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.
Mix Diskerud came off the bench for the last 19 minutes as Rosenborg lost this first leg at home 2-1 to Sligo Rovers in Europa League action. Mix was first credited with a goal, but it has been changed to an own goal by the goalkeeper. Here are some highlights with the own goal, which it looks like Mix didn’t touch the ball, coming at the 1:40 mark.
Mix Diskerud and his majestic hair scored a goal yesterday in Europa League action. You can check it out here. Three other guys scored goals yesterday in Iceland and Finland. As always, our goal tracker has all the information on those.
Mix Diskerud wasn’t the only player in Europa League action on Thursday. Sean Reynolds (FH) and Pablo Punyed (Stjarnan) are also advancing to the second qualifying round with Mix (Rosenborg), while Jordan Seabrook and VPS lost their first leg lead and were knocked out.
Clint Dempsey was on Late Show with David Letterman on Wednesday and here is the whole interview for those of you who missed it.
Birmingham City’s website broke some news yesterday. They posted that Will Packwood was invited to the US U-23′s August friendly. While this might also be the new U-21 team which is supposed to bridge the gap between the U-20 team to the Olympic and/or senior team, some form of a “Above-20″ youth team is having a quick camp and playing the Bahamas senior team in Nassau, Bahamas on August 6. Hopefully US Soccer puts out a release on this game in the near future.
Speaking of young players to keep an eye on, Screamer came out with a Top 10 list of young players we could see on the 2018 World Cup team. If you follow this site, you should probably know all of those guys. If not, here is a chance to learn some more.
While everything has gone quiet on the DeAndre Yedlin-to-Roma front, Ives is hearing that the Roma deal is not as close as people think and that teams from Spain, Italy (including Roma) and England have expressed interest in Yedlin.
There was some talk earlier this week that teams from Europe were interested in Matt Besler and it looks like SC Freiburg might be one of those teams.
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet thinks, barring any hitches, Jozy Altidore should be good to go once he returns to the team’s preseason camp.
AZ Alkmaar manager Marco van Basten doesn’t appear to be overly impressed with Freddy Adu. But it sounds like Adu did set up one of the goals in AZ’s friendly from Wednesday.
Jose Torres came off the bench in Tigres’ 4-1 loss to Morelia in the first leg of the SuperCopa MX on Wednesday. Herculez Gomez was an unused sub on the bench.
Howie’s new favorite random player might be Tigran Tiraturyan (take that Alex Nimo and Fuad Ibrahim!) as he passed along this link to me about the Armenian-American signing with FC Pyunik in Armenian Premier League.
I posted a tweet the other day claiming that David Chavez had signed with Tijuana, but it looks like there have been some mixed signals. He is at the club, but it is nothing more than a training stint at the moment.
Brad Friedel has been doing some TV and radio for TalkSPORT and BT Sport recently and had some words on US Soccer, USMNT and MLS.
Kevin Hoyos’ latest stop appears to be with CSD Tristan Suarez in the Argentina 3rd division.
The US U-20 team is camping in Carson, California over the next week before some friendlies with Chile, Bermuda, and Australia. Here is the roster, which includes Russell Canouse, Romain Gall, Lynden Gooch and Andrija Novakovich as well as a bunch of guys from Tijuana. And for those of you living in Southern California, I am hearing that the friendly against Australia will be on Friday, July 18 at 7 PM at the StubHub Center and will be free to the public. A full schedule of the games is right here.
It sounds like Jurgen Klinsmann will be looking at a lot of younger players over the next year when it comes to the USMNT.
“A good thing about this next year is that we kind of have the opportunity to see a lot of young players coming to our platform, coming to the senior team,” said Klinsmann. “We can give them time to show where they are up to right now.
“The experienced players, or the older players, we can tell them for the next couple of months: ‘Go play in your club environment, we know you inside out anyway, we know what you bring to the table. But right now maybe there’s time for the next couple of friendlies that come up and over the next year that we want to see the young players grow and see how they can make it.’”
Greg Seltzer is hearing that at least one Eredivisie team and Genk are interested in Sacha Kljestan as well as Olympiacos.
Stuart Holden will continue to work out with Bolton despite not being under contract. He will be allowed to play in any friendly, under-21 or development squad games but if he gets healthy again and Bolton want him back with the first team then he would have to sign a new deal.
A possible good sign on the Shawn Parker front? He lists Germany and US for his nationality on Augsburg’s website.
Here are some photos of Junior Flores and Joe Gyau in action with Borussia Dortmund’s U-23 team. Mario Rodriguez scored two goals for Borussia Mönchengladbach against Dortmund in this friendly.
Are you buying a Tijuana/Paul Arriola jersey this year? Heads up that he switched numbers from #47 to a more squad-friendly #20.
Adam Henley has returned to Blackburn Rovers early before training camp to finish rehabbing his ankle injury before the season starts.
Europa League started back up this week. Pablo Punyed went 90 in Stjarnan’s 4-0 win over Bangor City. A Mix Diskerud-less Rosenborg defeated Jelgava 4-0. Jordan Seabrook came off the bench for 21 minutes in VPS’s 2-1 win over Brommapojkarna.
And finally, one of the guys I hung out with during the World Cup put together a compilation video of the trip down to Brazil. Hopefully this weekend I can sit down and type up a post with a bunch of my photos and stories from the trip. It really was a once in a lifetime trip. If you are even on the fence about going to Russia in 2018, you need to go.
We are getting closer and closer to the World Cup.
The USMNT landed in Brazil yesterday and began training at Sao Paulo FC’s training facilities. Jurgen Klinsmann, Berti Vogts and Matthias Hamann stayed behind in Miami to watch Ghana defeat South Korea 4-0 at Sun Life Stadium (I think that is the current name, but it changes corporate sponsors every two months).
From my non-expertise of watching that game, Ghana look a little shaky in the back, so the US should get chances. But they pounced on South Korea’s mistakes so the back line will need to be crisp with their passing out of the back. Also while watching, I have determined that the key matchup will be DeAndre Yedlin’s hair vs. John Boye’s hair.
The US will face Belgium in a closed-door scrimmage on Thursday at Sao Paulo FC’s grounds. We *might* get a score, but I highly doubt we will get lineups or any real details of what happened. The other news to come out of training today is that Brad Davis is fully healthy after picking up a knock last week.
While I am sure it will feature on tonight’s episode of Inside: U.S. Soccer’s March to Brazil on ESPN (you can watch the first five episodes here), US Soccer put together a little video of players attempting to reach the green on the famous 17th island hole at TPC Sawgrass. US Soccer also put together a great video series telling a quick story on each of the 23 players. They are all pretty good, but Mix Diskerud is slowly winning me over with each little thing I find out about him.
If you are a soccer tactics nerd, you probably liked the tactical cam that ESPN has been using during these friendlies. Will Parchman was able to use the screengrabs from it to break down Jozy Altidore’s goal going all the way back to when Tim Howard first touched the ball.
The US is one of six countries entering the World Cup on a 3+ game winning streak. Brazil leads the way with nine in a row, Japan is next at five, Algeria is third with four and the US is tied with Spain and Belgium at three wins in a row. Maybe that is why the Vegas odds for the US to win it all dropped from 200-1 to 125-1 recently. Vegas is catching on that the US is going to win this easily. . .
Speaking of Howard, I quickly just scanned the rosters listed on Wikipedia and only Spain’s Iker Casillas (153), Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon (140), Honduras’ Noel Valladares (122) and Croatia’s Stipe Pletikosa (111) have more caps than Howard among goalkeepers at this year’s World Cup.
Also, I am flying down to Brazil on Friday/Saturday (I am on the American Outlaws trip. If you are also going on that trip, let me know so we can meet up for a beer). I have no clue of my internet situation, but I will try my best to keep things updated as normally (and post some photos from my trip). Howie and possibly some new people will also be helping out while I am gone.
Two guys are ineligible for this list. Fabian Johnson and Timmy Chandler have already signed new deals with teams in Germany, so they won’t be moving again this summer. There are also two guys who pretty much seem set to move— Jermaine Jones is done with Schalke and may or may not return to Beşiktaş. DaMarcus Beasley by most accounts will probably be moving to MLS this summer— so I’m not including them below.
While fans tend to overrate tournaments (small sample size) and owners/coaches can be irrational, scouts and coaches are pretty smart/watch a ton of games and probably aren’t going to rethink their thoughts on years of top-level games because of a handful of performances now . In that regard, playing a little off the beaten path could actually help a guy out here.
I tried to evaluate who might be set to make a big move, considering age, current league, current club, recent form with club, and likely playing time. League matters- it’s easier to make a jump from a lower league (like Mix Diskerud) than from a decent league already (like Alejandro Bedoya). I also assumed that any given player actually played well and to their ability.