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.
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.
The USMNT camp is going strong up in Palo Alto, now with all 30 guys as Jermaine Jones and Aron Johannsson have showed up.
Jeff Carlisle has your daily notebook. The quick notes from that include Jurgen Klinsmann thinks Tim Howard is a top five goalkeeper in the world, Aron Johannsson is nearly back to 100% from his ankle injury and they had a couple scrimmages against the LA Galaxy’s reserve team with Terrence Boyd scoring one goal during one of them. Plus a couple other things, so go read it.
Brian Sciaretta talked to one of the few Liga MX players in camp: Joe Corona.
Leander Schaerlaeckens takes a look at the USMNT fullback situation. Under Jurgen Klinsmann, the US has used 17 different players at either right back or left back for a total of 24 different combinations. One of the other tidbits from Carlisle’s notebook linked above is that Fabian Johnson played at right back during one of those scrimmages. I have said it before on here, but I think my preferred back line at the moment would be Johnson-Cameron-Besler-Beasley.
If you are going to be in Chicago during the World Cup, US Soccer is holding viewing parties at Grant Park for each of the group stage games. And from my own experience from the last World Cup, the Globe Pub was another awesome place to check out a game. I was there during the Algeria game and I will always remember how crazy the back room got when Landon Donovan scored (just a refresher).
US Soccer held a Google Hangout with Kyle Beckerman and DeAndre Yedlin yesterday. You can now check it out on Youtube.
And in the random department, US Soccer has named Lupe Fiasco as the Music Director for the USMNT and Futura Art Director for the USMNT’s World Cup campaign. I really don’t know what that means, but I like this song.
Moving away from the USMNT camp.
Timothy Chandler has been linked to Eintracht Frankfurt in the past and here is another link about this.
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.