ASN Morning Read: Stuart Holden Makes a Friend
The American midfielder goofs for the camera at United States practice before Friday's match against Guatemala; Jurgen Klinsmann talks motivation and excitement; Landon Donovan talks, again, always.
The U.S. hosts Guatemala in a friendly in San Diego tonight, the final (and only) tune-up before the Gold Cup, which kicks off Sunday. It's been a disappointing past year for Guatemala, failing to reach the final round of World Cup qualifying and missing out on the Gold Cup for the second time in the last three tries. Jurgen Klinsmann thinks all of that will be motivation against the U.S. “They have a new group of players as well, that are getting introduced to the senior group," he said. "They have a change in leadership there, and they have basically nothing to lose coming here. They will give it everything they have, and therefore for us it’s a challenge.”
Asked by U.S. Soccer about his form and how close he is to being "back," Landon Donovan was rather candid (as per usual). “I am a lot closer to where I’d like to be," the 31-year-old said. "Part of getting older means you don’t have as much explosiveness; you’re not as dynamic as you once were, and that’s all part of it and that’s part of evolving in general." Along with fellow Gold Cuppers Oguchi Onyewu, DaMarcus Beasley, and Kyle Beckerman, Donovan was part of the inaugural U-17 residency program in 1999, which is pretty cool. "We’ve all had something inside of us that has driven us and we’ve all found ways to be successful and we’re looking forward to bringing that to this Gold Cup."
Tom Marshall says Mexico's B-team for the Gold Cup could provide solutions for the flailing first-team. Can Marco Fabian, still just 23, prove to be the kind of playmaker Mexico has needed so desperately in World Cup qualifying? Is Miguel Layan the solution to Chepo de La Torre's right back headaches? Even though both countries are sending secondary teams, seeing the U.S. win the tournament and grab back CONCACAF superiority could be a "huge reality check" for the Mexican program.
Despite the large-scale protests during the Confederations Cup, Brazil is going to be hosting the World Cup next summer. ESPN FC's Fernando Duarte tells us to deal with it. And while yes, Americans would love to play hero, swoop in and host the tournament, Duarte makes some pretty darn good arguments in favor of Brazil. "I'm not here to deny that Brazil is a country of contrasts and with deep issues, but expecting that the World Cup should be a flawless corporate event is to reinforce the vision that hosting megaevents should be the privilege of only a few developed countries."
The New York Times has a terrific piece by Sam Borden on the"absolute absurdity" of the European transfer system. Agent Lyle Yorks recalls the Clint Dempsey saga last summer: “Tottenham and Fulham agreed at like 9:45 p.m.; we rushed over and did a deal with the club after that and faxed in the paperwork at 10:59 and 30 seconds," moments before the 11 p.m. deadline. And oh, Yorks represents Jozy Altidore.
Stu Holden made a new friend at open training yesterday:
July 05, 2013
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