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Americans Abroad: Blackburn losing out on Jones, Leeds wants Lichaj back & more

Jones (Getty Images)

Schalke may be pricing Blackburn Rovers out of the Jermaine Jones sweepstakes.

According to the Lancashire Telegraph, Schalke's asking price of £10 million for a full transfer of the U.S. international midfielder is too high for Blackburn, and the club is resigned to moving on without him.

Jones joined Blackburn from Schalke on loan for the final six months of the season after a falling out with former Schalke manager Felix Magath. He became an immediate fixture in Steve Kean's starting lineup, and both sides expressed interest in a permanent deal, but unless Schalke's price point drops, Jones' options appear to be returning to the German club or finding another suitor.

Here are a few more items involving Americans Abroad:


Eric Lichaj made a strong impression on Leeds United manager Simon Grayson during his loan stint there last season, and Grayson continues to make it known that he'd like to bring the American fullback back to Elland Road on another loan if Aston Villa made him available.

Lichaj appeared in 16 games for Leeds, playing both left back and right back.


The silly season is full of transfer rumor fodder, but one item that's been emanating from England is a potential goalkeeper swap between Birmingham City and Aston Villa that would see U.S. national team backup Brad Guzan move to the Blues and Ben Foster take over for the departed Brad Friedel at Villa Park.

Birmingham, which was relegated to the League Championship, will still be participating in the UEFA Europa League this season after winning the Carling Cup.


Another American goalkeeper desperately in need of a move is Celtic's Dominic Cervi, who is buried on the depth chart for the perennial Scottish power.

Cervi, a participant in Bob Bradley's January training camp, appeared in Celtic's friendly against Australian side Central Coast Mariners over the weekend in Sydney. Scottish club Aberdeen reportedly looked into a loan move for Cervi, but nothing has materialized yet.


Former UCLA standout Brad Rusin has signed a three-year deal with newly promoted HB Koge of the Danish Superliga, sources told SBI.

Rusin, a 24-year-old centerback, most recently played for the Carolina Railhawks in the NASL, and he was just named NASL's Defensive Player of the Week for the third time this season ahead of his move to Denmark.


What do you think about the latest Jones report? Would you rather see Lichaj try and earn playing time at Aston Villa or go on another loan to Leeds? Think Birmingham would be a good landing place for Guzan? Would you like to see Cervi get a chance elsewhere? What do you think about Rusin's move?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. He was drafted by the Fire in 2008 and chose not to sign with the team/league, and to chase european stardom. He’s been riding the pine ever since.

  2. Birmingham City is going to be laughing their way back to the Premier league soon if this swap happens, and Villa is going to miss out on the next starting goal keeper for the US (whenever Howard hangs up his boots). Guzan is going to be a monster, and already is inhuman in PK situations. Foster? Seriously?

  3. LOL @ GW making a nice sarcastic joke on how you asked for Cervi’s “position”.

    But to answer your question donttreadonme, Dominic Cervi is a goalkeeper. He was 1 of 4 keepers Bob called into camp last January. I think he called Hartman of FCD, Rimando or RSL and Sean Johnson along with Cervi so he just called him up to figure out where he was since he hasn’t played an official match yet, hell this friendly or exhibition is the 1st time I hear he plays for Celtic?

  4. I hope Lichaj gets loaned back to Leeds. He needs playing time. Before getting loaned, he made only 5 appearances for Aston Villa. Once he was loaned last year he went the full 90 in all of Leeds’s 16 games. Importantly, 5 of the last 7 games he played at LB.

    Ideally, you’d hope Lichaj could impress the new Villa coach and win a starting job, but I’d hate to see him get stuck on the bench for half a season waiting for a loan. Leeds knows him, wants him, and plays in a high enough level that we can be confident he’ll progress playing there.

  5. Great in the air…maybe by MLS standards, but certainly not by EPL standards. All you need to do is compare how he approaches a header vs a Cahill or a Shawcross or Huth. Those guys are animals. Gomez is great like Gooch…except when they need to face truly rugged / athletic players.

  6. Speaking of Americans, what are the chances that Bradley is in the EPL next season. Doesn’t the Bundesliga start in a month? Is he already training with them?

  7. Hehe you are right about Kenny Cooper. That guy is putting his size to waste. Tries too much to play like a #9 but has the speed of Riquelme. Too slow.

  8. “he’s not great in the air” Huh? I’ll grant you he isn’t great with the foot skills and pace, and it is indeed possible that the US overrates height, but he most definitely is great in the air. He dominates in that area and not just because of his size. He is no Kenny Cooper (tall, but no inclination/ability to jump or head the ball). He is a consistent threat around the goal on set pieces and controls the back line on long balls.

  9. Arsenal are in need of some grit too. This is one of the first things that popped in my mind! I also am just in severe want of any American to move to Arsenal…

  10. I didn’t mean to omit JOnes — just noting that he isn’t necessarily gone yet, and that WHitbread will play more than Jones did last year.

  11. Jones had a good time at Rovers and i guess Keane should be particular not lose him in the season to come. Keane can still bid for the American to pen his signature.

  12. Really? Except possibly for Lichaj, who played, what, 3 games or something like that, Spector who didn’t play much more than that and Eddie Johnson, who saw the pitch for 20 minutes or something like that with Fulham, which American who played in the EPL last year won’t play this year? Actually, with Whitbread, we might actually see Americans getting moreEPL minutes than last year.

  13. Guzan would get incredible experience, playing time, and attempts to stop goals playing europa for a championship team. If villa don’t want to start him, he should take it.

  14. Ives, speakng of Yanks abroad, word out of Colombia is that Diego Restrepo, former UVa goalie, will be the starter for the 2011-2 league for America de Cali. Any chance of getting an update?

  15. I was hoping that MLS clubs would sign Carolina standouts Brad Rusin, Etienne Barbara and possibly Jonny Steele. All MLS callibre players without question. Looks like they missed the boat on Rusin.

  16. Yeah, there is far, far too much attention given to hulking specimens at centerback. Not that the type isn’t useful, but the direction of the game seems to be on the ground, so aerial battles become less and less important. Centerbacks needs speed and agility, not just size.

  17. He’s a huge personality/ego. However, you can never argue with his results. Titles at Stuttgart, Bayern and Wolfsburg.

    I think his stop at Schalke was a disaster though.

  18. Denmark is a fantastic place for young players to ply their trade as the Danes are known for their very own version of “total football” and attacking flair.

  19. Ugh. It’s looking like I might not have any Americans to cheer for at Villa this year…or much else, for that matter.

  20. As a player, how is Rusin? He looks like a big center back. Does he have pace / athleticism to match his size?

    Does he compare to big Omar? To me, and it’s jmo, I’m not a fan of Omar whatsoever. He’s a big presence, but, for his size, he’s not great in the air and his foot skills are very suspect. More troubling is his lack of top end speed and agility. In the MLS, he’ll likely have a long career, but I just can’t see him making an International impact.

  21. Conor O’Brien a Bucknell alum moved from 3rd division Blokhus to 1st division Sønderjyske in Denmark.

    Good for Rusin too I believe the originally trialed with Koge back in 2009. Credit to Koge for staying interested this long!

  22. I’m not to worried about Jones finding a club where he will play, so we’ll see how this plays out. Lichaj should take the loan, he’s young, another loan in the Championship wouldn’t be a terrible thing. But if he thinks he has a strong possibility at starting for AV, then that’s something to think about. It’s all about getting playing time.

    It’s really too bad Guzan can’t get settled at AV.


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