I hope many of you are enjoying your day off from work if you were granted one. Here are some links worth checking out.
Kenny Cooper officially signed with the Portland Timbers today. Portland is building a nice little attack.
Jonathan Bornstein made his debut in Mexico this past weekend. From the sounds of it, he played a holding/defensive midfielder type role rather than his normal left back position.
There are some reports that Sunderland are trying to get Michael Bradley, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me on Borussia Moenchengladbach’s end. They would be semi-conceding relegation in my eyes. It makes a lot more sense to keep him, try to stay up and sell him this summer. But what do I know?
Yanks Abroad has a story on a couple of youngsters that will be going on trial together at Czech Republic club Sigma Olomouc. Stefan Jerome is 18 and last played with Miami FC (NASL), while Drew Yates is 22 and played last season with FC Tampa Bay (NASL).
Former US U-20 forward Gabriel Ferrari has been released by Swiss club FC Wohlen. Ferrari scored one goal in four appearances with the Swiss side in the Swiss Challenge League (second division) this season.
The United States was granted the rights to host the CONCACAF qualifying tournament for the 2012 Olympics in London this past weekend. The US hosted this tournament in 2000 and 2008 with Mexico hosting the 2004 tournament. This year’s version will take place in March with the locations to be determined.
According to Steven Goff, ticket sales for this Saturday’s friendly look pretty slow. I will also finally set up the guess the score contest later tonight.
And finally, US Soccer put up another version of Inside the Lines yesterday. You can check out that video below.
A pretty clever title. . . I know, right? [/sarcasm]
The biggest news of the day was US Soccer announcing two USMNT friendlies for the month of March. Here is the USMNT 2011 schedule for the next three months as of today:
1/22/2011 vs. Chile – Carson, California (Home Depot Center)
2/9/2011 vs. Egypt – Cairo, Egypt (Cairo International Stadium)
3/26/2011 vs. Argentina – E. Rutherford, New Jersey (New Meadowlands Stadium)
3/29/2011 vs. Paraguay – Nashville, Tennessee (LP Field)
Those four games will be against the #15, #10, #5 and #24 teams in the country. A pretty tough schedule to start the year and get the team ready for the Gold Cup.
Nick Green caught up with Eugene Starikov and A.J. DeLaGarza for a few words. I knew Starikov went to Stetson in Florida, but was unaware that he was from Huntington Beach, California (and he likes surfing…..in Soviet Russia, surfboard surfs you).
Kenny Cooper is officially leaving 1860 Munich in Germany to return to the MLS (Portland Timbers) as you can tell from this “long winded” AP release. I think this is a good move for Cooper.
Nottingham Forest will find out the fate of Robbie Findley’s work permit tomorrow at a hearing. Manager Billy Davies and Chief Executive Mark Arthur will represent Forest at the panel hearing.
While many of the top college players in the US were selected in today’s MLS SuperDraft (it is not only a Draft, but a SuperDraft), Virginia’s goalkeeper Diego Restrepo has agreed to terms with Colombian side America de Cali.
Arch Bell caught up with Evian TG goalkeeper Quentin Westberg after knocking out Olympique Marseille in the Coupe de France this past weekend.
And finally, Brian Sciaretta over at Yanks Abroad takes a stab at the “21 tickets” for the US U-20′s roster for the 2011 U-20 World Cup that will take place in August in Colombia.
I wish I was at happy hour right now, but since I love you guys I am here posting links and news (plus I still can’t really look at alcohol right now after NYE…..rough night). As for the news.
While Greg Garza made his first appearance with Estoril last weekend, Tony Taylor missed the game due to a concussion and a small fracture on his face. But he was cleared by doctors to return to training yesterday and has a good shot to play this weekend.
As we posted the other day, Mike Grella’s loan deal with Carlisle United expired on Monday night and he has returned to Leeds United. While the club would like to work out another deal with Leeds for Grella, it doesn’t look too promising as Leeds have not returned any of Carlisle United’s recent calls.
14.59: Perennial young hope Freddy Adu has moved on to the seventh club of his career, signing for German Second Division side Ingolstadt. The club’s coach Benno Mohlmann said: “We know his history, we know he has not confirmed in recent years the potential he showed when he was 15-16 years old.” American teenage prodigy Adu, who is now 21 – I know, it brought gasps of shock from ESPNsoccernet HQ too – has already played in the USA, Portugal, France and Greece.
But there hasn’t been confirmation of the signing by anyone else yet (and I don’t think he has signed yet in my opinion).
Kicker magazine out of Germany claims the Kenny Cooper-to-Portland Timbers rumors are true. Cooper has done well with the MLS in the past and just never seemed to have things go his way over in Europe.
To go along with Wednesday’s tweet by Andres Cantor about the USMNT-Argentina March friendly moving to New York, someone close to the AP is saying the same thing.
Lets now move onto the USMNT camp. Today’s biggest news, a slight shocker, is Bob Bradley inviting an extra player to camp. That player you ask? Russian Premier League-based striker Eugene Starikov. If you read this blog on a regular basis, you know we are a fan of Eugene Starikov and have been following him for a while now. Good to see the US continuing to reach out to these dual-nationality guys.
The USMNT blog on USSoccer.com has a ton of goodies posted, including:
This German report suggests that Kenny Cooper could be on his way out at 1860 Munich. He is on a short list of forwards that the manager would like to dump. It also sounds like the Portland Timbers are interested in his services.
Sorry for the lack of updates in the last 24 hours, but I had to work some odd hours, so my whole work schedule was turned around.
Here are a bunch of links, with a lot of them being just transfer rumors. And most transfer rumors online turn out to be false, but just wanted to put that reminder in there. I also included a couple things on some Americans in Mexico even though this site is mainly about players in Europe.
It’s been a rough 2010 for Kenny Cooper. After the former FC Dallas star was loaned from 1860 Munich to Plymouth Argyle in the Football League Championship in January, he made just seven appearances for the Pilgrims during the loan period as the Devon club finished 23rd and was relegated. Upon his return to 1860, he broke his ankle in the preseason’s first full scrimmage and has been sidelined for the four months since.
“He is training with our physiotherapist one time a day, with balls and everything,” Lions press officer Robert Hettich told MLSsoccer.com. “We hope he can be back in the team in a few weeks. Step by step, we are increasing the intensity, so we’ll see. Hopefully, in two weeks, he’ll be back in team training.”
The next problem for Cooper will be working his way into the lineup of a club that hasn’t lost since its 1-2 start and sits just three points outside of the promotion playoffs.
Before I jump into the links, just want to point out that Eddie Johnson could be seeing a lot more playing time with Fulham in the near future. Moussa Dembélé went down in today’s Carling Cup match and could be out for a while and the Cottagers are already without Bobby Zamora, Diomansy Kamara and Andy Johnson up top. That just leaves Clint Dempsey, Zoltan Gera, David Elm and Johnson, with Johnson playing 33 minutes in today’s game.
After moving to Germany last season and scoring in his first game for 1860 Munich, things have not gone well for Kenny Cooper over the last year.
And you can add another setback in his life as Cooper broke his ankle in one of his first preseason practices today for 1860 Munich. It looks like Cooper will be out for the next three months.
After scoring in his first game, he scored twice more over his next 11 games before injuring his patellar tendon last November.
Cooper then made the move to English League One club Plymouth Argyle in late January on a loan with an option to buy him out at the end of the season, which Plymouth Argyle did not use, as Cooper played a grand total of seven games, all while coming off the bench.
With many of the European seasons coming to an end in the next couple weeks, I thought I would take a look around to see what Americans are fighting for promotion or relegation in their last few games.
English Premier League
Jozy Altidore and Hull City are already officially relegated, but I doubt you will see Jozy in the League Championship next season. In my opinion, there is little chance he will be back at Hull City next year, as Hull City was already getting an advance on their parachute payments.
English League Championship
Kenny Cooper and Plymouth Argyle finished the season in 23rd place and will be relegated to League One, but who knows if Kenny Cooper, who was barely playing, will be on the team next year.
Finishing a spot above Plymouth Argyle, but still getting relegated, was Sheffield Wednesday and Frank Simek. Simek has not seen a lot of playing time this season, but has been with the club since 2005.
English League One
League One has one more round of games left on the schedule and a few Americans still have things to play for. Mike Grella and Leeds United currently sit in second place, one point ahead of Millwall and Swindon Town. If they can finish the season in second, they will be automatically promoted to the League Championship. If not, the teams ranked #3-#6 meet in a playoff for the last promotion spot.
On loan from Aston Villa, Eric Lichaj looks like he has helped Leyton Orient survive relegation, although they are not officially safe even though all signs point to safety. They currently have 51 points and sit in 18th place (#21-#24 get relegated). But Gillingham (#19- 50 points), Exeter City (#20 – 48 points) and Tranmere Rovers (#21 – 48 points) could all win their last games while Orient loses and there would be three teams tied with 51 points. If that were to happen, it would come down to goal differential and this is where they should be safe. Leyton Orient is -9 and Exeter City is -13, while Tranmere Rovers holds down a -30. I doubt they make that up.
Two Americans on teams that will be relegated include Jon-Paul Pittman (Wycombe Wanderers) and Jemal Johnson (Stockport County). Johnson is currently on loan from Milton Keynes Dons, so I am guessing he would be loaned out to another League Championship or League One side, unless the Dons want him back next year.
The Bundesliga has one game left and Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 will be looking to avoid relegation. In the Bundesliga, the two teams at the bottom (#17-#18) automatically get relegated, while the #16 spot faces the third place team from the second division in a two-legged playoff for the last spot, while the loser gets relegated or stays in the second division depending who wins.
Hannover 96 are in 15th place and two points above Nuremberg (#16) and Bochum (#17). Hannover 96 faces Bochum this weekend and a win keeps them safe. A draw and a Nuremberg win means it would come down to goal differential and both teams sit at -27, meaning Nuremberg would be safe.
German 2. Bundesliga
Even though there is still one game left, Luis Robles and Kaiserslautern have already clinched an automatic promotion spot and will be playing top-flight German soccer next season.
On the flip side, David Yelldell and TUS Koblenz have already clinched a relegation spot and will be in the third division next year.
Dutch Eerste Divisie
Charles Kazlauskas and Helmond Sport are already in the promotion playoffs after finishing the season in eighth place. They are currently in the second round and face Sparta Rotterdam, a team that finished in 16th place in the Eredivisie. A win over the first division team and they would have one more round to go before potentially playing in the highest soccer league in the Netherlands next season.
Benny Feilhaber and AGF Aarhus currently sit one spot away from the relegation zone with three games to play. With the bottom two teams getting relegated, AGF Aarhus have 35 points while Randers FC has 34 points and both teams have a -8 goal differential. One spot above AGF Aarhus is SønderjyskE, who also have 35 points, but have a -5 goal differential, so it is coming down to the wire. One of AGF Aarhus’ last games is against SønderjyskE, so that will be an important six-pointer.
Hopefully that shines a light on what is going on in the last few weeks of the season.