“There were a lot of options,” Altidore said. “People were saying I was forced to Toronto or something like that. I just thought at this point in my life it was something that I was ready to do.
“I was ready for the public opinion and backlash. The project they have here excited me the most.”
Even more than the plethora of opportunities he had on Europe’s mainland.
Altidore explained why he chose Toronto FC over four German clubs, two French sides, two Italian teams and a potential loan move within the Premier League.
But there are a lot of goodies in that interview so go read it.
While he is not playing much for Hamburg, Bayern Munich is at least making money off Julian Green. According to one report out of Germany, Bayern Munich is getting paid each time Green doesn’t make Hamburg’s gameday roster. And that has happened a lot this season.
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 biggest news of the weekend revolved around Robbie Rogers. The ex-Leeds/Stevenage player came out of retirement after being traded to the LA Galaxy (from the Chicago Fire). Then he made his debut last night, coming off the bench in LA’s 4-0 win over Seattle. Good for him.
While that game was going on, Club America had a dramatic comeback over Cruz Azul in the Liga MX final, scoring two goals in the last few moments, including this diving header by America’s goalkeeper. The game went on to extra time before America pulling out the victory in penalty kicks. Although he didn’t play in the game, America does have 20-year-old Mexican-American Ventura Alvarado on the squad. Alvarado only appeared in three games, but he is a champion. Last night’s game also produced this great GIF of America’s manager.
Michael Bradley ended his season this past weekend with a 1-0 loss to Lazio in the Coppa Italia final. Before that game, Greg Seltzer reported that recently promoted Hellas Verona (not to be confused with his former club Chievo Verona) tried to talk to Roma about a loan deal for next season, but Roma wants none of it.
As for some other end-of-the-season roster housecleaning. Bury has released a bunch of players including Euan Holden. Holden appeared in only one game for Bury in 2012-13.
Joe Gyau is headed back to Hoffenheim after St. Pauli declined on their option to buy once his loan came to an end. Hoffenheim have their second leg of the relegation playoffs today, so we will find out if they are staying in the Bundesliga or moving down (they hold a 3-1 lead).
Tony Taylor won’t be playing with Estoril next season as he didn’t pick up a contract extension, although his agent claims there is other interest in Portugal. Taylor scored one goal in 15 league appearances last season as Estoril earned an Europe League spot for 2013-14.
A couple clubs are “cleaning up” their crests/badges and trying to make them more up to date. Everton released this one, although their supporters are not huge fans of it. And Roma did the same thing.
Brian Sciaretta recently talked to US U-20/Colorado Rapids defender Shane O’Neill. O’Neill is on the US U-20 team that is in France for the 2013 Toulon Tournament. The US U-20 team kicks off the tournament against France on Tuesday, although O’Neil won’t join the team until after Colorado’s June 1 league game against FC Dallas.
Staying with the U-20 theme, Tom Marshall talked to Monterrey’s Alonso Hernandez about trying to make the US U-20 World Cup roster. Hernandez is also in France for the Toulon Tournament.
This has nothing to do with anything US Soccer related, but a documentary that I highly enjoyed is now on Youtube. The Four Year Plan is an unbelievable behind-the-scenes look at QPR for a couple seasons as they attempt to earn promotion to the Premier League. I believe it is on Netflix (if you want a high quality version of it), but for those without Netflix, you can check it out here. It is amazing to see them earn promotion (spoiler alert!) while some of the people involved are batsh*t crazy.
We hit a milestone over the weekend. The site is officially over the one millionth hit mark. So thanks for reading the site the last couple years.
The 25-year old, who joined the club 12 months ago after a successful trial period, was made available for transfer at the start of the season and he has signed contract cancellation papers.
Robbie started just one game for the club since arriving from Columbus Crew and made three further appearances as a substitute.
A head injury ruled him out for a period last season before an ankle injury curtailed his campaign early.
There hasn’t been any chatter regarding a domestic return that I’m aware of. Unlike Mr. Findley, his rights belong to his former club so no trade would necessarily be required. Rogers was somewhat unsettled in his latter years in Columbus (after having been Best XI in 2008) including requesting a trade in March 2011. So, even though he isn’t subject to the allocation process, Columbus and Rogers might prefer to engineer a trade of rights. (Unsourced speculation: his time training with the Galaxy suggests that they could be interested in him— perhaps a trade to replace Donovan? Let’s start that rumor.)
Rogers made 13 total appearances in 2012— four Championship appearances, six League One appearances (under former Colorado Rapids manager Gary Smith at Stevenage), one FA Cup appearance, one League Cup appearance, and one Football League Trophy appearance.
Think he’ll return to America’s hardest working team? I doubt he returns to Columbus— that relationship was definitely broken, and Robert Warzycha is still there. A trade within MLS seems much more likely. He was making $140k in 2011. Beggars can’t be choosers, so he might have to take a pay cut. I’m half-joking with the Galaxy, although he is from California and Bruce Arena likes reclamation projects.
A return to the Netherlands seems unlikely (due to the international player minimum salary). I could see something in Scandinavia being an option.
Brian Sciaretta caught up with Sacha Kljestan to talk about about his rise in status at both the club and country level. And Daniel Renders gives Sciaretta a cool stat about Anderlecht’s record with/without Kljestan. And this has prompted me to start up on an Inside the Numbers piece, which will hopefully be up in the morning.
Kljestian has 18 months left on his contract, but there are on-going talks over a new deal/extension.
Julian De Martinis of ESPN writes about Michael Bradley’s first six months at Roma.
Noah Davis gives us 20 wishes for the USMNT in 2013.
The USMNT January/Camp Cupcake will now begin on January 7, not January 14. And expect the roster to be announced on Sunday, with the possibility of one small surprise.
Euan Holden has parted ways with Stockport County. Holden appeared in only one league game in 2012-13 after playing in 33 games last season.
Brian Sciaretta introduces us to Aron Johannsson over at the NY Times blog. Johannsson is a 21-year-old Icelandic-American who currently plays for AGF Aarhus in the Danish Superliga (and leads the Superliga with nine goals).
Speaking of leading leagues in goals. With his hat trick over the weekend, Jozy Altidore has now scored seven of AZ’s 10 goals in league play and leads the Eredivisie in goals so far this year.
I have slowly become a bigger and bigger fan of the Men in Blazers podcast over the last couple months and they had Geoff Cameron on this week for an interview. Go listen to it just so you can hear “quarterback style” and giggle like a little girl like myself.
I have heard from a few of you about helping out with the site. I am going to get back to you guys over the next day or two. I am also thinking of starting a “weekend commentary” type thread each week so you guys can comment away while watching the games, healthy discussions of course, while also linking highlights and other news. A good idea?
Andrew Wooten was loaned out to fellow German 2. Bundesliga side Sandhausen. While Kaiserslautern were relegated last season and he saw some first-team playing time at the end of last year, Wooten has only appeared in reserve squad matches in the Regionalliga so far in 2012-13 (three goals in three games with Kaiserslautern II). His first chance at playing time is on Friday against Union Berlin.
Over in England, Robbie Rogers was put on Leeds United’s transfer list earlier this month, but they have now sent him to League One club Stevenage on loan until January. Stevenage are currently managed by former Colorado Rapids manager Gary Smith.
Geoff Cameron finally got his visa and is headed back to England. Stoke City’s website has an interview up with Cameron right here. His first chance at playing time will be on Sunday when Stoke City host Arsenal.
Stuart Holden is still in the US rehabbing his knee, but Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle recently sent him a care package to make him feel a part of this year’s team.
Predict the following questions for various Americans in England in the unofficially official contest:
Brad Friedel, Totenham:
Totenham: Champions League, Europa League, or neither?
Yes/No: Does Fridel’s consecutive starts streak (a record 314 matches, meaning he could hit 350 this season) end?
Clint Dempsey, Fulham (?)
Who does Clint Dempsey wind up playing for?
Regardless of club, over/under on:
– 14.5 EPL goals (17 last year)
– 19.5 all competition goals (23 last year)
Geoff Cameron, Stoke City
– 15.5 starts (league only)
– 24.5 appearances (league only)
Does Cameron play more minutes at central defense or at defensive midfielder?
Brad Guzan, Aston Villa
Does Guzan make more appearances for Villa or for a hypothetical loan destination?
Which number will be greatest: Guzan cup appearances, Guzan league appearances, or Guzan national team callus?
Tim Howard, Everton
Yes/No: Everton: Europa League qualifiers?
Which Liverpool club finishes higher in 2012-13, Liverpool or Everton?
Eric Lichaj, Aston Villa
– 17.5 starts (league only)
– 26.5 appearances (league only)
Yes/No: Is Aston Villa safe from relegation entering Survival Sunday?
Tim Ream, Bolton Wanderers
National team caps through May 2013: over/under of 1.5?
Bolton: promoted, promotion playoffs, or outside promotion playoffs?
Stuart Holden, Bolton Wanderers
Over/under: September 15 for Stu’s first start (under is before [ie., if he starts August 25, say under])
– 22.5 starts
– 2.5 goals
– 5.5 matches missed due to injury
Jonathan Spector, Birmingham City
Birmingham: promoted, promotion playoffs, or outside promotion playoffs?
Most minutes: rightback, central midfield, or other?
Will Packwood, Birmingham City
– 5.5 league appearacnes
– 8.5 overall appearances
U-20s: U-20 World Cup knockout rounds, U-20 World Cup group stage, or another DNQ?
Robbie Findley, Notthingham Forest
Over/under: 3.5 goals (3 last year)
Nottingham Forest: promotion playoffs contender, mid-table, barely surviving, or relegated (19th last year)?
Zak Whitbread, Leicester City
Over/under: 20.5 league appearances
Over/under: 2.5 different reported injuries (must be separated by at least 2 games)
Robbie Rogers, Leeds United
Transfer result: Championship club, League One club, League Two club, or still with Leeds?
Does he score a goal this year wherever he lands?
Conor Doyle, Derby County
– 5.5 appearances (six last year)
– 0.5 goals (zero for career)
Doyle’s club after this year is __________.
Adam Henley, Blackburn Rovers
– 10.5 appearances league appearances (seven last year)
– 13.5 overall appearances (seven last year)
In May 2013, is Adam Henley American, Welsh, or still undecided?
Jon-Paul Pittman, Oxford United
– 2.5 goals (3 last year)
– 15.5 appearances (15 last year)
Mike Grella, Scunthorpe United
– 15.5 league appearances (13 last year between Brentford and Bury)
– 3.5 league goals (4 last year total)
Yes/No: Is Grella still with Scunthorpe at season’s end? In August 2013?
Do the following players find a club in England?
– Jemal Johnson
– Marcus Hahnemann
– Anton Peterlin
– Cody Cropper
Over/Under on 1.5 Americans winding up in England in January (transfers & MLS free agents)