A bunch of media have been in Los Angeles this week between the USMNT camp and MLS media day. Here are a bunch of tidbits to come from that.
Jozy Altidore finally sat down with various members of the press since arriving at camp after moving to Toronto (somehow Jon Arnold was allowed at the big boy table?!). From that talk, Jon Arnold and Jeff Carlisle each have stories with quotes from Mr. Altidore.
Jermaine Jones “leaked” to the media that the USMNT has been trying out a 3-5-2 (or at least a three-man back line) with Jones being the middle of the back three.
Jones also said that he would be open to a move back to Europe after his contract expires in December. I hope he finds a way to stay in the US and someone finally gives him (and his family) a reality show.
Jurgen Klinsmann told Rob Stone that CONCACAF Olympic qualifying has been moved up six months to this fall. Probably a reason why this camp is already using some U-23 players. And just another tournament on US Soccer’s landscape for an already busy 2015.
The US U-20 team picked up a 2-0 win over Jamaica on Sunday (highlights). They just need a win or a tie on Wednesday against Trinidad & Tobago to advance to the playoff round. It was announced during the broadcast that Kellyn Acosta will miss the rest of the tournament due to a knee injury, while Junior Flores came off the bench and played after missing a game with an ankle injury.
Also over the weekend, Herculez Gomez scored his first goal for Puebla since returning to La Franja (highlights).
As MLSE CEO Tim Leiweke explained to the Toronto Sun on Friday, sacrifice for the crest is certainly one of those principles.
The club’s head honcho told me Bradley restructured part of his deal with the Reds to help bring Altidore back to MLS. The prospects of playing alongside Altidore brought back memories that made it an easy decision.
“I think about what it has been like to play on so many big days with Jozy,” Bradley said. “We’d be standing in the tunnel and you’ll look over at him and he’ll give you a little wink.
Now that numerous teams in MLS are interested in Sacha Kljestan, Anderlecht general manager Herman Van Holsbeeckwants Kljestan to stay for at least a couple months since Anderlecht has lost a couple players due to injury and the African Cup of Nations. Greg Seltzer is also hearing that some European teams are interested in him along with various MLS clubs.
We did have some other goals this past weekend that came in some friendlies. Fabian Johnson scored a goal in Borussia Mönchengladbach’s 1-0 win over Rot-Weiss Essen (photo). And Andrew Wooten scored a goal in Sandhausen’s 4-2 win over Jahn Regensburg.
With all this movement from Europe to MLS, Grant Wahl talked to Jurgen Klinsmann to see his thoughts on the moves of Diskerud, Altidore, Brek Shea and Jermaine Jones.
The USMNT continues training in Carson and Clint Dempsey apparently took over the homeless man beard look with Tim Howard not in camp. And Mix Diskerud likes Brad Evans’ hair. This is why you come to this site, for the hard-hitting journalism.
According to the San Antonio Business Journal, the US-Mexico friendly for April will take place at the Alamodome in San Antonio. The US has only played one game before in San Antonio, a 1-0 win over Costa Rica on June 14, 1988.
TSN has learned Toronto FC has agreed to swap striker Jermain Defoe to Sunderland AFC of the Barclays Premier League with US Men’s National team striker Jozy Altidore and cash heading to Toronto. The cash amount received by Toronto FC has not been disclosed at this time but is believed to be significant.
Jozy Altidore has struggled with Sunderland since signing prior to the 2013-14 season, scoring only once in 42 league appearances, after scoring 38 league goals for AZ Alkmaar over two seasons.
Altidore returns to MLS after beginning his professional career with the New York Red Bulls in 2006 and playing three seasons before heading off to Europe. And while Jurgen Klinsmann probably doesn’t like seeing his 25-year-old forward returning to the US, Altidore will be practicing everyday with USMNT teammate (and Klinsi’s envisioned advanced midfielder) Michael Bradley.
One player at this month’s camp that you probably don’t know that much about is Julio Morales. Brian Sciaretta gets you caught up to date on Mr. Morales. It looks like Morales might not be able to play in the friendlies just yet (although he can still participate in the camp) as he has to file a one-time switch with FIFA since he played with Mexico at the 2013 U-20 World Cup.
Much like Brad Friedel with the U-20 team, another former player, Carlos Bocanegra, is helping out as a coach this month.
Kyle McCarthy takes a look at the mixture of vets and youth as camp begins.
In other USMNT news, CONCACAF has moved up the start of the final round of World Cup qualifying (a.k.a. The Hex) by three months to November of 2016 due to FIFA eliminating some international fixture dates in 2017. The draw for the first round will take place on Thursday, but the US won’t enter qualification until the fourth round, beginning in November of 2015. Yes, the whole cycle is about to start up again.
And we might know about two more friendlies for this year as Fox Sports ran this graphic during Friday’s U-20 game, which shows games against Australia and Ghana for later this year.
Speaking of Mr. Zelalem, the guys over at The Short Fuse have a little write- up on the savoir of American soccer Arsenal prospect.
Moving onto some club news.
All signs are pointingtowards Mix Diskerud signing with NYCFC later today (or this week).
There was some more Jozy Altidore-to-MLS chatter over the weekend and Toronto FC appears to have the edge at the moment. If this were to go down, I am just going to pretend that this was some mastermind of Klinsi to get Michael Bradley and Jozy practicing together everyday.
Heath Pearce didn’t come to terms with Orlando City after being taken in the expansion draft, so he might be looking to take his talents to Europe. Pearce began his professional career in Denmark with FC Nordsjælland and also played with Hansa Rostock in Germany so he does have experience abroad.
I can’t find much more on this, but Frank Simek’s wikipedia page has been updated that he is now with Sông Lam Nghệ An in Vietnam. As one would expect, it is not easy to find solid information on this team or league.
New York appears to be the place to be at the moment.
A day after we had Mix Diskerud-to-NYCFC rumors, Taylor Twellman tells us that Jozy Altidore is talking to a few MLS teams, including New York Red Bulls. Less than an hour later, Ives Galarcep told the world that the Red Bulls are also closing in on Sacha Kljestan.
Those of you waiting to buy a DeAndre Yedlin/Tottenham jersey can now go ahead with that purchase as he is wearing #12. Here is also a quick video of him scoring in his first training with Spurs.
“I was all over CONCACAF looking for guys,’’ Karbassiyoon said Monday. “And every single trip I went on was a plane ride, and if it was a drive, it was several hours away in another market. But with Gedion, maybe two or three months after I originally met him, his dad had me over. I knew I was close but that area is confusing, and I’m navigationally challenged, so I looked up the house and it said estimated time three minutes. I said that really is close. It was pretty hilarious.”
Altidore has been linked to teams in France and Germany, but with his scoring record in Europe, uh, lacking.
A return to the comforts of the smaller pond of MLS, where he has significantly more marketing value than in Europe, makes sense.
I assume that Altidore would require use of a designated player slot; Toronto has none available, although Jermain Defoe’s future in Canada seems doubtful. The Red Bullls have a DP slot available. Portland does not, although owner Merrit Paulson recently said they can make one available if need be.
A bunch of stuff from this week and other stuff from last week that I meant to post but didn’t, so let’s get after it.
Yesterday was a good day for Americans in Europe. John Brooks continued his recent strong play by scoring his first goal since THAT goal against Ghana (highlights from yesterday). Over in Belgium, Sacha Kljestan came off the bench and scored a goal in Anderlecht’s 3-0 win in the Belgian Cup (highlights). Also in the Belgian Cup, Kenny Saief scored for Gent in their 4-1 win (no highlights found yet). And back in Germany, Alfredo Morales was credited with an assist in Ingolstadt’s 2-1 win, but his teammate did most of the dirty work (highlights).
Howie posted some links about Brek Shea heading back to the US and Orlando City, but Greg Seltzer is hearing that some other Championship teams might be still interested in his services.
Herculez Gomez is headed back to Puebla. This will be his seventh different stint with a Liga MX team in the last five seasons, but he would be returning to his original stint/team where he won his scoring title in 2010.
Ventura Alvarado and Club America won the Apertura title this past fall so here are two interviews for you, one in English and one in Spanish.
Dom Dwyer signed a new contract with Sporting Kansas City which will keep him in the US for a while longer. Since he received his green card in 2012, he would be eligible to apply for citizenship in 2017.