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Catching up on life and links
   February 19, 2014 (12:01 AM) by Matt Benson     Email This Post Email This Post

A few links from the last few days.

Despite all the craziness going on in Ukraine, the US-Ukraine friendly is still on schedule for March 5 according to US Soccer, but they are monitoring the situation.

In the random USMNT stat department, Leander Schaerlaeckens crunched some numbers to see how much playing time MLS players have been getting for the US in each of the last four World Cups.  That number has dropped from 62.8% in France (1998) to 18.5% in South Africa (2010).  But that number should shoot up this summer with the return of about everyone over the past couple of months.

Jurgen Klinsmann did an interview with last week.

Inside World Foorball has an article about USMNT assistant coach Andi Herzog and his job of scouting/recruiting in Europe.

Here is the first ever The Brad Evans Show with guests (and fellow USMNT teammates) Matt Besler and Mike Magee.  It is not great, but it is not awful.  A lot of awkwardness.  But I am mainly linking it because it is really funny with how much Magee gets legitimately annoyed at Evans for comparing his hair to Landon Donovan.

After missing some time with a stomach virus, Brek Shea came off the bench and played 45 minutes for Barnsley in their 2-0 loss to Wigan Athletic on Tuesday.

Oguchi Onyewu is out of the training room and is running again.  He is not expected to return this weekend for Sheffield Wednesday, but he is getting closer to a full return after picking up a calf injury.

Jonathan Spector played with Birmingham City’s U-21 team on Monday.  Spector has been sidelined since October with a thigh injury.

After we were told that Eric Lichaj was about 7-10 days away from returning with Nottingham Forest, their website now has a story up saying that he is about 10-14 days away from returning after suffering a groin injury.

Kim Tate has a good interview up with Herculez Gomez and Paul Arriola.  We learn that Gomez used to coach a seven-year-old Arriola in San Diego once upon a time.

So the LA Galaxy sent Jose Villarreal on loan to Cruz Azul to likely get some playing time and now Cruz Azul is sending Villarreal to their second-division affiliate Cruz Azul Hidalgo.  Villarreal had appeared in two games with Cruz Azul’s U-20 team so far this season, scoring one goal.

Bob Bradley is working his MLS connections again as goalkeeper Matt Pickens is currently in Norway training with Stabæk.

US U-20 forward Lynden Gooch scored his 10th goal of the season for Sunderland’s U-18 team on Tuesday.

Goalkeeper Zac Lubin has signed with Swedish Division I (third tier) side IFK Luleå.  The Montana native last played with the Seattle Sounders’ U-23 team.

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Matt Benson

Matt likes soccer. He likes sleeping in. He is also amused easily. That is pretty much it.

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Categories: Bob Bradley, Brad Evans, Brek Shea, Eric Lichaj, Herculez Gomez, Jonathan Spector, Jose Villarreal, Lynden Gooch, Matt Besler, Matt Pickens, Mike Magee, Oguchi Onyewu, Paul Arriola, US Men's National Team, Zac Lubin

13 Responses to “Catching up on life and links”

  1. Gregory says:

    I have held out hope for Gooch to return to form and make the Brazil squad, but honestly he is old and broken. I do like him as an extra-time set piece super sub. (Only way I can justify him currently making the squad)

    I don’t believe Goodson’s stock rises after, getting benched then cut from Denmark.

    Hate to say it but Bessler has been somewhat suspect. I hope John Brooks or Packwood can step it up and claim a spot next to Cameron.

  2. daniil says:

    Packwood is a long way off from contention. Continuity is very important, and Packwood has never played with our team. Brooks has played with us a little, but it was obvious that he would need a lot more time in the team for the defensive unity to mold with him.

    Especially considering our dire situation at right back and Geoff Cameron’s vast improvement at that postition, it’s hard to imagine Besler-Gonzalez not being our CB pairing.

    For the Ukraine friendly, it will be very interesting to see what Klinsmann does with the defense. Does he bring along Gonzalez and Besler on the eve of the MLS season? If not, where does Cameron play?

    After the Korea game, the consensus among fans is that we need a new solution at RB. If Klinsmann has come to this same consensus, we will see Cameron at RB, but who plays CB is a huge question. I would posit that if he brings Besler and Gonzalez, we will see Cameron at RB for sure. If not, CB options are Brooks (if he’s fit), Onyewu (if he’s fit), and Ream. I don’t think we’ll see Packwood, just in persepctive he has 10 Championship appearances and 8 League Two appearances in his career. That does not warrant a serious cap.

    Is there any chance Babajide Ogunbiyi could be called in? First choice CB at Viborg in superliga still…

  3. CP says:

    ^ I’ll grant you Brooks over Packwood. I’ll also grant you Packwood has a long way to go. But I do think he will be called up for Ukraine (if you are Klinsmann, why not), and I do think that “if” he plays well in camp and the rest of the season for his club, he will at least make the Brazil bench…While the latter is a big “if,” I definitely think its possible given he has the chance to prove himself vs. superior competition than most of our other CB’s…We will see if he takes advantage of it..

  4. Dirk says:

    Barring injury, Besler and Gonzo are a lock. If I had $5 for every time Gregory mentioned some obscure player getting scant playing time in some secondary Euro league having a chance to unseat a USMNT player who has dozens of caps and Klinsman’s full attention, well let’s just say i’d have enough money to pay for my weekly Starbuck’s addiction.

    Will Packwood? Cameron plays in the Premier League and there are still tons of questions about his ability to defend. Packwood was loaned out to League 1 Bristol this past Autumn, he’s made like 10 apps for Birmingham’s senior side since 2011 and somehow he has a chance to unseat Besler/Gonzo “if only he would step it up.” Yes if only he would step it up to Man City and unseat Vincent Kompany, then we’d have a real player on our hands.

  5. Gregory says:


    The Bundesliga, Dutch League, and Championship are “secondary Euro leagues”?

    Packwood is 20! He is starting in the Championship. That’s what blue-chip prospects do. 10 appearances after recovery from a bad broken leg at age 19 is best case for Packwood.

    Bessler/Gonzo combo is shaky and has been bailed out repeatedly by good goalkeeping. I haven’t seen either create a goal on set pieces. Bessler turns the ball over creating a break away almost every game. If they weren’t in the MLS players people would be calling for there heads.

  6. daniil says:

    No, packwood is not starting in the championship. He has 5 appearances this year. Besler (one s, mind you) and gonzalez are not great, but they’re servicable, and they’ve been playing/training together for a while now. They’ve been consistently getting better, and they should be ready to go in brazil.

  7. CP says:

    Dirk – The only 5 locks that Klinsmann inadvertently named were from the US “spine” of Howard, Bradley, Jones, Dempsey, and Altidore.

    When managers refer to the “spine,” CB’s are always part of that group. Since Klinsmann neglected to mention Gonzalez & Besler, this should be a fairly strong signal to all of us that the position is not yet settled (or at least not as strong as Klinsmann would like)…

  8. Trent says:

    We dont really have strong/experienced options outside of Besler/Gonzo. Only other option would be pushing Cameron or Goodson there, and I hate that idea more.

  9. Gregory says:

    I think starting the last 5 games for your team is considered starting. Packwood needs to stay healthy and keep his starting spot.

  10. daniil says:

    ^somebody read that article on nbcsports…

    Barring anything ridiculous, Gonzalez and besler are starting at CB in brazil. Those two guys were hand tabbed 2 years ago and have been training for it ever since. Klinsmann didn’t name them as his spine because they aren’t very good, but they are definitely starting.

  11. daniil says:

    Of course we’ll never know if they were ever a lock, only if they end up playing, which tells us nothing.

  12. Dirk says:

    They are locks barring injury. I never said they were the greatest. But Klinsman has invested valuable time in getting these two to work together. Every person named as someone who can challenge either one of them has weaknesses of their own. Klinsman made his move when he stopped calling up Bocanegra. He will live or die by Gonzo/Besler. It’s just a fact. JA Brooks may make the team but I don’t see him suddenly knocking Gonzo out of the picture unless he gains maturity and consistency in the next 3 months.

    Will Packwood will not be in Brazil. Your own words say it Gregory. He’s 20! With limited senior experience! Do the math! Just because Gonzo/Besler are not world beaters doesn’t mean Klinsman is going to experiment with changes this late in the game. Klinsman is not stupid. He is not rash. Say it to yourself over and over, even if you don’t like it… Gonzo/Besler, Gonzo/Besler, Gonzo/Besler

    As for Packwood, Russia 2018 is his aim.

  13. Gregory says:

    Cameron has already unseated them.

    I’m predicting

    RB. Timmy Chandler CB. Cameron CB ? LB. Johnson backed by D. Beasley

    Lichaj RB/LB sub.

    Gonzo, Bessler, JAB, Packwood, Edu, Goodson, Ream at CB ?

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