Sorry for the delay between posts. I was lucky enough to catch the extremely exciting Championship Premier League play in match last week between Reading and Swansea City. It was a spirited, momentous match in front of an amazing (as always) Wembley crowd that made me vow to start following the Championship a lot more closely.
Congrats to Swansea and their Welsh ascendance to the top-flight! It should be interesting.
Initial thoughts on the U.S. Men’s team and their 2-0 victory over Canada in Detroit last night:
- Joze Altidore showed flashes of brilliance. His frame and athleticism have always been impressive, but he has rarely imposed himself on a match in such a decisive, comprehensive manner. The announcers commented on the fact that Altidore is still only 21 years old, which is striking because he does already seem like a gnarled vet. Impressive performance from the much-maligned striker who is slowly building a corrosive chemistry with RedBulls’ phenom Juan Agudelo.
- Michael Bradley’s workrate and effectiveness last night were amazing to behold. He defended and distributed the ball with a sustained level of speed and focused intensity that proved crucial to the midfield’s overall thrust and shape. I hope he can actually get some playing time for Aston Villa next year, or at least catch on with an EPL or Bundesliga club that will give him a chance to shine. This is the second match in a row (the friendly against Argentina a few months back was the other) where Bradley turned in an eye-catching performance.
- Tim Howard is a great goaltender, but an even better leader. His feistiness and intangibles are off the charts, as were the spectacular saves he made during a frantic sequence in the 85th minute of the match, which prompted this amazing quote from Canadian coach Stephen Hart: ”Howard was absolute magic. I almost clapped.”
Here is the Fullback Files’ (an excellent site for U.S. National Team insight) take on the match.