While we are on the topic of the U-20 team, Brian Sciaretta caught up with Rubio Rubin before the Dallas Cup to talk about the tournament and joining FC Utrecht. Rubin turned 18 in March, allowing him to sign a professional contract, but Utrecht can’t register his contract until July 1.
Back to Agudelo for a second. Word on the street is that Stoke City manager Mark Hughes flew to Holland to watch him play this past weekend. And Stoke City will be looking to get a second appeal on his UK work permit at the end of this month or the beginning of May.
Here is a really short film on Clint Dempsey by Degree Men, which was apparently directed by Mad Men’s Jon Hamm. Dempsey also scored two goals this past weekend, giving him six on the season in only 303 minutes in MLS play after scoring only once in 922 minutes last year with Seattle.
Over in Sweden, Matt Pyzdrowski went 90 minutes between the sticks while Eric Pothast played 45 minutes and picked up a yellow card in Ängelholm’s 3-2 win over Jönköpings Södra. And Alex Horwath started at goalkeeper and Brandon McDonald came off the bench for the final two minutes in Ljungskile’s 0-0 draw to Landskrona, which had Andrew Stadler and Paul Torres each go 90 minutes.
So I have decided to learn how to make GIFs since sometimes they are easier to post/watch than some of these weird video players that some highlight sites use (plus GIFs are just awesome). I practiced a bunch this weekend making a few of the goals scored in MLS play by some World Cup hopefuls, so here they are: Clint Dempsey 1, Clint Dempsey 2, Chris Wondolowski, Maurice Edu and Kyle Beckerman. It is a learning process as I try to figure out size and quality while not trying to make these 10 MB files, but it went better than I expected.
We had a few goals this past weekend. Aron Johannsson showed off some fancy footwork while scoring a brace in AZ’s 4-0 win (highlights). Jose Torres found the back of the net for Tigres in their 3-0 win over Cruz Azul (highlights). Mario Rodriguez, Jann George and Seth Rudolph also scored this weekend and you can always follow along with our goal tracker.
Howie posted this yesterday, but Brek Shea’s loan with Barnsley was cut short a few weeks early after an incident with a Barnsley fan where Shea gave the fan “the finger” after the fan was apparently yelling some things at a teammate.
Jozy Altidore did not travel with Sunderland’s team this past weekend and it sounds like it was some illness according to Grant Wahl.
Alejandro Bedoya’s FC Nantes were just hit with a 16-month transfer ban. While they will be able to sell and release players, they will not be able to sign any new players until the summer of 2015.
Josh Gatt is getting closer to fully returning to the field. While he thinks it would be possible to return in time for Molde’s season opener on March 28, they might wait a week or two more to make sure everything with his knee is good.
Staying in Norway, Stabæk’s website has a new video interview up with Bob Bradley.
The Men in Blazers’ website has a cool little write-up on two of John Brooks’ tattoos. Showing some love to both the US and Germany.
As of last Friday, about 35,000 tickets have been sold so far for the US-Mexico friendly in Phoenix.
Jurgen Klinsmann was down in Austin this past weekend getting his hipster on at SXSW. Also announced at SXSW this weekend is a “Hard Knocks”-type show by ESPN with the USMNT leading up to the World Cup. One of the co-producers is Jonathan Hock, who did two of my favorite 30 For 30s: “The Best That Never Was” (Marcus Dupree) and “Survive and Advance” (1983 NC State Basketball Team). Basically, this should be in good hands.
I know I linked Part 1 of Roger Bennett’s oral history of the 1994 USMNT last week, but here are Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.
While Footy Headlines is not Todo Sobre Camisetas when it comes to leaked jerseys, it does have a better batting average than some sites out there and they are saying this is the road jersey for the US for the World Cup. If this is the real deal Holyfield (we are currently in Rumorville at the moment), I think I like it although it does look like a bomb pop.
Here is small interview with Jake Keegan, who is now with Galway FC in Ireland.
And finally, Yannick Smith is now back in the US with USL Pro’s Dayton Dutch Lions FC after playing in Finland with Narpes Kraft last season.
Sebastian Lletget scored a goal for West Ham United’s U-21 team in a 2-1 loss to Manchester United on Monday. The goal is Lletget’s fourth of the year with West Ham’s U-21 team.
Stuart Holden is starting to train again with Bolton Wanderers and he received some good news from manager Dougie Freedman last week. It looks like Freedman and Bolton are going to give him a new contract this summer once his current contract expires.
Kicker is reporting that Fabian Johnson will sign with Borussia Moenchengladbach this summer once his current contract with Hoffenheim expires.
With a bunch of Huddersfield Town’s players returning from injury, manager Mark Robins told the UK press that they might send Duane Holmes out on loan so he can get some playing time.
Another “Jozy Altidore does more than score goals” type story out of Sunderland. Teammate Adam Johnson had some nice things to say about Altidore’s performance against Newcastle from two weeks ago.
“There is a lot more to him than goals. Against Newcastle he must have been a nightmare to play against. Genuinely, I thought he was awesome.
Even though he scored two goals in a friendly for Bob Bradley’s Stabæk last week, Michael Stephens, as well as fellow American Christian Eissele, are trialing with Swedish side GAIS.
Goalkeeper Alex Horwath has been trialing with Ljungskile SK in Sweden over the last two weeks and he was rewarded with a contract with the club.
And finally, some new jerseys got released this week. Josh Gatt, Ben Spencer, Ethan Horvath and Molde FK have some new home and away kits for the 2014 season. While Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest have a new third jersey for this year.
The World Cup draw is on Friday (ESPN2′s coverage begins at 11:30 AM Eastern) and US Soccer has a quick little guide on how the process will work. I have a feeling the US will be put in a tough group. Ric Flair, your thoughts on this.
Alejandro Bedoya scored his third goal of the season across all competitions in today’s 2-1 win by Nantes over Valenciennes. Here are the highlights, including his goal (the second goal shown in the highlights).