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Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

Ricardo Clark 1 (Reuters)


U.S. national team head coach Bob Bradley is expected to announce the roster for the upcoming friendlies next week, and that means players abroad who are on the fringes will have one more chance to earn a call-up.

Ricardo Clark is one of those players. Having recently recovered from a facial injury, Clark will look to see the field for Eintracht Frankfurt when it faces Schalke 04. Should Clark play, a solid performance might earn him a call to a U.S. camp for the first time since the World Cup.

Jose Torres and Herculez Gomez will also be hoping to get back into the national team fold while also attempting to help Pachuca get back on track. Pachuca has not won in its last three matches, and Torres and Gomez could earn a selection from Bradley should they help end the club's drought with respective big games against Atlante.

One player looking to put forth a solid outing in order to help earn his first call-up is Timothy Chandler. The American-eligible defender/midfielder has enjoyed a solid two months since making FC Nurnberg's first team and another strong performance could convince Bradley to select him. Chandler and Nurnberg face VfL Wolfsburg this weekend.

Here is a rundown of who the Americans Abroad play this weekend:


Steve Cherundolo, DaMarcus Beasley and Hannover 96 play FC Cologne.

Amaechi Igwe, Edson Buddle and FC Ingolstadt 04 play FSV Frankfurt. (Igwe is out injured.)

Luis Robles and Karlsruhe play David Yelldell and MSV Duisburg.

Quentin Westberg and Evian Thonon Gaillard play Clermont Foot.


Brad Guzan and Hull City play Coventry City.

Conor Doyle and Derby County play Swansea City.

Eric Lichaj and Leeds United play Ipswich Town.

Robbie Findley and Nottingham Forest play Doncaster Rovers. (Findley is out injured.)

Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers play Birmingham in the FA Cup.

Anton Peterlin and Plymouth Argyle play Hartlepool United.

Frank Simek and Carlisle United play Peterborough United.

Mike Grella and Swindon Town play Dagenham & Redbridge.

Daniel Williams and SC Freiburg play Kaiserslautern. (Williams is out injured.)

Ricardo Clark and Eintracht Frankfurt play Schalke 04.

Timothy Chandler and FC Nurnberg play VfL Wolfsburg.

Carlos Bocanegra and St Etienne play Brest.

Jozy Altidore and Bursaspor play Karabukspor.

Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht play Eupen.

Michael Parkhurst and FC Nordsjaelland play FC Midtjylland.

Marcus Tracy, Chris Rolfe and Aalborg BK play FC Copenhagen. (Tracy is out injured.)

Sammy Ochoa and Estudiantes Tecos U.A. de G. play Chiapas.

Edgar Castillo and Puebla play Isaac Acuna and Queretaro.

Jose Torres, Herculez Gomez and Pachuca play Sonny Guadarrama and Atlante.

Jonathan Bornstein and Tigres UANL play San Luis.


Jonathan Spector and West Ham United play Stoke City in the FA Cup.

Maurice Edu and Rangers play Kilmarnock.

Dominic Cervi and Celtic play Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Bobby Wood and TSV 1860 Munich play Arminia Bielefeld.

Oguchi Onyewu and Twente Enschede play VVV Venlo.

Freddy Adu and Caykur Rizespor play Giresunspor.

Clarence Goodson and Brondby IF play Sonderjyske.

Gustavo Adrian Ruelas and Santos Laguna play Toluca.


Zak Whitbread and Norwich City play Bristol City.

Alfredo Morales and Hertha Berlin play SpVgg Greuther Furth.


Which matches are you most looking forward to? Think Clark can play his way back into the U.S. national team mix? Eager to see Chandler in action?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Hi Vince, I remember Gooch always been a lumbering tough CB that could play a full 90’s his only knock on his game was that he was a terrible distributor from the back, always missing the midi and instead going for a long ball to the forwards. In his last NAT game that I saw him play he would rather pass to another fullback to start the distribution process.

  2. I saw his last game against Chile and I thought he did well. I see a lot of special qualities in the kid, sometimes you have to see beyond the occasional lost pass. He may not be the strongest midi but he has an eye for the final pass to a forward.

  3. unfortunately, the JT type of a player are a dime a dozen in spain so for him to have a change there he would have to have something extra in his repertoire which at this time he doesn’t.

  4. Jose Torres needs a move to Spain I think. It is his only way of having a chance in the midfield. He passess better than Edu, maybe even Holden (although Holden can really cross the ball well). I heard Deportiva la Carouna was interested in him awhile back, it would be great if he could jump onto a lower level LaLiga team. Maybe even Portugal…

  5. In the Gold Cup the two starting center backs, assuming everything stays the way it is, will probably be two out of Gooch, Goodson and Boca. The fourth center back on the roster will probably be Edu or Spector.

    In a tournament versatility is vital,one reason why Bradley has been cultivating Edu as a center back and why Spector may well be on the roster. With those two you have much of midfield and defense covered. If for some reason one, or both of them, don’t make the roster then a vet like Clark,Johnny B or even Jay D., would probably get the nod. National team managers generally go for experience, especially in defence, in meaningful tournaments.

    If somehow, there is a need for a younger or a new guy (and Whitbread definitely fits the new category)then it seems BB would go with Ream, Gonzo, or maybe even Parkhurst. I like Whitbread but at this point he’s not better than our vets and he is older and more brittle than the younger guys.

    I could see him getting capped but, unless he is really dominant in the Championship why blood him now when you’ve got some very promising youngsters.

    If you play Ream in both of these games you may find him worthy enough to take that fourth spot for the Gold Cup. Would you rather give Ream or Whitbread that experience? Who is the best balance between long investment and short term gain?

    To me this all goes back to having Edu get in some center back time.

  6. Let’s let Freddy establish himself in Turkey for a while before he get’s another call into camp. There is a good interview he did on Extra Time Radio yesterday. Check it out at

  7. I’m not completely writing off, but I think his days of starting at CM (barring an injury to Edu, Bradley, or Jones) are over. However if comes back from injury, gets minutes at CB, then I have no problem trying him there. I think he lacks the touch and passing ability necessary to be CM, but he’s be intriguing at CB. Decent size and great speed.

  8. The guy is getting significant minutes in the championship. We don’t have an overabundance of centerbacks and a couple of them are getting old (Boca & DeMerit). I say why not

  9. Clark had a terrible world cup performance against Ghana. It was a nightmare for him. That said, the hatred for him is something I don’t get. He plays in a good league. He is in his prime. He has serious international experience. He scored a critical goal in Port-of-Spain to even get us to the world cup.

    Is he a first choice center mid? Would I start him over Holden, Bradley, or Jones? No. But just because he’s not in anyone’s first XI doesn’t mean we should bury him.

    Do you folks know how many people we used in qualifying last cycle? Due to card accumulation and injuries, you need real depth. You need at least a third capable, prepared option at each position. You don’t need, a starting 11, you need 33.

    If people don’t think there is a time in WCQ that we will need to depend on someone like Ricardo Clark they are simply being ignorant. Jesus, how many games did we need Conor Casey and Marvell Wynne in last year? Pablo Mastroeni started 3 games in the Hex.

    Let’s not write Rico off yet.

  10. I’d rather see Marcelo Balboa, with two knee braces on and that ridiculous pony tail waving around come out of retirement to play up top rather than see Lazy Altidore jog around, flop incessantly, not put any pressure on their defense, have brick feet touches and be his normal ineffective self the whole game.

    That goes double for Primadonna Eddie Johnson!

  11. I’d rather see Marcelo Balboa, with two knee braces on and that ridiculous pony tail waving around come out of retirement to play up top rather than see Lazy Altidore jog around, flop incessantly, not put any pressure on their defense, have brick feet touches and be his normal ineffective self the whole game.

  12. Torres is a defensive mid, a link up player. He is very comfortable on the ball but that doesn’t mean he is any kind of offensive threat. His best position may be in front of the back four in a Makalele type role.

    At first,I thought he might best be used as a withdrawn forward but he doesn’t really seem to have an “offensive sensibility”.
    For that you are better off developing a guy like Mix, who is always looking to create situations offensively.

  13. Whitbread? Brittle and mediocre.

    The main reason to cap him is the curiousity factor,;no one has ever seen him play for the USMNT.

    Obviously you have your personal favorites but the thing about your ratings is that all these guys have very different situations going on and comparing them for positions on a completely different team is very tricky.

    I will agree Holden is not a winger, he will always move inside to get the ball.

  14. Landon, Clint, and a number of others are similarly comfortable. And those two aren’t just comfortable but also know what to do with the ball, offensively speaking.

  15. Benny is proven international who just turned in a very good performance at the World Cup. This was just a few months ago.

    The Danish league is a proven league rated two spots below Turkey’s first division but higher than the SPL.

    Adu has basically turned in a good run of a few games after years of inconsistency. Good for him but he has never been as productive for the US as Benny.

    When the chips are down, at this point, I’m turning to Benny not Freddy. Benny has earned that trust. Freddy has not.

    It’s very simple.

    than international who just

  16. Well, nobody seems to complaim when Benny F. is called into the team. He plays in the Danish second flight, if I’m not mistaken.

  17. Dempsey is a winger, not in the middle, hence his quote:
    “Still hoping for the Edu, Jones, Holden middle”

    I think everyone knows Dempsey and Lando are playing on the wings, and their jobs are quite secure

  18. You missed Eugene Starikov who plays for Tom Tomsk. They have their first Russian Premier Leauge game of the season on Monday against FK Volga.

  19. Should say Dolo captains while Beasely learns to whistle a new show tune or invents his version of the open heart pendant.

  20. Clark doesn’t deserve it even if he plays well this season. There are far more guys who deserve the reward for their efforts.

    I’d also like to see Whitbread get a nod.

    Still hoping for the Edu, Jones, Holden middle…. You can’t justify moving Holden out right any longer – he’s playing the highest quality midfield soccer of any player in the midfield. Jones is second and Edu is third. Bradley deserves the bench.

  21. Turkey’s Second Division is probably close to the level MLS is at with the odd couple of player exceptions…

    Glass house and all of that…

  22. Poor Redcardo. Getting good minutes in the Bundesliga and then break your face in training? I was really hoping to see if he’s matured in a more stringent environment.

  23. Tough to say. Yes, Gooch looks much better than he did at the WC, but that didn’t take much.

    He’s gotten caught out of position at LB too much, and doesn’t have the speed to recover. But he’s only at LB out of emergency for FC Twente, and they’ve gotten away with it against crappy lower half Ere Divisie teams. But any half-decent right winger eats him alive.

    He’s been back in the middle with Douglas’s suspension, so that’s been helpful. But Gooch stills seems to be having some fitness issues. It’s like he runs out of gas around the 75-80 minute mark and really loses his touch and concentration.

    He just needs to keep playing 90 minute shifts in center defense for another 5-6 matches….

  24. Yes. Anytime you have a chance to call in someone playing decent to slightly-above-average in the Turkish 2nd division, you’ve gotta do that.

    If only the rest of our overseas players played in the second division of Europe’s tenth-best league, we’d win the World Cup.

  25. Another website reported that US Soccer had already contacted Chandler, but that they’re just now trying to get his paperwork (i.e. passport) submitted to Fifa and register his American eligibility.

    Given how slowly Fifa moves, it seems unlikely that would be done before the March friendlies. Maybe SBI can do some digging and clarify.

    To be clear, Chandler is of course eligible — it’s just a matter of registration.

  26. Everyone talks about the midfield and they never mention Jose Torres. Although I agree he is not currently playing at the high quality of the others, I still think he could be a huge player for us in future. He brings a certain skill set that most American soccer players don’t have. Other than Clint Dempsey, Torres seems to be the only American that is comfortable on the ball in tight spaces. I hope he can develop into a visionary passer, because if he does, he could be a truly valuable asset to the USMNT going forward.


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