USMNT Tangentials (Though One Is Interesting)

Just a couple quick items on the U.S. Men's National Team to pass on:

1) It looks like the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF), conscious of persistent fan demand for games against European opposition, lined up a pair of October friendlies: one against Switzerland, which is a country, and another against Catalonia, which, unless I'm very much mistaken, is not. Curiously, I find even the game against Calalonia - listed in the press release's headline as a "Spanish regional team" - more exciting than next weekend's China friendly.

2) A really, really intriguing item appeared in ESPN's report about Toronto FC midfielder Ronnie O'Brien declining a chance to suit up for the Republic of Ireland. Here's that:

"O'Brien's name has been bandied about as a potential international on both sides of the Atlantic since he emerged as one of MLS' top performers while playing with FC Dallas. (O'Brien holds a Green Card and could potentially apply for U.S. citizenship). The three-time All-Star was a Best XI selection in 2004 and 2005 and seemed in line for a look-see during Ireland's failed World Cup qualifying campaign, but the chance never came."

With the commentary surrounding the recent call-up of Steve Ralston to the Gold Cup team, and the related discussion about a lack of better options on the right side of midfield, I can only assume the good folks at the USSF are mailing O'Brien citizenship applications on a daily basis. I can't believe I'm the only person who would love to have O'Brien suit up for the U.S.


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