8113_boydterrence_isi_usmntjd060413124 John Dorton/isiphotos.com
ASN Weekly Debate

Which USMNTer Can Help Himself in Europe?

Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon debate the American overseas who has the best chance to improve his stead on the United States team. They also talk about Josh Gatt. A bunch.
BY Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon Posted
August 02, 2013
1:00 PM
Noah Davis:  Ryan. How's the weather? Sunny again? Great. Also, we seem to be coming up on the European soccer/football season again—because we are always either in or coming up on the European soccer/football season—and I wonder which American player stands to make the biggest impact on his national team fortunes? You can give me two if you'd like because I know you don't like to limit yourself to an actual answer.

O'Hanlon: It's actually not sunny! It will be in a few hours because it's always eventually sunny, but not quite yet. Anyway, I appreciate the leeway, but I'll stick with one (even though there are many) and say: Brek Shea.

Davis: Oh man. I would not have said him but it's a very good answer. Rationale please.

O'Hanlon: Well, not too long ago, he was part of Klinsmann's full starting eleven. He's one of the most talented/gifted/etc. players this country has. So, if Brek Shea ends up starting for and playing well for Stoke City, there's no way he's not a huge part of the USMNT. At the same time, he could end up not playing at for Stoke and therefore the US. Pretty wide gap in possible outcomes, then.

Davis: He's also maybe seriously injured, but I'll let that go. While I see what you're saying, honestly, Brek Shea bores me. I don't think he's one of the most talented players on the team. Gifted maybe, but he doesn't seem to be getting a whole lot better. And he's injured all the time, which isn't his fault but is true.

O'Hanlon: What is the difference between gifted and talented? He's big, fast, can take guys on, and has a pretty good left foot. The questions was "which American player stands to make the biggest impact on his national team fortunes?" And he's been really good for the US in the past, so it's not a totally irrational thing to consider. Plus, he's 23!

Davis: I agree that he does; I just don't think it's going to happen. Maybe I was asking a different question in my head than I wrote down. Anyway, the correct answer is Terrence Boyd. We talked on the podcast about how the forward corps hasn't really gotten younger and there's really a chance for him to bust in in a big way with a strong season.

O'Hanlon: Good cross-promotion. And a really strong season from Boyd would go a long way, but—and maybe this is unfounded—how good does his season have to be? He's playing in Austria, so does he need to lead the league in scoring? Does he need to move to a new team in January? He had a pretty good year last year, so I wonder about that.

Davis: It's not so much about numbers as much as it is about putting up enough numbers to get called into camp and then impressing with how much better he has gotten. Basically, we're talking about players who can make "The Leap" this year—whatever that means—and he strikes me as having the right combination of talent, youth, and upside to do so. Which is what you said about Shea, but this is a debate so you're wrong. You should have picked Maurice Edu if you wanted to go with someone at Stoke City.

O'Hanlon: Eh, we already know what the deal is with Edu. He won't be starting for the US any time soon, I don't think. So, yeah, getting playing time might decide whether or not he goes to the World Cup, but I'm not sure it does much beyond that. We also should both say John Anthony Brooks (if and when he becomes American).

Davis: John Anthony Brooks is already the best player in American history.

O'Hanlon: Good point, although I think you're selling him a bit short.

Davis: He's the Aron Johannsson of defenders.

O'Hanlon: That's much better.

Davis: Aron Johannsson, of course, being the Josh Gatt of forwards.

O'Hanlon: And Josh Gatt being the Lionel Messi of soccer players.

Davis: I'll quote you here: "I think you're selling him a bit short."

O'Hanlon: Also probably true. Any description I can think up—using what is only a human brain—would be selling him short.

Davis: Speaking of short selling, any lingering thoughts on the MLS All-Star Game?

O'Hanlon: My main thought: Michael Bradley is a phenomenal soccer player.

Davis: That was going to be my thought, too. He's like a bald Johannsson/Gatt/Brooks robot.

O'Hanlon: In my Josh Gatt Power Rankings, I might actually have Michael Bradley at number one.

Davis: I have John O'Brien at one, Bradley at two, and Giuseppe Rossi at tre. Also, Rossi's Wikipedia page photo is the best thing ever.

O'Hanlon: Oh, wow. That would be the Josh Gatt of Wikipedia photos of people in the Josh Gatt Power Rankings if Josh Gatt's Wikipedia photo wasn't the Josh Gatt of Wikipedia photos of the Josh Gatt Power Rankings.

Davis: You can even make it bigger. That shirt has a skull with wings on it. Josh Gatt saved Detroit from bankruptcy.

O'Hanlon: Josh Gatt invented the squid toss for the Red Wings. Josh Gatt is the Ty Cobb of people who who are more important than Kid Rock. Josh Gatt is the Kid Rock of Josh Gatts.

Davis: Man, I can't wait until his knee gets better.

O'Hanlon: If that knee is half the Josh Gatt that Josh Gatt is, he'll be just fine.

Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon do this every week. They were told there was cake, but they were misinformed.

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