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Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

Aron Johannsson AZ Alkmaar 29



A weekend that saw MLS kick off its 20th season also was one of the more productive ones for the Americans Abroad contingent.

Several of the Americans plying their trades in foreign countries found ways to make impacts in their most recent matches, including AZ Alkmaar forward Aron Johannsson. Coming off the bench at halftime of a match against FC Utrecht, Johannsson scored his fifth goal of the season and first in over a month in the 56th minute. Unfortunately for him and AZ, that was one of the lone bright spots in what was a forgettable and embarrassing 6-2 defeat.

Another U.S. Men’s National Team player contributed to his club’s cause with a goal, as Alfredo Morales tallied for the second time this season. Morales struck in the 77th minute of Ingolstadt’s 3-0 win over Erzgebirge Aue, giving his side an insurance goal 12 minutes after it found the opener. The victory ended a mini slump for the 2. Bundesliga leaders, as their three-game winless run came to an end.

Fabian Johnson did not get on the scoresheet, but he did build on last week’s goal-scoring performance by setting up one of his teammates. Johnson assisted on a Borussia Moenchengladbach goal in their Saturday tilt against Mainz, and the 67th-minute helper gave them a 2-0 lead that they could not hold onto. Mainz stormed back and scored twice in a span four minutes, leaving the two Bundesliga sides to have to settle for a draw.

Here is how the Americans Abroad performed this weekend:



  • Tim Howard and Everton did not play this weekend.
  • Brad Guzan dressed but did not play in Aston Villa’s 2-0 win vs. West Bromwich Albion in the FA Cup quarterfinals on Saturday.
  • DeAndre Yedlin did not dress in Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-1 win vs. Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.
  • Brad Friedel did not dress for Tottenham Hotspur.
  • Geoff Cameron dressed but did not play in Stoke City’s 1-0 win vs. Hull City on Saturday.
  • Gedion Zelalem and Arsenal play Manchester United in the FA Cup quarterfinals on Monday.


  • Jonathan Spector started and played 90 minutes in Birmingham City’s 1-0 win vs. Brentford on Saturday.
  • Will Packwood did not dress for Birmingham City. He is recovering from an injury.
  • Tim Ream and Bolton Wanderers did not play this weekend.
  • Eric Lichaj started and played 90 minutes in Nottingham Forest’s 2-1 win vs. Middlesbrough on Saturday.
  • Danny Williams started and played 90 minutes in Reading’s 0-0 draw vs. Bradford City in the FA Cup quarterfinals on Saturday.
  • Emerson Hyndman did not dress in Fulham’s 5-1 loss vs. AFC Bournemouth on Friday. He is recovering from a collarbone injury.
  • Zak Whitbread did not dress in Derby County’s 2-2 draw vs. Birmingham City on Saturday. He is recovering from an injury.
  • Oguchi Onyewu did not dress in Charlton Athletic’s 2-1 win vs. Cardiff City on Saturday.



  • John Brooks started and played 90 minutes in Hertha Berlin’s 0-0 draw vs. VfB Stuttgart on Friday.
  • Fabian Johnson started, played 90 minutes and had an ASSIST in Borussia Moenchengladbach’s 2-2 draw vs. Mainz on Saturday.
  • Timmy Chandler started and played 90 minutes in Eintracht Frankfurt’s 4-2 loss vs. FC Cologne on Sunday.
  • Julian Green did not dress in Hamburg SV’s 0-0 draw vs. Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.
  • Joe Gyau did not dress in Borussia Dortmund’s 0-0 draw vs. Hertha Berlin on Saturday. He is recovering from a knee injury.

2. Bundesliga

  • Terrence Boyd and RB Leipzig play Karlsruhe on Monday.
  • Alfredo Morales started, played 90 minutes before being substituted, and scored a GOAL in FC Ingolstadt 04’s 3-0 win vs. FC Erzgebirge Aue on Friday.
  • Bobby Wood did not dress in FC Erzgebirge Aue’s 3-0 loss vs. FC Ingolstadt 04 on Friday. He is recovering from a knee injury.
  • Andrew Wooten started, played 86 minutes and scored a GOAL in SV Sandhausen’s 3-1 win vs. TSV 1860 Munich on Sunday.
  • Jann George did not dress in SpVgg Greuther Furth’s 1-1 draw vs. VfR Aalen on Saturday.


  • Alejandro Bedoya came off the bench and played 61 minutes in FC Nantes’ 3-1 loss vs. Stade de Reims on Saturday.


  • Aron Johannsson came off the bench, played 45 minutes and scored a GOAL in AZ Alkmaar’s 6-2 loss vs. FC Utrecht on Sunday.
  • Rubio Rubin came off the bench and played seven minutes in FC Utrecht’s 6-2 win vs. AZ Alkmaar on Sunday.


  • Conor O’Brien started and played 72 minutes in FC Magna Wiener Neustadt’s 0-0 draw vs. FC Trenkwalder Admira on Saturday.


  • Michael Orozco started and played 90 minutes in Puebla’s 2-2 draw vs. Jaguares de Chiapas on Saturday.
  • Herculez Gomez came off the bench and played 20 minutes for Puebla.
  • Joe Corona started and played 63 minutes in Club Tijuana’s 1-1 draw vs. Santos Laguna on Saturday.
  • Greg Garza did not dress for Club Tijuana. He is recovering from an injury.
  • Alejandro Guido did not dress for Club Tijuana.
  • Paul Arriola did not dress for Club Tijuana.
  • Jose Torres did not dress in Tigres UANL’s 2-1 loss vs. Universidad de Guadalajara on Sunday. He is recovering from an injury.
  • Edgar Castillo started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Atlas’ 1-1 draw vs. Cruz Azul on Saturday.
  • Ventura Alvarado started and played 90 minutes in Club America’s 0-0 draw vs. Pachuca on Saturday.
  • Jonathan Bornstein started and played 90 minutes in Queretaro’s 1-0 win vs. Chivas de Guadalajara on Friday.


What do you think of these performances? How do you see Johannsson faring during these final few months of the Eredivisie season? Confident that Morales and Ingolstadt will secure promotion, or is their recent winless run concerning you?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. To cravin frottage

    I’m not offering an idea or solution because there isn’t one other than keep doing what we are doing, wait and hope things improve.

    There is a huge cultural bias towards basketball and football that will have to be overcome before this changes.

    It’s going to take a generation at least if not more.

    I guess what frustrates me is the disappointment people feel for our national team. They are doing the best they can with the limited talent they have. The players we have just cannot match up in speed and power and coordination and agility and every other factor that makes up a great athlete.

  2. MLS worsens the supply/demand ratio by league expansion. A mistake for a sport that is only fourth in the US in spectator interest. A smaller MLS would have been better.
    As far as talent on the USMNT, without Americans abroad we’d have a FIFA rating of 45-50.
    Look at Belgium–they’ve never before had this quality of player. And it may not last.
    When US player development compares with Belgium’s recent form, then we might see the same thing. And that might not last.

  3. MLS can pump all the money and time into player development they want, but the average quality of the US player pool isn’t going to improve until better than 3rd and 4th rate athletes start playing soccer in this country. We all have to face the real truth that’s holding back our league and national team. Top level athletes in this country play american football and basketball. And every year hundreds of absolutely incredible athletes are sized out of careers in pro football and basketball. Until we can start tapping into that lost talent pool of incredible athletes that are sized out of the NBA and NFL (or even high end college ball) we are going to suffer.

    • So what is your strategy? Sit and wait?

      There is nothing new in what you are saying. If we want to “tap into” this pool (and we should) then we have to be pro-active. No, it won’t happen overnight, but it’s better to be setting up development academies that might attract these athletes than sitting around waiting for things to change.

      I guess I just don’t understand what your recommendation is here…..Everybody understands the problem– give us a solution that’s better than “we just need to accept it”.

  4. I wonder if Guzan will get any looks in the FA Cup at the semi-final or (potentially) final level.

    I would think a veteran like Given would get particularly ego-sore if he were not given the opportunity to finish out as the cup keeper. However, Villa are now getting closer to a trophy after a VERY long wait (unless you are desperate enough to count the Intertoto Cup, the last trophy was the 1996 League Cup), and putting their absolute “best XI” would seem like a priority from here out. They also have a relegation battle on their hands (at least given the current standings), as well as a new manager. Hard to see how this all comes together.

    Would be nice to see a Yank lift some European hardware, but I suppose that’s still a long way off in this situation.

    • If they win it all it guarantees them at least a spot in the Europa League, even if they are relegated (as happened a few years back with Wigan). Given that, if they make the final I’m sure that their best eleven will take the field.

    • The time will come again when we (USMNT) will have players at real teams again. We have a number of players working their way up at Liverpool, Dortmond, Man City, and other major clubs. We are currently in the lull before the storm. Give it another couple (4) and these guys will be seeing 1st team minutes while being impact players for the USMNT.

    • Meh. I don’t dispute that we are in a bit of a “trough” right now as far as Americans in Europe goes, but I also think everybody imagines the “good ole days” as being better than they were. We never had more than a handful of guys at one time actually playing and contributing for top teams. Sure we all remember when Deuce was scoring regularly, but we also remember when Bradley was riding the pine like a chump at Villa and Beasley was floating around Europe like Freddy Adu after his PSV success. Mostly we just had a bunch of guys who were “in Europe” and “getting playing time”. Role players and bit part guys for mid-table teams. Does it really matter?

      If you look at the record of Americans in the Champions League, it’s actually pretty pitiful. A solitary winners medal (for friggin Kirovski). A couple great years from Beasley. Jones was credible, too. After that, not much to speak of. A cup of coffee for a bunch of Rangers players. Same for Howard, Gooch and the Scandanavian guys. Sacha got posterized about 100 times playing for the punching bag that is Anderlecht. But he got a couple goals too. Woot woot, I guess.

      Lost in Space is right. The best days are coming soon. We have a lot of guys in the pipeline who are actually going to get fed into great teams at a perfect age. I boldly predict that within 3 years, we will have a 7-10 players participating meaningfully for CL teams, and it will put even our best “Americans Abroad” days to shame on a weekly basis.

      • “I boldly predict that within 3 years, we will have a 7-10 players participating meaningfully for CL teams,”

        That is pretty bold and it is also unlikely. It would be nice though.

  5. Yedlin was always going to have a tough time at Tottenham. Their starting right back is Kyle Walker, a 24 year-old who has 10 appearances with England’s national team.

    It is hard to see how Yedlin gets much time at RB. He is listed by Tottenham as a defender so it seems unlikely he will be called on to play as a wide midfielder.

    • They just sold Kyle Naughton and supposedly bigger clubs are looking at Walker so the path might open up for Yedlin. Still, the fact they let him join up with the USMNT this winter wasn’t a great sign. We’ll see.

      • It’s funny if you search Kyle Walker in google news, you get articles about him going to Man U and other articles about how terrible he is. And to be fair, he was pretty bad against QPR on Saturday. But the English press is pretty crazy.

      • Yeah I worry sometimes the English ethos is having too much of an impact on the popular dialogue about American soccer players. Everybody is either the greatest or most inept player of all time.

        Thankfully, the “big fish” of US soccer journalism tend to avoid this sort of build ’em up / tear ’em down attitude, and we have largely avoided a tabloid culture thus far (some might say this is a bad thing).

        Thing is, it’s kind of accurate. I believe Walker will almost certainly be sold within 9 months, and it will almost certainly be for more than he is “worth”. Such is the bizarre nature of the English premium.

      • bizarre?

        Spurs are a business. Players are a commodity. like pieces of meat.

        What is bizarre about buying hoofstock low and selling high?

      • I believe he was referencing the fact that English Players tend to be overvalued within the BPL and have overly inflated contracts. Andy Carrol comes to mind as a prime example.

      • Correct. The expression “English premium” refers to a specific and well-studied phenomenon that effectively amounts to international-quality England players commanding 20-50% more than their quantifiable “market value” when being transferred to other English teams. Some of this is explainable through commercial revenue (i.e. jersey sales to the new team) but mostly it is hard to explain in economic terms.

        It is a market dysfunction, and in some ways it has happened here. Few coud justify the Dempsey or Bradley to MLS transfer fees using a competitive matrix…. nobody in Europe would’ve bid those fees for those players at the time of the deals. Not even close.

        But negotiations yield strange results, particularly when Party A knows PartyB’s motivation entirely. It’s a bit like having your wife glare at you in the middle of the showroom floor and loudly say “You had better buy that exact minivan” in front of the entire sales staff. Everybody knows you’re buying, but nobody can vouch for the price.

      • Lost in Space,

        Do you think Mikey and Clint were worth their fees?

        Do you think TFC and Seattle could have gotten players as good or better than them for less?

      • I could never understand why Man U picked up David Smalling and handed him a spot in the back line. He played very little for Fulham and then they thrust him into the Man U defense almost right away. I think his performance has been less than stellar. So I would agree that their talent evaluation is sometimes off kilter.

      • “…you get articles about him going to Man U and other articles about how terrible he is.”

        those two views aren’t as incompatible as they would have been a few years ago. 🙂

  6. Can’t help but think Yedlin may have sunk himself by going to Spurs. Great paycheck but it’s hard to imagine they’ll ever start him or really play him much. Not that Spurs could handle the guy when they played that friendly against Seattle.

    Gotta love the EPL…where they take our more promising talents and park them on the bench.

    • Ridiculous. He’s been giving a chance to improve, impress and earn a spot on the field. As of right now he’s just not good enough to even take a spot in the bench.

    • EPL is the worst league to send a young player that needs to develop, he could still turn out great but chances are against him, young americans should focus on the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Portugal, then you just climb the ladder and if you have the talent eventually you’ll find your way to a top 3 league.

      • LOL. Where do people come up with this things? England does develop young players and do it better than most.

      • Goodson,

        He seems to be developing nicely at Fulham.

        There is nothing inherently wrong with an American kid going to England to learn his trade as opposed to any of those other countries. For one thing they speak English ( or something like it to American ears) and for another thing there are lots of pro clubs outside the EPL.

        The reality is for these young kids it is very much a case by case basis. A kid’s family may have family and contacts already in the country in question and, at least as important, they may have found a club that is sincerely interested in developing the kid and has the wherewithal to do it. For example, Juventus appears to be sincerely interested in this Palmer-Brown kid. He may never play a minute for the senior Juve squad but the kid is slated to be a defender. Spending his developmental years learning the dark arts at Juventus will be useful to him regardless of where he winds up playing.

        Giuseppe Rossi probably had built in support system in Italy that made it easier. Nevin Subotic already had many friends and relatives in Germany when he went to Dortmund.

        US fans on SBI seem deathly afraid of having their young players compete against tough, quality opposition to get a job in soccer. That attitude tends to promote mediocrity. And everyone wonders why the US does not produce world class players.

    • Spurs are a merchant club. They operate like an investment bank– they love nothing more than doing deals and moving assets around, and they always have the cash on hand to do it.

      Yedlin was a great deal… they would’ve been fools not to take him at that price and those terms (Sounders assumed almost all the risk, unlike a loan). Spurs are probably highly confident that they can get a return on the player, whether in is on the field or in the summer markets.

      My guess? I still think Roma want Yedlin, and I think Spurs will be shipping him there sooner or later, if the stars align, perhaps as early as a loan in the August window. Roma (like most Italian clubs) are loathe to spend transfer fees these days, although they can afford a hefty wage bill — probably could not justify spending 3.5mm on an unproven quantity nearly as easily as Spurs. Spurs and Roma have an existing relationship (a bizarre one, clearly, given the 30 million Euros Spurs forked out for Lamela) and I’d think a loan may well be in the cards.

      But there are lots of scenarios. It’s just as reasonable to think that Spurs may try to cash in Kyle Walker this summer if he thinks Yedlin is ready for a proper look. I think there is comfort to be taken in the fact the Yedlin is a young FB with some very nice bullet points on his resume. If there is anything Spurs won’t want to do, it’s let him rot in anonymity.

      • Their chairman Daniel Levy is definitely focused on the bottom line. They also have had recent success in bringing up young talent like Benteleb, Rose, Kane, and Walker. Interesting fact about Levy–since he took over 14 years ago, they have had 10 managers. He’s not shy about pulling the string, which is probably one reason they haven’t got into the Champions League–lack of continuity.

      • Agree entirely. Levy has been a ringleader amongst EPL owners / senior managers in reducing the shelf life of first-team managers to the current level, which I understand to be about 1.75 seasons (and still declining).

        Spurs did in fact finish top 4 twice during the Levy reign thus far… but hardly to the benefit of the incumbent manager. I’m truly not convinced Levy really cares. It often seems that the first-team manager is just a caretaker of assets for him– always replaceable when he becomes an inconvenience.

        On the flipside, he does seem to understand the value of a good academy and development system, even if only for economic reasons. Spurs can rightfully claim to have blooded a huge number of EPL and European pros at this point, and this is not such a bad thing.

      • Like Harry Kane….Ryan Mason….nabil bentaleb and such…yeah they dont play youth….

        We just played the youngest team in PL history. Many of those players had been with us since they were 17-21.

        Pretty sure Poch is interested in youth. Paul Pogba trained at Manchester United from 2009-2011 then joined the senior team from 2011-2012. Sir Alex messed up with him but he certainly became a great player due to some formidable years spent with United.

        Dont be ignorant of the training and capabilities of EPL clubs. Its up to Yedlin to make his mark.

    • was going to say that too. is he officially retired yet? or do Spurs let him fly off to join Fox when he wants to? Where exactly was he during that game; live in KC or at a studio in LA or was he up late in London?

      i actually enjoyed his commentary after being surprised to here him on tv.

    • I thought his commentary was good. I think that I read a while back that he was getting his coaching license so it looks like he may be heading in that direction. After being in England for so long I think he has kind of a weird accent. He sounds like a combination of Western American and Scottish.

    • basically the only ones playing every week are the Germericans and Mexican-americans, MLS needs to work harder at youth development instead of just focusing in signing foreigners, you need a good balance between both, Germany and Mexico will eventually stop producing dual nationals for the USMNT and if teams in MLS become “less american” we could become England on steroids

      • What specifically does “work harder at youth development” mean? What is exactly is MLS not doing? And does MLS even have a responsibility to produce better USMNT players? Or should it focus on making better MLS teams right now and generating revenue for the league?

      • So basically you are suggesting Chelsea model – ignore the youth development and just buy talent that was developed elsewhere? His point is that MLS and US soccer in general do not produce world class players that could move to a higher level and star in a top European league. Compare it with Argentina, Uruguay, Croatia, Holland, Belgium, etc. Have we produced anyone who is as good as Aguero or Suarez or Modric or Robben or Hazard? MLS is not solely responsible for youth development. However, as general matter, the top national leagues have academies that bear the primary responsibility for identifying and developing youth talent.

      • Has any of those countries produced Michael Jordon, Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, Payton Manning, etc… (you get the point)
        There is no comparison of US sports development (and where soccer fits into the big picture) with any other country.
        Those who do not understand this are doomed to continuous disappointment.

      • Dude, soccer is a global game, American football is not. Millions of kids play soccer in this country and hardly anyone plays American football outside the United States or Canada. As for basketball, it is less of a niche sport globally (although not nearly as popular as soccer). Other countries produced world class players. For example, Argentina produced Ginobili, Germany produced Nowitzki, Yugoslavia produced Petrovic, Lithuania produced Sabonis. They are not Michael Jordan (spelled with an “a” not “o”), but who is? I intentionally did not mention Messi, Pele, Mardona, Ronaldo because those players are truly “extraterrestrial” talents. However, with millions of kids playing the game, why are we not producing players like Hazard or Modric?

      • Goodson,

        MLS’s best interests are not exactly the same as the USMNT’s best interest’s.

        They want to become the best league in the world which means they want to beat out the EPL.

        To do that they are going to need to do more than have every USMNT eligible player on an MLS roster.

        Those players are not nearly good enough to by themselves, make MLS stronger than the EPL. And there are not enough of them anyway.

        The point is MLS will have to be bringing in talent from all over the world.. That will be good for MLS and the USMNT in the short term but in the longer term it may mean that US players will not be good enough for MLS and you will have a situation like they do in the EPL where just about all the best players are foreign.

        Be very careful what you wish for.

      • that’s what I fear, I feel that if the MLS becomes a top league in the Americas they are going to leave AMERICAN players behind, right now 45% of the players in the league are foreigners, how long until it reaches 60% or even 70%? We are barely producing players now, if MLS keeps moving in this direction there will be even less American youth products, I know that it isn’t the league’s job to produce talent for the USMNT but I really feel uneasy seeing them trying to imitate the EPL’s system, at the end MLS will be a great league but everyone except our NT will benefit from it

      • Goodson – MLS Academies have not been in existance very long (5 yrs?). When they were started they cherry picked players from Travel/Select leages near to the MLS Teams home turf. When the Academies were begun they only went down to the U-17/U-18 age bracket.
        It will take another 10 years before the Academies begin to consistently Identify players at the U-10 level, and develop them into HIGH Level Professionals.
        The USA is years behind in player development over the European and South American Leagues. It will take time for them to even come close to producing the quality & quantity of the players needed to fill Rosters in MLS and Abroad.

      • The other side of this coin is if you had say 60% of MLS players as a potential pool for your national team, or even 30% of EPL players as a base, which would yield a better team? Half the player pool size playing at a much higher level? With the gap as wide as it is now, i would say so.

      • I remember when MLS started to expand a few years ago that a lot of pundits were worried about diluting the talent pool to fill out the new teams. There are now 20 teams at 25 players per team, or 500 players. The league will soon go to 24 teams, or a total of 600 players. If even half are Americans, that’s slots for 300 players who are Americans. In addition, leagues in Japan, Korea Australia, and China are all relatively new, about the same age as MLS. So there has been a drain on talent if anything. With the USL, youth academies, foreign leagues, etc. there are plenty of places for players to play. The issue is if we have enough quality players in the US.

      • Leagues as ambitious as MLS are not known for being patient.

        I’m sure they would prefer Americans but if they can get cheaper, and more talented players, faster by importing from wherever, then they will do that.

        It is hardly unrealistic to think that the traditional American grown soccer player will have nothing more than a token presence in MLS in a fairly short time.

        How many American developed American players are currently in the league?.

    • Yeah I saw somewhere the Hamburg is actually going to end up paying Bayern twice as much, to not play him. Pretty rough situation.

  7. Hey Juergen, guess who’s back playing regularly and ready for a call up… This guy! My agent sent you my contact info.

    • he was a starter because Utrecth had a little injury crisis earlier in the season, everyone is healthy now and they are playing really well so RR went back to the bench.

      • The poster asked a good question as to why a particular player is no longer starting. It has nothing to do with being patient or impatient.

      • And the answer to the “good question” as to why a 19 year old is not starting every game in his first professional season is….?

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