Brian Span looks to be in Finland on trial with IFK Mariehamn after being waived by FC Dallas last week. Span has European experience with Swedish side Djurgården in 2012 and 2013. He returned to the US with FC Dallas in 2014, but spent most of his time in USL Pro with Orlando City on loan or with FC Dallas’ reserve team.
I posted last week with a link about how Kevin Garcia was making the move to Ireland with Galway FC. Someone in Ireland e-mailed me that it is not true (“was news to the press officer”). Also, Jake Keegan isn’t with the club either at the moment as he is still waiting for a work permit. And former Yale and Portland Timbers U-23 defender Andy Hackbarth is on trial with the club.
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 roster for next week’s friendlies should probably be released this weekend and various people online are making guesses at that roster, including Jon Arnold and Matthew Doyle.
Steven Goff gives us some more information about the next two weeks regarding US Soccer. Sounds like all the names will be released at once, but guys might only go to one of the games due to MLS’s schedule next week. Some of the young guns (Emerson Hyndman, Cody Cropper and Rubio Rubin) could be headed to Brazil with the US U-23 team instead of the senior team friendlies. And US Soccer is trying to schedule another friendly next month in Europe during the international week when they play at Ireland.
One player who could potentially be on the US roster next week is Miguel Ibarra and Brian Sciaretta caught up with the Minnesota United midfielder about the rumors.
Gedion Zelalem scored a nice little goal for Arsenal’s U-19 team against Galatasaray yesterday in the UEFA Youth League. The guys over at The Short Fuse also looked into the curious case of his citizenship.
Brian McBride is one of five people selected by Fulham chairman Shahid Khan to help in Fulham’s search for a new manager.
And finally, we have a Devann Yao sighting! He was last seen parting ways with UR La Louvière Centre in Belgium’s third division and now he has popped up on Neustrelitz in the German Regionalliga. He has made one appearance for the club so far in 2014-15.
At the youth level, Gedion Zelalem went 90 minutes for Arsenal’s U-21 team in a 1-1 draw. Also at the U-21 level, Cody Cropper and Southampton defeated Sebastian Lletget and West Ham 2-1. Here are some highlights with Lletget getting an assist at the 3:22 mark. And Marc Pelosi has come back from his broken leg and started to play again with Liverpool’s U-21 team.
As Howie posted last night, Matt Besler is in talks with Sporting Kansas City on getting a new contract, although he hasn’t totally dismissed the possibility of playing overseas. While Greg Seltzer told us earlier this week that Sunderland was one of the teams expressing interest in Besler, the Evening Chronicle is hearing that the Black Cats have not made a bid and don’t plan on making one either. All this said, I think Besler will probably end up staying in Kansas City and I really don’t have a problem with that. Nothing wrong for him to have a Eddie Pope-like career.
If you want more transfer talk, Greg Seltzer was on yesterday’s episode of Soccer Morning with Jason Davis. He begins talking about the 11-minute mark and goes over some stuff on DeAndre Yedlin, Matt Besler (before last night’s news), Graham Zusi, Mix Diskerud, Brek Shea and a couple others.
Speaking of Brek Shea, he was named to Stoke City’s 23-man roster for the Potters’ preseason tour of Germany.
The latest FIFA world rankings came out yesterday with the US dropping two spots to #15. Costa Rica was one of the big winners, moving up 12 spots to #16. And this month is the first time that CONCACAF has had three teams in the Top 18 since March of 2004.
For those few people that missed it earlier this week, the Ecuadorian Football Federation claims that the US and Ecuador will play in a friendly against each other in October.
As I post this, about 40% of you think Jermaine Jones’ goal vs. Portugal was your favorite US goal from the World Cup, which leads the pack. Go vote here.
Mix Diskerud came off the bench and was first credited with a goal, which was later changed to an own goal, in Rosenborg’s upset 2-1 loss to Sligo Rovers in Europa League action (highlights). Also in Europa League action yesterday, Sean Reynolds came off the bench for 20 minutes in FH’s 1-1 draw to Neman. And Pablo Punyed went 90 minutes in Stjarnan’s 2-2 draw to Motherwell. The second legs will be next Thursday.
“He’s had this injury for a longer while than at the U.S. national team,” Stewart said in an telephone interview. “It was something that you could play with; it wasn’t a problem to. I’ve played with the same problem myself. Once it’s time to rest, it’s something that can aggravate you every time you step out on the field.”
Jozy Altidore told the Sunderland Echo that his injury in the World Cup was the low point of his career. He is expected to be almost fully fit once he returns to Sunderland.
If you are reading this before 1 PM Eastern on Friday, turn on beIN Sports as they will be showing Terrence Boyd and RB Leipzig taking on PSG in a friendly (h/t Jon Arnold).
Bayern Munich have updated their website and Julian Green is listed under the first team players. His online bio also tells us that he is a Gemini. Bayern Munich have also launched an English version of their site dedicated to the US.
The US U-20 team defeated Bermuda, 4-0, in their second match of the NTC Invitational on Wednesday. The goals were provided by Andrija Novakovich, Zach Pfeffer, Tommy Thompson and an own goal. Here are some highlights (I see you, Tommy Thompson) and some post-game reactions. The US’s final game is tonight against Australia at the StubHub Center at 7 PM and admission/parking are free. If I didn’t have plans already, I would be headed down there.
Liga MX also starts up tonight and Tom Marshall fills you in on where all the Americans will be playing this fall.
According to Sky Sports, Gboly Ariyibi is on trial with Burnley. Ariyibi ended last season on loan with Tranmere Rovers then became a free agent this summer once his contract with Leeds expired.
Bobby Wood got the start and played 72 minutes on the wing in a 4-3-3 in 1860 Munich’s 3-2 loss to Borussia Möchengladbach in a friendly earlier this week. Here is a photo of Wood in action.
Sebastian Lletget actually played with West Ham’s first team on Wednesday in a 0-0 draw to Ipswich Town in a friendly, coming off the bench in the second half.
It sounds like Jurgen Klinsmann will be looking at a lot of younger players over the next year when it comes to the USMNT.
“A good thing about this next year is that we kind of have the opportunity to see a lot of young players coming to our platform, coming to the senior team,” said Klinsmann. “We can give them time to show where they are up to right now.
“The experienced players, or the older players, we can tell them for the next couple of months: ‘Go play in your club environment, we know you inside out anyway, we know what you bring to the table. But right now maybe there’s time for the next couple of friendlies that come up and over the next year that we want to see the young players grow and see how they can make it.’”
Greg Seltzer is hearing that at least one Eredivisie team and Genk are interested in Sacha Kljestan as well as Olympiacos.
Stuart Holden will continue to work out with Bolton despite not being under contract. He will be allowed to play in any friendly, under-21 or development squad games but if he gets healthy again and Bolton want him back with the first team then he would have to sign a new deal.
A possible good sign on the Shawn Parker front? He lists Germany and US for his nationality on Augsburg’s website.
Here are some photos of Junior Flores and Joe Gyau in action with Borussia Dortmund’s U-23 team. Mario Rodriguez scored two goals for Borussia Mönchengladbach against Dortmund in this friendly.
Are you buying a Tijuana/Paul Arriola jersey this year? Heads up that he switched numbers from #47 to a more squad-friendly #20.
Adam Henley has returned to Blackburn Rovers early before training camp to finish rehabbing his ankle injury before the season starts.
Europa League started back up this week. Pablo Punyed went 90 in Stjarnan’s 4-0 win over Bangor City. A Mix Diskerud-less Rosenborg defeated Jelgava 4-0. Jordan Seabrook came off the bench for 21 minutes in VPS’s 2-1 win over Brommapojkarna.
And finally, one of the guys I hung out with during the World Cup put together a compilation video of the trip down to Brazil. Hopefully this weekend I can sit down and type up a post with a bunch of my photos and stories from the trip. It really was a once in a lifetime trip. If you are even on the fence about going to Russia in 2018, you need to go.
The USMNT camp is chugging along at Stanford this week. Jeff Carlisle has a notebook of tidbits from the last couple of days. We are now at 28 of 30 guys in camp with Aron Johannsson and Jermaine Jones being the last two stragglers since they had club commitments on Sunday. Cody Cropper has also been in camp helping out at goalkeeper since Tim Howard and Brad Guzan were late arrivals (and it never hurts to give him some experience).
US Soccer has a short video recapping the first week of camp. They also put up some photos from yesterday’s training session.
A couple USMNT notes to get out of the way first. The pre-World Cup camp will begin May 14 with a full squad expected to report, including all MLS players who make the initial roster. ESPN FC’s Jeff Carlisle wrote some words about life on the World Cup roster bubble.
The US U-20 team continued their success at the Dallas Cup with a 1-0 win over Tigres yesterday. Rubio Rubin scored the lone goal and hopefully some highlights of this will pop up in the near future. Speaking of highlights, here are some of the US’s first win from Sunday against River Plate. With yesterday’s win, the US took all nine points from their group and advance to the semifinals where they will play Fluminense on Friday at 7:30 PM.
US Soccer also put up a little video of Tab Ramos talking about identifying players for this current U-20 cycle.
Staying with the U-20 theme, Brian Sciaretta has an article up on Lynden Gooch and his highlight-reel goals.
Continuing down the youth national team totem pole, the U-18 team lost to Mexico, 4-3, in a friendly at the StubHub Center last weekend and US Soccer has some highlights from the match.
While Danny Williams returned to the field with Reading earlier this week, he is still managing his knee injury and the team is not sure how his knee will react to him playing 60 minutes.
John Brooks did not dress for Hertha Berlina’s game last weekend and it looks like he might be in the doghouse with manager Jos Luhukay. According to this Google-translated article, Luhukay is annoyed by Brooks’ “lack of professionalism”, including getting an extensive back tattoo which is affecting his training.
I forgot to post this earlier this week, but due to some injuries at Southampton, Cody Cropper dressed as the back-up goalkeeper in the Saints’ 1-0 loss to Cardiff City last weekend.
A new name to keep an eye on down in Mexico, 19-year-old centerback Miguel Palafox made his professional debut with Club Leon last weekend.
Bodens BK in Sweden seems to have a pipeline to America as yet another American, Eddy Prugh, is now at the club and Prugh earned Man of the Match honors last weekend.
In case you missed it yesterday, US Soccer announced a friendly against South Korea for February 1. It sounds like January’s camp will start in Los Angeles for a week. Head to Brazil for a week or two before returning to Los Angeles for a final week and the friendly at the StubHub Center (RIP Home Depot Center naming rights).
Jozy Altidore was named US Soccer’s Male Athlete of the Year for 2013. Jozy finished 2013 tied with Landon Donovan with a team-leading eight goals, including a USMNT record with a goal in five consecutive games.
CONCACAF also has a bunch of awards that you can vote on right here. This will be the first edition of the soon-to-be annual CONCACAF awards. It says you have until mid-December to vote, whenever that is (CONCACAF gonna CONCACAF).
John Brooks has been having knee issues, although his MRI from last week showed nothing serious was wrong with it.
Jonathan Spector suffered a setback with his thigh injury and is now out until the end of January.
Southampton goalkeeper Artur Boruc will miss six weeks with a broken hand. Throw in an injury to Kelvin Davis and there is a chance that Cody Cropper could at least dress for a game or two in the near future for the Saints.
Birmingham City have denied Bristol Rovers’ request to play Will Packwood in their upcoming FA Cup match. If Packwood were to play, he would be ineligible to play for Birmingham City in the FA Cup for the rest of 2013-14.
Zach Pfeffer’s loan deal with Hoffenheim has officially come to an end. He got a lot of playing time with Hoffenheim’s U-19 team while he was over in Germany.
Benji Joya, Daniel Cuevas and Santos Laguna’s U-20 team won the U-20 Apertura this past weekend. And there is speculation that the two could be headed to other teams as they seek out playing time with first teams.