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Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

Alejandro Bedoya FC Nantes (Getty Images)

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

Halloween weekend turned out to be quite kind to a pair of U.S. Men’s National Team players.

Alejandro Bedoya and Danny Williams returned from injury, with both midfielders making substitute cameos for their clubs. Bedoya recovered from a thigh problem to see time in his first match for FC Nantes in nearly a month, playing the final 25 minutes of a 1-1 draw with Stade Rennes on Sunday. Williams, meanwhile, contributed 14 minutes off the bench in Reading’s 3-1 loss to Blackburn Rovers a day earlier, his first appearance for the Royals since a knee injury forced him out of action in April.

Aron Johannsson had already made his way back from ankle and groin injuries earlier in the week by playing in a KNVB match, but played in his first league match of the season on Sunday. Johannsson resumed his starting role for AZ Alkmaar in their clash with Excelsior, and he was deemed healthy enough to play from whistle to whistle in the 3-3 draw.

One of the more positive Americans Abroad performances came courtesy of a fellow Eredivisie player. 18-year-old Rubio Rubin had a game-changing performance for FC Utrecht, starting, going the distance, delivering a decisive assist, and drawing a penalty kick for an insurance goal in a 3-1 triumph over Vitesse Arnhem on Sunday. The win was the second in the last five matches for Utrecht, and moved them into 10th place in the table.

Here is how the Americans Abroad performed this weekend:

ENGLAND

Premiership

  • Tim Howard started, played 90 minutes and made one save in Everton’s 0-0 draw vs. Swansea City on Saturday.
  • Jozy Altidore and Sunderland play Crystal Palace on Monday.
  • Brad Guzan started, played 90 minutes and made five saves in Aston Villa’s 2-1 loss vs. Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
  • Brad Friedel did not dress in Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-1 win vs. Aston Villa on Sunday.
  • Geoff Cameron started and played 90 minutes in Stoke City’s 2-2 draw vs. Newcastle United on Saturday.
  • Cody Cropper did not dress in Southampton’s 1-0 win vs. Hull City on Saturday.

Championship

  • Brek Shea came off the bench and played 26 minutes in Birmingham City’s 0-0 draw vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.
  • Will Packwood did not dress for Birmingham City.
  • Jonathan Spector did not dress for Birmingham City. He is recovering from a thigh injury.
  • Tim Ream started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Bolton Wanderers’ 2-1 loss vs. Norwich City on Friday.
  • Eric Lichaj started, played 60 minutes and received a yellow card in Nottingham Forest’s 3-0 loss vs. Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
  • Danny Williams came off the bench and played 14 minutes in Reading’s 3-1 loss vs. Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
  • Emerson Hyndman dressed but did not play in Fulham’s 3-3 draw vs. Wigan Athletic on Saturday.
  • Zak Whitbread did not dress in Derby County’s 2-1 loss vs. Brentford on Saturday.
  • Oguchi Onyewu dressed but did not play in Charlton Athletic’s 1-1 draw vs. Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

GERMANY

Bundesliga

  • Fabian Johnson dressed but did not play in Borussia Moenchengladbach’s 3-1 win vs. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Sunday.
  • John Brooks dressed but did not play in Hertha Berlin’s 3-1 loss vs. SC Paderborn 07 on Sunday.
  • Timmy Chandler started and played 90 minutes in Eintracht Frankfurt’s 1-0 loss vs. Hannover 96 on Saturday.
  • David Yelldell did not dress in Bayer Leverkusen’s 1-0 loss vs. Hamburg SV on Saturday.
  • Julian Green did not dress in Hamburg SV’s 1-0 win vs. Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.
  • Joe Gyau did not dress in Borussia Dortmund’s 2-1 loss vs. Bayern Munich on Saturday. He is recovering from a knee injury.

2. Bundesliga

  • Alfredo Morales started, played 45 minutes and received a yellow card in FC Ingolstadt 04’s 0-0 draw vs. Fortuna Dusseldorf on Friday.
  • Terrence Boyd and RB Leipzig play Kaiserslautern on Monday.
  • Bobby Wood did not dress in TSV 1860 Munich’s 3-0 win vs. VfL Bochum on Sunday.
  • Andrew Wooten started and played 90 minutes in SV Sandhausen’s 1-1 draw vs. Karlsruhe on Friday.
  • Jann George dressed but did not play in SpVgg Greuther Furth’s 1-0 win vs. FC Union Berlin on Friday.

FRANCE

  • Alejandro Bedoya came off the bench and played 25 minutes in FC Nantes’ 1-1 draw vs. Stade Rennes on Sunday.

NETHERLANDS

  • Aron Johannsson started and played 90 minutes in AZ Alkmaar’s 3-3 draw vs. Excelsior on Sunday.
  • Rubio Rubin started, played 90 minutes, drew a penalty kick and had an ASSIST in FC Utrecht’s 3-1 win vs. Vitesse Arnhem on Sunday.

BELGIUM

  • Sacha Kljestan dressed but did not play in RSC Anderlecht’s 1-1 draw vs. KSC Lokeren on Saturday.

AUSTRIA

  • Conor O’Brien and FC Magna Wiener Neustadt did not play this weekend.

NORWAY

  • Mix Diskerud started and played 87 minutes in Rosenborg BK’s 1-0 win vs. Odd on Sunday.
  • Michael Stephens started and played 90 minutes in Stabaek IF’s 1-0 loss vs. Haugesund on Sunday.
  • Andrew Jacobson started and played 90 minutes for Stabaek IF.
  • Ethan Horvath dressed but did not play in Molde FK’s 2-0 loss vs. Stromsgodset on Sunday.
  • Josh Gatt did not dress for Molde FK. He is recovering from a knee injury.
  • Zarek Valentin dressed but did not play in FK Bodo/Glimt’s 4-0 loss vs. Lillestrom on Sunday.
  • Jeb Brovsky did not dress in Stromsgodset’s 2-0 win vs. Molde FK on Sunday.

SERBIA

  • Freddy Adu did not dress in FK Jagodina’s 3-2 win vs. Donji Srem on Sunday.

MEXICO

  • Michael Orozco started and played 90 minutes in Puebla’s 1-1 draw vs. Pachuca on Saturday.
  • Edgar Castillo started and played 90 minutes in Atlas’ 4-0 loss vs. Club Leon on Saturday.
  • Jose Torres started and played 90 minutes before being substituted in Tigres UANL’s 1-0 win vs. Queretaro on Saturday.
  • Herculez Gomez started and played 45 minutes for Tigres UANL.
  • Ventura Alvarado dressed but did not play in Club America’s 0-0 draw vs. Chivas de Guadalajara on Saturday.
  • Jonathan Bornstein did not dress in Queretaro’s 3-2 win vs. Club America on Friday. He is recovering from a foot injury.
  • Greg Garza started and played 90 minutes in Club Tijuana’s 1-0 loss vs. Toluca on Friday.
  • Paul Arriola came off the bench and played eight minutes for Club Tijuana.
  • Joe Corona did not dress for Club Tijuana. He is recovering from a foot injury.
  • Amando Moreno did not dress for Club Tijuana.
  • Alejandro Guido did not dress for Club Tijuana.
  • Fernando Arce Jr did not dress for Club Tijuana.
  • John Requejo did not dress for Club Tijuana.
  • Joaquin Alonso Hernandez did not dress in Monterrey’s 2-1 loss vs. Morelia on Friday.
  • Gabriel Farfan did not dress in Jaguares de Chiapas’ 0-0 draw vs. Cruz Azul on Saturday.

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What do you think of these performances? Who do you think will return to their respective club’s starting lineup sooner, Bedoya or Williams? How impressed are you with Rubin’s latest outing?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. I know politics are not always popular on soccer web sites, but here is how you win the global warming debate.
    1. the north pole was once a tropical forest
    2. according to carl sagan, a type I civilization has control over its host planet, right now we are .8

    climate change is inevitable, to the extremes,” man made”, or not. get over it, and learn to adapt. the sooner the better. all the other stuff is BS and nonsense.

    its the same thing with this soccer debate, it is all about the winning.

    winning world cup nations all had strong domestic leagues, its just that simple, there is no debating it. the loan outlier of the last forty years is maybe france in 98, but they were host, and they were not a terrible league, and probably one of the stronger developmental leagues, and they had zidane.

    Reply
  2. This guy Rubin is gonna be the next big thing for us. Hyndman’s a stud too. To be honest I don’t follow the youth teams as much because I can’t watch the games. Are there any other young players in the system that have similar promise?

    Reply
    • Following very young players is always a crap shoot .

      Kids can change dramatically from year to year. Who knows what kind of body they wil have when they finish growing? And it is hard to know about what kind of competition they are facing.

      And it is hard to know if what you are seeing is the best they will ever be or is it just the tip of the iceberg?

      The classic case is of course our favorite, Freddy Adu.

      A fantastic Under-whatever player but not so hot at the senior level.

      Reply
      • Joe,

        Rubio has played just 6 games for Utrecht. That is not anything of a realistic sample size.

        He has looked good but these could also be the 6 best games he will ever play in his life.

        SBI fans love to canonize players as the next savior of the USMNT based on 30 minutes of play so doing it based on 6 games should not be a surprise but Adu has a lot more European games than that and we all know how he has ended up.

      • gw, sorry to disagree, but six games is the perfect sample size, if you were comparing these six games to freddy adus first six games in Europe. both were about the same age when they went to Europe, at least according to freddys mother.

        if these six games are the best Rubio ever plays then that would mean some sort of disaster occurs.

        nobody is canonizing anyone, but it is fair to say, adu never was on a trajectory in Europe that rubin is currently on, even in just his first six games. and if adu did string as couple of nice games together, it was in turkey or Greece, neither of which league is on par with eridivise.

      • if i recall correctly (feels like a lifetime ago), freddy did pretty well when he first went to benfica. then he was inexplicably (at the time) benched, and i think he got hurt after that, or a coaching change or something, and was never a real option for them again.

      • So you are going to judge the comparative career arc of two players based on 6 games?

        Why don’t you look at Mikey’s last 6 games for the USMNT?

      • GW, I can look at it anyway I want. So can you. You can come up with any rationale you choose.

        Adu’s first six games in Europe where not his first six games as a professional.

        I don’t know, I think joe hit the nail on the head. Adu was spoiled and coddled, and that hurt him. Waisted talent, that was not fully realized. Injury and indifference can both be equally debilitating.

        So the question we are debating is if you could infer from the first six games in Europe what kind of career path each player will have?

        If that’s it, I’m gonna say with all the info we poses. Things after six games for Rubio point to a brighter future than things did after six games for adu.

        I’d point to adu in his first champions league action against Copenhagen. He didn’t look horrible, but it was then that I thought, the hype was definitely overblown. I think we all saw that, didn’t you GW? And he did score in a friendly a year later when he was with Monaco, against juve, and he did have some positive caps with the national team.

        Adu, should be the poster boy for the cautionary tale of how we should and should not be cultivating players. And the bottom line, players ultimately make their own choices, and they have to live with them, along with the rest of us, but we need to do a better job of guiding them.

      • its funny GW, you mention junior, and he ties it all together. you certainly know that junior has been playing through injury, man, what does that say about him? that’s what we are looking for bro, that kind of commitment. and not to over do it, to the point of becoming a cautionary tale, isn’t it a fine line?

        but junior went out there, for club and country, and gave it his all, and as you know has caught some flak for his play. then of course, another superstar went to Cambodia, and the coach caught flak for not taking him. oh the riddles of the national team program.

        I for one, look forward to a fully operational and healthy Michael Bradley on the national team again.

      • Dkran,

        Far be it from me to stop you from judging players however you want. This is America.
        We’ll see how Rubio turns out soon enough.

        As for Adudinho, I will say that the first time I ever saw him with DC I thought “puny guy, he will get pushed around, he needs to get stronger.” Sadly, that still seems to be true.

        It is also an indictment of his commitment because strength and learning how to protect yourself, no matter your size, is something we can all develop. Charlie Davies often spoke of how his college wrestling background helped him develop the strength and technique to deal with physically more imposing and powerful opponents. If Freddy has hired a martial arts teacher or the like to work with, it hasn’t shown.
        And that is just one deficient part of his game.

        As for Mikey, everyone is making way too much of his issues. He needs a break.

        JK said he would be trying out new guys and frankly, Mikey could use a long break. I’d like to see him either get out of TFC, a team that is awful, or see them get a lot better.

        When Clint came back to MLS he came back into a really good team and while Mikey came back to a cluster. Playing for that oozing pustule of a team cannot help anyone maintain their form and sharpness, injured or not. So for me the jury is still out as to whether moving back to MLS, in and of itself, necessarily hurts his form.

        I don’t think the USMNT necessarily needs him to come back anymore but it would not hurt to have him in the mix. It never hurts to have solid players available.

    • There are a number of young players with reserve squads in Europe. Most are still a year or so away from making the bench for their clubs top squad, but if you dig into past posts on youth national team squads you can find any number of good prospects. Those currently Under 20 include:
      Gedion Zelalem, Paul Arriola, Russell Canouse, Nicholas Gaitan, Emerson Hyndman, Lynden Gooch, Kristian Scott, Joel Senora, Junior Flores, Luis Fernandes, & Kainoa Bailey. There are others, but these are likely the highest rated prospects.

      Reply
      • Relax dude. Jozy came on the pitch and Sunderland scored the game winning goal. That’s a good sign, plus wick ham wants out of Sunderland, so that is a good sign for Jozy

      • You’re right man. Sometimes we need the R-E-L-A-X talk from Aaron Rodgers. Hopefully this means more PT for Jozy!

      • i hope wickham does leave. I’d say he’s marginally better than Jozy yet gets hoisted like a saint by Sund fans. I only caught the second half but Wickham looked pretty terrible today and generally hasn’t played as well as his 5 game stretch end of last season. If people watched his every move they’d hate on him as much as Jozy.

      • It’s worth remembering that Fletcher, at his worst, has looked as bad if not worse than Jozy, during Fletcher’s time at Sunderland.

        If he can look good no reason Jozy can’t.

      • there’s actually a very good reason why fletcher can look good while jozy can’t. they’re not the same type of player at all.

        fletcher is a goal-poacher, and is great in the air (i’d say one of the best in the league). he’s exactly the type of forward you need when you have a midfield as terrible as sunderland’s.

        jozy needs to leave sunderland asap. sure, it’s admirable to fight through hard times, but there’s also just recognizing you need to get out of a bad situation.

  3. I’m not buying the we need the MLS Academy, homegrown, GA player hype. The fact is that there are very few young Americans under 23 ready to play in MLS from day one. That is clearly an indictment of our development system. The coaches of the senior teams will not be spending massive amounts of time trying to develop these players because their first job is winning with the players they have and that means they will be playing older and more experienced players while the younger guys need some seasoning coaching experience just won’t get it. since there are no American guru coaches who deal with young people in the way that the European develop young people it seems the only reasonable outcome that we have no U- 23 stars being developed in America.

    I will know that the MLS teams and their academies are serious about developing U-23 players when the teams hire away from Europe the very best youth team coaches. Putting the best people in place isn’t sure Mark that you were serious about developing players. We need look no further than college football particularly the SEC to the seriousness of Recruirng the best coaching and developing top recruits into top players yielding top results

    Reply
    • “We need look no further than college football particularly the SEC to the seriousness of Recruirng the best coaching and developing top recruits into top players yielding top results”

      I would be very careful about making comparisons between the kind of atmosphere that exists in this country for developing players for MLS and the NFL.

      The players who excel in the SEC and then move on to excel in the NFL as a general rule, get the some of the finest coaching available in the world from a very early age . And for many of these players, that coaching is enhanced by growing up in a culture that reveres the sport on a daily basis, where the NFL or their favorite college team is a constnat presence in much of their daily lives.

      That kind of all encompassing maniacal devotion from grade school on simply does not exist in the US, at least as far as I can tell. even in New Jersey, St. Louis or other traditional hotbeds of American soccer.

      You can’t artificially create that sort of atmosphere for a kid no matter how many coaches you import from wherever.

      It just takes time.

      That is why many youngsters move to Europe or wherever. You do not necessarily need to grow up in this sort of atmosphere to become a good to great player but it certainly helps.

      Reply
  4. This is the riddle that many U.S. soccer fans must come to terms with. You want youth development, you want academies, we all do, yet some people want Americans to go to Europe to develop, and that leaves American developmental academies with what? Ostensibly, not much.

    Reply
    • I think right now, you have to look at the difference in the development systems in Europe versus the US. The academy system in the US is still in the early stages only really getting off the ground within the last 5 years. That is a major difference that relying soley on club teams throughout the country for development. Europe has has the academy model for decades. Then you look at how Europe bridges youth to the senior team. They have U-21 squads and B-teams. The US for the most part has not had either for those past the youth setup, but not ready for the 1st team yet. That is where we have seen the huge difference in development compared to Europe. It is easier to get into those squads if the club has made an investment in you from the youth levels. The MLS is going the USL-Pro route to add that second team for further development of players not ready for the 1st team, but that whole idea is only a year old. Give it another decade and I think the player development in the US will be night and day compared to now. But because our system is so young, it is a better option for kids to seek out opportunities in the academies in Europe. But as our system matures, we will start to see much better development in the US and we will start to see much higher transfer fees for players coming from the US to other leagues around the world.

      Reply
    • there are enough Americans in MLS academies and a growing number in international academies/reserves. More the merrier.

      now, its due time that an MLS academy starts “producing” quality players in waves. until then having our best USMNT players in MLS for our enjoyment is a real waste of time.

      Reply
  5. I counted 18 out of 54 players playing more than 1/2 of their games. Much of that was in Mexico.

    5 of those were Mexico.

    Reply
  6. I guess what I’m saying is that if an American goes to Europe, for how much are you thinking Diego? If it is less than a couple million as an academy product, and then this player goes on to fetch a 20 mil transfer, that’s bad business for American soccer. I don’t know, I think people really need to start thinking about this more. maybe Portland Timbers will get a portion of Rubins next transfer fee, or not.

    Reply
    • Leaving aside what *should* happen, what I am saying is the first American to command a $20+ million transfer fee is likely to be one who has been through a European academy for at least some period prior to becoming a full-time senior professional. This “pedigree” is a common denominator amongst most all high value transfers…

      Buyers in this price range are almost exclusively European (MLS isn’t really there yet), and for them this it is a bit like an “investment grade” rating would be for a security– it ensures a certain skill set and minimum value for their investment (theoretically). Players who don’t have this pedigree are considered inherently “riskier” by these buyers and often come with a steep discount (Yedlin for example).

      I think MLS academies can and will develop this kind of credibility, but it going to take time. Changing perceptions is never a fast process. Showcases like the Olympics are fantastic opportunities to accelerate this, but it’s still going to take many years. I foresee a healthy blend of MLS and European academy products amongst our senior pool in the coming decade as this happens.

      Re transfer fees– I am a big proponent of the system you suggest– I think MLS teams retaining an upside interest in follow-on sales (even if it is only a small percentage) is a good way to ensure alignment of interest between the parties while allowing the player reasoable flexibility to move where he chooses, provided there is interest. This is something I would’ve liked to see the Sounders ask for on the Yedlin deal, though I have not heard of such provision being included.

      Reply
  7. Diego, Diego, Diego, think about what you are saying. I don’t know, you could be right, but the largest transfer fees to date have been from MLS to Europe. Wait, you are saying the first 20 mil transfer fee for an American is going to come from an American playing in Europe, not one coming through MLS? It seems like a reasonable statement, but is it one that means we will be growing as a soccer nation. Personally, I don’t see how people see outsourcing as the way.

    Maradona went from Boca Juniors to Barcelona for a transfer fee of five times what Boca paid for maradona. He went from barca to Napoli for much less of an increase.

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  8. Rubio Rubin is the most important name on this list, and it’s great to see he had a big day.

    When I say “most important” I do not mean “best player”…. what I mean is that he is a primary example of the “new” model of Americans Abroad (at least in Europe). Sending our guys at the age of 19-21 has been a largely failed model. Sending them during the latter portion of the “academy years” is a much better blueprint for their futures as soccer professionals if they plan on playing in Europe.

    If an American manages to clear $20 million in a transfer fee, I can nearly guarantee it will be a player who has emerged from this model, whether it is Rubin, Flores, or somebody we haven’t even heard of yet.

    Reply

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