The 2011-12 Scottish Premier League champions Celtic released four players on Friday, including American goalkeeper Dominic Cervi.
Cervi had been at the club since 2008-09, but never made any first-team appearances for the Hoops. He did have loan stints at Scottish First Division clubs Dundee (no games played) and Greenock Morton (six games), but his first-team playing time has been pretty limited over the years.
The 25-year-old is now free to go where he pleases. He could return to the US, but he does own an Italian passport, which could make life easier when trying to find another European club.
Do you like links? Then you will like today’s post.
Still not over Timothy Chandler? Brian Sciaretta and Ives Galarcep each give their thoughts on Chandler-gate. I can’t wait until someone named Gate/Gait gets in trouble so we can have Gate-gate.
US U-20 forward Jerome Kiesewetter has left Hertha Berlin and has signed a new four-year deal with VfB Stuttgart. Kiesewetter is a German-American who played with the US U-18 team at the 2011 Milk Cup and was part of the US U-23/U-20 camp in November. He leaves behind Alfredo Morales and Anthony Brooks at Hertha Berlin, who were just relegated to the 2. Bundesliga.
With Hapoel Tel Aviv winning the State Cup, Leo Krupnik and Maccabi Netanya will be in next year’s Euopra League.
Seltzer also did an interview with Evian TG goalie Quentin Westberg about his first season in Ligue 1 since 2006.
The Guardian released their team of the year based on the game-by-game player ratings given by the readers and even they are shocked that Clint Dempsey did not make it. He wasn’t even rated as the top player for Fulham this season.
Sticking with Dempsey, he will be participating in some All-Star game in Miami in June, which will also feature players like Didier Drogba, Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez among others. It also looks like Carlos Bocanegra and Jozy Altidore will be playing in the game. Here is the website for the game.
Brian Sciaretta has an interview up with Sacha Kljestan over at the NY Times soccer blog on Kljestan’s breakout season at Anderlecht. Based on his quotes in this interview and the fact that he is celebrating his bachelor party this week (according to him on twitter), I don’t think he will be named to the USMNT roster this upcoming Sunday unless some midfielders pick up some injuries.
It should be interesting to see what happens this summer to Stuart Holden and Tim Ream as Bolton announced a plan to slash their wage bill by 50 percent before next season.
And finally, here are some more rumored/leaked kits for next season.
I am still catching up on life (and I really should be in bed right now), but here are some various links of random things from the last couple days.
Congrats to Clint Dempsey for scoring his 50th Premier League goal of his career this past weekend. As I posted a month ago when he was sitting on 49, only seven active Premier League midfielders have scored 50+ goals in their career, so Dempsey is #8 (with only Tim Cahill doing it in fewer games).
Recent weeks have focused a lot more on the business side of Rangers, but the heart of the club has always been in its fierce rivalry with Celtic. Globalization and the evolution of religious tensions have changed the rivalry in recent years (former New York Red Bulls and Toronto manager Mo Johnston famously became the rare Catholic to play for Rangers in 1989), but it remains tense to this day. Today, of course, it involves multiple Americans— Maurice Edu, Alejandro Bedoya, Carlos Bocanegra, (and, in a non-playing role, Dominic Cervi) in addition to past names like Claudio Reyna and Damarcus Beasley.
Vice recently put out five-part documentary (totaling about 45 minutes) on the rivalry today. It’s worth your time if you have a free hour and is conveniently broken into shorter segments. I will provide a warning that there is some foul language at times (not that that should be surprising).
Andrew Vorce caught up with goalkeeper Dominic Cervi to talk about his loan move to Greenock Morton.
I know there has some been some internet chatter about Tim Ream possibly going out on loan to West Brom the last couple days, but Red Bulls GM Erik Soler denies all those rumors.
“Tim is going to play for us next year,” Soler said. “I met with him, as I did with every single player after the season, and my message was very clear, that we would like him to go on those two training sessions to gain experience, and also to have a personal benchmark on what the mid or lower Premier League would feel like. Apart from that, we have absolutely no other plans than him returning here and gaining some experience that will be good for us.”
The guys over at The Yanks Are Coming have their latest USMNT 23 for 2014 power rankings up. It is always interesting to look at these now. Then laugh at them once 2014 hits and players like Herculez Gomez burst onto the scene in the last six months.
The MLS Generation Adidas team claimed a victory on Tuesday, defeating second-division club FC Volendam 3-2. Here are the highlights. The goals came by Dilly Duka, Will Bruin and Omar Salgado. Also, here is day seven of the video diaries with Dilly Duka.
I really wanted to pick Jozy this week, but I have to give Dominic Cervi some love. Celtic sent him out on loan to get some playing time and he finally got to play and picked up a clean sheet in the process.
Of course after I post a bunch of links this morning, a bunch of other interesting stuff broke across the interwebs.
Included in that link post from earlier today, Brent Latham thought we didn’t have to worry about losing Fabian Hurzeler to Germany even though he wasn’t called into the U-23/U-20 camp. Then it comes out this afternoon that he has been called into a camp for Germany’s U-19 team. Before people get all annoyed that we have “lost him”, remember that he hasn’t filed his FIFA switch yet, so he was still Germany’s “property” to begin with. Plus, he can always switch further down the line.
Speaking of that U-23/U-20 camp, as expected, Caleb Porter has called in four more MLS players from recently eliminated playoff teams, which include Juan Agudelo, Jack McInerney, Amobi Okugo and Sheanon Williams.
U-20 head coach Tab Ramos recently told Goal.com (Latino version) that the US plans to play a 4-3-3 among all the teams (i.e. MNT, U-23, U-20, etc.). That said, it all depends on what players you have, so if you don’t have the players for a 4-3-3, you probably won’t see a 4-3-3.
And finally, Brian Sciaretta just tweeted that Celtic goalkeeper Dominic Cervi will be going out on loan to Greenock Morton FC of the Scottish First Division. Hopefully this loan goes better than his loan last season to First Division side Dundee where he just sat on the bench for a month before returning to Celtic. Cervi hasn’t appeared in a league game between Celtic or Dundee since making the move to Scotland during the 2008-09 season.
As for Greenock Morton FC, they currently sit in sixth place out of the ten-team First Division. According to the link from Sciaretta, Cervi is expected to to make an immediate debut against Ayr United tomorrow.
With the playoff round of Europa League starting up this week, I thought I would give a quick rundown on which Americans are still in the competition plus some brief information on the opposing teams. The playoff round is a two-legged home-and-home series and the last step before the Group Stage kicks in during the month of September.
Bursaspor vs. Anderlecht (Sacha Kljestan)
Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht enter the competition and travel to Turkey for the first leg on Thursday. Bursaspor advanced to the playoff round after defeating Belarusian side FC Gomel 5-2 on aggregate in the third qualifying round. After losing the first league game of the season, Anderlecht have won each of their last two games and sit in second place of the Belgian Pro League table.
Bursaspor Fun Fact: Their first European vacation took them to the quarterfinals of the 1974–75 European Cup Winners’ Cup before losing to Dinamo Kiev.
Heart of Midlothian vs. Tottenham Hotspur (Brad Friedel)
Brad Friedel and Spurs will be looking to play their first meaningful game of the season after their Premier League opener against Everton was postponed due to the riots in London. They will be facing a Scottish club that defeated Paks from Hungary 5-2 on aggregate in the third qualifying round.
Heart of Midlothian Fun Fact: Commonly known as Hearts, they are the last team not named Rangers or Celtic to finish in the Top 2 of the Scottish Premier League when they finished second in 2005-06. Their last SPL title came in 1959-60.
Maribor vs. Rangers (Maurice Edu)
After being knocked out of Champions League, Rangers will now play a team from Slovenia that was also knocked out of Champions League. Maribor won last year’s Slovenian PrvaLiga and are currently in first place again this year through five games. As for Rangers, they enter Thursday’s contest with a pair of 2-0 victories in each of its last two league games.
Maribor Fun Fact: Maribor is one of only three Slovenian clubs who have never been relegated from Slovenian top flight 1. SNL since its establishment in 1991.
FC Nordsjælland (Michael Parkhurst) vs. Sporting CP (Oguchi Onyewu)
It will be a battle of American center backs if both see the field on Thursday in the first leg. Both teams will be entering the competition for the first time as FC Nordsjælland earned their place by winning last year’s Danish Cup, while Sporting CP earned their spot by finishing third in last year’s Primeira Liga.
FC Nordsjælland Fun Fact: Founded as Farum Boldklub from the merger of the town’s two clubs Farum IK and Stavnsholt BK in 1991, the club changed its name to F.C. Nordsjælland in 2003.
Sporting CP Fun Fact: Héctor Yazalde (1973-74, 46 goals) and Mário Jardel (2001-02, 42 goals) have won the European Golden Shoe (award presented each season to the leading goalscorer in league matches from the top division of every European national league) whilst playing for Sporting CP.
Fulham (Clint Dempsey) vs. Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
Since entering the competition in the first qualifying round, Thursday’s contest will mark Fulham’s seventh game already in Europa League. Clint Dempsey and the Cottagers will be hosting a team from Ukraine that will be playing their first game in this year’s competition. While they haven’t played any games in Europe as of yet, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk are 2-2-2 through their first six league games and sit in ninth place out of the 16-team Ukrainian Premier League.
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk Fun Fact: Their current manager, Juande Ramos, was the manager of Tottenham prior to their current manager, Harry Redknapp, took control of the team in 2008.
Celtic (Dominic Cervi) vs. FC Sion
Howie might not think he exists, but Dominic Cervi should be on the bench when Celtic hosts Swiss side FC Sion on Thursday. Much like Celtic, Sion enter the competition in the playoff round after winning their domestic cup (2010-11 Swiss Cup) last year. They enter Thursday’s game with only one win in their last four games, while Celtic have won each of their last two games.
FC Sion Fun Fact: FC Sion has the distinction of never having lost a Cup final in Switzerland, having won all 12 of their Swiss Cup final appearances.
Nacional vs. Birmingham City (Jonathan Spector & Will Packwood)
Despite being relegated last year from the Premier League, Birmingham City earned a playoff round spot in this year’s Europa League after winning the Carling Cup. Jonathan Spector will be looking to make his Birmingham City debut as they head to Portugal to take on Nacional. Nacional entered the competition in the second qualifying round, but have defeated FH (Iceland) and Häcken (Sweden) along the way.
Nacional Fun Fact: Cristiano Ronaldo played in Nacional’s youth system between 1995 and 1997.
Aalesund vs. AZ (Jozy Altidore)
Jozy Altidore will be looking to make his European debut with AZ after appearing in two games and scoring one goal during league play since joining the Eredivisie club. AZ made it to the playoff round after defeating Czech side Jablonec 3-1 on aggregate in the third qualifying round. AZ will be headed to Norway on Thursday to face a team that is only in this year’s Europa League based on UEFA Fair Play rankings much like Fulham. Since entering in the first qualifying round, Aalesund have knocked off Neath (Wales), Ferencváros (Hungary) and Elfsborg (Sweden).
Aalesund Fun Fact: Current Fulham players (and brothers) John Arne Riise and Bjørn Helge Riise started their careers at Aalesund.
Hannover 96 (Steve Cherundolo) vs. Sevilla
After sitting out this past weekend, Steve Cherundolo should hopefully be in the lineup when Hannover 96 host Spanish side Sevilla. Between league play and the DFB Pokal, Hannover 96 have won all three games so far in 2011-12. They will be playing a team that finished fifth in last year’s La Liga.
Sevilla Fun Fact: Sevilla is owned by its fans, with the stocks distributed across a few major holders and a large base of fans.
HJK Helsinki vs. Schalke (Jermaine Jones)
While his status with the club is not 100% sure, Jermaine Jones is still with Schalke and has appeared in two of their three games in 2011-12. The German club will be traveling to Finland on Thursday to face last year’s Finnish Veikkausliiga champions. HJK enter the playoff round after being knocked out of Champions League by Dinamo Zagreb.
HJK Helsinki Fun Fact: HJK is the most succesful Finnish club with 23 league titles as well as 10 cup titles.
The draw for the first two qualifying rounds of Europa League took place today, and several Americans are involved.
2010 Europa League runners-up Fulham and star Clint Dempsey will clash with NSÍ Runavík of the Faroe Islands. The first leg will be in London on June 30 while the second leg will be in Runavík on July 7. It seems rather unlikely that Dempsey will partake given the timeframes involved and the opponent. If victorious, the Cottagers will face Crusaders of Northern Ireland (a top ten club name) with a trip to Seaview, Belfast on July 14 before returning across the Irish Sea to London on July 21.
In the second round, Alejandro Bedoya and Örebro SK will face FK Sarajevo of Bosnia and Herzegovina, assuming that Bedoya is still with OSK (which seemed unlikely before the Gold Cup and seems even less likely in recent weeks). OSK will host Sarajevo on July 14 and visit the famous capital on July 21.
Also in the second round, Jemal Johnson and Lokomotiv Sofia will face Macedonia’s Metalurg Skopje. Lokomotiv will travel for the first leg (July 14) and host the second leg on July 21.
The third round draw, which will include second round winners in addition to Clarence Goodson’s Brøndby and potentially Jozy Altidore’s Bursaspor will take place on July 28. The playoff round draw, including third round winners plus Sacha Kljestan’s Anderlecht, Brad Friedel’s Tottenham Hotspur, Jermaine Jones and (maybe) Schalke 04, Steve Cherundolo’s Hannover 96, Dominic Cervi’s Celtic, Charlies Davies and sort-of club Sochaux, and Michael Parkhurst’s Nordsjælland will take place August 5.
The US U-20 team announced its roster for its January camp right here. It contains 25 guys, including the US debut of Bayern Munich product Fabian Huerzeler.
While Dominic Cervi has made the switch from Celtic’s #3 goalkepper to Dundee’s #2 goalkeeper this month, Cervi spoke out recently to the Scottish press that he would like to make a full time move away from Celtic in order to get playing time.
I think Neil Lennon knows how I feel; I’d like to think it’s obvious. It’s not going to do Celtic any good to have me sitting around moping
Charlie Davies is not on Sochaux’s bench today as they take on Monaco and now his club are advising him to go out on loan. It looks like his recent appearance on the bench was a gesture by the coach for all his hard work, but manager Francis Gillot had no intention of playing him.
And speaking of Davies, here is his awesome picture they put up on the scoreboard when they announce the players at Sochaux.