Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Non Soccer Playing US World Cup Team
(I wrote this a few years ago, but it's still somewhat relevant)

Coach - Bill Cowher
Not interested in the flashiness or snobbery of the South American or
European game, Cowher champions the tough, dog-eat-dog style, which
has come to symbolize the current US game.

Assistant Coach - Phil Jackson
Yes, the ZenMaster himself. Call him odd, call him Buddha, but his
results speak for themselves.


Randy Moss
"Still learning the game" as he is described, but nobody can deny the
flashiness of the 6'4 target. True, he needs to mature, and might not
be a part of every transition, but when he's on, he's lethal. Replays
of his give-and-gos with Real teammate David Beckham are legendary.

Kobe Bryant
Kobe shook up the MLS when he came out of 10th grade into the draft,
but there's no denying that he's the best scoring threat that the US
possesses. The Mallorca striker is lethal from inside, outside,
downtown, uptown, and across town.

Shawn Green
"The Kosher Kid" had a breakout season at White Hall Lane, cementing
his position on the US squad.

Brian Giles
Yes, we know he's plying his trade for Bundesliga doormats Rostock,
but that hasn't deterred Giles from endearing himself to local and US
fans alike.

Tracy McGrady
Like teammate Bryant, McGrady's early arrival in MLS was seen as a
negative trend in the world sport. 5 years later, Deportiva is glad to
have the trendsetter.

Ken Griffey Jr
Son of the former Cincinnati MF, Griffey was the US squad's 'Player of
the 90s'. After a few off seasons, Griffey seems poised to make the
2006 World Cup HIS World Cup.

Midfielders --

Alex Rodriguez
Dont let the salary fool you. The Rangers MF is perhaps the best
5-tool player on the American team. Shoot, pass, score, dribble and

Derek Jeter
Yes, he still packs them in at Ajax, with his aw-shucks worth ethic
and All-American charm. His statistics might be dwarfed by teammates
Garciaparra and Rodriguez, but nobody is more clutch in big matches.

Michael Vick
RAW as sushi, but there is a reason why Everton shelled out the money
they did for this explosive MF prospect.

Nomar Garciaparra
This former NE Rev star made a successful transition to Perugia this
season, welcomed by the Serie A standouts. Hampered by injuries, his
engagement to US star Mia Hamm, and a health qualifying campaign have
put him back on track.

Craig Biggio
Often overlooked because of his size, "Biggio is our hidden MVP" quips
co-manager Jackson. His speed, and ability to do the 'little things'
have impressed his coaches at Udinese.

Allen Iverson (Defensive Midfielder)
Generously listed at 5'11, Iverson personifies the "fight in the dog"
so beloved by Cowher. 'The goalie's best friend' says netminder

Fullbacks --

John Lynch
"Tough as they come" offers his Munich coach. And, a family man, to
boot. Don't let his genteel nature fool you. When youre in the US half
of the field, you're in HIS half of the field.

Charles Woodson
For those who remember the hey-day of American football, and the
Oakland Raiders, Woodson would have fit in perfectly. His nickname,
"Black Saturday" is well-deserved.

Mike Piazza
Did someone dial 10-10-220 ? Liverpool is sure glad they did.

Ben Wallace
"Sometimes, I feel I want to guard the whole other team at once".
Enough said.

Jeff Kent
Dont worry about his motorcycling, "Easy Rider"esque lifestyle. The
6'1 "terminator" for AS Roma comes to play.. and play and play.

Torii Hunter
A surprise inclusion on this year's staff, but having formerly played
at Madrid's reserves under coach Jackson, the US squad is well-aware
of his speed, size and "gut" for finding the ball.


Kasey Keller, Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann
(Here are 3 guys who made the right choice) ;)