We posted yesterday in the US-Chile pre-game primer about how Gedion Zelalem is currently ineligible to play for the US, but Grant Wahl/Sunil Gulati are making it sound like the FIFA exception will go through and he will be eligible later this spring.
Also in the link above, Wahl is hearing that US U-20 center back Cameron Carter-Vickers could be training with Tottenham’s first team in the coming weeks.
Fresh off his loan extension with Charlton Athletic, Oguchi Onyewu got injured while warming up and did not play yesterday while it was announced that he was going to start in Charlton’s 3-0 loss to Ipswich Town.
A bunch of stuff from this week and other stuff from last week that I meant to post but didn’t, so let’s get after it.
Yesterday was a good day for Americans in Europe. John Brooks continued his recent strong play by scoring his first goal since THAT goal against Ghana (highlights from yesterday). Over in Belgium, Sacha Kljestan came off the bench and scored a goal in Anderlecht’s 3-0 win in the Belgian Cup (highlights). Also in the Belgian Cup, Kenny Saief scored for Gent in their 4-1 win (no highlights found yet). And back in Germany, Alfredo Morales was credited with an assist in Ingolstadt’s 2-1 win, but his teammate did most of the dirty work (highlights).
Howie posted some links about Brek Shea heading back to the US and Orlando City, but Greg Seltzer is hearing that some other Championship teams might be still interested in his services.
Herculez Gomez is headed back to Puebla. This will be his seventh different stint with a Liga MX team in the last five seasons, but he would be returning to his original stint/team where he won his scoring title in 2010.
Ventura Alvarado and Club America won the Apertura title this past fall so here are two interviews for you, one in English and one in Spanish.
Dom Dwyer signed a new contract with Sporting Kansas City which will keep him in the US for a while longer. Since he received his green card in 2012, he would be eligible to apply for citizenship in 2017.
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.
The various actual voters must have read our poll as Tim Howard was named 2014 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year yesterday.
CHICAGO (Nov. 20, 2014) – Goalkeeper Tim Howard has been voted the 2014 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year, with the announcement taking place earlier today live on ESPN’s SportsCenter. This is Howard’s second time winning AOTY, previously earning the honor in 2008.
The three-time FIFA World Cup veteran becomes the fifth player to win Male Athlete of the Year on multiple occasions, joining defender Marcelo Balboa (1992, 1994), goalkeeper Kasey Keller (1997, 1999 and 2005), forward Landon Donovan (2003, 2004, 2009 and 2010) and forward Clint Dempsey (2007, 2011 and 2012).
“It’s an honor. I know the winners on the list who have come before me, so it’s special to have my name up there,” Howard said on SportsCenter. “The whole ride with the team for about a month and a half, when we got together for training camp and we flew down to Brazil, we had a really good time and that made 2014 so special to me.”
A new voting process took place this year, with votes collected from Men’s National Team players earned a cap in 2014, Men’s National Team and Youth Men’s National Team coaches, Major League Soccer and North American Soccer League head coaches and select former players, administrators and media members.
Howard received 64 percent of the tabulated votes, followed by Jermaine Jones (19 percent) and Kyle Beckerman (11 percent).
In honor of his win, US Soccer has put up this photo gallery and this video:
I am guessing players like Aron Johannsson, Terrence Boyd and Danny Williams were left off due to just returning back from injury, while we did get confirmation last night that Clint Dempsey was left off to give him some rest during the MLS playoffs. Some other players still in the playoffs, like Jermaine Jones and Lee Nguyen, will be headed back to the US after the Colombia friendly.
Tesho Akindele was not on the roster despite various reports saying he had a good chance of making it last week, but it looks like he made the initial provisional roster. I am wondering if he might get called in for the Ireland friendly if some of those MLS players return to their clubs, especially with FC Dallas no longer in the MLS playoffs.
The US U-20 team is currently Spain for a mini-tournament against Russia’s U-21s, Ireland’s U-20s, and Canada’s U-20s. Here is that roster. And here are some photos from their training session yesterday. It looks like Tab Ramos is working with Brad Friedel to try and get Cameron Carter-Vickers’ release from Tottenham for the U-20 World Cup.
A couple dual nationals that the US can probably cross off their list: Columbus Crew’s Justin Meram and Stjarnan’s Pablo Punyed.
Still haven’t learned anything new, but one report out of the UK claims DeAndre Yedlin is close to getting his Latvian passport, which means he could join Tottenham in January.
We had some goals this past weekend. The Joker, Cesar Romero, notched a hat trick in Armenia (highlights). Andrew Wooten assisted on the game-tying goal and scored the winner in Sandhausen’s victory over Nurnberg (highlights). That performance by Wooten earned him OT’s Player of the Week honors by Howie and myself. Read this and you will see that Wooten’s goals have come up big for Sandhausen this season. Bobby Warshaw scored a goal (highlights) as Bærum advanced in the Norwegian promotion playoffs and will next play Rhett Bernstein and Mjøndalen. And finally, Devann Yao got another start and scored another goal in German Regionalliga action (highlights).
Heading back to Norway for a second. This past weekend was the last game of the season. The Fighting Bob Bradleys had a 2-0 win over Sogndal and finished ninth in the 16-team Tippeligaen. Not bad for a newly promoted team.
There is a chance that Mix Diskerud played his last game for Rosenborg, a 4-1 win over Strømsgodset, giving them a second place finish and a spot in next year’s Europa League in the event he stays at the club. It looks like Mix is also participating in Movember.
And down in the Adeccoligaen, it was good to see Zarek Valentin return to the field after missing most of the season with an ankle injury.
Tim Howard was trying to be sneaky sneaky in Everton’s 1-1 draw to Sunderland.
I posted yesterday the news that Tesho Akindele turned down an invite with the Canadian national team to keep things open with the US. And now Ives Galarcep is hearing that Akindele will be called in by the USMNT next week.
Jozy Altidore’s agent, Lyle Yorks, is headed to Sunderland to talk to the club about his future. HITC’s Andrew Gibney takes a look at why a loan to France would be a good move for multiple parties. Jozy also turned 25 yesterday. According to the always good Paul Carr, his 24 international goals are the second most in USMNT history before turning 25. Some guy named Landon Donovan leads the way with 27.
Speaking of numbers, go check out where Rubio Rubin’s four assists rank in Europe among players 20 or younger.