We have reached the international week and the US has its last two friendlies before the CONCACAF Cup (more on that later). Here is the roster Jurgen Klinsmann has called in for the friendlies, which is heavy on center backs.
The US U-20 team is also beginning a new cycle this month with a tournament in Serbia. This current roster features two players who play abroad in Hannover 96’s Abuchi Obinwa and Chelsea’s Kyle Scott.
The end of the transfer window for most of Europe is upon us and a couple players have new teams while a couple others are still with their current teams when people thought they would be leaving.
DeAndre Yedlin is still with Tottenham at the moment despite loan interest from various teams across Europe, although signs point towards him ending up somewhere on loan. My guess at this point would be a loan deal with some team in the English League Championship.
Fulham have decided to keep Emerson Hyndman despite several offers for the US U-23 midfielder. While he has not featured for the Cottagers this season, he could also go out on loan to another English team.
Remember when the Colorado Rapids oddly sold Shane O’Neill to a team in Cyprus earlier this summer? Well he has been oddly sold again this month to Belgian Jupiler Pro League side Royal Mouscron-Péruwelz after not appearing in any games for Apollon Limassol.
Links and whatnot for your reading pleasure. A few USMNT nuggets to start off with.
Roughly 23,000 tickets have been sold so far for the friendly against Peru.
While we won’t know the full US roster for the September friendlies until the end of the month, Tim Howard and DaMarcus Beasley will be on the roster according to a release from US Soccer. Howard will be making his first return since taking a year sabbatical, while Fabian Johnson’s injury (and Beasley’s veteran presence) probably opened things up for Beasley. Klinsmann also says Brad Guzan will remain the US’s starting goalkeeper.
Toronto FC manager Greg Vanney has begun talking to US Soccer about not calling in Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley for the Peru friendly (Toronto faces Seattle on September 5) then releasing them back to the USMNT for the game against Brazil.
Cody Cropper made his senior team debut earlier this month in MK Dons’ 2-1 win over Leyton Orient in the Capital One Cup. As for the goal he allowed, it was awkward. He looks like a baby deer trying to walk on ice.
Greg Seltzer did another numbers thing and this one is on Ethan Horvath and rookie American goalkeepers in Europe. Horvath and Molde FK also defeated Standard Liège yesterday, 2-0, in the first leg of their Europa League matchup.
Brazil is bringing a pretty decent team to the US for September’s friendly.
While next summer’s Copa America Centenario is still up in the air, CONCACAF is proceeding like the tournament is still on as they have scheduled qualifiers for CONCACAF’s remaining two spots (US, Mexico, Costa Rica and Jamaica have already qualified).
Costa Rica will have a new manager as Paulo Wanchope has resigned after losing his mind at an U-23 match earlier this week. As Howie pointed out, between him and Miguel Herrera, the Hex might come down to fighting coaches so the US might as well appoint Peter Vermes as manager.
US Soccer might be getting a new crest in 2016. From what I can see online, a lot of people think it is better than the old crest but nothing special. I like it.
Nothing official has been announced yet, but it looks like the Confederations Cup playoff game is going to move from Friday, October 9 to Saturday, October 10. I hope it doesn’t as I likely can’t go on Saturday, but can on Friday. Also, if you have any extra money or are looking for a cool cause to donate to, help send some veterans to the game.
We have a Anton Peterlin sighting! He is now with Boldklubben af 1893 of the Danish third division. No word if the club has any interest in Cody Arnoux (that joke is for Howie and like three other people who might get it).
As mentioned in yesterday’s reset, Aron Jóhannsson has been the target of transfer speculation over the past few days, with there being rumors both for MLS and the Bundesliga. After reportedly rejecting one offer from Werder Bremen, AZ announced today that it has reached an agreement with the German club. Aron will now talk with Werder Bremen about a contract.
“AZ has reached an agreement in outline with Werder Bremen over the transfer of Aron Johannsson. The club has given the 24- year-old striker permission to come to a personal agreement with the Germans. Johannsson will not be traveling Wednesday with AZ to Turkey .
“If AZ and Werder’s agreement works out completely, and Johannsson also reaches a personal agreement and passes the medical examination, the American International will sign a multi-year contract with Werder Bremen.”
Werder Bremen finished 10th in the Bundesliga last year. They’ve spent all but one year of their history in the top flight, dropped down to the 2nd Bundesliga in 1980 before earning promotion back up the next season. They won the league as recently as 2004, the start of six top 3 finishes in seven seasons, although they’ve since dropped off to be a mid-table club (13th, 9th, 14th, 12th, and 10th this decade).
Some of this stuff is a couple of days old, but Matt was on a mini-vacation and I was at a music festival or recovering most of the weekend so we’re going to hit some stuff up here in one fell swoop.
As I posted late last week, forward Omar Salgado, who is currently on the books (but not playing) at UANL in Mexico, has been loaned to the Tampa Bay Rowdies of NASL. With the Rowdies, he’ll reunite with his former U-20 coach, Thomas Rongen. With Salgado, Fred Adu, and Gale Agbossoumonde, the Rowdies are basically a US fan fiction team.
Cesar “The Joker” Romero, who did unspeakable, nasty things to the Armenia Premier League last year, has swapped out the Caucasus for the Balkans and joined FK Vardar of FYR Macedonia. Vardar is the three-time reigning champion of the Macedonian league. They’re still biggest fish in the small pond, although the pond is slightly bigger as Macedonia has the 40th ranked league in UEFA, eight spots ahead of Armenia’s. Vardar has already been eliminated from Champions League play, although I believe Romero’s qualifying appearance cap-tied him out of that regardless.
I sort of caught this Friday afternoon, but Aron Johannsson caused a stir with reports that linked him heavily to MLS. There was further speculation that it might be Real Salt Lake, with the general consensus being that Aron wanted too much money. Now, there is a report that Werder Bremen has made a bid that AZ rejected. At this point I’d like to see at least a few American attacking players in Europe, so I hope the Werder Bremen report is true and winds up being a deal.
Herculez Gomez tweeted just this this afternoon:
For those asking: Finighing up final details on my Xolos deal (exit). I’ll have news on my final destination soon. 😉 ✌🏼️
Sporting Kansas City holds his MLS rights offering him a new deal back in the fall of 2009, but there’s been more rumors circulating that it will be in fact be the NASL (the Cosmos specifically).
Finally, more late news has Emerson Hyndman receiving interest from clubs in Spain and Germany. The 19 year-old had a strong start to last year, while his minutes dropped off and he got injured he clearly still has a bright future. His contract is apparently up next summer which may explain why Fulham is considering parting with him.
According to Steven Goff, the USMNT will be taking on Peru in a friendly at RFK Stadium in Washinton D.C. in September. The US hasn’t faced Peru since a 1-0 win at the 2000 Gold Cup.
Want to impress your friends with knowledge of the US U-23 goalkeeper pool? Thankfully we have Will to set us straight.
Brian Span went the full 90 minutes and scored his second league goal of the season in Mariehamn’s 1-1 draw to HIFK on Sunday. Here are the highlights. A couple other guys scored if you follow along with our goal tracker.
We also had some goals in friendlies over the last couple days.
Kenny Saief scored for Gent in a 2-2 draw to SK Deinze. Nermin Crnkic scored a goal for Jablonec in a 2-1 win in something called the Minister Cup. And Andrew Wooten scored a goal for Sandhausen in a 1-0 win over Würzburger Kickers.
Shaq Moore’s Huracán Valencia CF did not win promotion to Spain’s second division (lost 3-1 on aggregate), but you can learn more about his club here.
Jordan Morris has been added to the USMNT roster for the upcoming friendlies in Europe. Morris had been with the U-23s in France at the Toulon Tournament , but it doesn’t look like they are going to advance out of the group stage.
The news first leaked when US Soccer sent out a tweet this morning of the equipment manager printing the names on the jerseys and the roster list contained Morris’ name. After that speculation, US Soccer officially announced the roster addition.
Aron Johannsson ended his 2014-15 season on a roll for AZ Alkmaar, including winning Goal of the Year and Performance of the Year in the legendary OT XI. While it was just at training, he added another impressive goal to his highlight film this week with the USMNT.
Holy smokes. Can you believe that this is the sixth edition of the legendary OT XI? When we started this thing there were actually a ton of American players in Europe. Of the original OT XI, only two (Alejandro Bedoya and Jonathan Spector) are still playing abroad, and five (Ryan Guy, Landon Donovan, Brad Friedel, Eddie Johnson, and Carlos Bocanegra) are retired. Crazy times.
Goalkeeper Brad Guzan, Aston Villa (England) [2nd appearance]
If you want to talk about the decline of American players abroad, look no further than goalkeeper (and talk to our friend Will, who wrote this pick.) Even though he didn’t have the greatest of finishes, it was Brad Guzan who carried Aston Villa through the first half of the season, when they couldn’t buy a goal. Guzan carried his team out of the relegation zone so that when it came to the meaningless games in the season, his poor performance didn’t matter. Admittedly, it’s a weak pick without glamour but of all the overseas goalkeepers, Guzan helped his team the most.
Greg Garza, Tijuana (Mexico) [1st]
Tim Ream, Bolton Wanderers (England) [2nd]
Ventura Alvarado, Club America (Mexico) [1st]
Eric Lichaj, Nottingham Forest (England) [2nd]
Two from Liga MX and two from the Football League Championship make up the backline. Garza basically made Edgar Castillo, the 2013 honoree at leftback, expendable at Tijuana as he also established himself as the likely national team heir apparent to the internationally-retired Edgar Castillo. Ream played a little of everywhere defensively for Bolton and earned his second consecutive team MVP. After time on loan, Alvarado blossomed with the CONCACAF Champions League winners and broke into the national team. Meanwhile, back in England, Lichaj had his healthiest season and made 42 appearances, more than the previous two seasons combined (since they play like 800 games in the lower divisions of England).
Guys, guys! We had a guy qualify to the Champions League out of a top five league! Johnson stepped up his team quality and managed to break in and do his usual thing of being a solid contributor at multiple spots on the flank. His former teammate at Hoffenheim, Williams, makes his second consecutive appearance as he continues to play well for Reading. Morales, who looked somewhat out of his element in early caps with the Nats, has blossomed into an legit prospect and helped Ingolstadt earn promotion, meaning he’ll join Johnson in the Bundesliga next year. Bedoya, meanwhile, continued his strong form in Nantes. With Bedoya’s 4th OT XI appearance, he ties Sacha Kljestan and Clint Dempsey for the all-time lead and is a solid favorite to hold the title by his lonesome sooner rather than later.
Matt Taylor, 1. FC Saarbrücken (Germany) [3rd]
Cesar Romero, FC Pyunik (Armenia) [2nd]
Taylor is basically one of our favorite OT players ever. He is a mortal lock to bang in double digit goals in any season that ends in an odd-numbered year (2011- 17; 2013- 16; 2015- 13) and takes advantage of the lengthy injury absences to Terrence Boyd and Aron Jóhannsson, two of last year’s forward honorees. Meanwhile, another OT favorite completely dominated Armenia, scoring 20 goals as Pyunik won their first league title since 2010. He also inspired us to make a ton of The Joker references, although we probably should have made more, because that’s an awesome nickname.
Tim Ream, D, Bolton Wanderers
Ream has gone from MLS breakout prospect to national team disaster to Premier League overmatched to extremely useful Championship player. He has really excelled the last two years with Bolton, and he’s mostly a classic example of how a players can take a while to adjust to a new country.
Goal of the Year
Aron Jóhannsson really wanted to make this post despite missing so much time injured, so he won this late-season match against NAC Breda in the waning moments with this ridiculous strike from distance.
Performance of the Year
Seriously, Jóhannsson got healthy and just wanted OT honors. Plus he has a desire to spend his Thursdays traveling across Eastern Europe in Europa League. So Gunner Stahl (time to resurrect that nickname) decided to dump two goals and an assist on Excelsior (fantastic club name, I’m glad they managed to stay in the Eredivisie) in a match to clinch Europa League for AZ. Highlights!