I am still playing catch up on the soccer world as work decided to kick me as soon as I got back into the office after the mini vacation. Enough babbling.
In case you missed what happened on the field over the past weekend, Roderick has you covered. I was finally able to go back to update the goal tracker from the few goals over the last week, including links to goals by Moises Orozco, Cesar Romero, Björn Maars Johnsen, Harrison Hanley and Jonathan Bornstein.
Also earlier this week, we unveiled the sixth edition of the legendary OT XI. Plus we picked our MVP of the season as well as goal and performance of the year. So go check that out.
The US U-23 team opened up the Toulon Tournament with a disappointing 3-1 loss to France yesterday. Here are some highlights. Sounds like Jordan Morris was the only player who did somewhat well for the US. Also, if you missed the roster of the team (since it came out while I was gone), here that is. Luis Gil was apparently on the initial roster, but Real Salt Lake was able to keep him after a little talk with US Soccer.
One player on that roster, Cody Cropper, is searching for a new club after parting ways with Southampton. While he is likely to stay in England, Ives Galarcep is hearing that Cropper is on the discovery list of at least three MLS teams.
Junior Flores made his Borussia Dortmund II debut on Saturday. He came off the bench and played the last seven minutes in a 2-0 loss to Stuttgarter Kickers. Here are some highlights and you get to see Flores running in the background (#22 in the orange cleats) during Stuttgarter Kickers’ second goal.
This past weekend had some action on the field. Fabian Johnson scored his first goal with Borussia Mönchengladbach. Aron Johannsson and Tim Ream both returned from their injuries. Roderick has you covered with everyone in The OT Report.
The US U-17 team began play at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship with a 5-0 win over Cuba on Friday (highlights) followed with a 2-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago yesterday (highlights). Joe Gallardo (four goals) and Christian Pulisic have been the US’s two best players in my non-expert opinion so far.
According to one report out of Germany, Jurgen Klinsmann might call up Ashton Götz for the US friendlies and camp this month even though he doesn’t have his US passport yet (he wouldn’t be able to play in the games but he could train with the team).
It looks like Freddy Adu could be headed to Sweden to sign with a real team according to Ives Galarcep. If true, this would be his 11th different team in his eighth different country since becoming a pro in 2004. Over that same time, I have lived in two different apartments and have had the same job.
Continuing with the rumors, this report claims Fabian Johnson has been scouted recently by Barcelona as he is one of a few players on their list of potential fullbacks since Dani Alves’ contract ends this summer.
Barcelona youngster Ben Lederman is currently in playing purgatory as part of the team’s injunction that retroactively disqualified many academy players. Some guys just got cleared to play again but not Lederman.
And also thanks to Josh Deaver, I am now aware of a second American at Barcelona. Konrad de la Fuente is a U-14 forward and he scored a goal back in early February for Barca’s Infantil A.
Junior Flores got the start and scored his fourth goal of the season across all competitions in Borussia Dortmund U-19’s 3-2 win over Köln on Sunday. Here are some highlights with Flores’ goal coming at the 2:38 mark.
Julian Green’s situation with Hamburg is odd. Bild reported last week that Green could possibly get fined for refusing to play with the U-23 team. And now it looks like Green is supposed to meet with the team today to discuss whether he will or will not play with the U-23 team.
The FA Cup quarterfinal draw was held yesterday and a couple Americans are still left in the competition. Brad Guzan and Aston Villa will be facing West Brom, while Danny Williams and Reading will take on Bradford City.
Junior Flores got the start, played 87 minutes and scored a goal in Borussia Dortmund U-19’s 2-1 loss to Bochum this past weekend. Here are some highlights of various German U-19 games with Flores’ goal coming at the 2:10 mark.
It’s almost the weekend, but here are a few things to check out.
First off, welcome Roderick MacNeil to the site. He is going to helping out now and bringing back The OT Report from the dead. He did a midweek edition last night. We are probably going to tweak the format around a little bit.
The Daily Mail (your first sign that it likely wasn’t true) had a report in January that Tim Howard was looking into a possible MLS move. Everton’s manager Roberto Martinez is expecting Howard to see out his contract at Everton and told the press that Howard is still his #1 keeper. Nothing to see here.
ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle talked to Tim Ream as he continues to put in solid efforts for Bolton.
The US U-20 team picked up a 2-0 win over Jamaica on Sunday (highlights). They just need a win or a tie on Wednesday against Trinidad & Tobago to advance to the playoff round. It was announced during the broadcast that Kellyn Acosta will miss the rest of the tournament due to a knee injury, while Junior Flores came off the bench and played after missing a game with an ankle injury.
Also over the weekend, Herculez Gomez scored his first goal for Puebla since returning to La Franja (highlights).
As MLSE CEO Tim Leiweke explained to the Toronto Sun on Friday, sacrifice for the crest is certainly one of those principles.
The club’s head honcho told me Bradley restructured part of his deal with the Reds to help bring Altidore back to MLS. The prospects of playing alongside Altidore brought back memories that made it an easy decision.
“I think about what it has been like to play on so many big days with Jozy,” Bradley said. “We’d be standing in the tunnel and you’ll look over at him and he’ll give you a little wink.
Now that numerous teams in MLS are interested in Sacha Kljestan, Anderlecht general manager Herman Van Holsbeeckwants Kljestan to stay for at least a couple months since Anderlecht has lost a couple players due to injury and the African Cup of Nations. Greg Seltzer is also hearing that some European teams are interested in him along with various MLS clubs.
We did have some other goals this past weekend that came in some friendlies. Fabian Johnson scored a goal in Borussia Mönchengladbach’s 1-0 win over Rot-Weiss Essen (photo). And Andrew Wooten scored a goal in Sandhausen’s 4-2 win over Jahn Regensburg.
One player at this month’s camp that you probably don’t know that much about is Julio Morales. Brian Sciaretta gets you caught up to date on Mr. Morales. It looks like Morales might not be able to play in the friendlies just yet (although he can still participate in the camp) as he has to file a one-time switch with FIFA since he played with Mexico at the 2013 U-20 World Cup.
Much like Brad Friedel with the U-20 team, another former player, Carlos Bocanegra, is helping out as a coach this month.
Kyle McCarthy takes a look at the mixture of vets and youth as camp begins.
In other USMNT news, CONCACAF has moved up the start of the final round of World Cup qualifying (a.k.a. The Hex) by three months to November of 2016 due to FIFA eliminating some international fixture dates in 2017. The draw for the first round will take place on Thursday, but the US won’t enter qualification until the fourth round, beginning in November of 2015. Yes, the whole cycle is about to start up again.
And we might know about two more friendlies for this year as Fox Sports ran this graphic during Friday’s U-20 game, which shows games against Australia and Ghana for later this year.
Speaking of Mr. Zelalem, the guys over at The Short Fuse have a little write- up on the savoir of American soccer Arsenal prospect.
Moving onto some club news.
All signs are pointingtowards Mix Diskerud signing with NYCFC later today (or this week).
There was some more Jozy Altidore-to-MLS chatter over the weekend and Toronto FC appears to have the edge at the moment. If this were to go down, I am just going to pretend that this was some mastermind of Klinsi to get Michael Bradley and Jozy practicing together everyday.
Heath Pearce didn’t come to terms with Orlando City after being taken in the expansion draft, so he might be looking to take his talents to Europe. Pearce began his professional career in Denmark with FC Nordsjælland and also played with Hansa Rostock in Germany so he does have experience abroad.
I can’t find much more on this, but Frank Simek’s wikipedia page has been updated that he is now with Sông Lam Nghệ An in Vietnam. As one would expect, it is not easy to find solid information on this team or league.