You know I support anyone who yells through a routine pass at midfield. Caps. Hyperbole. Beastsause.

Donovan crouch. Let’s go. #TankInAKiaDealership

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Written by Will Parchman

That up there was Chris Wondo(w)lowski’s third goal (with the extra W!), which came just seconds after Belize scored a stunning tally themselves. It was the flashpoint for the U.S., which ultimately breezed past Belize 6-1 and to the top of its group in the Gold Cup.

Already more than we can say for Mexico and Canada. So count your blessings, I guess.

So here we are. I said after the game that player ratings in games like these are akin to judging your singing ability while you’re being pelted with rocks. The conditions are different, so you have to judge on a more awkwardly composed sliding scale. Joe Corona looked very whatever, but I don’t necessarily think I can honestly kneecap his starting chances based on a fluttery performance in Portland. Same with Wondo, the dude who had a hat trick. I’m still not picking him for the World Cup.

That said, I thought a couple players helped their cases for further inclusion. Here’s  a look.

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Written by Will Parchman

So there’s this country called Martinique. It had only won one Gold Cup game in three previous appearances in the tournament. Perhaps its most infamous Gold Cup appearance was a cool 9-0 defeat to Mexico in 1993, which more or less set the over-under on how bad the country would lose again this year.

And then along comes Canada, all hopped up on maple syrup and lugging its skates out to midfield. Guys, Martinique beat Canada. Panama beat Mexico for the first time ever a couple hours later.

To quote Chris Farley-as-Tommy Boy, “RICHARD, WHAT’S HAPPENING?”

 

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Written by Will Parchman

US Men's Soccer Team Introduce Jurgen Klinsmann As Head Coach

 

You look at Jurgen’s Gold Cup roster and what shines? Sure, there’s Landon Donovan over there trudging in from his journey to face the wildlings north of The Wall. Oh hey, and there’s Gooch, who still plays soccer if you weren’t aware. Mix and Gatt are there too, a couple young exciting midfielders playing in Scandinavia who can bring a mixture of exuberance, speed and graft. All good things.

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