Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Tuesday XI: USMNT 80s Night Edition

Editor's Note: We continue a great new feature on the Free Beer Movement site. In collaboration with the quality soccer site, "The Other 87 Minutes" we present the "Tuesday XI" (and sometimes the "Tuesday Ten") a thoughtful list on a variety of topics in the world of soccer.

Make sure you head over to "The Other 87 M
inutes" and check out all the... well... other great writing on their site. What do you think of the "Tuesday XI"? Let us know in the comments section!

The bar where one third of The Other 87 watches the U.S. National Team play hosted 80’s (and Ladies) Night Friday while the game was going on. In honor of the soundtrack we had for the match, here’s our player ratings from the match, assigned in the form of 80’s songs.
Player: Tim Howard
Song: “White Wedding”
Operative Line: “Hey little sister who’s your Superman?”
Not even Timmy 1’s heroics could keep the U.S. score sheet unblemished. Today against Belgium will be a nice day to start again.
The "journey" might be over, Edgar.
Player: Edgar Castillo
Song: “Don’t Stop Believin’”
Operative Line: “Some will win, some will lose/Some were born to sing the blues.”
Like Journey, Edgar Castillo asks us to keep believing despite the fact that he sucks. Actually, that’s kind of unfair to Edgar. No one sucks as bad as Journey does.
Player: Carlos Bocanegra
Song: "You Can Call Me Al"
Operative Line: "A man walks down the street/He says, why am I soft in the middle now?"
The answer: Poor communication and inexperience at the center backs doomed the U.S. again, just as it did in the Gold Cup.
Player: Michael Orozco
Song: "Another One Bites the Dust"
Operative Line: "And another one's gone and another one's gone."
Add Orozco to the list of center back casualties the U.S. has had in the last year - DeMerit, Onyewu, very nearly Tim Ream (I’m sure he’ll be back, but for a while there his head seemed next on the chopping block). Orozco’s not been terrible, but his performances have at times had fans hanging on the edge of their seats, and not in a good way.
Player: Timmy Chandler
Song: “Mickey”
Operative Line: “You take me by the heart when you take me by the hand.”
U.S. fans think Timmy #2’s pretty fine, so thank goodness he didn’t break their hearts by committing to Germany.
Player: Maurice Edu
Song: “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”
Operative Line: “But you gotta let me know/Should I stay or should I go?”
Poor Edu. He finally gets 90 minutes that aren’t at centerback and now people are suggesting he take a back seat to Kyle Beckerman against Belgium. I’m a big Edu fan, and with his performances for Rangers and when he does get minutes, I can’t understand why it’s always tease tease tease with him.
Player: Jose Torres
Song: “I Want a New Drug”
Operative Line: “One that won’t make me nervous/Wonderin’ what to do”
Torres is a new type of player in the center of the midfield for the Nats (at least in the last five years, practically a lifetime in international soccer), a passer rather than a runner or destroyer. Based on Friday’s game, it’s an experiment that very well could work, and that would be one result that won’t keep fans up all night or make them feel too bad.
Get it, Landon.
Player: Landon Donovan
Song: "Eye of the Tiger”
Operative Line: “So many times it happens too fast/You change your passion for glory.”
For years, when the U.S. played, Landon had that eye of the tiger, man, that edge. Now he’s gotta get it back. See that look in their eyes, in the eyes of Dempsey and Bradley and the other guys. He’s got to get that look back. Eye of the Tiger man.
Player: Brek Shea
Song: “Superfreak”
Operative Line: Uhh, “She’s a superfreak, superfreak/she’s superfreaky, yow.”
Ignore the gender confusion and look at it this way. What we have in Shea right now is a pacy winger with good dribbling ability who’s not afraid to take people on and to draw out defenders before slipping passes through the defense. That skill set, so far, only rarely takes advantage of the fact that he’s 6’3. If he learns to harness his size, increasing his upper body strength and becoming better in the air, he could be a full dual threat, a target forward on the wing and a constant threat crashing the back post.
Player: Jozy Altidore
Song: "Here I Go Again"
Operative Line: "Here I go again on my own/going down the only road I've ever known."
This is how we imagine
Rodgers dresses anyways.
Once more, Jozy was asked to plow a lonely road as the only center forward in the side. I actually thought he was quite effective, particularly in the first thirty minutes, when he was dropping deep, receiving passes and moving the ball quickly to forward runners. The consensus seems to be he works better with a strike partner, but I still think Jozy has the tools to be a lone front man, he just lacks the practice doing it.
Player: Robbie Rogers
Song: "Beat It"
Operative Line: "You better run you better do what you can."
I've never been a fan of Rogers, but I'm willing to change my mind if he shows a consistent ability to use his speed to stretch play or beat people on the dribble out on the flank and put in good crosses into the box. If not, then he should probably just, you know, get out of here or something.

About "The Other 87 Minutes"
What is this new site we're exposing you too? We'll let them explain:
The Other 87 seeks to provide something that’s not instant analysis or eve of matchday previews. Think of us as the good bits of your favorite soccer coverage: the profiles that examine what makes a certain player tick, the historical background that sheds some light on how the sport has evolved to the present day, the silly features that are more than just tacking names on a list, but considering and explaining why each one deserves to be there.
O87 wants to be a home for soccer writing that makes you think, but that also treats the game as just that, a game. The greatest game, the one we obsess over and fixate on, to the point where we can’t read that gas costs 3.43 a gallon without thinking of Ajax’s 1995 Champions League winning team. But a game nonetheless.
“When you play a match, it is statistically proven that players actually have the ball three minutes on average. The best players - the Zidanes, Ronaldinhos, Gerrards - will have the ball maybe four minutes. Lesser players - defenders - probably two minutes. So, the most important thing is: what do you do those 87 minutes when you do not have the ball…. That is what determines whether you’re a good player or not.” -Johann Cruyff

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