FanDuel - WFBC

January 23, 2008

The American Revolution continues in London: Eddie Johnson signs for Fulham of England's Premier League, joining fellow Americans Brian McBride, Carlos Bocanegra, Kasey Keller and Clint Dempsey.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY to soccer at 01:45 PM - 49 comments

Hopefully this will help him develop into a stronger forward for the US team. It will be nice if he gets a few luky goals quickly and helps pull Fulham a few notches up the table.

posted by Ricardo at 02:10 PM on January 23

When McBride and Keller get healthy, this could really become Fulhamerica. Rumor is that the club is also interested in signing Brad Guzan, who is spending this week on trial at Celtic. Wonder which Randy Lerner team will win silverware first, Fulham or Cleveland Browns?

posted by billsaysthis at 02:47 PM on January 23

Not sure that Keller's health really matters for his playing time, I'm pretty sure that he is just cover for Niemi. It would be interesting to see a McBride/Johnson partnership in the Prem, but this move seems almost like a replacement for McBride rather than the creation of a strike partnership. Personally, I think Johnson is a stud. First time I saw him play was at RFK when the US played Panama. Johnson came on in the second half and within 15 minutes had bagged a hattrick. My hope for him is that Fulham is merely a pit stop on the way to playing for someone like a Villa, Everton, Newcastle, or maybe as a longshot he could attract interest from one of the big four.

posted by Chargdres at 03:15 PM on January 23

By the way, Lerner owns Villa, not Fulham.

posted by Chargdres at 03:17 PM on January 23

I left my college soccer career early and traveled to try out for Queens Park Rangers in 1980...I kicked butt, physically, and soccer wise, and I started and played a complete game during each of the two pre-season exhibition games after completing a grueling pre-season 2-a-day training program, I trained and played with the reserve team of QPR...the coach of the QPR Reserve back them was Mr. Theo Foley, an Irishman, he really liked me and tried to promote me, I really enjoyed playing and training under his guidance. So my point is, that in 1980 I personally knew that we had players here in the States that were qualified to play in England 27 years ago, and so I definitely know we have players today that can play for any team in England. But of course when it came time to ask if the club wanted to sign me, then QPR Manager, Mr. Tom Docherty, said that he had enough young talent to choose from, as he asked me to look outside the window where all the young English players were training whom the QPR scouts invited for a trial session with the club to become their young soccer apprentices. So he just shook my hand and said I did a great job and that I could use my time spent at QPR as a reference to any other club that I was going to try out for in Europe... As a note, I ended up playing pro soccer in Spain, and just this last year as I was attempting to pre-qualify for a USSF coaching license upgrade here in the States, I contacted Mr. Tom Docherty's publicist up there in England to get his referral letter that I trained and played with QPR in 1980, he never came through his hand shake promise. That is what you call an English hand shake, an empty promise, and as a note, all teams I played for in Spain sent me a document of my participation without any problem when I requested , so who would you trust, a handshake promise with a Spaniard, or an Englishman? My recommendation to any American soccer player, who believes he will become a better soccer player by playing pro soccer in Europe, is to send me an e-mail instead, and I will train him or her, to a pro level that surpasses anything that England can give them in their daily pro club training programs, right here on the soil of the United States. There is enough talent here in the States to fill two or three times the total of the teams in the English pro leagues, in all division levels combined. The problem here in the States, is that are is just not enough developmental type coaches and technical trainers available here in the States that are capable of bringing out the hidden talents of the thousands of local players here. Fortunately, there is hope; because, I do have the ability to bring out their talent. And presently I am working hard in raising money to build my own training facility to start doing exactly that. I am very frustrated that I don't have my own training facility as of yet, especially when I hear about the various MLS clubs here in this country and their efforts to sign players from other countries, when they have enough talent to surpass any player, from any country today, here in the States, and right now. My e-mail is phason@charter.net....contact me if you are a player and want to become better than any foreign player out there, or you want to help me raise money and help build my training facility, so we can prove today, the true high level of talents and abilities of American players that play soccer here in our local communities. With proper training, American soccer level can surpass the level of Brazil, Argentina, France, and any other top level soccer country out there, and that is a fact, and it can happen within just one year of training, and with the right facility, it can happen in just a few months. If I could have a magic wand, then I would say hocus, pocus, one, two and three, and if I could remove all the stale soccer egos, and red tape soccer politics that exists here in the United States, you would start to see the immense talents of thousand of US soccer players overnight. All the best, Peter

posted by phason at 03:27 PM on January 23

Interesting stuff, thanks.

posted by yerfatma at 03:47 PM on January 23

With all respect to you Peter, the success (or lack there of) for Americans playing in Europe contradicts what you claim. With the exception of keepers, who have been hugely successful, very few Americans have made much of an impact in the top levels of England, Germany, etc. Its not as if there haven't been Americans given chances, it has just been that generally, Americans, while able to develop strength, speed and relatively good skill, have lacked the creativity that you see from top level players who come from Europe, South America, and Africa. Our most creative player right now is Landon Donovan, who was such a bust at Leverkusen, that he fled Europe to be a big fish in the MLS sea, rather than warm the bench in Germany. Hopefully, this new class of young stars will prove to the world that Americans can be more than merely spacefillers on a small sized first division club. Johnson could be one to do that, if he ever develops some consistency.

posted by Chargdres at 04:02 PM on January 23

Most of the best athletes in the US don't play soccer. Can you imagine how good Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Randy Moss, et al, could have been if they had played soccer as kids instead of basketball or football? I'm just sayin'. Heck, take those guys right NOW, let them train with a world class soccer coach for a year, and I bet they could compete for the World Cup.

posted by BlueCarp at 04:29 PM on January 23

Chargdres...actually you are correct, very few Americans have made much of an impact in the top levels of England, aside from goal keepers as you stated. When I was playing as one of the two Center backs during the two exhibition games for QPR in 1980, I started and played the complete game, and during those two games, no one scored a goal against us, I even surprisingly got very good compliments at the pub from the forwards of the opponent team....so I succeeded in impressing the opponent, and surprising the spectators with my US super talent, but not Mr. Tom Docherty, the Manager of QPR back then, so that he would offer me a contract. The reason I am talking about the above exhibition games that I played in for QPR reserve team, is that when I made long accurate passes to my QPR teammates, or I switched the play of the game from one side to another, I heard gasps from the spectators, as if, can you believe that Yank had the intelligence and the ability to that, even though I made thousands of such accurate passes every day growing up in Dallas, Texas youth league, and adult league, and college soccer. Basically, it is a psychological game that the US players probably have a hard time overcoming, like can you get your English pro teammate to treat you with respect during training and on the pitch of an actual pro game, does the coach of the English pro team treat you with same respect as he does the other non-US players on the same team...I bet many US players have a hard time adjusting to the bias and mental discrimination they face on a daily basis to gain the same respect they may have enjoyed and took for granted from their teammates and coaches back in the State...I bet it is not skill that the US players lacked when they played in England or in European pro leagues, it is the mental toughness you need to survive the environment that they are faced with while there, many are not prepared for such pressure, and they buckle, they basically lose confidence, bit by bit, till it shows in practice and in games...you have to have one tough personality to dominate over the mental abuse that exists for US players trying to make it abroad. Skill has nothing to do in reference to whether US players can play in Europe, they can, but they have to come prepared, and if you go back to my previous comment, I clearly state that there are very few, if any, proper developmental type coaches and technical trainers here in the States capable to prepare US players to play abroad. And as I stated earlier, I am capable to develop local talent to surpass other countries’ soccer talent, and I am doing all I can to get a facility to do just that, to develop local talent to dominate the world’s soccer market. I have faith in local US talent, if you gave me a choice in training and developing a soccer player from the US or from abroad, guess who I would choose, the US player, because it is his and her time to shine. Peter

posted by phason at 04:30 PM on January 23

so who would you trust, a handshake promise with a Spaniard, or an Englishman? Not to split hairs, but Tommy Docherty is a Scotsman. As you'll have noticed in your lengthy conversations with him.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 04:43 PM on January 23

Peter, I have no idea who you are, but I am pretty sure that modesty is not something you have much of. Somehow, huge numbers of African players have migrated to European clubs, despite recieving very little professional training. On the other hand, there have been quite a few Americans, college age and younger, who have gone to Europe and trained with European clubs known for developing and then exporting young talent to the rich clubs. Yet still, there are very few Americans in the top flights. I seriously doubt that Americans see more prejudice than do Africans, South Americans, Asians, or Australians. Yet somehow, each of these groups has members who have reached the footballing heights. I do not think that there is a magic fix to the American footballing woes. I think BlueCarp is spot on, and perhaps closest to the answer. American soccer players have generally not been our most athletically gifted. Those have traditionally gone on to play american football, basketball and baseball. Again, as soccer has increased in popularity, we are more likely to see kids much like Eddie Johnson, ie. a ridiculously talented athlete, choose soccer instead of playing point guard. I do agree that in general, coaching in the States has been lacking, but I would say no more so than in Asia and Africa. But Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto'o are the best athletes of Cote D'Ivoire and Cameroon.

posted by Chargdres at 04:52 PM on January 23

Mr. Mismarck, my bad, you are correct he is Scottish...and no I only had the previlage of having a two minute conversation with Mr. Tom Docherty, if not less, in his office where the handshake happened...the rest of my time was spent training and playing under the guidance of the QPR reserve coach Theo Foley, an Irishman...:) So allow me to rephrase that: So who would you trust, a handshake promise with a Spaniard, or an English minded Scotsman? My answer would be I would trust a handsake promise from a true Scotsman, and a Spaniard... Peter

posted by phason at 04:54 PM on January 23

Chardgres, yes when it comes to developing soccer talent, I am very truthful, the fact is I also I put in my time, meaning I have put in over 27 years of athletic human performance type research in the sport of soccer, so yes, maybe modesty in that case is thrown out the window, and I definitely don't beat around the bush, and I come right to the point. But in reality, because I am modest in the true sense of the word, and I lack an overblown ego, it makes it harder for me toot my own horn, in order to speed up my efforts to raise the necessary money so that I can build the facility so I can show the world that US has thousands and thousands of talented soccer players that only lack proper developmental training. I don't know who you are, but you may not be aware that many of the countries from which talented players have come and signed contracts in Europe and in England specifically, as you described, have underwent training programs designed by European and English developmental coaching staffs...as you may or may not be aware, that today many top English, and other European soccer clubs, and soccer associations have contracts in those countries where coaches are sent to develop the local talent pool, and that is so true in the country of China at this time, and those same players travel to English and European soccer training grounds on a yearly basis...and undergo training camps. Plus one other factor, many suburban type cultures here in the States, and even in urban areas, do not promote the desire of local youth to get a ball and let's play soccer in the streets type mentality, or the closest local flat area, whether it be cement or sports field, like the kids in Africa in general, and other soccer countries do. It is the hours and hours of street soccer type play and kicking against a local wall that foreign players develop their own high level of touch, and this is one fact that my research has proven to be the case. Yes, in some areas of the States we do have pockets of such kids, but is an exception, not the rule. Well, reading from your comments, I think we basically agree on one fundamental thing, there are great athletes here in the States. Now how do we get those great athletes to play soccer on a level that can surpass that of any other top foreign soccer player... The answer is easy, proper developmental training, it is here, it is available, all a player needs to do is contact me, so we can start a dialogue. At least I am offering a solution, what are you offering to the US soccer player? Besides just posting commentary, which anyone with a good command of the English language, can do...I am not knocking commentary, but please don't knock my efforts to actually make a change, and comment about that fact. Peter

posted by phason at 05:53 PM on January 23

Damn, all Fullham needs now is Landon "Prima" Donovan and they got the whole US team. All joking aside, Eddie Johnson is a very talented player and the whole American team plays very well. He is still very young and could become a better football player by playing in the physical Premier League.

posted by Scars at 06:46 PM on January 23

For the person above BlueCarp, even though I like watching basketball and one of those players you mentioned(Kobe) is my favourite, bball players are too selfish and they have to be most of the time in order to score. I don't think they would fare so well in soccer. American football players on the other hand, play a true team sport cuz the receivers can't get the ball unless the quarterback passes it to them, and the running backs have to receive the handoff from the qb who controls everything on the field like a midfielder in soccer. I will admit that football players are highly skilled while wearing the pads, fast and strong but they don't have the endurance that it takes to play soccer. In soccer there are no breaks in play until halftime, unlike football which has a lot of commercial breaks including the three timeouts for each team. And for basketball, each team has 5 timeouts I think, but they do a lot of running back and forth, so they got the endurance for soccer. If there are players who could be good at soccer, I'm guessing it would be Steve Nash and Kobe cuz they both played soccer as kids and they both love the sport. They would both need to have tremendous footwork skills tho.

posted by Scars at 06:58 PM on January 23

playing for someone like a Villa, Everton, Newcastle, or maybe as a longshot he could attract interest from one of the big four. posted by Chargdres at 3:15 PM CST on January Who are the big four in English football? I guess at three of them, ManU, Arsenal and Leeds.

posted by Cave_Man at 07:49 PM on January 23

Scars, believe it or not.... As part of my athletic human performance research, I took a 19 year old American kid, that just started playing soccer...this was in Dallas, Texas. He was a typical American red headed kid, who fell in love with the soccer game, but didn't have the opportunity to start young as many US players do today, usually they start playing for their local AYSO, etc... I wanted to know back in 1984 if my developmental training program is limited by age, or does it matter at what age does someone starts playing soccer, can my program develop a player to a pro level even though he just started playing soccer. The result after one month and a half of two a day training schedule that this player paid for, he had to get a job to pay for it, and the reason I did that was to make sure he worked hard during the training, since he had to earn it, if you offer free training to young individuals, they don't respect it as much...anyway, he worked really hard, and to make the long story short, he ended up training with a 2nd division pro team in Lisbon, Portugal. They offered to sign him, but at that point he achieved his dream so he flew back to Dallas, and he went out to fulfill his other dream, which was to teach English to children in a small town up in the mountains of Taiwan, which he also achieved, after he got his BA or Masters in Linguistics from SMU in Dallas, TX... I was able to actually use a medical human performance lab located at a major hospital in Dallas, TX, after the training program was completed and we were able to confirm his endurance level, muscle strength and balance in both legs, etc., and we even did some tests in what best endurance training program would be best for indoor and outdoor soccer...all of my conditioning and strength development theories were proven at this lab. I know I can repeat that experiment with any healthy young athlete here in the States, or for that matter, anywhere in the world...what I wanted to prove was can you develop touch and proper reflexes that soccer requires to an athlete who just started playing soccer at age 19, or just at a later age in general, verses starting as a 4 or 5, or 6 year old, and I did prove it using scientific methodology form of testing and analysis and with the assistance of an athletic medical surgeon and his assistants at his lab that he was in charge of. My oldest soccer student I ever trained was 73 years old. My youngest soccer student I trained was 4 years old. That is why I can't wait to get my own training facility to start developing soccer players to a level that the world has not even seen yet. Peter

posted by phason at 07:57 PM on January 23

I would like to suggest a change to the heading of the comment posted by Texan_lost_in_NY that I initially responded to today, his heading is: 'The American Revolution continues in London:' I think the proper heading should be: 'The American Revolution continues in USA: Let London, England be London, England, and let USA be USA. We have the soccer talent here in the States, we don't need to go across the sea to develop it, it is already in our own back yard, and in front of our doorstep, but yet it is so easily overlooked. Peter

posted by phason at 08:34 PM on January 23

I will admit that football players are highly skilled while wearing the pads, fast and strong but they don't have the endurance that it takes to play soccer. In soccer there are no breaks in play until halftime, unlike football which has a lot of commercial breaks including the three timeouts for each team. And for basketball, each team has 5 timeouts I think, but they do a lot of running back and forth, so they got the endurance for soccer. Endurance has to be built, but my guess is that wide receivers and Defensive backs in american football have the physical build and genes to be soccer players. Phason makes a good case, Europe is filled with development at all levels of football competition, similar to what baseball, football and basketball have in this country.

posted by Cave_Man at 08:49 PM on January 23

I dream of training with a second division Portuguese team, as well as teaching English in the mountains of Tawain. I don't have red hair. If you get a training facility, can you help me be something that the world has not yet seen?

posted by tselson at 09:16 PM on January 23

Team America!!!!! **** YEAH!

posted by worldcup2002 at 09:53 PM on January 23

West London is not ready for this. [via The Offside Rules]

posted by goddam at 10:57 PM on January 23

That is very good phason, what you should try to do tho since you are in research is get some athletes that play different team sports and compare them with each other in all of the categories. Stamina, speed, strength etc.. I would love to see the results.

posted by Scars at 11:38 PM on January 23

Who are the big four in English football? I guess at three of them, ManU, Arsenal and Leeds. ManU, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea.

posted by yerfatma at 06:08 AM on January 24

Tselson...I can only give you the tools to use to be the best soccer player in the world, the rest is up to you, and I think it could be possible that if you colored your hair red, it might help. Cave_Man...I believe all athletes have the ability and the capacity to play any sport they choose to play. Some athletes are born with genes arleady in place to excel in certain athletic abilities, while others have to work harder to attain the same level, but the point is, they can. Scars...interesting suggestion, but I remember that someone already did a similar type of research approx 20 years ago in the area of overall body strength and endurance, and they found that long distance cross country motorcycle racers had the best endurance and overall body strength compared to other athletes, and soccer players came in second, and the other sport related athletes fell behind the soccer players...and when I heard that, it made sense to me, imagine having to continously balance a heavy object with your bottom torso and your upper torso on a constantly changing terrain, and having to maintain that endurance, strength, stamina, and focus for hours on end till you crossed that finish line.

posted by phason at 06:42 AM on January 24

I think the proper heading should be: 'The American Revolution continues in USA: No, this is a thread about Eddie Johnson getting a contract with Fulham, which already has a ton of US players, so the title of this thread makes perfect sense. Peter, can you name anyone that you have studied under as a coach? Can you name any players that you have personally produced that have proven such elite talent as you say you can develop? You talk a lot about certain "medical human performance" techniques in your training methods, so what type of degree do you have in medical technology or sports medicine? I thought you are a college dropout?

posted by Chargdres at 08:39 AM on January 24

"In soccer there are no breaks in play until halftime, unlike football which has a lot of commercial breaks including the three timeouts for each team. And for basketball, each team has 5 timeouts I think, but they do a lot of running back and forth, so they got the endurance for soccer." Scars, I can see your point here but how about when a soccer match is put on hold for 5 minutes while a player lays on the ground like his leg is going to fall off because he got his shoe lace, or boot lace if you prefer, stepped on. I'm just saying that soccer has it's breaks also. It's not just straight running back and forth for 45 minutes each half.

posted by cheemo13 at 08:48 AM on January 24

Chargdres...thanks for repeating my changed version of your heading in your last comment, it looks even better on your post. But seriously, your heading is the correct one, since it was your post I am responding to. Are you interviewing me for a job? I, didn't think so. But thanks for being so curious about my background...and your post, well it seems a bit aggressive....like college dropout, common, is that the best you can come up with? And yes, I have been privileged to have played and been coached by some of the world's great soccer coaches and trainers, I will give you just two for right now, to give you a chance to catch up on your Googling, the most important of all of them is my father, Frank Hason, and then Fernando Daucik who was one of my second most important mentors, but unfortunately he is no longer with us. Cheemo13...you are correct, soccer has breaks, and it is not a constant unbroken 45 minute run. And I also hate those rolling on the ground my leg is falling off scenes, yes some are valid injuries, and during those times the player stays very still...I don't believe in all those suicide type tackling we see in soccer today, it is another unnecessary form of activity that takes away from the potential art of the sport. Most high level players try and stay away from such activity, but they do get dragged down to that level occasionaly, I guess it is called peer pressure, and lack of a true touch and control of the soccer ball, so many players get frustrated and exhibit a lot of anxiety, and they seem to take it out on their innocent opponent.

posted by phason at 11:08 AM on January 24

And yes, I have been privileged to have played and been coached by some of the world's great soccer coaches and trainers, I will give you just two for right now, to give you a chance to catch up on your Googling, the most important of all of them is my father, Frank Hason, and then Fernando Daucik who was one of my second most important mentors, but unfortunately he is no longer with us. Look, you have been telling this board that you can personally change the course of American soccer. So, am I out of line to ask what qualifications you have for doing so? If I were to claim that my vision of military tactics will change the course of the Iraq War, wouldn't you want to know what my background was? Obviously, you can make whatever wacky claim you want on this board. But unless you can actually support your claims with some evidence, you are just someone trying to sell his questionable services.

posted by Chargdres at 01:17 PM on January 24

Look, you have been telling this board that you can personally change the course of American soccer. So, am I out of line to ask what qualifications you have for doing so? No. phason, you might want to start your own thread about your qualifications. This is a thread about Eddie Johnson moving to England, very simple. Almost every response here is either started by you or is a response of others to your comments. This thread isn't about you or your training methods so please, either start your own thread about yourself or write an article about yourself.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 01:30 PM on January 24

Look, you have been telling this board that you can personally change the course of American soccer. So, am I out of line to ask what qualifications you have for doing so? If I were to claim that my vision of military tactics will change the course of the Iraq War, wouldn't you want to know what my background was? Obviously, you can make whatever wacky claim you want on this board. But unless you can actually support your claims with some evidence, you are just someone trying to sell his questionable services. Look, if we were on the soccer field, I guess you would be one of those players that would be aiming your exposed cleats and trying to take me down from behind, and you would probably be aiming for my knees, no, you would probably aim for my ankles, cause you would be too lazy to raise your legs to reach my knees... I don't know, but I feel a little anxiety and frustration on your part, and I feel for you. I obliged and responded to one of your questions, to give you some bait as to what your next comment was going to be, and it was a predictable classic response, which was take whatever I wrote, and spit back at me followed by an aggressive comment. Don't worry your pretty little head about my background and qualifications, because they are all there. Unlike you, I can backup everything that I have stated on this board, or any other board, because I don't need to try and tackle everything that moves around me like you, especially anyone who dares not to lower their head and bend down and kiss your shoes as they walk by you... I love the game of soccer, and I am tired of all the potential soccer talent that exists here in the States, that is being constantly overlooked by top soccer decision makers, because even with their BA's, Master's, and PhD’s, or one's without such degrees, they for some reason don't have the ability develop the potential talent that I refer to. They are good people who also love the game of soccer, they are just misinformed or just have not been enlightened with the same vision that I have. I am just trying to bring awareness that the pool of soccer talent is right here in the States for the taking, and that I am ready to develop that talent, and I am working hard to raise the money needed to build the training facility so that I can begin the process. So before my facility is built, I enjoy posting comments to the Internet, to spark thought, dialogue, and awareness of the great soccer athletes that we have here in the United States. Peter

posted by phason at 02:04 PM on January 24

One more thing Mr. Chargdress... You brought up the war in Iraq, another example of the great sacrafice that our young people here in the States, many of them volunteers, are willing to make to allow us the ability to have this fruitful discussion.... God bless them. Peter

posted by phason at 02:13 PM on January 24

Look, if we were on the soccer field, I guess you would be one of those players that would be aiming your exposed cleats and trying to take me down from behind, and you would probably be aiming for my knees, no, you would probably aim for my ankles, cause you would be too lazy to raise your legs to reach my knees... A little defensive, eh? So, instead of actually responding to my questions, you just make a negative statement about me? You have no idea what kind of a player I am, nor should it matter to this conversation. Don't worry your pretty little head about my background and qualifications, because they are all there. Are they? Then by all means, tell us what they are. So far, all I know about you is that you left college early to play for QPR, but they didn't offer you a contract. That doesn't sound much like a qualification for being the saviour of American soccer. But, hey, maybe you really do have some awesome qualifications. You can shut me up by letting me know what they are. I love the game of soccer, and I am tired of all the potential soccer talent that exists here in the States, that is being constantly overlooked by top soccer decision makers, because even with their BA's, Master's, and PhD’s, or one's without such degrees, they for some reason don't have the ability develop the potential talent that I refer to. I don't have any doubt that you love the sport. But again, that is no qualification for being a soccer coach, and certainly not one for being a sports medicine specialist. If you do not have any type of degree in sports medicine, I hope for the sake of those you train that they do not take your "medical human performance" advice. I don't know what kind of training this actually entails, but the type of thing you are hinting at can be very dangerous if not performed by a professional. I am just trying to bring awareness that the pool of soccer talent is right here in the States for the taking, and that I am ready to develop that talent, and I am working hard to raise the money needed to build the training facility so that I can begin the process. So before my facility is built, I enjoy posting comments to the Internet, to spark thought, dialogue, and awareness of the great soccer athletes that we have here in the United States. You aren't trying to bring awareness of soccer talent and start a dialogue, you are trying to advertise your new training center and solicit donations to it. So please, save us your sales pitch. If you have something to add to the conversation, then do so. But if you are just here to sell snake oil, please go away.

posted by Chargdres at 02:46 PM on January 24

All right, I'm in. I've stated before that I think for American soccer to be successful, we've got to keep our best players here. But the reality is the best players are going to go where the best competition and the best money is. So from here on, I'm a Fulham F.C. supporter. We're going to take down Bolton this Tuesday. They have just as many losses as we do, so there's no reason for us not to beat them. By the by, it seems my new team is in 19th place out of 20 teams. Don't teams get demoted if they finish last? Or was it the bottom 3 teams get demoted? Whatever it is, we've got to get our act together. Go Cottagers!

posted by chamo at 02:57 PM on January 24

phason, you might want to start your own thread about your qualifications. And chargdres, you're just as guilty of hijacking this thread so please, take it outside. Anyone here want to talk about Eddie Johnson and Fulham?

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 03:16 PM on January 24

Phason may not be self-linking, exactly, but it smells about the same to me. Actually, Tex, I have a question: given that the soccer powers that be here in America are desperate to make the beautiful game an American sports staple, they naturally went nuts when Beckham came over to play for the Galaxy. Is there any kind of reciprocal hype when somebody with a name over here crosses the pond? Or are they just much more blase about it, given their tradition and the level of play?

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:36 PM on January 24

I appologize, I let myself get dragged into that. Ok, back to Eddie. Personally, I think it is a beneficial thing for Americans to go overseas, as for us to be able to compete on in international tournaments, we need players who have been tested at the highest level. And the MLS is not now, nor will it likely ever be, the level of any of the top leagues in Europe. I have been raving about Johnson for a number of years, and was yelling constantly at the TV in 2006 for Bruce Arena to put him in the game against Ghana. Which he finally did, but by that point Ghana had the game under control. He has had some issues with consistency, but when he is at the top of his game, I think he can be as good as almost any striker in Europe. He is certainly as big and fast as they are, and I have seen some awesome skill from him, so its just a matter of whether he can keep focused and show he can make good decisions against premier defenders. Good luck to him. Fulham is a really nice place (better than going to Birmingham or Portsmouth or something like that) and Craven Cottage is a really neat little stadium. I think he will do well.

posted by Chargdres at 03:46 PM on January 24

Really, I'm just excited because you know West London can't handle 'dis.

posted by igottheblues at 04:35 PM on January 24

" Is there any kind of reciprocal hype when somebody with a name over here crosses the pond?" Not really. The papers are filled every single day with news of someone signing for some club, (much of it spurious self-generated paper talk), and people are wearying of it. It's got to the point where the papers fill up with negative news - Ronaldinho not leaving Barca... Fabregas not leaving Arsenal - just so that they've something, anything to write about the big clubs. The noise is such that it takes a large deal (Torres to Liverpool/Anelka to Chelsea) or a crazy one (Keegan to Newcastle) to get much of a buzz and while Fulham's love of American players gets reported, it'll probably get fewer column inches than news about Frank Lampard's love of shoes. The BBC's coverage of Johnson's signing is amusing. Their story is hotlinked and titled as "Fulham complete Johnson signing" but less than half of the story is about the deal before they move on to the Cottagers' attempts to sign Jari Litmanen - three paragraphs on an actual deal and then eight on vapour.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 04:57 PM on January 24

Amateur side vs. Liverpool in FA Cup this Saturday.

posted by catfish at 07:02 PM on January 24

Chardgres...take a chill pill, take a deep breath, and then slowly let it out, then look at that mirror next to you and say "mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the best GIGO comment-ator of all"...and just keep staring at the mirror, and you will figure the answer out eventually. Please don't be concerned about me, I still had some old boots left from Texas, so I was able to avoid stepping into all of the bs you dragged yourself into with your owns comments directed at me. Unfortunately, I agree with your comment about Bruce Arena when he did not use Eddie Johnson properly during the last World Cup... The US team needed to score goals to continue forward into the competition, and I don't believe he always had the strongest players on the field during key moments to be able to do that. If he did, he might have scored a goal to break the tie with Italy, who as we know ended up winning the World Cup...it wasn't the greatest wc final, but there had to be a winner... I had a discussion with Bruce Arena prior to the world cup in reference to the above topic; scoring goals, but I will spare you the details, because I don't want to get you too excited, cause you might e-mail Bruce and ask for his qualifications, and I wouldn't want to put Bruce in that position, especially now as he is trying to find employment. To All: I hope I got my message across, that we have enough talent pool here in this country, that needs to be developed with proper training programs, so that when an American player goes overseas, he or she will make the same media frenzy that Beckham's marketing team did for him here. But most important of all, we can make a soccer revolution happen here in the States, NOT LONDON, and make it happen today. Just because it is not visibly happening right this second, doesn't mean it can't happen soon, very, very soon, without the need for our talented players going overseas. As one famous Austrian said, "I will be becckk"...

posted by phason at 07:14 PM on January 24

ManU, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea. posted by yerfatma at 6:08 AM CST on January 24 Thanks.

posted by Cave_Man at 10:41 PM on January 24

phason, thanks for giving me such a laugh this afternoon. I've not read such rubbish for a long time. It's a boring day at work and I really needed it. Cheers pal!

posted by salmacis at 08:33 AM on January 25

Anyone here want to talk about Eddie Johnson and Fulham? Oo Oo Over here, teach. We kinda have a glass half empty (or half full). I like the idea that Demps will get some help. Playing alone up front has never and will never be his most useful role. If Fulham plan on playing Johnson with another striker and Demps on the wing this will immensely help the USNT, but only if they stay up, and only if such a lineup is consistantly played. If Johnson and Demps are just seen as interchangeable players, and one is often subbed for the other, then this is an awful move, from both the USNT and Fulhan FC perspective. Plus, I think Demps will find his way out of FFC and on to a mid-table side in England this summer. I wish Johnson would have gone to Derby last summer when the offer was made. He would be a whole year ahead of where he is now. The US needs more than 'a few players on teams abroad'. They (we) need the majority of the USMNT starting XI on top flight teams and starting the majority of their matches. As it stands, all our eggs are in the Fulham basket (sans Bradley who is lighting up the Dutch league). If Fulham go down, and I think they will, where does that leave us? p.s. No amount of money, manpower, or "training facilities" will put the US on par with the football powerhouses of the world. We are and shall remain in an untenable position with regards to the proper training of young talent. Our pro and college systems do not allow for an uber-talented 8-9-10 year old to progress with professional tutoring. The great young players in world football today are 18-20 years old. They all began their careers at club football at 13 or younger. Messi, Noble, Rooney, Bale....were playing first team-top flight football before American kids can legally drive. Dempsey and Johnson are what? 23-24 years old? Friggin dinosaurs in world football.

posted by r8rh8r27 at 10:14 AM on January 25

Salmacis...I would love to take the credit for giving you a laugh, but you got me mistaken for someone else, I think you wanted to thank Chargdres, for some of his rubbish has also given me a lot of laugh's as well...Cheers pal!

posted by phason at 10:48 AM on January 25

I'm not sure that moving to Derby really would have been a good move for Johnson. Derby is just SO bad. Demoralizingly bad. Losing is one thing, but when you get destroyed consistently, it really messes with your confidence. I feel like Johnson could have been very negatively affected by that kind of a move, and I don't think that he would have been able to singlehandedly move Derby off the bottom of the table. Fulham, on the other hand, is more in the line of "underperformers". They have a real top division team, but had an awful coach in Lawrie Sanchez, and I think are still recovering from him. I think Johnson could provide an extra spark to get Fulham back over the hump, something he could not have done at Derby. I agree with the comments about age, though. While we think of Johnson as a young-in, Cristiano Ronaldo is 22, and it seems like he has been a playing for ManU forever. Not sure that the US is ready to accept youth soccer academies in the style of European clubs, and I think it likely never will be, although we have made some strides towards that with programs like the one in Bradenton. However, there is a little bit of hope. Jozy Altidore is 18, Maurice Edu is 21, Marvel Wynne is 21; each of these players is still fairly young even by Europe's standards, and have chances to make an impact on an international stage soon. Also, the US U-20 team recently had a solid run in Canada, even beating Alexandre Pato and his Brazil team, so I feel like something good is happening.

posted by Chargdres at 11:02 AM on January 25

Chargdres...all jousting and kidding aside, if I may ask you, when and why did you get interested in Soccer, when your dad was so into Basketball? Were you born here in the States, and if so, which part of the States did you grow up...just curious. And also, you stated that you coach, ref and play soccer, are you still active in those areas? If so, are you content with your ball control, would you love to improve any part of your game, even now? And if you still coach, which areas of coaching are you most frustrated in, in the reference that you wish you could help improve your player’s abilities is some particular area, but there is just not enough information out there to help you achieve that? And as a ref, is there a rule of the game you wish you could change, or add to the game? And when you lived in Europe, which part of Europe did you live? By the way, we are similar in the fact that we love soccer, we both coach, ref, and of course play the game, and we love to comment about the game. Peter

posted by phason at 11:59 AM on January 25

Losing is one thing, but when you get destroyed consistently, it really messes with your confidence. Well if there is one thing EJ has, it's confidence. We could even say EJ has an overabundance of confidence based on an ability so-far unseen. The MSL held out for just a little more scratch and eventually put EJ on a team that--like Derby--will be playing in the Championship next season. By the time he gets consistent starts--if ever--we will still wonder if he can even play the English game. Had he gone to Derby, we would already know. If he can play in England, Premiership buyers would make a move for him. Guys that can put the ball in the net never get relegated.

posted by r8rh8r27 at 02:24 PM on January 25

My understanding is that the MLS agreed to terms with Derby, but that Johnson vetoed the deal. I also wouldn't nail shut Fulham's coffin just yet. There are still 15 games to be played, and they are only 5 points below the drop. In fact they are only 7 below Boro, who sit in 13th, so if Fulham pick it up, they could theoretically end up near mid table. Granted, they have shown no signs of doing so, but I think that on paper Fulham are more talented than at least Sunderland, Wigan and Birmingham. Not sure that Van Nistelrooij could score many goals at Derby though, so I don't know that Eddie would really be able to show off his skills there. But Fulham is still in the relegation fight and has some decent players, so Eddie may very well get his chance to prove he is a class striker, or that he's not. It would be awesome if a few key Johnson goals are what save the Cottagers.

posted by Chargdres at 03:02 PM on January 25

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.