Futbol Failure

Geoff Cameron: Tactical arrogance caused USMNT to fall short of World Cup

Geoff Cameron, #20, shared an in-depth conversation with Glenn Davis about the deficiencies of the USMNT. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Yesterday, Stoke City's Geoff Cameron joined Glenn Davis on Soccer Matters and shared his thoughts on his career in the EPL and the shortcomings of the USMNT. Make sure you click on the link above to listen to the first part of the captivating interview.

Cameron joined Stoke City in 2012, and has virtually played every position in the back four for his team. He began the interview giving us a proper look at what it has been like to play in the most competitive league in the world, The Premier League. He explained why Stoke had such a tough start, how injuries crippled the team, and what eventually led to the sacking of Mark Hughes.

On January 15th, Paul Lambert was appointed as the new manager of Stoke City, replacing Mark Hughes. Cameron immediately noted a difference with the appointment of Lambert. Whether it’s calling out his players or having two-a-day practices, Lambert is no-nonsense. Despite being manager for less than a month, Cameron has already noticed how stylistically different Stoke has played since his appointment, and his emphasis on high pressing.

Glenn and Cameron then got deeper into their conversation as the topic changed to Cameron’s experiences with the United States National Team. He addressed the “buddy- buddy” relationship many claim he had with former manager Jurgen Klinsmann. He also discussed how different he was as manager than his successor and the bad taste his relationship with Bruce Arena left in his mouth.

Cameron, then, dove into one of the most controversial moments in US Soccer History, losing to Trinidad 2-1 and failing to qualify for the World Cup. He shared his perspective on why he did not play, the overconfidence of the squad, and the “tactical arrogance” of Bruce Arena.

Cameron’s openness made for a very compelling interview. It's no secret that Glenn and Cameron have a history dating all the way back to Cameron’s time with the Houston Dynamo. This open conversation on yesterday’s edition of Soccer Matters was only half of the conversation Glenn had with the Stoke City center back.

In the second half, Cameron goes into deeper detail on the failure of the national team to qualify for the World Cup. That half of the interview will air next Wednesday, February 14, on Soccer Matters from 7-9 pm.

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Houston dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

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