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Some links for Thursday
   October 30, 2014 (12:22 AM) by Matt Benson     Email This Post Email This Post
 

First off, you haven’t read it already, you need to check out Will’s interview with Patrick McLain.  Some interesting stories of his time at Chivas USA, including this one:

Unfortunately, the next coaching staff to come in midway through the 2013 season was very different. The coaching staff was unable to communicate in English and were not good about translating for those of us who didn’t speak Spanish. I was punished by this coaching staff towards the end of the season for not understanding something that was said to me in Spanish, because it was not translated for me, therefore I did not respond to it. I was called into the coach’s office and helplessly tried to plead my ignorance of my apparent disrespect. There was no interpreter present and my message was not received. As punishment, I was demoted from second on the depth chart to third.

Yay Chivas USA?

We have had a few goals over the last couple days.  Terrence Boyd scored his first goal since May in RB Leipzig’s 3-1 win over Erzgebirge Aue in the DFB Pokal on Wednesday (highlights).  And of course he broke out the cyclops.  Sacha Kljestan made his first start of the season and scored his first goal of the season in Anderlecht’s 3-2 win over Kortrijk (highlights).  Bryan Gerzicich scored his first goal of the season on Tuesday in Maccabi Petah Tikva’s 1-0 win over Hapoel Haifa (highlights).

Aron Johannsson returned to AZ Alkmaar’s first team yesterday, playing in the 5-0 win over GVVV in the KNVB Beker.

John Brooks also got his first start since September in Hertha Berlin’s loss (on PKs) to Arminia Bielefeld in the DFB Pokal.

Danny Williams returned to the field this week in Reading U-21s’ 2-0 win over Brighton on Monday.

Michael Orozco and Puebla are headed to the Copa MX final after beating Lobos BUAP on Tuesday.

Alejandro Bedoya could be leaving Nantes come January according to his agent.

Bobby Wood has been demoted to 1860 Munich’s U-23 team.

This is what Michael Bradley looks like post-surgery (with the rare smile!).  And in the latest in Jurgen Klinsmann vs. the (US Soccer) world, Bradley and Klinsi don’t see eye to eye on where he should be playing.

It is that time of year when MLS players head to Europe for training stints and first up is Sean Johnson to Hull City.

Here is a lengthy read on DeAndre Yedlin.

Phil Saunders has re-signed with BI / Bolungarvik in Iceland.

According to Reading’s website, Andrija Novakovich has been called up by the US U-20 team, who will play Russia, Ireland and Canada in Spain this month.

Greg Seltzer gives us some European-based names for the US U-23 team for the 2016 Olympics.

And finally, here is your 2018 World Cup logo.  It is actually not that bad.

 
Categories: Alejandro Bedoya, Andrija Novakovich, Aron Johannsson, Bobby Wood, Bryan Gerzicich, Danny Williams, DeAndre Yedlin, John Brooks, Michael Bradley, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Patrick McLain, Phil Saunders, Sacha Kljestan, Sean Johnson, Terrence Boyd, US U-20 National Team, US U-23 National Team
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RB Leipzig vs. Erzgebirge Aue Highlights
   October 29, 2014 (9:46 PM) by Matt Benson     Email This Post Email This Post
 

Terrence Boyd came off the bench and scored a goal in extra time in RB Leipzig’s 3-1 win over Erzgebirge Aue in the DFB Pokal.  Here is his goal.

 
Categories: Highlights, Terrence Boyd
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Anderlecht vs. Kortrijk Highlights
   October 29, 2014 (9:34 PM) by Matt Benson     Email This Post Email This Post
 

Sacha Kljestan went the full 90 minutes and scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal in Anderlecht’s 3-2 win over Kortrijk on Wednesday.  Here are some highlights with Kljestan’s goal coming at the 2:31 mark.

 
Categories: Highlights, Sacha Kljestan
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Patrick McLain Interview
   October 29, 2014 (7:25 AM) by Will Reno     Email This Post Email This Post
 

patrickmcclain

At what point did you aspire to play goalkeeper professionally?

When I was younger I wanted to play professional American football because my grandfather had played professionally. While I was fairly talented, I had a very serious head injury when I was twelve years old. I had to sit out from all sports for over a year and was no longer allowed to play American football. I started playing baseball at two but soccer always captivated my attention.

I didn’t take the idea of being a professional player seriously until I was about sixteen. The quality of soccer offered where I grew up (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) was quite low, as were the opportunities for Division I exposure. So I made the decision to play for a premier-level club team in Minnesota, a two hour commute each way for practices and games. By the grace of God and the receptive heart of my coach Pepe Jon Chavez I found a place to play, and was playing at the Disney showcase weeks later. The time I put in paid off, and despite arriving late to the recruiting process, I landed several D1 offers.

 

How’d you end up at Cal Poly? Were you looking at any other schools?

I actually had visited Creighton the week before Cal Poly and was 98% sure that’s where I wanted to be. Then I visited Cal Poly, and my mind was changed almost instantaneously. Something about Cal Poly just told me, “this is where you have to go to become a pro”. As someone who loves to train, I recognized the unique opportunity Californians have to train outside all year-round. I was confident that with my work ethic, the opportunity to train outside all year, and with coach Paul Holocher and Brian Reed’s soccer intelligence, I would become a well-developed professional player.

 

There’s an ongoing debate about the usefulness of college soccer in developing players. However, college has done really well in developing American goalkeepers. So from someone who’s been there, do goalkeepers develop better in college versus field players?

I don’t think goalkeepers get anything different from going through the college process, but I do think they have the tendency to stay more focused on their goals. I think the reason our country produces good goalkeepers in the first place can be easily traced back to the first sports we learn, as Americans, are typically baseball and football; two sports that rely heavily on hand-eye coordination. For this reason, I think the overall transition of most American athletes into a goalkeeper role is a little more seamless.

But really it all depends on the player, and I think MLS franchises are beginning to realize that. We see many more home-grown players signed each year and many skipping the college process. For a player coming out of high school knowing he wants to be a professional player, going to college might not be the best thing. In fact, it might be the wrong thing. The are a number of mandatory and cultural distractions presented from being in a college environment. But the successful players, goalkeeper or not, are often the ones not getting caught-up in the “college life”. The guys that are going to make it coming out of college are the ones who know where their priorities lie.

 

You went undrafted out of college yet ended up with Chivas in 2012. What was that experience like? How early were you in talks with Chivas? Were you confident you’d end up with an MLS team before the draft? After you went undrafted?

I had been in talks with Chivas as well as other teams prior to the draft. I trained with Chivas for a summer before my junior year of college, and knew a few people at the club. Personally, I was surprised to go undrafted but wasn’t surprised that Chivas drafted Brian Rowe.

At the beginning of the Chivas’ preseason in 2012, the message was that Brian and I would be competing for the third spot. Brian is a very talented goalkeeper, and an exceptional individual off the field, so I was honored to compete against him. After two months of us duking-it-out, fortunately, I was able to win the job, and Brian obviously found a home with the LA Galaxy. But through the entire process I was confident that despite whatever circumstances I encountered God would show me the path and shoulder the pressure. He’s given me talent and I knew it would eventually show through.

 

Chivas was in and out of the news for various things during your time there. What was the locker room vibe like during this time? Did any of you feel external pressure on the team because of it?

During the 2012 season everything was pretty clear-cut, and despite our results I had a lot of faith in our leaders. Robin Fraser, Greg Vanney, Carlos Llamosa, Daniel Gonzalez and everyone on staff were very respectful people and great coaches. I was more than happy to work for our team and for them. They gave me my first professional contract and I am so thankful for that. However, there were definitely moments during the 2013 season in particular that got a little questionable. The allegations against Chivas USA, and the reason they were in the news, were racism and discrimination related issues, and I wish I could say those things didn’t occur.

During the bulk of that season, after many of the non-Latino players were transferred out, I was one of three or four non-Hispanic players who remained. El Chelis was the first coach of that season and he was very respectful of American culture. I would play for him again in a heartbeat. He made an effort to learn English, and communicate with every player. What Chelis could not communicate in English was always translated for the non-Spanish speaking players, such as myself.

Unfortunately, the next coaching staff to come in midway through the 2013 season was very different. The coaching staff was unable to communicate in English and were not good about translating for those of us who didn’t speak Spanish. I was punished by this coaching staff towards the end of the season for not understanding something that was said to me in Spanish, because it was not translated for me, therefore I did not respond to it. I was called into the coach’s office and helplessly tried to plead my ignorance of my apparent disrespect. There was no interpreter present and my message was not received. As punishment, I was demoted from second on the depth chart to third.

After the incident I was more vocal about the flagrant discrimination taking place and as a result I found myself without a job in MLS at the end of the 2013 season. I decided it was in my best interest to not pursue legal action because I just wanted to find another club in MLS and put this whole experience behind me. Turns out, it’s difficult to find an MLS club who is interested when you are released from the worst team in the league.

I’m a very proud American, I have had family in nearly every war this country has fought in. My family has laid down their lives in the protection of our freedoms and what this country stands for. To be walked on, and treated with such disrespect was a very dissolving feeling. I stood up for what I believed, and, knowing the outcome, I would do it again.

 

Were there any whispers of Chivas folding or taking a hiatus in the next coming years?

There were always whispers at Chivas. Whispers of rebranding, moving the team, selling the team, etc. Since nothing ever came to fruition during the time I was there, I never invested too much in those rumors.

 

Playing behind Dan Kennedy, what was the aspect of Kennedy’s game that really stood out to you?

Dan is a fantastic professional. The way communicates with players on and off the field shows how much of a competitor he is. He’s a smart pro, helps the other goalkeepers, but knows how to keep himself in the number one spot. Dan is someone I deeply respect because he’s been through it. All of it. He’s had to battle for his opportunity and when it arrived he took it.

On the field specifically, the one thing I hoped to emulate from Dan’s game was his ability to stand players up in the correct position [on a 1v1 situation] rather than try to make anticipations. I believe him and Stefan Frei do this better than anyone else in MLS. Dan and Stefan are always putting themselves in the best position to get hit by the ball. As cliché as that might sound, it’s truly an art when done correctly.

 

You weren’t re-signed by Chivas after the 2013 season but you signed with the OC Blues, who you had played with on loan that season. What was that transition like? Did you have some sense that you’d end up with OC in the long run?

After my time spent on loan with the Blues I did not foresee a return to that team in any format. When I had been released from Chivas I was being encouraged to go to the LA Blues by certain people but I wanted to look for another opportunity in the MLS. However, when the end of January rolled around the Blues was the only place I had an offer from. Looking back, I should have been more hands-on with my career and not to leave my destiny in the hands of someone else. No one cares about my career as much as I do, so if I want a job, I need to guarantee it myself.

In February of 2014 I ultimately made the decision to go to the OC Blues because the goalkeeper coach they had in place, Mike Oseguera. Mike was supposed to be on for the 2014 season and was a game-changer in my mind. Mike is a very talented young goalkeeper coach. His perspective on the game and ability to psychologically build and maintain confident goalkeepers is very special. In addition to playing every week, and gaining the experience I was lacking, I knew Mike would be a great person to help develop my game, and help me get back into MLS swiftly. Unfortunately, he was fired without explanation two weeks after the start of the season. He deserves a shot as a goalkeeper coach in the professional game, and I know it’s just a matter of time before he gets it again. I don’t believe in being a victim of circumstance, so despite the abrupt release of Mike Oseguera I tried to make the most out of the things outside of my control. I knew I still had to make the most out of my time spent at the Blues, and did everything in my power to make sure the club was successful while I was in net.

 

You played 15 games with OC but were released midway through the season. OC ended up using five different goalkeepers that season and really struggled to have some consistency back there. What happened there?

Using five separate goalkeepers on any team will result in a problem with consistency. Benching goalkeepers when they have success, and benching them if they make one mistake will also create problems with consistency. Playing a different backline each game will also cause inconsistency.

With that being said, my departure from the Blues was an unfortunate one. My parents raised me to have high self-worth, to show respect in order to be respected. I don’t settle to be treated with anything less than the respect and fairness I show others. Without getting into the details too much, I’ll say that before the beginning of August I felt the time had arrived, after very close and tedious deliberation, that I no longer desired a future with the OC Blues. I thought in the best interest of my career to no longer be a part of the Blues organization. I will add, though, that I would do anything for my teammates there. They are an amazing group of guys and I’m so thankful they have supported me through this decision.

The Blues refused to release my contract for over a month after my first request for them to do so. In doing so many transfer windows abroad closed. Since the Blues had my option for another year, and I did not trust the people in control of the club, I made the decision to offer to buy out my contract with my own money. I did this so I could be free to pursue other avenues freely. It ended up costing me every penny I had saved. I know this was a huge risk and I’ve taken a financial hit but I’m a fierce competitor and I know I have what it takes to be a starter in MLS, if not somewhere else. I believe in my abilities, and know I will find the right place.

 

What clubs are you in talks with now?

I can’t say specifically what teams I’ve been talking to, but I will tell you there has been a lot of interest from Sweden, as well as the US and a few other countries. I will do whatever it takes to be successful in this business. I plan on making it my career for the next twenty years and will play until my muscles stop working. I love the game. I’m willing to fight for what I love and to compete every day for the right to call this my profession.

I know some of the things I’ve said are controversial but I think it’s important for people to know the truth about me, instead of making assumptions based on rumors of what may or may not have taken place. I’ve been deeply blessed and I’ve learned much from my experiences so far. I know I have the strength to fight for and endure whatever comes next. I try not to cling too much to the past and I’m confident in the path that has been placed in front of me. I’m excited for what the future has in store.

 

 
Categories: Patrick McLain
2 Comments
 

Maccabi Petah Tikva vs. Hapoel Haifa Highlights
   October 29, 2014 (6:24 AM) by Matt Benson     Email This Post Email This Post
 

Bryan Gerzicich scored his first goal of the season on Tuesday in Maccabi Petah Tikva’s 1-0 win over Hapoel Haifa in Israeli Premier League action.  Here are some highlights with his goal coming at the 0:33 mark.

 
Categories: Bryan Gerzicich, Highlights
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Fredericia vs. Vejle Highlights
   October 28, 2014 (11:44 PM) by Matt Benson     Email This Post Email This Post
 

Sebastien Ibeagha went the full 90 minutes and scored his first league goal of the season over the weekend in Fredericia’s 3-1 loss to Vejle.  Here are some highlights with Ibeagha’s goal coming at the 0:45 mark.

 
Categories: Highlights, Sebastien Ibeagha
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OT Player of the Week
   October 28, 2014 (7:45 AM) by Matt Benson     Email This Post Email This Post
 

potw

Matt’s Pick – Matt Taylor (Preußen Münster – German 3. Liga)

Matt Taylor has a team-leading eight goals after scoring two this past weekend in Saarbrücken’s 4-1 win over Pirmasens (highlights).

Howie’s Pick – Christian King (Ararat – Armenian Premier League) 

Christian King scored twice in Ararat’s 3-2 loss to Ulisses in Armenian Premier League action (highlights).

 

 
Categories: Christian King, Matt Taylor, Player of the Week
1 Comment
 

Tuesday morning linkage
   October 28, 2014 (12:09 AM) by Matt Benson     Email This Post Email This Post
 

FIFA announced its finalists for the FIFA Ballon d’Or and for the FIFA World Coach of the Year.  While no USMNT players made the Ballon d’Or list (how did Alan Gordon not get nominated?!), Jurgen Klinsmann is one of the 10 finalists for the Coach of the Year award.

FIFA also plans to show off its new logo for the 2018 World Cup later today.

It looks like the USMNT might play Switzerland in a friendly in Zurich in March.

Congrats to the US Women’s National Team for winning the CONCACAF Women’s Championship and clinching a spot in next summer’s World Cup.  Since 1990, the US is one of three countries to qualify for every men’s and women’s World Cup (also Germany and Brazil).

Michael Bradley is going to have surgery this week to correct a lingering nerve issue in his foot.  This is an injury that has been bugging him for most of the season.  Jeff Carlisle asked him if it was an issue prior to the World Cup, which he said no, but I guess it got worse as the season wore on.

I tweeted out a photo over the weekend of Terrence Boyd getting Randy Orton’s RKO (WWE wrestling move) preformed on him by a teammate and now we have video of the hilarity.

Jake Keegan went 90 minutes yesterday in Galway FC’s 2-1 win over UCD in the first leg of the Irish Premier Division promotion/relegation playoffs.  Galway FC scored two late goals to steal the road win and now host UCD on Friday for a chance at promotion.

Alejandro Bedoya missed Nantes’ 2-0 win this weekend due to a hamstring strain.

While there were some rumblings that Aron Johannsson might play this weekend for AZ Alkmaar, he did not as they want to give him a few more minutes with the reserve team.

Geoff Cameron returned to Stoke City’s starting lineup this past weekend as a holding midfielder, but the Potters fell to Southampton 1-0.  Here is a photo of Cameron in action.

Greg Garza had to leave Tijuana’s draw to Chivas on Sunday with a head injury.

After scoring 12 goals in 14 games with the U-23 team, Jann George finally saw some first team action with Greuther Furth’s senior team in their 5-2 loss to FSV Frankfurt.

We had some goals this weekend.  Matt Taylor scored twice in Saarbrücken’s 4-1 win over Pirmasens.  Christian King scored twice in Ararat’s 3-2 loss to Ulisses in Armenian Premier League action.  Jerome Kiesewetter scored his second goal of the season on Saturday in Stuttgart II’s 1-0 win over Unterhaching.  And over Tigres’ last two games, we have had goals by Jose Torres and Herculez Gomez.

We also had some assists/sort-of-assists.  Mix Diskerud had this pretty little chip assist in Rosenborg’s 3-1 win over Sandnes Ulf.  And in the sort-of-assist category, Tim Ream and Zak Whitbread each had one for their respective clubs.

Marc Pelosi was back in action with Liverpool’s U-21 team this past weekend.

It looks like the US U-20 team might be headed abroad for three friendlies in November.

Mia Hamm was nominated for Roma’s board of directors on Monday.

I saw a Clint Dempsey rumor (loan deal back to the Premier League) has been circulating the interwebs in the last 48 hours, but it all came from a short “story” from the Daily Mirror with no quotes (except for an out of context quote from Klinsmann).  Come on people, I thought we were better than that.

And finally, no matter what happens with the rest of his career, Stuart Holden is still awesome.

 
Categories: Alejandro Bedoya, Aron Johannsson, Christian King, Clint Dempsey, Geoff Cameron, Greg Garza, Herculez Gomez, Jake Keegan, Jann George, Jerome Kiesewetter, Jose Francisco Torres, Marc Pelosi, Matt Taylor, Michael Bradley, Mix Diskerud, Stuart Holden, Terrence Boyd, Tim Ream, US Men's National Team, US U-20 National Team, Zak Whitbread
1 Comment
 

Saarbrücken vs. Pirmasens Highlights
   October 26, 2014 (12:55 PM) by Matt Benson     Email This Post Email This Post
 

Matt Taylor scored two goal on Saturday, giving him eight on the season, in Saarbrücken’s 4-1 win over Pirmasens in German Regionalliga action.  Here are some highlights with Taylor’s goals coming at the 1:35 and 5:00 marks.

 
Categories: Highlights, Matt Taylor
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Derby County vs. Wigan Athletic Highlights
   October 26, 2014 (12:31 PM) by Matt Benson     Email This Post Email This Post
 

Zak Whitbread went the full 90 minutes in Derby County’s 2-1 loss to Wigan Athletic.  Whitbread was able to get a piece of the ball with his head before his teammate scored.  Here are the highlights.

 
Categories: Highlights, Zak Whitbread
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