Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Archive for the category “Tim Howard”

USMNT to feel the pain of Tim Howard’s loss

article-2290487-184F979B000005DC-522_468x345Goalie Tim Howard will be out of action for four to six weeks after it was revealed he has two broken bones in his back.

And that may put a serious hurt on the U.S. Men’s National Team’s chances to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

Howard was injured in goal for Everton almost two weeks ago in a collision with Oldham striker Robbie Simpson during an FA Cup match.

“Tim has two fractures, but they are not the bones which are supporting anything, it is off the spine,” Everton manager David Moyes told The Daily Mail. “They are not weight bearing. It just needs a bit of healing time. It is not like a pure fracture where need to wait to look at it. It is a question of whether he can cope with the pain.”

Read more…

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U.S. team finally breaks Azteca jinx

Sports is all about numbers.

And heading into Wednesday night’s friendly against Mexico, the U.S. Men’s National Team faced some pretty unpleasant numbers.

The U.S. team had never beaten the Mexican team in Mexico, despite trying for 75 years.

The U.S. was 0-23-1 against El Tri in those 75 years.

The U.S. was 0-19-1 at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, being outscored 81-14.

But that all changed Wednesday night, and now the only number that counts is the final score:

USA 1, Mexico 0.

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Someone should check Hollins’ gymbag

The Cleveland Cavaliers will be short a player for tonight’s game in Toronto after Samardo Samuels was unable to make the trip because he lost his passport.

With Samuels unavailable, Ryan Hollins will fill the backup role at center. If he gets in the game, it will be the first action Hollins has seen since opening night.

Did anyone with the Cavs think to check Hollins’ locker for the missing passport?

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Cold Hard Football Facts threw a little cold water on Seneca Wallace’s quest to replace Colt McCoy as the Cleveland Browns starting quarterback in 2012.

According to the site:

With a chance to play in the final three games of the season, Seneca Wallace wanted to prove himself worthy of a starting quarterback position. However, he didn’t get the job done as the Browns lost those three games by a combined 13 points. Perhaps if Wallace played one level better than Colt McCoy, the Browns win a few games and Wallace gets a chance to further prove himself in 2012.

Wallace posted a weak 50.27 Real Quarterback Rating. This includes completing only two of 14 passes attempted to Greg Little or Mohamed Maasquoi.

Overall, Wallace finished with a 65.87 QBR, while Colt McCoy finished with a 75.16 QBR. Clearly, neither quarterback worked in this limited offense, and McCoy should be the leading candidate to return as the starter in 2012.

Not sure we like either option, but Wallace definitely didn’t do himself any favors over the last three games of the season.

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Everton’s Tim Howard became the fourth goalie – and second American – in Premier League history to score a goal in Tuesday’s game against Bolton.

But just like when Brad Friedel scored, Everton ended up losing.

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Finally, Jonah Keri at Grantland is not a believer in the Window in baseball – the short period of time in which small-revenue clubs supposedly have to compete.

Keri writes that: There is a nugget of truth behind this Window obsession. Smaller-revenue teams have a tougher time signing premium free agents, or retaining their own top players past their initial six years of team control. That puts extra pressure on these poorer teams to bring up a bunch of great prospects all at once, then hope they get good at the same time before they get expensive.

But far more often it’s a … excuse. It’s a vague, faraway goal that always seems several years out of reach. It’s a cover for cheap, greedy ownership, lousy scouting, drafting, and player development, and myopic trades. It’s a weak attempt to placate a fan base screwed over by years of management incompetence and indifference.

We think the Dolans would like to have a word with Keri.

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Finally, today is the 31th anniversary of the Browns playoff loss to Oakland in the Red Right 88 game.

That was the day we learned what it meant to be a Browns (and Cleveland) fan. We were obviously much younger then and that was the first Browns team we fell in love with.

If only Brian Sipe had thrown the ball to Dave Logan this site would exist under a different name and would possibly have a different tone to it. But that’s not the way it worked out.

If you’re in the mood, video of the final drive is here. If you want to relive that magical season, Jonathan Knight’s book, Kardiac Kids: The Story of the 1980 Cleveland Browns, is an excellent read.

Taking on the World

“People should know when they are conquered.”

“Would you Quintas? Would I?”

As the US waits for its Round of 16 game vs. Ghana on Saturday, the Americans face a favorable draw and a real chance to advance, not just past Ghana but into the final four.

“The USA never gives up,” Spain’s Cesc Fabregas said in published reports. “That’s why I believe they can go much further because they fight to the end and work so hard. So, I can see them reaching the semifinals, and then who knows what happens?”

The team’s last-minute win against Algeria revealed the squad’s true heart. The Americans had every opportunity to give up – they had never won the third game in group play (0-6-0 all-time), yet another bad call from the ref denied them a rightful goal, their shots kept finding the cross bar or the post, rather than the back of the net, and they were moments away from being eliminated in the group stage for the second World Cup in a row.

But they wouldn’t accept being conquered. That’s not the American way.

While Landon Donovan received much of the attention for scoring the game winning goal, the win vs. Algeria was truly a team effort. Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley, among others, continued to pepper the goal with shots, while Tim Howard was a rock in goal for the Americans.

The World Cup’s motto is One Game Changes Everything, at that was certainly true for the US, as ESPN’s Chris Jones points out:

In those 12 seconds between Tim Howard’s throw and Landon Donovan’s finish, in those 12 seconds when the U.S. team managed to go from elimination to winning its group, a massive psychological shift occurred. That goal against Algeria changed everything. The Americans went from disappointments to heroes; Bob Bradley went from being the wrong man for the job to a strategic genius; Donovan himself saw stories about his missed potential erased and hastily rewritten, turned into stories that instead celebrated his gifts, his stone-cold ability to finish when his team, his country, needed him most.

Now the world’s biggest fear – the American team advancing through the knockout stages – is right there for the taking. The US has a chance Saturday to avenge the group stage loss to Ghana in 2006 that knocked them out of the tournament. Ghana hasn’t played well so far this year, their only goals have come on penalty kicks, they don’t have their best player, Michael Essien, and their keeper is the shaky Richard Kingson.

If the US can get past Ghana, they will most likely face Uruguay, who emerged from a weak group that included South Africa and the French. Not exactly something to keep the team up at night. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

The Americans have to take care of business starting Saturday. If they play with the drive and pace they displayed against Algeria, there’s a very real chance they will advance.

The world is theirs for the taking. Whether the world likes it or not.

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