Ventura Alvarado is a champion as America beat Tigres, 3-0, to win Liga MX on aggregate, 3-1. Alvarado started and went 84 minutes. Jose Francisco Torres went 62 minutes in a losing effort for Tigres while Herculez Gomez was an unused substitute.
Here are the highlights.
and since I didn’t post them Thursday/Friday, here is the goal for Tigres in its 1-0 first-leg victory
Steven Goff is reporting that US U-20 goalkeeper Zack Steffen is close to signing with Freiburg in Germany. Freiburg currently have Caleb Stanko on their roster and used to have Eric Lickert until this past season.
Tim Howard was named Fútbol de Primera Player of the Year last week. The award is given to the top USMNT player each year and voted on by various journalists. This was Howard’s first year winning the award.
Haven’t done some links in a while, but here are a bunch of random stuff from recently or two weeks ago (or sometime in the last little bit). Hopefully my workload will ease up after this week and I could do these more often again.
FIFA announced its finalists for the FIFA Ballon d’Or and for the FIFA World Coach of the Year. While no USMNT players made the Ballon d’Or list (how did Alan Gordon not get nominated?!), Jurgen Klinsmann is one of the 10 finalists for the Coach of the Year award.
FIFA also plans to show off its new logo for the 2018 World Cup later today.
It looks like the USMNT might play Switzerland in a friendly in Zurich in March.
Congrats to the US Women’s National Team for winning the CONCACAF Women’s Championship and clinching a spot in next summer’s World Cup. Since 1990, the US is one of three countries to qualify for every men’s and women’s World Cup (also Germany and Brazil).
Michael Bradley is going to have surgery this week to correct a lingering nerve issue in his foot. This is an injury that has been bugging him for most of the season. Jeff Carlisle asked him if it was an issue prior to the World Cup, which he said no, but I guess it got worse as the season wore on.
Jake Keegan went 90 minutes yesterday in Galway FC’s 2-1 win over UCD in the first leg of the Irish Premier Division promotion/relegation playoffs. Galway FC scored two late goals to steal the road win and now host UCD on Friday for a chance at promotion.
After scoring 12 goals in 14 games with the U-23 team, Jann George finally saw some first team action with Greuther Furth’s senior team in their 5-2 loss to FSV Frankfurt.
We had some goals this weekend. Matt Taylor scored twice in Saarbrücken’s 4-1 win over Pirmasens. Christian King scored twice in Ararat’s 3-2 loss to Ulisses in Armenian Premier League action. Jerome Kiesewetter scored his second goal of the season on Saturday in Stuttgart II’s 1-0 win over Unterhaching. And over Tigres’ last two games, we have had goals by Jose Torres and Herculez Gomez.
I saw a Clint Dempsey rumor (loan deal back to the Premier League) has been circulating the interwebs in the last 48 hours, but it all came from a short “story” from the Daily Mirror with no quotes (except for an out of context quote from Klinsmann). Come on people, I thought we were better than that.
And finally, no matter what happens with the rest of his career, Stuart Holden is still awesome.
The USMNT will have a second friendly next month in Europe as they will take on Colombia at Craven Cottage in London.
The latest FIFA rankings came out earlier this week and the US dropped six places to No. 23. They are still the third-highest ranked team in CONCACAF as Costa Rica comes in at No. 16 and Mexico at No. 17.
Mix Diskerud had to be subbed out after 36 minutes in last weekend’s game due to an injury, but he just missed a couple practices this week and returned to training yesterday. Sounds like a good chance he plays on Sunday.
Also in the injury department, Aron Johannsson is expected to dress with AZ Alkmaar this weekend. Johannsson played with AZ’s reserves earlier this week and will get a chance to play in his first game with the senior team against Groningen on Saturday.
While we are learning about some new dual-national players, Tom Marshall introduces us to Leones Negros midfielder Jesus Vazquez.
Aleks Gogic signed with Reading last year, but it looks like the 18-year-old goalkeeper must be on loan with Southern League Premier Division (seventh tier!) side Slough Town F.C. as he played in a game with them last Saturday.
Here are a bunch of things from the last couple of days.
Joe Gyau made his first team debut with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday. He came off the bench and played the last 16 minutes. Here are some highlights and an every touch video of his performance. As for that hugging photo with Jurgen Klopp, that came right after Dortmund scored their first goal right as Gyau was about to sub into the game.
Robbie Keane thinks Robbie Rogers should get a look at left back for the USMNT (No Gregory, I am not posting this as a shot at Timmy Chandler. Just wanted to get that out there in advance. ).
MLSsoccer.com posted their Top 24 players under 24 yesterday. A few USMNT players (DeAndre Yedlin, Bill Hamid, Luis Gil) on there as well as some possible USMNT hopefuls in the near future (Gyasi Zardes, Wil Trapp).
It might be tough for some of the MLS players to play for the USMNT in the October 10 friendly due to the MLS schedule that week.
And finally, we are nearly out of our OT/Sacha Mustache t-shirts, but here is your last chance to get your hands on one. Some of the ones listed in that post have already been claimed, waiting to hear back from some others, but send me an e-mail if you are interested.
The US U-20 team opened up the 2014 NTC Invitational with a 2-1 win over Chile. The goals were scored by Andrija Novakovich and Zach Pfeffer. Here is who started and this is what they looked like. Next up is Bermuda on Wednesday at 4 PM Pacific.
Jozy Altidore and Jermaine Jones made the rounds at FOX on Sunday. They were on Fox Sports Live and did this podcast (which randomly features a Iowa Hawkeye helmet!). Jermaine also threw out the first pitch at the Dodgers game on Friday.
Jose Torres, Herculez Gomez and Tigres did not qualify for Copa Libertadores after losing to Morelia in the two-legged SuperCopa MX.
Sebastian Lletget had an assist in West Ham’s Development Squad’s 2-2 draw to AFC Hornchurch on Sunday. Lletget is in an interesting spot. He is probably getting too old for regular development squad minutes, but West Ham won’t play him with the first team or loan him out to get minutes.
We had tons of goals this weekend as you can see from all the highlight posts I made over the weekend. You can also see the non-highlights goals on our goal tracker. We also had some youth team/friendly goals this weekend with Danny Barbir scoring with West Brom’s U-18 team and Rubio Rubin scoring twice with Utrecht’s reserve team.
Remember when David Yelldell was a thing and looked like he might be the #3 goalkeeper for the USMNT? Well, he has been hiding on Bayer Leverkusen’s bench the last couple seasons, but he made a nice double save off a penalty kick in a friendly over the weekend.
I made a post about two things yesterday. I have heard from one of our Brazil Bracket Challenge winners, but still waiting to hear back from dmlacey. I also asked for help trying to find the video that they played in the stadiums before the World Cup games. Brian Straus then tweeted it out later in the afternoon and it was on FIFA’s own Youtube channel. Apparently I can find Icelandic third division highlights, but not something this simple on FIFA’s own channel. That said, enjoy the video. I like it.