It looks like Jozy Altidore has fallen out of favor at Sunderland at the moment as he didn’t dress on Monday with the senior team and actually suited up with the U-21 team.
A few guys played in the Championship yesterday, but Danny Williams missed Reading’s game with a knee injury, while Oguchi Onyewu picked up a rib injury and missed Sheffield Wednesday’s game on Tuesday.
Julian Green didn’t play with Bayern Munich II over the weekend due to the shoulder injury that he picked up in the US-Mexico friendly. According to his dad, he will be out a couple weeks.
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.
Also this weekend, Aron Johannsson almost scored a goal (highlights). While it looks like he flicked the ball with his head, Steven Berghuis was credited with the goals so I guess he missed. Speaking of ArJo and AZ Alkmaar, they drew Benfica for the quarterfinals of Europa League.
Fabian Johnson made another start at right back for Hoffenheim and picked up another assist (highlights). If he continues to get playing time at right back, I might be open to a US backline of Johnson-Cameron-Besler-Beasley. While Cameron doesn’t play center back, I still like him over Omar Gonzalez at CB right now (I miss 2011 Omar Gonzalez) and Fabian Johnson playing right back would open that opportunity up. No matter what, Fabian Johnson’s ability to play multiple positions gives Jurgen Klinsmann options.
Also scoring a goal this weekend, Will John netted his seventh of the season in Azerbaijani Premier League action (highlights). Over in Ireland, Pat McCann scored twice in Finn Harps’ 5-0 win over Cobh Ramblers. And Bobby Warshaw scored a goal in his second game with GAIS in Sweden, a 2-1 loss to Helsingborg in the Swedish Cup.
Down in Mexico, Friday saw four Americans see the field as Tijuana (Edgar Castillo and Herculez Gomez) defeated Puebla (DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco). Edgar Castillo assisted on Tijuana’s second goal, while DaMarcus Beasley assisted on Puebla’s lone goal (highlights).
Over the last week, Michael Stephens had scored twice for Stabæk in friendlies. Once against Start and the other game against Mix Diskerud and Rosenborg. Here is a Bob Bradley video interview following the win over Rosenborg.
Duane Holmes officially ended his loan with Yeovil Town last week. He ended up starting five games for the Glovers and now returns to Huddersfield Town where he was an unused sub over the weekend.
Will Packwood was awarded with the Football League’s Young Player of the Month Award for February.
While Packwood has had a resurgence since returning from his horrific leg injury, Marc Pelosi is apparently close to returning to fitness after missing the last year with his injury.
Noah Davis, writing for Grantland, takes a look at the last few months of Clint Dempsey’s career.
It looks like US Soccer has decided to start up an U-21 team to help bridge the gap between the U-20 and U-23 teams. With the U-23 team really only existing once every four years, this probably makes sense to keep youth players involved in the US system. The first U-21 camp is rumored to take place in April. Tigres already announced that Juan Ocegueda has been called in via their Twitter account.
It sounds like Erik Palmer-Brown could be playing with the U-20 team at the Dallas Cup. He would be playing up a U-20 cycle. The future looks bright with this one.
This is what Michael Bradley’s head looks like with a bunch of staples in it.
Nurnberg manager Gertjan Verbeek told the press last week that Chandler is likely done for the season with his knee injury. But someone at Nurnberg told Greg Seltzer that Chandler will resume individual training in 2-3 weeks, so maybe not?
We had a few goals this past weekend. Aron Johannsson showed off some fancy footwork while scoring a brace in AZ’s 4-0 win (highlights). Jose Torres found the back of the net for Tigres in their 3-0 win over Cruz Azul (highlights). Mario Rodriguez, Jann George and Seth Rudolph also scored this weekend and you can always follow along with our goal tracker.
Howie posted this yesterday, but Brek Shea’s loan with Barnsley was cut short a few weeks early after an incident with a Barnsley fan where Shea gave the fan “the finger” after the fan was apparently yelling some things at a teammate.
Jozy Altidore did not travel with Sunderland’s team this past weekend and it sounds like it was some illness according to Grant Wahl.
Alejandro Bedoya’s FC Nantes were just hit with a 16-month transfer ban. While they will be able to sell and release players, they will not be able to sign any new players until the summer of 2015.
Josh Gatt is getting closer to fully returning to the field. While he thinks it would be possible to return in time for Molde’s season opener on March 28, they might wait a week or two more to make sure everything with his knee is good.
Staying in Norway, Stabæk’s website has a new video interview up with Bob Bradley.
The Men in Blazers’ website has a cool little write-up on two of John Brooks’ tattoos. Showing some love to both the US and Germany.
As of last Friday, about 35,000 tickets have been sold so far for the US-Mexico friendly in Phoenix.
Jurgen Klinsmann was down in Austin this past weekend getting his hipster on at SXSW. Also announced at SXSW this weekend is a “Hard Knocks”-type show by ESPN with the USMNT leading up to the World Cup. One of the co-producers is Jonathan Hock, who did two of my favorite 30 For 30s: “The Best That Never Was” (Marcus Dupree) and “Survive and Advance” (1983 NC State Basketball Team). Basically, this should be in good hands.
I know I linked Part 1 of Roger Bennett’s oral history of the 1994 USMNT last week, but here are Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.
While Footy Headlines is not Todo Sobre Camisetas when it comes to leaked jerseys, it does have a better batting average than some sites out there and they are saying this is the road jersey for the US for the World Cup. If this is the real deal Holyfield (we are currently in Rumorville at the moment), I think I like it although it does look like a bomb pop.
Here is small interview with Jake Keegan, who is now with Galway FC in Ireland.
And finally, Yannick Smith is now back in the US with USL Pro’s Dayton Dutch Lions FC after playing in Finland with Narpes Kraft last season.
Nothing new to report on the USMNT roster or whether the game will even be played, although it sounds like we should be hearing something in the near future. That said, John Brooks should be one of the players heading to Ukraine friendly according to this German report.
While the new home World Cup shirt for the USMNT leaked last month, here is a new/slightly better view of the pretty basic polo-looking shirt. There was also a lot of buzz on Twitter over the weekend over a possible crazy blue/red away shirt, but it looked pretty photoshopped and came from someone who posted some bogus jerseys back in September. So we continue to play the waiting game.
ESPN released its full TV schedule for this summer’s World Cup yesterday. Also on the World Cup front, just over 125,000 tickets for the World Cup were allocated to people in the United States, the most of any country outside Brazil. Granted not all 125,000 tickets are for US games or for US fans, it is still nice to see the US up there. I was luckily able to get tickets for the USMNT games against Ghana and Portugal in the latest lottery. Any other OT readers score some tickets?
The National Soccer Hall of Fame announced its Class of 2014 yesterday and it is a good one. The three-person class contains two players (Brian McBride and Kristine Lilly) and one coach (Bob Bradley). Congrats to all three.
As Howie posted yesterday, Fabian Johnson has agreed to sign with Borussia Mönchengladbach this summer.
A few things from the weekend. Jerome Kiesewetter scored a goal for Hertha Berlin II (highlights) and Justin Moose scored for SJK in the Finnish League Cup (still looking for highlights).
The English League Championship is doing a great job of posting quality highlights the day after games on Youtube so here is a roundup of all the games featuring Americans from the weekend.
Despite all the craziness going on in Ukraine, the US-Ukraine friendly is still on schedule for March 5 according to US Soccer, but they are monitoring the situation.
In the random USMNT stat department, Leander Schaerlaeckens crunched some numbers to see how much playing time MLS players have been getting for the US in each of the last four World Cups. That number has dropped from 62.8% in France (1998) to 18.5% in South Africa (2010). But that number should shoot up this summer with the return of about everyone over the past couple of months.
Here is the first ever The Brad Evans Show with guests (and fellow USMNT teammates) Matt Besler and Mike Magee. It is not great, but it is not awful. A lot of awkwardness. But I am mainly linking it because it is really funny with how much Magee gets legitimately annoyed at Evans for comparing his hair to Landon Donovan.
Oguchi Onyewu is out of the training room and is running again. He is not expected to return this weekend for Sheffield Wednesday, but he is getting closer to a full return after picking up a calf injury.
After we were told that Eric Lichaj was about 7-10 days away from returning with Nottingham Forest, their website now has a story up saying that he is about 10-14 days away from returning after suffering a groin injury.
Kim Tate has a good interview up with Herculez Gomez and Paul Arriola. We learn that Gomez used to coach a seven-year-old Arriola in San Diego once upon a time.
So the LA Galaxy sent Jose Villarreal on loan to Cruz Azul to likely get some playing time and now Cruz Azul is sending Villarreal to their second-division affiliate Cruz Azul Hidalgo. Villarreal had appeared in two games with Cruz Azul’s U-20 team so far this season, scoring one goal.
Bob Bradley is working his MLS connections again as goalkeeper Matt Pickens is currently in Norway training with Stabæk.
Some reports started to come out of Mexico about a possible US/Mexico friendly in Phoenix for April. It looks like it has some legs as Steven Goff has also heard some things about this. This wouldn’t be a FIFA fixture date so expect a lot of MLS and Liga MX players for both squads if true. The last time the US played a game in the month of April was Jozy Altidore’s hat trick against Trinidad & Tobago in Nashville during a World Cup qualifier in 2009. The last time the US played a friendly in the month of April was a 1-1 draw to Jamaica in Cary, North Carolina in 2006.
Grant Wahl and Brian Straus are both in Carson for the USMNT training camp and discuss in this video about some possible World Cup candidates with a lot to gain this week. Grant is also a lot taller than Brian.
After what seemed like two months, Maurice Edu is officially headed to Philadelphia on a season-long loan. Goff is hearing that his base salary is somewhere between $480,000 and $600,000, while Ives heard that Edu passed up some offers from Turkey and the English League Championship.
As for another member of the “Stoke Americans Loaned Out” 3×3 team (Howie gets all the credit on that one), Brek Shea’s loan with Barnsley ends on Thursday, so it looks like Tuesday’s game against Blackburn Rovers will be his last with the Tykes unless they extend the loan. There is some speculation out of England that Burnley are also interested in Shea.
Juan Agudelo made his FC Utrecht debut over the weekend and I was able to find some highlights of the match. He gets into the game around the 3:00 mark of the video.
Fabian Johnson had to be subbed out of Hoffenheim’s game this past weekend after picking up a hand injury. Hoffenheim’s press officer told Brian Sciaretta that he will have surgery on his hand and he will be out a couple weeks, while Jurgen Klinsmann told Grant Wahl that he will have surgery, but he is expected to play this upcoming weekend. Hopefully it is the latter.
Klinsmann also told Wahl that Jermaine Jones is more likely to transfer to another European team than an MLS team in the next four days.
Edgar Castillo also had a good weekend and was named to the MedioTiempo Team of the Week.
And Will Packwood was named Birmingham City’s Man of the Match by some match day sponsors for his performance for the Blues in the FA Cup over the weekend.
Speaking of the FA Cup, 16-year-old Gedion Zelalem made his Arsenal debut last Friday in the FA Cup. He became the first player to feature for Arsenal who was born after Arsene Wenger became manager. While he is likely a long shot to ever play for the US, here is refresher on his story.
No one might be hotter than Andrew Wooten right now. He scored another goal for FSV Frankfurt in a friendly on Monday. Granted these are only friendlies, but he has five goals in four games since his loan started a couple weeks ago.
The US U-17 team won the Aegean Cup Championship over the weekend. Here is a photo of the team celebrating with the trophy, while here are some highlights of their win over Turkey. Could we potentially see Haji Wright, one of the top players from this cycle, in Dortmund with Junior Flores in the future (let the speculation begin)? Yay internets!
Kevin Hoyos is close to joining the Honduran side Olimpia. The 20-year-old played with C.D. Victoria (also in Honduras) this past fall.
Brian Sciaretta is hearing that a player with MLS ties could be joining Bob Bradley and Stabæk on a trial in the near future.
To put a bow tie (or maybe a bolo tie since they are making a comeback in 2014) on the Michael Bradley to Toronto transfer, here is a good read on how his and Defoe’s moves all went down.
Finally, Greg Selzter breaks out his stat notebook for a bunch of fun numbers. I am also going to post a quick Inside the Numbers thing on Aron Johannsson later today.
Reports came out yesterday (later confirmed by Steven Goff) that the USMNT will play at Ukraine on March 5. It is a FIFA international fixture date, so the USMNT should likely have a strong squad.
The US had a long trip down to Brazil earlier this week. US Soccer’s website has a diary on the long/delayed trip as well as a short video with Dax McCarty keeping us updated. While down in Brazil, Jurgen Klinsmann spoke to some press about facing Germany at the World Cup. Klinsmann also had some quotes regarding the USMNT migration to MLS.
Oh Juan Agudelo. This is what is (sort of) known. He is in England at Stoke City (with Brek Shea). Stoke City’s chairman is claiming that they haven’t signed him. But Greg Seltzer disagrees and gives us his rundown. To go along with the rumored teams Seltzer mentioned as possibly loan destinations, there appears to be some interest from Esbjerg in Denmark. I am sure more details will slowly come out over the next week.
Some final numbers on Michael Bradley’s transfer. His $40 million contract over six years is the second largest in MLS history (Beckham is #1), while his $10 million transfer fee is the second largest in MLS history (Defoe is #1).
An interesting stat about Tijuana’s fan base: “35% of fans inside Tijuana’s Estadio Caliente for any given Liga MX home game travel down from the United States”. I am actually looking into making my first trip down there to catch a game this spring.
Lets end on a couple notes about some youngsters. U-17 Danny Barbir played and scored a goal as a guest player for Manchester City at the ALKASS International Cup. As for 16-year-old Alonzo Clarke, it looks like he is headed to Manchester United for a second trial.
All 26 guys currently in camp for the USMNT this month are headed to Brazil as I type this. Pleased with the fitness of everyone, Jurgen Klinsmann decided to bring everyone down there for 12 days of training and two closed-door scrimmages. While back in LA last week, it looks like they decided to play around with a GoPro camera for this training shot.
Once they return back to LA, they will do a little more training before taking on South Korea on February 2 at the StubHub Center. According to Steven Goff, about 18,000 tickets have been sold so far. I am wondering if the leaked USMNT shirt will be worn as they are rumored to be coming out in February and South Korea’s red shirt for the World Cup was also leaked this week. Maybe both teams will be wearing some new gear?
Four Americans (Edgar Castillo, Herculez Gomez, Paul Arriola and Joe Corona) saw the field down in Tijuana on Friday as the Xolos notched their first ever home victory over América with Castillo helping setup the game-winning goal (highlights). Here is also a better look at their new home and road kits for this season. It looks like their white kits that they wore in the opener were a one off since Atlas wear both red and black. Too bad as I liked those.
It took 12 days, but we finally had our first goal by an American abroad over the weekend. Tony Taylor came off the bench and scored a consolation goal in injury time in Omonia Nicosia’s 4-2 loss to Apollon in Cyprus (highlights). It was Taylor’s third goal of the season. We had four total goals by this point last year (and I will start up a 2014 goal tracker page this week).
Back in Mexico, Michael Orozco assisted on the game-tying goal in Puebla’s draw to Monterrey (highlights).
And Clint Dempsey made his official Premier League return in a 4-1 loss to Jozy Altidore and Sunderland. He got the start and played 79 minutes, while Sky Sports gave him a “7″ rating and said some decent things about his performance.
Making his first start since returning to Fulham and impressed, surging into Sunderland territory but often let down by teammates.
As for Jozy, he came off the bench and “won” a PK which led to Sunderland’s last goal. Sunderland had only five goals in 10 away games coming into this weekend, yet scored four on Fulham at the once fortress known as Craven Cottage. Fulham are such a mess this year.
We also had a couple transfers in the last couple days. Oguchi Onyewu will be joining the 10th team of his career with Sheffield Wednesday. While Billy Schuler is returning to MLS after two years in Sweden.
And it looks like Michael Parkhurst is also returning to MLS and will be headed to the Columbus Crew after a trade involving a draft pick and allocation money to the New England Revolution according to Ives.
German 3. Liga side Wacker Burghausen were interested in Bobby Wood for a loan deal, but 1860 Munich were not having it.
Despite making only three starts for Oldham Athletic this season, Paul Rachubka has signed a contract extension with the club.
Mix Diskerud told ESPN FC that he has pimped Bob Bradley to Stabæk’s management over the years.