RECAPS
EXTRA TIME
by BRENT LATHAM
July 3, 2009

Yanks Abroad
Edgar Castillo's recent, open declaration that he is ready to switch federations came as a surprise to just about everyone in the North American soccer world. It was not so shocking that a player who is out of form and seemingly out of contention for the Mexican national team would look to make a change to a team where he could possibly play as soon as next year's World Cup.

What was surprising was the way Castillo went about announcing his intentions. His open declaration was a huge tactical mistake. Certainly his agent should have done a better job of handling this. Castillo backed himself into a corner, and the response from the FMF was predictable. Castillo will never wear the Tricolor again, and he'll be lucky if he can remain in Mexico playing professionally at this point.
by BRENT LATHAM
June 28, 2009

Yanks Abroad
We're just hours from kickoff at Ellis Park Stadium, where the US is preparing for its first full international final at a FIFA event. The task looks huge, but perhaps not as monumental as making it here in the first place.

Brazil
by BRENT LATHAM
June 26, 2009

Yanks Abroad
A sight that you never thought you'd see
Well, I owe everyone on the US team an apology. In no way, at least on this night, were they outclassed by their Spanish opponents, as I said they would be.

Last night was an amazing evening in the history of US soccer, without a doubt. The discussion of what this victory means to the game in America will go on for a while, and I'll have my chance to chime in I'm sure. For the time being, sufficed to say that the way the US played was even more impressive than the final scoreline. Spain, characteristically, had more of the possession, but the US dominated the game, and can be said to have deserved the victory. There was little luck involved, and that in itself is an amazing thing.
by BRENT LATHAM
June 26, 2009

Yanks Abroad
48 hours.

That's how long until the final in Johannesburg, and it's also about how long has past since the stunning US victory on that cold night in Bloemfontein that will go down in soccer history. Now the US is turning to Brazil, who eeked out a 1-0 victory over hosts South Africa last night to reach their second straight Confederations Cup final.
by BRENT LATHAM
June 24, 2009

Yanks Abroad
Can the United States - under any circumstances, beat Spain?

That's the question I keep getting asked. Here's what I just told Spanish sports journal Marca:
by BRENT LATHAM
June 23, 2009

Yanks Abroad
Yesterday was a travel day for us and the US national team, as we headed south from Rustenburg down the main highway to Bloemfontein. The US flew in but we journalists got to drive - four hours through a midwestern like countryside, to the cold city on the border with Lesotho. So here is what I've been thinking about during the trip.

The Potential Excuses
by BRENT LATHAM
June 21, 2009

Yanks Abroad
Well, the wins over Mexico and Portugal in 2002 were probably more important, but it's been a while since the US has had a victory like this. The team came out loose and flowing, spurred by Landon Donovan and Charlie Davies, and put three (it could have been more) on an Egyptian team that was clearly not ready for the US. It was a role reversal on what the Americans usually do in the third game of these tournaments.

The Line-up
by BRENT LATHAM
June 21, 2009

Yanks Abroad
Well we're back live in Rustenburg, and it's dead here. Most everyone involved with soccer in the country is in Pretoria for the Italy-Brazil match, but YA is up the road in the countryside, at the white elephant in the middle of Northwest Province. FIFA wanted to put a World Cup stadium in each of the country's nine provinces, and this is their attempt to bring football to Northwest. The city of Rustenburg is a small town just a couple of streets wide, and Royal Bafokeng Stadium is outside the city in the countryside. It's kind of like playing a match outside of Pierre, South Dakota, I imagine, with apologies to South Dakotans. Anyway the countryside out here is beautiful, and the US is staying on a game reserve, so there's that.

The Egypt Game
by BRENT LATHAM
June 19, 2009

Yanks Abroad
As poorly as the US played on Thursday, the skill gap between the American players and their Brazilian counterparts seems to be as wide as ever. That can be said about most teams in the world, but it was disappointing to see the US fumble around like star-struck kids for 20 minutes before turning back into professionals.

The team
by BRENT LATHAM
June 18, 2009

Yanks Abroad
Here's what I'm thinking a few hours before the Brazil-USA match at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria…

U.S. Moral
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A big question for U.S. fans heading into the World Cup is surely on Jozy Altidore and just what is plaguing the young striker at Sunderland.
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