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.
This was from Friday, but Edgar Castillo went the distance at leftback, and Joe Corona came off the bench for the last 14 minutes as Tijuana wrapped up their season with a 4-0 win. The Liga MX Apertura champions will miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2011 Apertura.
Castillo has a nice assist at 1:00 that is basically screaming for Klinsmann to play him at leftback and Fabian Johnson at LM.
So good ol’ Klnisi named his 23 players for the upcoming qualifiers yesterday. And boy is that back line inexperienced. In the official release by US Soccer, it lists the sad list of injuries.
The U.S. team has been hit with a rash of injuries as eight players are unavailable for the matches. Edgar Castillo (facial fractures), Timmy Chandler (hamstring), Steve Cherundolo (knee), Tim Howard (back), Fabian Johnson (hip), Jonathan Spector (ankle), Jose Torres (hamstring) and Danny Williams (illness).
Brek Shea has been called in, but he claims that his foot is not fully healed. And it looks like Jonathan Spector, who would be very helpful in the back right now, was headed to Denver until injuring his ankle this weekend.
Nick Firchau is reporting that Brian McBride will be in Denver until Wednesday helping out with the team (coaching, not playing, although I bet he could still be helpful……FYI, I am/was a big McBride fan).
Want to see some highlights of the US’ 3-2 win over Costa Rica from 1991? Why not.
How about a photo of the three Americans at Club Tijuana in the centennial kit? Sure.
As for some U-20 stuff, Will Packwood is down to one crutch and will be back to walking in the next couple weeks. And Brian Sciaretta caught up with midfielder Mikey Lopez.
Even though he hasn’t played in a long time, Bolton manager Dougie Freedman thinks Tim Ream has a future at the club.
Ross Dunbar writes about dual citizen Shawn Parker and his rising stock. When it is all said and done, my “I know nothing behind the scenes and this is a total guess” hunch says he sticks with Germany.
Brian Edwards announced his retirement over the weekend at the age of 28. Edwards had spent the last two seasons in Sweden with Degerfors IF, leading them to a fifth place finish in the Superettan in 2011.
While we lost one goalkeeper in Sweden, we were treated with the return of Matt Pyzdrowski to the field in Angelholms FF’s 1-1 draw to Mjällby in the Svenska Cupen. Pyzdrowski had his 2012 season cut short in July after being shut down due to concussions. Here is a story (with video) about his return from last month and it looks like he is wearing a Petr Cech-type rugby headgear.
Staying in Sweden, but not with a goalie, here is a video interview with Alejandro Bedoya about re-signing with Helsingborg.
Remember when I thought out loud that maybe the USMNT should give Edgar Castillo a look at left back while moving Fabian Johnson to midfield if Castillo continues to play well? Well, that idea can be put on hold as Castillo will miss the next 30 days after having surgery on some broken bones in his face.
Speaking of the USMNT, Steven Goff is hearing that rumored friendly against Germany for June 2 will be at RFK Stadium. And then he lists some memorable USMNT games held at RFK Stadium. You can also look at our USMNT All-Time Scores list (shameless plug!) to sort for all the games played in Washington, D.C.
And staying with the shameless plug theme, don’t forget that we are trying to track goals for 2013 with our goal tracker. Both things I just plugged can always be found by using the “goals” or “usmnt” links in the navigation bar above.
Yesterday was a slightly crazy one with stuff happening all day long. We had the US U-20 team qualifying for the U-20 World Cup, Stuart Holden made his first league appearance since March 19, 2011 and Joe Corona/Edgar Castillo scored for Tijuana in Copa Libertadores action.
As for some links.
The US U-20 team is headed to Turkey this summer for the U-20 World Cup after beating Canada 4-2 yesterday. The U-20 World Cup starts up on June 21, while the draw will be held on March 25. While they did qualify yesterday, there are still potentially two more games left in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship. The US will play Cuba in the semifinals on Friday and will be without the services of Cody Cropper, Jerome Kiesewetter, Luis Gil and Caleb Stanko the rest of the way as they return to their club teams.
One player who could potentially be on that U-20 team come June is Anthony Brooks. And Every Touch Footy decided to do a video of Brooks’ performance against Kaiserslautern from this past weekend.
As I stated above, Stuart Holden made his first league appearance in 711 days yesterday. It sounds like he did alright and was “neat and tidy”.
Edgar Castillo and Joe Corona scored in Copa Libertadores action last night, becoming the first Americans to score in that competition since Nicky Torres in 2011. And here is a photo of them celebrating after Castillo’s goal.
Sebastian Lletget scored a goal yesterday in U-21 action as West Ham lost to Wolverhampton 2-1.
Kenneth Di Vita Jensen also scored a goal, but in a friendly for Hønefoss.
Stoke City’s Robert Huth could be missing some time in the future. Does this mean some playing time at centerback for Geoff Cameron?
The power is out in my neighborhood so here are a few links before the battery dies on my computer.
Landon Donovan spoke to a class at USC tonight and said a bunch of goodies. Check out @Xman818′s timeline for all the goods.
What everyone wanted to hear: “Yes, I do have an interest in playing for the USMNT again, if given the opportunity, I would”
Costa Rica defeated Haiti in U-20 action last night meaning the US advances to the quarterfinals no matter the outcome on Friday. And the US only needs a draw to win the group. US Soccer has posted a short little video to show some of the personalities of the guys on the U-20 team.
Not all the games have been announced yet, but Mexico will open up this summer’s Gold Cup at the Rose Bowl. And it sounds like Chicago is the frontrunner for the final. I might have to adjust my annual Chicago summer trip around this and Lollapalooza.