European Soccer

Thursday Kickoff: Nilmar sidelined, Monchengladbach adds a pair and more



Villarreal striker Nilmar is set for an extended spell on the sidelines after returning to Brazil to have surgery to fix a cartilage problem in his right knee.

It is unclear exactly how much time Nilmar, who has led all Villarreal scorers in La Liga play with 10 goals, will have to miss.

His injury opens up a starting slot aside Giuseppe Rossi and should, at the very least, allot more minutes up top for Jozy Altidore. The Yellow Submarine, currently third in La Liga, will have to try to hold on to that spot without the injured Nilmar and Marcos Senna (hamstring) for the foreseeable future.

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:


American midfielder Michael Bradley is set to have two new teammates after Borussia Monchengladbach signed 20-year-old defender Havard Nordtveit from Arsenal and 30-year-old defender Martin Stranzl from Spartak Moscow.

The players fill a glaring need for the German side, which is toiling in the cellar of the Bundesliga and has allowed the most goals in the league. Monchengladbach has conceded 47 times in 17 games. The teams that come closest to reaching that futility are Werder Bremen and Stuttgart, who have each conceded 35 goals in the same amount of time.


Adriano Galliani, vice president of AC Milan, has set Ronaldinho's price tag at €8 million (approximately $10.5 million) for teams that are inquiring about his services ahead of January's transfer window. Ronaldinho still has six months remaining on his contract with AC Milan, and teams could sign him on a free transfer in the summer.


Chelsea found its way back into the win column after Florent Malouda's second-half goal gave the Blues a 1-0 victory over Stuart Holden's Bolton.

The temperature keeps rising on Roy Hodgson's hot seat at Liverpool after the Reds were shocked at Anfield by Wolves, 1-0.

Sebastien Squillaci played the role of villain for Arsenal after his late own goal let 10-man Wigan Athletic steal a point in a 2-2 draw at DW Stadium.


Think Altidore will get more minutes in league play with Nilmar's injury? Do you see Monchengladbach tightening up its defense with its new signings and climbing out of the drop zone? Still thinking that Ronaldinho ends up in Los Angeles? How much longer do you see Hodgson keeping his job at Anfield?

Share your thoughts below.

  • jcn0916

    That means he is now the 3rd striker and first to come off the bench. Sounds like an increased role to me.


  • Sam's Nephew

    If you’re the fourth striker, and one of the three ahead of you goes down, how does nothing change? Solid negativity however.


  • SethDoesn'tKnow

    That sucks for Nilmar. He’s shown some sweet moves in the few games that I’ve caught.
    Can someone who follows Villareal closely fill us in on Jozy’s chances of more minutes?
    He has a pretty different skill set from Nilmar so how does he mesh with Rossi and who’s ahead of him on the depth chart?


  • RK

    He has only started one game with Rossi so far. I would expect Ruben to move in. Senna is hurt, too…


  • jimoh8002

    Coming from someone that lives in england and follows spanish soccer. they would rather go 4-5-1 than put jozy in


  • tnnelson

    if jozy can’t get minutes now, then he needs to get out of villareal cause it’s just not happening yet


  • Lorenzo

    WTF does living in england mean? lol

    Coming from someone who lives in the USA, and follows the Russian league a lot, I would say Villarreal would rather play a 4-6-0 than start jimoh8002 up top.

    It doesn’t neccesarilly mean Altidore will get lots of more time, but it definitely could. Ruben is in front of him, but not by a huge stretch. Hopefully he outplays Montero in this stretch.

    From what I understand the coach keeps Altidore around and tries to give him mins because he believes in him.


  • Lorenzo

    He is a 21 year old getting brought along at one of the best clubs in the world, in a league that challenges and develops the very skills he is weak on, and studying under 2 of the better strikers in the world under Rossi and Nilmar. He has gotten decent minutes considering their FW pool, and a couple of goals. The next WC is almost 4 years away, so for christ’s sake give him time and let him develop more, he is 6 years away from his peak.


  • TheSir

    Are we supposed to think you are some sort of ultimate authority just because you live in England?


  • WhiteHart

    Whats that Reason?!

    You mean a 21 year old shouldn’t leave one of the top 5 clubs in La Liga because he’s only making the bench and not starting?!

    That’s Ludicrous!!!

    /sarcasm off

    +1 to the original reply :)


  • WhiteHart

    He’s 21, still on the climb to his peak/potential, Onyewu theoretically is on the downward part of his career.


  • canchon

    Jozy is a complete bust!

    I mean he should have been starting for Barcelona by now, or at least Real Madrid…if he’s not starting at 21 at a top 5 club in the world than his career has been a complete bust.

    /sarcasm switched off

    At 21, Chicharito was in Guadalajara considering quitting football altogether. Give Jozy some time.


  • GW

    One can make a case that while both players are in different situations, both might benefit from staying exactly where they are, assuming they have that option.

    Jozy has time to develop and is at where place where it seems like he might get the coaching and be around really good players.

    Gooch also has some time in the sense that he has put in his time for the USMNT and may want to do a Friedel and focus on his club career. He’s now on the biggest club he is ever likely to play for and, while he hasn’t played, the center back situation at Milan keeps getting thinner. So, again assuming he has a choice, why not give himself half a season to see if he can make a dent? After that he can always go back to playing for some mediocre European team; he’s proven he can do that already.

    Whether he makes it at Milan or some other team, if he’s playing well enough, he’ll always have a shot at playing for the US, if that is what he wants.


  • Dale

    I live in a house to! I also believe this is good news for Jozy’s personal career. Furthermore, the fact that he is getting any minutes this season with the talent and production ahead of him at this club tells me the coach thinks he has a bright future. If Jozy ever can muster up a killer’s instinct and build up some stamina he will be a deadly player.


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