ASN Morning Read: We Are Going to Brazil
And by we, I mean the 32 teams that will play in the 2014 World Cup. (And also ASN will be there but whatever.) Also, we have uncapped Americans who deserve a look and MLS's most valuable property.
Your field for the 2014 World Cup is set: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil (host nation), Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Honduras, Iran, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Portugal, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States. Here's a pretty cool graphic from the Wall Street Journal. Check it out if you're into that sort of visualization thing.
Brian Sciaretta looks into the whole Juan Agudelo saga and finds the player and Stoke City stunned by the denial of his work permit. The New England Revolution forward seems to be the victim of a crackdown on marginal cases getting the go-ahead. Too bad, but perhaps not ending up at Stoke isn't the worst thing in the world.
Which five uncapped Americans deserve a look in the Stars and Stripes shirt? Funny you should ask, because Greg Seltzer has your answer. Cutting straight to No. 1: "Babjide Ogunbiyi: With a physical stature and set piece danger that echoes of Oguchi Onyewu, Ogunbiyi has already made the Superliga Team of the Week four times on the season." Any time you can compare someone to Onyewu, you gotta call him.
While we're on this uncapped American kick, Osvaldo Alonso signs a Designated Player contract with the Seattle Sounders. The Cuban defector gained U.S. citizenship in June 2012. Just sayin'.
And finally, why can the Sounders afford to lavish cash on Alonso, Clint Dempsey, and other players? Because it's the most valuable franchise in the league, of course. $175 million. Not too shabby.
November 21, 2013
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