Pre Copa América Centenario Fun

The #USMNT is getting ready for life without Jozy Altidore (down and out again,  with yet another hamstring injury …) as Jurgen Klinsmann’s begins final prep activities for the Copa América Centenario.

Two things stick with me from this article. First, there is an interesting spin on last year’s Gold Cup.  Second, some of the comments are enlightening.

… during the USA’s run to the Gold Cup semifinal.

That is classic. The author calls last summer’s debacle, a ‘run’ – when it should be listed as “… during last summer’s early and disappointing Gold Cup exit.”  There is a difference; no reason to try and spin a better outcome.

From the comments section, there is an interesting debate centered on wondering (guessing) if Klinsmann will play our best players in their natural positions that they currently play for their club teams.  How did it come to this?

As for me,  I expect very little from this team, which is disappointing.  Of course I am ever the cheerleader and will be expecting miracles.  Something tells me I will be cussing and fussing instead.

Go USA!!!


USMNT – Defensive Calamity

Dissecting the USMNT’s 2-1 Gold Cup exit at the hands of Jamaica is really not worth the effort. Plenty of sites have already done as much, including calling for the head of Jürgen Klinsmann.

While the U.S. dominated the game, their defense ultimately let them down. Again. How many times do we have to sing this song?

Disappointing doesn’t begin to describe my feelings on this one …

Go USA … just not to the Gold Cup finals. #ThrowAwayTheCup


Gold Cup – Will the USMNT Sort Out Defensive Woes?

Over the years, how many times have I written about Team U.S.A. being let dow by an awful defense? I’m not going to go there yet, but I will let Matthew Doyle take us to that special place in his latest Armchair Analyst article:

But we won because Michael Bradley serves in sick set pieces and because Clint Dempsey is an American badass. It’s been a very good combination over the years, and if you’re struggling to take something overly positive away from the game… well, you’re not alone. Just don’t take those two guys for granted – as long as they’re around, the US have a chance.

2-1 over Honduras, taking the three points home last Tuesday night. Haiti is next, tomorrow night. We should secure the group, but the boys better be ready and not allow Haiti to think the have a chance.


Point. Counter Point. IndyCar, Fontana, and Danger.

If you are a racing fan and care about IndyCar, you have probably already read these two great op-eds on what occurred last Saturday at Auto Club Speedway. Robin Miller said:

And what we witnessed Saturday at Auto Club Speedway was somewhere between the measured insanity of the 1960s and a jaw-dropping display of reflexes and reaction at 220mph.
It was incredible theatre, with a record 80 lead changes among 14 of the 23 drivers and three hours of intensity that’s hard to be imagined or duplicated.

Mr. Miller’s main point being that the element of danger, was the compelling hook that made the race so exciting.

David Malsher has a different view:

In terms of entertainment, last Saturday’s MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, was a hit. As a piece of sport, it was almost entirely without merit. Once the track gripped up, not long into the second stint, and every driver’s throttle was planted on the bulkhead, it became a slipstreaming crapshoot. Yes, it required the same bravery as Indy car racing has always demanded. No, it did not require the same skill as we’ve seen through the decades from the likes of A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones, the Unsers, the Andrettis, Rutherford, Sneva, Mears. They had to balance their cars on the edge of adhesion, decide how much throttle to apply, how much room they had to correct the slide, how to balance tire life over the course of a stint. What we saw last Saturday was about balls and a lack of imagination.

There is inherent danger in the sport; Mr. Malsher thought the danger was too over the top.

I’m really not sure where I stand in this debate, but I do think the continued conversation is good for IndyCar, and it was worth pointing out here because RACER deserves some positive press for their outstanding work.


2015 Le Mans – Porsche 919 Hybrid In Review

RACER posted an interesting article of statistics on the
Porsche 919 Hybrid from this year’s Le Mans.

Of the assorted facts and figures, I thought this one was really eye-catching:

The Porsche 919 Hybrid recuperated and used 2.22 kWh (8 megajoule) per lap. If it was a powerplant, a family home could be supplied with electricity for three months.

In my book, endurance, sports car, and prototype racing, are becoming much more entertaining than today’s contrived F1 (their rules have crippled F1 to the point where it is a parody of its once proud pinnacle of motor sports self).


Final U.S. Open Comments – Go Spieth

I’m not what anyone would call an avid golfer. I watch the majors (sometimes) and play a mean round of Hot Shots (Vita), Tiger Woods (PS3), or The Golf Club (PS4), but that’s about it for my golfing pleasure. I have been pulling for Jordan Spieth (native Texan, Longhorns fan), and enjoyed watching the Masters. The U.S. Open last weekend was great drama!

Over the weekend, we got a full dose of complaints, mostly along the lines of how much the course stunk (and was a complete disgrace to the U.S. Open). So it is nice to see some statistics to backup the notion that the Chambers Bay course wasn’t a disaster:

The 25 sub-par scores on the first day were the most in the U.S. Open since 1992. There were eight players who finished under par for the tournament. Louis Oosthuizen tied a U.S. Open record by shooting 29 over nine holes during his final round. And the final-round scoring average of 71.29 was the lowest for any round in 115 years of the tournament.

Was the course that bad? Maybe. The reality is everyone had the same conditions. We are still talking about it … so that should be worth something.

Will I now what the Open in three weeks? You bet! Hook ’em, and go Spieth!


U.S. Gold Cup Prep (Down Goes Clockwork Orange)

After today’s U.S. 4-3 come from behind win over the Netherlands, Team USA gives us some hope for the future.

I was at work, so didn’t get to watch the match, but after watching the highlights, I’m encouraged to see our boys never gave up hope. Sure it was just a friendly, but overcoming a 3-1 deficit shows a never die attitude.

Team USA improves to a lukewarm 3-1-2 record in 2015.