Today was one of those really busy days at work so I never had time to get to this, but apparently Jurgen Klinsmann finally realized he didn’t have many fullbacks and has added Jonathan Spector to the roster for the upcoming friendlies.
CHICAGO (Sept. 1, 2015) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called Birmingham City defender Jonathan Spector into training camp ahead of U.S. friendlies against Peru on Sept. 4 and Brazil on Sept. 8, Mass. The roster now includes 24 players, who will continue to train in Washington, D.C. in preparation for Friday’s match at RFK Stadium.
Spector’s last USMNT camp came during March of 2014 before the Ukraine friendly, but he hasn’t appeared in a game for the US since a 1-0 win over Italy on February 29, 2012. It has been a while.
I haven’t done a links post in a while but the last few weeks have been crazy on my end so some of this might be outdated a bit. But some of this might still be new to you. Anyways, here is what I have bookmarked over the last couple weeks.
I did a numbers/stats thing on the USMNT and Clint Dempsey this past weekend since it is easy to do one of those things when you win 6-0.
ESPN’s Doug McIntyre sat down with Clint Dempsey to talk about a couple things, including losing the captain’s armband. It doesn’t seem like he minds that much.
Jozy Altidore told ESPN that he understands the Gold Cup roster swap that sent him home, but he thinks he could have still helped.
A report out of France says Quentin Westberg might be on the move to Tours FC in Ligue 2. Westberg has started only four of Sarpsborg’s 16 league games in Norway this year, but he has been the starting keeper in three of the last four league games.
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.
Had one too many margaritas last night? Nothing a few links can’t help.
As Howie posted yesterday, Birmingham City is letting Will Packwood go while offering Jonathan Spector a new contract.
I posted a couple tidbits on the USMNT, U-23 and U-17 teams earlier this week but I also forgot to include that the U-23 team will be holding a camp in England in September. They will play friendlies against England and Qatar during the camp.
J.R. Eskilson spoke to Sam Strong about how an encounter with Jurgen Klinsmann in an airport helped him get his US U-23 call-up last month.
Steven Goff is hearing that Duke product Jeremy Ebobisse and Virginia’s Jake Rozhansky are headed to Europe for some trials.
I recently learned of another former US Soccer Development Academy player in Germany. Faisal Almubaslat is a 17-year-old winger at Tennis Borussia Berlin playing with their U-17 team in the B-Junioren Bundesliga Nord/Nordost. He had a few goals and assists in April as you can see in these highlights against RB Leipzig and Concordia Hamburg.
And finally, a little plug for our goal tracker. There have been a lot of goals, especially in lower leagues, as of late and it will keep you up to date with who is scoring (and links to highlights when available).
Will Packwood, who joined the Birmingham academy at 14, will not be offered a new contract. The Massachusetts native showed promise in central defense when he got minutes, but he suffered a broken leg that seemed to throw off his progression and spent considerable time on loan. He has an English parent, so I believe work permits elsewhere in England wouldn’t be an issue. I could see him taking a shot at a League One or Two club, while he’s not old (22 soon) he’s been around for a few years without a ton of traction that might limit his appeal.
Birmingham did offer a new contract to Jonathan Spector, who has somehow been there for four years since hopping on after leaving West Ham United. Spector has expressed an interest in re-signing, although he’s apparently also debating how long he wants to stay in England away from his family (he has spent 12 years there). Kick up the MLS speculation, where he apparently wouldn’t be subject to the allocation order (at least for now) so he could sign with Chicago (his hometown team) or whoever he wanted that had him on their discovery list.
One of the “hot” stories from Wednesday was how Julian Green was demoted to Hamburg’s U-23 team. But according to the club, that is not fully true.
“He’s not moving to the Under-23 team,” HSV press officer Lars Wegener told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. “Our sport director said that maybe he could play for the U-23s a couple times when he is not in the first-team squad. The reason is to get him some matches and more practice. He is still with the first team in training.”
A.J. Soares started for Stabæk in a friendly against Strommen and scored a goal yesterday. But Bob Bradley confirmed to The Bent Musket that it is just a training stint and that Soares would be leaving the club this week for another trial elsewhere.
The US tends to be a more stat-driven country when it comes to soccer compared to England, but The Birmingham Mail used some stats to compare Jonathan Spector’s recent play at center back while filling in for injured Michael Morrison.
Jake Keegan officially signed a new contract with Galway United FC (that is their new name for this season after being called Galway FC the last few seasons after replacing the dissolved Galway United).
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.
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.
The US is now unbeaten in its last 19 home games after Tuesday’s draw to Honduras. Here are the highlights and here are some photos. And I found this stat to be interesting from Matthew Doyle about Michael Bradley playing behind two true forwards.
While Brad Guzan and Nick Rimando seem to have the #1/#2 spots locked up over the next year, Will took a look at the depth behind them and gave some other options aside from Bill Hamid and Sean Johnson. He also went USMNT hipster on us and gave us some other options at the U-23 level.
While Joe Gyau is out until January with his meniscus injury, Schwatzgelb.com takes a look closer at Gyau’s career.
Julian Green and Fabian Johnson are both back at their respective German clubs and training again despite their recent injuries.
The roster for next week’s friendlies should probably be released this weekend and various people online are making guesses at that roster, including Jon Arnold and Matthew Doyle.
Steven Goff gives us some more information about the next two weeks regarding US Soccer. Sounds like all the names will be released at once, but guys might only go to one of the games due to MLS’s schedule next week. Some of the young guns (Emerson Hyndman, Cody Cropper and Rubio Rubin) could be headed to Brazil with the US U-23 team instead of the senior team friendlies. And US Soccer is trying to schedule another friendly next month in Europe during the international week when they play at Ireland.
One player who could potentially be on the US roster next week is Miguel Ibarra and Brian Sciaretta caught up with the Minnesota United midfielder about the rumors.
Gedion Zelalem scored a nice little goal for Arsenal’s U-19 team against Galatasaray yesterday in the UEFA Youth League. The guys over at The Short Fuse also looked into the curious case of his citizenship.
Brian McBride is one of five people selected by Fulham chairman Shahid Khan to help in Fulham’s search for a new manager.
And finally, we have a Devann Yao sighting! He was last seen parting ways with UR La Louvière Centre in Belgium’s third division and now he has popped up on Neustrelitz in the German Regionalliga. He has made one appearance for the club so far in 2014-15.