December 2009, World Cup 2010

Checking Up On Some Yanks

Guess what happened yesterday USMNT fans!? The team that I root for in the Scottish Premiership won a game 4-1! The defending champion Rangers got a goal from Kris Boyd, two from Kenny Miller, and one from my boy Nacho Novo! Not since my videogame “Master League” team in Winning Eleven 9 has a Rangers team looked this proficient in attack (and that team had Ruud van Nistelrooy among others… because I said so).

Okay, lead sufficiently buried, so here it is: In the 74th minute Rangers made a defensive substitution, replacing striker Kyle Lafferty with midfielder MAURICE EDU. He’s back! He’s for real back! No reserve side games that I have to read about in a Scottish paper, Mo Edu played in an honest to goodness Scottish Premier League game against Hibernian! I can read about it on ESPNSoccernet! Look!

For all the talk of the promise inherent in the injury-riddled Jermaine Jones, Maurice Edu is the formerly on-the-shelf American midfielder I’m excited about. If he’s 100 percent healthy every American central midfielder needs to be worried, maybe even Michael Bradley… naw, who am I kidding, MB90 only leaves the pitch when he sees red.

And of course it can’t be all good news for Yanks in Glasgow. A seemingly reborn DeMarcus Beasley has had his current hot streak interrupted by a thigh injury and did not play in Rangers’ game against Hibernian. He should be back in a week or too though, and hopefully back in the starting lineup. Is there an SPL game on the horizon in which Glasgow’s favorite protestant football club starts two black Americans? Not exactly what Scottish soccer usually looks like, and of course everyone here at Yanks is rooting for it!

And on the Stuart Holden watch, the midfielder of pace, quality, and creativity continues to garner skill-set appropriate levels of interest from British clubs despite the fact that he’s American. English Premier League new boys Burnley are the latest to be lusting after Holden, and with the Houston Dynamo’s offensive dynamo out of contract it’s looking more and more like he’ll make the jump across the pond when the January transfer window opens up.

And on Spector-watch, which as a West Ham and USMNT fan I’m always on, Jonathan Spector made his first appearance for west Ham United in almost a month today, filling in for the injured Herita Illunga after the Hammers were already down 1-0 to Tottenham Hotspur. Spec was charged with the dubious task of shutting down England winger Aaron Lennon while playing left back for the perennially slumping East Londoners. Lennon is playing the best soccer of his career, and while it can’t be said that Spector shut him down, he did track back diligently and he recovered well each time the far speedier Englishman seemed to get the best of him. Spector showed the ability to stay patient in the face of tricky dribbling and creative moves, and dispossessed Lennon on the recovery more than once. He also flashed his usual propensity for getting forward and put the most dangerous long ball of the game right across the face of goal… but apparently West Ham strikers don’t like to hangout in that area.

In summation, Jonathan Spector. World Cup. Sideback. Thanks.

Jon Levy

  • Neil

    Burnley, Wigan Athletic, hell– even Bolton– would all be appropriate places for the calm and offensively-apt Holden to ply his trade. The risk of course is a long battle to see the field– but only @ Bolton would that be a pressing concern, I think.