MLS started their annual 24 Under 24 rankings yesterday. Andrew Jean-Baptiste is #16 on the list, and I would think it's a safe bet we'll be seeing Darlington Nagbe as the countdown continues.
When the U.S. qualified with two Hex games to spare, lots of people speculated that the October qualifiers would see more fringe players and fewer of the first-team guys, but Jurgen Klinsmann has promised to call up a full strength squad. This is potentially good news for the Timbers, who will likely face the Sounders without three key players, but American Soccer Now thinks it's a pretty bad idea. What do you think?
If Klinsmann were to take ASN's advice, perhaps he would want to give some more playing time to some of the 10 best Americans in Europe last weekend, many of whom are not yet getting regular time with the national team.
With qualifications for Brazil signed, sealed, and delivered, soccer writers can move from "What does the U.S. need to do to qualify?" to questions like "How can the U.S. do well?" The SI.com writers take that one on when they talk about the biggest questions that the USMNT needs to answer before Brazil. Their questions range from "Who will make the final U.S. team?" to "Can we rig the draw?
Bob Bradley and Egypt have one last hurdle to jump to qualify for the World Cup and it's a big one.
Will found us this link, which is interesting to think about in the context of how react to games.
Slide Rule Pass can usually make me laugh about a disappointing Timbers game, although that laughter is generally laced with no small amount of bitterness. In other Timbers-related links, here's a brief but interesting profile on Alvas Powell. Credit to Mike Donovan for sharing it on Twitter a while back.
Another site weighs in with solutions to MLS's ratings problems; The Shin Guardian thinks the key is consistency.
In non-MLS news UCL group stage play begins today. Any games you'll be watching?