It’s time for the not-quite-annual USA-Mexico out-of-window cash grab friendly (Wednesday, 7:30 PM CT, Fox Sports 1/UniMas/Univision Deportes). The US released its roster today. It consists of 13 MLS players, 5 Liga MX guys, an NASL guy, a college guy, a guy who finally made his EPL debut, and whatever we classify Julian Green as these days.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS (8): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Puebla), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution)
FORWARDS (5): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Julian Green (Hamburg), Jordan Morris (Stanford University), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
Notable absences are Clint Dempsey (injured) and Jozy Altidore (suspended). Juan Agudelo makes his triumphant return. Brad Evans also returns after a lengthy absence.
US Soccer is about to have a busy next couple of weeks with the USMNT, U-23 and U-20 teams all having camps and friendlies throughout Europe. It looks like we should expect to see the various rosters over the weekend.
While we wait for the rosters, a bunch of names are kind of leaking out. Thanks to Birmingham City’s site, we know that Will Packwood is going to be with the U-23 team. Brian Sciaretta is also hearing that Jerome Kiesewetter will be with the U-23s, while Andrija Novakovich will be with the U-20s. And while there has been speculation that Jurgen Klinsmann is going to call in Ventura Alvarado with the MNTers, there is at least one report of Leon goalkeeper William Yarbrough being called in as well.
Will Packwood scored his first professional goal yesterday in Cheltenham Town’s 2-2 draw to Portsmouth (highlights). He had to be subbed out due to some kind of injury, but he tweeted after the game that he is “feeling groggy” but is OK.
DeAndre Yedlin is back on the field and played with Tottenham’s U-21 team on Monday. Here is a photo of him in action.
Andrija Novakovich made his debut with Reading’s senior team over the weekend in Reading’s 4-1 loss at Watford. Here is a photo of Novakovich about to come onto the field.
Reading and Danny Williams (went the full 90) won their FA Cup 6th round replay over Bradford City on Monday. Reading is headed to the FA Cup semis for the first time since 1927.
And finally, FIFA announced the stadiums that will be used at the 2016 Olympics and somehow Arena da Amazônia in Manaus made the cut as one of the seven stadiums. I still remember drinking two full glasses of water while just walking to my seat in the upper deck. It was such a furnace. I did snap this nice photo.
Herculez Gomez likes scoring goals for Puebla and he scored another one last night in a 2-1 win in Copa MX action (highlights). I was also able to find some highlights of Devann Yao’s goal from the weekend (highlights).
Also scoring earlier this week was Jake Keegan in Galway United’s win in Irish League Cup action (highlights). Here is the post-game press conference with Keegan and his manager. Around the 2:50 mark, his manager talks about Kevin Garcia joining the team soon. I am guessing he is waiting for a work permit as I believe it took Keegan a while to get a new one for this season.
Staying in Ireland, St Patrick’s Athletic has signed midfielder Morgan Langley. Langley played in one game for the Philadelphia Union in 2011, but has mainly played his professional soccer with the Harrisburg City Islanders.
Like many American soccer fans over the last couple seasons, Club Tijuana has slowly become my favorite Liga MX side, especially living in Southern California and having games on TV at reasonable times (Friday at 7:30 PM) instead of setting an alarm for 4 AM in order to watch an English Premier League match.
It also doesn’t hurt when the team boasts Americans Joe Corona, Greg Garza, Paul Arriola, a treasure trove of US U-20 players and have featured other Americans in the past (Edgar Castillo and Herculez Gomez).
With the weekend free, I decided to finally make the three hour trek south to Tijuana to check out the Xolos experience in person in their Friday game against Pumas.
Speaking of the US U-20 team, in case you missed it, here are highlights of their 2-0 win over El Salvador to qualify for New Zealand. Romain Gall shared the Golden Boot with Mexico’s Hirving Lozano with each scoring five goals throughout the tournament.
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.
FIFA announced its finalists for the FIFA Ballon d’Or and for the FIFA World Coach of the Year. While no USMNT players made the Ballon d’Or list (how did Alan Gordon not get nominated?!), Jurgen Klinsmann is one of the 10 finalists for the Coach of the Year award.
FIFA also plans to show off its new logo for the 2018 World Cup later today.
It looks like the USMNT might play Switzerland in a friendly in Zurich in March.
Congrats to the US Women’s National Team for winning the CONCACAF Women’s Championship and clinching a spot in next summer’s World Cup. Since 1990, the US is one of three countries to qualify for every men’s and women’s World Cup (also Germany and Brazil).
Michael Bradley is going to have surgery this week to correct a lingering nerve issue in his foot. This is an injury that has been bugging him for most of the season. Jeff Carlisle asked him if it was an issue prior to the World Cup, which he said no, but I guess it got worse as the season wore on.
Jake Keegan went 90 minutes yesterday in Galway FC’s 2-1 win over UCD in the first leg of the Irish Premier Division promotion/relegation playoffs. Galway FC scored two late goals to steal the road win and now host UCD on Friday for a chance at promotion.
After scoring 12 goals in 14 games with the U-23 team, Jann George finally saw some first team action with Greuther Furth’s senior team in their 5-2 loss to FSV Frankfurt.
We had some goals this weekend. Matt Taylor scored twice in Saarbrücken’s 4-1 win over Pirmasens. Christian King scored twice in Ararat’s 3-2 loss to Ulisses in Armenian Premier League action. Jerome Kiesewetter scored his second goal of the season on Saturday in Stuttgart II’s 1-0 win over Unterhaching. And over Tigres’ last two games, we have had goals by Jose Torres and Herculez Gomez.
I saw a Clint Dempsey rumor (loan deal back to the Premier League) has been circulating the interwebs in the last 48 hours, but it all came from a short “story” from the Daily Mirror with no quotes (except for an out of context quote from Klinsmann). Come on people, I thought we were better than that.
And finally, no matter what happens with the rest of his career, Stuart Holden is still awesome.
The USMNT will have a second friendly next month in Europe as they will take on Colombia at Craven Cottage in London.
The latest FIFA rankings came out earlier this week and the US dropped six places to No. 23. They are still the third-highest ranked team in CONCACAF as Costa Rica comes in at No. 16 and Mexico at No. 17.
Mix Diskerud had to be subbed out after 36 minutes in last weekend’s game due to an injury, but he just missed a couple practices this week and returned to training yesterday. Sounds like a good chance he plays on Sunday.
Also in the injury department, Aron Johannsson is expected to dress with AZ Alkmaar this weekend. Johannsson played with AZ’s reserves earlier this week and will get a chance to play in his first game with the senior team against Groningen on Saturday.
While we are learning about some new dual-national players, Tom Marshall introduces us to Leones Negros midfielder Jesus Vazquez.
Aleks Gogic signed with Reading last year, but it looks like the 18-year-old goalkeeper must be on loan with Southern League Premier Division (seventh tier!) side Slough Town F.C. as he played in a game with them last Saturday.
Steven Goff has you covered with a weekend roundup of the bigger names in Europe. Good to see Rubio Rubin and Emerson Hyndman both made appearances again in their respective team’s starting lineups. Hyndmann is 18 years old and completing 91 percent of his passes this season, fourth highest in the Championship among players with 100+ attempted passes.
As for some goals, Matt Taylor bagged another two goals in Saarbrücken’s 2-1 win over Nöttingen (highlights). Taylor has put together a nice little career in the various lower leagues in Germany, scoring 55 goals in 162 league appearances since 2008-09.
Bobby Warshaw went the full 90 minutes and scored the opening goal of the game in Bærum’s 2-1 loss to Hønefoss (highlights). Over in Sweden, Andrew Stadler scored his 11th goal of the season in Landskrona’s 1-1 draw to Sirius (highlights). Down in the fourth tier in Sweden, Eddy Prugh and Andy Lorei both scored in Bodens BK’s 3-2 loss to Anundsjö (highlights). And we don’t have highlights of these goals, but Matt Eliason, Drew Jeskey, Anthony Avalos and Christian Eissele also scored this weekend and our goal tracker has some more details. Will Packwood also scored for Birmingham City’s U-21 team.
While we had some goals this weekend, the assists might have been even better this weekend. Bobby Wood used his head to assist on 1860 Munich’s goal in their 1-1 draw to Darmstadt 98 (highlights). Here is also a photo of Wood from that game. And Alfredo Morales assisted on two goals in Ingolstadt’s 3-0 win over Sandhausen (highlights). That second one was pretty slick.
The US U-20 team is headed to Argentina this week to play Racing Club Reserves, Defensa y Justicia Reserves and Argentina’s U-20 team. Here is the updated roster, which features John Requejo Jr., Fernando Arce, Russell Canouse, Junior Flores and Paul Arriola among others. Another interesting name on the list is Chivas de Guadalajara’s Luis Martir since Chivas normally has a Mexican international only policy.
We had a pretty quiet Deadline Day on the American front (aside from a dildo going into a reporter’s ear, seriously), but we had a couple moves over the last couple of days.
As we posted over the weekend, Julian Green is headed to Hamburg on a season-long loan. And for all those soccer jersey hipsters out there, Hamburg has a decent home shirt this year and Green looks to be wearing #37.
The bigger news on the American front were the moves that did not happen. Stoke City decided to keep Geoff Cameron despite bids from Sunderland and Southampton. Zulte-Waregem made a bid for Sacha Kljestan, but Anderlecht decided to hold onto him as well. And I guess there might have been some rumblings of Southampton sniffing around Brek Shea, but nothing happened (and it was likely silly season nonsense).
And before multiple more people ask me, Juan Agudelo is still without a club and myself (and many others) don’t know anything more on his situation.
Brian Sciaretta, writing for multiple outlets, has you covered with some interviews with Brad Guzan and Greg Garza. Jonny Rico also got some audio from Garza and Joe Corona about their recent call-ups to the USMNT.
And finally, Freddy Adu is still in Serbia, still hasn’t played for his new team and is suing his former Brazilian team Bahia over alleged unpaid wages.