U.S. Soccer: “You need a lot of things to win a World Cup”

We interviewed Neil Buethe of U.S. Soccer this week, for his thoughts on this year’s World Cup campaign. Although the PR director remained more diplomatic in his comments than we’d like, he did address what the federation will consider a success this summer, what it takes to win the Cup, and where US Soccer hopes to be in the next 25 years, post South Africa. On with the interview… read more

Defense is our team’s biggest liability

If you hear a passing remark at the World Cup this summer from someone saying the U.S. has no offense, smack ‘em on the head for me. Then point ‘em to this proven analysis, in which a really smart dude ranks the U.S. as a top 10 scoring team in the world (9th to be exact). Believe it.

No, our team’s real worry is our defense. Our back line. Our onion bag stoppers. Even if everyone is healthy (I’m looking at you “Gooch” and DeMerit), our defense is still the weakest link. In fact, the only player I expect to start on defense is team captain Carlos Bocanegra. read more

Team USA: Memorize these jersey numbers before June 12

U.S. Soccer has cataloged and numbered the 23 Americans playing in the World Cup this summer. They are as follows (projected starting 11 in bold):

1 Tim Howard
2 Jonathan Spector
3 Carlos Bocanegra
4 Michael Bradley
5 Oguchi Onyewu
6 Steve Cherundolo
7 DaMarcus Beasley
8 Clint Dempsey
9 Herculez Gomez
10 Landon Donovan
11 Stuart Holden
12 Jonathan Bornstein
13 Ricardo Clark
14 Edson Buddle
15 Jay DeMerit
16 Jose Torres
17 Jozy Altidore
18 Brad Guzan
19 Maurice Edu
20 Robbie Findley
21 Clarence Goodson
22 Benny Feilhaber
23 Marcus Hahnemann read more

Like it or not, “faux sash” trying to become signature look of U.S. national soccer team

Robert Bradford/USA Soccer Stud

NEW YORK—When you picture Brazil at the World Cup, you expect them in yellow. When you envision Italy, you know they’ll be wearing royal blue. England wears red. Argentina wears baby blue stripes. And Holland dons solid orange.

The United States? They don’t have a signature look, something U.S. Soccer and Nike are hoping to change with the release of new home and away “sash” jerseys. Yes, they look like something a beauty pageant contestant might wear. But there’s a meaningful reason behind the diagonal stripe. read more

Book mark this compete list of World Cup game times

Here is the complete schedule for the 2010 World Cup, courtesy World Cup Buzz. All times Eastern Daylight Time. Go USA!

Friday, June 11
Group A – (Johannesburg) South Africa vs. Mexico, 10 a.m.
Group A – (Cape Town) Uruguay vs. France, 2:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 12
Group B – (Johannesburg) Korea Republic vs. Greece, 7:30 a.m.
Group B – (Port Elizabeth) Argentina vs. Nigeria, 10 a.m.
Group C – (Rustenburg) United States vs. England, 2:30 p.m. read more

Diving in soccer is un-American

It may be called “the beautiful game,” but soccer is full of bad acting.

If fans want their sport to be taken seriously by fellow Americans—in other words, thrive here—they need to shun diving from the game at all levels. Otherwise, tough-loving American sports fans will never embrace the sport. And soccer fans in general will continue to get an inferior product. read more

Why we call it soccer

Since most of the world still doesn’t know the story, here’s why:

“Soccer’s etymology is not American but British,” explains Partha Mazumdar of the U.S. Embassy in London. “It comes from an abbreviation for Association Football, the official name of the sport (for those of you who have never heard the team “Association Football” before, it was named after the Football Association, which still governs English soccer, to differentiate itself from the other major type of football, Rugby Football, which was named after the Rugby School. FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, is French for the International Federation of Association Football… F-I-F-A).” read more

It’s official: Nike unveils new USA soccer uniforms; socks look ugly

After leaking onto the internet, Nike today unveiled the new U.S. soccer kits to be worn at the World Cup. The polyester, made from recycled plastic bottles found in rotting Japanese and Taiwanese landfills, are said to be 15 percent lighter and 100 percent more “green.”

The reused materials won’t save you any money though when the jersey’s go on sale tomorrow; they cost just as much as they always have ($70). Other teams wearing the new national team jerseys in South Africa include Brazil, The Netherlands, Portugal, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Serbia, and Slovenia. read more

U.S. World Cup TV coverage: ABC, ESPN, Univision to show it all

Live in America and want to watch the World Cup this summer? Good news: all 64 games will be aired in HD by either ABC or ESPN/ESPN360.com in English, or Univision and Telefutura in Spanish (also in HD). That’s right, all games can be watched in high-definition without cable television even.

According to U.S. Soccer, ABC will air the U.S. opener against England on Saturday, June 12 at 2 pm Eastern. In addition to the final, semi-finals, and other key games, the network will broadcast nine more matches, with ESPN/ESPN360.com splitting the remaining games. NOTE: ESPN360.com is free for Comcast subscribers. read more