This past weekend had some action on the field. Fabian Johnson scored his first goal with Borussia Mönchengladbach. Aron Johannsson and Tim Ream both returned from their injuries. Roderick has you covered with everyone in The OT Report.
The US U-17 team began play at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship with a 5-0 win over Cuba on Friday (highlights) followed with a 2-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago yesterday (highlights). Joe Gallardo (four goals) and Christian Pulisic have been the US’s two best players in my non-expert opinion so far.
According to one report out of Germany, Jurgen Klinsmann might call up Ashton Götz for the US friendlies and camp this month even though he doesn’t have his US passport yet (he wouldn’t be able to play in the games but he could train with the team).
It looks like Freddy Adu could be headed to Sweden to sign with a real team according to Ives Galarcep. If true, this would be his 11th different team in his eighth different country since becoming a pro in 2004. Over that same time, I have lived in two different apartments and have had the same job.
Continuing with the rumors, this report claims Fabian Johnson has been scouted recently by Barcelona as he is one of a few players on their list of potential fullbacks since Dani Alves’ contract ends this summer.
Barcelona youngster Ben Lederman is currently in playing purgatory as part of the team’s injunction that retroactively disqualified many academy players. Some guys just got cleared to play again but not Lederman.
And also thanks to Josh Deaver, I am now aware of a second American at Barcelona. Konrad de la Fuente is a U-14 forward and he scored a goal back in early February for Barca’s Infantil A.
This past week had a bunch of games and Roderick has you covered on all the goals in Copa MX and a couple Americans in Europa League.
Speaking of Copa MX, I missed this goal on Tuesday, but Sonny Guadarrama scored a goal in Atlante’s 1-1 draw to Toluca (highlights).
Tim Howard was one of those players in Europa League on Thursday and he earned his 21st career win in a UEFA cup competition (Champions League/Europa League), giving him on more than Brad Friedel for the most by any American goalkeeeper.
According to some reports, Julian Green had his meeting with Hamburg manager Josef Zinnbauer and director Peter Knäbel. He apparently apologized for refusing to play with the U-23s and he is back with the first team. Group hug time.
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.
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 rumored USMNT friendly against Croatia at Craven Cottage for November (that their federation announced) looks to be no mas. That said, US Soccer looks to be talking to Colombia about filling that void and still playing at Craven Cottage. But if you remember, Colombia was the team that US Soccer tried to schedule for September for the second friendly and that fell through. Basically nothing is official until US Soccer announces something.
This was the weekend of players returning to the field. Geoff Cameron came off the bench and played 29 minutes (completing 15-of-15 passes) in Stoke City’s 2-1 win over Swansea City. Stoke City’s website got a couple post-game quotes from Cameron.
Terrence Boyd made his return this weekend, coming off the bench and playing 29 minutes in RB Leipzig’s 1-0 loss to Nurnberg. Here is a photo of Boyd in action.
Aron Johannsson played in his first game since the World Cup. It was with AZ Alkmaar’s reserve team on Monday, but he scored from the penalty spot (highlights).
While he didn’t come back from injury, John Brooks appears to be out of the dog house as he came off the bench for Hertha Berlin in a 2-0 loss to Schalke.
And while we had those players coming back, we did have a couple Americans pick up injuries this weekend.
In the battle of American goalkeepers, Tim Howard (photo) and Everton defeated Brad Guzan (photo) and Aston Villa. It was Howard’s 350th career Premier League appearance, trailing only Brad Friedel (450) for the most all-time by an American.
I posted a tweet the other day claiming that David Chavez had signed with Tijuana, but it looks like there have been some mixed signals. He is at the club, but it is nothing more than a training stint at the moment.
Brad Friedel has been doing some TV and radio for TalkSPORT and BT Sport recently and had some words on US Soccer, USMNT and MLS.
Kevin Hoyos’ latest stop appears to be with CSD Tristan Suarez in the Argentina 3rd division.
The US U-20 team is camping in Carson, California over the next week before some friendlies with Chile, Bermuda, and Australia. Here is the roster, which includes Russell Canouse, Romain Gall, Lynden Gooch and Andrija Novakovich as well as a bunch of guys from Tijuana. And for those of you living in Southern California, I am hearing that the friendly against Australia will be on Friday, July 18 at 7 PM at the StubHub Center and will be free to the public. A full schedule of the games is right here.
We are getting closer and closer to the World Cup.
The USMNT landed in Brazil yesterday and began training at Sao Paulo FC’s training facilities. Jurgen Klinsmann, Berti Vogts and Matthias Hamann stayed behind in Miami to watch Ghana defeat South Korea 4-0 at Sun Life Stadium (I think that is the current name, but it changes corporate sponsors every two months).
From my non-expertise of watching that game, Ghana look a little shaky in the back, so the US should get chances. But they pounced on South Korea’s mistakes so the back line will need to be crisp with their passing out of the back. Also while watching, I have determined that the key matchup will be DeAndre Yedlin’s hair vs. John Boye’s hair.
The US will face Belgium in a closed-door scrimmage on Thursday at Sao Paulo FC’s grounds. We *might* get a score, but I highly doubt we will get lineups or any real details of what happened. The other news to come out of training today is that Brad Davis is fully healthy after picking up a knock last week.
While I am sure it will feature on tonight’s episode of Inside: U.S. Soccer’s March to Brazil on ESPN (you can watch the first five episodes here), US Soccer put together a little video of players attempting to reach the green on the famous 17th island hole at TPC Sawgrass. US Soccer also put together a great video series telling a quick story on each of the 23 players. They are all pretty good, but Mix Diskerud is slowly winning me over with each little thing I find out about him.
If you are a soccer tactics nerd, you probably liked the tactical cam that ESPN has been using during these friendlies. Will Parchman was able to use the screengrabs from it to break down Jozy Altidore’s goal going all the way back to when Tim Howard first touched the ball.
The US is one of six countries entering the World Cup on a 3+ game winning streak. Brazil leads the way with nine in a row, Japan is next at five, Algeria is third with four and the US is tied with Spain and Belgium at three wins in a row. Maybe that is why the Vegas odds for the US to win it all dropped from 200-1 to 125-1 recently. Vegas is catching on that the US is going to win this easily. . .
Speaking of Howard, I quickly just scanned the rosters listed on Wikipedia and only Spain’s Iker Casillas (153), Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon (140), Honduras’ Noel Valladares (122) and Croatia’s Stipe Pletikosa (111) have more caps than Howard among goalkeepers at this year’s World Cup.
Also, I am flying down to Brazil on Friday/Saturday (I am on the American Outlaws trip. If you are also going on that trip, let me know so we can meet up for a beer). I have no clue of my internet situation, but I will try my best to keep things updated as normally (and post some photos from my trip). Howie and possibly some new people will also be helping out while I am gone.