Good morning all. It is a slow Tuesday in the soccer world and while there aren't a ton of major stories making the rounds today, there is still plenty to think about if you are an American soccer fan.
In MLS, you still have three teams still looking for head coaches. D.C. United is down to two candidates in Akron's Caleb Porter and former KC head coach Curt Onalfo (our money is on Porter being the pick). The Chicago Fire looks set to break a record for most candidates interviewed, with no front-runner having emerged yet (our money is on Tom Soehn being the pick. In New York, new general manager Erik Soler is debating between some European candidates and a handful of MLS options (our money is on someone other than Richie Williams being the pick).
On the national team front, DaMarcus Beasley has started to score playing time again for Rangers and while it looks suspiciously like a chance to shop him around for the winter window, it shouldn't be automatically assumed that Beasley isn't simply returning to form.
There has been plenty of venom sprayed at Beasley from U.S. fans who simply don't feel he is worthy of consideration for the 2010 U.S. World Cup team, but those folks have some short memories because Beasley remains a player who has been very important to the national team in recent years. He was awful last summer, both in World Cup qualifying and the Confederations Cup, but he absolutely deserves another national team look if he keeps playing for Rangers, or makes a move to a club that will play him come January.
Why? Well, in case you haven't noticed there aren't a ton of left wing options for the U.S. team. Landon Donovan starts there, but he could be moved to the right flank, which would allow Clint Dempsey to move up top to fill the void left by Charlie Davies' absence due to injury (or Donovan could move up top himself). These are the options Bob Bradley would have if Beasley could return to form and regain his starting left wing slot. He still has a long way to go to get there, but his recent success should be seen as a position sign and a potential step toward a national team comeback.
From the "Another one that got away" department comes the news of Gabriel Funes'success in Argentina. Who is Funes? He is the young Argentine born and Texas-raised prospectwho won the Sueno MLS contest that earned him a place in the FC Dallas Academy only to pass it up for a chance to try out for clubs in his native Argentina. He scored a trial with famed club River Plate and worked his way into the club's starting lineup. He capped the fall season with a goal in River's final match (his goal is the first in the video):
Lastly, it is a surprisingly busy Tuesday Americans Abroad. Marcus Hahnemannand Wolves will try to upset Manchester United today (2:45pm, Setanta USA) while Brad Friedeland Aston Villa looks to tighten its hold on a Top Four spot with a win at Sunderland (2:30pm, FSC/FSE). Jonathan Spectorwill be looking to get back in the West Ham lineup as the Hammers face Bolton (3pm, Setanta Xtra). FA Cup star Mike Grellaand Leeds will take on Accrington Stanley in the Johnston Paint Trophy. DaMarcus Beasleywill have another chance at some playing time as Rangers faces Dundee United in SPL action.
What do you think of the above topics? Hoping D.C. hires Porter? Starting to believe that Beasley could play his way back into the national team picture, or have you given up on him for good? Think Hahnemann could make it two straight wins by American goalkeepers against Manchester United?
Share your thoughts below.