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Old 06-25-2014, 07:31 PM   #1
BYU 14
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: The scorched Desert
Murica - Quest for a World Cup FM2014

"After a wildly successful run in my native England I return to my naturalized country to take over for Jurgen Klinsmann as the US national coach, earning a princely 33,000 a week. We begin World Cup qualifying in 2 weeks against Costa Rica, so I have to get a squad together and implement my 4-1-3-2 tactic, which wreaked havoc in England. How will it do on the international stage is the question.

Up next, I select my initial squad. There will be some noticeable exclusions from the first 23 man squad. Landon Donovan is also out and I don't know if he will fit my tactic, but he may come back. Jermaine Jones is hurt, so he will not play in our first qualifier against Costa Rica, but I anticipate him rejoining the squad as soon as he is able.

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Old 06-25-2014, 07:35 PM   #2
BYU 14
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Up first the Keepers. The top 5 attributes listed for the position as they fit into me tactic are listed.

GoalkeepersPositionAgeaerialreflexes1 on 1handlingcommand
Tim HowardGK331518171711
Brad GuzanGK281615141516
Nick RimandoGK331016141510


A no brainer for the starter as Howard is clearly a cut above and his reflexes lead to many acrobatic saves. The main concern here is a lack of a good young keeper in the pipeline, which I will look to identify in the coming months.
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:41 PM   #3
BYU 14
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Back line up next, I have a mix at fullback as depending on the opposition they will be expected to create from the flanks at times.

FullbacksPositionAgecrossingpassingacceleratework ratemarking
Michael Orozco-FiscalDR/L/C27911111213
Carlos BocanegraDL/C33129111114
Fabian JohnsonDL,WBL, ML25141116169
Timothy ChandlerDR,WBR,MR221410161612
DeMarcus BeasleyML, AML, WBL301212151310
CentrebacksPositionAgejumpingpositionmarkingtacklingheaders
Carlos BocanegraDL/C271214141316
Omar GonzalezDC241714141315
Matt BeslerDC261414141414
Tim ReamDC, DM251413141312
John BrooksDC201611141412


Johnson and Chandler get the nod at FB for what they can contribute on the offensive side, Beasley is not accomplished in the back, but I play with no wide mid fielders, so he goes here as an offensive sub. Fiscal and Bocanegra are the defensive specialists and will start when we are underdogs and playing more to counter, as well as being brought on to protect leads.

Gonzalez and Besler will get the bulk of the time at centreback, with Brooks on board to develop. Bocanegra is versatile enough to slide into the middle in a pinch and Ream is solid, just a notch below starting quality.
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:47 PM   #4
BYU 14
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Midfield up next and these guys will be key to our success

DMCPositionAgetacklingpositiondeterminestrengthwork rate
Michael BradleyDM, MC251615171519
Geoff CameronDR/C, DM271414151314
JuninhoDM, MC24111214815
Central MidPositionAgeacceleratefinishingpassingcomposedribbling
Graham ZusiMC, AMR/L/C261312141411
Clint DempseyML/C, AMR/L/C291214131413
JuninhoDM, MC241212141211
Mid Left/RightPositionAgework ratetacklingpassingdeterminefinishing
Alejandro BedoyaMR/C, AMR/C25169121611
Stuart HoldenMC271511131410
Clint DempseyML/C, AMR/L/C29148131414
Geoff CameronDR/C, DM, MC271414141510


Bradley will be expected to do the dirty work as the DMC and will be joined by Jermaine Jones when the latter gets back from injury. Hopefully he does not give the ball away in our half.

Zusi gets the nod here, only because Dempsey gives me a better option as a box to box mid fielder playing to his right due to his finishing ability. I am happy with any of the three options playing here though as our point men on the attack.

The box to box mid fielders will play to the right and left in a narrow alignment. Cameron is there for his ball winning ability and passing, while Dempsey adds a third scoring threat in support of the front line. Holden will see his share of time too.
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:52 PM   #5
BYU 14
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Last be not least, the forwards. I am playing a complete forward role on both sides here and I think we have a good mix to get it done.

ForwardsPositionAgeacceleratefinishingcomposeoff the ballpace
Chris WondolowskiST301117111412
Herculez GomezST301512101215
Aron JohannsonAMC, ST221514111514
Jozy AltidoreST23111414616


Johannson gets the first chance to start against Altidore due to his explosive first step and off the ball ability to get into channels. Altidore is speedy once he gets going and strong enough to hold the ball up and battle in the box. Gomez will also get his share of starts next to Jozy and Wondy will be the supersub when we need a finisher.
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:01 PM   #6
BYU 14
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Location: The scorched Desert
1/16/2013
World rannkings come out and the red, white and blue check in at number 22. up 14 spots from the last rankings. Spain holds the #1 spot and Germany is #2

1/26/2013
I fit in friendlies with Wales, Canada and Luxemborg in between out World Cup group qualifiers and release my roster for Costa Rica to the press. There is shock I replace Edu with Juninho

2/4/2013
I name Dempsey team captain and hold a team meeting to warn against complacency and encourage the team to get off on the right foot against Costa Rica
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:04 PM   #7
BYU 14
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Location: The scorched Desert
2/19/2013WC Qualifer: USA (-) 0-0-0 vs Costa Rica (-) 0-0-0
Record vs Opponent 0-0-0Att: 56,777Favorite: USA
GK - HowardMid - Bradley, Dempsey, Zusi, Juninho
Def - Johnson, Gonzalez, Besler, BeasleyST - Altidore, Gomez
SummaryMOM - Fabian Johnson USA 8.9
21 - USAHerculez Gomez pounces on a rebound of Bradley's shot and drills it in 1-0
28 - USAJohnson and finds Zusi on a cross and Graham hits the volley, goal!!! 2-0
40 - USANavas punches a cross away, Fabian Johnson is there and finishes it 3-0
47 - USABocanegra comes on for DeMarcus Beasley for defensive purposes
74 - Costa RicaBolanos on for Ruiz
75 - USABedoya comes on in the midfield for Juninho. Johannsson for Gomez up front
78 - Costa RicaJuan Bustos injured and has to come out - Barrantes on for him
FinalUSA - 3Costa Rica - 0USA scoring
Shots128Gomez (1)
Target92Zusi (1)
Poss53%47%Johnson (1)
Booked00
Complete domination in the first half as we play attacking and create some beautiful chances.I dial it back after halftime and Costa Rica generates the only two scoring chances in the second half, but Howard is up to the task both times, making the saves.I am very pleased with the first half, but thought we got too tentative after halftime, especially in the mid field.
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:25 PM   #8
BYU 14
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Location: The scorched Desert
03/03/13
I check out the Philadelphia V Sporting KC match, which ends in a 0-0 tie. Regulars Zusi and Besler are less than stellar for KC. Maurice Edu is fair for Philadelphia.

Clint Dempsey suffers a broken checkbone in Seattles opener and will be out up to 4 weeks, meaning he will not play against Mexico. Timothy Chandler suffers a bruised head in a match for FC Nurnberg, out 8 days, but should be good for Mexico later this month.

03/12/13
I have to name the squad for the match with Mexico
Dempsey is out replaced by Maurice Edu
Bradley is out replaced by Jermaine Jones

03/14/13
Bocanegra is injured in training, I replace him with Clarence Goodson
We are now ranked 19th in the world, Spain still number 1

03/16/14
What the fuck, Wondolowski and Zusi both hurt now! I thought the premier league was the rough league to play in. I replace them with Eddie Johnson and Jonathon Spector respectively.

Last edited by BYU 14 : 06-25-2014 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:05 PM   #9
BYU 14
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Location: The scorched Desert
3/22/2013WC Qualifer: USA (1st) 1-0-0 vs Mexico (3rd) 1-0-0
Record vs Opponent 0-0-0Att: 105,064Favorite: Mexico
GK - HowardMid - Jones, Juninho, Holden, Cameorn
Def - Johnson, Besler, Gonzalez, ChandlerST - Altidore, Johannsson
SummaryMOM - Javier Hernandez Mexico 8.8
USA - 44Holden is nicked up, not serious but Bedoya comes on at MC
Mexico - 45+1After Altidore hits the crossbar, Mexico breaks and Javi Hernandez scores 0-1
HalftimeI make it clear I expect much better in the second half, team seems fired up
Mexico - 56Howard makes a brilliant save as Hernandez gets behind again!
USA - 66Gomez subs on up front for Johannsson who has been invisible
Mexico - 67Marquez to Hernandez, behind us again, lobs Howard, scores, dagger! 0-2
USA - 87Besler gets a yellow card, should be a kick in the ass
FinalUSA - 0Mexico - 2USA scoring
Shots713None
Target25
Poss49%51%
Booked10
Just horrid on the back line, Javier Hernandez destroyed us and would have had a hat trick if not for an athletic save by Howard on one of his three clear breakaways.Besler rates a 6.3 and puts his starting spot in jeopardy as he was caught too high twice.We really missed Zusi and Dempsey in this one.Jermaine Jones was solid, but we are now in a threeway tie for 2nd
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:08 PM   #10
BYU 14
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Location: The scorched Desert
Current North American Group Standings

Group StandingsWonDrawnLostForAgainstGD
Mexico20063+3
Jamaica10165+1
Costa Rica10143+1
USA10132+1
Honduras101330
El Salvador00206-6


Next up is El Salvador at home in 4 days, this will be a good elixir as the American Outlaws need to be talked off the ledge after the pathetic display in Mexico City.
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:09 PM   #11
BYU 14
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Location: The scorched Desert
3/26/2013WC Qualifer: USA (2nd) 1-0-1 vs El Salvador (6th) 0-0-2
Record vs Opponent 0-0-0Att: 20,500Favorite: USA
GK - HowardMid - Jones , Juninho, Edu, Bedoya
Def - Fiscal, Besler, Gonzalez, CameronST - Johnson, Gomez
SummaryMOM - Michael Orozco-Fiscal USA (7.3)
1 - El Salvodor wins a free kick outside the area and Martinez skims the crossbar
9 - Besler hits the upright on a header off the corner, the net was wide open
Half - We have 8 shots to 2, but put only one on target, I rip the team
50 - Johnson plays it to Edu, he shoots and turned wide by their keeper
57 - Double substitution, Altidore for Gomez and Holden for Edu, we need something to happen
73 - Chandler replaces Cameron at right FB
FinalUSA - 0El Salvador - 0USA scoring
Shots143None
Target40
Poss55%45%
Booked00
Not much to say after this debacle, El Salvatore was impotent offensively, but hit the target with about the same frequency that Mitch Williams used to hit the plate for the Cubs and Phillies back in the day.This would have been bad on the road, at home it is inexcuseable, amoung the 'gifts' I received are a nice offer from a travel agent to book my back to England


Other Group matches
Jamaica 1 - Costa Rica 0
Mexico 3 - Honduras 0 (They are threatening to run away with it)

Somehow, we sit in 3rd place, 2 points back of Jamaica and 1 point up on both Costa Rica and Honduras.
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:37 PM   #12
BYU 14
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: The scorched Desert
4/6/2013
I attend the Toronto V Dallas match hoping to see how Bradley is doing, but his is listed as a scratch, still not 100%. I later find out Altidore is out 5 weeks for Sunderland, ankle sprain

4/10/2013
Aron Johannsson twists his ankle playing for AZ in the Dutch league and will be out 4 weeks, our next match is in June, so I don't hang myself

4/19/2013
We drop to 26th in the latest world rankings, there is also a story in the North American Soccer Post that indicates Eddie Johnson should be dropped from Team USA

4/30/2013
Clarence Goodson wins the MLS player of the week award, looking ahead to May we have absolutely nothing going on with the National team

As May starts I bring Dempsey, Zusi and Bradley back as they have all recovered from injuries. Landon Donovan gets a call up as well, but will back up Zusi at attacking MC. I send Eddie Johnson, Maurice Edu and Juninho down.

Last edited by BYU 14 : 06-25-2014 at 11:57 PM.
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:39 PM   #13
BYU 14
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We head into a tough qualifier at Jamaica with 6 changes (2 each in the back, mid-field and up front) from the pathetic side we fielded against El Salvador. Dempsey is still not 100%, so he will start on the bench and Zusi is a bit tired from MLS pay, so Donovan will likely come on at halftime. Jamaica is capable of putting up numbers and thus far they have lost to Mexico 3-4 and beaten Honduras 3-1 and Costa Rica 1-0. We will be in out standard 4-1-3-2, but will start with a balanced mentality and look to counter.

6/4/2013WC Qualifer: USA (3rd) 1-1-1 @ Jamaica (2nd) 2-0-1
Record vs Opponent 0-0-0Att: 35,000Favorite: USA
GK - HowardMid - Jones , Bradley, Zusi, Bedoya
Def - Johnson, Gonzalez, Brooks, ChandlerST - Altidore, Joannsson
SummaryMOM - Jozy Altidore USA (8.3)
9 - A wild sequence in front of the goal off a jamaica corner, Brooks finally clears
20 - Altidore draws the defense in, lobs to a streaking Bedoya who buries it from 20!! 1-0
25 - Jamaica's Woodbine gets the yellow
31 - Short corner played to McAnuff who fires, Howards gets a hand on it, but it trickles in 1-1
34 - Bedoya plays a great through ball to Johannsson, who scores, but the flag is up!!!
43 - Ogunbiyi is shown the yellow for Jamaica
68 - Landon Donovan comes on at MC for Zusi
68 - Bradley across to Chandler, Joannsson breaks in, latches onto the pass and scores! 2-1
86 - Bradley slips back to the DM slot and Holden comes on for Jones, moving to the ML spot
90+4 - The Dagger as Altidore and Johannsson play the one-two with Jozy netting it! 3-1
FinalUSA - 3Jamica - 1USA scoring
Shots216Bedoya (1)
Target94Johannsson (1)
Poss43%57%Altidore (1)
Booked02
What a difference clean midfield play makes.Altidore gets MoM with a goal and an assist, but Johannsson truly created havoc making runs past Jamaica's back line multiple times and failing to finish on two clear cut chances off these run, in addition to the dissallowed goal.This might be our best pairing on the attack.All six of our goals have been scored by different players

A wild day in group play as El Salvador holds Mexico to a 0-0 draw and Costa Rica bests Honduras 2-0. We are now in second place in the group, 3 points shy of Mexico.

Last edited by BYU 14 : 06-26-2014 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:47 PM   #14
BYU 14
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Changes by necessity in this one as Jermaine Jones is out for 4 weeks and is sent home, while Bedoya is nicked up and unable to go. I start Donovan over Zusi to give Graham a rest and will use him in the second half. Besler back in for Brooks, who was solid against Jamaica. We are heavy favorites and with Altidore and Johannsson coming off big games, we hope to keep to going. We will play the counter style again, just to stay as fresh as possible.

6/7/2013WC Qualifer: USA (2nd) 2-1-1 @ Honduras (5th) 1-0-3
Record vs Opponent 0-0-0Att: 35,000Favorite: USA
GK - HowardMid - Cameron, Bradley , Donovan, Holden
Def - Johnson, Gonzalez, Besler, ChandlerST - Altidore, Joannsson
SummaryMOM - Johnny Leveron Honduras (7.3)
11 - Bradley to Holden, through to Johannsson who fires point blank, but it's saved!!
21 - Donovan to Altidore, who wheels and lobs it in for Johannsson who buries it, but offsides!
39 - Martinez slips into the box and shoots near post, Howard with a brilliant save
41 - Altidore holds it up, back heels to Johannsson who puts it away and no flag!! 1-0
58 - Zusi comes on, but I bring him in for Bradley, also Brooks on for Gonzalez in the back
86 - Fiscal on for Fabian Johnson at left back, Johnson is exhausted.
87 - Holden plays an amazing long ball for Altidore, but Jozy can't hit it solid and it's saved
FinalUSA - 1Honduras - 0USA scoring
Shots158Johannsson (2)
Target62
Poss59%41%
Booked00
Not as impressive as the Jamaica win, but we controlled the match the entire way and held a big possession edge again.Ratings wise we were average across the board with Howard, Holden and Donovan earning a 7.0 and Johannsson a 7.1.Donovan did a good job controlling the tempo and Altidore has some really good skills with his back to the goal if we can keep Johannsson onside

We are now tied with Mexico for 1st place as Costa Rica shocks them 2-0, while Jamaica bests El Salvador 2-0. The top four teams now all sit within a point of each other. It's going to be a white knuckle ride all the way through.
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:19 PM   #15
BYU 14
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We are big favorites over Luxembourg in this friendly and many in the press call it a waste of time. Fuck them, I am using this to get experience for some backups and get guys who have been out (Dempsey) some time to gel within our tactic. We will go all out attack tonight.

6/14/2013Friendly: USA VS Luxembourg
Record vs Opponent 0-0-0Att: 18,500Favorite: USA
GK - GuzanMid - Bradley, Edu, Zusi, Dempsey
Def - Johnson, Brooks, Goodson, FiscalST - Boyd, Joannsson
SummaryMOM - Michael Fiscal (8.3)
27 - Johannsson is stripped in the area, the ball bounces to Fiscal who sinks it near corner 1-0
33 - Fiscal with the take away and a long ball to Johannsson free, but he shanks it wide
35 - Fabian Johnson hits a pin point cross from distance, no whiff from Johannsson this time 2-0
59 - Multiple subs, Altidore for Johannsson, Donovan for Zusi, Holden for Dempsey
72 - Altidore makes a long run down the side, slips his man and buries a beauty!! 3-0
78 - More subs, Cameron for Fiscal, Besler for Brooks and Chandler for Edu
FinalUSA - 3Luxembourg - 0USA scoring
Shots180Fiscal
Target70Johannsson
Poss53%47%Altidore
Booked00
Not a great edge on possession, but we sacrifice that when we go to an attacking style.The defense was great as Guzan could have napped and chased grasshoppers all evening with no shots coming his way.The young guys played well and Terrance Boyd was solid up front in his first appearance this year, he will be a serviceable backup.We hit some great crosses
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:37 PM   #16
BYU 14
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The second of our friendlies to get our tactics firmed up, should be able to capture the easy win here.
6/18/2013Friendly: USA VS Canada
Record vs Opponent 0-0-0Att: 18,500Favorite: USA
GK - S JohnsonMid - Bradley, Cameron, Zusi, Dempsey
Def - F Johnson, Brooks, Gonzalez, ChandlerST - Altidore, Donovan
SummaryMOM -Jozy Altidore USA (8.3)
10 - Donovan plays a perfect cross far past from the edge of the box and Johnson plants it 1-0
18 - After some back and forth, Bradley intercepts, finds Altidore and Jozy scores from 25! 2-0
44 - Bradley a free kick to Donovan who heads it in, but he's ruled offsides
71 - Bedoya in for Dempsey and Herculez Hernandez makes his return replacing Donovan
74 - Altidore holds it up and picks out Zusi on a run, who buries it top corner!! 3-0
80 - Edu in for Zusi and Fiscal gives Fabian Johnson a much needed break
FinalUSA - 3Canada - 0USA scoring
Shots125F Johnson
Target52Altidore
Poss45%55%Zusi
Booked00
A few changes from Luxembourg, Donovan is not an ideal CF (weak and not a good header) but I may need him in a pinch, so he starts up front and it pays off as he is credited with 2 assists.Sean Johnson see's his first duty in a while in goal and preforms well.The possession with this tactic scares me, so we will definitely not use it unless we are firm favorites.
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Old 06-27-2014, 02:15 PM   #17
Izulde
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Join Date: Sep 2004
I'm betting you can make it through to qualifying. No pressure or anything
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Old 06-27-2014, 03:04 PM   #18
BYU 14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Izulde View Post
I'm betting you can make it through to qualifying. No pressure or anything

If not you can expect a tirade worthy of your dynasty
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Old 06-30-2014, 11:36 PM   #19
BYU 14
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: The scorched Desert
8/1/2013
I get a total punch in the gut, less than 2 weeks before our qualifying run resumes against Costa Rica, Michael Bradley breaks his leg and is out for the year, son of a

8/4/2013
The good news comes fast and furious as reserve DC Clarance Goodman is out 3 months with a torm hammy. Jermaine Jones wont be 100% either as he recovers from hernia surgery, 3 down
8/5/2013
Timothy Chandler is expected to miss up to 11 days after suffering a bruised thigh playing for FC Nurnberg, meaning his is doubtful against Costa Rica too, dammit!!!

8/7/2013
I have to pick my squad, so Sacha Klestan and Amobi Okugo to replace Bradley and Goodman, Edu rejoins for Cameron and I add a striker as Wondolowski is back to take Jone's roster spot
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:28 AM   #20
bbgunn
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Osaka, Japan via Honolulu, Hawaii via Birmingham, Alabama
Wow, what a streak of bad luck! Too many 'roids.
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:35 AM   #21
BYU 14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbgunn View Post
Wow, what a streak of bad luck! Too many 'roids.

The injuries with this group have been insane, it's like the soccer gods have it in for me.
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:11 PM   #22
BYU 14
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Location: The scorched Desert
8/14/2013 World Cup Qualifying: USA 3-1-1 (2nd) @ Costa Rica 3-0-2 (3rd)
Record vs Opponent 1-0-0 Att: 35,100 Favorite: USA
GK - Howard Mid - Cameron, Holden, Zusi, Dempsey
Def - F Johnson, Besler, Gonzalez, Spector ST - Altidore, Johannsson
Summary MOM - Winston Parks Costa Rica (8.8)
7 - Navas makes a point blank save on an Altidore header that looked destined to go in
7 - Navas restarts finds Wallace on the goal kick, header to Parks, defense beat, goal 0-1
37 - Dempsey spots Johannsson down the wing, Aron drills it into the box, Zusi header, Goal! 1-1
46 - Navas robs Altidore 3 times within the minute, saving 2 shots and a rebound volley
53 - Saborio lobs it over the defense, Parks volleys the ball from mid air and beats Howard 1-2
56 - The US strikes right back off a corner as Geoff Cameron cleans up a lose ball to tie it 2-2
62 - Parks nets his 3rd as the US can't clear a corner, but the flag was up, we stay even
63 - Jonathon Spector gets shown a yellow after a sloppy challenge
67 - Bedoya in for Holden and Fiscal in the Spector, who is wilting under the pressure
79 - Giancarlo Gonzalez booked for Costa Rica
Final USA - 2 Costa Rica - 2 USA scoring
Shots 15 14 Zusi
Target 10 9 Cameron
Poss 47% 53%
Booked 1 1
We played our control and counter, but were not as good in possession this match as it turned into a slugfest with the two teams combining for 19 shots on target. To be honest, Howard looked horrible on the first goal, taking a horrible angle, but he made some big saves later, though none on the league of Costa Rica's Navas, who just stoned Jozy Altidore on 4 clear chances
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:08 AM   #23
BYU 14
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Location: The scorched Desert
I bring Jermaine Jones and Geoff Cameron back up for our biggest match of the qualifier and also call up Daniel Williams, who has been sidelined with an injury for the first time. Kjestan, Edu and Brek Shea are sent back down. This will allow me to play a near ideal lineup, with the exception of Bradley. The only notable things going into the match with Mexico are Zusi suffering from fatigue and Dempsey winning MLS player of the month award. Lets hope Zusi gets some sleep and Dempsey carries that play forward. The media questions the demotion of Edu and the inclusion of Williams and Okugo (again). The team meeting prior to the match sees me take an assertive approach as I ask them to kick it in. Jermaine Jones echoes the statement. I decide to take a gamble and attack Mexico, hoping we get on the board first and then I can dial it back.
9/6/2013 World Cup Qualifying: USA 3-2-1 (2nd) vs Mexico 3-1-1 (1st)
Record vs Opponent 0-0-1 Att: 20,500 Favorite: USA
GK - Howard Mid - Jones, Cameron, Zusi, Dempsey
Def - F Johnson, Besler, Gonzalez, Chandler ST - Altidore, Johannsson
Summary MOM -
23 - Jermaine Jones gets booked for a hard tackle
32 - Layun finds Jimenez in full sprint, splitting the defenders and putting it past Howard 0-1
40 - Fabian Johnson swings a corner near post, but Besler whiffs on the doorstep
45 - Graham Zusi is injured, Landon Donovan comes on
46 - Howard comes off his line to rob Chicharito near the spot with a brilliant save
55 - Pena strips Chandler, touches it to Hernandez who beats Howard this time far side 0-2
59 - Johannsson takes a clearance and sprints the length of the pitch, then puts it over
60 - Holden on for Dempsey and Wondolowski on for Johannsson
67 - Matt Besler gets a yellow card on a play that gives Mexico great position on a set piece
67 - Morales makes us pay for Besler's foul, squeezing the free kick in the top corner, fork 0-3
Final USA - 0 Mexico - 3 USA scoring
Shots 13 6 None
Target 2 4
Poss 46% 54%
Booked 2 0
I will put this one on my shoulders and go with our possession and counter tactic from now on against Mexico as our attacking style is not a good matchup. Still, to put only 2 of 13 shots on goal is inexcusable, while 3 of the 4 they get on target find the friggin back of the net. Beyond the loss, this kills our goal differential and puts Mexico in the drivers seat with 3 matches left.
Other matches in the group see Costa Rica best El Salvador 3-1 and Jamaica tie with Honduras 1-1, with Costa Rica now caulting past us into second. Our 3 matches left are Honduras at home, El Salvador away and Jamaica home. We will need points from all three, preferrably as least 7 and that Mexico lays a beatdown on them, since they finish up with Jamaica and Honduras at home.
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:52 PM   #24
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Here we go again, Jermaine Jones wrenches his knee the day before the match and is out 7 weeks and Besler will miss the match due to a yellow card limit suspension, meaing the youngster Brooks will start in the back and new call up Daniel Williams will start in the midfield on the left side next to Zusi. We are heavy favorites, so I go with an attacking mentality, we absolutely must win this match!
9/10/2013World Cup Qualifying: USA 3-2-2 (3rd) VS Honduras 1-2-4 (5th)
Record vs Opponent 1-0-0Att: 55,875Favorite: USA
GK - HowardMid - Cameron, Williams, Zusi, Dempsey
Def - F Johnson, Brooks, Gonzalez, FiscalST - Altidore, Johannsson
SummaryMOM - Fabian Johnson USA (8.0)
32 - Slow start, but finally Cameron attacks from deep, takes a Dempsey pass, hits the bar!!
HT - Wow, big first half, I rip and team and storm out, they seem fired up
46 - Right off the kickoff, Fiscal finds Johannsson, whose nod on hits the post and goes behind
64 - Donovan on for Zusi and Bedoya for Williams as our midfield play is sucking
72 - Donovan triggers a nice attack, finds Fabian Johnson on the wing, but his shot is saved
62 - Victor Bernardez earns a yellow for rough play
66 - Noel Valladares goes off with an injury for Honduras
70 - Roger Espinoza is booked for Honduras as it is getting chippy
75 - Chandler on for Cameron at the DM spot
88 - Bedoya to Johnson on the run, Johnson crosses to the 6 yd box and Altidore buries it! 1-0
FinalUSA - 1Honduras - 0USA scoring
Shots246Altidore (2)
Target81
Poss55%45%
Booked02
Well, for what looks like utter domination in the stat column is really a completely lackluster performance, as I have never seen a more boring 24 shot effort, we should have had 3 or 4 goals.Still, we move up to second place after Mexico edges Costa Rica and control our own destiny.


In other group games
Mexico 1 Costa Rica 0
Jamaica 4 El Salvador 1

Two matches to go and it will likely come down to the very last match against Jamaica at home.
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Old 07-02-2014, 09:00 PM   #25
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After 8 games Mexico has qualified outright and ourselves, Costa Rica and Jamaica are qualified for the playoffs, though we need to get maximum points to hold second as Costa Rica has us on goal differential. I am hoping El Salvador will just be playing out the string since they are out, because I know Jamaica will be a dog fight.

Group StandingsWonDrawnLostForAgainstGDPoints
Mexico611165+1119
USA422108+214
Costa Rica413138+513
Jamaica4131513+213
Honduras125411-75
El Salvador035215-133
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Old 07-02-2014, 09:50 PM   #26
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9/22/2013
New rankings some out and we have dropped to #20 in the world, also Stuart Holden is going to be touch and go for our next match after injuring his shoulder

9/23/2013
The injury bug continues in full force as Chris Wondolowski injures his knee and is out 5 months, this shit never ends.

10/1/2013
Call up time, Jermaine Jones and Wondolowski are definitely out, so I call up Kyle Beckerman and onetime USA wunderkind Freddy Adu to fill their spikes and also bring back DaMarcus Beasley
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:37 PM   #27
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We are huge favorites again, but I am leary after they held us to a draw at home and the only motivation they have is to make our qualifying journey harder by knocking us out of 2nd place, so I decide to start with the control and counter tactic, at least until there initial adrenaline wears off. Costa Rica and Jamaica play each other this round and that match will have huge implications. Best case scenario is we win and those two draw. Not at all crazy about what I have to do in the midfield for this one, but Holden is not fully recovered and Dempsey and Zusi are fatigued.

10/11/2013World Cup Qualifying: USA 4-2-2 (2nd) @ El Salvador 0-3-5 (6th)
Record vs Opponent 0-1-0Att: 25,000Favorite: USA
GK - HowardMid - Beckerman, Bedoya, Donovan , Cameron
Def - F Johnson, Brooks, Gonzalez, FiscalST - Altidore, Johannsson
SummaryMOM - Landon Donovan USA (8.8)
15 - Johannsson times a run by Altidore, but Jozy's shot is turned away
26 - Edgar Alvarez gets a yellow card for elbowing Jozy Altidore
27 - El Salvador is playing Hooligan ball as Jairo Henriquez gets a card
33 - Yet another yellow for El Salvador, Wilfredo Romero this time
36 - We get into the act as Michael Fiscal is carded
39 - Fiscal has to be careful and is beaten on the wing, Henriquez volleys in the cross 0-1
47 - Altidore spins and loops it to Johannsson who puts it away, but it's called offsides, BS!!
60 - Fabian Johnson to RFB, Beasley on for Fiscal at LFB, Dempsey in for Cameron
67 - Altidore on from the near the flag, Donovan chests it and beats the keeper, level! 1-1
80 - Donovan strips it in the box, Altidore back to Donovan who ruffles the net again! 2-1
FinalUSA - 2El Salvador - 1USA scoring
Shots167Donovan 2 (2)
Target64
Poss58%42%
Booked34
The yellows were so plentiful I quit reporting them as the match was physical and chippy most of the way.We went to an attacking strategy after the half and it paid off as Donovan turned his game up several notches.This is a huge win as it puts us in as a qualifier and takes the pressure off heading into our final match with Jamaica.


Other Group Matches
Mexico 2 Honduras 2 (A bit of a shocker, but Mexico rested some players)
Costa Rica 2 Jamaica 0 (Both sides playoff eligible, Jamaica has a tougher road)

Well we are in for Brazil 2014, now comes the long process of evaluating, improving and hopefully peaking at the right time. Jamaica in 4 days, a friendly with Wales 4 days after that, (for the backups) then a well deserved rest

Last edited by BYU 14 : 07-02-2014 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:23 AM   #28
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All about some experimentation this time out as I try Dempsey on the left side of midfield, get Donovan another match at forward and take a look at the youngster Okugo, who I have been criticized roundly about for putting him on the 23 man squad. We close at home and want to put on a show, so we will go attack.

10/15/2013World Cup Qualifying: USA 5-2-2 (2nd) VS Jamaica 4-1-4 (4th)
Record vs Opponent 1-0-0Att: 25,000Favorite: USA
GK - HowardMid - Beckerman, Dempsey , Zusi, Bedoya
Def - Beasley, Besler, Okugo, FiscalST - Altidore, Donovan
SummaryMOM - Luton Shelton Jamaica
8 - A Beckerman giveaway is costly as Luton Shelton gets onto a long ball and nets it 0-1
9 - Another giveaway by Bedoya deep and only a diving save by Howard keeps it out
14 - What the hell, Dempsey this time, Shelton to Jones wide open, amazing save by Howard
15 - Okugo gets a yellow card
26 - Beasley to Altidore, a great pass to Zusi and he is stoned from point blank range
45+1 - Shelton is all alone again and walks in on Howard, who makes another great save
HT - Landon Donovan is acting like a bitch after I rip him, so Johannsson comes on
67 - Fiscal puts a long cross into the box and Zusi settles it, then scores to equalize 1-1
68 - Chandler on for Fiscal and Holden on for Bedoya
80 - A rare mistake by Howard, who hesitates allowing Jason Johnson to blast a cross in 1-2
FinalUSA - 1Jamaica - 2USA scoring
Shots715Zusi (3)
Target29
Poss47%53%
Booked10
What an absolute crapfest, Howard was insane in the first half, but made a huge mistake on the last goal, allowing the Jamaican player to get to the ball, when he could have beaten him if he was decisive.Still, the blame lies with a completely uninspired effort by our midfield and Donovan's pouting as the loss drops us to third in the group


Other group scores
Costa Rica 2 Honduras 0 (Honduras had 3 players sent off, a little home cooking you think?)
Mexico 2 El Salvador 1

Despite the loss to end it, the players leave in good spirits and we will get back at in November with a friendly against Wales
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:37 AM   #29
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Group StandingsWonDrawnLostForAgainstGDPoints
Mexico721208+1223
Costa Rica613178+919
USA5231311+217
Jamaica5141716+116
Honduras136615-96
El Salvador037419-153


The final group standings have us, Mexico and Costa Rica all qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, while Jamaica will face New Zealand in a first round playoff.

Argentina takes over the #1 spot in the world rankings, while our loss to Jamaica drops us to #21.

Amobi Okugo thanks me in an interview for the opportunity to play on the National team and get his first cap

11/5/2013
It starts again, Jozy Altidore is sidelined for up to 4 months with a hip injury, meaning he won't be back to training until march.

11/7/2013
Jermaine Defoe sets a new MLS goal scoring record for a single season with 28

Landon Donovan takes me off his Christmas card list (Probably a picture of himself in a fucking Santa suit anyway)

I have some decisions to make for the squad and I think I may bring up some more youth for our upcoming friendly

Last edited by BYU 14 : 07-03-2014 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 07-06-2014, 03:18 AM   #30
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11/19/2012Friendly: USA @ Wales
Record vs Opponent 0-0-0Att: 25,000Favorite: Wales (Huh?)
I get criticized for keeping Juan Agudelo up and for keeping the 'aging' Clint Dempsey around, really, you are going to criticize Captain America?This is all about getting a look at some different players for the most part to see how they fit into the tactic, and with each other
GK - GuzanMid - Williams, Kljestan, Donovan , Holden
Def - Beasley, Okugo, Spector, CameronST - Agudelo, Adu
Summary
7 - Adu makes a nice move, shaking a defender at the top of the box, but his lob shot is saved
21 - Gareth Bale splits the backline for Wales, but his shot lacks pace, easy save for Guzan
HT - A very dull half as we are out shot 7-1, mass subs as six players come on for the 2nd half
53 - Okugo has a splendid opportunity off a corner, but is stoned at point blank range
59 - Sacha Kljestan is shown a yellow card
65 - After back and forth giveaways, Bale gets on a direct pass, but shanks it past our net
82 - Joannsson, on for Adu at the half, gets on a cross from Cameron, but is robbed of a goal
90 - Agudelo finally shows up, skipping past the Wales defense, then planting it far corner 1-0
FinalUSA - 1Wales - 0USA scoring
Shots517Agudelo
Target43
Poss48%52%
Booked10MOM - Amobi Okugo USA (7.3)
Great to see the youngster get MOM, as he was consistent in the back, but the rating shows just how lackluster our overall display was.To be outshot 17-5 is simply inexcusable, even in a friendly with young forwards, though we at least put more on target.Agudelo's goal does little to make up for a largely invisible outing, he is not ready for prime time yet.
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:11 PM   #31
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Location: The scorched Desert
12/3/2013
I get word the Tim Howard has hurt his neck in a match for Everton, fortunately it looks like he will only be out a couple of weeks

12/6/2013
The World Cup draw is today and we are in the second pot, eventually getting drawn to Group C which also includes England, Holland and Paraguay, FML, can you say group of death? Frickin' Jamaica, who had to qualify through a playoff has an easier group!!

World Cup Groups

Group A

Algeria
Bosnia & Hergovia
Brazil
Iran

Group B
Belgium
Costa Rica
Cyprus
Ecuador

Group C
England
Holland
Paraguay
USA

Group D
Argentina
Australia
DR Congo
Switzerland

Group E
Chile
France
Mexico
Spain

Group F
Germany
Ghana
Japan
Russia

Group G
Ivory Coast
South Korea
Ukraine
Uruguay

Group H
Italy
Jamaica
Tunisia
Turkey
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Old 07-13-2014, 10:45 AM   #32
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12/18/2013
We move up to 21st in the world rankings, Geoff Cameron is out 4 weeks with a strained groin and I had a 5-3-2 counter tactic as our 3rd formation

12/31/2013
My 1st, 2nd and 3rd place votes for the World Golden Ball award go to Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar respectively, John Brooks wins USA young player of the year award

1/1/2014
Messi is named the World Golden Ball Winner and Ronaldo scoops the World Player of the Year award.

1/15/2014
Stuart Holden hurt in a match for Bolton, tearing a groin muscle, he will be out 2 months, I have my friendly schedule set with Senegal, Poland, Switzerland and Bolivia, the latter two are away at similar altitude as Brazil and in the case of Bolivia climate as well.
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Old 07-13-2014, 12:42 PM   #33
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1/21/2014
Damarcus Beasley announces he will retire at the end of the current season, though he will complete any pending National Team assignments, good news since he is key in my 5-3-2

2/8/2014
Jonathon Spector is out 4 weeks after suffering an injury to the jaw, he is on the bubble for the top 23 so this hurts him, USA drops a spot to 22 in the the world rankings.

2/26/2014
Altidore and Holden are unavailable for our friendly against Senegal on March 5th due to injury, so Jermaine Jones is welcomed back and I bring up Terrance Boyd to look at in our alt 5-3-3 tactic
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Old 07-13-2014, 04:32 PM   #34
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3/5/2014Friendly: USA VS Senegal
Record vs Opponent 0-0-0Att: 21,193Favorite: USA
This gives me a good opportunity to try our third tactic, a countering 5-3-2, which has some stark differences to our regular 4-1-3-2 in that true wingbacks are utilized and it will allow me to use Altidore (who is injured of course) as a target man.Clint Dempsey will fill that role in Jozy's absence, while Donovan can create as an AMC
GK - HowardMid - Beasley, Bradley, Kljestan, Chandler
Def - Besler, Cameron, BrooksAtt - Donovan , Dempsey, Johannsson
Summary
11 - Beasley gets forward on the wing and feeds a cross in to Dempsey who bangs it in!! 1-0
13 - Off a throw in Dempsey finds Johannsson on a run and he scores, but the flag was up
27 - Diop finds Sadio Mane unmarked at the top of the area on a corner and he blasts it in 1-1
35 - Diop on free kick from the byline, ball loose in the 6 yard box, Demba Ba scores!! 1-2
HT - Well, the new tactic started well, but we were beyond bad on set pieces, back to 4-3-3
46 - Zusi on for Donovan and Fabian Johnson on for Beasley as they fit our regular tactic better
59 - Diop is deadly on set pieces as he bangs a free kick from an angle off the cross bar
62 - Jermaine Jones on for Cameron at DMC
63 - Dempsey from just inside Senegal's half place a beauty to Johannsson who equalizes 2-2
72 - Bradley is banged up, so Bedoya comes on and Gonzalez at DC for Brooks
FinalUSA - 2Senegal - 2USA scoring
Shots145Dempsey
Target64Johannsson
Poss42%58%
Booked00MOM - Clint Dempsey USA (7.8)
The new tactic was actually decent, we just needed to attack in the second half to equalize and the discrepancy in possession was only 49/51 before we changed, so that is due to attacking.Set piece defending will be a focus going forward and I will now only use the counter if we are heavy dogs or have a lead and the other team is pushing too many forward.
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