FIFA announced its finalists for the FIFA Ballon d’Or and for the FIFA World Coach of the Year. While no USMNT players made the Ballon d’Or list (how did Alan Gordon not get nominated?!), Jurgen Klinsmann is one of the 10 finalists for the Coach of the Year award.
FIFA also plans to show off its new logo for the 2018 World Cup later today.
It looks like the USMNT might play Switzerland in a friendly in Zurich in March.
Congrats to the US Women’s National Team for winning the CONCACAF Women’s Championship and clinching a spot in next summer’s World Cup. Since 1990, the US is one of three countries to qualify for every men’s and women’s World Cup (also Germany and Brazil).
Michael Bradley is going to have surgery this week to correct a lingering nerve issue in his foot. This is an injury that has been bugging him for most of the season. Jeff Carlisle asked him if it was an issue prior to the World Cup, which he said no, but I guess it got worse as the season wore on.
Jake Keegan went 90 minutes yesterday in Galway FC’s 2-1 win over UCD in the first leg of the Irish Premier Division promotion/relegation playoffs. Galway FC scored two late goals to steal the road win and now host UCD on Friday for a chance at promotion.
After scoring 12 goals in 14 games with the U-23 team, Jann George finally saw some first team action with Greuther Furth’s senior team in their 5-2 loss to FSV Frankfurt.
We had some goals this weekend. Matt Taylor scored twice in Saarbrücken’s 4-1 win over Pirmasens. Christian King scored twice in Ararat’s 3-2 loss to Ulisses in Armenian Premier League action. Jerome Kiesewetter scored his second goal of the season on Saturday in Stuttgart II’s 1-0 win over Unterhaching. And over Tigres’ last two games, we have had goals by Jose Torres and Herculez Gomez.
I saw a Clint Dempsey rumor (loan deal back to the Premier League) has been circulating the interwebs in the last 48 hours, but it all came from a short “story” from the Daily Mirror with no quotes (except for an out of context quote from Klinsmann). Come on people, I thought we were better than that.
And finally, no matter what happens with the rest of his career, Stuart Holden is still awesome.
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 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.
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.
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.
A bunch of news goodies came out in the last 24 hours. So let’s dive into the links.
The USMNT roster for the next friendlies will likely come out this weekend/next Monday if I were a betting man, but ESPN’s Doug McIntyre is reporting that Minnesota United’s Miguel Ibarra will receive a call-up. If true, Ibarra will become the first US player from a US second-tier league since Clyde Simms in 2005. As for Ibarra, he is a 24-year-old midfielder who has scored eight goals in 21 league games for Minnesota this season. Here are some highlights of Ibarra.
The other big news of the weekend is that John Brooks has been demoted to Hertha Berlin’s U-23 team. There has been some confusion over the translation as some people think the articles have said that he will be cut or waived, but he is not in good standing with Hertha manager Jos Luhukay. But he has at least been demoted for now.
Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar have a new manager in John van den Brom. His last coaching stint was at Anderlecht with Sacha Kljestan the last couple of seasons. It always seems like American players in Europe end up playing for a coach who just recently managed another US player.
FIFA has added 2016 Copa America to the international calendar, which means we should expect to see the best players at the tournament as clubs will have to release players for the tournament.
The US U-23 team is headed to Brazil to take on the Brazilian U-23 team during October’s international break. No roster has been announced yet, but this will be the second camp for the U-23 team in the last three months after beating Bahamas 5-1 back in August.
DeAndre Yedlin was on ExtraTime Radio last week and said he is working on getting his Latvian passport. If he can get it soon, he could join Tottenham in January otherwise he will have to go through the UK work permit process and likely won’t be able to join the club until next summer.
Bolton manager Dougie Freedman hopes to manage Stuart Holden again in the future. Holden is out of contract, but he is being allowed to rehab at his own pace (and hopefully correctly) then they will see where he stands with the club once he is ready to go again.
As I promised last week, we are starting to add new content to the site aside from links and RJ DeMello started us off last week with an interview with Joe Gyau. There should also be something else USMNT-centric from another new contributor today.
Of course the weekend that I am gone has 12 goals scored by various Americans throughout Europe, so here are a bunch of GIFs of about half of those goals. The goal tracker has also been updated with all the goals.
The US U-23 and U-17 teams have been busy lately. The U-23 team defeated the Bahamas national team 5-1 (highlights). And the U-17 team are in the semifinals of a tournament in Mexico after winning their first four games (highlights).
In Europa League action yesterday, Pablo Punyed and Stjarnan are advancing to the playoff round, while Mix Diskerud/Rosenborg, Ethan Horvath/Molde and Sean Reynolds/FH have all been eliminated.
Here are some highlights of Ethan Horvath in action between the sticks for Molde II in a recent game.
Yesterday was MLS transfer deadline day, and there was some drama. The Columbus Crew most definitely made an attempt to acquire Mix Diskerud, the Rosenborg midfielder whose contract is up at the end of the year. Their owner confirms this:
Really wanted Mix in Columbus. We gave it everything, so as disappointed as we are, we didn't leave anything on the table. #Crew96
Grant Wahl from Sports Illustrated, one of the best in the game, says the deal seemed set but Diskerud’s father/agent wanted more money:
Columbus thought it had a handshake deal on terms with U.S. international Mix Diskerud, only for his father/agent, Paal, to demand more money at the last second, according to multiple sources. As of Wednesday, the MLS summer transfer deadline, the two sides were still trying to work out a deal but had yet to reach one. A similar situation happened in early 2013 when Diskerud nearly joined Portland, only for talks to break down late in the game.
Greg Selzer, also pretty reputable, says there were talks but that it didn’t break down like that. Columbus coach Gregg Berhalter says the same:
Berhalter said point blank that rumors of Mix Diskerud's father stalling talks were untrue. #Crew96
As mentioned, Diskerud is out of contract at the end of the year, so he could still move to Columbus for next season (while the window is closed, I think he can still sign a pre-contract). More likely is that he’ll test the waters— as a free agent, he might be able to get a shot in a league that might otherwise be more difficult to crack.
On the other hand, the Crew were able to land Romain Gall, a French-American dual nat who has been in Lorient’s academy. The Crew won a weighted lottery for the 19 year-old who was born in Paris but moved to Virginia and became a US citizen at 15.
As Howie posted last night, Matt Besler is in talks with Sporting Kansas City on getting a new contract, although he hasn’t totally dismissed the possibility of playing overseas. While Greg Seltzer told us earlier this week that Sunderland was one of the teams expressing interest in Besler, the Evening Chronicle is hearing that the Black Cats have not made a bid and don’t plan on making one either. All this said, I think Besler will probably end up staying in Kansas City and I really don’t have a problem with that. Nothing wrong for him to have a Eddie Pope-like career.
If you want more transfer talk, Greg Seltzer was on yesterday’s episode of Soccer Morning with Jason Davis. He begins talking about the 11-minute mark and goes over some stuff on DeAndre Yedlin, Matt Besler (before last night’s news), Graham Zusi, Mix Diskerud, Brek Shea and a couple others.
Speaking of Brek Shea, he was named to Stoke City’s 23-man roster for the Potters’ preseason tour of Germany.
The latest FIFA world rankings came out yesterday with the US dropping two spots to #15. Costa Rica was one of the big winners, moving up 12 spots to #16. And this month is the first time that CONCACAF has had three teams in the Top 18 since March of 2004.
For those few people that missed it earlier this week, the Ecuadorian Football Federation claims that the US and Ecuador will play in a friendly against each other in October.
As I post this, about 40% of you think Jermaine Jones’ goal vs. Portugal was your favorite US goal from the World Cup, which leads the pack. Go vote here.
Mix Diskerud came off the bench and was first credited with a goal, which was later changed to an own goal, in Rosenborg’s upset 2-1 loss to Sligo Rovers in Europa League action (highlights). Also in Europa League action yesterday, Sean Reynolds came off the bench for 20 minutes in FH’s 1-1 draw to Neman. And Pablo Punyed went 90 minutes in Stjarnan’s 2-2 draw to Motherwell. The second legs will be next Thursday.
“He’s had this injury for a longer while than at the U.S. national team,” Stewart said in an telephone interview. “It was something that you could play with; it wasn’t a problem to. I’ve played with the same problem myself. Once it’s time to rest, it’s something that can aggravate you every time you step out on the field.”
Jozy Altidore told the Sunderland Echo that his injury in the World Cup was the low point of his career. He is expected to be almost fully fit once he returns to Sunderland.
If you are reading this before 1 PM Eastern on Friday, turn on beIN Sports as they will be showing Terrence Boyd and RB Leipzig taking on PSG in a friendly (h/t Jon Arnold).
Bayern Munich have updated their website and Julian Green is listed under the first team players. His online bio also tells us that he is a Gemini. Bayern Munich have also launched an English version of their site dedicated to the US.
The US U-20 team defeated Bermuda, 4-0, in their second match of the NTC Invitational on Wednesday. The goals were provided by Andrija Novakovich, Zach Pfeffer, Tommy Thompson and an own goal. Here are some highlights (I see you, Tommy Thompson) and some post-game reactions. The US’s final game is tonight against Australia at the StubHub Center at 7 PM and admission/parking are free. If I didn’t have plans already, I would be headed down there.
Liga MX also starts up tonight and Tom Marshall fills you in on where all the Americans will be playing this fall.
According to Sky Sports, Gboly Ariyibi is on trial with Burnley. Ariyibi ended last season on loan with Tranmere Rovers then became a free agent this summer once his contract with Leeds expired.
Bobby Wood got the start and played 72 minutes on the wing in a 4-3-3 in 1860 Munich’s 3-2 loss to Borussia Möchengladbach in a friendly earlier this week. Here is a photo of Wood in action.
Sebastian Lletget actually played with West Ham’s first team on Wednesday in a 0-0 draw to Ipswich Town in a friendly, coming off the bench in the second half.