This past week had a bunch of games and Roderick has you covered on all the goals in Copa MX and a couple Americans in Europa League.
Speaking of Copa MX, I missed this goal on Tuesday, but Sonny Guadarrama scored a goal in Atlante’s 1-1 draw to Toluca (highlights).
Tim Howard was one of those players in Europa League on Thursday and he earned his 21st career win in a UEFA cup competition (Champions League/Europa League), giving him on more than Brad Friedel for the most by any American goalkeeeper.
According to some reports, Julian Green had his meeting with Hamburg manager Josef Zinnbauer and director Peter Knäbel. He apparently apologized for refusing to play with the U-23s and he is back with the first team. Group hug time.
US Soccer officially released its new 2015 away jersey earlier this week, so we decided to list our three favorite jerseys of all-time. Also, take a look through history with our USMNT jersey history page.
The “Don’t Tread on Me” jersey of 2006 is my personal favorite. Love the red with the two-toned sash and an old school crest. And those are the colors of red and blue we should be using for all jerseys.
The 2013 Third is my second favorite. Super clean and basic with a great throwback crest (which is way better than the current crest).
And the 2006 Home is my third favorite. I sort of like sashs, but I like how it was slightly “different” than your normal sash or a horizontal/hoops design. You don’t see the off-centered vertical stripe that often.
2006 Home – Back in the day when white-blue-white was the US’s home look (before the Wimbledon whites, possibly forced by FIFA) for a solid decade or so, this was the best, especially since they were the Allied jerseys from Victory.
2010 Away – Remember when Nike was going to make the sash our “thing”? Sigh. Good times.
2006 Third – You could easily put the 2011 third in here. Red, like we’ve always asked for, a sash….sigh.
The 2006 home kit has to be No. 1 simply because of those iconic images of a bloodied Brian McBride. The kit is great on its own, but the pictures of McBride—who went the full 90 in that titanic draw against Italy—put it over the top. Second place goes to the 2010 away kit. The dark navy blue with white sash is fantastic, plus it’s the jersey the U.S. wore in its epic comeback against Slovenia in the World Cup. Third place goes to the 2008 charcoal gray away kit. It’s not really an “American” color and there’s not a signature win in it (does a 3-0 win over Poland in Europe count?), but overall, it’s a good one.
Honorable mention: Centennial kit
If you want to make a fashion statement: 1972 Olympic white
While I am pro-sash, the 1950 – and the 2004 throwback – is a very strong white kit, which is tough to pull off. The sash runs at the shoulder instead of going over, feeling less like a pageant sash and more like someone is crossing the finish line tape. Plus that’s clean crest without a silly soccer ball shooting through the picture.
2012 Home is the best at incorporating all of red, white, and blue. The shorts and socks really make the kit come together. It looks great with or without the number on it (relevant for buyers) and made Where’s Waldo totally relevant again, which we can all agree was great. However, I am disappointed in the American Outlaws for not making the obvious “American Odlaw” fan shirt.
I know it gets a lot of grief but there’s not a jersey that captures a time better than the ’94 away denim kit. It’s legendary. If someone poured acid on the American flag and then draped it across their body it would look just like this. The 90s were great and it fit the 1994 World Cup team well.
On a side note, if they remade the 2006 home jersey with replica Bride McBride blood then that’d clearly be the greatest US jersey of all-time.
2012 Home – The great national teams of the world have iconic, traditional primary jerseys that are easily identifiable. Brazil, Argentina, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, England – there is no mistaking when watching these teams play. The Waldo is, and forever should be, the standard American look. Nothing declares “USA” more quickly and emphatically than red and white horizontal stripes. It’s simple, it’s unique, it’s us.
1994 Away – The obvious companion to the primary stars & stripes kit is an away jersey featuring a field of blue, with some representation of white stars. Is The Denim my ideal manifestation of this concept? I’d probably design one with more understated stars and a deeper shade of blue. But the vision is what counts here. Extra bonus points for boldness and brashness.
2013 Third – It was a tough call not including something with a sash in my top three. Though sashes have been featured in so many USMNT jerseys over the years, there aren’t any that feel just right to me. The 1950 red sash on white looks nice, but looks too similar to Peru in modern context. More recent versions position the sash to showcase the Nike logo ahead of the crest. The Centennial, on the other hand, is clean and dignified. Most importantly, it brought back that beautiful classic crest, which should never, ever go away.
Another Camp Cupcake is in the books for the United States men’s national team and, as usual, the team’s annual January camp has resulted in some movement on the U.S. depth chart.
Following a 3-2 loss to Chile, the U.S. rebounded with a 2-0 win over Panama and attention will now begin to focus on the upcoming March friendlies against Denmark and Switzerland.
But the most important near-term goal remains the 2015 Gold Cup, as a U.S. victory in the tournament will secure passage to the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.
Here’s how the player pool looks to be shaping up for this summer.
With Tim Howard’s self-imposed exile keeping him out at least until this fall, the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the net are clearly occupied by Brad Guzan and Nick Rimando. The big battle in the goalkeeper pool will be for the No. 3 spot.
Bill Hamid looked to be the No. 3 this fall, and won 2014 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year honors, but was also in the net for the U.S.’s 4-1 shellacking at the hands of Ireland in November. Hamid missed the January camp this year with a shoulder injury, allowing Sean Johnson to keep his name firmly in the discussion.
Against Panama, Johnson picked up a shutout as a second-half substitute, although to be fair, he wasn’t really tested. Johnson had an underappreciated season for the Chicago Fire in 2014, and also picked up two shutouts for the U.S. in his two other most recent national team appearances—in 2013.
On the outside looking in is Cody Cropper, who earned a few call-ups this fall and is probably next in line among a talented pool of young American netminders.
Steve Clark, Bobby Shuttleworth and Luis Robles were all thought to be in the hunt for a January camp call-up, but none were selected and now look to be firmly out of the picture for the time being.
Locks: Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando
On the roster: Sean Johnson
In the hunt: Bill Hamid, Cody Cropper
Right now, there is no other position in the U.S. player pool that has more depth than center-back. Jermaine Jones, Omar Gonzalez, Geoff Cameron, John Anthony Brooks and Matt Besler are all firmly in the mix, and that’s to say nothing of the versatile Michael Orozco, or a host of youngsters working their way into the national team picture.
The “Jones as a center-back” experiment continued in the February friendlies and continued to show a mixture of promise and problems. Jones was surprisingly vulnerable in the air to whipped-in crosses against Chile and seemed to need a tether to keep him from bombing forward at every opportunity. Still, Klinsmann loves the New England Revolution man and thinks he’s best in the back.
For his part, Besler still looks to be punch drunk from the beating he received this summer at the hands of Romelu Lukaku, but played better against Chile and Panama than he did in his post-World Cup haze last fall.
Gonzalez missed the January camp with a minor injury, but, despite plenty of doubters, showed himself well last summer in the World Cup. Cameron and Brooks have both enjoyed up-and-down club seasons, but Cameron’s versatility and Brooks’ potential are both still desperately needed on the U.S. squad.
Orozco will probably miss the final roster, but a number of youngsters look to be pushing their way into the discussion. D.C. United defender Steve Birnbaum has done the most to raise his stock as of late, putting in an impressive showing against Chile. FC Dallas’ Matt Hedges also received a late call-up into the January camp and should continue to put pressure on the more established players.
The dark-horse of the center-back pool is Ventura Alvarado, the 22-year-old dual national who has begun working his way into America’s lineup in Liga MX. Alvarado is also versatile enough to play in the wide positions when needed.
Locks: Jermaine Jones, Omar Gonzalez, Geoff Cameron, John Anthony Brooks
On the roster: Matt Besler
In the hunt: Orozco, Birnbaum, Hedges
Dark-horse favorite: Alvarado
Against Chile, the U.S. tried out a 3-5-2, a system that would seem to fit players like Fabian Johnson and DeAndre Yedlin perfectly. But head coach Jurgen Klinsmann scrapped the project after only 45 minutes and went back to a 4-4-2 for the second half of that match, and the next game against Panama.
Johnson is still the U.S.’s undisputed No. 1 at the position and has finally started to get more regular minutes (albeit in the midfield) in this year’s Bundesliga campaign. Johnson was the U.S.’s starter at right-back in the World Cup, but also has extensive experience on the left. With the emergence of Greg Garza, who showed well in the fall friendlies and has continued to develop with regular starts for Club Tijuana, Klinsmann can either continue to use Johnson on the right side, or even push him higher up the pitch.
That decision will rely heavily on DeAndre Yedlin, and his continued development in England. Tottenham have stated that they intend to bring Yedlin along slowly, and his performance against Panama clearly demonstrated that the youngster still has work to do.
Rounding out the roster in the back will likely be Timmy Chandler. He still isn’t a favorite among U.S. fans, but Klinsmann clearly likes him and he has been earning regular time this season in the Bundesliga.
One wild card could be Brek Shea. After a nightmare outing against Chile, Shea actually looked serviceable at left-back in the Panama game and the early indication out of Orlando is that he will continue to play as a defender for his new club. His flaws in possession are obvious and the quality of his flank service is wildly inconsistent, but it’s also no secret that Klinsmann is a fan of Shea. The mercurial wide player has also shown an ability to create game-changing goals for the U.S. under Klinsmann, as he has done twice against Mexico, in the 2013 Gold Cup and in scoring the opener against Panama earlier this month.
Not making the roster at this time are Brad Evans (yes, his January camp call-up indicates that he is still in the player pool), Tim Ream and Robbie Rogers.
Ream has played well for the last several years at Bolton, but is still obviously a fringe player in the U.S. pool. The situation with Rogers may resolve itself, but the odd back-and-forth between Rogers and Klinsmann during this year’s January camp seems to indicate that Rogers isn’t in the coach’s immediate plans.
Locks: Fabian Johnson, Greg Garza, DeAndre Yedlin
On the roster: Timmy Chandler
In the hunt: Brek Shea
In the center of the pitch, Klinsmann has plenty of options. Michael Bradley and Mix Diskerud are firmly in the picture, and the coach can always use Jones, Cameron, or Alejandro Bedoya as center midfielders, if need be.
After that, question marks abound. Klinsmann will want to bring at least one more dedicated center midfielder, but making that decision will be brutal because of the sheer number of choices.
Kyle Beckerman pulled himself out of the January camp, but his World Cup performance should have erased all doubts about his ability to contribute on the international level. He’s not a long-term option at 32 years old, but he can help the team win the Gold Cup this summer—and that is the goal.
Joe Corona was becoming a regular for Klinsmann in the fall, but suffered a foot injury that he is just starting to recover from. Lee Nguyen is also in the picture, but despite a standout 2014 season for the New England Revolution, he hasn’t received much playing time when called into U.S. camps.
One wildcard will be Gedion Zelalem. The Arsenal starlet recently received U.S. citizenship, but due to a snag in his FIFA paperwork, he isn’t eligible quite yet. He also hasn’t made his senior team league debut in England, but that didn’t stop Klinsmann from putting Julian Green on the World Cup roster last summer. With Zelalem, Klinsmann will undoubtedly be eager to bring the youngster into the fold as soon as possible.
On the fringe, there are a plethora of names, including Wil Trapp, Alfredo Morales, Danny Williams, Luis Gil and Emerson Hyndman. All of them have made their case in one way or another, but it’s hard to see any of them cracking this very deep, and talented, roster.
Locks: Bradley, Diskerud
On the roster: Beckerman
In the hunt: Corona, Nguyen, Trapp, Morales, Williams, Gil, Hyndman
Dark-horse favorite: Zelalem
On the wings, Klinsmann will have a number of difficult choices. Alejandro Bedoya is a lock, but after that, no one has a clear stamp on a roster spot. Of course, Johnson and Yedlin can be used in the wide midfield roles and LA Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes made quite an impression on the wing against Panama in the U.S.’s most recent match.
There’s also Green, who has found playing time hard to come by at Hamburg and recently found himself in fight with club management over whether he should be playing games with the squad’s U-23 team.
Forward Miguel Ibarra is also in the picture and recently earned his first national team start, playing on the wing, against Panama.
Graham Zusi missed the January camp due to an injury, but will certainly be in the hunt. However, the Sporting Kansas City midfielder will have to prove he can compete with the younger, and speedier, options that Klinsmann has at his disposal—especially after Zusi’s less-than-impressive World Cup performances.
Joe Gyau, the Dortmund winger who showed tremendous promise in the fall friendlies, has suffered a setback in his recovery from a knee injury and, for now, looks to be out of contention for a roster spot this summer.
On the roster: Zardes, Green
In the hunt: Ibarra, Zusi
Up top, Klinsmann will continue to look towards veterans Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey to lead the line for the U.S. Altidore should be in solid form with Toronto FC by the time the summer rolls around and finally, after two long years, back to his best.
Aron Johannsson is slowly working his way back to form with AZ Alkmaar after an injury and fellow Eredivisie product Rubio Rubin looked very promising in the U.S.’s fall friendlies.
The remainder of the forward pool includes Chris Wondolowski (sigh), Bobby Wood, Terrence Boyd, Jordan Morris and Tesho Akindele (who is still eligible to represent Canada) with Andrew Wooten still looking for his first call-up
Wondo and Wood are both Klinsmann favorites and Wood recently picked up a brace in only his second appearance for his new club, Bundesliga 2-side Aue.
While Wood hasn’t showed well for the U.S. in several national team appearances, Klinsmann clearly has an affinity for the youngster.
Boyd is recovering from another knee injury and likely won’t be available this summer, while Wooten can’t seem to get Klinsmann’s attention despite a decent run of form this season in Germany.
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.
The US will host CONCACAF qualifying for the 2016 Olympics. It will take place October 1-13, although the host cities are unknown at this time. The top two teams qualify for the Olympics while the third place team will face Colombia in March of 2016 for a spot. The FIFA international window in October is between 5-13, so getting releases for some of the “better” players could happen for the second half of the tournament.
Brad Guzan wrote some words for The Players’ Tribune about life as a Premier League goalkeeper.
LA Galaxy midfielder Juninho would be interested in playing for the US, but he would have to wait a few more years to apply for citizenship since he just got his green card in July of 2013. So basically it would be a while.
The Irish Times has a story up about Ireland likely missing out on Shane O’Neill.
And finally, if you are a US Soccer twitter hipster, you are probably aware of @RobUsry. He makes a lot of fun videos of US players and his latest is on new Borussia Dortmund youngster Christian Pulisic.
One of the “hot” stories from Wednesday was how Julian Green was demoted to Hamburg’s U-23 team. But according to the club, that is not fully true.
“He’s not moving to the Under-23 team,” HSV press officer Lars Wegener told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. “Our sport director said that maybe he could play for the U-23s a couple times when he is not in the first-team squad. The reason is to get him some matches and more practice. He is still with the first team in training.”
A.J. Soares started for Stabæk in a friendly against Strommen and scored a goal yesterday. But Bob Bradley confirmed to The Bent Musket that it is just a training stint and that Soares would be leaving the club this week for another trial elsewhere.
The US tends to be a more stat-driven country when it comes to soccer compared to England, but The Birmingham Mail used some stats to compare Jonathan Spector’s recent play at center back while filling in for injured Michael Morrison.
Jake Keegan officially signed a new contract with Galway United FC (that is their new name for this season after being called Galway FC the last few seasons after replacing the dissolved Galway United).
Jones played the full 90 minutes in the U.S. men’s national team’s 2-0 victory over Panama on Sunday, but he revealed his plans to undergo an operation in an Instagram post on Monday morning. The club later confirmed he would undertake the procedure to repair an issue with a sports hernia.
“Tomorrow is my surgery,” Jones said. “I’ll be out for a couple of weeks, but I’ll come back sharp.”
Instead of returning to the Boston area for treatment, Jones will address the lingering issue in Los Angeles and start his rehabilitation with one eye on the Revolution’s season opener in Seattle on March 8.
DeAndre Yedlin was subbed out of yesterday’s game after he picked up some kind of leg injury and limped off the field (here is a Vine of the play in question). But according to Jurgen Klinsmann, the substitution was precautionary and the injury is nothing serious.
DeAndre Yedlin limped out of the USMNT’s matchup with Panama in the 72nd minute, but Klinsmann isn’t very concerned with any lingering issues for his fullback.
Yedlin was taken out as a precaution and will be evaluated Monday, but the USMNT head coach says that the Tottenham fullback ‘should be fine’.
“With DeAndre, I don’t have the details now,” Klinsmann said. “It’s not as bad, but we just moved forward and took him out. He should be fine.
The US ends “Camp Cupcake” with a 2-0 win over Panama, their sixth straight win over Panama and they snapped their five-game overall winless streak. Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey were the goal scorers and here are their goals.