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Archive for the ‘US Men’s National Team’ Category


Friday morning links
   October 24, 2014 (1:09 AM) by Matt Benson
 

A few links before the weekend.

The USMNT will have a second friendly next month in Europe as they will take on Colombia at Craven Cottage in London.

The latest FIFA rankings came out earlier this week and the US dropped six places to No. 23.  They are still the third-highest ranked team in CONCACAF as Costa Rica comes in at No. 16 and Mexico at No. 17.

Mix Diskerud had to be subbed out after 36 minutes in last weekend’s game due to an injury, but he just missed a couple practices this week and returned to training yesterday.  Sounds like a good chance he plays on Sunday.

Also in the injury department, Aron Johannsson is expected to dress with AZ Alkmaar this weekend.  Johannsson played with AZ’s reserves earlier this week and will get a chance to play in his first game with the senior team against Groningen on Saturday.

While those guys are coming back from injuries, Timothy Chandler will likely miss Eintracht Frankfurt’s game this weekend due to an abductor muscle issue.

After missing basically the entire season after tearing his achilles tendon, Zarek Valentin returned to full training this week in Norway.

Freddy Adu hasn’t done much at Jagodina in Serbia this season and could be making a move to Sweden come January.

Geoff Cameron is back from injury and is ready to fight for a position at center back or central midfield.

Ives Galarcep talked to Greg Garza earlier this week about the crazy three-year run Garza has been having.  I remember when he was sort of this mythical player stuck in Traffic Sports purgatory.

Franco Panizo caught up with Alfredo Morales to talk about the progress he is making at Ingolstadt and with the USMNT.

Jose Torres scored a pretty bitchin’ goal in Copa MX action earlier this week.

Gedion Zelalem went the full 90 minutes in Arsenal’s 4-3 loss to Anderlecht in the UEFA Youth League on Tuesday.  On Wednesday, Junior Flores got the start and played 77 minutes in Borussia Dortmund’s 3-2 loss to Galatasaray.

Marc Pelosi has been training some with Liverpool’s senior team this past week.

Brian Sciaretta talked to 16-year-old English-American defender Cameron Carter-Vickers about his trip with the US U-23 team down to Brazil and how US Soccer found him.

While we are learning about some new dual-national players, Tom Marshall introduces us to Leones Negros midfielder Jesus Vazquez.

Aleks Gogic signed with Reading last year, but it looks like the 18-year-old goalkeeper must be on loan with Southern League Premier Division (seventh tier!) side Slough Town F.C. as he played in a game with them last Saturday.

 
Categories: Aleks Gogic, Alfredo Morales, Aron Johannsson, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Freddy Adu, Gedion Zelalem, Geoff Cameron, Greg Garza, Jesus Vazquez, Jose Francisco Torres, Junior Flores, Marc Pelosi, Mix Diskerud, Timothy Chandler, US Men's National Team, Zarek Valentin
5 Comments
 

USMNT to play Colombia in friendly at Craven Cottage
   October 22, 2014 (8:46 PM) by Matt Benson
 

First the rumor was a friendly against Croatia at Craven Cottage in London for November but that fell through.  And now US Soccer has confirmed a friendly against Colombia at Craven Cottage for November 14.  The US will also play Ireland in Dublin on November 18 during the same international break.

“Colombia showed in the World Cup that they are one of the top teams in the world,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “They have some tremendous attacking talent like Radamel Falcao at Manchester United, James Rodriguez who won the Golden Boot at the World Cup and now plays at Real Madrid, Arian Ramos from Dortmund who was one of the top scorers in the Bundesliga, and Carlos Bacca who won the Europa League with Sevilla. So overall, it’s a squad with a lot of experience playing at the highest level, and this will be another great benchmark for us. We are thrilled to be playing at Craven Cottage, which holds so many good memories for U.S. players. It will be a unique experience.”

One of the darlings of this past summer’s World Cup, Colombia is currently ranked No. 3 by FIFA and No. 5 by Elo and should be bring a strong roster featuring James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao.

The US is 3-9-4 all-time against Colombia, last playing to a 0-0 draw on October 12, 2010 in Chester, Pennsylvania.

US Soccer’s website also has a little story up on the history of US Soccer players and Craven Cottage.

 
Categories: US Men's National Team
1 Comment
 

Tuesday morning links roundup
   October 21, 2014 (12:24 AM) by Matt Benson
 

A bunch of links from the last couple of days.

The rumored USMNT friendly against Croatia at Craven Cottage for November (that their federation announced) looks to be no mas.  That said, US Soccer looks to be talking to Colombia about filling that void and still playing at Craven Cottage.  But if you remember, Colombia was the team that US Soccer tried to schedule for September for the second friendly and that fell through.  Basically nothing is official until US Soccer announces something.

This was the weekend of players returning to the field.  Geoff Cameron came off the bench and played 29 minutes (completing 15-of-15 passes) in Stoke City’s 2-1 win over Swansea City.  Stoke City’s website got a couple post-game quotes from Cameron.

Terrence Boyd made his return this weekend, coming off the bench and playing 29 minutes in RB Leipzig’s 1-0 loss to Nurnberg.  Here is a photo of Boyd in action.

Aron Johannsson played in his first game since the World Cup.  It was with AZ Alkmaar’s reserve team on Monday, but he scored from the penalty spot (highlights).

While he didn’t come back from injury, John Brooks appears to be out of the dog house as he came off the bench for Hertha Berlin in a 2-0 loss to Schalke.

And while we had those players coming back, we did have a couple Americans pick up injuries this weekend.

Joe Corona broke his foot in Tijuana’s 2-1 win on Friday and he will be out four weeks.

Mix Diskerud had to be subbed off after 36 minutes over the weekend due to a leg injury, but it doesn’t appear to be too serious.

Joe Gyau had successful knee surgery last Thursday.

Fresh off his goal with the US on Tuesday, Jozy Altidore didn’t even make Sunderland’s bench this weekend.  It was probably a good thing as Southampton trashed the Black Cats 8-0.

Brek Shea was sent on loan to Birmingham City to get playing time, just probably not with their U-21 team like he did on Monday.

Sticking with Birmingham City, Shea, Jonathan Spector and Will Packwood will have a new manager as Lee Clark has been fired.

If you missed Howie’s post yesterday, Juan Agudelo is still without a job as Wolverhampton decided to pass on him after his trial.

Also from the weekend, Will talked to Quentin Westberg about the weird situation at Luzenac and his possible future.

We had some goals over the weekend.  Cesar Romero has now scored in six straight games.  Andrew Stadler scored a game-tying goal in the 87th minute.  Devante Parker scored his first goal at the U-23 level for 2014-15.  And Christian Eissele scored his 17th goal of the 2014 calendar year.

Jake Keegan and Galway FC beat Shelbourne 2-0 in the first leg of the Irish Premier Division promotion playoffs.  The second leg will be on Friday.  For more on Keegan, take a look back at RJ’s interview with him from last week.

Staying in Ireland, Yanks Abroad’s Kenya Brown talked to Pat McCann.

Also over the weekend, Dembakwi Yomba scored a goal with Atlético Madrid’s Juvenil División de Honor team.  Here is also a Google-translated interview with Yomba.

In the battle of American goalkeepers, Tim Howard (photo) and Everton defeated Brad Guzan (photo) and Aston Villa.  It was Howard’s 350th career Premier League appearance, trailing only Brad Friedel (450) for the most all-time by an American.

Alfredo Morales showed off some skills this weekend.

FC Utrecht manager Robby Alflen has been impressed with Rubio Rubin.

And finally, Stabæk’s fans had some fun signs for Bob Bradley this past weekend.

 
Categories: Alfredo Morales, Andrew Stadler, Aron Johannsson, Bob Bradley, Brad Friedel, Brad Guzan, Brek Shea, Cesar Romero, Christian Eissele, Dembakwi Yomba, Devante Parker, Geoff Cameron, Jake Keegan, Joe Corona, Joe Gyau, John Brooks, Jonathan Spector, Jozy Altidore, Juan Agudelo, Mix Diskerud, Pat McCann, Quentin Westberg, Rubio Rubin, Terrence Boyd, Tim Howard, US Men's National Team, Will Packwood
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A few links for Thursday
   October 16, 2014 (12:13 AM) by Matt Benson
 

The US is now unbeaten in its last 19 home games after Tuesday’s draw to Honduras.  Here are the highlights and here are some photos.  And I found this stat to be interesting from Matthew Doyle about Michael Bradley playing behind two true forwards.

While Brad Guzan and Nick Rimando seem to have the #1/#2 spots locked up over the next year, Will took a look at the depth behind them and gave some other options aside from Bill Hamid and Sean Johnson.  He also went USMNT hipster on us and gave us some other options at the U-23 level.

While Joe Gyau is out until January with his meniscus injury, Schwatzgelb.com takes a look closer at Gyau’s career.

Julian Green and Fabian Johnson are both back at their respective German clubs and training again despite their recent injuries.

It looks like Sunderland will listen to offers for Jozy Alitdore come January.  And I guess there was a Burnley rumor this week, but Jozy said it was news to him.

Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Kenny Jackett has confirmed that Juan Agudelo is at the club on trial for another week.

MLS commissioner Don Garber doesn’t agree with Jurgen Klinsmann on some things.

Joe Prince-Wright has a longform piece on Bob Bradley that is worth checking out.

According to this report, Reading decided to pass on signing Oguchi Onyewu.

Bolton and Tim Ream have a new manager and it is Neil Lennon.  He has spent the last five seasons at Celtic.

After his latest injury, Jon-Paul Pittman is back in training with Grimsby Town.

Jonathan Spector did a video for Birmingham City’s Youtube channel on his international career.

I posted some US U-23 highlights earlier this week of their 3-0 loss to Brazil, but here is a video from before the game where we learn that Emerson Hyndman is slowly becoming Brad Friedel.

Laura Greene wonders if maybe Zak Whitbread will get a look by Jurgen Klinsmann during next month’s friendlies in Europe.

And finally, don’t forget to check out RJ’s interview with Galway FC’s Jake Keegan.

 
Categories: Bob Bradley, Emerson Hyndman, Fabian Johnson, Jake Keegan, Joe Gyau, Jon-Paul Pittman, Jonathan Spector, Jozy Altidore, Juan Agudelo, Julian Green, Michael Bradley, Oguchi Onyewu, Tim Ream, US Men's National Team, US U-23 National Team, Zak Whitbread
1 Comment
 

USMNT Goalkeeper Outlook
   October 15, 2014 (8:21 AM) by Will Reno
 

As the new cycle begins, we’re all expecting young talent to make some national team appearances. Bill Hamid almost made the last World Cup roster this last go-around and both Sean Johnson and Cody Cropper have received call-ups within the last year. It brings up the question, how much does potential play into receiving a call-up? Where is the floor for players’ current ability? On top of that, why is Rimando still in the picture? He’s 35 now and will be 39 by the next World Cup. Surely, he is on the downside of his career.

Players always mention the honor in playing for the US National Team. But the honor in a call-up must be based off of current merit, not promise. You don’t reward someone for what they’re going to do. The focus right now should be on the Gold Cup in nine months, not the 2018 World Cup. Rimando is still in the picture because he’s one of three best goalkeeping options for the US and will help the team next summer. With that in mind, struggling goalkeepers do not need to be called into camp. Sean Johnson is still experiencing growing pains with Chicago and Cody Cropper had a rough outing against Brazil on Monday (his first touch led to a goal). If Klinsmann wants to get a closer look at a goalie, he can visit a practice or attend a game but it’s a waste of a call-up to call-in a struggling goalkeeper when there are veterans who are at the peak of their games. The senior national team is not a developing program. Clubs develop players, not national teams. Reward those that are ready now and encourage the ones who will be there one day.

That said, here are three viable options Klinsmann needs to take a look at that can assist the US in their next run in the 2015 Gold Cup, if not beyond.

1. Steve Clark – Clark has a familiar late bloomer story for American soccer fans. Undrafted coming out of Oakland University, he bounced around in the US’s lower leagues before going abroad. Finally landing with Hønefoss, he was a big reason why they earned promotion into the Tippeligaen, Norway’s premier league. After a disappointing finish in 2013 (Hønefoss finished with 34 goals scored in 30 games) Clark came back to play in MLS. He displayed a superb spring and quickness but also a DIY-technique he had learned and was the definition of “raw”. Columbus goalkeeper coach, and two time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, Pat Onstad has honed Clark to a great final product. He’s playing angles well, his hands are in smart positions, and he still maintained his lateral reach.

Recently, Clark was runner-up in MLS’s save of the week… to himself. He’s the best goalkeeper in MLS at the moment and getting better. Look for Columbus to win the five seed in the East and for Clark to give their playoff opponent fits at the end of October.

2. Luis Robles – The only goalkeeper on this list that has a cap although Robles hasn’t been with the US team since his appearance in the summer of 2009. Out of the all the keepers on the list, Robles is the most consistent. He plays smart and knows exactly of what he’s capable of. He’s been crucial in helping New York clinch the playoffs despite being on one of the worst defenses in the league, sitting third in allowing shots against.

The main downside to Robles is that he doesn’t necessarily stand out in any one category. He’s not as explosive Hamid or Clark, he’s not that iconic outside the New York crowd, and he’s hasn’t been in the spotlight like heralded prodigies that go overseas, despite actually going overseas. For whatever reason, Robles has remained largely unnoticed in the depth pool. However he has the presence that would translate well to the international game.

3. Joe Bendik – Bendik and Clark share several similarities. He wasn’t drafted coming out of college and ended up in Norway. Bendik signed with Sogndal and also gained promotion, although Bendik wasn’t as involved with his club as Clark was. He returned to MLS and eventually found his way to Toronto. At the end of this season he’ll have one and a half seasons as a starter under his belt. (He spent time as a backup to loanee Julio Cesar.)

Bendik’s season has been about what one would expect from a twenty-five year old. Mostly solid play with the occasion conceded goal centered around lack of experience, not a lack of skill. An odd situation where the ball takes a weird bounce, a forgotten backside runner, a delayed thought to recognize the through ball… Bendik has all the tools to be an elite starter within MLS but he still has some growing to do. As for now, he’s still good enough to start and the kind of player you want to build your team around.


Since we’re on the subject, the USYNTs are notorious for staying with their two goalkeepers and not bringing in new competition. (Although to be fare Charlie Horton was called into the last U23 game, a name that was far from the radar for most fans.) This next Olympic cycle will likely feature Cody Cropper as the number one and Santiago Castaño as the number two. Here are three more goalkeepers that deserve a look or, at the very least, allow you to say you knew about them first.

1. Jon Kempin – Kempin made a splash in Kansas City this year with his penalty heroics. Look for Kansas City to make some room for Kempin next year as he’s currently sitting number three.

2. Alex Bono – The starter for Syracuse University, who are 11-1 and sitting number four in the nation. Bono and Syracuse take on North Carolina State on ESPN 3, October 25th.

3. Paul Blanchette – At 6’3″, 200 pounds, Blanchette has more the frame of a college tight end than your typical goalkeeper. The starter for Loyola Marymount University is a little harder to catch on TV but his highlight reel doesn’t disappoint.

For more information about the depth pool on American goalkeepers and some analysis on Bill Hamid’s strengths and weaknesses, feel free to skim the latest edition of Top 100 American Goalkeepers.

 
Categories: Alex Bono, Joe Bendik, Jon Kempin, Luis Robles, Paul Blanchette, Steve Clark, US Men's National Team, US U-23 National Team
2 Comments
 

US vs. Honduras Photos
   October 15, 2014 (7:28 AM) by Matt Benson
 

Here are a few photos from yesterday’s game courtesy of Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America.  Slideshow fun time!

honduras01
« 1 of 15 »

 

 
Categories: US Men's National Team
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US vs. Honduras Highlights
   October 14, 2014 (7:20 PM) by Matt Benson
 

I didn’t get a chance to really watch this one, but the US scored first, and just like the other night, gave up a late tying goal to make the final score 1-1.  Here are the full highlights.

 
Categories: Highlights, US Men's National Team
5 Comments
 

Here is your US-Honduras pre-game primer
   October 14, 2014 (12:02 AM) by Matt Benson
 

Here is a quick rundown of things you might want to look at before today’s game.

» The game is at 8 PM Eastern on ESPN, WatchESPN and UniMas.

» Honduras is ranked #56 by FIFA and #76 by Elo, while the US is #17 by FIFA and #16 by Elo.

» Here are the official game notes by US Soccer.  As for some random stats/facts:

The US is 14-4-3 all-time against Honduras, including an 11-2-2 mark on American soil.  The US has scored at least one goal in 20 of the 21 all-time meetings, including 1+ goal in each of the last 18 meetings.

The US is unbeaten in its last 18 home games (16-0-2), the longest such streak in USMNT history.

The US is 17-16-9 all-time in the state of Florida, including a 4-0-0 mark under Jurgen Klinsmann.

With Landon Donovan’s retirement, Clint Dempsey becomes the USMNT active leader in goals (39), tied with DaMarcus Beasley for the lead in assists (13) and is second to Beasley in appearances (109).

Nick Rimando is expected to make the start tonight and the US is 10-0-1 when he earns the decision as goalkeeper.

» In case you have been out of the loop this weekend, Jurgen Klinsmann made six changes to the roster.  Ticket sales for this game haven’t been that great.  Could we possibly see Jermaine Jones at center back tonight?  Joe Gyau’s knee injury is going to keep him out until January.

» The US might be playing against Croatia in London in November.

» The US U-23 team lost 3-0 in Brazil yesterday.  Here are some highlights.

» And finally, RJ introduces you to Jake Keegan and his long journey from the US to Ireland with many stops between.

 
Categories: US Men's National Team
2 Comments
 

Report: US to play Croatia at Craven Cottage in November
   October 13, 2014 (7:27 AM) by Matt Benson
 

The Croatian Football Federation has announced a friendly against the US for November 12 to be played at Fulham’s Craven Cottage in London.

US Soccer has not confirmed the friendly (they have confirmed that they are in talks with Croatia) but the US is already playing in Ireland on November 18 so another friendly in Europe during the international break makes sense.

The US has never officially played Croatia in a full international although the link above claims that the US played against Croatia in their first ever game in 1990.  Croatia is currently ranked #19 by both FIFA and Elo.

The US is 0-3-0 all-time in London, losing against England in friendlies in 1994 and 2008 and losing to Italy in the 1948 Olympics.

Thoughts on the friendly?

 
Categories: US Men's National Team
2 Comments
 

Jurgen Klinsmann makes six changes to US roster
   October 13, 2014 (6:21 AM) by Matt Benson
 

As expected, Jurgen Klinsmann has made a bunch of roster changes ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against Honduras in Boca Raton, Florida.

John Brooks, Landon Donovan, Luis Gil, Omar Gonzalez, Brad Guzan and Joe Gyau were all sent back to their clubs, while Klinsmann has called in Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Sean Johnson, Matt Besler, Jermaine Jones and Graham Zusi.

Tuesday’s game is set to kickoff at 8 PM Eastern on ESPN.

 
Categories: US Men's National Team
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