The rumored USMNT friendly against Croatia at Craven Cottage for November (that their federation announced) looks to be no mas. That said, US Soccer looks to be talking to Colombia about filling that void and still playing at Craven Cottage. But if you remember, Colombia was the team that US Soccer tried to schedule for September for the second friendly and that fell through. Basically nothing is official until US Soccer announces something.
This was the weekend of players returning to the field. Geoff Cameron came off the bench and played 29 minutes (completing 15-of-15 passes) in Stoke City’s 2-1 win over Swansea City. Stoke City’s website got a couple post-game quotes from Cameron.
Terrence Boyd made his return this weekend, coming off the bench and playing 29 minutes in RB Leipzig’s 1-0 loss to Nurnberg. Here is a photo of Boyd in action.
Aron Johannsson played in his first game since the World Cup. It was with AZ Alkmaar’s reserve team on Monday, but he scored from the penalty spot (highlights).
While he didn’t come back from injury, John Brooks appears to be out of the dog house as he came off the bench for Hertha Berlin in a 2-0 loss to Schalke.
And while we had those players coming back, we did have a couple Americans pick up injuries this weekend.
In the battle of American goalkeepers, Tim Howard (photo) and Everton defeated Brad Guzan (photo) and Aston Villa. It was Howard’s 350th career Premier League appearance, trailing only Brad Friedel (450) for the most all-time by an American.
Fulham got their first league win of the season yesterday in a 2-1 win over Birmingham City. Emerson Hyndman got the start and went 45 minutes for Fulham, while Jonathan Spector played 90 minutes and Brek Shea came off the bench and played 45 minutes for Birmingham City. Here are some highlights.
But some other non-goal scoring noteworthy stuff happened this past weekend as well. Brad Guzan now leads all Premier League goalkeepers in clean sheets this season after posting a 1-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield (highlights). He was happy about the win.
Brek Shea made his Birmingham City debut and assisted on the Blues’ lone goal in their 1-1 draw to Leeds United (highlights). His performance was also worthy of Man of the Match honors by Birmingham City’s fans.
Julian Green also made his Hamburg debut, getting the start but getting subbed out at halftime of their 2-0 loss to Hannover 96. By most accounts, he was pretty so-so. Here is a photo of him in action (I really do like those white shirts). And Hamburg’s manager Mirko Slomka was fired.
On the youth team sides, Andrija Novakovich scored a goal for Reading’s U-18 team in a 2-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion. And Kyle Scott scored a goal for Chelsea’s U-18 team in a 2-2 draw to West Ham United.
Aron Johannsson will never get to play a game for new manager Marco van Basten as he has stepped down due to health issues.
Brek Shea made his Birmingham City debut today, starting and playing 67 minutes in a 1-1 draw. He also assisted on Birmingham City’s lone goal of the game. Jonathan Spector also came off the bench and played 11 minutes for the Blues. Here are some highlights with Shea’s assist at the 1:07 mark.
A few things to get in before the weekend starts up.
Brek Shea’s loan to Birmingham City became official yesterday. He will be with the club for three months. Birmingham City’s manager Lee Clark also said he even tried to buy Shea permanently before the season, so it looks like Clark will give him a chance to play. Here is also a short video interview with Brekken.
As for some bad news, Freiburg midfielder Caleb Stanko tore his ACL. Stanko has been mainly playing with Freiburg II this season and was hoping to make his senior team debut this year.
The big news of yesterday was that Geoff Cameron underwent hernia surgery on Wednesday and will be out for an unknown amount of time. This has been a disaster of an opening 2014-15 season for Cameron.
As for his Stoke City teammate, Brek Shea looks to be headed to Birmingham City on a loan and will be available for selection this weekend as the Blues take on Leeds United. Shea will join fellow Americans Will Packwood and Jonathan Spector at the club.
Julian Green’s chances of making his Hamburg debut this weekend are decent as the club is battling a few injuries to some attacking players.
Berti Vogts doesn’t like when Borussia Monchengladbach manager Lucien Favre plays Fabian Johnson at positions that are not named right back.
Greg Seltzer broke out his stat notebook and has a bunch of random numbers for your viewing pleasure. Based on the old MLS scoring system (two points for a goal, one point for an assist), Jozy Altidore’s 2012-13 was the best by any American in a top-flight league in Europe.
The US U-20 team ended their Argentina adventure with a 1-1 draw to Argentina’s U-20 team. Zach Pfeffer scored the lone goal for the US.
Jurgen Klinsmann did a Q&A on US Soccer’s website about the young guns and last week’s game. Remember how we beat the Czech Republic on their home turf? That same team just beat the Netherlands, 2-1, in a Euro qualifier this week.
Brian Sciaretta decided to do a transfer report card on seven key Americans. He likes Johnson’s move to Borussia Monchengladbach the most and I can’t really complain.
Some horrible news for Quentin Westberg and Luzenac as the club has been denied access to Ligue 2. The club is not even allowed to go back to the National (third tier) so it will now play in the the amateur seventh division with all current players released of their contracts.
Christopher McCollum caught up with Brandon Scott to talk about his debut season with Leiknir Reykjavík as they have earned promotion to the Icelandic Úrvalsdeild with two games remaining.
Mike Woitalla introduces us to the latest American teenager being courted by both the US and Mexico.
The roster for USA-Czech Republic, in addition to featuring some rising youngsters, features two old faces – Brek Shea and Tim Ream – who haven’t been around a US camp for a while.
Jeff Carlisle has a piece with Ream, who has (quietly?) resurrected a career that had stumbled a bit following some poor international outings and a rough start to his time at Bolton. It’s been nearly three years (!!!) since Ream made a US appearance – we were all so young and hopeful!
“It really depends on the person, whether you really want to stick your neck out there and try it and take your lumps along the way or develop at home in a comfortable situation,” he said.
“I think for me it was a case where I had kind of run into being comfortable at New York. Not that it wasn’t difficult, but I knew that for one reason or another I’d be playing week in and week out because there was nobody to step in and do the job. It was just a personal choice to make the move and see what it would be like.”
I’d argue that it wasn’t just the Bolton move turning sour early that derailed his US career (he was really bad for the Red Bulls and the Nats in the latter part of 2011), but he’s earned his way back.
Meanwhile, Brian Straus has a nice piece with Brek Shea on his time with Stoke. It’s not a hopeful read.
He’d come from a culture where camaraderie was celebrated and where playing in Europe was the stuff of dreams. But the Premier League’s slick packaging doesn’t reveal the challenges underneath the surface. Shea was slow to adjust and as he dealt with a broken foot and then an injured groin, the frustration mounted. Meanwhile, the coach who brought him to Stoke, Tony Pulis, left the club.
“It’s more like a 9-5 job over here. In America, you’re having fun and you’re with a group of friends. It’s still very serious – you want to win – but you have that camaraderie,” Shea said. “From what I’ve seen here, it’s just different. It’s a job. You go in and you go home and in MLS, you have a team barbecue once a week. You hang with people outside the facility. You don’t really do that here. Everyone has their family, their own friends.”
Jürgen Klinsmann is saying Jürgen Klinsmann things because he’s Jürgen Klinsmann. He declared that the US should have gone further at the World Cup and bemoans the players’ mentality, apparently forgetting about the really really conservative gameplans he put out. He also played MLS fantasy commissioner and took a (somewhat rightful) shot at the league for playing through international windows. He also says that Landon Donovan’s last appearance won’t be awkward (yeah, and it’s a complete coincidence that I avoid the place that an ex-girlfriend works).
The match (which is at 2:15 PM ET/11:15 AM PT) will see the US try once again to beat the Czechs. They throttled the US, 4-2, in East Hartford in the pre-World Cup tour in 2010 (RIP, Heath Pearce’s international career and the Maurice Edu at CB Experience). They also thrashed the US, 3-0, in the opening match of the 2006 World Cup. (Also, Czechoslovakia beat the ‘Mericans 5-1 back in Italy 1990.)
Remember the halcyon early days of the Klinsi regime when he was assigning numbers for friendlies based on position? US Soccer is now releasing those numbers ahead of time. Crazy times. You can see the team sheet below.
Steven Goff has you covered with a weekend roundup of the bigger names in Europe. Good to see Rubio Rubin and Emerson Hyndman both made appearances again in their respective team’s starting lineups. Hyndmann is 18 years old and completing 91 percent of his passes this season, fourth highest in the Championship among players with 100+ attempted passes.
As for some goals, Matt Taylor bagged another two goals in Saarbrücken’s 2-1 win over Nöttingen (highlights). Taylor has put together a nice little career in the various lower leagues in Germany, scoring 55 goals in 162 league appearances since 2008-09.
Bobby Warshaw went the full 90 minutes and scored the opening goal of the game in Bærum’s 2-1 loss to Hønefoss (highlights). Over in Sweden, Andrew Stadler scored his 11th goal of the season in Landskrona’s 1-1 draw to Sirius (highlights). Down in the fourth tier in Sweden, Eddy Prugh and Andy Lorei both scored in Bodens BK’s 3-2 loss to Anundsjö (highlights). And we don’t have highlights of these goals, but Matt Eliason, Drew Jeskey, Anthony Avalos and Christian Eissele also scored this weekend and our goal tracker has some more details. Will Packwood also scored for Birmingham City’s U-21 team.
While we had some goals this weekend, the assists might have been even better this weekend. Bobby Wood used his head to assist on 1860 Munich’s goal in their 1-1 draw to Darmstadt 98 (highlights). Here is also a photo of Wood from that game. And Alfredo Morales assisted on two goals in Ingolstadt’s 3-0 win over Sandhausen (highlights). That second one was pretty slick.
The US U-20 team is headed to Argentina this week to play Racing Club Reserves, Defensa y Justicia Reserves and Argentina’s U-20 team. Here is the updated roster, which features John Requejo Jr., Fernando Arce, Russell Canouse, Junior Flores and Paul Arriola among others. Another interesting name on the list is Chivas de Guadalajara’s Luis Martir since Chivas normally has a Mexican international only policy.
We had a pretty quiet Deadline Day on the American front (aside from a dildo going into a reporter’s ear, seriously), but we had a couple moves over the last couple of days.
As we posted over the weekend, Julian Green is headed to Hamburg on a season-long loan. And for all those soccer jersey hipsters out there, Hamburg has a decent home shirt this year and Green looks to be wearing #37.
The bigger news on the American front were the moves that did not happen. Stoke City decided to keep Geoff Cameron despite bids from Sunderland and Southampton. Zulte-Waregem made a bid for Sacha Kljestan, but Anderlecht decided to hold onto him as well. And I guess there might have been some rumblings of Southampton sniffing around Brek Shea, but nothing happened (and it was likely silly season nonsense).
And before multiple more people ask me, Juan Agudelo is still without a club and myself (and many others) don’t know anything more on his situation.
Brian Sciaretta, writing for multiple outlets, has you covered with some interviews with Brad Guzan and Greg Garza. Jonny Rico also got some audio from Garza and Joe Corona about their recent call-ups to the USMNT.
And finally, Freddy Adu is still in Serbia, still hasn’t played for his new team and is suing his former Brazilian team Bahia over alleged unpaid wages.
At the youth level, Gedion Zelalem went 90 minutes for Arsenal’s U-21 team in a 1-1 draw. Also at the U-21 level, Cody Cropper and Southampton defeated Sebastian Lletget and West Ham 2-1. Here are some highlights with Lletget getting an assist at the 3:22 mark. And Marc Pelosi has come back from his broken leg and started to play again with Liverpool’s U-21 team.