One player who could see some more playing time with the US without Jozy in the upcoming friendlies is Aron Johannsson. He was named Eredivisie Player of the Week after his two goal/one assist performance over the weekend. Here is also a little video on ArJo.
Alfredo Morales helped Ingolstadt win promotion to the Bundesliga this past season. Kyle McCarthy wrote some words on Morales and his move to Ingolstadt. And according to Greg Seltzer, the club is currently working on a contract extension for Morales.
While Spector is staying at Birmingham City, Will Packwood is no longer with the club and was last seen training with the New England Revolution. But it doesn’t look like the Revs will be signing Packwood.
Grant Wahl is hearing that Rubio Rubin is drawing interest from other teams in Europe but he is staying at Utrecht.
Greg Garza got the start and scored his first league goal since November 15, 2012 in Tijuana’s 2-1 loss to Atlas. Edgar Castillo went 90 and picked up a yellow card for Atlas, while Joe Corona played 20 minutes off the bench for Tijuana. Here is Garza’s goal.
As for the mid week so far, Gedion Zelalem help setup a goal for Arsenal’s U-21 team. Michael Orozco had an assist as Puebla won the Copa MX final over Chivas (Herculez Gomez watched from the bench). And Andrija Novakovich scored a goal for Reading’s U-21 team.
The US U-20 team is in Austria this week and here is their roster. They had a 2-2 draw against Qatar yesterday with the US goals coming from Amando Moreno and Conor Donovan.
The US U-23 team will take on Mexico later tonight at the StubHub Center. Here is their roster. Apparently manager Andi Herzog asked Hamburg permission for Julian Green to stay after last week’s friendly against Mexico for this game but they didn’t respond yes to him until Green was already on a plane back to Germany. Herzog also wants to create a pipeline to the USMNT with the U-23 team. And Liviu Bird’s random observation from training earlier this week, Jordan Morris has Type 1 diabetes and tests his blood sugar during training.
For those of you that miss watching grainy Youtube videos of Josh Gatt flying down the wings, we have some good news. He has been cleared to play again after a couple knee surgeries.
Hannover 96 did some shuffling around of their coaching staff and Steve Cherundolo has been promoted to an assistant.
It’s time for the not-quite-annual USA-Mexico out-of-window cash grab friendly (Wednesday, 7:30 PM CT, Fox Sports 1/UniMas/Univision Deportes). The US released its roster today. It consists of 13 MLS players, 5 Liga MX guys, an NASL guy, a college guy, a guy who finally made his EPL debut, and whatever we classify Julian Green as these days.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS (8): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Puebla), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution)
FORWARDS (5): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Julian Green (Hamburg), Jordan Morris (Stanford University), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
Notable absences are Clint Dempsey (injured) and Jozy Altidore (suspended). Juan Agudelo makes his triumphant return. Brad Evans also returns after a lengthy absence.
Herculez Gomez likes scoring goals for Puebla and he scored another one last night in a 2-1 win in Copa MX action (highlights). I was also able to find some highlights of Devann Yao’s goal from the weekend (highlights).
Also scoring earlier this week was Jake Keegan in Galway United’s win in Irish League Cup action (highlights). Here is the post-game press conference with Keegan and his manager. Around the 2:50 mark, his manager talks about Kevin Garcia joining the team soon. I am guessing he is waiting for a work permit as I believe it took Keegan a while to get a new one for this season.
Staying in Ireland, St Patrick’s Athletic has signed midfielder Morgan Langley. Langley played in one game for the Philadelphia Union in 2011, but has mainly played his professional soccer with the Harrisburg City Islanders.
Like many American soccer fans over the last couple seasons, Club Tijuana has slowly become my favorite Liga MX side, especially living in Southern California and having games on TV at reasonable times (Friday at 7:30 PM) instead of setting an alarm for 4 AM in order to watch an English Premier League match.
It also doesn’t hurt when the team boasts Americans Joe Corona, Greg Garza, Paul Arriola, a treasure trove of US U-20 players and have featured other Americans in the past (Edgar Castillo and Herculez Gomez).
With the weekend free, I decided to finally make the three hour trek south to Tijuana to check out the Xolos experience in person in their Friday game against Pumas.
Former USMNT goalkeeper Frank Borghi passed away this week. He will probably be remembered most for his performance against England in the US’s upset at the 1950 World Cup. Resident goalkeeper historian Will did a good job of collecting news/links/information on Borghi over the last week.
We have had a couple goals so far this week. Herculez Gomez scored yet another goal for Puebla in Copa MX action on Tuesday (highlights). Dating back to his first stint with Puebla, it was his 13th goal in 22 career games across all competitions with Puebla
Nermin Crnkic scored a goal yesterday in Jablonec’s 2-0 win over FC Copenhagen in something called the Atlantic Cup (highlights). It appears to be a friendly/winter break tournament that no one attends.
Heading back to Mexico last night, 20-year-old Jesus Vazquez scored a goal in Leones Negros’ 2-0 win over Necaxa. Looking at our goal tracker, that is already the fourth goal scored by an American against Necaxa since January 21.
Sticking with Copa MX, Joe Corona wore the arm band for Tijuana last night in their 3-2 win over Coras de Tepic. Fellow Americans Alejandro Guido, John Requejo Jr. and Paul Arriola also saw the field for the Xolos. Jon Arnold got some quotes from Arriola following the match.
Also in action on Wednesday, Rubio Rubin went the full 90 minutes in Utrecht’s 1-0 loss to Willem II. While Tim Ream went 90 minutes in Bolton’s 2-1 loss to Liverpool in their FA Cup fourth-round replay.
Some reading material as you countdown until the weekend.
Coming off a 1-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday (highlights), the US U-20 team found out that it will be playing El Salvador on Saturday in the win-or-go-home playoff match to determine who will go to this summer’s U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. The game will be on Fox Sports 2 at 5:00 PM Eastern. The US will have a chance to get some revenge on El Salvador as they knocked out the 2012 U-23 team from qualifying for the 2012 Olympics. (UPDATE – Looks like the game is now on Fox Soccer Plus).
Speaking of the U-23 team, Ives Galarcep decided to guess at a possible Olympic qualifying team of MLS players since some of the European-based played might not get released for qualification.
Joe Corona returned from his broken foot to score in Tijuana’s Copa MX match on Wednesday (highlights). Jon Arnold (who has been everywhere this week) was at Estadio Caliente on Wednesday and got some post-game quotes from Corona. Tijuana’s website also got some words from Corona following the game.
For those of you with a Darlington Nagbe-to-USMNT countdown clock, you can probably move the time up a bit. Most people thought he would become a US citizen at the end of 2015 but it now looks like it could be September according to Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson.