The US will host CONCACAF qualifying for the 2016 Olympics. It will take place October 1-13, although the host cities are unknown at this time. The top two teams qualify for the Olympics while the third place team will face Colombia in March of 2016 for a spot. The FIFA international window in October is between 5-13, so getting releases for some of the “better” players could happen for the second half of the tournament.
Brad Guzan wrote some words for The Players’ Tribune about life as a Premier League goalkeeper.
LA Galaxy midfielder Juninho would be interested in playing for the US, but he would have to wait a few more years to apply for citizenship since he just got his green card in July of 2013. So basically it would be a while.
The Irish Times has a story up about Ireland likely missing out on Shane O’Neill.
And finally, if you are a US Soccer twitter hipster, you are probably aware of @RobUsry. He makes a lot of fun videos of US players and his latest is on new Borussia Dortmund youngster Christian Pulisic.
We posted yesterday in the US-Chile pre-game primer about how Gedion Zelalem is currently ineligible to play for the US, but Grant Wahl/Sunil Gulati are making it sound like the FIFA exception will go through and he will be eligible later this spring.
Also in the link above, Wahl is hearing that US U-20 center back Cameron Carter-Vickers could be training with Tottenham’s first team in the coming weeks.
One player at this month’s camp that you probably don’t know that much about is Julio Morales. Brian Sciaretta gets you caught up to date on Mr. Morales. It looks like Morales might not be able to play in the friendlies just yet (although he can still participate in the camp) as he has to file a one-time switch with FIFA since he played with Mexico at the 2013 U-20 World Cup.
Much like Brad Friedel with the U-20 team, another former player, Carlos Bocanegra, is helping out as a coach this month.
Kyle McCarthy takes a look at the mixture of vets and youth as camp begins.
In other USMNT news, CONCACAF has moved up the start of the final round of World Cup qualifying (a.k.a. The Hex) by three months to November of 2016 due to FIFA eliminating some international fixture dates in 2017. The draw for the first round will take place on Thursday, but the US won’t enter qualification until the fourth round, beginning in November of 2015. Yes, the whole cycle is about to start up again.
And we might know about two more friendlies for this year as Fox Sports ran this graphic during Friday’s U-20 game, which shows games against Australia and Ghana for later this year.
Speaking of Mr. Zelalem, the guys over at The Short Fuse have a little write- up on the savoir of American soccer Arsenal prospect.
Moving onto some club news.
All signs are pointingtowards Mix Diskerud signing with NYCFC later today (or this week).
There was some more Jozy Altidore-to-MLS chatter over the weekend and Toronto FC appears to have the edge at the moment. If this were to go down, I am just going to pretend that this was some mastermind of Klinsi to get Michael Bradley and Jozy practicing together everyday.
Heath Pearce didn’t come to terms with Orlando City after being taken in the expansion draft, so he might be looking to take his talents to Europe. Pearce began his professional career in Denmark with FC Nordsjælland and also played with Hansa Rostock in Germany so he does have experience abroad.
I can’t find much more on this, but Frank Simek’s wikipedia page has been updated that he is now with Sông Lam Nghệ An in Vietnam. As one would expect, it is not easy to find solid information on this team or league.
The USMNT will have a second friendly next month in Europe as they will take on Colombia at Craven Cottage in London.
The latest FIFA rankings came out earlier this week and the US dropped six places to No. 23. They are still the third-highest ranked team in CONCACAF as Costa Rica comes in at No. 16 and Mexico at No. 17.
Mix Diskerud had to be subbed out after 36 minutes in last weekend’s game due to an injury, but he just missed a couple practices this week and returned to training yesterday. Sounds like a good chance he plays on Sunday.
Also in the injury department, Aron Johannsson is expected to dress with AZ Alkmaar this weekend. Johannsson played with AZ’s reserves earlier this week and will get a chance to play in his first game with the senior team against Groningen on Saturday.
While we are learning about some new dual-national players, Tom Marshall introduces us to Leones Negros midfielder Jesus Vazquez.
Aleks Gogic signed with Reading last year, but it looks like the 18-year-old goalkeeper must be on loan with Southern League Premier Division (seventh tier!) side Slough Town F.C. as he played in a game with them last Saturday.
Here are a bunch of things from the last couple of days.
Joe Gyau made his first team debut with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday. He came off the bench and played the last 16 minutes. Here are some highlights and an every touch video of his performance. As for that hugging photo with Jurgen Klopp, that came right after Dortmund scored their first goal right as Gyau was about to sub into the game.
Robbie Keane thinks Robbie Rogers should get a look at left back for the USMNT (No Gregory, I am not posting this as a shot at Timmy Chandler. Just wanted to get that out there in advance. ).
MLSsoccer.com posted their Top 24 players under 24 yesterday. A few USMNT players (DeAndre Yedlin, Bill Hamid, Luis Gil) on there as well as some possible USMNT hopefuls in the near future (Gyasi Zardes, Wil Trapp).
It might be tough for some of the MLS players to play for the USMNT in the October 10 friendly due to the MLS schedule that week.
And finally, we are nearly out of our OT/Sacha Mustache t-shirts, but here is your last chance to get your hands on one. Some of the ones listed in that post have already been claimed, waiting to hear back from some others, but send me an e-mail if you are interested.
We had a Freddy Adu sighting yesterday! He came off the bench and played about 20 minutes in Jagodina’s 4-0 win over BSK Borča in the Serbian Cup. And there are actual highlights of the match, although you only see Adu sort of running around for about the last 20 seconds of the highlights.
Steven Goff has you covered with a weekend roundup of the bigger names in Europe. Good to see Rubio Rubin and Emerson Hyndman both made appearances again in their respective team’s starting lineups. Hyndmann is 18 years old and completing 91 percent of his passes this season, fourth highest in the Championship among players with 100+ attempted passes.
As for some goals, Matt Taylor bagged another two goals in Saarbrücken’s 2-1 win over Nöttingen (highlights). Taylor has put together a nice little career in the various lower leagues in Germany, scoring 55 goals in 162 league appearances since 2008-09.
Bobby Warshaw went the full 90 minutes and scored the opening goal of the game in Bærum’s 2-1 loss to Hønefoss (highlights). Over in Sweden, Andrew Stadler scored his 11th goal of the season in Landskrona’s 1-1 draw to Sirius (highlights). Down in the fourth tier in Sweden, Eddy Prugh and Andy Lorei both scored in Bodens BK’s 3-2 loss to Anundsjö (highlights). And we don’t have highlights of these goals, but Matt Eliason, Drew Jeskey, Anthony Avalos and Christian Eissele also scored this weekend and our goal tracker has some more details. Will Packwood also scored for Birmingham City’s U-21 team.
While we had some goals this weekend, the assists might have been even better this weekend. Bobby Wood used his head to assist on 1860 Munich’s goal in their 1-1 draw to Darmstadt 98 (highlights). Here is also a photo of Wood from that game. And Alfredo Morales assisted on two goals in Ingolstadt’s 3-0 win over Sandhausen (highlights). That second one was pretty slick.
The US U-20 team is headed to Argentina this week to play Racing Club Reserves, Defensa y Justicia Reserves and Argentina’s U-20 team. Here is the updated roster, which features John Requejo Jr., Fernando Arce, Russell Canouse, Junior Flores and Paul Arriola among others. Another interesting name on the list is Chivas de Guadalajara’s Luis Martir since Chivas normally has a Mexican international only policy.
We had a pretty quiet Deadline Day on the American front (aside from a dildo going into a reporter’s ear, seriously), but we had a couple moves over the last couple of days.
As we posted over the weekend, Julian Green is headed to Hamburg on a season-long loan. And for all those soccer jersey hipsters out there, Hamburg has a decent home shirt this year and Green looks to be wearing #37.
The bigger news on the American front were the moves that did not happen. Stoke City decided to keep Geoff Cameron despite bids from Sunderland and Southampton. Zulte-Waregem made a bid for Sacha Kljestan, but Anderlecht decided to hold onto him as well. And I guess there might have been some rumblings of Southampton sniffing around Brek Shea, but nothing happened (and it was likely silly season nonsense).
And before multiple more people ask me, Juan Agudelo is still without a club and myself (and many others) don’t know anything more on his situation.
Brian Sciaretta, writing for multiple outlets, has you covered with some interviews with Brad Guzan and Greg Garza. Jonny Rico also got some audio from Garza and Joe Corona about their recent call-ups to the USMNT.
And finally, Freddy Adu is still in Serbia, still hasn’t played for his new team and is suing his former Brazilian team Bahia over alleged unpaid wages.
The FA of Ireland officially announced the rumored November 18 friendly yesterday. Still no official word from US Soccer.
Some details of the 2015 Gold Cup came out over the weekend. It will feature 12 teams in 10 different US cities between July 7-26. The 10 cities will be selected in “4Q 2014″. And a third place match has been added this year.
Speaking of the Gold Cup, new contributor John D. Halloran took a look at some possibilities of the 2015 US roster last Friday.
We had a few guys in action on Monday. Pablo Punyed scored a game-winning goal from a free kick in the 90th minute to give Stjarnan the 2-1 victory in Iceland (highlights). And Zak Whitbread was able to get through a game without an injury and he assisted on a goal in Derby County’s 2-0 win in League Cup action (highlights).
I finally had some time this weekend so I was able to write up The OT Report. So check that out to see how some of your favorite players did this past weekend across Europe. Even though the big leagues haven’t started yet, there were a ton of guys in action over the weekend.
One player who saw the field this weekend in a reserve game was Freddy Adu. He started for FK Jagodina’s reserve team in a 1-0 loss in Serbia. And here is photographic proof that he still exists.
Michael Orozco scored a goal this weekend. But it was for the other team (highlights).
Junior Flores played this weekend for Borussia Dortmund’s U-19 team in a 4-0 win over Wuppertaler SV. I saw some online chatter that he assisted on three goals. I have no clue if that is true or not, but here are some highlights from the game, which has two of the goals. One came from a free kick and I can’t tell if he assisted on the other or not.
Here is a photo of Alejandro Bedoya from Nantes’ 1-0 win over Lens. And I think this is a photo of Bedoya leading the team in the “I Believe” chant, which I have seen him do before for Nantes after wins.
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa took on Parma over the weekend in a friendly and here is an action shot of Guzan making a save.
Jermaine Jones is still without a home and it looks like the New England Revolution are interested in working out a deal. And while Sacha Kljestan didn’t end up in Los Angeles, it looks like FC Dallas were trying to get the midfielder to Frisco as well.