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“American Outlaws Lexington” World Cup Preview For UK Fans

By Ken Fletcher — American Outlaws, Lexington, KY (Special to KSR)

 

We’re only a month away from the World Cup and in June, everyone around you will claim to be an expert on soccer, and the only thing most of us know about the sport is that you’re supposed to give the kids orange slices and juice boxes at half time. Most people embrace the World Cup like the Olympics. It may not be something you follow all the time, but for a few months, you’re the go to person in your office for our best hopes to medal in rhythmic gymnastics. We’re here to help you sound knowledgeable before the first kickoff.

The Team: Started from the Bottom…

The United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) has come a long way in terms of talent since the 1994 team whose best player (Alexi Lalas) was better thought of as the lead singer for the Spin Doctors.


Now you can probably name the “two princes” of US Soccer, Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey, but the US team’s success and failure will be determined by the play of two other players: Michael Bradley and Tim Howard. To be fair Dempsey will still be a major factor as he’s now playing a new role for this world cup as team captain, but Donovan’s been cast as the world cup version of Jalen Whitlow, as he’s no longer even part of the team.

So please welcome to the stage Michael Bradley, as he once thought of as only in the squad because he was the coach’s son, is no Saul Smith. He may look like Lex Luthor but he plays like Superman.

He’s the puppet master of the US attack and the USMNT’s performance will hinge on the service he will provide.

In the past, the US team could credit any World Cup success to their defensive prowess. However, the stalwart back line members have since retired from international soccer, along with the USMNT’s Tubby-style defensive philosophy often referred to as “parking the bus” in front of the goal. So any hopes of keeping the ball out of our own net will be contingent on the play of Goalkeeper Tim Howard. His resume includes playing at some of the best clubs in Europe, and the ability to grow a beard that strikes fear in the heart of men.

With his experience, skillset, and power drawn from his beard, he’s put himself in the conversation for one of the best keepers in the world. With an inexperienced centre-back pairing (Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez) and an aging DeMarcus Beasley and a “pocket full of kryptonite” to be named later as his defense, Tim Howard’s bus now looks more and more like Willie Cauley-Stein’s moped.

The Coach: Jürgen Klinsmann is the German Mark Stoops

Following in the footsteps of American born coaches Bob Bradley and Bruce Arena, Jürgen Klinsmann took over as the USMNT coach. Klinsmann “ain’t exactly from around here” as he had no real ties to the American team, but brought a whole new philosophy to US Soccer and while it’s too early to really tell what sort of impact he’s had in terms of results, the interest in the team is at an all-time high. Just like we can’t expect a National Championship in football in Lexington this year, we’re still going to drink a lot in the parking lot. Most importantly we should still expect the results from the upcoming games to put us in the conversation as a team to look out for.

The Group of Death: Kentucky’s 2014 NCAA Tournament Draw

The USMNT’s placement in the the World Cup is the same as Kentucky’s seeding in the NCAA basketball tournament. It’s a tall order.

Germany = Wichita State. They are one of the best teams in the tournament, they play beautifully as a cohesive unit and have underated star-power. The big difference here is that this version of Wichita State comes from a power conference. Our coach and a few of our players are from there, so this game will mean more to us than it does to them. Expect the pre-game speech to include “Clear Eyes Full Hearts” in German.

Portugal = Louisville. This team is always regarded as a powerhouse, due to the play of one special player. Only in this case, Cristiano Ronaldo is light years better than Russ Smith. But if you run into someone wearing a Ronaldo jersey, chances are, they currently, or at some point have had a line beard. The good news is that just like Louisville we beat them the last time we faced off.

Ghana = UCONN. Just like UCONN no one would ever pick them to win the tournament, however they are a talented team that’s been a thorn in our side recently, as they’ve put us out of the world cup the last two times we’ve played them.

ao-lex

American Outlaws: Red White & Blue Nation

The American Outlaws are a US Men’s National Team supporters group with chapters all across the nation. Think of it as an organized eRUPPtion Zone. Our mission is to support the United States National Soccer Team through a unified and dedicated group of supporters. Whether it’s in the stadium or in a nearby bar, you’ll hear this group singing and chanting inbetween beers. Here in Lexington we host viewing parties for all USMNT games at West Sixth Brewing Company.

The USMNT has 3 friendly matchups coming up to help them warm up for the tournament.

Tuesday May 27th at 7pm vs Azerbaijan
Sunday June 1st at 2pm vs Turkey
Saturday June 7th at 6pm vs Nigeria

Come join us at West Sixth for all three friendlies, where you can party like Billy Gillispie, and familiarize yourself with the team before the tournament starts and help get the mojo going.

For more info about our Lexington events check out AOLexington.com or on Facebook. Click here for a complete list of American Outlaw chapter bars.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

22 Comments for “American Outlaws Lexington” World Cup Preview For UK Fans



  1. GordonM
    2:45 pm May 26, 2014 Permalink

    Drew likes a little soccer (players pic posting). Maybe he is confused. I get confused reading post here.



  2. rupp
    2:50 pm May 26, 2014 Permalink

    huh?



    • GordonM
      2:58 pm May 26, 2014 Permalink

      Did you see a white light flash? Drew can shake this site up with his offhand comments.



  3. JHK
    2:51 pm May 26, 2014 Permalink

    Bradley came back to play for Toronto from Europe because he could not find enough playing time there. And that’s our Superman. This is not going to end well is it ?



    • Drew Franklin
      2:52 pm May 26, 2014 Permalink

      The draw is certainly not in our favor.

      However, I believe that we will win. I believe that we will win.



  4. guy
    3:09 pm May 26, 2014 Permalink

    Alexi Lalas was not even close to our best player in ’94. Eric Wynalda, Claudio Reyna, Cobi Jones, Tab Ramos, Tony Meola, John Harkes, and Ernie Stewart were much much better.



    • repsol-69
      3:29 pm May 26, 2014 Permalink

      Damn, you beat me to saying this. And, Drew, our Achilles Heel is our defense, so it won’t matter what Bradley and Howard do unless the Defense can pull off a miracle performance in the Cup.



    • 44 Stitches
      5:04 pm May 26, 2014 Permalink

      Marcelo Balboa was my favorite player on the team.



    • Coach Durbin
      6:56 pm May 26, 2014 Permalink

      Not close to our best player? He was playing in Serie A the next season based on his performance in the World Cup.



  5. Hmm
    3:20 pm May 26, 2014 Permalink

    JHK…your statement isn’t entirely accurate. Bradley was a consistent starter at Roma until they brought in Nainggolan who was tearing it up, alongside De Rossi who is a legend and Strootman was having a heck of a season as well before tearing his ACL. I guarantee Roma would have liked to have a player of Bradley’s caliber back when that happened. Also, I don’t blame Roma for selling him..bought him for 3.5 million and sold him for 10. That’s a great profit and shows how well he developed.



  6. AO
    3:50 pm May 26, 2014 Permalink

    Great post Ken. I like how you compared Juergen to stoops. They are also both excellent recruiters who are preparing to make a strong run in 4 years time with the chances they’re giving to youth. I think the USA will win a World Cup in the next 20 years or at least make it to the final. They were certainly on their way in 2002. Also, the USMNT’s chances of making a real impact at this World Cup died when Donovan was left out of the squad.

    Anybody know anything about gatherings in Louisville?



  7. CatsFan
    4:53 pm May 26, 2014 Permalink

    Great post. I totally agree with AO as well, great comparison between the two coaches. This is going to be an extremely exciting World Cup overall. Watching Brazil in their home country will be awesome, as they will draw such a rowdy crowd in the stadium for each game. However, watching the US pull off a miracle (no pun intended) will be something to remember.



  8. KyGeography
    5:18 pm May 26, 2014 Permalink

    This may be the worst soccer analysis I have ever read.

    Germany=Wichita State? What the?



  9. What!!
    8:16 pm May 26, 2014 Permalink

    Comparing Germany to Wichita State…hahaha so dumb.. I do love Ksr but can’t let this one go.



    • Coach Durbin
      9:24 pm May 26, 2014 Permalink

      How is that ridiculous? WSU was like the 6th most likely team to win a 64 team tournament and Germany is listed as the 4th most likely to win a 32 team tournament.



    • Speaker of Truths
      10:00 pm May 26, 2014 Permalink

      Comparing Germany to Wichita State is ridiculous bc the Shockers just recently turned into a decent team. Germany, on the other hand, have won 3 World Cups, and multiple (I can’t remember how many exactly) European Championships. If we’re going to belabor this strange “soccer national teams as college bball programs” analogy, I would say Belgium and Wichita is a more apt comparison, since Belgium have had a more recent rise, and are considered a dark horse.



    • Coach Durbin
      1:09 am May 27, 2014 Permalink

      Except Germany hasn’t won a World Cup Since 1990 and a European Championship since 1996. Guess how they did in the last world cup? They made the final four, just like Wichita State made the Final 4 the year before! Belgium is actually a terrible comparison for 2 reasons. 1) They missed the last 2 world cups and 2) they aren’t in our group. In order to keep the theme, Drew had to compare Germany to someone in UK’s draw last year. Choosing the #1 seed in our region seems apt. Not a perfect comparision but not ridiculous. As stated before Germany and Wichita were similarly rated as most likely team to win before the tournament began.



    • Ksquared
      2:10 pm May 27, 2014 Permalink

      The Wichita St Germany comparison is terrible, no matter how long it’s been since Germany won a Euro or WC. If there were a Mt. Rushmore for international soccer teams, Germany would certainly be on it. Their current squad is loaded with top talent (see Bayer’s historic treble last year). Did Wichita have one lottery pick (or even draft pick) on their squad? Germany’s squad looks more like the Cats from last year, loaded with depth and talent, except the Germans are a veteran bunch. Consider having an actual soccer fan/player read your soccer stuff before you put it out (I doubt Ally Ticker would’ve let that fly if you had ran it past her).



    • Coach Durbin
      7:45 pm May 27, 2014 Permalink

      You realize he was comparing the world cup draw to UK’s draw last year, right? Who would you compare Germany to, Michigan maybe? Agree to disagree, there’s not a great comparison but to compare teams from the draw. However, Germany and undefeated Wichita State had similar odds to win the tournament before it started.

      Great job, Drew trying to expose the UK fanbase to the beautiful game. Let’s go Yanks!



  10. blue to the bone
    1:38 am May 27, 2014 Permalink

    Hey Drew….How about a shout-out for AO Louisville. We used to host the Louisville Chapter of the American Outlaws at Big Blue Country Sports Bar & Grill in their early development. They are now a very active and growing chapter with great events. Home base is Saints Pizza in St Matthews. They get large, rowdy crowds. More info at Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Outlaws-Louisville/112347835898. Thanks, JD.



  11. Not John Short
    9:01 am May 27, 2014 Permalink

    USMNT by 10 biggins’.



  12. AO
    9:17 am May 28, 2014 Permalink

    JD,
    Thanks for the info. I decided to check back in to see if anybody replied about gatherings. I’ll be up there for games this summer for sure. While I’m not an avid USMNT fan, I have seen so much development over the last few years in the MLS (I have actually enjoyed watching a few games live this year live on tv;never done previously) and with our homegrown players that I can’t help but be optimistic for the future. I’m glad soccer is getting some love on KSR. They really are two very comparable sports if you study them. See you guys for some games! Also, the people who nitpick all the fun, goofy posts like this one suck as humans. This is KSR in the summer, ya dummies.