Please say hi to the Mrs. and the elves for me. I keep seeing all of these movies lately portraying you in different ways and I wonder what you really look like. Anyway, I digress. I have been a good boy this year and I was hoping you could take a look at my wish list. It’s not for me. I really was hoping you could help out the United States Men’s National Soccer Team. They have a big year coming up with the Gold Cup and World Cup qualifying. So here goes. The best part is these don’t have to be delivered on Christmas Eve, so take your time.
- My friend Pete and I would really like a solid back four. There are age and injury concerns for Steve Cherundolo and Carlos Bocanegra. Fabian Johnson and Geoff Cameron look good. I was going to ask for just a good center back partner for Cameron, but it is really about their ability to communicate and play together. Maybe it is Omar Gonzalez given another chance since he had such a great MLS Cup performance. I won’t mind seeing Matt Besler either.
- Give Seb Hines a chance please. Maybe he is part of the answer to wish number one. Sebastian Tony Hines plays with Middlesbrough and has shown versatility to play either holding midfielder or central defense. He seems pretty genuine too or at least his twitter conveys a personality. He only has one yellow card this season. Jurgen Klinsmann needs to snatch him up before England does.
- Please give Stuart Holden back his full health. He has gone through a battle after that Jonny Evans’ tackle. He was on his way to being the player of the year for Bolton that year and has finally come back to training. He renounced his Scottish citizenship to play with the U.S. and we would love to see him back in stars and stripes, or red hoops as it is. He knows how to deliver a set piece and can play with both feet.
- Can we get a midfielder to link up with Michael Bradley that can start the attack? Maybe is it Holden, but the bigger piece to this wish is to have that person on the pitch more regularly. We like Danny Williams and Jermaine Jones, but all of them together doesn’t seem to allow the team to hold possession and build an attack. I’d even give José Francisco Torres another shot if he makes the system work.
- Tim Howard needs an understudy. We love Brad Guzan and he has been playing really well with Aston Villa. He is 28 years old though, which is five years younger than Howard. Guzan could still find some playing time with the National Team. Sean Johnson and Bill Hamid have both been a little shaky. Still they were at the top of the list in save percentage among starting MLS keepers. Who else could there be? I’m sure you know Santa. Is it Zac MacMath? It’s probably someone I can’t name that will emerge, but it would be great to see him soon.
- We really want more Klinsmann animation. The squad was inconsistent with a ton of starting line ups, but when they managed to score it was pure entertainment and I’m not just talking about the run of play. He would celebrate in multiple ways, especially fist pumping. He also had an AHA! moment. We want more because these usually mean something good happened. Wir möchten gerne Jurgen (We like happy Jurgen – I think).
Thanks Santa. We really appreciate you taking the time to read this. You are invited to watch a match with us. I think you would have fun.
The American Pitch Team