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US National Team

04 February 3:11 de la tarde

Bob Bradley never could completely win over American fans or journalists during his time at the helm of the US national team, sentiments that look increasingly misguided as his accomplishments benefit from time and perspective.

But nobody can dispute the fact that Bradley has been the epitome of grace since arriving in Egypt to lead the country's national team. In the wake of the Port Said tragedy, Bradley took to the streets to mourn. And he never left when others would have been tempted to take the first flight out of Cairo, staying put as Egypt's political structure and domestic league descended into chaos. In the process, the stoic tactician earned the respect and admiration of a soccer-mad nation desperate to see their team succeed against all odds.

Now, the Pharaohs are doggedly trying to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, currently sitting atop Group G with six points after two matches.

Can they make it to Brazil? That remains to be seen, but they've certainly overcome staggering odds to get this far during arguably the most turbulent period in Egypt's modern history.

Watch Bradley's recent interview with CNN above and let us know what you think in the comment section below. Has your opinion of him changed in the past year?

02 February 6:03 de la tarde

We won't know Jurgen Klinsmann's full roster for the US national team's World Cup qualifier against Honduras until Monday, but a celebrity sighting appears to have revealed at least one name on the list.

That would be Sporting KC's Matt Besler, who scored a picture with Kim Kardashian on a flight to Miami (destination revealed thanks to Ms. Kardashian's personal account) and tweeted it to his followers with this message: "Yes, of course you can sit next to me on my flight this morning. Nothing to worry about, Kayne."

Smooth, Matt. Real smooth.

Just spell Kanye's name right next time, OK?

 

30 January 5:43 de la tarde

Citoyens de Cleveland, réjouissez-vous. L’équipe nationale américaine jouera un match amical face à son homologue belge dans votre ville le 29 mai prochain. Les deux équipes s’en serviront pour préparer d’importants duels des éliminatoires de la Coupe du monde. Les médias belges annoncent que Vincent Kompany, Marouane Fellaini, Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois et consorts seront en stage aux États-Unis du 23 au 30 mai.

Par ailleurs, la saga Najar a pris fin. En effet, DC United a officialisé le transfert du joueur à Anderlecht. Le milieu droit était arrivé en Belgique il y a déjà plus d’un mois et avait laissé de bonnes impressions lors des matchs amicaux disputés avec les mauve et blanc. Il s’agit du premier transfert de l’histoire de la MLS d’un élément ayant le statut de « joueur formé au club ».

30 January 12:02 de la tarde

Les États-Unis et le Canada se sont quittés dos-à-dos, sur un partage 0-0, seul score possible à l’issue d’une rencontre guère enthousiasmante que des joueurs hors-saison n’ont jamais été capables d’emballer.

Avec onze titulaires faisant partie des cadres de la MLS, l’équipe américaine a contrôlé le ballon pendant presque tout le match sans parvenir à en faire bon usage. Des qualités individuelles manifestes n’ont jamais été exploitées de manière collective. Le fait que ces joueurs n’étaient pas habitués à jouer ensemble sautait aux yeux et les imprécisions se sont multipliées au moment de donner le coup d’accélérateur qui pouvait faire la différence.

Les Canadiens, eux, ont regardé cela plutôt passivement mais toujours avec la ferme volonté de garder le zéro, ce qu’ils sont parvenus à faire. On peut en attribuer une grande part du mérite à Dejan Jakovic, le meilleur des siens sur le terrain. Kyle Bekker s’est aussi mis en évidence alors que Dwayne De Rosario s’est montré le plus menaçant pour Johnson.

Jürgen Klinsmann soulignait surtout l’effort des siens durant les trois semaines de stage qui ont précédé le match, qui ne lui a réservé aucune bonne surprise. Son alter ego Collin Miller était tout heureux de son premier point pris avec le Canada, et encensait le cœur et l’engagement de ses joueurs.

29 January 1:46 de la tarde

Le match amical qui opposera ce soir les États-Unis au Canada (21h00 HE, direct Sportsnet, ESPN2 et Univision Deportes) verra s’affronter deux équipes dans une situation totalement opposée.

Sorti du parcours menant à la prochaine Coupe du monde suite à sa défaite 8-1 au Honduras, le Canada entame une (énième) période de transition, avec un sélectionneur par intérim (Colin Miller), des cadres fortement rajeunis et aucun plan d’avenir clairement défini. Sa première sortie de l’année s’est soldée par une défaite 0-4 contre le Danemark.

Si vous voulez mon avis, l’équipe nationale canadienne doit dès aujourd’hui faire majoritairement appel à la génération qui tentera bientôt de se qualifier pour la Coupe du monde des -20 ans et visera les Jeux olympiques 2016 à Rio, histoire d’avoir un groupe homogène qui se réunit le plus régulièrement possible. Parmi eux, certains ont déjà accumulé de l’expérience chez les pros, à l’image du Torontois Doneil Henry.

En face, les États-Unis s’apprêtent à entamer le dernier tour des éliminatoires de la Coupe du monde. Privé temporairement de certains cadres, Jurgen Klinsmann a sélectionné de nombreux joueurs archi-motivés à l’idée de gagner leur place dans le groupe. Les Canadiens auront intérêt à être plus attentifs défensivement que contre le Danemark face à des adversaires affamés ! Les Américains veulent être au sommet de leur forme pour leur prochain match officiel, le 6 février au Honduras, dont la sélection comporte de nombreux joueurs de MLS.

28 January 5:30 de la tarde

Well that's one way to avoid rush hour on the 405.

According to Grant Wahl over at SI.com, Jurgen Klinsmann hasn't been wasting any precious hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic while commuting from his home in Orange County up to Carson for US national team January camp. He's choppering himself back and forth.

That's right. Jurgen Klinsmann is piloting his own helicopter to make the 70-mile round trip up and down the coast, dodging one of Southern California's most notoriously crowded freeways.

If only all of us had a helicopter at our disposal. As Ferris Bueller once said, "If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."

25 January 5:46 de la tarde

Could Jozy Altidore be the first American to capture a Golden Boot on European shores?

He's certainly on the right track at the moment, finding himself alone in poll position after scoring his 15th league goal of the season on Friday against VVV Venlo (above). With a little more than half a season in the books, only Vitesse's Wilfried Bony has scored more in the Dutch top flight with 16 goals.

Friday's goal, an effort reminiscent of a certain Frenchman now playing with Altidore's former club in New York, matched the American striker's total for all of last season with AZ. It also matched Michael Bradley's haul with Heerenveen during the 2008-09 season.

Herculez Gomez remains the only American to capture a Golden Boot outside the United States, tying for top scorer (10 goals) in the Mexican first division while playing for Puebla in 2010.

Do you think Altidore can do it? Let us know in the comment section below.

25 January 2:32 de la tarde

For all those US national team fans clamoring for Omar Gonzalez to get his shot in Jurgen Klinsmann's good graces, it's worth citing that old Smiths song: "How soon is now?"

The LA Galaxy backline destroyer and MLS Cup 2012 MVP isn't just getting his shot, he's seizing the advantage and impressing the big boss. Check out this installment of "Opportunity Knocks" from US Soccer to get a sense of where Gonzalez fits in and how he's doing in January camp.

14 January 4:15 de la tarde

As befitting a centenary year, the US Soccer Federation has released a special crest commemorating the landmark occasion for American soccer.

The crest is now prominent on the US Soccer website, with the centenary home page featuring an informative section on the history of the sport in the USA.

It's not a radical departure from the norm – a sash reading "1913 ~ CENTENNIAL ~ 2013" has been placed under the normal crest – but it catches the eye without much change to a recognizable logo.

Of course, a commemorative crest isn't the only thing the USSF has planned to honor the federation's centenary. Though the USSF has yet to confirm them, there are strong rumors floating around that the US men's national team will face off against Germany in May, a match that would pit US manager Jurgen Klinsmann against his former team and former assistant Joachim Löw.

And while that is all well and good, there is still one overarching present that would make the USSF's centenary a truly celebratory occasion: qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, which would be the USMNT's seventh consecutive appearance.

What do you think of the crest? Too much? Not flashy enough? Feel free to share your thoughts and any others about US Soccer's centenary in the comments section below.

11 January 12:26 de la tarde

Rumors have been flying about the future of the US international and Chivas USA striker Juan Agudelo ever since he trained at Celtic in November. Now, it seems the 20-year-old's future could be close to decided.

Although vague and unsourced, Sky Sports reported Friday that Celtic are close to signing one of MLS' most-promising forward prospects. While nothing has been confirmed by Agudelo or Celtic, Agudelo's retweet of the Sky Sports article seems to add some veritas to the rumor.

Chivas USA, meanwhile, told Big Apple Soccer back in November that they weren't interested in transferring the young talent. Agudelo, who is currently training with West Ham before arriving in US camp, would likely welcome the move, if his comments while with the Glasgow club are any indication.

Agudelo told STV at that time that he would love to play for Celtic: "This kind of move has been on my mind for as long as I can remember playing soccer. Going and playing in Europe is what I would like to do. This is, right now, where the best football is being played. I would love to play here."

What do you think? Is it just a matter of time before Agudelo makes the move? Is it the right move for the young striker?