While all eyes in the USMNT Universe were rightfully focused on the Alamodome Wednesday night, bearing witness to the eighth “Dos a Cero” since 2000, there were, in fact, other Americans in action this week. Let’s take a look around at those who weren’t in San Antonio:
Edgar Castillo continues to do work for Club Atlas. His prowess on the defensive side usually isn’t highlight reel material, but he made a huge contribution in the final third Wednesday night. His 40th minute assist set up the only goal of the night, which proved to be enough to beat Brazilian giants Atletico Mineiro, and kept Atlas alive in Copa Libertadores Group 1. The Zorros’ odds are long (will likely require a 4-0 win at Colombian club Santa Fe), but they’re not done yet, and Edgar keeps making his case for another USMNT call (highlights).
The only goal so far this week was found in Finland, where Brian Span’s 16th minute strike gave IFK Mariehamn the early lead Thursday, and held up as the eventual gamewinner in a 2-0 win over Ilves. It was Brian’s third goal of the season in all competitions, and Mariehamn advanced to the quarterfinals of the Suomen (Finnish) Cup (highlights).
The Suomen Cup also gave us the start of Freddy Adu’s next adventure. He was on the bench Wednesday (here’s proof) for KuPS in a 2-1 vs. Lahti, where his club advanced to the quarterfinals. According to his manager, the substitutions were defensive-oriented for tactical reasons, so we should expect Freddy to actually play at some point soon (link).
The midweek action in England gave us several players returning from injury:
Danny Williams was back on the field after missing Reading’s last three matches. He picked up a knock while with the USMNT in March. He played 31 minutes off the bench Tuesday in a 1-0 loss vs. first-place Bournemouth, and appears to be ready to go for Reading’s massive FA Cup semifinal vs. Arsenal on Saturday.
The only American still involved in The Championship’s heated promotion race is Zak Whitbread. He made his first start since October, going the distance in Derby County’s 4-0 shellacking of cellar dwellars Blackpool. The win kept the Rams in 5th place, but most importantly, four points ahead of 7th place Brentford with three games to play. DCFC could lock up a spot in the Promotion Playoffs as early as Saturday.
After making his first game day roster in many months last week, Mark Pelosi finally got some game action. He played 30 minutes off the bench for Liverpool’s U21 side, albeit in a 2-1 loss vs. Leicester City U21s.
And yet one more injury returnee this week: Conor O’Brien was back on the field for Wiener Neustadt. He’s fully recovered from a broken rib suffered on March 7. He got the start and went 90 Wednesday in a 3-1 loss at Altach. Neustadt still has a fierce relegation battle ahead in the Austrian Bundesliga. The club is just one point ahead of last-place Admira with eight still to play; only one team will drop.
Here’s the full rundown how everyone did over there so far this week (Monday thru Thursday):
ÖSTERREICHISCHE BUNDESLIGA (First Division)
Conor O’Brien (Weiner Neustadt) – Conor started and played the full 90 minutes Wednesday in Wiener Neustadt’s 3-1 loss at Altach.
SYNOT LIGA (First Division)
Nermin Crnkic (Jablonec) – Nermin started, played 74 minutes and drew a 44th minute yellow card Tuesday in Jablonec’s 2-0 win vs. Sparta Prague.
SUPERLIGA (First Division)
Ryan Laursen (Esbjerg) – Ryan started and played the full 90 minutes Thursday in Esbjerg’s 1-1 draw vs. FC Copenhagen in the first leg of the Danish Cup semifinals.
THE CHAMPIONSHIP (Second Division)
Emerson Hyndman (Fulham) – Emerson was not in the squad Wednesday for Fulham’s 1-1 draw vs. Rotherham United.
Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest) – Eric started and played the full 90 minutes Wednesday in Nottingham Forest’s 3-1 loss vs. Watford.
Oguchi Onyewu (Charlton Athletic) – Gooch was not in the squad Tuesday for Charlton Athletic’s 1-1 draw at Bolton Wanderers.
Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers) – Tim started and played the full 90 minutes Tuesday in Bolton Wanderer’s 1-1 draw vs. Charlton Athletic.
Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City) – Jonathan was on the bench but did not play Tuesday in Birmingham City’s 2-2 draw vs. Blackburn Rovers.
Zak Whitbread (Derby County) – Zak started and played the full 90 minutes Tuesday in Derby County’s 4-0 win vs. Blackpool. It was his first start since October after a long injury layoff.
Danny Williams (Reading FC) – Danny came off the bench and played 31 minutes Tuesday in Reading’s 1-0 loss vs. Bournemouth. He returned after missing the previous three games with an injury picked up while with the USMNT in March.
LEAGUE ONE (Third Division)
Gboly Ariyibi (Chesterfield) – Gboly came off the bench and played 28 minutes Tuesday in Chesterfield’s 6-0 win vs. Colchester United.
Paul Rachubka (Crewe Alexandra) – Paul started in goal, played the full 90 minutes, and made 8 saves Tuesday in Crewe Alexandra’s 1-1 draw at Peterborough United.
U21 PREMIER LEAGUE – DIVISION 1 (Youth Division)
Lynden Gooch (Sunderland U21) – Lynden started and played the full 90 minutes Monday in Sunderland U21s’ 0-0 draw vs. Norwich City U21s.
Andrija Novakovich (Reading U21) – Andrija came off the bench and played 22 minutes Monday in Reading U21s’ 1-0 win at Arsenal U21s.
Marc Pelosi (Liverpool U21) – Mark came off the bench and played 30 minutes Monday in Liverpool U21s’ 3-1 loss vs. Leicester City U21s.
Gedion Zelalem (Arsenal U21) – Gedion was on the bench but did not play Monday in Arsenal U21s’ 1-0 loss vs. Reading U21s.
U21 PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE (Youth Division)
Duane Holmes (Huddersfield Town U21) – Duane started and played the full 90 minutes Monday in Huddersfield Town U21s’ 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest U21s.
VEIKKAUSLIIGA (First Division)
Freddy Adu (KuPS) – Freddy was on the bench but did not play Wednesday in KuPS’ 2-1 win vs. Lahti in the Suomen (Finnish) Cup 6th Round.
Brian Span (IFK Mariehamn) – Brian started and scored a 16th minute GOAL Thursday in Mariehamn’s 2-0 win at Ilves in the Suomen (Finnish) Cup 6th Round.
REGIONALLIGA (Fourth Division)
Matt Taylor (Saarbrücken) – Matt started and played the full 90 minutes Monday in Saarbrücken’s 0-0 draw at FC Kaiserslautern II.
LIGA MX (First Division)
Edgar Castillo (Club Atlas) – Edgar started, played the full 90 minutes, and had a 39th minute ASSIST Wednesday in Club Atlas’ 1-0 vs. Atletico Mineiro (Brazil) in Copa Libertadores Group 1 play.
ASCENSO MX (Second Division)
Emanuel Guzman (Mérida) – Manny started, played the full 90 minutes, and drew a 25th minute yellow card Wednesday in Mérida’s 1-1 draw at Necaxa in the first leg of the Clausura Liguilla quarterfinals.
Stevie Rodriguez (Dorados de Sinaloa) – Stevie was not in the squad Thursday for Dorados’ 0-0 draw at Alebrijes in the first leg of the Clausura Liguilla quarterfinals.
K LEAGUE CHALLENGE (Second Division)
Austin Berry (FC Anyang) – Austin was not in the squad Wednesday for FC Anyang’s 2-2 draw at Daegu FC.
ON THE SHELF – The OT Injury Report
Terrence Boyd (RB Leipzig) – Terrence is recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL, LCL and meniscus suffered on December 7. There is no timetable for his return, but is expected to miss the rest of the 2014-15 season. He has begun running again, but is still a long way from returning to action and his goal is to be back for the 2015-16 preseason (link).
Danny Cruz (Bodø/Glimt) – Danny suffered an undetermined muscle strain injury on March 22 in a friendly vs. Start. In his debut with Bodø/Glimt, he entered the match in the 64th minute, and pulled up lame just 2 minutes later, subbing out in the 69thminute. He was held out of the March 29 friendly at Tromsø and it is not known how soon he may return, though it appears to be short-term (link).
Josh Gatt (Molde) – Josh is rehabbing from an ACL-related setback suffered in May 2014, following an earlier surgery to repair a torn ACL & LCL. He is training with his club and hopes to back to playing early in the 2015 season (link).
Joe Gyau (Borussia Dortmund) – Joe is recovering from a second knee surgery following his initial injury suffered on October 10 playing for the USMNT vs. Ecuador. It is unlikely he returns before the end of the 2014-15 season.
Will Packwood (Cheltenham Town) – Will suffered a hamstring injury and left the match after 53 minutes on April 6 vs. Stevenage. He has been ruled out of Cheltenham Town’s next 3 matches. His earliest possible return is April 25 (link).
A.J. Soares (Viking FK) – A.J. suffered a knee injury in training on March 8, causing ligament damage that will keep him out 6-8 weeks (link).
Caleb Stanko (SC Freiburg) – Caleb is recovering from a torn ACL suffered in training in early September 2014. He resumed training recently but is hopeful he can resume playing by early May (link).
Jose Torres (Tigres UANL) – Jose is recovering from surgery to repair a herniated disk. The procedure took place on January 19 and recuperation is expected to take 10 to 12 weeks. He has increased his physical work in rehab and is expected to resume soccer activities in late April, and could return for the Liguilla (if Tigres qualify) or Copa Libertadores knockout rounds (link).