Tab Ramos named his roster for the upcoming Toulon Tournament earlier this week. One name missing from that roster is Anthony Brooks. He told some German press that he wants to pull a Timothy Chandler circa 2011 (rest over the summer since he is young and new to the Bundesliga) and sit out of national team competitions (but maybe he changes his mind if the USMNT come calling?).
Another name missing from the U-20 team is forward Villyan Bijev. And now he has accepted a call by Bulgaria’s U-21 team for this summer’s Euros, which would provisionally cap-tie him. Bijev’s last appearance with the US came with the U-18 team at the Lisbon International Tournament.
Speaking of the Lisbon International Tournament (I love easy transitions), the current U-18 team opened up the 2013 Lisbon International Tournament with a 3-0 win over the Czech Republic.
Going back to the U-20 team, Jose Villarreal’s name was missing from the Toulon Tournament roster because the Galaxy didn’t release him.
Stoke City and Tony Pulis have decided to part ways. Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea and Maurice Edu will have a new manager to impress this summer.
Photo time! Clarence Goodson and Brøndby avoided relegation over the weekend so they celebrated by taking a shirtless photo in the locker room (this is for the ladies).
Charlie Davies and Randers finished third in the Danish Superliga, so here is Davies showing off his bronze medal.
And congrats to Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht on winning their second consecutive Belgian league title. Here is a photo of Sacha and the cup. Staying with Sacha, I should hopefully have the Sacha/mustache shirts up for sale later tonight/tomorrow. It all depends on my travel schedule today.
With the major European leagues winding down, it’s time to renew an annual OT tradition: the OT XI. With our expansion into more coverage of Americans in Mexico, we’ve adjusted the eligibility for the OT XI. In the previousthreeeditions, only Clint Dempsey has managed to be a mainstay. Will that continue this year?
Without any further delay…
Matt Taylor, Preußen Münster (Germany)
Jozy Altidore, AZ (Netherlands)
The 2012-13 OT XI features two forwards for the first time since the 2009-10 team with the lone forwards from each of the last two seasons (Taylor in 2010-11, Altidore in 2011-12) earning the honors. Taylor returned to the 3. Liga after a season in the 2nd Bundesliga and put up another 15+ goal season, scoring 16 as Preußen Münster jumped from mid-table to nearly earning promotion. He added a hat trick in a DFB-Pokal upset over top-tier Werder Bremen. Altidore, unsatisfied with his 19 goals across all matches in 2011-12, decided that he wanted the American record for goals in Europe to return to the Netherlands and shattered Clint Dempsey’s record from last year as he buried 23 league goals and another eight in cup matches.
Michael Bradley, Roma (Italy)
Sacha Kljestan, Anderlecht (Belgium)
Conor O’Brien, SønderjyskE/ Nordsjælland (Denmark)
Clint Dempsey, Totenham Hotspur (England)
After a solid debut season in Serie A with Chievo Verona, Bradley made the jump to perennial power Roma and became a fixture for the Coppa Italia finalists. Kljestan put in another strong season of central midfield play and great mustaches as Anderlecht repeated in Belgium. With that title, Kljestan will play in the Champions League group stage once again. After a decent debut season in the Danish Superliga, O’Brien flourished into full-blown World Cup sleeper with four goals in twenty matches with SønderjyskE. After his contract expired mid-season, he jumped to eventual runners-up FC Nordsjælland and became a regular there by season’s end. Dempsey overcame a slow start following his move to a bigger club to hit double-digit goals across all competitions for the third straight year.
Charles Kazlauskas, Helmond Sport (Netherlands)
John Anthony Brooks, Hertha BSC (Germany)
Geoff Cameron, Stoke City (England)
Edgar Castillo, Tijuana (Mexico)
The Milwaukee native rightback Kazlauskas put in another strong season in the Eerste Divise, scoring five goals across the board as Helmond Sport made the promotion playoffs again. Brooks, in his first full professional season, was dominant as Hertha cruised to the 2nd Bundesliga title. In a crazy centerback stat, he did not receive a yellow card all season. Cameron made the jump from MLS to the Premier League and featured all across the backline in making 35 appearances. Castillo, having made a permanent move to Xolos, put in the strongest season of his previously-troubled career as Tijuana won the Apetura in just their second season in the top flight.
Brad Guzan, Aston Villa (England)
After years of languishing on the bench, Guzan finally got the chance to start regularly in 2012-13. Despite not having a great goals allowed record, Guzan single-handedly kept a dreadful Aston Villa defense afloat. With Villa frequently starting 3+ defenders under the age of 23, Guzan came up with critical save after critical save, earning his teammates’ vote as their player of the year.
Jozy Altidore, F, AZ
Altidore becomes the first person to win this award not from Nacogdoches, Texas, to win this award. His 31 goals, as stated, broke Clint Dempey’s American-in-Europe record of 23 from last year while stealing the MVP award away from him as well. AZ, despite a poor Eredivise campaign, won the KNVB Cup for the first time in 31 years behind his winning goal in the final. Altidore will almost assuredly leave the Netherlands this summer after finishing 4th in the Dutch scoring charts.
Goal of the Year
It may have looked awkward, but Clint Dempey’s 35-yard goal against Stoke City late in the season was simply splendid.
Performance of the Year
In a critical late season match against Manchester City, Clint Dempsey sparked Tottenham’s dramatic comeback with a goal and an assist in Spurs’ 3-1 victory that kept their Champions League hopes alive for the time. It was exactly the type of match and performance that we people wanted to see Deuce come up with after his move from Fulham.
One player who is rumored to be missing from this roster is Landon Donovan. If Landon does not get called in, you would have to think he would be called in with the guys for the Gold Cup.
Speaking of that Gold Cup roster, it looks like they will have their own friendly against Guatemala down in San Diego before the tournament begins on July 9. But US Soccer has not officially announced anything yet.
We told you about the Gold Cup getting a new trophy last week. Well, here it is and it sort of looks like the old trophy.
With all these different USMNT rosters, Brian Sciaretta takes a guess at both rosters.
Jozy Altidore was named to the De Telegraaf Eredivisie Team of the Season. And here are two photos of Jozy holding the Dutch Cup after last week’s victory: Photo 1 & Photo 2.
There was a Sky Sports story that we posted last week about Bursaspor trying to obtain Maurice Edu from Stoke City on a permanent basis and multiple people are telling Greg Seltzer the same.
If Edu does return to Stoke City next season, he along with Brek Shea and Geoff Cameron will look like they play for the Columbus Crew in away games in their new black-and-yellow kits for 2013-14.
Remember when Freddy Adu’s manager at Bahia was fired a week after he joined the club and there was some crazy stat about the club going through 20-25+ managerial changes over the previous 10 years? Well, Bahia fired another manager.
As expected, Steve Cherundolo will be getting a new one-year extension at Hannover 96.
After being released by Carlisle United, Frank Simek is currently on trial with D.C. United even though he would still need to go through the allocation rankings since he has played for the USMNT before. Yay weird MLS rules!
Even with the broken leg, Will Packwood has agreed to a one-year extension with Birmingham City.
Mix Diskerud talked to Goal.com this week about his future with the USMNT and his failed move to Portland.
Tijuana defeated Palmeiras 2-1 last night meaning they will advance to the quarterfinals of Copa Libertadores. Edgar Castillo and Joe Corona both got the start in the win and they will now take on Brazilian side Atlético Mineiro.
Alex Kurial of Yanks Abroad has a story up on how Americans Shane Recklet and Jacob Wilson are trying to help Vasas SC back to the top level of soccer in Hungary.
And go take a look at our cool new Sacha/Over There shirt. They will go up for sale next week.
The big news from yesterday, which Howie already posted, is that Stuart Holden is back in the USMNT picture. Holden also did an interview with Lion of Vienna Suite this week where he states that he feels 100%.
Steven Goff gives us the latest USMNT ticket sales update. I really need to stop playing around and pull the trigger on a trip up to Seattle in June.
Jurgen Klinsmann doesn’t appear to be happy about Brek Shea’s lack of playing time at Stoke City.
Sky Sports is reporting that Maurice Edu might make a permanent move from Stoke City to Bursaspor, but the article really only has quotes from Edu about being happy in Turkey.
Here is a video of Geoff Cameron talking about Stoke City’s summer tour to play against Houston Dynamo.
Greg Seltzer updates us on AZ Alkmaar’s all-time single-season goals list (plus gives us some other numbers and stats). Jozy Altidore is fourth with 30 goals and has three games left to add to that tally. Kees Kist holds the top three spots with 39 goals (1981-82), 36 (1978-79) and 35 (1977-78).
Steve Cherundolo talked to US Soccer about soon becoming the fourth player in Bundesliga history to play 300 games and playing the most games in club history after his next appearance. Cherundolo is also close on a new contract with Hannover 96.
This is from last week, but this story has some quotes from Tab Ramos on the US U-20 team, including why DeAndre Yedlin didn’t make the CONCACAF U-20 Championship roster.
A player that was on the CONCACAF U-20 Championship roster, Mario Rodriguez, scored a goal for Kaiserslautern in the semifinals of the U-19 German Cup the other day.
US U-17 forward Junior Flores is headed to Germany to train with Borussia Dortmund up through their Champions League final appearance. Flores signed a pre-contract deal with Borussia Dortmund back in October and can’t sign a professional deal until he turns 18 in March of 2014.
We have another American at Club Tijuana as former LA Galaxy youth academy player Paul Arriola has signed with the Liga MX club.
Jurgen Klinsmann spoke to some reporters on Wednesday and touched on a few different topics, including Stuart Holden and some ideas on how he is going to build this summer’s Gold Cup roster.
“We save most of [the top-flight European-based players] clearly for the World Cup qualifiers and then give them a well-deserved break. And then we have to build a very competitive roster for the Gold Cup.
“It’s tricky. Who is in a rhythm? The Scandinavians are in a rhythm. The MLS players are. Mexico is in a similar break like Europe, so it makes it difficult. Whoever from Mexico you leave out of the May-June camp, most likely we will leave them out of the Gold Cup as well because they would come from vacation and they can’t catch up. It’s a challenge for us.”
Preston Zimmeran scored for the second straight week, this time the lone goal in Darmstadt 98′s 1-0 win over Osnabrück (highlights here).
Matt’s Pick – Geoff Cameron (Stoke City – English Premier League)
Geoff Cameron keeps getting thrown around on the field for Stoke City and has done well to adapt to that position and this weekend was no different. Cameron got the start at leftback and did well enough to earn WhoScored.com Man of the Match honors and earn my POTW honors.