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USA Update

Greetings again from Ciudad de Guatemala.
A few items to share before I dive into my story for Wednesday's print edition.....

*Landon Donovan, on rising expectations over the years: "I see it two ways. The expectation should be now that winning the game is feasible and we should win. The reality is, once you get into the game, who knows what happens because these games are so unpredictable. At the end of the day, if a point is what you get, take it and you are happy with it because you are taking points away from them at home. But I feel like we should win the game. We are clearly a better team - better players, better prepared - but if you get a point, you take it."

*Oguchi Onyewu, on rumblings that Italian club Catania might be interested in him: "I have heard a lot of things. I've told everyone who has asked, at this stage in my career, I am no longer a newcomer or a youngster, I prefer to not speak much on transfer options. I let rumors be rumors. I am focused on the reality, and at this point, I am at Standard Liege, and I haven't been transferred yet. If that were to happen in the next couple weeks, that would be the reality and we would be having a different conversation. Right now, I am just focused on my club and my national team. I like being in Liege and we've had a lot of success and I am definitely enjoying my lifestyle there. At the same time, I do have aspirations of playing at a higher level someday. It's the last year of my contract [and Liege would want to sell him before he became a free agent]. You can put two and two together, if you want, I'm not a math teacher, so we'll see what they do."

*Maurice Edu's travel over the last week: Beijing to San Francisco to Toronto to London to Glasgow to London to Miami to Guatemala City, then back to Toronto and on to Glasgow. "I don't even know what day it is anymore," he said. His British work permit hearing is this Friday. "I am a little worried, but I'm confident it will go through. There is always that little sense of concern."

*Bob Bradley, on whether he will make an concerted effort to get Edu into the match, thus boosting his British work permit efforts: "There have been times in the last year and a half where I think we have been able to help in that regard. You know that it is there, but at the same time, when you are in a World Cup qualifier, everybody understands that the focus is only on the decisions that help the team win."

*Donovan, on Bruce Arena becoming his club coach: "I talked to him briefly over the weekend when he was still considering and figuring out what he was going to do. It was nice to hear his voice and I am excited about it. It is easy to have an expectation that he is going to turn us into a champion in two weeks. The reality is, we haven't been to the playoffs in two years, we are struggling right now, so while short term I think he is going to help us this year, long term his abilities as a people manager, as an organizer, that is where we are going to see massive benefits down the road - putting the right people in place, having a structure and a vision. I want him to do well. We both have a bad taste left from the 2006 World Cup. I feel personally responsible because I feel I could have done more. So I will be very motivated to succeed myself, but to help him succeed as well."

*On a side note, I am hearing that the Galaxy approached Wizards Technical Director Peter Vermes about the general manager job in L.A. before offering Arena both the coach and GM positions.

*Donovan, on returning to L.A. in time for Thursday night's game vs. Chicago: "I will be back, but whether I play, I would highly doubt it. You never know. My guess is Carlos [Ruiz] won't be back, but I don't know. (laughing) My guess is Carlos will be in Guatemala for a few days, if I know him correctly."

By Steve Goff  |  August 19, 2008; 3:52 PM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Good Morning, Guatemala
Next: USA-Guatemala Poll

Comments

thanks for the pre-game info Steve.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 19, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

great stuff goff. I'm not a math teacher either.

Posted by: steve-o | August 19, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Goff - best USA insider insight around. Now, see if you can get EJ & Ching in a cab with wrong directions to the pitch ... oh, and put Coach Bradley in there with them.

Posted by: Hmmm | August 19, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

El Pescadito will probably use the trip to open up another Hooters...

Posted by: EdTheRed | August 19, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Goff out-blogging most WP writers and doing it from Guate-frickin-mala!

Posted by: Kev | August 19, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Good to hear Landon take some personal responsibility for WC '06. I hope he takes it out on our CONCACAF opponents during the qualifiers.

Great work as always, Goff.

Posted by: SSMD | August 19, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Can someone please explain to me this. How is MLS so incompetent that it schedules its nationally-televised Beckham/Donovan/Ruiz vs. Blanco game the day after a FIFA national team play date so that all the marquee players are essentially guaranteed to not play or play about 10 minutes? Does nobody coordinate anything? Did nobody think there was a chance that Donovan would be playing for the U.S. and Beckham would be playing for England and Blanco would be playing for Mexico and Ruiz would be playing for Guatemala? That's OK. Instead of Beckham vs. Blanco, I'm sure the Edson Buddle vs. Brian McBride match-up will be sure to keep people from changing the channel. Knowing ESPN, instead of showing the game, they'll just show shots of Beckham sitting on the bench and smiling for 2 hours.

Posted by: Billy | August 19, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Edu's work permit application is going to be rejected. Book it.

Posted by: Matt | August 19, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure why so many people think Edu's permit will not go through. He's played for his country 6 times in the last ten months. Add youth team appearances and his record is very strong. I think it's a slam dunk, but these things can be surprisingly tough.

Posted by: Kev | August 19, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Go Billy!

I've never understood MLS' stance towards international dates. If you read some interviews with Garber on the topic, you'll see that they're non-sensical.

Surely ESPN could have made the Deuce available for a weekend game and talked it up during the Wednesday USMNT broadcast? I know Garber wants to "get the product" seen during its coveted Thursday night slot, but the quality of the product suffers if the marquee talents are not on the field. If he's trying to entrance casual viewers, all the more reason to adjust the schedule to ensure the big names are on the field (and not jetlagged 24 hours after an international). Those of us who follow the game and understand the concept of the FIFA calendar will understand.

Posted by: Mixter | August 19, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Goff: I'm glad you enjoyed the Gallo; now please, take a puddle jumper up to Flores, and a short jeep ride up to Tikal before you leave. Stay at the Jaguar Inn. You'll see one of the wonders of the world in the Mayan ruins. I'm soooo jealous.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 19, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

"I think it's a slam dunk, but these things can be surprisingly tough."

Posted by: Kev | August 19, 2008 4:57 PM

***

I agree. Total slam dunk.

Posted by: George Tenet | August 19, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Just a hunch, based on nothing, but I think Edu's got a pretty good shot. He's probably completely exhausted but if the US can get a lead, I bet Bradley gives him a boost. Let's face it -- Edu is now firmly entrenched in the USMNT. I would expect him to to start in 2010, but the transfer might actually hurt his chances -- if he doesn't get a lot of minutes. If he can get into the Rangers lineup, this will be a brilliant move -- for Edu and for Rangers. He lacks only top-flight experience, not ability.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | August 19, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Yup, it is nice to see LD take some responsibility for 2006.

Still waiting for Bruce to take responsibility for anything. Ever.


No. Trashing/blaming everyone and anything for 2 mths straight, then rehashing it and saying in the end I am responsible is NOT taking responsibility.

Posted by: TK | August 19, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"It was so good to hear Bruce's voice. It was like a soft breeze on a warm day. Plus, with Bruce as the coach, I will never have to work hard in practice, will be guaranteed to play in every game, and my international career for the United Stats will continue to tank...."
LD

Posted by: Hacksaw | August 19, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

ood to hear Landon take some personal responsibility for WC '06. I hope he takes it out on our CONCACAF opponents during the qualifiers.

Great work as always, Goff.

Posted by: SSMD | August 19, 2008 4:17 PM


Don't you mean "take personal responsibility again"?

LD first took responsibility when he returned to L.A. after the World Cup. He's always taken responsibility. Pay attention.

Posted by: Troy | August 19, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

OT-when the heck will Celtic get an American player???? Rangers beats the snot out of them on this issue....

Posted by: frank | August 19, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

And Celtic wins Championships...

Posted by: CK | August 19, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Good info here. My guess is that Edu comes in as a sub, especially given the fact that the game is likely to see its share of cards. It might be good to get him in for Bradley or Mastroeni (I'm guessing these are the likely starters), since one or both will probably have been booked.

I'm a little confused as to why the Galaxy pursued Peter Vermes. I don't necessarily think he's a bad GM/technical director/whatever, but KC's record during his tenure is not exactly brilliant. You'd think AEG would be aiming higher. Then again, you'd think AEG would have done a lot of things differently by now.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | August 19, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I dont know about Catanias fans but i think Gooch should take Samir Nasris stand and turn down Lazio for their rasict fans money will come and go but pride is forever. Plus if he has a good outing vs liverpool other teams will be interested.
And if by some miricle they win he would get champions league football.

Posted by: CH | August 19, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Good to hear Landon take some personal responsibility for WC '06. I hope he takes it out on our CONCACAF opponents during the qualifiers.

Great work as always, Goff.

Posted by: SSMD | August 19, 2008 4:17 PM

Agree with everything SSMD said. The USMNT needs to show that it knows how to score goals starting tomorrow night in Guatemala. Goff, light a fire under Donovan, Dempsey, Beasley and the forwards.

Posted by: Tim F. | August 19, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe Ronnie O'Brien is not winning MLS goal of the week.

It's clearly the best shot. Should be goal of the year nominee.

Posted by: delantero | August 19, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Hey Landon, 2 years too late buddy! You cost your country and your coach...Not to mention the thousands I spent going to Germany to see my team crap out after three games!

Posted by: Alan | August 19, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

I hold Claudio Reyna and Arena FAR more responsible for the travesty that was WC 06 than LD, and I HATE LD.

Posted by: AlecW81 | August 20, 2008 1:53 AM | Report abuse

Can someone please explain to me this. How is MLS so incompetent that it schedules its nationally-televised Beckham/Donovan/Ruiz vs. Blanco game the day after a FIFA national team play date so that all the marquee players are essentially guaranteed to not play or play about 10 minutes? Does nobody coordinate anything?
..........................................

My guess is that the MLS schedule, especially the nationally televised Thursday schedule, was locked in long before the WC qualifying schedule, and attempting to change it would be infeasible. Along the same lines, what about the Houston-Chivas match that is going up directly against USA-GUA tonight?

Posted by: The Jeff | August 20, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

How do the rumors of Guch's transfer keep changing...first it started with him staying at Std. Leige, then Lazio was interested and now Catania. This is ridiculious. I think Guch is good where he is now, especially after getting into the Champions League, he should stay at Std. Leige and help them beat Liverpool.

Posted by: laeufer983 | August 20, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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