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Williams back in action for Reading

Henri Lansbury of Nottingham Forest and Danny Williams of Reading

Danny Williams has been on the sidelines with a knee injury for the better part of six months, but now the U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder appears ready to get back on the field.

Williams has been deemed healthy and ready to go for English League Championship side Reading after playing 45 minutes in an Under-21 match for Reading on Monday.

Williams underwent surgery in July for the persistent knee issue that had plagued him last spring. It forced him to miss the tail-end of the League Championship season, while also costing him a chance at competing for a place on the U.S. World Cup team.

Williams was in the midst of a breakout season for Reading when he suffered the injury. He had scored three goals in seven matches in one stretch before being sidelined.

The 25-year-old defensive midfielder is still very much a candidate to return to the U.S. national team picture, especially considering the need for defensive midfielders. Jermaine Jones was recently used in central defense and looks to be a long-term option there, which could open the door for a player like Williams to play his way into the national team mix.

Williams will travel with Reading for the team’s upcoming match against Blackburn on Saturday.

What do you think of this development? See Williams being a factor for the U.S. in 2015? Think he could be the natural replacement for Jermaine Jones?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Would expect him to get a LONG look ASAP for the ‘Nats this time around. He definitely looked, to me, like what you want as a mid in a 4-3-3…really athletic, fairly technical, high-motor. He wasn’t going to beat out, say, Jermaine Jones or Michael Bradley or even Kyle Beckerman as a pure defensive mid, and he really wasn’t a winger, but he was a good destroyer who covered a ton of ground and showed a willingness to foray forwards and have one from distance. Looked pretty much like what you want when you’ve got three central mids tucked in, though, and you’re getting your width off your wing forwards and your wingbacks.

    If Bedoya seems to be preferred as the left mid, might expect to see him get a long run-out as the right mid. Zusi’s probably the #1 option there right now and his hold on that spot seems…tenuous, given the way he’s looked since the World Cup.

    • You say he has the abities to play central mid, but then suggest that he will play wide right. I agree with your first thoughts and see DW as the ideal replacement for Kyle Beckerman. I would love to see Williams get a little nastier and use his strength in the middle of the park more often. I know Klinsi wouldn’t like it, but Williams and Bradley behind Diskerud seems like a good central triangle to me.

      • Not wide right. In a 4-3-3 your three mids are all basically central mids; your right and left mid tuck in. You get your width from your wingers and wingbacks…the difference between a 4-3-3 and a 4-5-1 is largely cosmetic; at the top of both you almost always see a big target guy who holds the ball up.

        Jurgen played a lot of 4-2-3-1 this past cycle mostly because he had to; he didn’t really have a plethora of two-way midfielders who had both the technical ability on the ball and the work rate to press and harry and harass up and down the field, but what he really wants (and what the USSF really wants, it’s in all their youth-development training manuals), is a 4-3-3. He also didn’t really have the kind of wingers he wanted, guys like Gyau and Green who had the speed and ability on the ball to stretch and stress a defense. Also, Dempsey – who I think he (rightly) considered his best player, doesn’t fit anywhere in a 4-3-3; as we saw in the World Cup he’s really not best up top; where he does his best work is in the hole as a false 9, which, again, is not a position that really exists in a 4-3-3.

        This time around, with a much better-developed pool and a lot of intriguing youngsters, Klinsmann’s almost certainly going to make the full transition to the 4-3-3. Which means: a central target forward, two speedy wingers, three central two-way midfielders, and wingbacks who maraud up and down the flanks.

        Especially with Jones and Beckerman aging out of the midfield, there’s a big “HELP WANTED” sign over our midfield right now. Williams definitely fits the mold of what’s needed.

      • I think he has a shot. It would take a miracle if Dempsey and Jones were still fit to play in 2018 and Jurgen might want a midfielder with some bite come that time. That said it is looking like Jurgen is going to stick with the geezers until the Gold Cup or Copa America so Danny boy might have to wait a bit for his time to come.

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