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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My Hero

This really has nothing to do with sports, but this is one of the most amazing things i've ever seen...



That kid is my hero.

(H/T to With Leather)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Where You Came From

Time for my weekly* feature: Where You Came From, in which i examine the different countries that people have visited this site from and the search terms that brought you here. Enjoy!

In the last week people have visited this site from: Canada, Japan, Taiwan, South Africa, a generic Europe, The Philippines, Republic of Moldova, Germany, and India. Wow, after complaining last week that my international audience was lacking, it came back strong this time. Republic of Moldova? I don't even know where that is...

Anyway, here are the search terms that brought people here. As always, the search terms are reproduced here unedited, and i have added the number of times the search appeared and my commentary in parentheses.

1) freddy adu
2) favre press conference 8 5
3) natasha kai (2) (Love the soccer searches!)
4) az cardinal open tryouts
5) bayern munich jersey unveiling (Apparently that fashoin show/trainwreck was popular)
6) site:valleysports.blogspot.com (2) (Someone knew exactly what they were looking for...)
7) fuck brett favre (5) (Ahh, it never gets old...)
8) dennis green they are who we thought they were vedio
9) fuck favre t shirt (2)
10) US men's soccer vs. england
11) afl open tryouts
12) hatred asu ua
13) manny dodgers press conference
14) dennis green post game conference
15) "Steve Nash
16) my opinion on the 2010 world cup
17) "bad day" dennis green
18) "espn 3" epl -nascar (Been seeing more and more things about ESPN 3. Interesting...)
19) most popular college football t-shirts
20) preseason records dennis green
21) 2010 world cup rumors moved to china (There is zero chance it's being moved to China...)
22) padres game 07/29/08
23) kevin seitzer

So there you go. An interesting list as always. Back to your regularly scheduled programming later today.

*Weekly, as usual, is a relative term...

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Olympics

With the Olympics just a few days away, i find myself mostly disinterested, with the exception of soccer (of course). Both the Men's and Women's US teams have things to prove here, albeit they are much different thing from each other.

Going into the tournament the US Women had to be considered a favorite right up to the point that Abby Wambach broke her leg. Without Wambach, the US career active scoring leader, the US could struggle to score goals. The defense will be good and this will be Hope Solo's chance to shine in goal after the last World Cup debacle in which she was replaced in the semifinals. The offense will be looking for someone to step up and fill the void left by Wambach. Their group is challenging but not too difficult, and they should be able to advance to the knock out rounds while finding their groove. Look for Natasha Kai to be the person who really steps up.

Still, even without Wambach the Americans still have to be considered a favorite for medal contention. I still see a bronze medal for them.

The US Men, however, find themselves in a wholly different situation, as this article explains. They have a talented team, one of, if not the most U-23 teams the US has put together, with a decent trio of overage players in Brian McBride, Michael Parkhurst, and Brad Guzan.

While the keeper situation with Guzan set, who should be solid, the defense is a tad suspect. It is pretty thin to begin with, and somewhat inexperienced on such a big international stage. Consider also that Maurice Edu will be starting on the back line, which is somewhat out of position for him.

The midfield, on the other hand, is loaded with too many players and not enough positions, something the Senior Team is already struggling with that will only get worse. Michael Bradley will be in the middle for sure. Other than that it gets murky. Sacha Klejstan? Should be in the middle, but also plays pretty well on either flank. Benny Feilhaber? Plays in the middle, though more of a defensive midfielder. What about Freddy Adu? He seems best suited in a central, attacking midfield role where he can use his creativity and skills to create chances.

You're left with Jozy Altidore and McBride up top of course, but Altidore could be moved to the right flank in midfield to allow more space for Adu. Though it's not his best position, and Altidore does better than any other player on this team what the team needs most: Finish. Putting him on the flank seems counter productive to that. McBride will most certainly be allowed to roam up front, looking to hook-up with service from the flanks where he is most effective.

The US team is put into the toughest draw of the Tourney with Holland, Nigeria, and Japan. They play Japan first and for all intents and purposes must win to have any chance to advance. Even if they were to advance, which if they did would most likely be as the second place finisher in the group, they would probably be facing Argentina in the knock-out stages. Argentina, in case you hadn't heard, is probably the best team in the Olympics and is LOADED.

At best, the Americans advance and fall in a close game to Argentina in the knock-out stage. At worst, the Americans finish third place in their group and don't advance. With the way the US struggled to score goals in their two Olympic tune-ups, i'm not expecting much out of this group. Look for them to indeed finish third in their group and not advance.