It’s time for the not-quite-annual USA-Mexico out-of-window cash grab friendly (Wednesday, 7:30 PM CT, Fox Sports 1/UniMas/Univision Deportes). The US released its roster today. It consists of 13 MLS players, 5 Liga MX guys, an NASL guy, a college guy, a guy who finally made his EPL debut, and whatever we classify Julian Green as these days.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS (8): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Puebla), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution)
FORWARDS (5): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Julian Green (Hamburg), Jordan Morris (Stanford University), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
Notable absences are Clint Dempsey (injured) and Jozy Altidore (suspended). Juan Agudelo makes his triumphant return. Brad Evans also returns after a lengthy absence.
One thing that has been overlooked by many, myself included, until the guys over at Total Soccer Show (I’m guessing Daryl?) pointed out that Jozy Altidore will have to miss the Mexico friendly due to his red card against Switzerland. I’m guessing most forgot about this since we haven’t had a red card in a friendly since January of 2012. While I thought it was stupid on Jozy’s part and also pretty harsh by the ref, Alejandro Bedoya told Doug McIntyre after the game that the ref had warned Jozy at halftime about the language.
Who wants some Freddy Adu hot links? He was introduced to the press yesterday and you can watch it here. One of the interesting tidbits to come from it (and not that shocking with some of the lower leagues), he hasn’t been paid his salary by FK Jagodina in Serbia. And I am doing my best from buying his jersey, but think about all the soccer hipster points you would get for it.
Roderick covered these in The OT Report, but a couple injury updates. Zak Whitbread is one of a few injured Derby County players the team is hoping to get back on the field following the international break. He has been out for a while with back and hamstring issues.
For all of those who haven’t searched out grainy and possibly illegal streams to watch WPY in action, you’re probably wondering about the new gringo on the squad. Yarbrough sparked recent interest by choosing the US over Mexico so naturally the fan base is excited that Klinsmann roped in another dual-national. However, most are still unaware of what WPY brings to the table.
Yarbrough’s last two games give us a good look at the type of goalkeeper he is. Most recently, he saw the last forty-five minutes against Switzerland, where he conceded one goal in the 1-1 tie but otherwise had little involvement.
On the goal, Yarbrough is slow to recognize the eventual shot. His tunnel vision is clear by the position of his hands on the goal. As the ball slips past his ankles, his hands are near his head. Yes, the situation outcome should be a goal and the ball is bouncing upward but Yarbrough is not playing percentages. Before the shot, his hands are all over the place (repeatedly up and down) and as the shot is taken he hopefully swats at the ball much too high given the circumstance. He must first recognize every opponent in the area then know how to position himself if the ball were to fall to them. In this case, Yarbrough must get closer to the ground and guard the immediate problem, the lowest part of the goal, not the roof of the net.
Yarbrough can not afford to rely solely on his athleticism to make a save. He needs to know striker tendency and have keen spatial awareness to compete for a spot on the US Men’s National Team. Looking back to his last club game for Leon, the 5-1 route to Monterrey provided little assurance that he is thinking more than only one possible chance on goal.
While goalkeepers will typically play longer than field players, the learning stage for a goalkeeper is largely over at twenty-six years old. Yarbrough has the physical tools to play goalkeeper – strength, size, and quickness – but if he can’t be a step ahead of his opponents in Liga MX, then he will be even more exposed on the international stage. Not to mention MLS has their fair share of goalkeepers who are on par, if not better, that Yarbrough. To seriously push for a Gold Cup roster spot, WPY needs to know of every shot possibility on every touch, not just the obvious ones.
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.
Josh Gatt is ahead of schedule on his road to recovery. We just don’t know exactly what that schedule is at the moment.
Zak Whitbread has missed eight games due to a calf injury, but Derby County manager Paul Simpson is hoping he can return to the field next week.
Bolton manager Dougie Freedman told the team’s website that he is happy that Stuart Holden is back in the UK, but that he still has a long way to go.
US Soccer finally put up the full match of the US U-17’s win over Brazil in the last game of the Nike International Friendlies. Will Parchman, who was in attendance, wrote about Brazil quitting on the match with about 5-10 minutes left.
Landon Donovan spoke at a Galaxy town-hall meeting on Sunday and shot down any rumors linking him to Mexico and any winter loans to Europe. Sounds like he wants to rest up before diving back into the MLS/World Cup grind.
As for Clint Dempsey and his rumored loan move to Europe, the latest and the most believable of the moment has him headed back to West London with Fulham for two months. But nothing official has come out yet (The Guardian cites US sources yet everything in the US is citing The Guardian/various European sites. Yay transfer rumors!).
CONCACAF announced the winners of the inaugural CONCACAF awards this past weekend. Tim Howard won Goalkeeper of the Year, while Jurgen Klinsmann won Coach of the Year.
UEFA held its draw for the knockout stages of Champions League and Europa League. In Champions League, Jermaine Jones and Schalke landed Real Madrid. As for Europa League, Brad Friedel and Tottenham will play FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, while Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar got FC Slovan Liberec.
Bob Bradley has turned down an offer with the Vancouver Whitecaps to seek opportunities overseas. Bob also admits the interest from Norwegian side Stabaek which we posted about a couple weeks ago. Bradley also did an interview recently with KingFut.com.
John Brooks was subbed out of Hertha Berlin’s game in the first half this weekend after being at fault for one of the goals. His manager, Jos Luhukay, also told him (via the press) that he needs to grow up and become an adult.
Who knows if they will continue to scout him or not with the recent firing of Steve Clarke, but it looks like West Brom scouts have been paying attention to Timmy Chandler.
Did I just quote Montell Jordan? Yes. Deal with it.
A quick recap of Thursday’s Europa League action. Daniel Antunez went the full 90 minutes as Inter Turku got a nice 1-1 draw with FC Twente. Joe Funicello and Thor Akureyri (with Josh Wicks on the bench) lost 3-0 to Mlada Boleslav. And Etchu Tabe and KuPS won 2-1 over Leo Krupnik and Maccabi Netanya.
Geoff Cameron will be a Stoke City player pending completed personal terms and a work permit (he will have to win an appeal). He has two fewer USMNT caps than Tim Ream, who won an appeal last January, but it seems easier to get a UK permit these days.
The US U-20 team begins it quest for a Milk Cup title this weekend. They played Liverpool’s reserve team earlier this week and lost 4-2. Marc Pelosi scored a goal, but it was for Liverpool. You can see some highlights of the game right here.
One of those players on that US U-20 team who is looking for a home is goalkeeper Cody Cropper. He was on trial at Southampton and “hopes to receive a contract soon” according to this article.
I know there was some speculation that Bobby Wood could be on his way out at 1860 Munich at the end of last season after picking up more injuries, but he was in the starting lineup today for 1860 Munich II as they started their Regionalliga season. Wood played 70 minutes and scored two goals in a 3-0 victory.
Robbie Rogers, sporting a new black eye, scored a goal for Leeds United in their 5-2 win over Farlsey in a preseason friendly.
Tom Marshall introduces us to a Mexican-born goalkeeper, William Yarbrough, who holds a US passport.