Sunday, March 31, 2013


This past week the USMNT continued it's push to qualify for the World Cup with games against Costa Rica and Mexico.

The United States came out with 4 points and put themselves into second in the group for the time being. Having to deal with reports that some national team squad members were unhappy with the way coach Jurgen Klinsmann was running things, this seemed like it might be a terrible few games for the United States. The United States was without many key players too, Carlos Bocanegra, Tim Howard, and Landon Donovan were all either unpicked or unavailable for the United States.

The game against Costa Rica was a sloppy one, played in (basically) a blizzard the United States scored an early goal off a Clint Dempsey put back and it proved to be enough to guide them to victory. Truth be told, after that goal, the United States looked like it had no real attacking threats, when they pushed forward there was no creativity, and they were reverting back to the usual "give it to Clint and see what he can do" method that they have seemed to adopt as of late. Costa Rica had it's chances, and to be fair to them, if the game had been in better conditions I'm not sure the United States would have escaped with any points, as Costa Rica looked threatening on the attack after halftime.

Then came Mexico, the game most fans were looking forward to. The first time the United States was travelling to the Azteca since their victory in a friendly in 2012. But the chances of a US victory or even a tie looked slim as the United States had only ever taken a point in Mexico during World Cup qualifying once. Mexico came out guns blazing, and their pressure never let up. Massive amounts of pressure was heaped onto the inexperienced back line of the United States and interim goalkeeper Brad Guzan. The defense was up to the task though, stymieing the Mexico attack more often than not. Chicharito failed to put away 3 or 4 sure goals, and it seemed luck was on the American's side. But as well as the defense played, the same could not be said for the offense. Clint Dempsey was invisible on the field, playing like he was in over his head and obviously feeling the pressure of the stage. Altidore was just as bad, mustering no real chances for himself in what continues to be a disappointing campaign for him. Graham Zusi and Herculez Gomez looked good at times out on the wings, but the lack of pace against the pacy Mexico team was evident. Maurice Edu played admirably, but didn't do anything really exciting, and Michael Bradley played like, well, Michael Bradley. Consistently good and not having to worry if he would show up or not.

The United States will have to figure out a way to remedy the woeful attack it has at the moment, and maybe with Landon Donovan returning from a leave of absence and the readdition of Brek Shea to the squad the United States will be able to try out different attackers. One things for sure, if they don't fix it soon, and the back line starts to dip in performance the United States will find it difficult to qualify for the upcoming World Cup.

How do you think the USMNT did? Will they have trouble going forward?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Captain America: Clint Dempsey

When Carlos Bocanegra was left out of the US Men's National Team for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico there was much speculation as to who would be selected to captain Jürgen Klinsmann's side. With no Tim Howard available and Landon Donovan still MIA, many speculated either Michael Bradley or Jermaine Jones would be selected to lead. It came as a shock however that Klinsmann selected Clint Dempsey to lead the United States.

Clint Dempsey is not your typical type of leader, not too vocal when it comes to his leadership approach, he chooses to lead by example rather than vocally. This is why lots of people questioned the choice to give Deuce the armband, as they thought Bradley or Jones would be more of a hands-on type of leader. I for one had said all along that giving the armband to Bradley or Jones would be a mistake, as the team needed something to give them a boost confidence and belief. The selection of Dempsey came right when anonymous sources were questioning Klinsmann's leadership. In an article by Brian Strauss on AOL Sporting News he mentions that a good number of players in the US camp were starting to question their managers leadership, tactics, and methods. You can read the article here.

Dempsey being named captain made so much sense to me. A player that many, including myself, has said needed to grow up a bit and be a leader, Dempsey was the clear choice for me. Bradley, at least to me, seems to disappear a bit on the field and that shouldn't happen when playing a holding midfield role like he does. Jermaine Jones I feel doesn't have enough experience, at least not as much as Dempsey, with the national team. What better way to force someone to grow up than hand them the biggest role on the team? This was reminiscent of when the New York Jets made Joe Namath captain back in the 60's and forced him to become a leader. I think this is what will happen with Dempsey. Clint is arguably the best American playing soccer right now, and more than likely will be for the next few years. His recent move to Tottenham Hotspur hasn't gone quite as planned, as he is not being used in a free role and is being confined to a more fixed role on the team. But there are sparks of the Fulham Dempsey at Spurs and hopefully he can turn that around.

Will Dempsey be the captain when Bocanegra, Howard, and eventually Donovan are fit and back in the squad? It's possible. If he can prove he is a good fit to wear the armband and isn't afraid to speak up and stand up for his teammates in a way that shows leadership instead of hotheadedness, he will be the captain even when those 3 are picked for the squad. This could be the emergence of a new Captain America. That title, to me, had always been Landon Donovan's and rightly so. But now I'm ready to concede that this is Clint Dempsey's team and Jürgen Klinsmann seems to agree. The future of the USMNT starts and ends with Clint Dempsey. Will he falter under the pressure of being thrown into captaincy or will he thrive with the new responsibility and raise his play?

Did Klinsmann make the right choice in Dempsey? Should he have chosen Bradley? Jones?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

USMNT Selection Thoughts

The United States squad for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers came out yesterday and along with some surprises the squad didn't look too different from recent times. With the addition of Brek Shea and DaMarcus Beasley back into the lineup the USMNT can stretch the field better than before.

                                     Klinsmann will lead an inexperienced US team against Costa Rica and Mexico.

Here is the full list of players selected:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa - 5/3 SO), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire – 0/0), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake – 0/0) 
DEFENDERS (6): Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake – 0/0), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City – 0/0), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City – 6/0), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy – 1/0), Clarence Goodson (Brondby – 5/0), Justin Morrow (San Jose Earthquakes – 0/0)
MIDFIELDERS (9): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla – 26/6), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake – 2/0), Michael Bradley (Roma – 20/5), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana – 1/0), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor – 10/0), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04 – 6/0), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht – 13/0), Brek Shea (Stoke City – 2/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City – 4/0)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar – 18/6), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna – 2/0), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur – 27/11), Herculez Gomez (Santos – 6/2), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC – 12/10)

The problem point for this United States squad is defense, but that is nothing new. 3 of the 6 defenders chosen for this squad have no senior team experience with the USMNT, but we are being asked to put our trust into them to make life on projected new number 1 keeper Brad Guzan. With Carlos Bocanegra not being selected I'm anxious to see if the new selections can show me something promising.

As stated before, Brek Shea and DeMarcus Beasley have been reintroduced into the squad. The spark that (I personally think) is need by the USMNT, Shea, will probably get a start in one of the 2 games coming up. I'm thinking it will be the Costa Rica game and Klinsmann will opt to go with a more experienced player in that spot for the Mexico game. Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Maurice Edu, and Graham Zusi return in the midfield for the US, with many expecting Michael Bradley to be chosen as captain in the absence of Bocanegra, Howard, and Donovan (I have a lot to say about the captaincy, but I'll save that until it's announced).

                                                Brek Shea makes his return to the USMNT squad. Will he be a difference maker?

As for the forwards, they look as strong as can be for the United States with what Klinsmann has to choose from. You could make the case Wondolowski should have been selected, maybe Juan Agudelo also. But Klinsmann seems to be sticking to his guns, and that is admirable. Jozy Altidore has been inform for his club AZ Alkmaar, but hasn't shown that goal scoring prowess for the national team just yet. Clint Dempsey is going to be the focus of the two qualifiers, the US needs him to get going and score to ease some of the pressure off of the inexperienced defense. Clint may benefit from having a creative player on the wing in Shea reintroduced to the squad, but we will see if those two can link up or if we see another lackluster attacking display from the United States.

                                             Will Clint Dempsey find his scoring touch in the next 2 World Cup Qualifiers?

I see lots of problems arising for the USMNT, maybe not against Costa Rica, a game they should win. Against Mexico however the back line will be tested and it will be curious to see if the new boys can show some grit and composure or if they waiver and fall apart. The speed of Mexico will test the United States, as it always has, and the United States almost always has a problem when playing Mexico. The lack of a real field general for the United States could also be a problem, as there is no calming influence for when things go south quick that I can easily recognize on that squad at the moment. I expect the United States to come out of these next 2 games with 3 or 4 points towards qualifying. I see a 2-1 maybe 3-1 win over Costa Rica and a 1-1 or 2-2 draw against Mexico. The key is Clint Dempsey as it will be moving forward for the foreseeable future for the United States. When Dempsey is on his game, the US attack is formidable, when he is off there is no threat to score.

Did Klinsmann get the squad right? Who got snubbed? Who is your key player in this squad?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Top Rivalries in the MLS

This week the MLS spotlights the rivalries created over the past 18 years. This is the type of week fans of the MLS wish would come around every week. For ESPNFC's take on the rivalry games this weekend click here. Here are my top rivalries in the MLS.

1. Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers - The definitive rivalry in the MLS. These two clubs have arguably the biggest fanbases in the MLS and the atmosphere at a game between Sounders and Timbers rivals most games in Europe. This rivalry has it all: history, geography, passion, and die hard fans. This is one rivalry even MLS haters should watch.

2. Los Angeles Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes - This might not be a rivalry game being played this weekend, but on the west coast only this comes second to Sounders and Timbers. It's a battle for California bragging rights and the games these two teams produce are always exciting and keep you entertained thoroughly.

3. New York Red Bulls and DC United - One of the most known rivalries in the MLS, New York and DC have a history of dislike for one another. DC has been more successful, but New York gets the media coverage and the revenue being in the Big Apple. The addition of Thierry Henry to the rivalry mixed with former MLS MVP Dwayne De Rosario have spiced it up even more than before. A game between these two never disappoints. 

What do you think? What are the top MLS rivalries in your opinion? What's your favorite? 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Other Champions League

Everyone who pays attention soccer has at least heard of the UEFA Champions League, the single biggest club competition in all of soccer and the competition every club aspires to be a part of. But did you know that in North America there is another Champions League? No? Don't feel like a terrible soccer fan, most people don't know either.

The CONCACAF Champions League is the western hemispheres answer to the UEFA Champions League. The problem is the CONCACAF Champions League is, to put it lightly, boring. The teams aren't interesting, at least not interesting enough to spark the interest of enough people so that it is a known competition. The CCL doesn't offer much in terms of star power, when your marquee names are MLS teams and Liga MX teams you don't get much of an audience outside of the west. When I say the CCL is boring, I don't mean the action is. Actually, some of the CCL games I have seen have been more competitive and exciting than UCL games, but that is because the quality of players is level throughout the whole competition. You don't really see powerhouse clubs in the CCL because there aren't any in the leagues that send clubs to the competition.

Did you know the quarterfinals of the CCL just wrapped up?

A big problem for CCL is that there isn't enough star power for the media to want to cover it. There are no globally known names that are in the competition besides Landon Donovan, and he isn't even with the Galaxy squad at the moment. Quite frankly, no one really seems to care about the CCL. Would there be a nationally televised game on ESPN if an American side didn't get to the final of the CCL? Probably not. Come to think of it they probably wouldn't put it on ESPN2 if TWO American teams made it to the final.

The CCL just seems like a waste of time to most people, why watch CCL when you could watch college basketball or heck even spring training baseball. The lack of caring when it comes to CCL is due in large part to the MLS not being globally recognized as a good league. It also has a lot to due with the quality of the other leagues that contribute to the CCL's pool of teams.

Just like when it comes to the MLS I advise you to give the CCL a try, it might not give you the same exhilaration as watching Real Madrid v Manchester United in the UCL but there is some quality ball that is played in the CCL if you catch the two right teams playing.

What do you think? Do you watch CONCACAF Champions League? Why hasn't it been more successful?

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bayern Survive Arsenal Scare

It was almost a disastrous day for FC Bayern Munich when Arsenal came to town for the second leg of their Champions League tie. The Gunners came in to this leg 1-3 down on the aggregate score and needed to win by 3 goals to progress to the next round of the Champions League.

The team Arsene Wenger put onto the field looked like he was throwing in the towel, but after 3 minutes it looked like Wenger knew exactly what he was doing. Arsenal took the lead 3 minutes in with a goal from Olivier Giroud and looked to be full of confidence in a game no one expected them to win.

Bayern did however settle in. Providing pressure for the rest of the game, it seemed as though the Bavarians would comfortably move on after a minor stumble, but Arsenal wouldn't go down without a fight. Even though Bayern bombarded the Arsenal goal with shot after shot, they just couldn't find the back of the net. And this almost cost them when in the 85th minute Laurent Koscielny headed home a Santi Cazorla header to tie up the aggregate score 3-3. But a 2-0 win wouldn't be enough to see Arsenal through and they needed 1 more to progress. Momentum was on the Gunners side, but Bayern kept their cool. Slowing play down, milking the clock, drawing fouls, Bayern knew time was on their side. And after 3 minutes of stoppage time it was over.

Arsenal fought valiantly and almost completed one of the most improbable comebacks of the year, but they couldn't put the last goal away.

Bayern now join Barcelona, Madrid, PSG, Juventes, Dortmund, Galatasaray, and Malaga in the quarterfinals with the draw on Friday.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Why you should stop being a Euro snob and watch the MLS

After reading the ESPNFC article "Can you call yourself a U.S. soccer fan if you don't support MLS?" (read the article here) I decided to give my take on this. And my answer to that question is yes, and no. The MLS is one of the most intriguing leagues in the world. You either think the league is filled with a mixture of over the hill stars and talentless rookies or you think it is a league full of potential and that others should give it a chance.

If you are one of those who thinks the MLS is a wasted league you fall into the Euro snob category. The loose definition of a Euro snob is someone who refuses to give leagues outside of Europe a chance to be a fun and exciting league. This category is filled with about 70% of the people who talk about the MLS. These people feel that the MLS is filled with bad passing, boring goals, and slow pace of play. Now in some instances they are right about all those things, sometimes watching a MLS game can feel like torture, but you could say that about any game where the play is sloppy and unorganized. I'm going to tell you why you need to stop being a Euro snob and give the MLS a chance.

Major League Soccer is only 18 years old. That is younger than most of the people that follow the league. So the fact people want to say MLS doesn't have any real talent in the league can be a valid argument, but not for long. We are slowly seeing more and more talent start to shine through the cracks of the MLS and these players are very promising. Young talent such as Juan Agudelo, Darlington Nagbe, Freddy Montero, and others look to be the next stars of the MLS.

With a young league comes young league mistakes. Many of the players are right either right out of college, have never played overseas, or are aging stars who are past their prime. In theory the mixture of inexperience and experience should produce for more exciting soccer and a better development for those inexperienced players, but as we have seen this isn't always the case. This is why we see bad passes, a lower game IQ, and a slower pace of play. But this can all change once the MLS teams start to adopt a youth system that really teaches their youth players how to play the game properly. The MLS should look to model itself after the Bundesliga, a league where big name stars are there but the focus is really on homegrown talent that starts at clubs youth levels.

The MLS also suffers from having a playoff system as their way of crowning a champion. It seems like they tried to appease the fact the American public wants to see a Super Bowl every time there is a champion crowned. They want to see underdogs win and upset favorites, but that is not the approach the league should have taken. Look at all the major leagues in the world and you will see a model that is proven successful: whoever wins the most games all season and racks up the most points wins the championship. Simple right? It seems like the MLS doesn't want to change for fear of this way of crowning a champion not appealing to the public, but as long as you keep the US Open Cup the way it is you still get your playoffs and a Super Bowl style game to crown a champion.

All that aside the MLS can be one of the most exciting leagues to watch. It seems like a lot of the time that amazing goals are produced out of thin air. Honestly I have seen more overhead kick goals scored in the MLS than in any of the top leagues in the world. Does this mean the MLS is better than any of the top leagues? No of course not, but it doesn't mean the league is in any way terrible. In the past few years the quality of the MLS has started to really rise.

I looked up a lot of responses and discussions about if you can really be a U.S. fan if you don't support MLS and why people say to give the MLS a chance and I agreed with what most people said. Yes, you can be a U.S. soccer fan if you don't support MLS but that doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a chance. Pick a MLS team, support it, follow it, maybe even go to a game and I swear to you that you will have a change of heart if you think the MLS is a terrible league.

Go watch kicktv's video about why you should watch the MLS, it might give you a little more incentive to give it a chance. (watch the video here)

What do you think? Is the MLS a terrible league? What should the MLS do to improve?

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Friday, March 8, 2013

Will the United States reach the World Cup?

With the recent injury to goalkeeper Tim Howard the United States changes of making the World Cup seem slim. The United States will now rely on Brad Guzan to keep the opposition of the score-sheet and I'm anxious to see if Guzan can shoulder the burden of filling Tim Howard's gloves.

The United States is already struggling. Lacking a real attacking threat, the best chance the United States had to stay in games was Howard in goal. But now with Howard being out with two broken bones in his back we will see what Guzan is made of. Guzan is no stranger to playing at a high level, as he is currently the first choice keeper for Premier League side Aston Villa.

The loss of Howard leaves the US with no real commanding leaders on the field, however. This could be a golden opportunity for a new leader to emerge for the United States, and I hope that is either Clint Dempsey or Michael Bradley. Let's not overreact too much to the United States losing Tim Howard though as their next World Cup qualifying game is at home against Costa Rica, a game that should be an easy win for the Americans. This will show us if the United States can hang around without Howard in goal, and I sincerely hope they can.

What do you think? Are the United States doomed without Tim Howard? Will Guzan be an adequate replacement?

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Biggest Debate in Soccer

Soccers biggest debate, who is truly the best player in the world. Is it Barcelonas goal machine, Lionel Messi or is it Madrids talisman, Cristiano Ronaldo? Both players posses skills far beyond any other players on the planet, but who is truly the better superstar?

The similarities of Ronaldo and Messi are actually harder to draw up then the differences, while Messi enjoys being on the ball he knows how to move methodically through the field without the ball and into prime positions to score. Ronaldo on the other hand is more of a bombarder. Preferring to get the ball on the wing and use his pace and skills to beat opponents while cutting inside to score. Both players have mastered their craft, but who does the most for their team, who is better?

My money is on the Portuguese man, Cristiano Ronaldo. CR7 when he wants to, can take over a game all on his own, and teams don't know how to stop him. Unlike Messi for Barcelona, if Ronaldo is having an off day it's usually game over for Madrid that day. But Ronaldo is rarely off his game. Able to play any striker role on the field, Ronaldo is a complete attacker. Possessing world class speed, agility, and goal prowess he is deadly from any situation. You can never count madrid out of a game as long as CR7 is on the pitch. There is some fair criticism that comes with picking Ronaldo over Messi though, how can you not pick a 4 time ballon d'or winner? Messi has won 19 trophies, Ronaldo only has 12. Messi has scored 200 la liga goals and last calendar year he broke Gerd Müllers goal record. All those stats are very nice and super impressive, but it came down to a few factors for me. 

First, marketability. It's one thing to have immense talents but if you aren't marketable no one will know who you are. Messi, putting it nicely, is boring. He scores and does a regular hugging celebration with teammates, he has boring press conferences, he isn't overly flashy, doesn't date supermodels, etc. and all that is truly great and is admirable, any young player looking to be respected in the future of their careers should take note of how Messi conducts himself, but when it comes to being a player young kids want to idolize for how cool it is to be a superstar, they look to Ronaldo. Ronaldo has all the attributes to be a world icon. The looks, the charisma, the swagger. On top of that he has world class abilities on the field. He is flashy when he plays, using lots of fancy flicks and skills against opponents. When he scores you never know what type of celebration you will get, and that is exciting. I bet if you asked most young players in the world right now who they want to shape their game to be like, it would be Ronaldo.

My main point that led me to pick Ronaldo is the fact that if you put Messi or Ronaldo on any mid level team in any league who leads a team farther in their careers. In my opinion if you put Ronaldo on a team that is mid level he will lead that team to not only a league title, but a Champions League spot and I think he could lead a mediocre team to at least the knockout stage of the Champions League. Now Messi, he could possibly do the same, but he is a different type of player. Higher game IQ but less physical ability than Ronaldo. Ronaldo is a safer bet to accomplish those things with another team than Messi.

This is all my opinion, of course. So what do you think? Is Messi the greatest in the game? Is it CR7? Have another player you want to make a case for? Let me know in the comments!

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Monday, March 4, 2013

The Evolution of Gareth Bale

From young prospect to marquee name, Gareth Bale has quickly become a household name for any soccer fan. Having a breakout season in 2009-10, Bale helped his club Tottenham Hotspur reach the Champions League and in the 2010-11 season Bale showed his worth, providing an inspiring performance in the Champions League against Inter.

A left back turned winger, Bale has excelled in his current role. His new found brilliance while at left winger has drawn comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo for Bale. Bale and Ronaldo play very similar games, both like to be on the ball, take on defenders, and use their exceptional pace and agility to burn the opposition. Both players are deadly scoring threats and the main focus of any game-plan for opposing managers.

Bale struggled to find first team time his first few years at Tottenham, struggling with injury and being left out of the team in favor of Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Tottenham manager at the time, Harry Redknapp, finally picked Bale when Assou-Ekotto went down with injury, and Bale took the chance and ran with it. Fast forward a few seasons later and Bale is now on every major teams radar.

Linked with a move to Real Madrid, Bale could potentially replace want away star Cristiano Ronaldo at the Bernabeu. The prospect of playing at a big club like Madrid could sway him to leave White Hart Lane even though his contract there runs until 2016. Can you imagine Bale replacing Ronaldo and Neymar potentially joining Barcelona? That could be a new rivalry for the ages.

But for now we get to witness Bale's brilliance while at Tottenham. This season he has methodically guided his Spurs to Champions League contention. He seems to get better with each game, his IQ for the game seemingly increasing every match. This is scary seeing as Bale is only 23 years old and already one of the best in the world. If Bale chooses to stay at Tottenham, he could quite possibly be the reason Tottenham bring in enough world class players to be a Champions League contender for years. I personally hope Bale stays at Tottenham, I want to see the Gareth Bale era begin in EPL, because this player has all the qualities and talents to be the best in the world and he is well on his way to that now.  

What do you think? Could Gareth Bale be the best in the world? Should he leave Tottenham?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Why Brek Shea can save US soccer

As of right now the state of United States soccer is up in the air. Players that have established themselves as needed in the team get picked whenever their healthy, but that leaves almost 4-5 spots left on the pitch to fill with players who have played little to no international games at the senior level. Players like Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, and Carlos Bocanegra are consistently picked, and they provide the veteran experience needed, but what the United States needs now is someone to get excited over.

Enter Brek Shea. Shea looked to be one of the most promising young US players in 2012, being subbed on in multiple friendlies and providing an immediate spark. Though plagued by injury, Shea has returned to soccer and now plays in the biggest league on the planets, the English Premier League for Stoke City.

Shea has all the qualities needed to become the next major star for the United States. He is brilliant on the ball, has excellent vision, high IQ for the game, and has a boatload of confidence. Match that with the fact he is super young and marketable to the new generation of people discovering United States soccer, it can be great for the United States.

The United States need someone they can market to the younger audiences that watch soccer, to get them excited, drive jersey sales, drive ticket sales, and ultimately help soccer take off in America. Shea can be that ambassador. Although now playing in England, Shea could help make soccer in America bigger than it is now in the post-Beckham era. Shea has the style and charisma that can relate to younger audiences, his eccentric hairstyles and tattoos show his youthfulness and style. He also is active on social networks, which we all know is huge with teenagers to young adults, what also helps is he actually interacts with his fans on social networks. You can find Shea regularly tweeting responses to people on twitter when he is active.

But what makes Shea exciting isn't just his social marketability, but also the fact he is a great player. Shea had a breakout year in 2010 with MLS side FC Dallas, playing 30 games and scoring 5 goals. He also led Dallas to the MLS playoffs that year. 2011 was the year he landed on bigger clubs radars. Playing 39 games for Dallas he scored 11 times and again led Dallas to the playoffs. He was elected an MLS All Star in 2011 and was also in talks to be 2011 MLS MVP. In November 2011 it was announced he would train with Arsenal. Now playing in the Premier League, Shea is sure to be a major piece for the USMNT, a team that desperately needs a spark.

Working his way to full match fitness, it is exciting to see if Brek Shea can become the United States new poster boy. I say he can, he has all the ability and the intangibles to be the next big thing not just in the US, but globally. The world is ready to Brekkenize.

What do you think? Is Brek Shea worth the hype? Is there another player you see being the new face of US Soccer?

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