Josh Gatt got the start and played 87 minutes in Molde FK’s 2-1 loss to Lillestrøm. Molde have started the 2013 season with two losses and have now lost two consecutive league games for the first time since August of 2010.
Lets start off the links with something I did for another site. The guys over at The Inside Left asked me to put together an all-time Yanks Abroad XI, so I obliged. So check that out (at least for some of the old photos).
Everyone should be a regular listener by now, but Tim Howard was on the Men in Blazers podcast this week to talk about Everton and the upcoming Hex.
Thanks to reporter Sacha Kljestan for reporting that the Belgian press is talking about a US-Belgian friendly for this summer. That would probably go along with the rumored friendly against Germany this summer. These friendlies plus the Hex plus the Gold Cup. An exciting summer is ahead of us.
The US U-20 team is already without Will Packwood in the back and now Anthony Brooks has been called in for a Germany U-20 friendly.
Today is Deadline Day and the guys over at Futbol Intellect created a bingo card for the day.
Monmouth University product RJ Allen has signed with Danish 1st Division side Skive.
Shawn Parker has signed an extension with Mainz through the 2017 season.
And finally, club officials at Den Bosch are attempting to punish the fans who directed racists taunts at Jozy Altidore earlier this week.
So here we go with the wrap on Norway. The regular season ended yesterday, while the First Division ended last week. Most of the promotion and relegation is all set with the exception of the last promotion/relegation playoff spot.
Molde (Champions League) enter 2nd round
Stromsgodset (Europa League) enter 2nd round
Rosenborg (Europa League) enter 1st round
Sandnes ULF (Relegation/Promotion Playoff v Ullensaker)
The Relegation/Promotion Playoff First Leg will be on November 21st. Ullensaker will host the first game. The Second Leg will be at Sandnes ULF on November 24th.
From a US OT perspective
Josh Gatt will be playing Champions League football next year. Mikkel Diskerud will be playing in the Europa League.
Chad Barrett with Valerenga will be staying in the Eliteserien as will Steve Clark with Honefoss.
Sean Cunningham (on loan from Molde) and Erik Benjaminsen with Stabaek will be in the First Division.
Decided in the Playoff; either Kenneth Di Vita Jensen (on loan from Honefoss) with Ullensaker will be in Eliteserien or will remain in the First Division.
Jürgen Klinsman called in twenty players for the Russia friendly, including two potential debutantes and some long-absent faces:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (6): Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Michael Bradley (Roma), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Joshua Gatt (Molde), Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim)
FORWARDS (4): Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA), Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna)
The biggest name is Timmy Chandler, making his first appearance in a year. In a Q-and-A with USSoccer.com, the on-again, off-again rightback discusses his commitment issues:
ussoccer.com: The first question on many people’s minds will be: Why now? Timmy Chandler: “I spent a lot of time thinking this over. I have had many conversations with Jurgen, my family, my girlfriend and the people close to me, and I finally feel ready to make the commitment.”
ussoccer.com: What were some of the issues you felt were holding you back from being fully committed? TC: “I was a young player trying to get settled into my club team and wasn’t sure about the long travel and everything that goes into being a part of this National Team. My coaches didn’t like the idea, so I think even I felt some pressure. I’ve had a chance to get settled in with the club and also have grown up a lot. I know what I want to do.”
ussoccer.com: Given what has transpired in the last two years, there may be some people who are skeptical of your commitment to the U.S. team at this point?
TC: “I understand that a lot of people in the USA may be unsure because they think I have said [I’m committed] in the past. All I can say is that I am clear in my head about the commitment moving forward. This was about me being ready to accept the responsibility of being a part of the National Team and everything that goes with it, and now I am ready. I hope I will get chances in the future. I am in 1,000 percent.”
Actual wingers [Josh Gatt (Molde) and Joe Gyau (St. Pauli)] are nice to see. Despite a down year in MLS, Juan Agudelo is back, and despite a recent spat with the head man, Jozy Altidore is back.
Sacha, Gatt, Mix, Herc….it’s like the fan favorite XI.
Josh Gatt came off the bench and played 45 minutes in Molde’s 1-0 victory over Steve Clark and Hønefoss earlier today. With the victory, Molde FK clinched their second consecutive Norwegian Tippeligaen title. According to Greg Seltzer, Gatt is the fourth American to repeat as top flight champion in Europe.
With two games remaining this year’s Eliteserien is almost decided. Three teams are clear at the top and are vying for a single place in next year’s Champions League, while the remaining two spots are headed to the Europa League. At the bottom of the table, Stabaek are relegated to the Adeccoligaen next season, while the three teams directly above them fight for survival. For our USA players, Josh Gatt at Molde and Mikkel “Mix” Diskerud at Rosenborg look set for European Competition next year.
At The Top
With two games left to play Rosenborg, who are sitting in the 3rd spot look to have least chance of a CL spot. With 52 points from their 28 games, they would need Molde (56 point from 28 games) to lose both of their remaining game just to pass them. Stromsgodset are sitting in 2nd place after their win over Rosenborg this last weekend and just one point behind Molde. Stromsgodset’s final two games are against the bottom two teams so they are likely to end the season with the full six points. Molde’s final games are not as easy, but they should still get the six points needed to wrap up the league. Still, they have to win both games. A win and a draw would not do it if Stromsgodset perform as expected.
At The Bottom
Stabaek are relegated. The gap between Sandnes ULF and Sogndal, 13th through 15th places, is seven points. Sandnes ULF, on 26 points, has an extra game in hand over its two strugglers, Fredrikstad on 27 points and Sogndal on 31 points. Fredrikstad have the hardest schedule playing current league leaders Molde and third place Rosenborg. The other two teams certainly do not get an easy road to survival as Sogndal maybe having a slight edge away to Stabaek and home to Brann. While Sandnes ULF will start with two home games against Tromso and Stromsgodset (no easy task) and end the season with a visit to Aalesund. Realistically it’s unlikely that Fredrikstad will get the points they need and the final positions will probably be decided by only one point.
Stromsgodset – League Champions – Champions League spot
Molde – 2nd place – Europa League (Josh Gatt)
Rosenborg – 3rd place – Europa League (Mikkel “Mix” Diskerud)
Stabaek – relegated (Sean Cunningham and Erik Benjaminsen)
Fredrikstad – relegated
Note: The Norwegian Adeccoligaen is one game away from completion. Start has been promoted to the Eliteserien, so we will see Villyan Bijev in the Eliteserien next season (if he stays there on loan), along with Sarpsborg. The teams vying for a spot in the playoff picture for the final promotion spot, Mjondalen (Rhett Bernstein and Kyle Helton) and Ullensaker (Kenneth Di Vita Jensen), are currently in good position going into the leagues final day.
CONMEBOL came out yesterday claiming that the 2016 Copa America would be hosted in the US featuring teams from both CONMEBOL and CONCACAF. As of today, both CONCACAF and US Soccer have stated that nothing has been finalized.
Landon Donovan is always an open person when it comes to interviews, almost too open. Donovan gave another open interview to Roger Bennett earlier this week, where he thinks his chances of playing in the 2014 World Cup is “50-50″.
Ravi Ubha has a nice story up on Charlie Davies’ recent career path.
Grantland’s Graham Parker decided to do a write up on recent USMNTer Alan Gordon.
Greg Seltzer looks at some potential records that could be broken by some Americans playing overseas.
Grant Wahl recently talked to Brad Friedel about the goalkeeper situation at Tottenham. The quote that I found the most interesting.
I think the media over here wanted to make it that it was this big fight between Hugo and myself and the manager, and there was never a big fight. The fact is, Tottenham have been looking for the last year and a half for a long-term No. 1 goalkeeper. I don’t think they envisioned what my fitness levels would be at this age, and I sort of surprised myself.
Matt Pyzdrowski hasn’t played with Angelholm since late July (and has been shut down for the season) due to concussions, but the 26-year-old goalkeeper has signed a two-year extension with the Swedish club.
Staying with the goalkeeper theme, this Norwegian site rates Steve Clark as the eighth best player in the Tippeligaen this season. Josh Gatt is sitting at #18.
Josh Gatt got the start and drew a PK in Molde’s 3-2 victory. I also read that he was pulled at halftime to play it safe since he has been injured recently and after looking at the water on that field, I could see why.