Archive for the ‘Veree Bampoe-Addo’ Category

USA vs Ghana: Upon Further Review

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

by Veree Bampoe-Addo

veree blog






USA vs. Ghana (Image courtesy of

USA vs. Ghana
(Image courtesy of

Finally had a chance to take another look at Monday’s World Cup opener for USA and Ghana – let’s be honest, it’s hard to thoroughly analyze a game while having a few cold ones at the bar. Great football game overall, big win for USA, here are some final notes:

  • USA was pretty much on their back heel most of the game especially in the 2nd half but the defensive effort was impressive. The USA defenders marked the Ghanaian forwards well and managed to frustrate them. Ghana was actually exhausted in search for the elusive equalizer.
  • USA played pretty well on offense the few times they actually did have possession up front. They created the more threatening chances and most of their shots were quality looks. Only 8 shots the entire game but 7 of them were on goal.
  • USA needs to figure out how to maintain possession a little more – while it’s not “everything”, it helps if you can control the flow of the game a little bit. That would also help them create more chances and take some pressure off the defense. Maybe a different formation? Would be good to see Bradley more involved.
  • Ghana was the better team on Monday – unfortunately it comes down to the ability to put the ball in the net and they couldn’t do it; was kind of like the 2010 Quarterfinal between Netherlands and Brazil.
  • Ghana attempted a ridiculous amount of shots and yet weren’t able to cash in. They need to work on finishing because they definitely won’t get that many chances vs Germany on Saturday.
  • Starting lineup for Ghana was very questionable. Kwesi  Appiah had months to tamper with it and it doesn’t seem like he’s figured it out yet. Kevin Prince Boateng didn’t have a good game but his presence opened things up for the other forwards once he entered the game; he looked rusty and struggled to get with the flow of the game – attempted a few wild off-target shots. He’s better off in the starting lineup.
  • Goals: Both Clint Dempsey and Andre Ayew’s were World Class finishes. Hell of a set piece that set up the game winner for Brooks.
  • Man of the Match for Ghana was #7 Christian Atsu – a star in the making, great facilitator, had a key moment where he switched direction on Damarcus Beasley and sat him right on his butt – shows how dangerous he can be.
  • Man of the Match for USA was #13 Jermaine Jones in my opinion – made some key tackles, assisted on some of the better looks and seemed to be a part of every play.
  • USA’s preparation has to be in question – Altidore and Besler both pulled hamstrings. Are you kidding me? They knew that conditions would be humid, makes you wonder what approach they took in warm up drills leading up to the game.
  • Coach Kwesi Appiah will need to make major line up adjustments going into the Germany game on Saturday – he should consider benching John Boye, Johnathan Mensah and GK Adam Kawarasey for terrible mistakes they made on the field – they weren’t ready for the big stage.
  • I love the confidence that Klinsmann has this young team playing with. They believe in what they’re doing and despite talent limitations, they’re in a position to advance if they can get a few good bounces vs a vulnerable Portugal side on Sunday.


Veree Bampoe-Addo of The Sports Forum, for War Room Sports


One Nation, One Team, #LanDone

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

by Veree Bampoe-Addo


Landon Donovan (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Landon Donovan
(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

USMNT supporters were outraged Thursday afternoon when the final 23-Man World Cup roster was revealed. None of us expected this. The most notable player we were all expecting to see wasn’t a part of it. Imagine in 1992 seeing the final Dream Team roster set for Barcelona without MJ? You get the point. Considering the man’s contributions to the growing of US Soccer (Google his accomplishments), he deserves to be on the roster. I’m a big fan of Klinsmann – I followed his career in the 90’s when he made monumental contributions to the success of the German National Team but this move leaves a dark spot on his coaching resume. Being Ghanaian, born here in the States, I support both USMNT and Ghana when it comes to international soccer (imagine the conflict I’ve had the last 2 World Cups). However this move Klinsmann pulled makes me not even want to root for USA in this World Cup…. definitely made it a lot easier for me to root against them when they play Ghana in the opener on June 16th. A power struggle is the only reasonable conclusion I can draw when you take 18-20 year-olds with less than 5 caps combined over Donovan. I’m surprised that the U.S. Soccer Federation concurred his decision. How can you go into this tournament without your icon, proven veteran, the most accomplished player in your program’s history, and fan favorite? I understand Landon going on hiatus during the qualifiers last year didn’t help his case, I also understand he’s 32, and doesn’t have the speed and endurance like he did 4 years ago – I sort of realized that in the last friendly match vs Mexico a few months ago when he subbed in late in the game. He didn’t look sharp but that may have been him not having sufficient playing time to warm up. The least Klinsmann could have done would be to add him as a reserve, even on the bench. His invaluable experience would serve this team well from a mentoring standpoint.

A good World Cup team consists of the right combination of veterans and young players. Only 5 (Beasley, Bradley, Howard, Altidore and Dempsey) of the USMNT’s 23 players have previous World Cup experience. At age 33, Klinsmann captained the German National Team in the 98 World Cup, so at age 32, you would think Landon Donovan has at least 1 more WC left in him. Our program here is not as prolific as Brazil’s who can turn over their World Cup roster every 4 years and yet compete at a high level. I remember ramblings about Ronaldinho not being a part of their 2010 team. With or without Donovan, USA has a tall order being in the “Group of Death” with Germany, Portugal and Ghana. The youngsters just might be intimidated by being in the presence of the top players in the World – Ronaldo, Essien, Ozil, Muller, Nani etc… Landon is on the same plateau as the aforementioned so I like USA’s chances better with him on the roster. It’s disappointing that this happens at a time where interest in U.S. Soccer is rapidly expanding (credit Donovan’s notoriety among the fans as well as “The Outlaws”) – fans will be turned away, ratings and merchandise sales will be also be affected. I started to call World Soccer Shop to cancel my Jersey order after I heard the news – but ultimately decided against it. I’ve seen several marquee players play in their last World Cup Tournament late in their career (Maradona, Henrick Larsson, Zidane) so a part of me is not accepting that we’ve seen the last of Landon Donovan in a World Cup. Didier Drogba and Miroslav Klose will both be 36 when the tournament commences but made their respective national teams’ final cut. Depending on what Donovan does in the next 4 years, there’s a possibility that he gets a call up for the 2018 World Cup at age 36, Klinsmann’s contract will be up by then. Also who knows what will happen between now and kick off on June 16th. Just saying, it could happen. I don’t believe “Lan-done”.


Veree Bampoe-Addo of The Sports Forum, for War Room Sports

Quick thoughts on the 2013 Champions League Final

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

by Veree Bampoe-Addo


Saturday will mark the first time two German Clubs are meeting in the Champions League Final.  Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund. These two clubs meeting in the CL final is in no way a fluke – let’s take a quick look at each of their paths:

Bayern for one finds itself in the title game for the third time in the past four seasons.  They came up short in 2010 vs. Inter Milan when Diego Milito managed to find the net twice in a fairly boring match.  Then just last year when it seemed they had the deal sealed vs. Chelsea with a Thomas Muller goal in the 83rd minute, Didier Drogba equalized 5 minutes later to force extra time and an eventual PK shoot out ending in a heartbreaker.  In this year’s tournament, Bayern defeated Arsenal, Juventus, and European League Super Power Barcelona in the knockout stages.  The aggregate of the two games with Barcelona was 7-0; it doesn’t get any more impressive than that.

Shifting gears to Dortmund – I’d be lying if I said I’ve seen more than a handful of their games, but if you’re able to top a group that includes 2012 Premier League Champ Manchester City and Spanish League Giant Real Madrid, chances are it’s your year.  Not only did they win their group that included RM, but when the two teams met in the Semi-Finals they advanced courtesy of a 4-3 aggregate (they smashed Madrid 4-1 in the first leg).

Now to my prediction:

Wembley Stadium will be rocking on Saturday night, let’s dub it the “German Takeover”.  Two Rival German clubs both with a rich history.  Bayern of course the more notable club of the two, considering the amount of success they’ve had in the German League (all-time leader with 23 titles) and are coming into this Champions League title game on a high as newly crowned German Champs, dethroning who else – Borussia Dortmund who had held the title for the previous two seasons.  I’m picking Bayern because they’re a lot more experienced and even though they’ve come up short in their last two tries; they’re accustomed to being in this spot.  From a talent standpoint, Bayern has the better roster top to bottom.  German National Team superstars Mario Gomez, Bastian Schweinstagger, Thomas Muller, and Phillip Lahm might be too much for Dortmund to handle.  These guys were part of the National Team that finished third in the last World Cup (2010).  Throw in French National star Franck Ribery and Dutch icon Arjen Robben and Dortmund may be overwhelmed.  We can’t overlook the fact that Dortmund has had Bayern’s number in recent years – Bayern hasn’t defeated Borussia Dortmund over the past 3 seasons (6 games total).  Hopefully all of this build up leads to a thriller of a CL Final like we saw last year.  Bayern Munich wins 3-1 to claim their first CL Title since 2001.


Veree Bampoe-Addo of The Sports Forum, for War Room Sports