Twellman had a nice game against Norway's C team, but he isn't in the same area code as Brian McBride.Originally Posted by M2
Their execution hinged on fluke plays. I don't think their game plan included letting their quarterback nearly get sacked on third down only to have him scramble and shovel an underhanded pass on one occasion and have the Grant Wistrom trip over his own feet en route to the sack on another occasion. That's Clouseau slipping on a bar of soap, falling into a suit of armor, dislodging a battle axe, and using it to cut loose the chandelier and send it crashing down on Kato's head.And, far as I could tell, Pittsburgh's gameplan never deviated. The ran their offense at the Seahawks, waited for the payoff and then ran a few wrinkles when Seattle reacted to what Pittsburgh was doing.
"I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful
No doubt... a 25 year old in the MSL are not the same as 25 year olds in Premier League.Originally Posted by WilyMoROCKS
McBride's going to be 34 by the time the cup rolls around and he's never scored anywhere the way Twellman has in MLS the past two years.Originally Posted by WilyMoROCKS
You only get a whack at the World Cup once every four years (if you're lucky). I'd place my bet on the young legs (Donovan, Beasely, Twellman) and bring in McBride as a substitute for after the kids have run the defense ragged.
Raisel Ghul, the Demon's Head
Make that a thing.
Mostly because, usually, if the 25 year old in MLS was good enough to play in the Premiership, they WOULD be playing in England and not in the United States.Originally Posted by westofyou
24 Years and Counting...
Here's how I'd use McBride:
First game, against Czech Republic (OUCH) he should start. Depending on how things go, play him between 65-75 mins. At this point, what US soccer fans have to understand is that we have a BIG dearth of proven goal scorers. Eddie Johnson has been great, and is very young with young legs, but he's been unable to stay consistently healthy. If he's at 100% come WC, he'll start next to McBride, no question. At that 65-75 minute mark, though, I would agree with you that, at this point, Twellman is probably the first forward off the bench. McBride is used to logging lots of minutes and his level of fitness, playing in the EPL, is still very high, his age notwithstanding.
Beasley and Donovan will both start, obviously.
Here's my starting 11 for the WC:
Cherundolo -- Onyewu -- Pope/Berhalter(that's a toss-up at this point although I'd probably give the nod to Berhalter at the moment with Pope as first man off the bench -- Bocanegra
Midfield: This is another tough one, For the right winger at this point, you probably going to see Ralston, but if Clint Dempsey can play like he did vs. Norway in the remaining matches then I'd love to see him step up to that role, Donovan, Reyna, Beasley
Forwards: Eddie Johnson, Brian McBride
The thing about the WC is how it tests your depth.
You can expect Hejduk, Pope, Twellman, Ralston, O'Brien (that's another guy who could start, if he is healthy in time for WC), among others, to log significant minutes
Twellman has been such a no-show at the International level that we really need to see similar performances against better opponents. The Norway game was great, for a number of reasons, and he has come on as of late, and is great in the MLS, but he has been spotty in Int. competition, although we need another goal-scorer BAD.
I'd like to see the US play a modified 4-4-2.
You've got your 4 defenders. Claudio Reyna, an excellent tackler and field general, is your defensive midfielder.
Beasley on the left; whoever on the right.
Donovan as the back-forward:
Feeding the ball to McBride & Johnson
That's sort of how they run things at times and I LIKE IT A LOT.
And yet they stuck to the same plan and in the second half the started to push the chains. That's what good running teams do. They put in the early work, find the soft spots and then croak you.Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool
Their gameplan was to win the ground game and they did it. You win that battle and good things like Super Bowl wins happen. Simple, brutal game and the simpler, more brutal team beat the club that decided to don the fancypants.
Raisel Ghul, the Demon's Head
Make that a thing.
McBride has 10 goals in the EPL this year. That's among the tops in the league. Scoring 10 goals in the MLS might equate to one EPL goal. The talent level is that disparate.Originally Posted by M2
Against the tall Czechs, we desperately need his precision in the air. 34 ain't too old for a striker if he's smart with his touches.
The better team in the Superbowl? Seattle.
The Superbowl winner? Pittsburgh.
History only remembers the winners, not the best team. It's rare that it works out that the lesser team wins, but it does happen.
Now can we all talk baseball and forget this game that means nothing to the true sport that is baseball?
Football is filler. Something to do when real men aren't competing during the heat of summer. Football is nothing compared to baseball.
Let's talk baseball.
Let's forget this mumbo jumbo.
Let's talk baseball.
Championships for MY teams in my lifetime:
Cincinnati Reds - 75, 76, 90
Chicago Blackhawks - 10, 13, 15
University of Kentucky - 78, 96, 98, 12
Chicago Bulls - 91, 92, 93, 96, 97, 98
McBride didn't get there until he was 31. Meanwhile Twellman's been far more dominant in the league where McBride spent most of his professional career.Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor
Swap out McBride for Twellman and I mostly agree (though we'll see if Reyna's got the legs for it). I've always maintained the U.S. won't truly break through until it figures out how to attack more consistently. You've got to marry style to temperament.Originally Posted by WilyMoROCKS
Anyway, McBride strikes me a lot like Fernando Morientes. He's still dangerous in bursts, but what you really need is for guys like Donovan, Beasely, Twellman and Johnson to spend the next few months getting comfortable with where to find each other. They're the more consistently dangerous players. I'd aim to have McBride go hard for 20-30 minutes.
All I know is that Twellman's scoring in MLS like no one before him, including McBride. What he'd do in the Premiership is pure conjecture. Where the two share a similar point of refence, Twellman's done better.Originally Posted by WilyMoROCKS
I hear what you're saying about the Czechs, but do you think the U.S. can beat them in the air? If it comes down to set pieces, I figure that's a U.S. loss. I'd make 'em run.
I still prefer McBride using his smarts and precision against defenders who've been worn down. FWIW, I thought McBride was underused in 1998. I like youth in the attack.
Last edited by M2; 02-07-2006 at 04:48 PM.
Raisel Ghul, the Demon's Head
Make that a thing.
I really respect McBride's skill set matched with his commitment and workrate. He is a tremendous representative of the US team and gives consistently strong performances for Fulham. Twellman has not proven himself on the same level as McBride. He has the potential to do so and the WC 2006 would be a great place for him to realize his potential.Originally Posted by WilyMoROCKS
JOHN MCGRATH; THE NEWS TRIBUNE
Published: February 7th, 2006 02:30 AM
DETROIT – Say this for Detroit: No longer can it be called The City that Never Sweeps.
On Monday, as tens of thousands of tourists headed for the airport, downtown Detroit showed no visible hangover from the world’s largest 10-block party.
Broken bottles, empty cans, and discarded food containers already were off the sidewalks. Patches of snow sparkled in the sun.
The major cleanup project remaining after Super Bowl XL, it seems, belongs to the NFL, whose task over the next few days will be to debunk conspiracy theories.
You’ve heard the accusations: The league favored the Steelers because owner Dan Rooney belongs to the old-boy network that pulls strings for commissioner Paul Tagliabue …
The league favored the Steelers because Jerome Bettis’ return to his hometown was an easy-to-follow saga for indifferent television viewers in faraway places …
The league favored the Steelers because it is headquartered in New York, and thus harbors an East Coast bias against West Coast markets such as Seattle …
The league favored the Steelers because their throwback jerseys are way cooler than any officially licensed Seahawks apparel to make cash registers go ka-ching …
While all of this is so much hokum – how was it that the NFL’s aversion to West Coast champions didn’t prevent the San Francisco 49ers from winning four Super Bowls between 1985 and 1995? – it can’t be denied that officials assigned by the NFL made one atrocious call that cost the Seahawks a touchdown, and another bad call that prevented Seattle from attempting, at the very least, a routine field goal.
Coach Mike Holmgren was as reluctant to point fingers Monday morning as he was in the postgame interview compound Sunday night. His tone on both occasions was diplomatic.
But Holmgren on Monday was candid about one aspect of Super Bowl XL: Pittsburgh’s conspicuous home-field advantage.
The Seahawks understood the hostile climate that awaited them in Ford Field. Days before kickoff, corporate tickets available to league business associates living in places like Dallas, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles suddenly showed up on eBay. Weighing a weekend trip to Detroit to watch the Seahawks and Steelers against making some easy money on an Internet auction, those tickets wound up in the hands of Steelers fans.
But it wasn’t until the pregame introduction of former Super Bowl MVP winners that the intensity of the Pittsburgh faction become fully evident. While most of the MVPs heard polite applause, Steelers’ icons Lynn Swann and Franco Harris were treated to a heroes’ welcome. Of the 68,206 fans on hand, it seemed as though 60,000 of them waved “Terrible Towels.”
Holmgren had more on his mind Sunday night than the emotional makeup of the audience. After the Seahawks’ 21-10 defeat, however, he talked with his grown children.
“They were pretty emotional – their father had lost a football game,” said Holmgren.
OK, coach, we’ll consider the source.
“Steelers towels were on sale at every souvenir stand in the stadium,” Holmgren said, noting that blue-and-green Seahawks towels were not available.
“That,” he said, “seems pretty unfair.”
The preponderance of Steelers fans in the house did not, at first, appear to faze the “visitors” at the neutral site. While quarterback Matt Hasselbeck worked the flanks of the Pittsburgh defense with a succession of precision, high-percentage passes, the Steelers were penalized for two false starts. (Pittsburgh was flagged only once thereafter.)
But the trappings of a road game took an eventual toll. There’s a human element in sports, even with pros competing on an elite level, and the human element insists it’s more difficult to win when the crowd is overwhelmingly against you.
“This is the first Super Bowl I’ve ever been a part of – as an assistant or a head coach – where one team had that many fans behind it,” said Holmgren.
Actually, previous Super Bowls have featured local teams, with mixed results: San Francisco played at nearby Stanford Stadium in 1985 (the 49ers beat Miami), and the Los Angeles Rams played at Pasadena in 1980 (they lost to Pittsburgh). The Oakland Raiders twice made a relatively short trip to Southern California, beating Philadelphia in 1981 and losing to Tampa Bay in 2003.
But the crowds in those instances were not as wildly animated as the one that cheered on the Steelers in Detroit.
More than “Terrible Towels” were at work. Amid the buildup to Super Bowl XL, mayor Kwame Kilpatrick not only presented Bettis with a symbolic key to the city, he told the running back how he wished for him to bring the Vince Lombardi trophy to Detroit.
Mayors will be mayors, to be sure, and Super Bowl tickets are a free-market enterprise. The NFL cannot control allegiances.
Souvenir stands are something else: Either make rooting accoutrements available for fans of both teams, as Holmgren suggested, or ban such items as “Terrible Towels” altogether.
No, the 9-1 ratio of Pittsburgh fans at Ford Field wasn’t responsible for the Seahawks’ sloppiest performance since the season opener at Jacksonville. But the mere appearance of league-sponsored partisanship feeds the imagination of Seahawks’ conspiracy theorists.
After watching replays of Darrell Jackson’s touchdown catch – called back because of slight and incidental contact – the imagination is one hungry beast.
My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!
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