Tag Archives: Clint Dempsey

New Post: Watch the goals from the #USMNT win against Honduras

  By, Kyle Gibson

The United States Men’s National Team steamrolled Honduras 6-0 Friday in San Jose to climb up to fourth in the FIFA World Cup Qualifying Hexagonal.

For most of the bountiful U.S. goals, quality matched the quantity. As Stefon might say, this game had it all: free kicks, perfectly weighted passes, first goals, Tim Ream, etc.

The Bay area’s own Sebastian Lletget scored the first goal on the night, and first of his U.S. career, after a Christian Pulisic shot was saved into his path.

Captain Michael Bradley then capitalized on the space Honduras gave him at the top of the box with a very good goal.

The effectiveness of U.S. legend Clint Dempsey was up in the air before Friday’s match, due to his long layoff stemming from heart issues. Deuce showed he could still ball, though, grabbing the third goal off a great Pulisic pass.

Pulisic turned from provider to scorer in the second half, needing just about 15 seconds at the start of the half to make the lead 4-0. This 18-year-old is special, but you knew that.

 

Dempsey added a fifth goal a few minutes later.

The man of the hour then sealed the deal with a free kick, completing his hat trick and rounding out the score at 6-0.

I’d say that’s a job well done for Bruce Arena and Co.

New Post: Three keys for the #USMNT tonight against Costa Rica in Copa America

By, Kyle Gibson

After a subpar start against Colombia in Copa America Friday, the U.S. Men’s National team returns to action Tuesday at 8 p.m. against Costa Rica.

One would assume that Colombia will beat Paraguay, but the United States essentially needs a win to keep Costa Rica at one point, forcing a necessity for a Ticos win against Colombia in the final contest.

Here are three keys for Tuesday’s match-up.

1. Do not concede an early goal: 

This is a problem I didn’t include in the last game for fear of being redundant. After all, allowing early goals has plagued the U.S. in big games for years. Cristian Zapata’s eighth-minute goal from a corner again exposed the team’s penchant for allowing early goals, while also highlighting the team’s sometimes glaring set-piece weaknesses.

Costa Rica is one of the most solid teams in the tournament, so the U.S. can simply not afford to be chasing the game for long stretches.

2. No Jermaine Jones:

Jones completely lost the plot for much of his time in the game. Feeling a youthful vigor that doesn’t match his aging skill set, Jones would often rush forward, trying to take speedy Colombian defenders on. This led to plenty of dispossession and often seemed to confuse Jones’ teammates.

I would play Darlington Nagbe instead. Nagbe has been impressive in his appearances for the squad so far and has plenty of speed and technical ability.

3. Will the real Michael Bradley please stand up? 

I mentioned Bradley as a key in my last post too, but I sincerely believe that as Bradley goes, so goes the team.

Often, Bradley did not display his trademark judgement on Friday and his passes were not crisp.Hopefully for the Yanks, Tuesday will be much better for Bradley.

Bonus: We need to talk about Clint. 

Clint Dempsey just doesn’t have “it” anymore. The skill, above average speed and love of “trying s*&t,” as he used to call it, just does not seem to be present anymore in the 33-year old.

If healthy, the central spot Dempsey is filling would more than likely be filled by Jozy Altidore. I don’t think Jurgen Klinsmann will do this, but I think Bobby Wood would be much better in this spot.

Follow @KyleisGibson on Twitter. 

 

New Post: Soccer Elections Results– Who wins?

By, Kyle Gibson

Normally, you don’t tell anyone who you vote for. Americans, who post pictures of every meal they eat and Facebook every time their stomach hurts, don’t like to mention who they choose to lead the country for the immediate future.

However, yesterday I unveiled the soccer election and today I am going to unveil my ballot choices, along with the help of celebrity guest voter….my dad, Richard!

Don’t forget to post your own ballot in the comments.

Best Player (President)

Lionel Messi (Kyle and Richard)
Cristiano Ronaldo
Write-in candidate.

Best German Defender (Chancellor)
Philipp Lahm (Kyle)
Per Mertesacker (Richard)
Mats Hummels
Write-in
(Dad hates all the German players, but he didn’t want to miss out on the democratic process. As he said “You can’t go wrong with Mertesacker.”)

Best Young Player (Young Republicans Club)

Mario Götze
Neymar (Dad, Kyle)
Marco Reus
Write-in

Best American Player (Mayor)

Clint Dempsey
Tim Howard (Richard)
Write-in (Kyle writes in Michael Bradley)

Best Manager (Land Commissioner)

Jose Mourinho (Richard)
Pep Guardiola (Dad would not “…(urinate) on him if he was on fire.”)
Carlo Ancelloti
Diego Simeone
Jurgen Klopp
Write-in (Kyle writes in Sigi Schmid, a role model for bug guys everywhere.)

Best Premier League Player (Prime Minister, even though none are English)
Cesc Fabregas (Kyle)
Sergio Aguero
Angel DiMaria (Richard)
Write-in

Best Goalkeeper (Secretary of Defense) (no write ins)
Thibault Courtois
Manuel Neuer (Kyle, Richard)

New Kicking It Podcast: Breaking Down the MLS, or as We call it, the American Premier League!

By, Kyle Gibson

This week on the Kicking It Podcast, Kyle and Richard discuss the most recent fixtures from the MLS, or simply, American Premier League. Along with analysis from matches and table talk, we discuss the MLS All Star Team. We also hug it out at the end.

Listen here on our Buzzsprout page and don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes by searching “Kicking it with Kyle Gibson.”

 

New Post: World Cup over? Time to watch the MLS, America. Start tonight with a great game

By, Kyle Gibson

The World Cup is finally over, but what about those of us that still have the soccer fever that caught on in the USA? The MLS has the prescription you need.

In past years and justifiably so, the MLS has gotten a bad reputation as a league with nothing to offer. David Beckham changed that when he entered the league. Now, almost every team has tried to add a “Designated Player” and some teams have signed up to 3.

Big stars like Thierry Henry, Robbie Keane, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan play in MLS, as well as rising stars like DeAndre Yedlin and Erick Torres of Mexico.

Yedlin and Dempsey, who play for the Seattle Sounders, return tonight, Sunday night at 10 PM Eastern to take on their arch rival, the Portland Timbers.

Seattle’s stadium is always sold out and the games against Portland are electrifying.

The game will be on ESPN and is 100 percent worth the watch.

Many people said they would support the MLS after watching the US National team in Brazil. Here’s your chance to get started with a great game.

Preview: The 3 Keys to the USMNT not Waffling against Belgium, including leaving Jozy Altidore on the bench

By, Kyle Gibson

Since advancing last Thursday, the US men’s national team has set its sights on the insanely talented, Group H winner Belgium. Led by Eden Hazard, this team’s combined transfer fee is up there with most of the world’s elites.

As I wrote last week, though, Belgium thus far has played like a group of individuals, not a cohesive unit. The team also qualified for knockouts from the easiest group in the tournament.

Here are my three keys to beating the Belgians.

1. Don’t Start Jozy Altidore

Altidore participated in full training for the first time since his injury against Ghana on Monday and is listed as available, but just because he’s fit to go, it doesn’t mean Jurgen Klinsmann should start him.

Let’s go ahead and say the Germany game was an anomaly, because the US only looked to score a few times. Besides that game, the US has scored 2 goals in each game, 2 coming from Clint Dempsey.

In order to preserve the shape that has gotten the team this far, the 4-2-3-1, Klinsmann should opt to keep things the same and keep Dempsey up top. If the US finds itself needing offensive firepower late on, go for a two striker formation and let Altidore impact the game with fresh legs.

We have to remember, by the way, that Altidore wasn’t exactly stacking up the goals before his hamstring injury, anyway.

2. Watch the Late Goals

Belgium has only scored goals in the second half at this Finals, including a 78th minute winner against South Korea and an 88th minute winner against Russia. Unfortunately for the US, it has given away two crucial goals in the final 10 minutes, Ghana’s equalizer and Portugal’s game-tying miracle.

The US can’t allow the Belgians to score late, which is easier said than done. Speedy wingers and strong depth means that the likes of Kevin Mirallas or Divock Origi could be on as substitutes late, terrorizing the US goal. To make matters worse, Eden Hazard and right winger Dries Mertens don’t seem to tire.

I keep flashing back to fellow CONCACAF teams Mexico and Costa Rica, who surrendered stoppage time goals on Sunday. Mexico paid for it with elimination, while Costa Rica barely escaped from penalties.

3. Michael Bradley has to perform

I don’t know what it is with Michael Bradley, but he has had a very rough World Cup. Bradley looked broken against Ghana, surrendered the giveaway that Portugal ultimately equalized on and then played poorly against Germany as well.

Perhaps many critics were right and Bradley wasn’t suited to play as an attacking central midfielder on the world stage. With that being said, Bradley performed great at that spot in the World Cup tuneup games against powerful Turkey and fellow Knockout team Nigeria.

Bradley switched positions slightly with Jermaine Jones in the second half of the Germany game. Perhaps Klinsmann will keep that in mind when he prepares the lineup for Belgium.

Michael Bradley has been the best field player for maybe a year now. He can’t let his team down at the biggest of stages. We need to see more from Michael Bradley in this World Cup Finals if the US wants to find a way to the quarterfinals.

Do you believe? What are your keys? Share in the comments or send me a tweet @kickingit10

 

New Kicking It Podcast: USA 2-2 Portugal Instant Analysis

By, Kyle Gibson

Last week after the US defeated Ghana, we hopped on the podcast in jubilant spirits and rehashed the game that was. I decided to do that again this week, albeit with a heavier heart. Still, I believe. I believe that we will advance! This quick podcast covers the amazing game against Portugal and the implications from the game (we want a tie or Portugal win). Please give it a listen, it’s very quick and I think you will find it enjoyable.

Here is the link, or listen below.