Tab Ramos named his roster for the upcoming Toulon Tournament earlier this week. One name missing from that roster is Anthony Brooks. He told some German press that he wants to pull a Timothy Chandler circa 2011 (rest over the summer since he is young and new to the Bundesliga) and sit out of national team competitions (but maybe he changes his mind if the USMNT come calling?).
Another name missing from the U-20 team is forward Villyan Bijev. And now he has accepted a call by Bulgaria’s U-21 team for this summer’s Euros, which would provisionally cap-tie him. Bijev’s last appearance with the US came with the U-18 team at the Lisbon International Tournament.
Speaking of the Lisbon International Tournament (I love easy transitions), the current U-18 team opened up the 2013 Lisbon International Tournament with a 3-0 win over the Czech Republic.
Going back to the U-20 team, Jose Villarreal’s name was missing from the Toulon Tournament roster because the Galaxy didn’t release him.
Stoke City and Tony Pulis have decided to part ways. Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea and Maurice Edu will have a new manager to impress this summer.
Photo time! Clarence Goodson and Brøndby avoided relegation over the weekend so they celebrated by taking a shirtless photo in the locker room (this is for the ladies).
Charlie Davies and Randers finished third in the Danish Superliga, so here is Davies showing off his bronze medal.
And congrats to Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht on winning their second consecutive Belgian league title. Here is a photo of Sacha and the cup. Staying with Sacha, I should hopefully have the Sacha/mustache shirts up for sale later tonight/tomorrow. It all depends on my travel schedule today.
With the major European leagues winding down, it’s time to renew an annual OT tradition: the OT XI. With our expansion into more coverage of Americans in Mexico, we’ve adjusted the eligibility for the OT XI. In the previousthreeeditions, only Clint Dempsey has managed to be a mainstay. Will that continue this year?
Without any further delay…
Matt Taylor, Preußen Münster (Germany)
Jozy Altidore, AZ (Netherlands)
The 2012-13 OT XI features two forwards for the first time since the 2009-10 team with the lone forwards from each of the last two seasons (Taylor in 2010-11, Altidore in 2011-12) earning the honors. Taylor returned to the 3. Liga after a season in the 2nd Bundesliga and put up another 15+ goal season, scoring 16 as Preußen Münster jumped from mid-table to nearly earning promotion. He added a hat trick in a DFB-Pokal upset over top-tier Werder Bremen. Altidore, unsatisfied with his 19 goals across all matches in 2011-12, decided that he wanted the American record for goals in Europe to return to the Netherlands and shattered Clint Dempsey’s record from last year as he buried 23 league goals and another eight in cup matches.
Michael Bradley, Roma (Italy)
Sacha Kljestan, Anderlecht (Belgium)
Conor O’Brien, SønderjyskE/ Nordsjælland (Denmark)
Clint Dempsey, Totenham Hotspur (England)
After a solid debut season in Serie A with Chievo Verona, Bradley made the jump to perennial power Roma and became a fixture for the Coppa Italia finalists. Kljestan put in another strong season of central midfield play and great mustaches as Anderlecht repeated in Belgium. With that title, Kljestan will play in the Champions League group stage once again. After a decent debut season in the Danish Superliga, O’Brien flourished into full-blown World Cup sleeper with four goals in twenty matches with SønderjyskE. After his contract expired mid-season, he jumped to eventual runners-up FC Nordsjælland and became a regular there by season’s end. Dempsey overcame a slow start following his move to a bigger club to hit double-digit goals across all competitions for the third straight year.
Charles Kazlauskas, Helmond Sport (Netherlands)
John Anthony Brooks, Hertha BSC (Germany)
Geoff Cameron, Stoke City (England)
Edgar Castillo, Tijuana (Mexico)
The Milwaukee native rightback Kazlauskas put in another strong season in the Eerste Divise, scoring five goals across the board as Helmond Sport made the promotion playoffs again. Brooks, in his first full professional season, was dominant as Hertha cruised to the 2nd Bundesliga title. In a crazy centerback stat, he did not receive a yellow card all season. Cameron made the jump from MLS to the Premier League and featured all across the backline in making 35 appearances. Castillo, having made a permanent move to Xolos, put in the strongest season of his previously-troubled career as Tijuana won the Apetura in just their second season in the top flight.
Brad Guzan, Aston Villa (England)
After years of languishing on the bench, Guzan finally got the chance to start regularly in 2012-13. Despite not having a great goals allowed record, Guzan single-handedly kept a dreadful Aston Villa defense afloat. With Villa frequently starting 3+ defenders under the age of 23, Guzan came up with critical save after critical save, earning his teammates’ vote as their player of the year.
Jozy Altidore, F, AZ
Altidore becomes the first person to win this award not from Nacogdoches, Texas, to win this award. His 31 goals, as stated, broke Clint Dempey’s American-in-Europe record of 23 from last year while stealing the MVP award away from him as well. AZ, despite a poor Eredivise campaign, won the KNVB Cup for the first time in 31 years behind his winning goal in the final. Altidore will almost assuredly leave the Netherlands this summer after finishing 4th in the Dutch scoring charts.
Goal of the Year
It may have looked awkward, but Clint Dempey’s 35-yard goal against Stoke City late in the season was simply splendid.
Performance of the Year
In a critical late season match against Manchester City, Clint Dempsey sparked Tottenham’s dramatic comeback with a goal and an assist in Spurs’ 3-1 victory that kept their Champions League hopes alive for the time. It was exactly the type of match and performance that we people wanted to see Deuce come up with after his move from Fulham.
Aston Villa had their end-of-the-season awards dinner tonight/last night and Brad Guzan walked away with both Players’ Player of the Year and Supporters’ Player of the Year awards. Congrats to Mr. Guzan. He joins Stuart Holden (2010-11) and Clint Dempsey (2010-11 & 2011-12) among the list of Americans to win player of the year honors at a Premier League side.
With the end of the season, we now slowly turn to the silly season. The Sun is reporting that West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce wants Guzan for next season. Like most soccer transfer rumors on the internet, there is about a 5% chance it is true (if that).
There has been a little online chatter that Mikkel Diskerud might look back to Norway since he hasn’t been called into Klinsmann’s camps that much aside from January, but Mix turned down an offer to play with Norway’s U-21 team at this summer’s U-21 European Championship. And I guess there is some speculation that Mix will play for the US this summer (my guess would be at the Gold Cup).
The US U-20 team will be at the U-20 World Cup this summer, but will be first playing at the Toulon Tournament in France at the end of this month. Tab Ramos gave some quotes to US Soccer’s website about the tournament.
In the potentially really good news department, Anthony Brooks told Ramos recently that he is leaning towards playing with the US U-20 team at the Toulon Tournament in France. My reaction: good, good.
The fine folks at Top Drawer Soccer have some video interviews with U-20ers Benji Joya, Danny Garcia and DeAndre Yedlin.
And Ryan Bacic talked to potential U-20 forward Jordan Morris. According to Brian Sciaretta, Morris had a really good camp last month and fits the current system well.
As for some things with this site, Howie, Jon and I are breaking down film (not really) and starting our process to select our annual OT XI for 2012-13. Who do you think will deserves to be on the squad? Let us know in the comments in case we are overlooking someone (if we are, I am blaming Howie).
And if you follow us on Twitter or Facebook (or have just looked to the left side of the side in the last 24 hours), you may have noticed a sneak peek of Super Secret Project X. It is something that I am pretty excited about, does involve a player that is over there and should hopefully be revealed this weekend or next week.
The US moved up five spots to #28 in the latest FIFA World Rankings after their win over Costa Rica and draw to Mexico last month. Since Brazil is not playing any qualifiers since they are the host nation, they are continuing to drop (to #19!) since qualifiers are weighed more than friendlies.
For those few people who don’t think Terrence Boyd is a “true” American, he got a new tattoo.
The English Premier League will have goal-line technology next season.
Despite being on loan with Sheffield Wednesday, Stuart Holden took over Bolton Wanderers’ twitter account for a couple hours. Check out the timeline to see the questions that he answered.
Dylan Fahy writes on Michael Bradley for the NY Times.
As for another Bradley, here is a trailer for a documentary on Egypt’s quest to qualify for the World Cup.
It looks like Jurgen Klinsmann would be open to staying on as USMNT manager beyond 2014.
Anthony Brooks recently did an interview with Berliner Kurier where he claims that he will make a decision on US vs. Germany in the coming weeks.
Mr. Soccer Insider Steven Goff is being told that Bryan Gerzicich might be making a move to MLS this summer. Greg Seltzer is also hearing the same thing and adds that he has an offer from a team in Belgium.
In the “sounds about right for his crazy career” department, Freddy Adu has been at the club for about a week now and his manager at Brazilian side Bahia has already been fired.
Brian Span and Djurgården’s game against Mjällby on Monday was suspended due to Djurgården’s fans throwing beer bottles onto the field.
Want to see Michael Bradley in an Italian Volkswagen ad? Why not.
US U-20 forward Daniel Cuevas has returned to full training after tearing his meniscus at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
Joe Gyau did a Google Hangout with SWOL yesterday where he talked about life in Germany and the USMNT among other things.
Work was crazy today (and will be tomorrow), so here are some quick links.
US Soccer officially announced the friendly against Belgium for May 29 in Cleveland. The US will be playing in Cleveland for only the second time ever for an official match. And the US is 1-3-0 all-time against Belgium.
While we are still waiting for an official announcement on the rumored friendly against Germany, now there are rumblings that there could be a third friendly during that May/June time. Add those three friendlies with three qualifiers in June and that might be a lot of games in a short period of time.
According to this article (and this tweet), it looks like Germany’s U-21 coach wants him for the 2015 U-21 Euros (and he would be eligible). Basically I am not going to get myself worked up about Brooks.
Want to see Brek Shea in a Stoke City onesie? Why not.
Lets start off with some site-related issues. You may have noticed that the site has been loading really slowly over the last 24 hours and has its moments like this every so often. I am currently in talks with the hosting company on trying to fix these issues.
As for the next issue, I know some of you who check out the site on their cell phone will sometimes have some “pay day loans” ad scroll across the site making it tough to read. This site is not supposed to have ads so something is secretly embedding the ads and I am still working on getting this fixed as well.
As for a minor change that is sort of “fun”. The comments now give you some Spacer Invader-like icon next to your name instead of the silhouette of the head when you post if you don’t have your own gravatar.
And finally, we are looking for a graphic designer for help with a project that could be really cool if we can pull it off. What we need help with is outside my level of expertise with photoshop. Please use the contact page to e-mail us if you are interested.
Brian Sciaretta took a guess at the names that will appear on the US roster. While Neil Blackmon takes a look at the US midfield.
If you missed it yesterday, the Gold Cup groups and schedule were released. And this has sort of been rumored in the past already, but it looks like the June 18th qualifier against Honduras will be in Utah at Rio Tinto.
The always good for a couple of laughs Jimmy Conrad did a video interview with Jozy Altidore.
Brian Sciaretta caught up with Terrence Boyd to talk about his progress at Rapid Vienna and where he stands in the USMNT picture.
It now appears that Juan Ocegueda will not be able to play for Chivas Guadalajara and he can’t be sent to Chivas USA since he would have to enter a MLS lottery so he is in limbo land.
And finally, Anthony Brooks might miss this weekend’s game due to a cold (or thanks to Google Translate, he is just really cold). And Brooks was called into Germany’s U-20 camp, although some say the U-20 team is not that serious compared to the U-21 team (the U-21 Euros are this summer) in Germany, so this could be a good thing for his US hopes.
I posted this in The OT Report, but Fabian Johnson missed Hoffenheim’s game this weekend due to a hip issue. For those counting at home, the following potential USMNT players are injured/not playing for their club team: Tim Howard, Fabian Johnson, Steve Cherundolo, Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra and Edgar Castillo.
US U-20 forward Mario Rodriguez scored two goals for Kaiserslautern in a 5-1 win in a German Junior Cup match.
I am still looking for highlights, but Joe Gyau was involved in one of St. Pauli’s goals this weekend then celebrated with a teammate.
Hertha Berlin’s website has an interview up with Anthony Brooks. Now for some fun courtesy of Google Translate:
herthabsc.de: With your consistent performance you recommended you for deployments in U20 National Team, are accumulated because of your dual citizenship in both the U.S. as well as Germany. Perhaps there will come a decision up to you, what thoughts you’ve already done it?
John Anthony Brooks: I have not ever done me no thoughts. I let it come to me and just try here at the club Hertha BSC to bring my performance, because only then can I recommend for additional nominations for the national team. Everything else will then become evident. If the decision to be taken at some point maybe really, it is an abdominal or heart decision, whatever you want.