It's game day for Sporting Kansas City as the team takes on BPL Champions, Manchester City in a friendly at Sporting Park. The game though looks like it may not be the biggest news of the day (at least for me). Yesterday, Sporting Club announced that they would have a "major announcement" today that would include the club, Wyandotte County unified government representatives, and Kansas governor Sam Brownback.
After a spectacular performance for the United States at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, defender Matt Besler has received a wide variety of interest from a number of European clubs including official bids from Fulham and Sunderland. Besler admitted to wanting the deal done as soon as possible.
United State's Men's National Team's Matt Besler is said to be receiving multiple offers from both European and English clubs after a solid performance for the United States in the 2014 World Cup. Reports in Kicker Magazine indicate SC Freiburg is a likely destination for the Sporting Kansas City man.
Going into the World Cup, a major storyline around the U.S. national team was the number of key players who had left overseas clubs to return to MLS. Facing a logjam in the AS Roma midfield, Michael Bradley accepted a designated player spot with Toronto FC to earn more money and a starter's spot.
From the moment he was excluded from the U.S. World Cup roster, Landon Donovan faced a critical choice. He could accept, map out the rest of his playing career, and begin to work on his post-playing options. Or he could fight back, showing the world that his exclusion was long-term a poor choice for how the U.
Now that the U.S. has, once again, exited the World Cup in the Round of 16, American soccer aficionados are in the self-reflective, hand wringing stage of sports grief. We're asking ourselves what went wrong? What could we have done differently? Why aren't we better? Will we ever win the top prize of the most popular sport on earth?
The Internet has created its newest meme — Things Tim Howard Could Save, which includes pictures of USA goalkeeper Tim Howard in some classic situations "saving" different people and places. For example, even saving the Titanic.
The meme is a reaction to Tim Howard's record breaking performance against Belgium in the United States's Round of 16 match.
The praise for the USA World Cup team has been unanimous across the world. They have won the hearts and minds of so many soccer fans globally, as well as the respect of the soccer critics and media.
This mixed bag of a few German-Americans, one Icelandic-American, a guy from small Texas town, a man who's part Native American, a Haitian-American and even the youngest player to ever see the field in a World Cup game did the impossible.
Today's must-see game between USA and Belgium will be shown live on US television and Internet beginning at 4pm ET/1pm PT (coverage begins at 3pm ET/Noon PT). If the United States beats Belgium, the USMNT will advance to the quarter-finals of the World Cup. If they lose, they go home.
Chicago's Soldier Field will today host a USMNT World Cup Watch Party where event organizers are expecting more than 20,000 soccer fans to cheer on Team USA.
Home to the NFL's Chicago Bears and multiple USMNT matches down the years, the stadium has a capacity of over 60,000.Even in a stadium that will be just one-third full, the atmosphere promises to be electric during the USA-Belgium game, which kicks off at 4pm ET/3pm CT.
The USMNT could not have had a better start to their World Cup when Seattle Sounders' talisman Clint Dempsey scored in the first minute of group play against Ghana in Natal. It wasn't all that easy though, as twenty-six minutes later the star striker, Jozy Altidore, went down holding his hamstring and he was replaced by Aron Johannson.
The US Soccer Federation announced today that 24 year old forward Jozy Altidore has been cleared to play for the United States when they take on Belgium in the Round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup. Altidore has long been considered the star striker for the USMNT and on the whole his form for the Stars and Stripes has backed that up.
In the Group Stages of the World Cup, there were three teams that gave up only a single goal to their opponents. One of those teams was Belgium.
So to think about the Americans' play thus far heading into this game, one has to be concerned. Yes, they were able to get two goals each against Ghana and Portugal, but against their toughest opponent Germany, they looked punchless on the counter.
USA Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann has admitted he has a problem with FIFA's selection of the match officials for United States's game against Belgium, to be played on Tuesday. FIFA announced today that Algerian referee Djamel Haimoudi will be in charge of the Round of 16 match. Klinsmann is uncomfortable with the advantage the Belgiums will have with a French-speaking referee.
Despite escaping from the Group of Death, the United States may be facing its toughest test yet in a win-or-go-home match against Belgium. No longer can the Yanks hope to be good enough, but with Belgium and probably Argentina standing in their way of advancing, the entire roster needs to play at its best.
These days, Graham Zusi is widely regarded as having one of the best right foots in MLS but his journey to the international stage has been far from straightforward. The Sporting Kansas City wide midfielder, who was drafted into MLS with the then-named Kansas City Wizards at the age of twenty-two, reached a new pinnacle in his blossoming career when he started against Germany in the USMNT's final game in the group stage.
Since finishing on top of their group in qualification, Belgium has been somewhat under whelming. Despite finishing 2013 with back-to-back losses, this year they have had a good record in terms of wins and losses but the results are not as impressive as some might think. As of their final group game, they have a record of 5-0-1 this calendar year against relative minnows like Tunisia and Algeria (plus an unofficial friendly against Luxembourg) and only one of those games has been won by more than a single goal.
Both the United States and Belgium will likely face-off on Tuesday in a humid Salvador without some of they key players in the line-up.
Jozy Altidore's return date has not been revealed but coach Jurgen Klinsmann remains hopeful that he will return to the pitch before their time in Brazil is up saying, "We are very optimistic to have him to be a part of the Belgium game.
This is where the fun starts for the United States. After negotiating their way through the Group of Death with some wonderful performances, Jurgen Klinsmann's men will take on Belgium in the last-16 knowing there is very little pressure on them whatsoever. Even if the USA were to depart at this particular stage of the tournament, this team has captured the imagination of the nation and already exceeded expectations.
In this the latest edition of World Soccer Talk's Tactics Corner, World Soccer Talk's Earl Reed looks at the USA versus Germany match.
The US escapes the "Group Of Death" after suffering a narrow 1-0 defeat to Germany. What was Jurgen Klinsmann thinking in this match, and how did Germany get after the United States in order to grab the victory and secure First Place from Group G?
The United States didn't deserve to go out of the World Cup Thursday against Germany — not after coming within 30 seconds of clinching their place in the knockout stages against Portugal, and battling gamely against the worst travel schedule in the competition, and a group of death that promised and delivered drama and hardship.
Now that the Group stages of the World Cup have concluded, it's time to review the upcoming Round of 16 games to see which teams have the best odds of advancing through to the quarter-finals of World Cup 2014.
Before we share the data, here's a note from the editor.
Editor's note: Chris McFarland's analysis beat Nate Silver's Soccer Power Index predictions for the Group stages of the World Cup.
On a day that saw Luis Suárez given a heavy ban from soccer as well as Sulley Muntari and Kevin Prince-Boateng being sent home in disgrace by Ghana, there was a danger that the off-pitch drama would overshadow the remaining fixtures in Group G.
The equation was simple, a draw between the US and Germany would see both sides comfortably qualify for the knockout rounds.
Jurgen Klinsmann has been derided by critics on both sides of the Atlantic as being incapable of taking a tactical approach to the way he sets up and manages his teams. In 2011, Phillip Lahm who played for Klinsmann — both with Germany and Bayern Munich — said the following about the one-time German national team great:
"We practically only practiced fitness under Klinsmann.
Both Germany and the United States advance to the round of 16 in first and second place respectively. After a 1-0 finish in a wet and humid Recife, the USMNT qualify through goal difference after Portugal defeated Ghana 2-1.
The beginning of the first half saw a confident German side completing passes, and testing the United State's back line.
Kyle Beckerman #15, it's not just what you see on the back of his jersey at this World Cup it is also what he signed at the bottom of the notes he wrote for his Mom as a kid.
Born in Maryland, it's been Beckerman's dream to play for the U.S. Men's National team since he was young. However it was a dream he began to think would never come true until Jurgen Klinsmann took over as head coach and Beckerman started to see consistent field time.
Thursday is the final match day in Group G, and none of the teams in the Group of Death are 100% through or 100% nor are they knocked out. Germany also belongs to this group, though their position is the least precarious, as they would need a colossal collapse against the USA and either Ghana or Portugal would need an epic and high scoring victory.
This week I have been receiving a lot of, to use a polite word, "guff" about the United States National Team from militant anti-soccer people. They constantly bring up the idea that the U.S. simply needs a draw to advance in the World Cup and, because Germany can also finish first with a draw, there is a major opportunity for collusion with Jurgen Klinsmann's old team (see, more conspiracy!
He also likened Jermaine Jones' goal against Portugal to something Lothar Matthäuswould've produced. Regardless, he stayed on digital recorded air with me for 26-plus minutes and the man is a goldmine of insight and perspective, including on where this World Cup falls historically. This is the first World Cup not being covered by Vecsey in 32 years and the whole way he experiences soccer
The United States faces possible elimination from the World Cup if they don't get at least a draw against Germany on Thursday. The USA's failure to close out Portugal in stoppage time has left the national team with everything to do against Germany.
Assumptions are abound in the United States among some lazy pundits and those who quite honestly might want to see the sport fail that Germany is somehow an invincible force and the United States will be eliminated.
When the US national football team manager, Jurgen Klinsmann, came to address the press ahead of his team's group match against Portugal, the happiness was clear on his face and the reason behind that happiness was quite obvious. The match between Ghana and Germany had just ended in the form of a draw which put the Yanks in a very good position in Group G.