So the US US-20 team started its quest to qualify for the U-20 World Cup with a 2-1 win over Haiti yesterday. You can check out the goals right here. Tom Marshall got some quotes from Tab Ramos after the game.
As for my own little observations on the game. Daniel Cuevas was by far the best US player on the field, while no one else really stood out. The back line was pretty shaky and it seemed odd that Caleb Stanko, a defensive midfielder, started at centerback, while two centerbacks started at the two fullback spots while Eric Miller (right back) and Pablo Ocegueda (left back) also sat on the bench. Who knows.
These are sort of a day late, but here are two previews/looks at the U-20 team by Brian Sciaretta and Josh Deaver. Southampton’s website also has a story up on goalkeeper Cody Cropper. I thought Cropper has the “yelling at the back line while clapping your hands” thing that Tim Howard does down after watching him last night.
As for some news on some former U-20 players. Joe Gyau did not make St. Pauli’s gameday roster on Monday and Steven Goff is reporting that Gyau sat out due to soreness in his knee, but he should be back next week.
Sebastian Lletget has agreed to a new deal with West Ham. And West Ham’s website has a story up on Lletget.
We were told over the weekend that Landon Donovan would be returning to training with the Galaxy in late March and now Bruce Arena is telling people that he expects Donovan to be ready for game action by late April. Once again, he is likely out for the USMNT qualifiers in March.
If you read this site, you know that we have been pretty on top of the centennial jersey rumors for a while. That said, here are some more photos of the jersey and other centennial-based gear which should be on sale soon.
We haven’t heard Zak Whitbread’s name in a while as he has missed Leicester City’s last nine games with a calf injury, but it looks like he is finally returning and could be available for their next game.
The USMNT kicks off the Hex on Wednesday against Honduras. The game will be at 4 PM ET on beIN Sport. It is being played in the afternoon since Honduras wants to play in the sun and heat. Apparently Honduras declared Wednesday a national holiday so the country can watch the game.
US Soccer gives us a video tour of Estadio Olimpico in Honduras (the video is from 2009, but it still gives you a look). US Soccer has also posted field-level highlights from the friendly against Canada.
Brent Latham (ESPN Insider) looks at the January transfer moves and their impact with the USMNT.
It doesn’t look like Tim Howard or Brad Guzan will have to look over their shoulder for Mix Diskerud moving up the goalkeeper ranks.
Nothing new to report on the financial situation at Brøndby, but Clarence Goodson played in a friendly for them this weekend.
Brian Sciaretta caught up with Sacha Kljestan to talk about about his rise in status at both the club and country level. And Daniel Renders gives Sciaretta a cool stat about Anderlecht’s record with/without Kljestan. And this has prompted me to start up on an Inside the Numbers piece, which will hopefully be up in the morning.
Kljestian has 18 months left on his contract, but there are on-going talks over a new deal/extension.
Julian De Martinis of ESPN writes about Michael Bradley’s first six months at Roma.
Noah Davis gives us 20 wishes for the USMNT in 2013.
The USMNT January/Camp Cupcake will now begin on January 7, not January 14. And expect the roster to be announced on Sunday, with the possibility of one small surprise.
Euan Holden has parted ways with Stockport County. Holden appeared in only one league game in 2012-13 after playing in 33 games last season.
Predict the following questions for various Americans in England in the unofficially official contest:
Brad Friedel, Totenham:
Totenham: Champions League, Europa League, or neither?
Yes/No: Does Fridel’s consecutive starts streak (a record 314 matches, meaning he could hit 350 this season) end?
Clint Dempsey, Fulham (?)
Who does Clint Dempsey wind up playing for?
Regardless of club, over/under on:
- 14.5 EPL goals (17 last year)
- 19.5 all competition goals (23 last year)
Geoff Cameron, Stoke City
- 15.5 starts (league only)
- 24.5 appearances (league only)
Does Cameron play more minutes at central defense or at defensive midfielder?
Brad Guzan, Aston Villa
Does Guzan make more appearances for Villa or for a hypothetical loan destination?
Which number will be greatest: Guzan cup appearances, Guzan league appearances, or Guzan national team callus?
Tim Howard, Everton
Yes/No: Everton: Europa League qualifiers?
Which Liverpool club finishes higher in 2012-13, Liverpool or Everton?
Eric Lichaj, Aston Villa
- 17.5 starts (league only)
- 26.5 appearances (league only)
Yes/No: Is Aston Villa safe from relegation entering Survival Sunday?
Tim Ream, Bolton Wanderers
National team caps through May 2013: over/under of 1.5?
Bolton: promoted, promotion playoffs, or outside promotion playoffs?
Stuart Holden, Bolton Wanderers
Over/under: September 15 for Stu’s first start (under is before [ie., if he starts August 25, say under])
- 22.5 starts
- 2.5 goals
- 5.5 matches missed due to injury
Jonathan Spector, Birmingham City
Birmingham: promoted, promotion playoffs, or outside promotion playoffs?
Most minutes: rightback, central midfield, or other?
Will Packwood, Birmingham City
- 5.5 league appearacnes
- 8.5 overall appearances
U-20s: U-20 World Cup knockout rounds, U-20 World Cup group stage, or another DNQ?
Robbie Findley, Notthingham Forest
Over/under: 3.5 goals (3 last year)
Nottingham Forest: promotion playoffs contender, mid-table, barely surviving, or relegated (19th last year)?
Zak Whitbread, Leicester City
Over/under: 20.5 league appearances
Over/under: 2.5 different reported injuries (must be separated by at least 2 games)
Robbie Rogers, Leeds United
Transfer result: Championship club, League One club, League Two club, or still with Leeds?
Does he score a goal this year wherever he lands?
Conor Doyle, Derby County
- 5.5 appearances (six last year)
- 0.5 goals (zero for career)
Doyle’s club after this year is __________.
Adam Henley, Blackburn Rovers
- 10.5 appearances league appearances (seven last year)
- 13.5 overall appearances (seven last year)
In May 2013, is Adam Henley American, Welsh, or still undecided?
Jon-Paul Pittman, Oxford United
- 2.5 goals (3 last year)
- 15.5 appearances (15 last year)
Mike Grella, Scunthorpe United
- 15.5 league appearances (13 last year between Brentford and Bury)
- 3.5 league goals (4 last year total)
Yes/No: Is Grella still with Scunthorpe at season’s end? In August 2013?
Do the following players find a club in England?
- Jemal Johnson
- Marcus Hahnemann
- Anton Peterlin
- Cody Cropper
Over/Under on 1.5 Americans winding up in England in January (transfers & MLS free agents)
Andrew Wooten scored a goal in a recent Kaiserslautern victory over some Brazilian team in a friendly. You can see footage of the goal here (14:30 mark).
Brian Span didn’t play for Djurgården in their game earlier this week, but he did play with their U-21 team and scored a goal (highlights here).
Zak Whitbread did the whole “hold a jersey and smile” photos after signing his new deal with Leicester City, although he looks like he is trapped in this goal and wants to offer the jersey for his freedom.
Geoff Cameron signed his new deal with Stoke City and met up with the team in Orlando for training. I believe the only hurdle left is a UK work permit and he should have his hearing for that in early August.
Chad Barrett returned to the LA Galaxy after going out on trial with Vålerenga in Norway, although no decision has been made on his fate.
I posted the news/rumor late last night for this morning links post, but Zak Whitbread has officially signed a two-year deal (with a club option for a third year) with English League Championship side Leicester City.
Whitbread comes over on a free transfer from Norwich City, where he started 18 league games last season for the Premier League club. Whitbread, when not injured, was a starter for the Canaries as they earned promotion from League One to the Championship then from the Championship to the Premier League in back-to-back seasons.
He now joins a team that finished ninth in last year’s Championship table and are trying to get back to the Premier League for the first time since being relegated in 2003-04.
Some wikipedia fun facts on Leicester City: Kasey Keller appeared in 125 games for the club across all competitions between 1996-99. They have played every season of their existence in either one of the of the top two tiers of English football except in 2008-09 when they were in League One. And they have won the League Cup a total of three times, the highest total for a team that has never won the FA Cup or the Premier League.
I’m not going to lie, this weekend got me a little excited for most of the seasons to start up again next month. A few more leagues started up this weekend, plus we had more than a few Americans find the back of the net on Saturday. To get a recap on what happened on Saturday, including links to some highlights, check that out right here.
Then we had a few more interesting things happen on Sunday. Daniel Antunez scored a goal in Inter Turku’s 6-0 thrashing of KuPS.
Conor O’Brien did not score this weekend, but he had an assist in SønderjyskE’s 1-1 draw with Copenhagen. You can check out highlights of that right here.
Staying in Denmark, Clarence Goodson picked up a yellow card for an elbow to the face. You can see that right here.
While most thought Jann George would be playing with FK Senica in Slovakia, he ended up playing with Nurnberg II in the Regionalliga on Sunday. Upon tweeting this news, the always good Brian Sciaretta informed me that his loan deal had been canceled.
Michael Bradley and Roma whooped up on Polish club Zaglebie Lubin at Wrigley Field on Sunday. Here is a team photo of Roma before the game.
I talked about this briefly in the recap from Saturday post, but Josh Gatt had to leave the game early after scoring on Saturday. According to this article, with the somewhat help of Google Translate, it looks like he strained his thigh and could miss Tuesday’s Champions League game. Then again, Google Translate could have mixed up thigh strain with losing a limb and we will never know (he didn’t lose a limb).
Sacha Kljestan came off the bench at the end of Anderlecht’s 3-2 win over Lokeren in the Belgian Super Cup on Sunday. Also, here is what their home shirts for this season will look like.
Charlie Davies made his Randers debut this weekend as well, coming off the bench for 21 minutes in Randers’ 1-0 win over OB.
And finally, I know a lot of people have been wondering about Zak Whitbread’s fate, myself included. Finally some word is coming out that he could be headed to Leicester City in the near future. Leicester City finished ninth, nine points away from a promotion playoff spot, in last year’s English League Championship.
Whitbread, who appeared in 21 games this season across all competitions, has been hammered by the injury bug for most of his career and it looks like the Canaries have decided to go in a different direction.
Whitbread made the move from Millwall to Norwich City in 2009-10 and helped Norwich get promoted from League One to the Premier League in back-to-back seasons while starting in 43 games.
It should be interesting to see what happens to Carlos Bocanegra, Maurice Edu and Alejandro Bedoya in the near future as the Scottish FA came out with their punishment for Rangers. The club was fined and put on a 12-month transfer embargo, while the old owner is banned for life in Scotland. It also looks like an American, named Bill Miller, could be in the lead for buying the team.
Apparently Jermaine Jones got into a practice scuffle with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar during a training session last week, but everything is “OK” now. Jones then went out this weekend and picked up his eighth yellow card over his last 10 league games. At this point, I am just pretending that he staples them to the wall like Willy Mays Hays did with his batting gloves after stolen bases.
Hopefully a healthy Zak Whitbread will be wearing this home shirt next season for Norwich City. New shirts/kits are slowly leaking for next year, so I will post the ones that involve the various Americans as they come.
Josh Gatt did not play again this week in Molde FK’s 3-2 victory over Lillestrøm today. This is the second straight game that Gatt has missed. I can’t figure out exactly what is wrong with him, but according to this poorly translated article (thanks Google!) from before today’s game, he claims that he is “much better” and that he “can be ready again for the next game”.
US U-20 goalkeeper Cody Cropper will be looking for a new team this offseason once his contract ends with Ipswich Town at the end of this season. He was close to breaking in with the team this past winter before his knee injury.
Finally, I swung by the Nike Town in LA today and they had a giant Clint Dempsey poster up in the soccer section. They had the new blue USMNT shirts, but not the new “Where’s Waldo?” ones. They also had a bunch of new training gear, gameday shorts and some practice-type shorts with this florescent orange/red piping with Clint Dempsey’sDanny Williams’ Whoever is playing central midfield’s #8 on them.