U.S. Men's National Team

Some American soccer thoughts on a slow Tuesday

Good morning all. It is a slow Tuesday in the soccer world and while there aren't a ton of major stories making the rounds today, there is still plenty to think about if you are an American soccer fan.

In MLS, you still have three teams still looking for head coaches. D.C. United is down to two candidates in Akron's Caleb Porter and former KC head coach Curt Onalfo (our money is on Porter being the pick). The Chicago Fire looks set to break a record for most candidates interviewed, with no front-runner having emerged yet (our money is on Tom Soehn being the pick. In New York, new general manager Erik Soler is debating between some European candidates and a handful of MLS options (our money is on someone other than Richie Williams being the pick).


On the national team front, DaMarcus Beasley has started to score playing time again for Rangers and while it looks suspiciously like a chance to shop him around for the winter window, it shouldn't be automatically assumed that Beasley isn't simply returning to form.

There has been plenty of venom sprayed at Beasley from U.S. fans who simply don't feel he is worthy of consideration for the 2010 U.S. World Cup team, but those folks have some short memories because Beasley remains a player who has been very important to the national team in recent years. He was awful last summer, both in World Cup qualifying and the Confederations Cup, but he absolutely deserves another national team look if he keeps playing for Rangers, or makes a move to a club that will play him come January.

Why? Well, in case you haven't noticed there aren't a ton of left wing options for the U.S. team. Landon Donovan starts there, but he could be moved to the right flank, which would allow Clint Dempsey to move up top to fill the void left by Charlie Davies' absence due to injury (or Donovan could move up top himself). These are the options Bob Bradley would have if Beasley could return to form and regain his starting left wing slot. He still has a long way to go to get there, but his recent success should be seen as a position sign and a potential step toward a national team comeback.


From the "Another one that got away" department comes the news of Gabriel Funes'success in Argentina. Who is Funes? He is the young Argentine born and Texas-raised prospectwho won the Sueno MLS contest that earned him a place in the FC Dallas Academy only to pass it up for a chance to try out for clubs in his native Argentina. He scored a trial with famed club River Plate and worked his way into the club's starting lineup. He capped the fall season with a goal in River's final match (his goal is the first in the video):


Lastly, it is a surprisingly busy Tuesday Americans Abroad. Marcus Hahnemannand Wolves will try to upset Manchester United today (2:45pm, Setanta USA) while Brad Friedeland Aston Villa looks to tighten its hold on a Top Four spot with a win at Sunderland (2:30pm, FSC/FSE). Jonathan Spectorwill be looking to get back in the West Ham lineup as the Hammers face Bolton (3pm, Setanta Xtra). FA Cup star Mike Grellaand Leeds will take on Accrington Stanley in the Johnston Paint Trophy. DaMarcus Beasleywill have another chance at some playing time as Rangers faces Dundee United in SPL action.


What do you think of the above topics? Hoping D.C. hires Porter? Starting to believe that Beasley could play his way back into the national team picture, or have you given up on him for good? Think Hahnemann could make it two straight wins by American goalkeepers against Manchester United?

Share your thoughts below.


  • Jamie Z.

    #2 just doesn’t sound right to me. As a Villa supporter, I don’t see any evidence that Guzan is not being groomed to take over for Friedel in a year or two. Guzan has performed so well in his time on the pitch, and O’Neil has been so outspoken in his praise of him, that there has been talk of Guzan pushing for the number one spot. Obviously, the way Friedel is performing, that’s not going to happen at the moment, but even Friedel has spoken of how Guzan’s form is keeping him on his toes. I would be saddened and surprised if he went somewhere else.


  • Stephen

    Why does everyone think that Dolo is such a terrible defender? He starts in the Bundesliga, plays 90 minutes most games. I think that says something. If he was a terrible defender then he wouldn’t play at all. Simek didn’t even play at all last game. Dolo and Spector are our best options a RB as of this moment.


  • soccerroo

    For what ever reason FC Dallas did not sign him to a senior contract. My guess is he was young and not ready. He joined what we call the Juniors and trained for a little while with them before having to go back to Argentina for some paperwork or something. He trained while there and got picked up.

    I think the issue is he was not able to finalize the contract because of paper work and then got picked up while training in Argentina so MLS missed out due to the paper work issue.


  • Marmaduke

    I’m sure Ives is correct that he’s just being showcased for the next transfer window, but Rangers wouldn’t trot him out there to embarrass himself. That wouldn’t do them any good. As long as he continues to perform until the transfer, he’s on track for South Africa. At one point he had some deadly speed that was effective in world cups past, with out CD9, we could use some more of that.

    On the other hand, Arena relied (IMO) too heavily on the old guard last time around. If he’s not at full speed and confidence, the spot should go to someone younger. (Castillo as a dark horse for left midfield, anyone?)

    And for goodness’ sake, keep DMB out of the defense.


  • afrim

    a player like Gooch can survive a knee injury b/c he never had speed and explosivness to begin with. With Beasley speed was his game. Losing half a step would effect someone like Beasley 10x more on the field


  • afc

    He doesn’t play in Vietnam anymore. He quit. He ignored all calls and emails from the club. He had to send his Dad to Vietnam to tell the club he quit.

    The fans in Vietnam are very angry at him for acting so immature.


  • afc

    Funes doesn’t have citizenship. He isn’t one that got away because he can’t play for us.

    (SBI-He couldn’t play for FC Dallas? (That was my point in case you missed it). And for that matter, if he lived in the United States for eight years, how far was he from citizenship exactly (although I was referring to MLS and not the national team when I wrote that).)


  • tfina


    What is it about Richie that has potential employers shying away from making him a head coach? Red Bull being stupid, I could get, but three or four teams passing him over has me wondering

    (SBI-Well, let’s break it down. Chivas USA was always going with either Vasquez or Sampson, TFC hired Preki long ago, the DC job wasn’t as clear-cut a lock as some might have thought for Williams. That leaves Chicago, which I’m doubting highly he’s in a rush to jump into given concerns around the league about ownership meddling, and NY, which seems intent on hiring a coach with years of head coaching experience (or a European big name). I think Williams is being hurt by the stigma of having only been an interim head coach before and never having been a head coach yet. I think he stays in NY in 2010 and maybe a move presents itself after that.)


  • anotherbodymurdered

    Yeah, I’d like to see some actual names named for the Chicago position. That is, if you can.


  • BigGold

    Beasley was certainly a creditable player for the MNT in the past. However, DMB has never been the type of player to compete at the level the US achieved in South Africa last summer. In ’06 in Germany, you could see the fear in his eyes from the stands. (Of course, that was also true for Donovan, but he at least has acknowledged his failure and taken his game onward and upward since then.) Bradley’s creative reshuffling of the midfield to make up for Charlie’s absence needs to go a different direction.


  • Mike Caramba

    Well, at least MLS spotted Funes. It’s more depressing when a good foreign club picks up an American prospect you’ve never heard of before…Everton comes to mind.


  • Mike Caramba

    Re: Beasley

    I feel the same way about him as I do about Adu. While the outlook isn’t as promising as it once was, people are far too quick to throw in the towel and write them off. Up until a year or so ago, it wasn’t uncommon to hear Beasley’s name mentioned in the “greatest Nat ever” conversation (usually with the “if his career shapes up the way it should” caveat added in). Obviously his recent form makes that statement seem pretty silly, but I’m comfortable saying that an in-form Beasley is probably our best natural winger.


  • ETJ

    Have you even watched a USMNT game this year? honestly putting in simek for dolo and spector for boca? who is gonna be the other CB… your comment is so dumb you should have your own blog on bigsoccer


  • Salchipapa619

    Not sure where it is stated or implied….But clearly has undertones of National Team….Got away? How many players leave MLS to better career? So if Landon and Holden leave, that will fall under the “got away” category. But way to defend “Ives the God” here! noy buying it, sorry!!

    (SBI-How in the world can I imply something that was never even mentioned? The kid played high school soccer in the Dallas area, then tried out on a show and won a spot with FC Dallas, then winds up at River Plate. He “got away” from Dallas and MLS. It’s pretty simple.)


  • fubar

    The whole Suena MLS experience seems to be bad news. Just look at all of the players who seemed to have come through it and only one (Flores) has opted to to play in the MLS. If I am Univision and MLS, I am scratching my head as to how I can get these players to stay in the States.

    From a supporters point of view, it just looks like Uni/MLS are doing a whole lot of scouting for Central and South American Club Teams that otherwise would never have the time/money to dig these gems out of the American Hispanic Community.

    Why are we (the MLS) doing all of this work while our opponents reap the benefits?

    Anyone have an answer to that?


  • Josh D

    I think, we as Yanks, need to get out of this whole mindset of “he was born in another country but raised here so he got away.” He doesn’t get away, in my opinion, if he wasn’t born here. Sure being raised offers a reason for them to stay but he was never ours to begin with.

    Let’s be proud of who we have instead of always complaining. Hargreaves got away from the Canadians. This Argentinian player is just playing for his country.


  • Angie

    common problem for soccer fans / “readers” nationwide on every soccer site, I thought soccer readers were supposed to be a little more clever than, say, football fans, but almost every article written by Ives or anyone else in this country ends up with mostly crazy overreaction comments bashing the writer about something that wasn;t even in the article. Something strange is going on here – anyway maybe the comment sections should just come down on soccer sites until we readers as a group grow the heck up


  • Tres

    “It is a slow Tuesday in the soccer world”

    Isn’t there a hefty slate of Premier League games today? (And tomorrow too.)


  • Tim From Texas

    He Didn’t get a tryout w/ Dallas. He’s just been training with them and still is in Dallas training I think.


  • Aaron in StL

    Best chance is back to the Netherlands. He’s a know commodity there, teams played against him when he was actually dangerous there. That may be his best shot.


  • A

    Funes made a good choice by going to River Plate instead of staying at FCD. Everyone knows that Schellas only plays S&MU alums anyway.


  • Aaron in StL

    They need to come up with some binding contracts once they whittle it down to the final 12, hell, even once the show starts.

    I’m pretty sure American Idol does the same thing. That’s how they have 12-15 people from the same show go on tours. MLS needs to kid these kids to sign contracts/agreements/MOU’s that stipulate they’ll go to an MLS squad. MLS probably doesn’t have the capital to back something like that up, however.


  • paul lorinczi

    I had not heard the latest.

    Does not surprise me that Yeagley is getting it. Sounds like an Indiana move all the way.

    All the more reason for Porter to get the DC United job.

    (SBI-The Yeagley thing isn’t official yet, but it’s what I have been told.)


  • paul lorinczi

    There have been several reports coming out of England that have alluded to Fulop going to Aston Villa. There was one on Sky today as well. I have a friend who follows Hungarian players in England and has sourced several articles to the same.

    (SBI-I don’t know Paul, Martin O’Neill has been pretty vocal in his praise of Guzan, who has been a beast every time he’s played. Guzan is VIlla’s future. The Fulop link sounds like his agent put it out there to boost interest.)


  • paul lorinczi

    I agree with you David on Beasley’s injury. As an old guy that still plays soccer, brains become important part of your game when you get older. Beasley is not that old, but he has the experience to adjust his game to any physical limitations.


  • meyers7

    “(SBI-When you tell me why the Estudiantes-Pahong Steelers match is vital for American soccer fans I’ll send you a t-shirt.)”


    Very simple who does the winner play (most likely anyway)? That’s right Barcelona. And who is Barcelona’s arch rival? That’s right Real Madrid. And who used to play for Real Madrid? That’s right David Beckham. And as we have been told by almost all the media, Beckham is the savior for American soccer. So how can it not be vital?

    Ok, so I’m just looking for a t-shirt. 😉

    (SBI-That’s not bad, kinda weak, but A for effort. Email me your address and info.)


  • TestudoTheFearsome

    that an 18yo american is starting and scoring w/river plate in league play is huge news & is being underreported by the US soccer media. thanks for doing your part to address that, ives. how a kid who can score for river plate in league competition doesn’t get called to rongen’s U-20 camp is beyond me.

    (SBI-It’s probably because he’s not a U.S. citizen and therefore not eligible for the U-20 team.)


  • Eric B

    Beasley’s goal is a scorcher!

    His speed would definitely be an asset to the team if he can return to form.


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