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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.



  1. IF we progress out of the group — we’ll play either Germany or Serbia.

    Jones versus his old team OR
    Subotic versus that team he spurned.

    Either way, some interesting subplots.

  2. Man some you people are just arrogant and I think the only term for it is “pricks’… Ives never said USMNT… was referring to MLS… Ives is sticking with a story that all the major hurdles are passed in the LD loan to Everton..Moyes already confirmed talks which in managerial terms.. if he goes public.. unless he is Phil Brown.. that means the deal is all but done…

    I am quite sure that Ives has 5,000 more inside sources that the rest of you so just shut up…

    Oh and I for one am hoping that Beas is being shopped around.. he needs to get out of the rugby league… He can thrive in other places.

  3. That is a hilarious piece. Nguygen does everything he can to make it seem like he didn’t torpedo his near-future (if not long-term) national team and club plans by taking the money is a 10th-rate league. He has every skill to play at Arsenal? Get real, kid.

  4. While I have never been sold on Guzan, I can’t agree with point #2. Guzan still plays, O’Neil has had nothing but praise for Guzan, including glowing comments after Guzan’s last performance and the supporters like him. This “rumor” seems contrary to the facts.

  5. Actually, I think Nguyen went to Vietnam more for the money — he got an offer that was probably more than he could have gotten in MLS. He did get a tryout with FC Dallas, though, in October.

  6. What are your rumor sources for #2? Are they credible? Wonder what Guzan could have done. His few efforts at standing in for Friedel looked very strong.

  7. If I last recalled scoring for River means nothing in this end of the woods. Gallardo scores there regulary but did not really have a significant impact in MLS, Luciano Filomena scored many goals in Argentina but did nothing in DC. OR Franco niell. Now if he becomes the go to forward that starts game in and game out. Then at that point should we consider him as the one that got away (for MLS no US soccer), of course. Look average players have scored in various leagues in the world, including MLS. Does anyone even remember Tayt Ianni???? yep you guessed it patricks brother (he scored against LA in the 96 playoffs). Lets not make him the next big thing until he accomplishes something else.

    By the way MLs spoted hime on sueno MLS, so we can’t say that our system did not spot him.

  8. 3 problems to your lineup. DMB, BOCA and Cherundlo. so many better players out there.

    HOlden, Spector and Simek should be in those spots.

  9. I would love to see: (assuming everyone is in top form)

    CF: Davies
    CF: Jozy
    CAM: LD
    CDM: Jones
    LM: Beasley
    RM: Dempsey
    LB: Bornstein
    LCB: Bocanegra
    RCB: Onyewu
    RB: Cherundolo
    GK: Howard

    But that means we would have to sacrifice Bradley…Not sure if its worth it..

  10. It is so simple and painfully obvious where Donovan is best:


    I’d give my left arm for the national team to let him play there more than once in a blue moon. Most of his best national team games have come from that position. It is so obvious how dangerous he is there that it causes me physical pain.

  11. How old is Akron’s Caleb Porter? Can a young coach be successful with professionals he doesn’t know in contrast to Pep being from Barca?

    Isn’t 200 minutes a bit premature for a new Beasley evaluation. Think of all the things you can’t do in 2 1/2 hrs. Not even watch an NFL game for one.

  12. I can’t imagine why Aston Villa wouldn’t think Guzan is the right guy to replace Friedel. He is becoming a PK legend and I can’t remember any major gaffes in any of his limited cup appearances. That would be terribly dissappointing if true. I think he would hitch on with another club through. Rumor has Robert Green going to Chelsea. I could see Guzan at West Ham.

    On Beasley, if he is just getting back to form now that does not bode well for Gooch. Seems athletes with serious knee injuries take a good year plus to fully recover. Yeah he may be healthy in 6 months but a lot of athletes seem to be 100% a year or so after the original injury.

  13. This is true, but I’m not sure why it matters anyway. Obviously level of competition will matter to a coach’s credibility, but I think style of coaching and tactical awareness is what’s more important when evaluating a college coach’s potential effectiveness at the professional level. I’m curious to see how he’ll do if he does get the job.

  14. So this Gabriel Funes has already pledged himself internationally to Argentina? It would be pretty cool if one of our own was playing in the Argentine league.

  15. Couple of observations:

    1. DMB did lose some form after his knee injury. Let’s hope that he is coming back to what he is capable. He is an experienced player both for clubs and country. We are a better team when he is in form than without him.

    2. Rumors out of England are suggesting that Aston Villa are not seeing Brad Guzan as a replacement for Friedel. The rumor is suggesting they will make a bid for Marton Fulop at Sunderland.

    3. Landon Donovan will do well at Everton. Since he broke up with his wife, his focus seems to be back on his game. You heard me right. Look at his career. If you read comments by him at Leverkusen while at San Jose, he was whining about not being around his girl and friends. He complained that he had to commute to LA from San Jose.

    He did look great this summer and it coincided with the break up from his wife.

    Lesson to all you young ones out there. If your a Footballer, stay focused because your career is short. Marriage, there is time for it later.

  16. Yeah, hate when it is so slow only the semi-finals of the Club World Cup are going on.

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

  17. Ives never said one word about Funes being an American citizen. It says “Argentine born and Texas raised”. His “one that got away” statement is directed at MLS.

    Some of you need to chill the heck out. Or learn how to read. Or both.

  18. I have a gut feeling and i hope it is true that Demarcus will be on the 23 man squad to South Africa. I really think that he is returning to form, recovering finally from injuries and working hard to get the PT that he needs. His talen never left, it was just the injuires which hurt his form. And since we both hail from the same home state I wish him the best of luck and hope to see him in a USMNT kit come next summer!!!!!!!!!

  19. Your observations are completely off about Porter.

    He is well known here in Indiana. Most people here agree, he is an excellent coach which is why he is under consideration to replace Freitag.

    If I were him, I would take the DC United gig over IU.

    (SBI-Paul, the Indiana job is going to Todd Yeagley, and pretty much always was, which I think is why Porter threw cold water on the Indiana talk.)

  20. While I agree that a lot of venom was sprayed at Beasley, I think a large part of that was frustration with Bradley that he puts guys out there that aren’t in top form, not even to mention that they aren’t getting time with their club side. While some guys may be able to step in and play simply because they are the best option (Onyewu prior to injury possibly), others don’t deserve it. Beasley had fallen into that category.

    That being said, people are stupid if they can’t see that if Beasley gets playing time in the next six months and is playing well, he deserves a shot at the roster. I would just hate for him to get named to the roster and pull up lame the week before.

  21. How does an undiscovered guy go from competing in the Sueno MLS, wins it, trials at River Plate, and gets
    some games, all in a period of a year? Doesn’t matter
    if the guy is US citizen. Didn’t Dallas sign some young
    Mexican-American guy (non US citizen) into their reserve/academy?

    Fact is, MLS dropped the ball on this one. Its obvious this guy was good enough to be given a chance to start for River Plate after less than a year in their system.

  22. Given the context, it would seem as if Ives is referring to getting away from MLS, not from the National team. He did get away from MLS, and I’m somewhat surprised that players in the Sueno competition didn’t have to sign a waiver that says winning the competition would require them to take a contract of x amount for x years to prevent this sort of thing.

    (It is pretty absurd that someone who won the competition used it as an “in” with foreign clubs.”

  23. I like DMB too, and he may well deserve another shot, but only if he proves it on the pitch, in real matches, with his club (whether at Rangers or somewhere else come January) and with the MNT. A couple of decent showings should not be enough. Nor should some impressive training sessions with the MNT. If he makes the squad for WC 2010 based on anything less than clear evidence that he’s sharp and match-ready, Bradley will be setting himself up for some major criticism.

  24. Prediction: Beas is being shopped and will be picked up by another Euro squad…best guess: France, Portugal or Spain. Once there he will flourish and become important piece of the puzzle for US NATs in South Africa

    Here’s hoping 🙂

  25. While the MAC is not the most competitive conference in the nation, it should be pointed out that it is also a small conference giving Akron plenty of out of conference games. Akron played, and beat, half the big-10 this year as well as several ranked opponents. Akron played a much tougher schedule than most people give them credit for.

  26. Funes is getting PT be/c River’s season was lost.

    I don’t think we have to worry about him “choosing” btw Argentina and the US. His talent will have to be off the charts for an Argentine cap. If he’s good enough, he’ll be lucky to get US call.

    And I think we don’t know enough to say

    he’s “one that got away”. It’s my belief that

    a bunch of these kids whose parents came from

    “soccer nations” instill in them that US soccer

    is inferior. They’re snobbish and dismissive. So, from

    an early age, the kid adopts the same

    mentality….al a Rossi.

  27. Why should we consider Funes “One that got away?” If he did not play for Argentina, then he got away from them. Nothing wrong with that. Just like that Serbian dude. Are we not at a point in US soccer that we should not really care about players like this playing for country of birth. One that got away, it GioSuppi Rossi now playing for Italy. Born and Bred here; not one or the other. So get over it, no need to scavenge for players. It does make the US look bad when cry baby articles written like this! We are no crows!!!

  28. Soehn to our arch-rivals, classic. I hope the DC front office gets Porter. He’s done an amazing job at Akron. My only concern is the lack of competition in the MAC. Porter is very young, but he will be under immense pressure from myself and the other fans. We’ll only want him to succeed, but we’ll be heard if he isn’t capable of running the team. Overall I just want this coaching hunt completed so we can move on.

    I’ve always liked Beasley, and hope he makes a comeback, but don’t see it happening. He needs better competition than just a few games in the SPL. I hope he goes to Spain, although he’s also said he’d enjoy returning to Holland. Having him on the roster next summer can only mean good things for the Yanks

  29. Geez Ives, come on Gabriel Funes never had American Citizenship to imply that is disingenuous at best.

    He never got away because he never was in the US camp to begin with.

    (SBI-TheDude, I wasn’t talking about the national team. You might want to read a bit more carefully next time.)

  30. I agree, I would think there are many more prospects for coaches amongst the USL/TOA wreckage. The USL1 experience would be much more useful than NCAA (cue the Sigi contrarians, post outrage now).

  31. Nguyen chose to play in Vietnam for cultural reasons I believe. He is a rock star there and gets paid very well at the same time. His twitter eludes to him making a return to MLS this up coming season.

  32. DMB helped lose the Confederations Cup? He didn’t even play in the final. He does not deserve to be exiled. If he gets back into the form we all know he can preform at he deserves to be on the plane to SA.

  33. the “one that got away”… does that mean slipped away from mls or from usmnt? is funes an american citizen?

    apologies if this has been covered already.

  34. Does Gabriel Funes have American citizenship?

    And the article also mentions that Lee Nguyen is playing in Vietnam. Why? Is he not good enough to make it in MLS? Talk about a career that has taken a downward spiral. Nguyen went from PSV Eindhoven and potential national team prospect to playing in Vietnam over a 3 year time span.

  35. Ives,

    How are you? Site is great as always. Hey, so I’ve always been a fan and supporter of Adu. But man, he can’t even get any time at a mid table team. So I have a question for you. Maybe there is an in-depth piece chere with interviews and all. But how can a guy with this much talent, not get playing time under Nowak, Elinger, Camacho, Gomes, and Pereira? Why do they sit him? What’s the real reason? They can’t ALL be wrong, can they? So I’m sure it’s me and I’m way off base with assesing his talent. Maybe Nike is a big influence here in making teams take him to keep thier sponsorships. I guess I’m looking for answers…thoughts?

    Thanks, buddy. Keep up the great work. And if anyone else is reading this – vote for Ives for Best Soccer Blog at

  36. i hope that Ives has good intuition on this… maybe he is working back into form… i think he likes scotland, but it seems like they are showcasing him for a transfer

  37. I think hiring Porter would be a mistake (in my uninformed opinion). Akron was completely unimpressive in the college cup. Their offense completely died inside the attacking third (some of this can be attributed to the players). Why wouldn’t DCU get a coach with proven experience from another professional league? Then again, I’m just an observer and there are people who get paid to follow these things, so maybe they just looked terrible in the matches I watched.

    I’ll believe DMB is on his way back up when I see it. I won’t forget that corner kick that he completely missed and helped to lose the Confed Cup… I can’t help but feeling like he deserves to be exiled.

    I wish there were more hours in the day so I could watch all the soccer I wanted to… I can barely watch the teams I follow in the first place.


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