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.
Alfredo Morales got the start, played 59 minutes and scored the opening goal of the game in Ingolstadt’s 2-1 loss to Paderborn today. The goal was Morales’ first goal of the 2013-14 season. Here it is.
Don’t expect the USMNT roster to be officially announced until Monday, but thanks to the internet sleuthing of Grant Wahl, Josh Deaver and others, the following players look to be headed to Sarajevo:
One player not headed to Bosnia is Clint Dempsey according to Wahl. This is not surprising since he just made a move to Seattle and everyone knows where he stands within the USMNT picture. Paul Carr also tells us that Bosnia will be the 23rd straight US game that Dempsey and Donovan haven’t played together. I also doubt Alejandro Bedoya gets called in after just making his move.
The USMNT headed to Dallas (technically Arlington) on Monday after beating El Salvador 5-1 on Sunday (highlights here). I did another fun stat thingie talking about their winning streak and all the goals they keep scoring. Yay for numbers! The US will be facing Honduras from Jerry World Cowboys Stadium at 7 PM Eastern on Fox Soccer.
Sunday’s game drew a 1.2 overnight rating, which is not bad for most soccer games shown in the US. The previous week’s game against Cuba only drew a 0.6, while the Champions League final drew a 1.0 overnight rating on FOX earlier this year. Baby steps.
While most of us were watching the US, we probably missed out that Freddy Adu came off the bench and played 13 minutes in Bahia’s 0-0 draw. It was his first action since May. Here are some highlights from the game, although Adu is not really in any of them (I think he is the smaller guy in the white jersey at the back post during the last free kick, but I can’t tell for sure).
Alfredo Morales made his debut with Ingolstadt as the German 2. Bundesliga season started up over the weekend, but he had a pretty nightmare debut. A bad back pass led to a goal and he left the game with a red card and will miss the next game. Ouch.
We had some goals in the lower leagues over the weekend. Christian Eissele scored the game-winning goal and his 21st across all competitions in Kemi Kings’ 4-3 win. And Chukwudi Chijindu scored his sixth goal of the season for Thor. His six goals are tied for the second most in the Icelandic Úrvalsdeild. As always, you can follow along with our goal tracker.
Also over the weekend, Aron Johannsson scored another goal for AZ Alkmaar in a preseason friendly against Getafe.
Defender Babajide Ogunbiyi is returning to Viborg FF in the Danish 1st Division (second tier). Ogunbiyi appeared in 12 league games for fellow Danish 1st Division side Vendsyssel in 2012-13 after playing for Viborg in the previous two and a half seasons.
And finally, the Milk Cup is always a favorite of ours and Javier Perez named his 18-man U-18 roster yesterday. It features some European-based players, including goalkeeper Ethan Horvath (Molde FK) and forward Lynden Gooch (Sunderland). They will face Mexico next Monday in the first game then play Northern Ireland on Wednesday and Denmark on Friday. The US has won the tournament twice before (2005 and 2010).
The USMNT Gold Cup squad started up training yesterday in San Diego. Josh Gatt left his game at Molde FK this weekend with a knee injury, but still no news to report on how bad (or good?) it is as they wait for the MRI results. Cory Ashe is also day-to-day with a thigh contusion.
Here is a Google-translated article about Jurgen Klinsmann wanting Bobby Wood for the Gold Cup, but 1860 Munich persuaded that it was in his best interest to stay in Europe for preseason training.
As for another Wood(s), USMNT goalkeeper coach Chris Woods was officially named the goalkeeper coach at Manchester United. Woods was the goalkeeper coach under David Moyes at Everton, and as for the good news, will get to continue coaching with the USMNT (although he won’t be with the team at the Gold Cup).
Jozy Altidore sat down with Grant Wahl recently for this video interview. Greg Seltzer has some Jozy transfer goodies here and here. He also has some more stuff on Alejandro Bedoya and Joe Gyau. And he lets us know that US youth forward Rubio Rubin will sign a deal with FC Utrecht next spring once he turns 18.
Will Packwood is jogging for the first time since his nasty leg injury (and surgeries). Good to hear.
As for some more preseason friendly stuff from the weekend, Alfredo Morales started for FC Ingolstadt in a friendly against Maccabi Tel Aviv. And Julian Green had a hat trick on Saturday in Pep Guardiola’s first game with Bayern Munich, a 15-1 win over some fan club. Then followed that up with a hat trick on Sunday in another friendly with Bayern Munich’s senior team against another amateur team. In my opinion, there is a good chance the 18-year-old could be playing with Bayern’s U-23 team this upcoming season. He scored 10 goals in 28 league games with their U-19 team last season.
Fabian Hurzeler is training with Hoffenheim’s senior team to start out the preseason.
It looks like Borussia Mönchengladbach could be interested in signing US U-20er Mario Rodriguez to their youth team.
Here is a video interview with Aubrey Perry and Charles Renken about their trial at Nyköpings BIS in Sweden.
And finally, OT reader/frequent commenter Daniil let us know that 15-year-old Elbert Green of the Pacific Soccer Academy is down in Honduras training with Olimpia. Green was born in San Jose, California.
Hertha Berlin will be playing in the Bundesliga next season after winning promotion this year, but Alfredo Morales will not be with the club. Morales signed a two-year deal with FC Ingolstadt today.
“Ingolstadt is a young, up-and-coming club with great potential,” Morales, who joined Hertha at age 10, told the club website after the deal was announced on Friday. “It was time for me to make a new step, I felt it in my gut. I want to do my part to help FCI continue moving forward.”
The move to Ingolstadt means the 23-year-old will stay in the 2. Bundesliga and will likely get a shot at more playing time. Morales appeared in 23 first-team matches with Hertha Berlin across all competitions over the last three seasons, including 10 games in 2012-13.
Ingolstadt currently sit in 11th place in the 18-team 2. Bundesliga this season with one game remaining. Fellow Americans Edson Buddle and Amaechi Igwe have played at the club in prior seasons.
Wikipedia fun fact: The club nickname Die Schanzer has a military background, meaning trenchmen or rampartmen.
Charlie Davies got the start and went the full 90 minutes in Randers’ 0-0 draw to OB today. It was his first start in a top-flight European league since before his car crash with Sochaux in 2009-10. As Howie pointed out to me, Costa Rica has played two WC Hex qualifiers on American soil since his last start. Let that sink in for a second.
After playing some games with the U-23 team in the Regionalliga, Bobby Wood came off the bench and played 31 minutes in 1860 Munich’s 1-0 win over Erzgebirge Aue today.
Landon Donovan is back with the LA Galaxy and spoke to the press today. He is hoping to get back with the USMNT in time for the three qualifiers in June.
The Birmingham Mail has a story on Will Packwood and his road to recovery.
The US-Mexico game drew the highest World Cup qualifier match ratings in ESPN history. And here are the field-level highlights of last Friday’s game against Costa Rica. A friend of the site also sent in some photos from the game that I should hopefully have up tomorrow.
Swedish Superettan side IK Brage have signed central defender Tyler Ruthven. Ruthven last played with the New York Red Bulls in 2012.
Bob Bradley has Egypt on the right track so far in their quest to qualify for the World Cup.
And good luck to soccer journalist Brian Straus. Staus was let go by the Sporting News along with some other writers this week. Whether you enjoyed his now famous article from last week or not, we need more people like him following MLS/US Soccer. Hopefully someone smart picks him up. Maybe I can convince him to come to this site and pay him in high fives.
Howie is out of the country and having fun at the moment.
Matt’s Pick – Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar – Dutch Eredivisie)
Jozy scored his 16th league goal of the season (21 across all competitions). How many players have more goals in the Eredivisie? Two. How many players have more non-PK goals in the Eredivisie? One.
Jon’s Pick – Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin – German 2. Bundesliga)
Morales was so unimportant to Hertha Berlin a few months ago that they let him take part in the United States’ extensive January camp. Whatever he learned there must’ve taken. Morales made his first start of the season for the club and played all 90 minutes of a 1-0 victory that keeps Hertha in a promotion place.
You might have seen me post a bunch of the videos already this weekend, but you should probably follow @EveryTouchFooty on Twitter. He/she/it has been posting some great videos of various American players and their every touch in games from this past weekend. If they continue to make these videos, you can expect me to post a lot of them as they give you a decent idea of how someone played aside from the normal 2-3 minute videos with only the goals from the game.
Staying with the U-20 theme, Marc Pelosi had to leave his Liverpool U-21s game this weekend with an injury. And it looks like he broke his leg. That probably knocks him out of this summer’s U-20 World Cup if the US are able to qualify.
Landon Donovan is set to return to the LA Galaxy in late March. No word if/when he plans to return with the USMNT. I’m guessing we won’t see him in a US jersey until May or June.
Alfredo Morales made his 2012-13 senior team debut with Hertha Berlin this weekend. And here is a photo of him and Anthony Brooks celebrating the occasion. Hopefully he is talking in Brooks’ ear about how great it is to play for the USMNT.
I posted some goals from some friendlies last week and it looks like Brian Span has scored again in another one. Hopefully Span can convert this good form into playing time with Djurgården as he appeared in only nine games last season.
Lester Dewee has continued to play/train/trial with Bodens BK and has scored some goals. You can see some photos of some recent friendlies here and a video interview with Dewee right here.
And finally, Robbie Earle thinks Brek Shea can have some success at Stoke City.