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The Hit List – Inspiration Intrigue + Influence

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Jun 9, 2016

With all that has been going on around here the last couple of weeks, I have shied away from a new Hit List because there just didn’t seem to be time. But with Copa America having kicked off and the Euros just about to start there is so much soccer inspired stories to find intriguing, inspiration ior infleuntial. Here are some of those that are catching my eye right now:

Mexico + Copa America

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Let’s start off by saying that Mexico looked verrrryyyy good against Uruguay in their Copa America opener. Juan Carlos Osorio is unbeaten as Mexico coach since taking over and he has them playing some really good football right now. With so much fan support across the US, virtually any game they will play here will be a home game and that will only add to them being an incredibly difficult team in this tournament. This tournament means a lot to everyone involved with Mexican soccer and winning Copa America is certainly not out of the relam for this squad.

That’s the playing side of things. There has been some controversy from certain individualds about this tournament being catered to Mexico.

Let’s start off with the Uruguayan football chief, Wilmar Valdez, talking about Mexico and the Copa America in general after what happened in Glendale, AZ. First off, it was pretty bad that stadium officials got the Uruguayan national anthem wrong and played Chile’s national anthem instead. Pretty terrible start right there. But Valdez went on to say that:

“CONMEBOL made a mistake by holding a tournament of this scope, a cup with some of the oldest national teams in the world and in South American football here in the United States.”

“Here, yesterday [Sunday] it became obvious to me that this tournament is pretty much put together with Mexico in mind.”

“It pains me to say it and I take full responsibility as a member of the CONMEBOL executive committee.”

“I think we made a mistake and that CONMEBOL made a mistake. This may be a great Copa from a marketing and ‘show’ standpoint, but for South American football, it is another thing.”

Wow! Mr. Valdez held no punches and gave zero fffff’s with this one. I’m curious if any other South American federations feel the same way. It’s also interesting to note that there has been wide speculation that CONCACAF and CONMEBOl officials have been having chats about combining the Gold Cup and Copa America and having it hosted in the US.

Last note on Mexico, Pasadena is going to be jumping tonight when Mexico takes on Jamaica. Expect a packed stadium for this one!

Copa America + Attendances

Sticking with Copa America here and my surprise at some of the attendance issues that have been happening. The first game that comes to mind is the US v Costa Rica. Played in Chicago, the home of US Soccer and we only get 39k fans out for this game? I know it was a Tuesday game, but this was a huge match for the US. A game where a result was absolutely needed. In the Copa America. And the best we could do was 39k fans?

There have been plenty of other games where stadiums were half empty, or worse. Should some of these games been played in the soccer specific stadiums that have been built in recent years? Or can much of this be attributed to high ticket prices? Or are American fans more savvy and not willing to shell out money for just any game these days? Or some combo of all of that?

Jurgen Klinsmann

If you want evidence that the US is a much more engaged soccer nation, look at the media scrutiny around JK. Lots of people with lots of opinions weighing in on what the USMNT manager should be doing. And there are certainly some interesting points to bring up.

Let’s just start with this interview in the Wall Street Journal. If for some reason you haven’t read this, please check it out now.

He actually started the same lineup in back to back games. I dont know if this has ever happened in the JK era but he stuck with his guys after the Colombia loss.

He brought in Darlington Nagbe and Christian Pulisic in the game against Colombia when we were losing, but not when we were winning against Costa Rica. That seemed the perfect time to bring in players like Nagbe, and especially Pulisic. Get them minutes when the pressure if off a bit because we have a comfortable lead. Integrate them into the squad and give them experience in games that really matter without worrying about their experience level. But he left both on the bench and brought in Wondo and Zusi.

We saw the US play in both a 4-4-2 and a 4-3-3- against Costa Rica and they looked quite good in both formations. Will we see JK make a similar move against Paraguay and change tactics in the game? Or will he stick with one formation and ride that out the whole game?

Does he stick with the same lineup again? Or does he maybe take out Gyasi and replace him with Ale Bedoya? Thus allowing Darlington Nagbe to get a start in a position he should thrive in. Do you keep things as is or tinker a bit more?

Adam Dejka

Adam Dejka is a high school senior from Nebraska who is a star soccer player and incredible student but suffers from a condition that basically doesn’t allow him to speak in public. At all. Not to his teammates, or coaches or classmates. Yet he has still managed to be a successful student athlete. Read this article. It’s really good.

Marouane Fellaini’s New Look

This. Because, well just because.

Neymar x Jordan

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It would be just about impossible to not include this as we have long been champions of seeing this happen. Count yourself lucky if you copped a pair.

The Terrace Club

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Lastly, we recently shipped the first box from The Terrace Club and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. The support from everyone that got down with us on the first box was so great. Seeing images of the box and it’s contents shared socially has been amazing. We are working on the production for the next box as well as planning for future boxes. I’ll tell you that there are going to be some incredibly stylish items with great stories included in upcoming boxes. If the idea of a box arriving at your house every three months with some amazing soccer inspired product and apparel included sounds appealing, head over to The Terrace Club to sign up.

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