Steven Goff is reporting that US U-20 goalkeeper Zack Steffen is close to signing with Freiburg in Germany. Freiburg currently have Caleb Stanko on their roster and used to have Eric Lickert until this past season.
Tim Howard was named Fútbol de Primera Player of the Year last week. The award is given to the top USMNT player each year and voted on by various journalists. This was Howard’s first year winning the award.
I am guessing players like Aron Johannsson, Terrence Boyd and Danny Williams were left off due to just returning back from injury, while we did get confirmation last night that Clint Dempsey was left off to give him some rest during the MLS playoffs. Some other players still in the playoffs, like Jermaine Jones and Lee Nguyen, will be headed back to the US after the Colombia friendly.
Tesho Akindele was not on the roster despite various reports saying he had a good chance of making it last week, but it looks like he made the initial provisional roster. I am wondering if he might get called in for the Ireland friendly if some of those MLS players return to their clubs, especially with FC Dallas no longer in the MLS playoffs.
The US U-20 team is currently Spain for a mini-tournament against Russia’s U-21s, Ireland’s U-20s, and Canada’s U-20s. Here is that roster. And here are some photos from their training session yesterday. It looks like Tab Ramos is working with Brad Friedel to try and get Cameron Carter-Vickers’ release from Tottenham for the U-20 World Cup.
A couple dual nationals that the US can probably cross off their list: Columbus Crew’s Justin Meram and Stjarnan’s Pablo Punyed.
Still haven’t learned anything new, but one report out of the UK claims DeAndre Yedlin is close to getting his Latvian passport, which means he could join Tottenham in January.
We had some goals this past weekend. The Joker, Cesar Romero, notched a hat trick in Armenia (highlights). Andrew Wooten assisted on the game-tying goal and scored the winner in Sandhausen’s victory over Nurnberg (highlights). That performance by Wooten earned him OT’s Player of the Week honors by Howie and myself. Read this and you will see that Wooten’s goals have come up big for Sandhausen this season. Bobby Warshaw scored a goal (highlights) as Bærum advanced in the Norwegian promotion playoffs and will next play Rhett Bernstein and Mjøndalen. And finally, Devann Yao got another start and scored another goal in German Regionalliga action (highlights).
Heading back to Norway for a second. This past weekend was the last game of the season. The Fighting Bob Bradleys had a 2-0 win over Sogndal and finished ninth in the 16-team Tippeligaen. Not bad for a newly promoted team.
There is a chance that Mix Diskerud played his last game for Rosenborg, a 4-1 win over Strømsgodset, giving them a second place finish and a spot in next year’s Europa League in the event he stays at the club. It looks like Mix is also participating in Movember.
And down in the Adeccoligaen, it was good to see Zarek Valentin return to the field after missing most of the season with an ankle injury.
Tim Howard was trying to be sneaky sneaky in Everton’s 1-1 draw to Sunderland.
Let’s start off with some leftovers from last Friday. Oguchi Onyewu is showing off the importance of having an EU passport as he continues to find work in England as he signed with Charlton Athletic until January.
CONCACAF held the draw for the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship last week and the US U-20 team has learned its fate.
Greg Seltzer takes a look at some possible January transfer scenarios for Jozy Altidore, Mix Diskerud and Brek Shea. One of the teams mentioned for Altidore is the French side Lille and there might be some more to this possible loan according to this tweet from a reporter who follows the French league. I think we are all in agreement that Jozy just needs to get out of Sunderland.
Jozy Altidore in 10 EPL games this season: 0 starts 6 appearances 81 minutes 2 shots 9/20 passing
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.