» Here are some fun facts and stats from myself and US Soccer’s game notes:
The US is 1-23-1 all-time against Mexico on Mexican soil, including a 1-19-1 mark in Mexico City.
The US is 0-13-1 all-time against Mexico on Mexican soil during World Cup Qualifying.
The US is 1-8-1 all-time against Mexico in Azteca, including a 0-5-1 record in World Cup Qualifying.
Only five Americans have ever scored against Mexico at Azteca: Willie Roy, (1974), Rick Davis (1980), Eddie Lewis (2005), Charlie Davies (2009) and Michael Orozco Fiscal (2012).
The US has led for a combined 20 minutes in the 10 games played against Mexico at Azteca all-time.
Mexico has only lost nine games all-time in 122 total games played at Azteca (80-9-33).
Mexico is 68-1-6 in home World Cup Qualifying games all-time, the only loss coming to Costa Rica in 2001.
The US has won a World Cup Qualifying match in Mexico City before, beating Cuba, 5-2, on September 21, 1949.
» The US’s lone point against El Tri on Mexican soil during World Cup Qualifying? A 0-0 draw in 1997 and here are some video highlights of that game.
» Could Jurgen Klinsmann be playing mind games with Mexico? He has called in Michael Orozco Fiscal last minute as an injury replacement for Jermaine Jones. Here is video of MOF’s goal from August since it never gets old.
» Want a tactical preview of the game? Head over to The Shin Guardian for their preview.
» Omar Gonzalez is pumped for the game and reveals that Club American has been interested in him over the last two years.
» As for some non-USMNT links. Tab Ramos has some quotes on the U-20 World Cup draw and confirms that the team will be playing in the Toulon tournament in France in May. Freddy Adu is officially headed to Brazil. And here is a video interview with Jozy Altidore from last week courtesy of AZ’s website.
As for tomorrow, I like to think I’m a pretty level-headed guy who sides on caution, but I’m having good feelings about tomorrow for some reason. Thinking 1-1 draw.
ussoccer.com’s mini-series “Opportunity Knocks” looks at players aiming to take their chance in January Men’s National Team Camp. Historically the January Camp has been a place for players make an impression on the coaching staff and work their way into the MNT setup for the rest of the year. In the first feature, ussoccer.com talks to LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez.
The USMNT defeated Tijuana 3-0 in a closed-door scrimmage today. The goals came from Jeff Parke and Will Bruin (twice). I hope US Soccer puts up some video of the scrimmage online. But they do have the latest Studio 90 with interviews with Omar Gonzalez and Chris Wondolowski.
Steven Beitashour and Edson Buddle both picked up injuries and will be out for the rest of the camp.
There have been some rumblings of a US-Germany friendly for later this year and it looks like it will be in May in D.C.
Howie posted about Paolo DelPiccolo signing with Eintracht Frankfurt earlier today and Brian Sciaretta nabbed the first interview with DelPiccolo about the move.
Sciaretta also talked to Ryan Miller about leaving Sweden and returning to the US.
Brad Friedel started for Tottenham in yesterday’s Europa League game and AVB wants to keep Friedel despite some recent Friedel-to-Blackburn rumors.
Chicago Fire and USMNT goalkeeper Sean Johnson is headed to England to train with Stoke City and Everton this offseason. USMNT goalkeeper coach Chris Woods is also the goalkeeper coach at Everton, but Jurgen Klinsmann must have some decent connections at Stoke City between this and Geoff Cameron/Maurice Edu’s transfers.
Bruce Arena told the press this week that the Galaxy will not be letting Omar Gonzalez go on any offseason loans or training stints. Gonzalez tore his ACL in his first day at training with Nurnberg last year.
So Landon Donovan scored a big goal for the Galaxy tonight. He recently talked to Julie Foudy about the uncertainty that is his future with the USMNT and soccer in general. And someone started a funny Sad Landon twitter account.
Jurgen Klinsmann had a pre-Russia friendly teleconference today in which he talked about a variety of topics including Donovan and Jozy Altidore. You can check out the questions/quotes right here.
Donovan’s Galaxy teammate Omar Gonzalez talked to Ives Galarecp this week about returning from injury and working towards a spot with the USMNT.
Oh Klinsi, nonchalantly dropping that the US will be playing Mexico in Azteca this August after today’s USMNT v U-23 scrimmage down in Carson, California late on a Friday night. I know some people will say that this game serves no purpose, especially with the US about to start World Cup qualification and will get their shot at Azteca soon, but you could give me this game every year and I still will be giddy about it.
Speaking of that scrimmage, the USMNT won 4-0, scoring all goals in the first half. The goal scorers were Chris Wondolowski (x2), Teal Bunbury and Graham Zusi (although some people were tweeting that the second Wondo goal was by Benny Feilhaber). I guess the U-23s showed some good possession, but they had a 20-minute defensive lapse when all the goals came against them. I am hoping US Soccer will put up some highlights over the weekend. They will play one more time next week before the USMNT heads back to Phoenix.
Well, that didn’t take long. We’ve discussed the pointlessness of MLS serving as a short-term rental shop, but we didn’t really address the perils. Sure enough, with the news of Gonzalez being loaned to Nuremberg having barely hit the wires, the young centerback is out for 6-9 months with a torn ACL.
The injury, which surely derails the hopes of Los Angeles winning the CONCACAF Champions League, will likely keep the Texan out of World Cup qualifying until the hex. If one considers that full recovery of an ACL often takes closer to two years, it’s a particularly devastating blow. Gonzalez is out of contract after this year — Nuremberg was rumored to be making a summer offer — and being hobbled will likely limit the ability of Gonzalez to find top-tier European employment.
While everyone has been hinting at a possible loan move south of the border (Club America?), Omar Gonzalez is actually headed to Germany until the middle of February on a loan deal with Nurnberg. Gonzalez will get the chance to play with Timothy Chandler and could make his debut on January 21 against Hertha Berlin once the German Bundesliga returns from its winter break.
Staying in Germany, Jermaine Jones has been banned for eight weeks by the German Football Federation after his foot stomp of Marco Reus’ injured foot in the German Cup.
Jonathan Borrajo, who played with Norwegian side Ham-Kam this past season, is headed back to the US to play for the New York Red Bulls.
And according to variousreports, French club Sochaux are making a run at Maurice Edu.
Seriously, this goal was ridiculous. I have watched it about 40 times today. It is crazy how much speed it picked up and that bounce was crazy. For those few that haven’t read it yet, he is the fourth Premier League goalkeeper to score a goal (and it is amazing that three of them came in losses):
Peter Schmeichel (Aston Villa) vs. Everton – October 20, 2001
Brad Friedel (Blackburn Rovers) vs. Charlton Athletic – February 21, 2004
Paul Robinson (Tottenham Hotspur) vs. Watford – March 17, 2007
Tim Howard (Everton) vs. Bolton Wanderers – January 17, 2007
You can also see Howard’s post-game interview right here.
US Soccer announced that George John and Omar Gonzalez have both withdrawn from Camp Cupcake and will be replaced by Brad Evans and Jeff Parke. The reason why given by US Soccer was “in order to deal with club-related matters”, which makes me believe that both could be headed somewhere during this transfer window. Where that might be, we don’t know. According to Ives, John has left the country to pursue a transfer while Gonzalez has a couple loan possibilities lined up.
For those of you like myself that wondered why Robbie Findley was pulled out of Nottingham Forest’s game after six minutes this past weekend, it was due to a shoulder injury that probably will need surgery this summer.
Panizo also has some more tidbits from this week’s training sessions over on Ives, including some comments from Jurgen Klinsmann about some notable roster omissions. This has sort of been a “hot topic” (the story, not the cheesy store at malls) as of late, especially with Omar Gonzalez recently telling ESPN Insider ($$) that he would at least listen to Mexico if they come calling. Gonzalez holds Mexican and American citizenship.
And from my own research, if the US does not win on Saturday, Jurgen Klinsmann would become the first USMNT coach to go winless in his first four matches since Lothar Osiander in 1986-87. And by chance he goes winless on Saturday, he would need a win over Ecuador to avoid becoming the first USMNT coach to go winless in his first five matches since Gordon Bradley in 1973.
And the US’ one goal is the fewest by the team under a new coach through three games since the US only scored one goal in Walter Chyzowych’s first three games as coach in 1976. The US then scored two goals against Canada in his fourth game.