photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
Benny Feilhaber is on fire.
Just three days after scoring his second career goal at the club level, Feilhaber netted a hat-trick in AGF Aarhus' 6-3 overtime victory against Skive in the fourth round of the Danish Cup on Wednesday. Feilhaber converted two penalty kicks and scored from the run of play to record a rare American hat-trick performance in Europe.
Feilhaber wasn't the only American in action on Wednesday. Several players had games, including Ricardo Clark, who came off the bench and played 14 minutes in Eintracht Frankfurt's 2-1 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen. Clark's cameo was his second appearance of the season.
Here is how the Americans Abroad fared Wednesday:
- Brad Friedel dressed but did not play in Aston Villa's 3-1 win vs. Blackburn Rovers.
- Brad Guzan started, played 90 minutes and made eight saves for Aston Villa.
- Eric Lichaj started and played 90 minutes for Aston Villa.
CIS INSURANCE CUP
- Dominic Cervi dressed but did not play in Celtic's 6-0 win vs. Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
- Oguchi Onyewu did not dress in AC Milan's 1-1 draw vs. Lazio.
- Michael Bradley started and played 90 minutes in Borussia Moenchengladbach's 2-1 loss vs. St. Pauli.
- Jermaine Jones started and played 90 minutes in Schalke 04's 2-1 win vs. SC Freiburg.
- Ricardo Clark came off the bench and played 14 minutes in Eintracht Frankfurt's 2-1 loss vs. Bayer Leverkusen.
- Daniel Williams dressed but did not play in SC Freiburg's 2-1 loss vs. Schalke 04.
- Kenny Cooper did not dress in TSV 1860 Munich's 0-0 draw vs. FC Erzgebirge Aue. He is recovering from an ankle injury.
- David Yelldell started, played 90 minutes and made one save in MSV Duisburg's 1-0 win vs. FC Augsburg.
- Amaechi Igwe did not dress in FC Ingolstadt 04's 3-0 win vs. Fortuna Dusseldorf. He is recovering from a knee injury.
COUPE DE LA LIGUE
- Carlos Bocanegra dressed but did not play in St Etienne's 2-0 win vs. Nice.
- Charlie Davies did not dress in Sochaux's 2-0 loss vs. Bastia.
- Sacha Kljestan did not dress in RSC Anderlecht's 1-1 draw vs. Lierse
EKSTRA BLADET CUP
- Marcus Tracy did not play in Aalborg BK's 1-0 win vs. Naestved FC. He is recovering from a knee injury.
- Chris Rolfe did not play for Aalborg BK. He is recovering from a hamstring injury.
- Benny Feilhaber started, played 120 minutes and scored three GOALS (two penalty kicks) in AGF Aarhus' 6-3 overtime win vs. Skive.
- Alejandro Bedoya did not dress in Orebro SK's 3-1 win vs. Gefle IF. He was suspended due to yellow card accumulation.
- Ryan Miller started and played 90 minutes in Halmstads BK's 1-1 draw vs. GAIS.
What do you think of these performances? Should Feilhaber start in the upcoming U.S. national team friendlies? If so, where? Do you think Clark is starting to establish himself with Eintracht Frankfurt?
Share your thoughts below.
Whoa whoa! People! I meant it in a way that I was sad that he wouldn’t be starting but happy that it’s because our depth is so great, not because he’s not good enough. We know Benny can fill in when needed, but we have better players.
It’s a good thing…:)
Remember Benny had a couple seasons after the 2007 Gold Cup in which he saw not so much playing time due to injury. That takes a toll on a player’s fitness, skill and confidence. I’m glad he seems to have regained all 3. Until the USMNT can find a back line that can start an attack with simple passes to midfielders, the tendency to just knock it long will remain.
IF the players can be found who can both defend AND make good insightful passes out of the back, then the US style will begin to look more like something that Benny and Torres will look comfortable in. Until then it will be defend first and whack the ball forward, something that almost ensures bypassing the midfield.
Benny struggled with injuries for more than a couple seasons. It is good he is healthy and performing well. I suspect he will find a better club (and get playing time) and will get more time with the USMNT if he does.
Clark doesn’t play much. He has only made a couple of appearances this season. So while his team may be better, Clark isn’t playing.
I get what you’re saying. My point is that we’ve got a supposedly “awful” player in Clark, yet he plays for a much better team, in a much better league. As much as I like Benny and appreciate his contributions to the NT, maybe there is no conspiracy by BB, maybe its not the “scheme” BB plays, maybe he’s just not that good.
I don’t think Clark should be in any USAMNT conversation.
I don’t think you can put Clark in any USMNT converation
“Brad Guzan started, played 90 minutes and made eight saves for Aston Villa.”
NIIIIICE. that is epic. Is Kljestan still hurt?
He’ll be gone – he’s not that great anyway.
Well, the fact that he CAN play multiple positions… it’s a tactical advantage to have him coming off the bench.
If I remember correctly, the original prognosis for when CD would start getting back into it was about 12 months which means he is actually more or less right on schedule.
What happened was Charlie initially responded better than expected and everyone got on the hype bandwagon that he was going to be at the World Cup and save the USMNT. Given that,it seems like expectations were way overinflated. And of course BB was blamed for the whole thing.
Where he is now is probably where, realistically, he should always have been, i.e. working his way back to health. If he does anything at Sochaux this season it will probably be a bonus.Of course, it’s possible he’ll never get back to anywhere near what he was.
I’m just floored that our “super-sub”, the first guy off the bench for us had only scored one time before this season at the club level. Unbelievable considering he’s supposed to be an offensive minded player.
I like Benny a lot, but I don’t see how he should be a lock starter for the Nats. He’s had some good performances, but playing well in the Danish 2nd division isn’t such an amazing feat. I think our team is deep enough at midfield that he should be coming off the bench. Right now, wouldn’t you say Mikey B, Holden, Edu, J. Jones, and Torres are better players (not just in BBs mind but most objective observers)?
Bedoyas been looking good and might merit being in the conversation as well, and as much as many fans might hate to hear it, the fact that Sacha Klejstan and Rico Clark play on much better teams than AGF needs to be considered.
Gooch has got to get out of there. At least on loan.
I think people here think if you do play well you should automatically be rewarded by getting more time. That isn’t always true.
Some guys have 30 minutes of genius in them and then 60 minutes of anonymity. It’s called being inconsistent. And Benny has certainly been that over the course of his career. It’s noteworthy no one bought him during the transfer window, even though he clearly is more talented than his present stuation would indicate.
Early on in 2007 Benny had a couple of starts and looked like the perfect partner for Bradley. Then he went to Derby County and for a while his career was in the dumpster. He did well in the Confederations Cup but even in the games he started he did a few good things and then was anonymous.
Bradley is wise to use him off the bench to either settle the midfield defensively or inject some offensive creativity, both of which I’ve seen Benny do well but only for short periods. The US currently doesn’t have another midfielder who does this as reliably as he does, which makes him a very valuable asset.
Benny seems to be off to a good start with Aarhus. If he can put them on his back and lead them to promotion, if he can be the 90 minute all-around, complete midfielder the US currently lacks, then perhaps he will get a larger role for the US and a transfer to club more reflective of his talent level.
Until then I keep him as a valuable weapon off the bench. This is hardly the insult to his talent as most of you seem to portray it.
He’s getting minutes in the reserves and although the fans seem to say he’s been rubbish in all his appearances, he just needs to keep playing and he’ll steadily get better. He’s young enough to bounce back, however if his speed really is gone for good – he must look to adapt his game to play a different way. Quite like Michael Owen doesn’t rely any more on his pure speed or Giggs.
It’s in his hands, his club are doing the right thing but he has to take that leap.
Also, Aarhus decided they wanted to keep him which tends to happen when teams get relegated – they’ll sell off big costing players, but keep 2 or 3 quality ones to ensure they bounce back up. Think Newcastle and the players they were able to hang onto.
But if Benny wants to be on the national team, second division isn’t going to cut it.
Any update on when he’s meant to return? I thought I read October…
I’d have to agree, like Torres, Benny’s best position and skillset are not the kind that Bradley has the US playing.
I don’t think it’s down to Benny not being good enough to last a full 90, just that he’s not being played where he prefers and what he can do, isn’t valued on the team. So a 30 minute appearance where his creativity, passing, and dribbling are very handy, he can change a game – but surrounded by a team of very direct players for a full 90, he often gets lost in the game.
a bag of soccer balls and three paninis is a pretty stiff asking price after all
they wanted $1.5 and Benny is really worth about half that.
You could say they ended up winning because they have Benny Feilhaber playing for them, and they’re (expectedly) leading the 2nd division.
AGF just didn’t want to sell Benny that badly; they could afford to keep him and he’s a good player for them.
Not for the transfer fee that Aarhus was asking for. At least, that’s what I’ve hear. Aarhus’s asking price was too high and no team was willing to pay it.
Davies still need months to recover. Sochaux is doing well at the moment so he’ll be most likely on the bench but don’t give up.
Gooch. well coming back from serious injury and is last on depth for Milan. It would take horrendous injury for him. Hope he goes on loan in January and impresses.
Aarhus wanted a specific number and some clubs apparently from Spain wanted a lower amount to play and Aarhus played hardball and ended up losing.
Teams couldn’t afford Benny Feilhaber? Really?
Oh my God, after this world cup there were alot of teams in Spain and Italy interested in Benny’s services. He didn’t go anywhere because teams couldn’t afford to pay the transfer. Plus, at Derby County he wasn’t ready, and he got injured. He is a much better player now than he was then anyways.
Evidently it has up to the current moment.
Actually he hasn’t had a lot of chances. Bradley has always looked to him as a versatile who can fill multiple midfield positions by coming off the bench.
Add that to BB never ending love of playing two defensive midfielders, and it’s no wonder why Benny is relegated to 30 min performances.
Does anyone know what Davies status is? Is his injury more than just a setback? Has it prevented him from ever regaining his old form?
Because he did not do anything to impress any major club. The guy could not crack the starting line up of Derby County when they played in the EPL and this was after the goal he scored against Mexico.
Ives, any input on why Benny did not move this summer?
Its too bad Onyewu and Davies’ careers are no longer in ascendancy. Lets think of the last year as a road bump. I’m a big fan of both of them. Hope to see them starting soon.
You right. Benny is way too good to be stuck at Aarhus. It’s a pity they couldn’t sell him during the summer and now that he’s performing so well who knows if they will let him go in the winter. He’d be great in Spain.
Bring Cooper back to MLS…He was fun to watch
How Lichaj played today during his 90min?
lost 3 in a row with a win and draw mixed in in last 5 games
looks like Mbradley and borussia are in the middle of a free fall. I think this is 3 or 4 in a row they’ve lost, and a couple have been blow outs
just yellow card accumulation
Benny really shouldn’t be in the danish second division! at least he is playing and playing well.
Can you tell me when Benny has gone the whole 90 and played well for the USMNT, other than the 2007 Gold Cup Final? He’s had many chances.
So far, in his US career he seems to be good for 30 – 45 minutes tops and then he disappears. Until he proves otherwise I wouldn’t atart him for the US.
Good to see that AGF trust Benny with penalties and good to see that Benny is confident and efficient enough to finish them. It’s sad though because he’ll probably only be coming off the bench for the USA.
Interesting to see that Bedoya didnt play, anyone know why?