Just a couple of things on my mind today, so...
U-20's Bounce Back
The USA U20's recovered from dropping their opener in the U-20 World Cup, a 3-0 loss to Germany, by routing Cameroon 4-1. Of course, the final score was terribly flattering to Rongen's kids, as they were under heavy pressure from their opponents for much of the match, but it does mean they control their own destiny for the final group stage match against South Korea. Win, and they advance. Lose, they're out. Draw? Depends on the other result. Rather than a full recap, just a few notes...
* Dilly Duka looks pretty useful and scored an outrageous lob from the flank. I'm sure the inevitable pissers-on-parades will leap on the "but he meant to cross" podium, but to me, he had eyes only for goal, not for a runner in the box. So does MLS HQ slap its collective forehead when he "goes Euro" in the wake of this tourney after they had a chance to get him on the Red Bulls' roster?
* Ike Opara looked strong in central defense. He got called for the PK, but it looked a bit soft to me. Wonder if he bothers to stick around for the draft, and, if so, is he just itching for a chance to work with Piotr Nowak?
* I can see why the Dynamo grabbed Danny Cruz. He's like a mini-Mullan--quick, pesky, gets fouled a lot. Not a terribly technical player, but a good athlete with a big motor.
* Brek Shea still looks ridiculous.
Assuming Soehn gets the boot in the off-season, who would your front runners be to take over the reins? Off the top of my head, I'd point out the usual suspects in and around the league...
Paul Mariner will pretty much be mentioned with every vacant job until he gets one.
John Spencer has had his name floated as well for a couple of vacancies.
Juan Carlos Osorio isn't busy, is he? Good God, I hope not, but our FO does have a penchant for signing South Americans...
Curt Onalfo had a reasonable start to his managerial career before seeing it all come apart this year. And it's not like he's unfamiliar with the organization.
Richie Williams is no stranger to United either, and probably doesn't have enough cachet to swing the Metrobulls job on a full-time basis.
Frank Yallop is yet another with a United history, and while he's not out of a job yet, he might be soon.
Who'd I miss?
So with Wicks out 4-6 weeks, Milos Kocic now has five games to earn his spot on next year's team. You've got to figure that we're not going to bank our Champions' League future on an 18 year-old, nor will we throw Hamid into the Toluca shooting gallery for fear of scarring him before his professional career is truly launched. That means Kocic has two Champions' League and three regular season games to make his case. Judging by the previous evidence, these next few weeks may be long ones...