MK Dons finished 2nd in League One last year to earn promotion to the Championship. 29 year-old David Martin made 39 starts last year and has been the Dons’ starting keeper since 2010. Seems like it might be tough to unseat for a guy who has fallen to #3 in the U-23 pool.
MK Dons of course is infamous for being FC Wimbledon relocated. While common in American sports, it was basically a national scandal in England.
I am still playing catch up on the soccer world as work decided to kick me as soon as I got back into the office after the mini vacation. Enough babbling.
In case you missed what happened on the field over the past weekend, Roderick has you covered. I was finally able to go back to update the goal tracker from the few goals over the last week, including links to goals by Moises Orozco, Cesar Romero, Björn Maars Johnsen, Harrison Hanley and Jonathan Bornstein.
Also earlier this week, we unveiled the sixth edition of the legendary OT XI. Plus we picked our MVP of the season as well as goal and performance of the year. So go check that out.
The US U-23 team opened up the Toulon Tournament with a disappointing 3-1 loss to France yesterday. Here are some highlights. Sounds like Jordan Morris was the only player who did somewhat well for the US. Also, if you missed the roster of the team (since it came out while I was gone), here that is. Luis Gil was apparently on the initial roster, but Real Salt Lake was able to keep him after a little talk with US Soccer.
One player on that roster, Cody Cropper, is searching for a new club after parting ways with Southampton. While he is likely to stay in England, Ives Galarcep is hearing that Cropper is on the discovery list of at least three MLS teams.
With the Premier League wrapping up over the weekend, it was inevitable that we’d see a new set of out-of-contract players not returning to their clubs like we did with the lower divisions (see: Packwood, Will). Southampton’s list is out today, and Cody Cropper is on it.
The 22 year-old made the bench a few times with the Saints but never played in a match, even a cup match. The Minnesota native actually originally signed with Ipswich Town in 2010 (I had forgotten that) before joining Southampton in 2012. He has a bunch of youth national team appearances and a handful of uncapped senior camps.
His father is from England, so I believe he would still be able to get a work permit to bounce around England if he wanted to. I really have no gauge on how good he is, having never seen him play a club match. I could see him taking a shot with a lower division team in England where he’d have a better chance at starting. If he wanted to return to the US, he would be subject to whatever MLS team had a Discovery claim on him. He’s young enough for a goalkeeper that I think he needs minutes more than league/club prestige.
In case you missed it on Monday, Bobby Wood went all Hawaiian Messi on us and scored a really nice goal (highlights). And now there are reports out of Germany that 1860 Munich might want him back this summer.
Luca de la Torre had an assist with Fulham’s U-21 team yesterday in a 4-1 loss to Manchester United.
For the second straight week, Andrija Novakovich has scored a goal with Reading’s U-21 team.
Will Reno wrote some words on Cody Cropper’s performance against Mexico for the guys over at Northern Pitch. He also has his April update on US goalkeepers on his site.
And for the four others that care about these things like I do, I haven’t posted leaked kits for next season much like I have in the past. But here are a few of them so far for the Premier League (courtesy of Footy Headlines).
* While we wait for Gedion Zelalem to be cleared by FIFA, here are Arsenal’s home and third shirts for next season.
* Marc Pelosi is starting to play again for Liverpool’s U-21 team and here are their home, away and third kits.
* Cody Cropper won’t be wearing a Southampton non-goalkeeper jersey, but here are Southampton’s home and away shirts.
* And finally, here is what Geoff Cameron and Stoke City will be wearing at home, while the away jersey almost looks like Southampton’s but the sash is going the other way and an inverse in colors.
Jordan Morris highlights a roster for a friendly I just learned about.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Cody Cropper (Southampton; Maple Grove, Minn.), Jon Kempin (San Antonio Scorpions; Leawood, Kan.)
DEFENDERS (8): Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps; East Palo Alto, Calif.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Alebrijes de Oaxaca; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (Real Salt Lake; Edmund, Okla.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif), Sam Strong (UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, Calif.), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas; Lawrenceville, Ga.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes; Northville, Mich.), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Alejandro Guido (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Daniel Metzger (New York Red Bulls II; Holmdel, N.J.)
FORWARDS (5): Alonso Hernandez (C.F. Monterrey; El Paso, Texas), Alfred Koroma Shams (Unattached; Southlake Carol, Texas), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.), Mario Rodriguez (Borussia Mönchengladbach; North Hollywood, Calif.), Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood, Calif.)
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.