So good ol’ Klnisi named his 23 players for the upcoming qualifiers yesterday. And boy is that back line inexperienced. In the official release by US Soccer, it lists the sad list of injuries.
The U.S. team has been hit with a rash of injuries as eight players are unavailable for the matches. Edgar Castillo (facial fractures), Timmy Chandler (hamstring), Steve Cherundolo (knee), Tim Howard (back), Fabian Johnson (hip), Jonathan Spector (ankle), Jose Torres (hamstring) and Danny Williams (illness).
Brek Shea has been called in, but he claims that his foot is not fully healed. And it looks like Jonathan Spector, who would be very helpful in the back right now, was headed to Denver until injuring his ankle this weekend.
Nick Firchau is reporting that Brian McBride will be in Denver until Wednesday helping out with the team (coaching, not playing, although I bet he could still be helpful……FYI, I am/was a big McBride fan).
Want to see some highlights of the US’ 3-2 win over Costa Rica from 1991? Why not.
How about a photo of the three Americans at Club Tijuana in the centennial kit? Sure.
As for some U-20 stuff, Will Packwood is down to one crutch and will be back to walking in the next couple weeks. And Brian Sciaretta caught up with midfielder Mikey Lopez.
Even though he hasn’t played in a long time, Bolton manager Dougie Freedman thinks Tim Ream has a future at the club.
Ross Dunbar writes about dual citizen Shawn Parker and his rising stock. When it is all said and done, my “I know nothing behind the scenes and this is a total guess” hunch says he sticks with Germany.
I posted this in The OT Report, but Fabian Johnson missed Hoffenheim’s game this weekend due to a hip issue. For those counting at home, the following potential USMNT players are injured/not playing for their club team: Tim Howard, Fabian Johnson, Steve Cherundolo, Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra and Edgar Castillo.
US U-20 forward Mario Rodriguez scored two goals for Kaiserslautern in a 5-1 win in a German Junior Cup match.
I am still looking for highlights, but Joe Gyau was involved in one of St. Pauli’s goals this weekend then celebrated with a teammate.
Hertha Berlin’s website has an interview up with Anthony Brooks. Now for some fun courtesy of Google Translate:
herthabsc.de: With your consistent performance you recommended you for deployments in U20 National Team, are accumulated because of your dual citizenship in both the U.S. as well as Germany. Perhaps there will come a decision up to you, what thoughts you’ve already done it?
John Anthony Brooks: I have not ever done me no thoughts. I let it come to me and just try here at the club Hertha BSC to bring my performance, because only then can I recommend for additional nominations for the national team. Everything else will then become evident. If the decision to be taken at some point maybe really, it is an abdominal or heart decision, whatever you want.
And if you want to be semi-depressed, John Godfrey breaks down the struggles along the back line for the USMNT.
Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic will be out a month with an ankle injury, which probably means Michael Bradley will return to the starting lineup. Bradley has come off the bench in two of his last three games.
I forget whether I posted this last week or not (and I am currently too lazy to look and see), but here is a NY Times story/interview with Brad Guzan. Can’t hurt to post to it twice.
Tijuana continues their hot streak in Copa Libertadores with a 1-0 win over defending champions and 2012 FIFA Club World Cup champions Corinthians. Joe Corona got the start while Greg Garza came off the bench.
We posted about Daniel Antunez playing with Chivas USA during training camp. Well, he officially signed with the club this week. Antunez last played for Inter Turku in Finland in 2012. Also, we might pass around a hat to take up a collection so OT can sponsor at tarp at a Chivas USA game at the Home Depot Center. Just joking (or am I?).
Sticking with the Chivas USA theme, Franco Panizo talked to Juan Agudelo about playing for Chivas and his training stints in Europe this offseason.
It looks like the site’s server woke up from its post-turkey nap and is running somewhat faster. That all said, here are a few links from the last week or so.
This report out of Scotland has Celtic manager Neil Lennon wanting to sign Juan Agudelo after impressing during his training stint with the Scottish club. STV Sport also did a 13-minute video interview with Agudelo right here.
Some Danish reports are saying Jurgen Klinnsman will help Michael Parkhurst find a new club come January.
Staying in Mexico, Tijuana (Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza) are headed to the Liga MX final to face Toluca after defeating Leon 3-2 on aggregate. Both Corona and Castillo started in yesterday’s second-leg victory. By making the final, they also earned a spot in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League.
The Bolton News recently did an interview with Tim Ream. Ream started at defensive midfielder on Saturday in Bolton’s 1-1 draw to Brighton & Hove Albion.
Continuing with the interviews, Brian K. Blickenstaff spent some time with Danny Williams in Germany.
Brian Sciaretta looks at some potential options for the USMNT central defense aside from Geoff Cameron.
Here is a highlight video of Kemi Kings’ Christian Eissele and his 2012 season in Finland, which saw him lead the Kakkonen in goals.
As for some noteworthy performances from the weekend. Fabian Johnson scored for Hoffenheim in their 2-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen (highlights here). Clint Dempsey assisted on one goal and “hockey” assisted on another in Tottenham’s 3-1 victory over West Ham United (highlights here). And Charlie Davies head-butted a guy (highlights here).
Marc Heider scored his eighth goal of the season in Holstein Kiel’s 3-0 win over Victoria Hamburg in German Regionalliga action. Eugene Starikov is starting to get more playing time in Russia, getting another start for Rostov in their 2-0 win over Mordovia Saransk. And Bobby Wood has fought his way back from injuries to make an appearance off the bench (16 minutes) for 1860 Munich in their 2-2 draw to Union Berlin.
It is a proven fact. You do an interview with Over There, you are guaranteed to score a goal within the next two weeks. It has worked 100% of the time. Greg Garza got the start and scored a goal in Tijuana’s 2-2 draw to Santos Laguna. Here is his goal (0:20 mark).
The first time you talk to him, you might be tempted to think Greg Garza is being disingenuous.
“The season’s going great, couldn’t be better. I think that with how we’ve been doing, just the group, it’s going incredible,” is the first thing he tells you. “I don’t think we could ask for more, just to continue” the form in which Tijuana has started the season.
Then you took a look at the Liga MX standings. You notice Garza’s Xolos are right at the top, sitting just two points out of first place. They’re not supposed to be there, and it’s entirely possible they won’t be there when the season closes. For now, though, Tijuana is soaring in what was supposed to be a down tournament. Garza continues:
“We did lose a couple important guys, but we also got some guys that’ve been helping us along the way,” he said. “I think that’s very important. I think the most important things about the team is just the chemistry within the group. It couldn’t be better. I think we’re all good friends on and off the field, and that’s probably one of the most important aspects of why we’ve been doing so well and why we’ve gone so far.“
Garza is a Grapevine, Texas native who played for the famed Dallas Texans before moving to Portugal to play in Sporting’s youth system. After playing at the senior level with a smaller Portuguese team, Garza settled in to Tijuana last year along with fellow Mexican-Americans Edgar Castillo and Joe Corona. The bond between those players has helped eased the transition back to North American soccer for the 21-year-old left back.
“All the American guys, me, Joe, and Edgar, are always together. The relationship is awesome on and off the field,” he said.
Garza often comes into matches to spell Castillo, his countryman who is Tijuana’s regular starting left back, but the rebirth of the Copa MX has allowed Garza to see time on the field in a starting role. The Xolos, unlike many other Liga MX teams, played well in the group stage and made the quarterfinals. In their quarterfinal match with Correcaminos, Garza started and left the match after an hour with the score 4-1 in favor of Tijuana. With Garza out, however, the Xolos stalled and Correcaminos stormed back to tie the match at 5-5. It went to penalties, which Correcaminos won 7-6.
While the cup experience won’t be available for Garza any more, he remains confident that his strong games in that competition will transfer well to league matches. “I think the cup games were just as important as league games,” he said. “We wanted to win as much as possible. That didn’t happen, unfortunately, but I think that we did well getting to where we did.”
With league matches the only competition available, it might seem that Garza is being hampered by Castillo’s stronghold on the left back spot, but Garza says he’s enjoying learning from his friend, saying they have a wonderful relationship – and the American left backs might even combine for a few surprises.
“He’s a great guy, a good guy to look up to,” Garza said. “I think that (I don’t) necessarily want to pass him because we’re a team and that’s the most important thing is that we all have each other’s back. Even if he’s playing or if I’m playing I think we both understand that’s football and that’s how things work, but we’re also supporting each other as much as possible. We both have each other’s backs.”
While he’s happy learning at Castillo’s feet, Garza also understands the importance of getting playing time. “I think that just getting more experience as a player, getting as many games in as possible is definitely my goal. Everyone’s goal in football is to actually play, right? “ he said. And, of course, doing well when those opportunities do come, which Garza has largely been able to handle.
“I think when opportunities have come, I’ve definitely showed myself to the coaches and to the club,” he said, “and I think that’s the most important thing for myself for the club to see me as a guy that will always be there, not a guy that will give up even if I’m not playing.
“When I do get the chances to do my best and show them why I deserve a place in the future, and to help the team as much as possible.”
This was posted on here on Friday, but we have our first ever player interview with Greg Garza courtesy of Jon Arnold. Jon is a new addition to the site and will be doing interviews with guys from time to time for us.
Howie posted his ode to the end of Brad Friedel’s start streak, but here are some quotes from Andre Villas-Boas about his decision to bench Friedel.
I posted in The OT Report that Marc Heider scored a goal in German Regionalliga action, but here are highlights of Holstein Kiel’s 2-0 victory over Lübeck. You could say that Heider scored a bit of a lucky goal with some help from the goalie (it is the first goal in the highlights). I am still looking out for highlights of Andrew Wooten’s assist.
The USMNT roster should be announced later this afternoon. According to the twitter rumors over the weekend, Eddie Johnson and Kyle Beckerman are in. Landon Donovan, Brek Shea and Jermaine Jones all have injuries and there is a good chance they won’t be selected. I will post the roster once Klinsi announces it.
As Howie pointed out to me, Eddie Johnson’s last goal for the USMNT came four months after the movie Taken came out. Taken 2 just came out this week. Coincidence?