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.
The USMNT had a surprise addition at training today. Stuart Holden has been cleared to do some (not all) of the training. Stu told Grant Wahl that he is hoping to get back onto the field with Bolton’s reserves in late February. Good to hear.
US Soccer’s website has been updated with some goodies. They have a Q&A with Jurgen Klinsmann. A quote sheet with stuff from Graham Zusi, Michael Parkhurst and Mike Magee. And a video of some of the guys on the team participating in some graffiti with some youths in Brazil.
I posted on Tuesday about the US-Mexico friendly rumors and now there are some rumors of a game against Serbia in New York in May. I have no clue how good/bad this Twitter account is (we are now entering Rumorville), but it would add fuel to that fire: Tweet #1 & Tweet #2.
As the USMNT camp portion in Brazil nears its end, US Soccer gives us a quote sheet with some players raving about the facilitates and their off day. And the latest diary talks about the day off from training. And here is a short video of Kyle Beckerman talking about a lot of the same stuff.
Steven Goff has the latest on US Soccer’s budget for the next fiscal year (April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015). Sounds like they might see a surplus due to the Seattle qualifier being held in such a large venue compared to the normal ~20,000 seat venue. And there is a proposal for 10 friendlies between April and November, including an April friendly which would likely see a MLS-heavy roster due to it not falling on a FIFA fixture date.
Twitter news-breaker Taylor Twellman is hearing that Nick Sakiewicz of the Philadelphia Union is headed to England/Stoke City to to finalize details on Maurice Edu’s transfer to MLS/Philly. I want Mo in Philly solely for the ability to post this video every so often.
Jerome Kiesewetter is headed to Hertha Berlin II on loan for the rest of the 2013-14 season. Kiesewetter hasn’t appeared in any games for Stuttgart II in the German 3. Liga this season so he heads back to Hertha Berlin (he grew up in their youth academy) to get some playing time in the Regionalliga.
Grant Wahl is reporting that Sporting Kansas City recently rejected a $1 million bid by Juventus for 16-year-old defender Erik Palmer-Brown. Wow. Palmer-Brown was one of 24 players who just finished camp with the US U-18 team in Florida this month.
Sebastien Ibeagha talked to Neil Morris of Indy Week about his decision to head to Europe over playing in MLS.
Brian Sciaretta caught up with promising US U-20 midfielder Romain Gall who currently plays with FC Lorient’s U-19/U-21 teams.
And let’s end this links post with a trick shot video where Mix Diskerud got involved in the fun.
Apparently Jurgen Klinsmann felt the need for some more depth at the central midfield spot (or just wanted to reward the Real Salt Lake player since the game is in Utah?) as he has added Kyle Beckerman to the roster.
Granted Jermaine Jones could still be out, but the US already has Michael Bradley, Geoff Cameron, Stuart Holden and Sacha Kljestan among others who can play in the center.
Yay for press releases at 5 PM Eastern on a Friday!
ussoccer.com speaks to MNT midfielder Kyle Beckerman about his role with the USA in this episode of Opportunity Knocks. The Real Salt Lake captain discusses his goals for 2013 as he looks to be a valuable part of Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad trying to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil.
A couple links worth checking out today on this otherwise non-newsworthy day.
I posted the MLS Generation Adidas tour highlights earlier today of their 4-2 loss to Ajax’s reserves, but here is a match report of the game. And they brought back the daily video diaries, which I enjoyed so much last year. The first one is by Zarek Valentin, while the second one is by Amobi Okugo.
Much like the Q&A with Juan Agudelo about his training stint at VfB Stuttgart from earlier this week, US Soccer’s website now has one up with Kyle Beckerman. Interesting to see that Beckerman was “placed” at Kaiserslautern by Jurgen Klinsmann.
Speaking of these MLS training stints in Europe, former USMNT head coach and current Galaxy head boss Bruce Arena does some questioning of these stints.
Greg Seltzer caught up with Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel to talk about the Spurs’ start to the season.
Clint Dempsey did a video interview with BBC’s Football Focus last week, before scoring his 37th goal on Monday. And The Shin Guardian looks at Dempsey’s career in the Premier League and wonders if there is any real comparison to another player in the league.
Someone on twitter suggested keeping track of all these MLS players who are training in Europe this offseason, so I decided to keep this list, which I will update whenever a new name pops up. So if you know of anyone I am missing, please leave the player and some kind of link to a news story on them training in Europe in the comments.
Here is who I can think of off the top of my head:
Juan Agudelo – VfB Stuttgart & Liverpool
Kyle Beckerman – Kaiserslautern
Bill Hamid – West Bromwich Albion
Sean Johnson – Everton
Perry Kitchen – SC Freiburg
Jeff Larentowicz – Bolton Wanderers
Zac MacMath – Everton
Amobi Okugo – SC Freiburg
Zach Pfeffer – TSG Hoffenheim
Tim Ream – West Bromwich Albion & Bolton Wanderers
Robbie Rogers – Kaiserslautern
Omar Salgado – Fulham
Brek Shea – Arsenal
Apparently all the cool kids are going out on training stints with various teams across Europe. Omar Salgado will be at Fulham for two weeks. According to his agent, Juan Agudelo will be in Germany with VfB Stuttgart. Kyle Berckerman and Robbie Rogers will also be in Germany, but with Kaiserslautern. And also according to that last link, U-23er Perry Kitchen will be at SC Freiburg.
Jurgen Klinsmann speaks and the players listen.
Staying with the USMNT….I tweeted this on Monday, but there are some rumors that the Camp Cupcake could be headed down to Panama for a game in January. I also just read that a Galavision announcer said during the US-Slovenia game that the US will play Guatemala in Seattle as well as another unknown opponent at an unknown stadium during that same time period (possibly the Panama match?). But these are just internet rumors at this point.
And finally, CONCACAF has released the 2014 World Cup qualifying schedule. The US starts things off on Friday, June 8, 2012 against Antigua & Barbuda (that is one team, not two teams, as that would be tough playing 11 vs. 22).