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Hammer in the House: Spector set to face Canada


For those of you who may have missed it, Jonathan Spector is in Nashville and ready to take the field for the U.S. national team in its must-win Olympic Qualifying semifinal against Canada on Thursday.

Fresh off his second straight 90-minute performance from West Ham, Spector is expected to slide into a central defense position for the USA and will be called on to neutralize Canadian star striker Will Johnson.

With Spector on the field, you can expect Maurice Edu to slide into central midfield, with impressive central defender Michael Orozco looking like a good candidate to partner in the back with Spector.

It is T-minus three days until USA-Canada. Are you ready? Here’s a little something to get you in the spirit of things. Here are the members of the U.S. Under-23 national team:



  1. I also have a vague memory of an ad in which Freddy said “AY-do.” But I hadn’t heard that in years.

    Maybe he pulled a Joe Theismann.

  2. To be honest, I’ve never payed any attention to Olympic qualifying ever in my life. The recent form of some Canadians has been exceptional, and it’s a big treat to see players that will be the future of Canadian soccer. Any kind of accomplishment for Canadian soccer is huge for our national team, and I really hope we manage to knock you boys out. To be honest, I still really want some payback for the “Gold-Heist”… er… I mean the Gold Cup semi-finals. This won’t do much, but a win would make me feel a bit better.

  3. In regards to the Freddy v. Benny in camp:

    I would hope that someone would rip into his teammates if they lost a game 5-0.

    Supposedly, that is what happened, Benny wasn’t happy after enduring a lashing to his defenseless side in the final scrimmage. Good for him for chewing someone a new one. I would be pissed as well if my team lost like that.

    Benny > Dax

  4. This is crazy. These kids used to play with each other at the Chicago Sockers. Can you imagine getting flown in from halfway around the world to neutralize an old youth teamate?

  5. I’d like to see this formation against canada:






  6. I feel like I am watching Pulp Fiction and Jules is making a plea to Marcaleus to have the body cleaned up so Jimmy’s girlfriend doesn’t find out… so they are sending in the Wolf to make sure everything goes accordingly.

    Jules = Novak (they kinda have the same hair)

    Marcaleus = Sunil Gulati

    The Wolf = The Hammer = Spector

    There is something unsuspecting about Canada these days, and it scares me. Their most talented players are arguably more talented than the US’s most talented, but their least talented still play in USL, it is a weird dichotomy.

  7. Good to see that Spector is going to play. That will really help for a solid backline, providing more freedom for everyone else to push up. I’d like it to end up being a 4-3-3 looking like this:






  8. Seems like whatever occurred vis a vis Freddy and Benny, the “decision maker” must’ve been Peter. And, it’s clear that he’s decided Freddy in the middle is for the best–not that it’s not blindingly obvious. It’s very pleasing to see that Freddy is playing just where he left off from the sub-20 WC and has clearly improved even more during his time at Benfica. He may not ever be the supreme-master-of-the-universe some think was promised, but he very well be the best US player ever before he’s done (and I hope that he’s quickly eclipsed, for the good of the program ya know).

  9. i love soccer, and have so all my life. but never once have i put much into Olympic soccer. I know most people in the world dont, other than friends and family of the players. but i guess their is little else to talk about. anyway, i doubt Canadians care much. I know Guatemalans and Hondurans could careless…other than a handful of people. regardless, i’m curious but not very excited.

  10. Ives:

    Not that it really matters anymore, but just out of curiosity, did you ever see Freddy’s MLS commercial on Fox where he introduced himself?

  11. This Freddy vs Benny thing sounds pretty hilarious. I just watched a video of him the other day talking about how he REALLY didn’t like playing on the outside where Nowak was playing him, and how he DESPERATELY wanted to play in the middle. Obviously this is old news, but it just reminded me of how intensely he feels about this. Now he’s on the Olympic team with Nowak as his coach again, and you know he must have been thinking right from the start, “No, please don’t let him even consider putting me on the outside again!”. To be fair to Nowak I doubt that he would consider doing that on the Olympic team. He had good reason to not let him play in the middle with D.C. because he wasn’t going to give him Gomez’s position. He should have just traded him sooner.

    Anyway, now we have this situation, (assuming it’s true) and what position does Feilhaber play? Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions but is it possible that Freddy is feeling threatened by Benny, or vice versa, since they fill very similar roles on the team? Just a thought.

  12. Hey Aristotle, glad I could help.

    Regarding the Adu pronunciation fiasco, I have talked to Freddy countless times over the course of four years and had NEVER heard his name pronounced Ay-doo, so when some folks started talking as if that was the right pronunciation I couldn’t understand what was going on.

    If you think about it, Ay-doo wouldn’t be an African pronunciation either. It would more like be Ah-doo.

    Glad I could help those folks who have been tainted by the disease that is Miles-itis.

  13. 1) I think Adu and Edu say their names pretty much the same.

    2) Way to look and sound like a heroin junkie, Eddie Gaven.

    3) Dax McCarty looks like he’s about to pee in his pants.

    4) Jozy needs to stop seeming like he’s 10 years older than he is. He’s going to scare off European suitors.

    5) Can’t wait for the game!

  14. kpugs:

    If you are out there……..uh…….about Freddy’s name…………um……it would seem that……uh….you are…..uh…right about how it’s pronounced. I just finished wiping the egg off of my face!

    I’m still baffled by this. I thought I was on pretty solid ground. Why would someone write or say that the announcers on Fox started pronouncing his name ay-doo after Freddy did an MLS commercial on Fox Soccer Channel and introduced himself pronouncing his name ay-doo? Also, didn’t someone posting here (Haig?) then confirm that he had heard this commercial and that it was true?

    Regardless, there’s this video where he’s saying u-doo, and I would certainly think he knows his own name.

    It was interesting to here Maurice pronounce his name because he seems to say his completely different than any variation I’ve heard anyone come up with. I listened to it several times and it sounds like he is enunciating the “E” and pronouncing it eh-doo. Similar, but I would think different enough that the announcers could make it sound different without mispronouncing anyone’s name.

  15. @AlexS,

    You may be right, I haven’t been paying too much attention to Spector’s recent play. I was going on more medium term history with the Hammer’s where he has been all over the back line and even at d-mid.

    However if his recent run-outs have all been at CB I will concede that the math would be a bit different.

  16. Ives,

    any truth to the rumor that Adu and Felihaber got into a fight at the U-23 camp? A poster on big soccer posted the rumor after claiming to have heard it on Fox soccer Fone in

  17. I was just watching FFF and they mentioned that Benny Feilhaber and Freddy UH-du had a falling out…are there more details on that or did I mist a post on this lol

  18. yo Kpugs, don’t remember reading in the other thread whether or not you found the video of Freddy introducing himself, but Ives posted one for ya! The results are in, and they confirm what we already knew: Christian Miles=dusch

  19. @Zeusbrowne

    Spector has been playing Centerback in the premiership, I don’t see any reason to ask him to play a different position.

    And I have to ask this… They should all play because they’re better than the alternatives… but how do you fit in Gaven, Holden, and Adu into the same formation? They’re all attackers, all should be on the field, but there only seems to be 1 spot on the wing (Gaven’s been playing there) and 1 attacker (Adu’s) with another midfield spot along Edu. Holden can play there… but do you think the formation will change to bring Holden up along Adu more than along Edu? Otherwise I can see Dax taking the other mid spot… but while Dax can cover a lot of ground he’s nowhere near as good going forwards as Holden. Would playing Holden and Adu in dual attacking midfielders cut the room for either of them to be creative down too much? Perhaps it could be more of a 4-4-1-1 than a 4-2-3-1, with Adu playing withdrawn striker behind Jozy and Holden playing the lone attacking midfielder?

  20. Wouldn’t it make more sense to slot Spector in at left back? As well as Sturgis performed there, his best position (IMO) is centerback. Spector is much more experienced as an outside back, is more used to moving around the back line, more likely to give us some more effective play going forward and, last but not least, slotting the new player who hasn’t had a chance to build chemistry with the team in at fullback is less likely to be disruptive than centerback.

    I’d really like to see the performance a centerback tandem of Orozco and Sturgis would put in.

  21. Cervi’s not going to sign? Chicago threw away a first round draft pick?

    Ha. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving team.


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