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Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

SachaKljestanAnderlecht1-OlympiakosUCL (AP)


After nearly a month of languishing on the bench, Sacha Kljestan made quite the statement in his return to Anderlecht’s starting lineup.

A hungry Kljestan showed why he may deserve more minutes than he’s been receiving lately, scoring a game-winner and assisting on an insurance goal in Anderlecht’s 2-0 triumph over RAEC Bergen Mons on Sunday, his first match since coming off the bench on Jan. 19 and first start since Dec. 10. Kljestan opened the scoring and netted his ninth goal across all competitions in the 37th minute of the match. He then set up the match’s final tally in the second half to end the club’s two-game winless streak and help his cause as he tries to earn a roster spot on the U.S. National Team’s World Cup squad this summer.

Another midfielder looking to do the same is Danny Williams, who put together a goal-scoring performance of his own on Sunday. Williams buried his second of the season and the month by hitting home the opener in the 10th minute of Reading’s 3-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers, a win that further solidified the Royals’ chances of earning a promotion playoff spot this season.

Two other players found the back of the net in a bounce-back weekend for the Americans Abroad contingent. Terrence Boyd celebrated his 23rd birthday by coming off the bench and netting his 13th of the season across all competitions late in Rapid Vienna’s 2-1 loss to FC Trenkwalder Admira on Sunday. Aron Johannsson scored his 22nd in all competitions in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Juan Agudelo and FC Utrecht.

Here is how the Americans Abroad fared this weekend:


FA Cup

  • Jozy Altidore did not dress in Sunderland’s 1-0 win vs. Southampton on Saturday.
  • Cody Cropper did not dress in Southampton’s 1-0 loss vs. Sunderland on Saturday.
  • Tim Howard dressed but did not play in Everton’s 3-1 win vs. Swansea City on Sunday.
  • Eric Lichaj did not dress in Nottingham Forest’s 3-1 loss vs. Sheffield United on Sunday. He is recovering from an injury.
  • Oguchi Onyewu and Sheffield Wednesday’s match vs. Charlton Athletic was postponed due to a waterlogged field.


  • Clint Dempsey and Fulham did not play this weekend.
  • Geoff Cameron and Stoke City did not play this weekend.
  • Brad Guzan and Aston Villa did not play this weekend.
  • Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur did not play this weekend.
  • Sebastian Lletget and West Ham United did not play this weekend.


  • Zak Whitbread and Derby County did not play this weekend.
  • Will Packwood started and played 90 minutes in Birmingham City’s 2-1 loss vs. Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
  • Jonathan Spector did not dress for Birmingham City. He is recovering from an injury.
  • Tim Ream started and played 90 minutes in Bolton Wanderers’ 1-1 draw vs. Millwall on Saturday.
  • Stuart Holden did not dress for Bolton Wanderers. He is recovering from a knee injury.
  • Danny Williams started, played 90 minutes and scored a GOAL in Reading’s 3-1 win vs. Queens Park Rangers on Sunday. You can see the goal here.
  • Brek Shea did not dress in Barnsley’s 2-2 draw vs. Doncaster Rovers on Saturday.
  • Duane Holmes did not dress in Huddersfield Town’s 2-1 win vs. Birmingham City on Saturday.
  • Gboly Ariyibi and Leeds United did not play this weekend.



  • Steve Cherundolo did not dress in Hannover 96’s 2-0 loss vs. Mainz 05 on Friday.
  • Fabian Johnson started and played 90 minutes in TSG 1899 Hoffenheim’s 4-1 win vs. VfB Stuttgart on Saturday.
  • Timmy Chandler did not dress in FC Nurberg’s 1-0 win vs. FC Augsburg on Sunday. He is recovering from a knee injury.
  • John Brooks dressed but did not play in Hertha Berlin’s 2-1 loss vs. VfL Wolfsburg on Sunday.

Bundesliga 2

  • Alfredo Morales started and played 90 minutes in FC Ingolstadt 04’s 2-0 win vs. TSV 1860 Munich on Friday.
  • Bobby Wood came off the bench and played 25 minutes in TSV 1860 Munich’s 2-0 loss vs. FC Ingolstadt 04 on Friday.
  • Andrew Wooten came off the bench, played 15 minutes and received a yellow card in FSV Frankfurt’s 3-2 win vs. Dynamo Dresden on Saturday.


  • Alejandro Bedoya started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in FC Nantes’ 0-0 draw vs. Nice on Saturday.


  • Aron Johannsson started, played 90 minutes and scored a GOAL in AZ Alkmaar’s 1-1 draw vs. FC Utrecht on Saturday.

  • Juan Agudelo started and played 74 minutes in FC Utrecht’s 1-1 draw vs. AZ Alkmaar on Saturday.


  • Jermaine Jones did not dress in Besiktas’ 1-0 win vs. Bursaspor on Sunday. He is recovering from a groin injury.


  • Sacha Kljestan started, played 90 minutes, scored a GOAL and had an ASSIST in RSC Anderlecht’s 2-0 win vs. RAEC Bergen Mons on Sunday.



  • Terrence Boyd came off the bench, played eight minutes and scored a GOAL in Rapid Vienna’s 2-1 loss vs. FC Trenkwalder Admira on Sunday. You can see the goal here.


  • Michael Orozco started and played 90 minutes in Puebla’s 1-0 loss vs. Cruz Azul on Saturday.
  • DaMarcus Beasley came off the bench and played 45 minutes for Puebla.
  • Jose Torres came off the bench and played 12 minutes in Tigres UANL’s 0-0 draw vs. Jaguares de Chiapas on Saturday.
  • Jonathan Bornstein came off the bench and played 17 minutes in Atlante’s 1-0 win vs. Pachuca on Saturday.
  • Edgar Castillo started and played 90 minutes in Club Tijuana’s 3-2 loss vs. Santos Laguna on Friday.
  • Joe Corona came off the bench and played 30 minutes for Club Tijuana.
  • Herculez Gomez came off the bench and played 26 minutes for Club Tijuana.
  • Greg Garza dressed but did not play Club Tijuana.
  • Paul Arriola did not dress for Club Tijuana.
  • Joaquin Alonso Hernandez dressed but did not play in Monterrey’s 2-0 loss vs. Club Leon on Saturday.


What do you think of these performances? Happy to see the Americans Abroad contingent bounce back from a poor weekend with four goals? Which midfielder has a better shot at reaching the World Cup, Kljestan or Williams?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I liked it that when Kljestan celebrated after his goal there in the corner of the stands was an American flag. It’s hard to understand why he didn’t start since Dec. 10. He would seem to be one of their best players.

  2. I am hoping EJ does not go to Brazil. I’ve always found him to be a poor decision maker with the tendency to hold onto the ball too long as he prefers to take matters onto his feet. The team seems to be secondary to himself. He does not have the skill or the speed to take on the defenders from Portugal, Germany, or Ghana. He is a liability. He will have to be a superstar for DC United to convince me he has any value for the World Cup.

    Other players are pushing hard for spots so it is great to see. The games leading up to WC selection should be pretty interesting as several players know they are competing for the spots. Also, it is good for the summer transfer window.

  3. EJ is a much improved player who is still near his peak athletically. He would be my choice for the roster. If we are going to play a 4 2 3 1 we will need a speed threat on one of the flanks. I’m struggling with this U.S. potential starting lineup. So far I have Altidore up front with a line of EJ Dempsey and Donovan behind him. Bradley is the passing mid and Jones is more the holding mid. Back line is Fabian Johnson, Besler, Gonzalez and Cameron. In this formation I think Zusi would push Donovan for his spot and I think a host of midfielders/fwds could push EJ for his spot.

    In a 4 4 2, I think EJ would be off the field. Kevin Bacon and Altidore would play up front.

  4. The 23 should be

    Howard, Guzan, Rimando

    Gonzalez, Besler, Cameron, Johnson, Lichaj, Goodson, Beasley

    Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, Jones, Zusi, Diskerudd, Bedoya, Shea, Kljestan/Beckerman (choose)

    Jozy, AJ, (pick 2 from Wondo, Gomez, EJ, Boyd, Agudelo)

  5. I would not mind seeing Klejstan take over Jone’s spot on the depth list. He plays the same position for Anderlecht. Why play Kljestan out of position the way Klinssman has in the past? Kljestan is not a yellow or red card risk like Jones is. Kljestan and Jones can both pass well, but Kljestan does not turn the ball over as much as Jones. Klejstan can score goals and combine well when he gets forward similar to Bradley.

    • “Kljestan is not a yellow or red card risk like Jones is.” (in the belgian league)

      “Kljestan and Jones can both pass well, but Kljestan does not turn the ball over as much as Jones.” (in the belgian league)

      “Klejstan can score goals and combine well when he gets forward similar to Bradley.” (in the belgian league)

      i’m not saying klejstan certainly couldn’t cut it–i don’t think he’s gotten enough usmnt reps under klinsmann to determine that–but it is important to consider the level of competition when comparing players.

      • I’ll be the first to say that level of competition doesn’t matter. A winner is a winner. We would all take some of our domestic yanks over some european based yanks, despite the upgrade in competition.

      • I’ll take a dominant player dominating MLS over a Euro based player coming off the bench or sitting on the bench. Mentality and competitiveness play a big part.

      • i think mentality and competitiveness play a big part when you’re looking at two similarly talented players. i’m just not sure jones and klejstan are on the same level.

      • of course the level of competition matters. just because someone plays well against poor players (*not* saying belgian league is poor–just theoretically), doesn’t mean they’ll play well against very good players. we see this over and over again with players trying to step up to a better league.

        i’m kind of at a loss that anybody would disagree with that.

      • Disagree. I want winners in brazil. Doesn’t even matter what sport they play. Call up the wichita state basketball team I dont care. Winners know how to win.

      • I suppose we’ll have to wait and see how Jones’ does in the Turkish Super Lig. Still perhaps alittle bit above the Belgium pro league but it should give us a better insight to the level Jones is at.

      • The whole Eddie Johnson as a winger thing…well Look at Klejstan as a winger…EJ is a forward..Klejstan is a DMF with an offensive upside. Neither should be on the wing.

      • He came on against Jamaica moving Diskerud forward and then played beside Beckerman in Panama. That’s the only times I can think of.

      • you realize jones is in turkey now, no? because he was no longer wanted at his club in germany?

        i here jones used to be a big bundesliga player back in the day, but if you are talking about current events, no US CM is playing at a level higher than the belgian league

        not to mention that even when jones was a solid bundesliga player he was never a good match for bradley

      • jones is on a huge salary, which is a big reason why schalke was trying to sell him.

        the rest i don’t disagree with. like i said, i wasn’t trying to criticize klejstan necessarily; i just think you need to take the relative level of competition into consideration.

      • Kleijstan is a known quantity for the Nats. Hes been in the cycle since the BB days. He is simply not impressive when wearing a Nats jersey. Turns the ball over way too easily, and has no defensive bite. I actually see him as a similar player to Mix, who I think has better vision and generates more of an offensive threat.

      • this is true

        also jones is known quantity and is simply not impressive with USMNT… gives the ball away too easily, fails to close players down, has no offensive bite…

        mix has 3 starts with the big kids and has essentially been terrible in those games – yanked at half v bosnia (losing 0-2, went on to win), goal-less at home v jamaica until late sub (klestian) pushed him out of CM spot and losing 0-1 to panama when yanked (went on to win)

        clearly the answer is to play with only 1 CM

    • He came off at half last week with a reported stomach illness. They have anouther league match during the week, so perhaps he was held out so he’d be fresh for that one. I guess we’ll see.

    • On Twitter he said he was feeling ill. That was a few days ago so you can assume it’s because of that. Sadly, this series barely puts any context, even when that context is readily available online. For that, I’d recommend the Bleacher Report.

  6. Really impressed by some of Kljestan’s passing today, quickly picking out guys making runs on the wing. Even take away the goal and assist he makes a huge difference for them. It’s also hard to deny he’s been one of the few bright spots for americans abroad this year.

    • he’s one of those players that succeed’s with players that fit his style, i just dont believe the US fits his style. klejstan plays a complete euro style with all players moving and thinking together, the US has always played with blinders on, straightforward, direct, linear, obvious stuff. klejstan seems like he’s waiting for US players to make runs and do certain things that they dont do, similar to Mixx sometimes, as well. thats why these two players come off as “not cutting it” or ” not taking advantage of this chance to show what he’s got” when in actuality they’re waiting for the US to figure out the way to play as a complete whole

  7. Funny that you mention that. I just started re-watching the first season today, and it is just as funny as the first time around.

  8. I watched some of the first half of the Puebla game and Orozco is an exceptionally good passer out of the back. I mean excellent pin-point passes into the midfield and very poised on the ball ball. Puebla plays with a three-man back line and Orozco was on the right.

    • He had a shaky start with the Nats, but that is pretty much to be expected, particularly at a position like CB where being in tune with team mates is so critical/ makes or breaks you. That said, he had a very solid Gold Cup and from what I’ve seen, those performances much better reflect what I’ve seen from him w/ club in the Mx. I think he is a solid defender and agree with your take…. he is very calm with his head up in possession and accurate passing out of the back making smart plays. Unfortunately, these qualities are not so common in our pool at CB. Does he make the WC roster? I’d say he’s on the fringe, but certainly deserves to be in the conversation and I hope he gets some looks/opportunities in the months ahead.

    • i think orozco could be really good for klinsmann’s possession-oriented game. he’s a solid defender, is calm on the ball, is a great distributor, can play multiple positions, and can even chip in a few goals.

      that said–i don’t think he’s our best (straight-up) defender, and, at least in our world cup group, that’s what we’re going to need. i don’t think we’ll have much in the way of attacking/possession.

      anyway, i still think he should be in brazil. he offers a lot.

    • To further muddy the waters, the last time I saw Castillo he looked much better in defense at LB than previously and we know he can be a creative attacker. JK will have a lot of choices. As I have said before, this is the deepest US national team ever.

      • Agreed I would rate Castillo over Orosco. Castillo has far better ball skills and can really help in the attack.

    • Honestly I think Altidore, AJ, and EJ are locks. EJ is going unless there is a major dip in form for DC. He was utlilized far more than Boydd during qualifying. Klinsmann trusts him/rates him to the point he is even trying to make him a winger to figure out a way to get him on the field. He’s dangerous in the box, he’s hungry, he’s confident, he’s going. Does Boydd have more potential? Yes absolutely. But he’s not there yet. He will play a huge role in the 2018 cycle. With that said I think JK is taking four Strikers not including Dempsey and LD. Last spot is between Boydd , Wondo, Aguedelo, and Gomez is looking in on those three for the last spot. Tight race. I’m saying Boydd goes. But wouldn’t be surprised if it’s Wondo. He as a unique attribute that could be utilized in the last 20 minutes.

  9. Will add to this I am having hard time understanding the calls for Agudelo to be called up Ukraine. What is different now, after two or three games in Holland, than in November when Klinsmann did not call him up. Don’t see it. He should be left with his club team to continue his integration into the team and development. We saw what happened to John Anthony Brooks after Klinsmann called him up prematurely in August, his club form nose-dived and, yes, I do think there was a connection. If Agudelo keep playing for Utrecht and is showing good form he can be called to camp in May for observation by Klinsmann and his deputry, Martin Vasquez.

    • Great points. He did have one great strike but outside of that he has been kind of hot and cold. Still needs some work to get on the same page as his Utrecht team mates. Seemed like a couple players weren’t happy with his decision making in the final third a few times yesterday.

    • What is different? In November, his work permit was submitted during the camp, and denied just a week or so after the 23 man list was named. Agudelo was in club limbo, but Klinsmann had mentioned him in October, wanting to see him play well in the playoffs, which he did. After the denial, he needed to secure a move and work out the details. He has since moved to a top league and earned a starting position. He’s playing well and earning praise.

      That is why he will be called in.

    • I agree that calls for him to go to Brazil are premature, but the fact that the game will be a short plane ride for him makes it reasonable for him to go, if not only for JK to get a closer look. If he had to fly stateside for the game, I’d agree, but I think our third striker position (assuming Jozy and Aaron are 1&2) is open enough to merit him leaving for a few days.

  10. I think Jozy should either sit out the March 5 Ukraine game on the bench or be sent into the game as a late sub so other options at forward can be tested. Jozy most likely will be starting Sunday, March 2, in the Capital One Cup final against Man City. And then Sunderland has a league match Monday, March 10 against Liverpool. It’s already 99.9% certain that Jozy will be starting for the USMNT in Brazil, so there is no need to test him when he already is pushing it to the limit on a relegation-threatened team. Would be better to test other potential striker options against a strong international team like Ukraine. I would like to see Wondowloski and especially Mike Magee, who unfortunately did not get the chance to show his stuff against South Korea. No reason not to bring in some MLS guys for Ukraine. It’s a Fifa fixture date and MLS has simply gotta deal with it in a World Cup year.

    • Jozy is starting in the WORLD CUP. Face it. We’re better for it.

      AJ may become a super-sub with say 45-40 mins if Jozy stinks it up and might even take his place in the Cup. Hopefully Jozy delivers.

      • Yeah, as I said, Jozy almost certainly will start. But back-up options need to be determined and in order to make these decisions they need to be tested. Wondow, Boyd, Bacon, and Magee would be prime candidates for some quality time against Ukraine.

      • No way on Wondo. He has scored against the equivalent of World Cup B teams and in some cases C or D teams.


        Even someone like Herculez Gomez is a better option IMHO

      • I am glad to see those options being suggested (Wondo, Magee, Boyd, Bacon). But isn’t the Ukraine game supposed to be for European players? I most certainly would like to see Altidore play to see that his non-performance with Sunderland is just a Sunderland problem and not an overall deterioration in form. If he scores in the Ukraine game, I would be much more comfortable seeing him in Brazil. I see a really big problem with the final team not having come together already. In no way would it do to have only European American players at the WC, nor would it do to see only MLS players who have been at the January camp. Also recent goals should count more than goals that were scored months ago.

    • On the Agudelo front, I think at a certain point you have to reward players for doing what you said you wanted them to do. He’s making moves and trying to test himself against European competition and the fact that he seems to have been featured for Utrecht so far shows his quality.

      I do agree that we’ve seen a lot of Jozy, perhaps to the detriment of other players. I’d love to see Johannsson and/or Agudelo and/or Boyd given a run-out in the Ukraine friendly. I would especially love to see a bit more tactical flexibility, especially with an eye to combining the creative abilities of Agudelo or Johannsson with the hold-up play of a guy like Boyd.

      • Before someone vastly misconstrues my opinion of Agudelo, when I say “his quality” I mean “he’s a relatively capable prospect,” not “this kid is setting the world aflame.”

      • From what I’ve seen, the kid’s got a world of potential. I’m not necessarily sure he’s fully grown into it yet, though. For now, he’s a capable player. Tomorrow? Well, I guess we’ll see.

      • I saw AJ and JA play against each other the other day. as you know AJ scored, JA on the other hand has skills in the box but fails at times to impose himself on the game, in fact that is what is troubling with most of our strikers. They need to be incorporated into the flow of the game or they disappear.

    • Biff, ya gotta great point here.

      I love seeing how the pieces come together (eg Altidore plaupying next to Bacon or being fed by Sasha), but how many friendlies are we going to have to sit through where Boyd gets tossed in with 7 minutes remaining?!

      Jozy will be in camp and can get a quick run in at the end of the match, bt we really need to see the kids thrown out there for this “try out”. In my mind this friendly will beep a failure if we don’t see some real minutes for the likes of Boyd, Williams, Aguadelo, Bedoya, Sasha and, dare I say it, Shea. Perhaps none of these kids makes the squad, but the only way to find out is to get them out there and see who shows up.

      100% agree

    • Why would we not use someone who is certain to play in one of the few warmup games we have before the world cup? Instead, play some scrubs who most likely won’t even make the roster? Makes no sense.

    • Your main point is valid, but there is very little likelihood that JK calls anybody in from MLS since that is like the first or second week of the MLS season.

    • 4 of the 11 goals Portugal gave up during qualifing were off corners. I think you might just have to take him for no other reason then that.

      • I don’t think that’s good of a reason to take a player to a World Cup. Ask Andy Carroll how being good with headers has been for him

      • I am an Eddie Johnson skeptic and think there are better options, especially if stubborn Klinsmann would continue to play Eddie out-of-position as a winger. That said, John is making a valid point. Heck, one equalizing or winning goal from Eddie on a corner in the 94th minute that would put the USMNT into the knock-out round would be enough to justify his inclusion in the 23. But can also be said that there are others who can score on corner kicks. Eddie is not the only one.

      • I’m sorry but I’m still at the notion that
        Eddy is now in the fringes. Jozy is a shoe in and so is ArJo. Delo is plying his trade in Europe right now and is doing well so far. Wondo is making his case. And the Wild Card Julian Green is going to make things interesting if he joins the USA. Eddy needs to have a good MLS season to hope to even have a chance now. And the thing about him being a corner threat is dumb. Omar is a corner kick threat too. And so is Clint, Jozy and our whole defense.

      • How many goals did EJ had last season and how many did Agudelo have? That’s with EJ spending alot of time playing for the national team. I hope Agudelo does well and continues to develop but he isn’t there yet.

      • Yeah but Agudelo is now plying his trade in Europe AND scoring too so that means he’s automatically in, right? Right?

        This is laughable and it’s a good thing that JK considers a lot more than this in his evaluation of players. EJ (and Evans) who stepped in during our lowest points in qualifying and helped us during our down times are now goose liver because they are in MLS preseason mode. EJ who scored big goals for us during our regional championships now runs the risk of being bumped by Agudelo who was overlook for a spot in those very same games now runs the risk of not being on the plane because Juan scored a goal in Holland.

        I love Agudelo and hope he makes it but he’s got a ton more to prove than EJ does at this point. I hope our best squad goes and I am sure JK will pick that squad based on full body of work and key aspects of each players game.

      • 1,001 ifs aside, I don’t think I see Julian as being a threat to the strikers so much as I do bringing speed and skill to the left wing…. allowing FJ to slide back to LB, LD to the middle. It’s the lack of options/depth making a firm case on the left side at both back and midfield that in my mind justifies telling a young guy guy like Green that there is still an open competition there that he is welcome to join. I’m him looking at the comp and I’d probably think it was a great opportunity and reasonable goal. Honestly, aside from LD who could be used elsewhere and FJ, can’t say with any conviction anyone else deserves guarantees at this point.

      • Is Altidore a shoe in because he makes such an imposing figure? Is Dempsey a has-been now because maybe Green is playing? There is no certainty in what Klinsmann is saying, and those who worked their butt off to make an impression are left hanging out to dry. What makes anyone a shoe-in when Klinsmann keeps adding new players to the pool or toying with uncertainty?

      • being 24 years old, scoring 8 goals for the US in 2013, getting regular minutes in the Premier League, and having performed well in the 2009 Confederations and 2010 World Cups makes anyone, regardless of what that player looks like, a shoo in. End of discussion.

    • Good question. My sense is JK values EJ’s physical tools and being able to come in as a sub or deployed as a wing forward in certain situations. My take is that if he puts a few in for DCU at the start of the 2014 season, Eddie will be in the WC squad.

    • Agudelo is also known for his physical abilities and heading (see assist for the national team and the recent one for his team in the netherlands). I figure its a fight between those two.

    • That January camp was a mirage! Most of our European and Liga MX players are ahead of the player from the January camp. It’s just really hard to see us not taking Sasha Kljestan and Danny Williams no offense to Kyle Beckerman but there’s really no space for him. Eddie Johnson is also an enigma he’s really not safe for a roster spot. The Ukraine friendly should give up a better idea of what the provisional 30 will look like. I’m not sure on players like Besley at LB. I’d still like to see what Ream and Lichaj can do since they both occasionally play that position.

      • Eddie reminds me of Josh Wolff and Jeff Cunningham. He just can’t cut it on the international stage outside of concacaf

      • Eddie Johnson is the only player on the team to out right earn his spot. He has been our best forward the last two years. The fight for the last spot is AJ and Wondo. Wondo just pulled ahead.

  11. kljestan AND williams should not only make WC squad, but also start


    bradley / jones is a terrible option

    attack with a front 3 — some combo of:
    – donovan
    – altidore
    – johannsson
    – dempsey
    – zusi
    – bedoya
    – agudelo


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