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.
Christian Eissele scored his second goal of the season on Monday in IK Brage’s 3-0 win. I have no clue what is going on in this clip, but it is an interesting goal. Also, football lines on the field, oh the horror!
Här är Brages underliga mål från igår. VSK-spelarna tror att domaren blåser för offside, vilket han inte gör. pic.twitter.com/xg6bSH20jK
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.
Steven Goff has you covered with a weekend roundup of the bigger names in Europe. Good to see Rubio Rubin and Emerson Hyndman both made appearances again in their respective team’s starting lineups. Hyndmann is 18 years old and completing 91 percent of his passes this season, fourth highest in the Championship among players with 100+ attempted passes.
As for some goals, Matt Taylor bagged another two goals in Saarbrücken’s 2-1 win over Nöttingen (highlights). Taylor has put together a nice little career in the various lower leagues in Germany, scoring 55 goals in 162 league appearances since 2008-09.
Bobby Warshaw went the full 90 minutes and scored the opening goal of the game in Bærum’s 2-1 loss to Hønefoss (highlights). Over in Sweden, Andrew Stadler scored his 11th goal of the season in Landskrona’s 1-1 draw to Sirius (highlights). Down in the fourth tier in Sweden, Eddy Prugh and Andy Lorei both scored in Bodens BK’s 3-2 loss to Anundsjö (highlights). And we don’t have highlights of these goals, but Matt Eliason, Drew Jeskey, Anthony Avalos and Christian Eissele also scored this weekend and our goal tracker has some more details. Will Packwood also scored for Birmingham City’s U-21 team.
While we had some goals this weekend, the assists might have been even better this weekend. Bobby Wood used his head to assist on 1860 Munich’s goal in their 1-1 draw to Darmstadt 98 (highlights). Here is also a photo of Wood from that game. And Alfredo Morales assisted on two goals in Ingolstadt’s 3-0 win over Sandhausen (highlights). That second one was pretty slick.
The US U-20 team is headed to Argentina this week to play Racing Club Reserves, Defensa y Justicia Reserves and Argentina’s U-20 team. Here is the updated roster, which features John Requejo Jr., Fernando Arce, Russell Canouse, Junior Flores and Paul Arriola among others. Another interesting name on the list is Chivas de Guadalajara’s Luis Martir since Chivas normally has a Mexican international only policy.
We had a pretty quiet Deadline Day on the American front (aside from a dildo going into a reporter’s ear, seriously), but we had a couple moves over the last couple of days.
As we posted over the weekend, Julian Green is headed to Hamburg on a season-long loan. And for all those soccer jersey hipsters out there, Hamburg has a decent home shirt this year and Green looks to be wearing #37.
The bigger news on the American front were the moves that did not happen. Stoke City decided to keep Geoff Cameron despite bids from Sunderland and Southampton. Zulte-Waregem made a bid for Sacha Kljestan, but Anderlecht decided to hold onto him as well. And I guess there might have been some rumblings of Southampton sniffing around Brek Shea, but nothing happened (and it was likely silly season nonsense).
And before multiple more people ask me, Juan Agudelo is still without a club and myself (and many others) don’t know anything more on his situation.
Brian Sciaretta, writing for multiple outlets, has you covered with some interviews with Brad Guzan and Greg Garza. Jonny Rico also got some audio from Garza and Joe Corona about their recent call-ups to the USMNT.
And finally, Freddy Adu is still in Serbia, still hasn’t played for his new team and is suing his former Brazilian team Bahia over alleged unpaid wages.
It wasn’t exactly a banner 12 months for the OT Faithful. Clint Dempsey, a three-time OT MVP and four-time OT XI honoree, moved to Seattle. Michael Bradley, another OT XI stalwart, stayed abroad but became ineligible. Stuart Holden got hurt and then for good measure got hurt again. Jozy Altidore made a move to Sunderland so disastrous that by the end of the year we were celebrating brief sub appearances as progress. Even Matt Taylor, an old OT favorite, had a down year by his 3. Liga Legend standards.
There were dark times, there is no denying.
It was so dark, I got really lazy and took my time doing this. I was all set to drop this on May 22, but then Landon happened so we needed some space.
But, without further delay, here comes the 2013-14 OT XI. As always, these are the best performances by first-team players (sorry, Julian Green) relative to respective leagues.
Goalkeeper Tim Howard, Everton (England) [2nd appearance]
It wasn’t that long ago that many were calling for Brad Guzan to supplant the long-time Everton stalwart in goal for the national team, a sentiment no doubt boosted by Guzan’s inclusion over Howard in last year’s OT XI. However, Timmy had a bit of a bounceback year as the Toffees surged into 5th place in the Premier League. While some late losses left Everton a bit short of Champions League qualification, Howard was stellar throughout the year, with Everton finishing 2nd in the EPL in goals allowed. Also, I will be deleting my various tweets and other commentaries suggesting Guzan should usurp Howard with the Nats.
Defenders Fabian Johnson, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (Germany) [2nd]
Will Packwood, Bristol Rovers/Birmingham City (England) [1st]
Tim Ream, Bolton Wanderers (England) [1st]
Geoff Cameron, Stoke City (England) [2nd]
Johnson returns to the OT XI for the 2nd time (previously in 2011-12), nominally at LB on paper. The dual-national wrapped up his tenure with Hoffenheim with another season of playing pretty much everywhere wide as Hoffenheim surged from the relegation playoff last year to mid-table this year. Johnson himself will be bouncing further up the table and joining Borussia Mönchengladbach. Packwood returned from a broken leg by initially going out on loan to League Two’s Bristol Rovers before returning to Birmingham and fighting his way into the starting lineup, earning the Football League Young Player of the Month for February. After a rough first full season in England, Ream rebounded to earn Bolton’s player of the year award while playing both centerback and leftback. Finally, with Dempsey gone and Jozy struggling, Geoff Cameron did a fine job carrying the flag of American field players in England, appearing in all but one Premier League match for the Potters.
Despite missing out on the World Cup roster, long-time OT favorite Kljestan had a career-high eight goals while helping Anderlecht win its third consecutive Belgian title. Bedoya, a two-time OT XI honoree from his first stint in Sweden, made his return to the list following a successful move to Nantes that saw him score five goals, keep Nantes up after being promoted, and give himself a shot at starting in Brazil. While an injury with the national team caused him to miss several late matches (and helped cost Reading a shot at promotion), Danny Williams enjoyed an otherwise strong debut season in England and makes his first appearance on this squad.
Terrence Boyd, Rapid Vienna (Austria) [1st]
Aron Johannsson, AZ (Netherlands) [1st]
Christian Eissele Kemi Kings/Brage (Norway/Sweden) [1st]
What we have here is a trio of forwards who all hit 20 goals across all competitions last year. Boyd improved upon his Austrian debut total with 15 in league play and another five in Europa League. He also got two more sweet tattoos, making his old flag tattoo seem tame. Johannsson mostly picked up the slack with former teammate Altidore gone from AZ, scoring 17 in league play and 20 overall. Eissele, the only one of this group without a cap, dropped in 24 goals last season for Kemi Kings in Finland (mostly after the 2012-13 voting was tabulated) before moving to Brage in Sweden this year.
Geoff Cameron, D, Stoke City
While the Premier League continues to grow in popularity stateside, American outfield players have become increasingly rare. However, the best of them had himself a stellar year with the Potters. The jack-of-all-trades played primarily at right back as Stoke became less boring than historically regarded and surged into 9th place.
Goal of the Year
We’re going back to Finland here and the sweet goal by Miles Byass in a 1-0 win for JIPPO over Vikingit in April. Check it out in GIF and YouTube (1:08) below.
Performance of the Year Tim Howard had six saves in a 1-0 win for Everton at Manchester United, the Toffee’s first win at Old Trafford since August 1992 and undoubtedly a sweet win over former manager David Moyes.
Thanks for waiting (both you the readers and Matt). Fire away in the comments on who we snubbed.
We also had a bunch of guys see the field on Monday, including two goals in the lower leagues in Denmark and Norway. One of those goal scorers, Anton Peterlin, popped up in the third tier in Denmark, while Christian Eissele made his Swedish debut with IK Brage.
Howie went all Robert Stack on Monday and solved some mysteries on some former US youth national team players like Alex Molano and Vincenzo Bernardo. Basically they are re-emerging in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL).
Josh Deaver got some words from Tab Ramos and a couple of players following the US U-20’s 2-0 loss to River Plate on Sunday. Ramos was happy with the tournament as a whole despite the loss in the final. Here are some GIF/highlights from the loss to River Plate.
Brian Sciaretta also talked to Paul Arriola and Emerson Hyndman last week during the Dallas Cup. Arriola missed the final since he had to go back to Tijuana early.
Ramos is now headed to California to oversee the US U-21 camp this week. The 21-man roster is now down to 19 as Luis Gil and Wil Trapp have been ruled out due to small injuries. The U-21 team will also play a friendly against Club Tijuana (I’m assuming a youth team) on Wednesday.
Steven Goff gives us a few updates on the USMNT World Cup training camp. The first provisional roster (30 players) is due to FIFA by May 12, while Jurgen Klinsmann is expecting to invite 26-28 players to the camp at Stanford University. Players will report to Palo Alto by May 14.
While I prefer the Studio 90 videos (which they seem to do less of nowadays), the latest “Road to the Roster” podcast is up. Klinsmann discusses strikers and the upcoming camp among other things.
Landon Donovan apparently did a bunch of interviews last week as here is one with Goal.com and one with Mashable.
John Brooks went through “back tattoo”-gate last week, but he appeared in the starting lineup this past weekend (and a good chance the rest of the season) due to a season-ending injury to Fabian Lustenberger.
Jimmy Conrad went to Germany and did some fun things, including speaking to Bobby Wood (around the 5:00 mark). And Bayern Munich’s Mattias Sammer talks about Julian Green around the 10:25 mark of this video.
Junior Flores scored a goal with Borussia Dortmund’s U-19 team against Japan this past weekend at the U19 Champions Trophy. It also sounds like he had a couple assists in other games in the tournament.
A new dual national youth player to keep an eye on, Australian A-League side Wellington Phoenix’s Tyler Boyd.
Let’s start off with the USMNT since they only play Mexico on Wednesday.
In case you have been out of the loop in the last couple days, Brad Evans (calf injury) was replaced by Tony Beltran, while DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco were denied their release by Puebla. Jurgen Klinsmann is now angry. And here is Mexico’s roster.
Klinsmann also made some managerial changes within US Soccer. Tab Ramos has replaced Martin Vasquez on the coaching staff, while Vasquez looks to be headed into a scouting role. Klinsi has also hired Berti Vogts to be a special advisor and Vogts was in Phoenix yesterday. Klinsmann thinks the moves will only make the team better come June. And there were mix reviews about Vasquez.
Now that we got all boring stuff out of the way, we can now focus on the important things. The “bomb pop” jerseys are now on sale on US Soccer’s website! It looks like they will be wearing those with red shorts and here is some more information on the fonts/numbers. In case you don’t want to spend $150 for the real deal or $90 for a replica, you could always go the DIY method. And I am guessing there are some people hoping that this jersey is some elaborate April Fools’ joke.
This was from last week, but Kristan Heneage takes a look at the recent recruiting of Julian Green and other players in Europe. StatHunting.com also projects Green as a Top 100 player based on his small sample size of stats so far in his career.
On top of his work with ESPN, Kasey Keller is going to work with U-23 team in April.
Sticking with goalkeepers, everyone should check out Will’s lengthy interview with Will Hesmer. There are some good stories in there, including the time he thought he was being pranked about being drafted by Toronto FC in the expansion draft. Will also updated his Top 100 American goalkeepers list.
Stabæk’s fans had a great tifo for Bob Bradley in the season opener this past weekend, a 3-0 win over Sogndal. Michael Stephens went 90 minutes in that game and Yanks Abroad’s Mathew Wagner caught up with Stephens last week.
As of right now, the US-Ukraine friendly is back on after it looked like it was going to be canceled. If you have been out of the loop, three players withdrew from the roster on Saturday due to injuries/personal reasons, while Jonathan Spector was called into camp.
Eric Lichaj also had to be subbed out early and limped off the field in Nottingham Forest’s game against Wigan over the weekend.
We did have some goals this weekend. Terrence Boyd scored in Rapid Vienna’s 6-3 loss to Salzburg (highlights). DaMarcus Beasley saw his daughter be born on Saturday then scored a goal on Sunday (highlights). Christian Eissele is back at it in Finland and recorded a hat trick for Kemi Kings. And Mario Rodriguez found the back of the net twice in Borussia Mönchengladbach II’s win on Friday. As always, you can follow along with our goal tracker.
Sebastian Lletget scored a goal for West Ham United’s U-21 team in a 2-1 loss to Manchester United on Monday. The goal is Lletget’s fourth of the year with West Ham’s U-21 team.
Stuart Holden is starting to train again with Bolton Wanderers and he received some good news from manager Dougie Freedman last week. It looks like Freedman and Bolton are going to give him a new contract this summer once his current contract expires.
Kicker is reporting that Fabian Johnson will sign with Borussia Moenchengladbach this summer once his current contract with Hoffenheim expires.
With a bunch of Huddersfield Town’s players returning from injury, manager Mark Robins told the UK press that they might send Duane Holmes out on loan so he can get some playing time.
Another “Jozy Altidore does more than score goals” type story out of Sunderland. Teammate Adam Johnson had some nice things to say about Altidore’s performance against Newcastle from two weeks ago.
“There is a lot more to him than goals. Against Newcastle he must have been a nightmare to play against. Genuinely, I thought he was awesome.
Even though he scored two goals in a friendly for Bob Bradley’s Stabæk last week, Michael Stephens, as well as fellow American Christian Eissele, are trialing with Swedish side GAIS.
Goalkeeper Alex Horwath has been trialing with Ljungskile SK in Sweden over the last two weeks and he was rewarded with a contract with the club.
And finally, some new jerseys got released this week. Josh Gatt, Ben Spencer, Ethan Horvath and Molde FK have some new home and away kits for the 2014 season. While Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest have a new third jersey for this year.
US Soccer officially announced the friendly against Ukraine for March. The US is 0-2-1 all-time against Ukraine and they are the highest rated FIFA team (#18) who did not qualify for the World Cup.
They had a scrimmage against Sao Paulo FC on Thursday with the Brazilians walking away the 2-1 winners, which also saw 24 different USMNT players seeing the field. Here are some photos from the “closed-door” scrimmage. [insert faux outrage over losing]
US Soccer also put up their second diary of the trip as well as some quotes from a couple different players. They also did a video on the one US player who was born in Brazil: Benny Feilhaber.
Finally on the US Soccer front, the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2014 nominees were announced. Brian McBride has to be a first ballot HOFer, right?
In the world of Juan Agudelo, Stoke City finally admitted that they “tied” to Agudelo and that they are looking for a loan destination for him. Standard Liege seems to be the trendy rumored landing spot for him at the moment.
The MLS SuperDraft took place in Philadelphia on Thursday and some people pestered Don Garber about Maurice Edu. Nothing new to report other than that discussions are ongoing.
Steve Cherundolo went 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card for Hannover 96 in a friendly against Fenerbahçe on Thursday.
Fabian Johnson (58 minutes) and Jeremy Toljan (32 minutes) each played for Hoffenhim in a 3-0 win over Bobby Wood (45 minutes) and 1860 Munich in a friendly on Thursday. Here are some photos and some highlights.
And Timothy Chandler started and played 45 minutes in Nurnberg’s 2-1 win over FC Luzern in yet another friendly.
We have a new goal tracker up for 2014. The 2013 goal tracker is still up there and Christian Eissele led all American goal scorers in 2013 with 29 goals across all competitions in Finland. He also has a new highlight video up on Youtube.