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Archive for the ‘Steve Clark’ Category


USMNT Goalkeeper Outlook
   October 15, 2014 (8:21 AM) by Will Reno
 

As the new cycle begins, we’re all expecting young talent to make some national team appearances. Bill Hamid almost made the last World Cup roster this last go-around and both Sean Johnson and Cody Cropper have received call-ups within the last year. It brings up the question, how much does potential play into receiving a call-up? Where is the floor for players’ current ability? On top of that, why is Rimando still in the picture? He’s 35 now and will be 39 by the next World Cup. Surely, he is on the downside of his career.

Players always mention the honor in playing for the US National Team. But the honor in a call-up must be based off of current merit, not promise. You don’t reward someone for what they’re going to do. The focus right now should be on the Gold Cup in nine months, not the 2018 World Cup. Rimando is still in the picture because he’s one of three best goalkeeping options for the US and will help the team next summer. With that in mind, struggling goalkeepers do not need to be called into camp. Sean Johnson is still experiencing growing pains with Chicago and Cody Cropper had a rough outing against Brazil on Monday (his first touch led to a goal). If Klinsmann wants to get a closer look at a goalie, he can visit a practice or attend a game but it’s a waste of a call-up to call-in a struggling goalkeeper when there are veterans who are at the peak of their games. The senior national team is not a developing program. Clubs develop players, not national teams. Reward those that are ready now and encourage the ones who will be there one day.

That said, here are three viable options Klinsmann needs to take a look at that can assist the US in their next run in the 2015 Gold Cup, if not beyond.

1. Steve Clark – Clark has a familiar late bloomer story for American soccer fans. Undrafted coming out of Oakland University, he bounced around in the US’s lower leagues before going abroad. Finally landing with Hønefoss, he was a big reason why they earned promotion into the Tippeligaen, Norway’s premier league. After a disappointing finish in 2013 (Hønefoss finished with 34 goals scored in 30 games) Clark came back to play in MLS. He displayed a superb spring and quickness but also a DIY-technique he had learned and was the definition of “raw”. Columbus goalkeeper coach, and two time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, Pat Onstad has honed Clark to a great final product. He’s playing angles well, his hands are in smart positions, and he still maintained his lateral reach.

Recently, Clark was runner-up in MLS’s save of the week… to himself. He’s the best goalkeeper in MLS at the moment and getting better. Look for Columbus to win the five seed in the East and for Clark to give their playoff opponent fits at the end of October.

2. Luis Robles – The only goalkeeper on this list that has a cap although Robles hasn’t been with the US team since his appearance in the summer of 2009. Out of the all the keepers on the list, Robles is the most consistent. He plays smart and knows exactly of what he’s capable of. He’s been crucial in helping New York clinch the playoffs despite being on one of the worst defenses in the league, sitting third in allowing shots against.

The main downside to Robles is that he doesn’t necessarily stand out in any one category. He’s not as explosive Hamid or Clark, he’s not that iconic outside the New York crowd, and he’s hasn’t been in the spotlight like heralded prodigies that go overseas, despite actually going overseas. For whatever reason, Robles has remained largely unnoticed in the depth pool. However he has the presence that would translate well to the international game.

3. Joe Bendik – Bendik and Clark share several similarities. He wasn’t drafted coming out of college and ended up in Norway. Bendik signed with Sogndal and also gained promotion, although Bendik wasn’t as involved with his club as Clark was. He returned to MLS and eventually found his way to Toronto. At the end of this season he’ll have one and a half seasons as a starter under his belt. (He spent time as a backup to loanee Julio Cesar.)

Bendik’s season has been about what one would expect from a twenty-five year old. Mostly solid play with the occasion conceded goal centered around lack of experience, not a lack of skill. An odd situation where the ball takes a weird bounce, a forgotten backside runner, a delayed thought to recognize the through ball… Bendik has all the tools to be an elite starter within MLS but he still has some growing to do. As for now, he’s still good enough to start and the kind of player you want to build your team around.


Since we’re on the subject, the USYNTs are notorious for staying with their two goalkeepers and not bringing in new competition. (Although to be fare Charlie Horton was called into the last U23 game, a name that was far from the radar for most fans.) This next Olympic cycle will likely feature Cody Cropper as the number one and Santiago Castaño as the number two. Here are three more goalkeepers that deserve a look or, at the very least, allow you to say you knew about them first.

1. Jon Kempin – Kempin made a splash in Kansas City this year with his penalty heroics. Look for Kansas City to make some room for Kempin next year as he’s currently sitting number three.

2. Alex Bono – The starter for Syracuse University, who are 11-1 and sitting number four in the nation. Bono and Syracuse take on North Carolina State on ESPN 3, October 25th.

3. Paul Blanchette – At 6’3″, 200 pounds, Blanchette has more the frame of a college tight end than your typical goalkeeper. The starter for Loyola Marymount University is a little harder to catch on TV but his highlight reel doesn’t disappoint.

For more information about the depth pool on American goalkeepers and some analysis on Bill Hamid’s strengths and weaknesses, feel free to skim the latest edition of Top 100 American Goalkeepers.

 
Categories: Alex Bono, Joe Bendik, Jon Kempin, Luis Robles, Paul Blanchette, Steve Clark, US Men's National Team, US U-23 National Team
2 Comments
 

Links for Tuesday morning
   December 17, 2013 (1:19 AM) by Matt Benson
 

Lets dive right into it.

Landon Donovan spoke at a Galaxy town-hall meeting on Sunday and shot down any rumors linking him to Mexico and any winter loans to Europe.  Sounds like he wants to rest up before diving back into the MLS/World Cup grind.

As for Clint Dempsey and his rumored loan move to Europe, the latest and the most believable of the moment has him headed back to West London with Fulham for two months.  But nothing official has come out yet (The Guardian cites US sources yet everything in the US is citing The Guardian/various European sites.  Yay transfer rumors!).

CONCACAF announced the winners of the inaugural CONCACAF awards this past weekend.  Tim Howard won Goalkeeper of the Year, while Jurgen Klinsmann won Coach of the Year.

UEFA held its draw for the knockout stages of Champions League and Europa League.  In Champions League, Jermaine Jones and Schalke landed Real Madrid.  As for Europa League, Brad Friedel and Tottenham will play FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, while Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar got FC Slovan Liberec.

Bob Bradley has turned down an offer with the Vancouver Whitecaps to seek opportunities overseas.  Bob also admits the interest from Norwegian side Stabaek which we posted about a couple weeks ago.  Bradley also did an interview recently with KingFut.com.

John Brooks was subbed out of Hertha Berlin’s game in the first half this weekend after being at fault for one of the goals.  His manager, Jos Luhukay, also told him (via the press) that he needs to grow up and become an adult.

Who knows if they will continue to scout him or not with the recent firing of Steve Clarke, but it looks like West Brom scouts have been paying attention to Timmy Chandler.

Brian Sciaretta spoke to German-American fullback Jeremy Toljan last week.  But from the sounds of it, it doesn’t look like he has a huge connection with the US.  Who knows though.

USMNT forward Eddie Johnson sounds like he is close to making a move to D.C. United.

Stuart Holden is back in the UK to finish up his rehabbing and poked his head into the Bolton locker room this past weekend.

For those of you that don’t follow Liga MX in Mexico, Leon just won the title this fall with Mexican-American goalkeeper William Yarbrough.

Staying in Mexico, Jonathan Bornstein could finally be on the way out at Tigres according to a couple different reports in Mexico.

And finally, in case you missed it yesterday, Steve Clark is returning to the US to play for the Columbus Crew.

 
Categories: Aron Johannsson, Bob Bradley, Brad Friedel, Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson, Jeremy Toljan, Jermaine Jones, John Brooks, Jonathan Bornstein, Landon Donovan, Steve Clark, Stuart Holden, Tim Howard, Timothy Chandler, William Yarbrough
8 Comments
 

Steve Clark leaves Hønefoss for Columbus
   December 16, 2013 (8:34 PM) by Howie Michaels
 

Another Europe-based American is returning to the States. This time, it’s goalkeeper Steve Clark, who was unable to prevent Hønefoss  from being relegated (despite playing really well) and sort of became the hipster US goalkeeper while earning accolades in Norway. Columbus sent Seattle a token draft pick because the Sounders had his discovery rights (I think, it’s also possible they just felt like being generous because MLS is weird at times).

After years of playing for the small club in Norway, Clark will be moving to a club just a few hours from his hometown in Michigan. Hopefully he will be able to rent on his MLS salary and not live in a tent in the woods like he did in college.

Columbus has a new coach, former Hammarby boss Gregg Berhalter, who would apparently think highly of Clark because in another move, they shipped their starting keeper for the last two years, Andy Gruenebaum, to Sporting Kansas City.

It’s early, but I wager this basically guarantees that the OT XI Goalkeeper will come from England (Clark was definitely a threat to unseat Howard/Guzan).

 
Categories: Steve Clark
No Comments
 

A couple things for Wednesday
   October 9, 2013 (6:00 AM) by Matt Benson
 

First off, we are bringing back our Top 5 Lists series and Howie decided to annoy US Soccer fans.  And if you haven’t already, check out our new USMNT jersey history page.

The big news of yesterday was Michael Orozco replacing Omar Gonzalez on the USMNT roster as Gonzalez picked up a hip strain.  Yet another injury.  And this probably means that Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron will get the start at centerback.

Here is what Jamaica’s 23-man roster looks like.

US Soccer put up a video of the team doing a bunch of fitness tests.

Greg Seltzer has some nuggets on various USMNT players, including that Arsenal have been scouting Brad Guzan.  Nothing more than that, but they are at least watching him.

Fresh off his clean sheet against Rosenborg, Steve Clark did interviews with Mathew Wagner and Greg Seltzer.

Jose Torres denied allegations of going out and partying the night after picking up a red card over the weekend.

Brian Sciaretta spoke to Duane Holmes about his dreams to play for the US.

Ghana want to play Bob Bradley and Egypt at a neutral venue for Egypt’s home leg due to security concerns.

 
Categories: Bob Bradley, Brad Guzan, Duane Holmes, Jose Francisco Torres, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Omar Gonzalez, Steve Clark, US Men's National Team
No Comments
 

Hønefoss vs. Rosenborg Highlights
   October 6, 2013 (2:54 PM) by Matt Benson
 

Steve Clark came up with some big saves in Hønefoss’ 0-0 draw to Mix Diskerud and Rosenborg on Sunday.  Mix almost scored early in the game with a header that just went wide.  Here are the highlights.

 
Categories: Highlights, Mix Diskerud, Steve Clark
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Hønefoss vs. Brann Highlights
   July 8, 2013 (5:04 PM) by Matt Benson
 

Steve Clark went the full 90 minutes in Hønefoss’ 1-1 draw to Brann.  In these highlights, Clark gives up a goal after he can’t contain a rebound, but he also makes a nice diving save later.

 
Categories: Highlights, Steve Clark
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Molde FK vs. Hønefoss Highlights
   May 25, 2013 (6:29 PM) by Matt Benson
 

Josh Gatt and Molde FK got some much needed three points in a 4-0 win over Kenneth Di Vita Jensen, Steve Clark and Hønefoss.  Gatt went the full 90 minutes, picking up a yellow card and laying the ball off to Magnus Wolff Eikrem for Molde’s second goal.  Here are the highlights.

 
Categories: Highlights, Josh Gatt, Kenneth Di Vita Jensen, Steve Clark
No Comments
 

Rosenborg vs. Hønefoss Highlights
   May 13, 2013 (1:12 PM) by Matt Benson
 

Mix Diskerud got the start and played 87 minutes in Rosenborg’s 2-1 win over Steve Clark, Kenneth Di Vita Jensen and Hønefoss.  Here are the highlights.

 
Categories: Highlights, Kenneth Di Vita Jensen, Mix Diskerud, Steve Clark
No Comments
 

Links from the last couple days
   May 7, 2013 (12:02 AM) by Matt Benson
 

Lets get right to it.

Much like last year, it looks like AZ Alkmaar probably won’t release Jozy Altidore for the beginning of the upcoming USMNT camp.

It appears that Michael Bradley does know how to smile between this photo and this video.

Staying in the Bradley family, here is a trailer for the upcoming Bob Bradley/Egypt documentary.

Brek Shea made the travel roster, but did not dress in Stoke City’s 1-1 draw yesterday.  I guess Ian Darke talked about it more at halftime, but he also tweeted that they are working on getting him 100% match fit as he finally got over his foot injury.  Here is also a story from England where it mentions that Tony Pulis brought Shea to the club with next year in mind.

It is not quite the silly season just yet, but we have our first rumor on a possible Jonathan Spector move to newly promoted Cardiff City.

Jermaine Jones talked to Bundesliga.com about Schalke’s last couple of games.

Honefoss goalkeeper Steve Clark was fined for taunting opponents during the club’s Norwegian Cup match from last week.  He was fined 20,000 Norwegian crowns, which the internet tells me is about $3,500 or 1,000 Schrute bucks.

Jon-Paul Pittman was one of 12 players released by Oxford United this week.  Pittman scored two goals in 15 appearances in 2012-13.

I posted about Paul Arriola’s move to Tijuana last week and he recently talked to Tom Marshall about making the move.

Here is a photo of Junior Flores in his new Borussia Dortmund gear.

Finally, both Julian Green and Russell Canouse scored for their teams in German U-19 action and you can view the goals in this U-19 video recap of the weekend (their games are the first two games highlighted in the video).  Hell of a strike by Canouse.

 
Categories: Bob Bradley, Brek Shea, Jermaine Jones, Jon-Paul Pittman, Jonathan Spector, Jozy Altidore, Julian Green, Junior Flores, Michael Bradley, Paul Arriola, Russell Canouse, Steve Clark
2 Comments
 

Hønefoss vs. Strømsgodset Highlights
   April 2, 2013 (4:42 PM) by Matt Benson
 

Steve Clark and Kenneth Di Vita Jensen both went 90 minutes in Hønefoss’ 2-0 win over Strømsgodset.  Hønefoss’ second goal is pretty nice.  Here are the highlights.

 
Categories: Highlights, Kenneth Di Vita Jensen, Steve Clark
No Comments
 

 
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