Some sites credited Eric Lichaj with an assist earlier this week, but as you can see from these highlights, he just headed the ball out to the guy who ended running the full field and scoring. So a little tough to call it an assist.
US Soccer is about to have a busy next couple of weeks with the USMNT, U-23 and U-20 teams all having camps and friendlies throughout Europe. It looks like we should expect to see the various rosters over the weekend.
While we wait for the rosters, a bunch of names are kind of leaking out. Thanks to Birmingham City’s site, we know that Will Packwood is going to be with the U-23 team. Brian Sciaretta is also hearing that Jerome Kiesewetter will be with the U-23s, while Andrija Novakovich will be with the U-20s. And while there has been speculation that Jurgen Klinsmann is going to call in Ventura Alvarado with the MNTers, there is at least one report of Leon goalkeeper William Yarbrough being called in as well.
Will Packwood scored his first professional goal yesterday in Cheltenham Town’s 2-2 draw to Portsmouth (highlights). He had to be subbed out due to some kind of injury, but he tweeted after the game that he is “feeling groggy” but is OK.
DeAndre Yedlin is back on the field and played with Tottenham’s U-21 team on Monday. Here is a photo of him in action.
Andrija Novakovich made his debut with Reading’s senior team over the weekend in Reading’s 4-1 loss at Watford. Here is a photo of Novakovich about to come onto the field.
Reading and Danny Williams (went the full 90) won their FA Cup 6th round replay over Bradford City on Monday. Reading is headed to the FA Cup semis for the first time since 1927.
And finally, FIFA announced the stadiums that will be used at the 2016 Olympics and somehow Arena da Amazônia in Manaus made the cut as one of the seven stadiums. I still remember drinking two full glasses of water while just walking to my seat in the upper deck. It was such a furnace. I did snap this nice photo.
Gedion Zelalem went the full 90 minutes and scored a goal in Arsenal U-18’s 5-3 win over Leicester City on Wednesday. You can see full highlights of the match on Arsenal’s site, but it requires you to sign up for their site (it is free). Or you can just check out the GIF below.
Gedion Zelalem went the full 90 minutes and was involved with Arsenal U-18’s first goal in their 3-2 loss to Crewe Alexandra in the FA Youth Cup earlier this week. Zelalem was able to get his foot on a cross which the goalie was able to save, but Zelalem’s teammate rebounded the loose ball for the goal. Here are some highlights with the goal mentioned in the previous sentence at the 1:35 mark.
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.
One player at this month’s camp that you probably don’t know that much about is Julio Morales. Brian Sciaretta gets you caught up to date on Mr. Morales. It looks like Morales might not be able to play in the friendlies just yet (although he can still participate in the camp) as he has to file a one-time switch with FIFA since he played with Mexico at the 2013 U-20 World Cup.
Much like Brad Friedel with the U-20 team, another former player, Carlos Bocanegra, is helping out as a coach this month.
Kyle McCarthy takes a look at the mixture of vets and youth as camp begins.
In other USMNT news, CONCACAF has moved up the start of the final round of World Cup qualifying (a.k.a. The Hex) by three months to November of 2016 due to FIFA eliminating some international fixture dates in 2017. The draw for the first round will take place on Thursday, but the US won’t enter qualification until the fourth round, beginning in November of 2015. Yes, the whole cycle is about to start up again.
And we might know about two more friendlies for this year as Fox Sports ran this graphic during Friday’s U-20 game, which shows games against Australia and Ghana for later this year.
Speaking of Mr. Zelalem, the guys over at The Short Fuse have a little write- up on the savoir of American soccer Arsenal prospect.
Moving onto some club news.
All signs are pointingtowards Mix Diskerud signing with NYCFC later today (or this week).
There was some more Jozy Altidore-to-MLS chatter over the weekend and Toronto FC appears to have the edge at the moment. If this were to go down, I am just going to pretend that this was some mastermind of Klinsi to get Michael Bradley and Jozy practicing together everyday.
Heath Pearce didn’t come to terms with Orlando City after being taken in the expansion draft, so he might be looking to take his talents to Europe. Pearce began his professional career in Denmark with FC Nordsjælland and also played with Hansa Rostock in Germany so he does have experience abroad.
I can’t find much more on this, but Frank Simek’s wikipedia page has been updated that he is now with Sông Lam Nghệ An in Vietnam. As one would expect, it is not easy to find solid information on this team or league.
New York appears to be the place to be at the moment.
A day after we had Mix Diskerud-to-NYCFC rumors, Taylor Twellman tells us that Jozy Altidore is talking to a few MLS teams, including New York Red Bulls. Less than an hour later, Ives Galarcep told the world that the Red Bulls are also closing in on Sacha Kljestan.
Those of you waiting to buy a DeAndre Yedlin/Tottenham jersey can now go ahead with that purchase as he is wearing #12. Here is also a quick video of him scoring in his first training with Spurs.
“I was all over CONCACAF looking for guys,’’ Karbassiyoon said Monday. “And every single trip I went on was a plane ride, and if it was a drive, it was several hours away in another market. But with Gedion, maybe two or three months after I originally met him, his dad had me over. I knew I was close but that area is confusing, and I’m navigationally challenged, so I looked up the house and it said estimated time three minutes. I said that really is close. It was pretty hilarious.”
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.
The German-born midfielder, who played six years of youth soccer in the D.C. area before signing with Arsenal in 2013, was in Washington on Monday to finalize the naturalization process, clearing the way to represent the United States in international competition, the Insider has learned.
Zelalem, 17, must now await FIFA approval, but that is believed to be a perfunctory exercise. Although he will remain eligible for Germany and Ethiopia (his family’s homeland), Zelalem has told friends and American officials that he plans to commit to the U.S. program, multiple sources said. The fact he flew to Washington from London during Arsenal’s normal weekly training routine further revealed his intentions.
Zelalem visited the Passport Agency on 19th Street Northwest, three blocks from the White House, and was recognized by at least two bystanders.
Affiliated with a prominent Premier League club, Zelalem will immediately become one of the top young prospects in the U.S. build-up to the 2016 Olympics and 2018 World Cup. The first realistic opportunity for Jurgen Klinsmann to summon him to the senior national team is in late March, the next official period on the FIFA match calendar, when the Americans play friendlies at Denmark and Switzerland.
Zelalem, a thinly built central midfielder with expert vision and ball skills, has played for Germany’s youth national teams but apparently never in official FIFA competition.
Zelalem is eligible for a U.S. passport through the Child Citizenship Act, a federal law that allows offspring of naturalized parents to also become citizens. Zelalem’s father, Zelalem Woldyes, was naturalized this year. The law applies to children under 18 only; Zelalem turns 18 on Jan. 26 — an approaching deadline that had raised anxiety among U.S. supporters and officials.
As for Zelalem and his potential U.S. national team future, he has not yet publicly committed to the American program. In fact, he and his family have yet to confirm he is even eligible. However, he was on a pathway to a passport, and according to those close to him, he prefers to play for the United States rather than Germany, which he has represented on the youth level.
Zelalem lived in the Washington area for many years, attended public schools in Montgomery County, Md., played one season for Walter Johnson High School and honed his game with the Bethesda-Olney Soccer Club.
Said one source: “It’s going well” with the citizenship process and there could be “some news in short time.”