ESPN’s Doug McIntyre has some nuggets from the USMNT camp this week. Jozy Altidore is playing well, while it looks like the starting fullbacks will be Tim Ream (LB) and Geoff Cameron (RB). Also, Jurgen Klinsmann reiterated that Brad Guzan is the #1 goalkeeper through at least the CONCACAF Cup.
US Soccer put up a little fun video on whether Gyasi Zardes scored a goal or not on Tim Howard in training. Looks like a goal to me.
Ben Lederman has been in the news a lot recently and Ives Galarcep is hearing that Lederman is joining the U.S. U-17 residency program in Bradenton, Florida.
Fresh off his assist with Borussia Dortmund’s U-19 team this past weekend (highlights), Christian Pulisic got to train with the first team this week.
Bob Bradley has been doing work in Norway this season with Stabæk sitting in second place with eight games left and now the Fighting Bob Bradleys will have to finish the season strong without their top goal scorer who was sold to Hull City.
On loan from Orlando City, Adam Bedell scored three goals in HB Køge’s 6-2 win over Frederikssund in the Danish Cup on Wednesday. Here is a post-game photo of Bedell. And here is an intro video courtesy of HB Køge’s Youtube channel.
Links and whatnot for your reading pleasure. A few USMNT nuggets to start off with.
Roughly 23,000 tickets have been sold so far for the friendly against Peru.
While we won’t know the full US roster for the September friendlies until the end of the month, Tim Howard and DaMarcus Beasley will be on the roster according to a release from US Soccer. Howard will be making his first return since taking a year sabbatical, while Fabian Johnson’s injury (and Beasley’s veteran presence) probably opened things up for Beasley. Klinsmann also says Brad Guzan will remain the US’s starting goalkeeper.
Toronto FC manager Greg Vanney has begun talking to US Soccer about not calling in Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley for the Peru friendly (Toronto faces Seattle on September 5) then releasing them back to the USMNT for the game against Brazil.
Cody Cropper made his senior team debut earlier this month in MK Dons’ 2-1 win over Leyton Orient in the Capital One Cup. As for the goal he allowed, it was awkward. He looks like a baby deer trying to walk on ice.
Greg Seltzer did another numbers thing and this one is on Ethan Horvath and rookie American goalkeepers in Europe. Horvath and Molde FK also defeated Standard Liège yesterday, 2-0, in the first leg of their Europa League matchup.
In what seemed like the longest transfer ever, Tim Ream is officially a member of Fulham FC.
The Club is delighted to confirm the signing of Tim Ream from Bolton Wanderers on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee.
Having now obtained a work permit, the 27-year-old joins the Whites until 2019, with a Club option to 2020.
“I’m more than pleased to be here,” Ream told the official website. “It’s been a long tome coming now, over the past week and a half it’s gone back and forth so I’m glad its finally sorted.
“The biggest thing was the history, walking into the training ground and feeling the vibe around the Cub and the success that previous American players have had here.”
For those out of the loop, the two-time Bolton player of the year was rumored to be headed to QPR last week before Fulham came in with a slightly higher bid to swoop up the defender, a position of need for Fulham.
Howie posted some German news yesterday. Fabian Johnson is going to be out for a while with an injury, Andrew Wooten could be called in for the USMNT’s September friendlies and Joe Gyau gives us an injury update.
Brazil is bringing a pretty decent team to the US for September’s friendly.
While next summer’s Copa America Centenario is still up in the air, CONCACAF is proceeding like the tournament is still on as they have scheduled qualifiers for CONCACAF’s remaining two spots (US, Mexico, Costa Rica and Jamaica have already qualified).
Costa Rica will have a new manager as Paulo Wanchope has resigned after losing his mind at an U-23 match earlier this week. As Howie pointed out, between him and Miguel Herrera, the Hex might come down to fighting coaches so the US might as well appoint Peter Vermes as manager.
QPR are looking to get back into the Premier League after being relegated last season. They have played in the Premier League in three of the previous four seasons after a 15-year absence between 1996-97 to 2010-11.
US Soccer might be getting a new crest in 2016. From what I can see online, a lot of people think it is better than the old crest but nothing special. I like it.
Nothing official has been announced yet, but it looks like the Confederations Cup playoff game is going to move from Friday, October 9 to Saturday, October 10. I hope it doesn’t as I likely can’t go on Saturday, but can on Friday. Also, if you have any extra money or are looking for a cool cause to donate to, help send some veterans to the game.
We have a Anton Peterlin sighting! He is now with Boldklubben af 1893 of the Danish third division. No word if the club has any interest in Cody Arnoux (that joke is for Howie and like three other people who might get it).
Holy smokes. Can you believe that this is the sixth edition of the legendary OT XI? When we started this thing there were actually a ton of American players in Europe. Of the original OT XI, only two (Alejandro Bedoya and Jonathan Spector) are still playing abroad, and five (Ryan Guy, Landon Donovan, Brad Friedel, Eddie Johnson, and Carlos Bocanegra) are retired. Crazy times.
Goalkeeper Brad Guzan, Aston Villa (England) [2nd appearance]
If you want to talk about the decline of American players abroad, look no further than goalkeeper (and talk to our friend Will, who wrote this pick.) Even though he didn’t have the greatest of finishes, it was Brad Guzan who carried Aston Villa through the first half of the season, when they couldn’t buy a goal. Guzan carried his team out of the relegation zone so that when it came to the meaningless games in the season, his poor performance didn’t matter. Admittedly, it’s a weak pick without glamour but of all the overseas goalkeepers, Guzan helped his team the most.
Greg Garza, Tijuana (Mexico) [1st]
Tim Ream, Bolton Wanderers (England) [2nd]
Ventura Alvarado, Club America (Mexico) [1st]
Eric Lichaj, Nottingham Forest (England) [2nd]
Two from Liga MX and two from the Football League Championship make up the backline. Garza basically made Edgar Castillo, the 2013 honoree at leftback, expendable at Tijuana as he also established himself as the likely national team heir apparent to the internationally-retired Edgar Castillo. Ream played a little of everywhere defensively for Bolton and earned his second consecutive team MVP. After time on loan, Alvarado blossomed with the CONCACAF Champions League winners and broke into the national team. Meanwhile, back in England, Lichaj had his healthiest season and made 42 appearances, more than the previous two seasons combined (since they play like 800 games in the lower divisions of England).
Guys, guys! We had a guy qualify to the Champions League out of a top five league! Johnson stepped up his team quality and managed to break in and do his usual thing of being a solid contributor at multiple spots on the flank. His former teammate at Hoffenheim, Williams, makes his second consecutive appearance as he continues to play well for Reading. Morales, who looked somewhat out of his element in early caps with the Nats, has blossomed into an legit prospect and helped Ingolstadt earn promotion, meaning he’ll join Johnson in the Bundesliga next year. Bedoya, meanwhile, continued his strong form in Nantes. With Bedoya’s 4th OT XI appearance, he ties Sacha Kljestan and Clint Dempsey for the all-time lead and is a solid favorite to hold the title by his lonesome sooner rather than later.
Matt Taylor, 1. FC Saarbrücken (Germany) [3rd]
Cesar Romero, FC Pyunik (Armenia) [2nd]
Taylor is basically one of our favorite OT players ever. He is a mortal lock to bang in double digit goals in any season that ends in an odd-numbered year (2011- 17; 2013- 16; 2015- 13) and takes advantage of the lengthy injury absences to Terrence Boyd and Aron Jóhannsson, two of last year’s forward honorees. Meanwhile, another OT favorite completely dominated Armenia, scoring 20 goals as Pyunik won their first league title since 2010. He also inspired us to make a ton of The Joker references, although we probably should have made more, because that’s an awesome nickname.
Tim Ream, D, Bolton Wanderers
Ream has gone from MLS breakout prospect to national team disaster to Premier League overmatched to extremely useful Championship player. He has really excelled the last two years with Bolton, and he’s mostly a classic example of how a players can take a while to adjust to a new country.
Goal of the Year
Aron Jóhannsson really wanted to make this post despite missing so much time injured, so he won this late-season match against NAC Breda in the waning moments with this ridiculous strike from distance.
Performance of the Year
Seriously, Jóhannsson got healthy and just wanted OT honors. Plus he has a desire to spend his Thursdays traveling across Eastern Europe in Europa League. So Gunner Stahl (time to resurrect that nickname) decided to dump two goals and an assist on Excelsior (fantastic club name, I’m glad they managed to stay in the Eredivisie) in a match to clinch Europa League for AZ. Highlights!
The Bolton Wanderers Supporters Association held a end-of-the-year social event on Thursday and Tim Ream was named Player of the Year by the BWSA for the second straight season.
Versatile American Ream has featured in all but two of Bolton’s games so far this season, whilst Pratley has impressed and prior to a hamstring injury in January missed just one game under the guidance of manager Neil Lennon.
Ream said: “Of course it’s nice to be recognised by the fans with an award like this. It’s an honour to win the award again, though I’m just a small part of the whole team.
“Early on nobody could say that we were playing to the best of our abilities, but since the manager has come in we’ve been able to push on and I’m enjoying my football here at Bolton.”
Ream has put in another solid season for Bolton, leading the team in games played (41), minutes played (3475) and successful passes (1271).
As for the mid week so far, Gedion Zelalem help setup a goal for Arsenal’s U-21 team. Michael Orozco had an assist as Puebla won the Copa MX final over Chivas (Herculez Gomez watched from the bench). And Andrija Novakovich scored a goal for Reading’s U-21 team.
The US U-20 team is in Austria this week and here is their roster. They had a 2-2 draw against Qatar yesterday with the US goals coming from Amando Moreno and Conor Donovan.
The US U-23 team will take on Mexico later tonight at the StubHub Center. Here is their roster. Apparently manager Andi Herzog asked Hamburg permission for Julian Green to stay after last week’s friendly against Mexico for this game but they didn’t respond yes to him until Green was already on a plane back to Germany. Herzog also wants to create a pipeline to the USMNT with the U-23 team. And Liviu Bird’s random observation from training earlier this week, Jordan Morris has Type 1 diabetes and tests his blood sugar during training.
For those of you that miss watching grainy Youtube videos of Josh Gatt flying down the wings, we have some good news. He has been cleared to play again after a couple knee surgeries.
Hannover 96 did some shuffling around of their coaching staff and Steve Cherundolo has been promoted to an assistant.