Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

In a week that saw several young and inexperienced players make their cases for more playing time on the U.S. men's national team, it was the veterans of the United States who shined brightly.

Landon Donovan was one of those players, as he inspired Everton to victory by setting up both of its goals in a 2-1 win over Fulham in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Friday. In a Man of the Match-worthy performance, Donovan first delivered a perfect left-footed cross to Denis Stracqualursi in the first half to pull Everton level after a Fulham penalty kick. The American followed that up in the second half with a right-footed cross to Marouane Fellaini that secured the Toffees' advancement in the tournament.

Oguchi Onyewu also had a pair of contributions in his team's triumph this weekend. Onyewu scored a brace for Sporting CP on Sunday, lifting it to a 2-0 win over Biera Mar. Onyewu began the game by receiving a yellow card in the first minute, but he made up for it with two headed finishes that bring his season total across all competitions to five (four in the Primeira Liga). 

Two other Americans found the back of the net this weekend. DaMarcus Beasley scored his first goal of the Clausura season, getting on the end of a pass, cutting inside his defender and smashing home the winner with his right foot in Puebla's 1-0 win versus Jaguares de Chiapas on Saturday. Fabian Johnson opened his account with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, scoring the final goal in the club's 3-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund.

Here is how the Americans Abroad performed this weekend:

ENGLAND

Premiership

  • Tim Howard started, played 90 minutes and made 2 saves in Everton's 2-1 win vs. Fulham in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Friday.
  • Landon Donovan started, played 90 minutes and had two ASSISTS for Everton.

  • Marcus Hahnemann dressed but did not play for Everton.
  • Clint Dempsey started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Fulham's 2-1 loss vs. Everton in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Friday.
  • Brad Friedel dressed but did not play in Tottenham Hotspur's 1-0 win vs. Watford in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Friday.
  • Brad Guzan dressed but did not play in Aston Villa's 3-2 loss vs. Arsenal in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.
  • Eric Lichaj dressed but did not play for Aston Villa.
  • Stuart Holden did not dress in Bolton Wanderers' 2-1 win vs. Swansea City in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday. He is recovering from a knee injury.
  • Tim Ream did not dress for Bolton Wanderers. He is waiting to receive his visa.
  • Zak Whitbread started and played 90 minutes in Norwich City's 2-1 win vs. West Bromwich Albion in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.
  • Adam Henley and Blackburn Rovers did not play this weekend.

Championship

  • Jonathan Spector started and played 90 minutes in Birmingham City's 4-0 win vs. Sheffield United in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

  • Conor Doyle dressed but did not play in Derby County's 2-0 loss vs. Stoke City in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.
  • Robbie Findley and Nottingham Forest did not play this weekend.

  • Daniel Potts and West Ham United did not play this weekend.
  • George John and West Ham United did not play this weekend.

League One

  • Frank Simek started and played 90 minutes in Carlisle United's 4-0 loss vs. Hartlepool United on Saturday.
  • Anton Peterlin and Walsall did not play this weekend.
  • Mike Grella did not dress in Brentford's 5-2 win vs. Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.

SCOTLAND

Premier League

  • Maurice Edu started and played 90 minutes in Rangers' 4-0 win vs. Hibernian on Saturday.

  • Carlos Bocanegra started and played 90 minutes for Rangers.

  • Alejandro Bedoya did not dress for Rangers.
  • Dominic Cervi did not dress in Celtic's 3-1 win vs. Falkirk in the semifinals of the Scottish League Cup on Sunday.

ITALY

  • Michael Bradley started and played 74 minutes in Chievo Verona's 3-0 loss vs. Lazio on Sunday.

GERMANY

  • Steve Cherundolo started and played 90 minutes in Hannover 96's 1-0 win vs. FC Nurnberg on Friday.
  • Jermaine Jones did not dress in Schalke 04's 4-1 win vs. FC Cologne on Saturday. He is currently serving an eight-week suspension.
  • Timmy Chandler did not dress in FC Nurnberg's 1-0 loss vs. Hannover 96 on Friday. He is recovering from a hamstring injury.
  • Fabian Johnson started, played 77 minutes and scored a GOAL in TSG 1899 Hoffenheim's 3-1 loss vs. Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.

 

  • Danny Williams started and played 90 minutes for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
  • Joe Gyau dressed but did not play for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
  • Terrence Boyd did not dress in Borussia Dortmund's 3-1 win vs. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday.
  • Alfredo Morales dressed but did not play in Hertha Berlin's 2-1 loss vs. Hamburg SV on Saturday.

FRANCE

  • Quentin Westberg did not dress in Evian Thonon Gaillard's 0-0 draw vs. Bordeaux on Sunday.
  • Charlie Davies did not dress in Sochaux's 1-1 draw vs. Lorient on Saturday.

NETHERLANDS

  • Jozy Altidore came off the bench, played 45 minutes and received a yellow card in AZ Alkmaar's 2-0 loss vs. Roda JC Kerkrade on Saturday.

PORTUGAL

  • Oguchi Onyewu started, played 90 minutes, received a yellow card and scored TWO GOALS in Sporting CP's 2-0 win vs. Beira Mar on Sunday.

 

 

BELGIUM

  • Sacha Kljestan started and played 76 minutes in RSC Anderlecht's 0-0 draw vs. Germinal Beerschot on Saturday.

MEXICO

  • Jose Torres started and played 90 minutes in Pachuca's 1-1 draw vs. Queretaro on Saturday.
  • Herculez Gomez dressed but did not play in Santos Laguna's 3-1 win vs. Club Tijuana on Sunday.
  • Sonny Guadarrama dressed but did not play in Atlante's 2-2 draw vs. Cruz Azul on Saturday.
  • Jonathan Bornstein dressed but did not play in Tigres UANL's 2-1 win vs. Estudiantes Tecos U.A. de G. on Saturday.
  • DaMarcus Beasley started, played 79 minutes and scored a GOAL in Puebla's 1-0 win vs. Jaguares de Chiapas on Saturday.

 

  • Adrian Ruelas did not dress in Jaguares de Chiapas' 1-0 loss vs. Puebla on Saturday.
  • Michael Orozco started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in San Luis' 3-1 loss vs. America on Saturday.
  • Edgar Castillo started and played 90 minutes in Club Tijuana's 3-1 loss vs. Santos Laguna on Sunday.
  • Joe Corona came off the bench, played 62 minutes and received a yellow card for Club Tijuana.
  • Greg Garza did not dress for Club Tijuana.

——-

What do you think of these performances? Do you think Everton should make a serious effort to try and keep Donovan? Which Onyewu goal did you like better? Think Beasley should get a start with the United States soon? How many goals do you see Johnson scoring by season's end?

Share your thoughts below.

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50 Responses to Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

  1. Mike in Missouri says:

    Good weekend for YA. Building a little depth in our national team, for sure.

  2. roger says:

    We can start excluding the frequent did not dress players

  3. t levins says:

    And the score was against Chievo 0-1 when Bradley left the field at minute 75, only to end 0-3. He posessed and passed well.

  4. MicahK says:

    A lot of goals thins weekend good showing. Why are Findley and Garza not dressing ? I thought that Garza was doing good at Club Tijuanna.

  5. Oranje Mike says:

    According to the Tigres page on Wikipedia our favorite National team star, Jonathan Bornstein, is Mexican. Funny stuff.

  6. vik says:

    He just joined recently and got his first playing time in one of the first games he was eligible for. I’m sure they’ll bring him along at a good pace; he’s only 20.

  7. vik says:

    I think they list him as such so that he doesn’t take up a foreigner slot. I think he is half mexican, so he can qualify as such.

  8. Joe Creighton says:

    Hmmmm…why is Bedoya not even dressing for Rangers?

    What’s going on there?

  9. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    I can’t tell you how much I enjoy the EPL, and even more when Landon Donovn is playing in it’s ranks. I just hate that he teases us all for a few months of great football in England’s top flight and then comes back to play games late at night on America’s left coast. I wish Everton could find a way to splash some cash and buy him.

  10. Arsenalkid700 says:

    Still its wikipedia and I dont think they allow that. I shall be looking into this.

  11. AK says:

    They took him off and added an attacking midfielder to go for goals. Bradley did not have a good game, that’s why he came off.

  12. Kanye West says:

    Hi USA Men’s player pool, I’m happy for you an’ all, but the USWNT is the greatest women’s soccer team of all time! They are ballin’ so hard, up 3-0 halftime in an otherwise meaningless game against fellow Olympic qualifier Canada.

  13. cajun says:

    Gooch/Whitbread tandem in the central defense for the NATs anyone?? For a look see?

  14. Andrew says:

    he came off for a more offensive minded player, not because he was playing badly.

  15. AC says:

    Even though he’s on the bench, it is good to Lichaj back in the 18.

  16. Ryan says:

    you’re a gay fish

  17. Duck says:

    Sporting CP’s Wikipedia page lists Gooch as Belgian. Honest mistake or does he hold joint citizenship from his time spent there?

  18. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    Then the comment section would be inundated with “What about so-and-so!?” posts.

  19. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    Nottingham Forest didn’t play this weekend – why would Findley dress?

  20. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    Let’s not get too excited about Whitbread. He deserves a sniff and he’ll get one, but Gooch and Boca remain our best tandem in CD, and at twenty-seven Whitbread isn’t one for the future. By all means bring him in, let him compete, and play him if his performance in camp merits it. But let’s just be real – Boca has remained solid, Gooch seems to have recaptured his 2009 form, and John, Ream, and Gonzalez are waiting in the wings. Add in Goodson and Parkhurst and you have a lot of players vying for just a couple of spots.

  21. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    Was about to say the same thing. Is this his first week dressing?

  22. AC says:

    I’m not sure, but if he can regain his form, people do forget he had a strong chance of locking down the left back spot from his Gold Cup play before the injury. This can only be a good thing if it happens because Chandler can go back to his natural right back spot for the national team. Cherundulo isn’t getting any younger.

  23. Kanye West says:

    +1, it’s cray but true

  24. GW says:

    Chandler is a better left back than Lichaj

  25. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    But if you’re operating on the assumption that Chandler is a better overall player than Lichaj (debatable, IMO), then you’d probably want Chandler at his natural RB spot and Lichaj to have to make the adjustment to LB.

  26. Illmatic74 says:

    He became a citizen during his time in Belgium

  27. GW says:

    Gooch has a Belgian passport. It makes it a lot easier for him to play for teams in Europe.

  28. GW says:

    ” at twenty-seven Whitbread isn’t one for the future. ”

    JK made it very clear that he is interested in performance not age. Taking your rationale to the extreme we should now be playing Boss and Valetin as our senior team starting center backs.

    Jay Demerit was about Whitbread’s age at about this same point before the 2010 World Cup.

    You are right about Gooch and Boca.

    Based on what is happening right now I’d say after them,in this order would be Goodson,Cameron,Parkhurst, Ream, Parke,Whitbread,Williams,Fiscal,John, Clark, Gonzo.

    Of course that order will probably change on a weekly basis. Also stylistic matchups will be relevant i.e. you probably won’t Gooch and Gonzo pairings.

  29. DaveW says:

    To be precise, Bornstein acquired Mexican citizenship because his mother is Mexican. Meaning he did not take up a foreign player slot and so had a better chance that a Mexican team would take a chance on signing him.

    No word yet on when he’ll start using both dad’s and mom’s last name like Orozco Fiscal, Torres Mezzell, Castillo Carrillo; or whether he dropped her a few bucks for the favor.

  30. GW says:

    I don’t believe in “natural” spots for most players per se. Both Chandler and Lichaj are seen as right backs by US fans because that is where you first saw them but they both are actually pretty fair right sided midfielders.

    I believe fundamentally sound soccer players can play most anywhere, a weird notion I picked up as a fan of the famous “Clockwork Orange” total football Ajax and Dutch teams. Watching Blankenburg (the center half) constantly come up in attack, or seeing Cruyff playing right back made an impression on me. If you want more recent example Darren Fletcher was a very useful swiss army knife player for Man U., Rooney can play any position well,including keeper and of course Chelsea has the ultimate swiss army knife in Michael Essien.

    Chandler(whose energy and physicality remind me a bit of Essien)is fundamentally a better overall soccer player than Lichaj.

    That is not an assumption on my part. It is an opinion based on the games I’ve watched both play for the USMNT. Feel free to disagree.

    He has better instincts and is a proven first teamer having played about a seasons’ worth of games for Nuremberg.

    Lichaj has never been able to break into the first team at Villa for more than a game or two(he has a total of 5 league games for them). He is unproven. I liked him initially but was very unimpressed by his performance in the Gold Cup final.

    This excuse his fans make for him that he had to switch back to right back mid game is such BS. A good player should be able to adjust to being switched back to his “natural spot” w/o a hitch.

    Soccer is fairly simple, switching from left back to right back mid game is hardly uncommon. It’s not like suddenly switching Tom Brady to left tackle and making Matt Light play QB in the 3rd Quarter of a playoff game.

    Maybe you’ve already written his obituary but it has yet to be shown that Dolo ( who is also a better soccer player than Lichaj)is finished. His injury in the Gold Cup final hampered his off season training and he lost his starting slot. But he has been playing more recently and he may yet come back.

    Let’s see where everyone is by the start of qualifying.

    Dolo and Chandler are curently the two best US fullbacks and after that you’ve got Pearce, Loyd,, Williams, Johnson, Morales, Castillo, and a number of others in the mix. Lichaj,who has to prove he is healthy, is currently at the bottom of that list.

  31. It would be a nice match with those players. Thanks for the post.

  32. Jamie Z. says:

    It never hurts to be prepared.

  33. pd says:

    Speaking which, what the heck is going on with Bedoya?

  34. PD says:

    Ballin’ … Really? That’s the term you use for giving USWNT props?

    So, do the guys toss a mean salad in your book, too?

  35. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    It looks like it was just a bad move all around. He was injured shortly after arriving, and has never been able to work himself into the team’s plans. We all know Bedoya is still a developing player, mostly promise at this point. He needs to be somewhere where he can develop. But Rangers is a conservative team competing for a title. It’s not a good situation for a young winger looking for minutes.

  36. DC Josh says:

    Beasley doesn’t deserve a start anymore than Kljestan, who has been shafted by Klinsman.

  37. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    Trust me, I am the very last person to hold a player’s age against him. If Whitbread comes into the team and shows he’s a better option than Boca or Gooch, then by all means play him. I’m just trying to temper expectations so people don’t start getting false hopes about what Whitbread can offer the team.

  38. MicahK says:

    LMBO, I misread the list.

  39. Air Jordanz says:

    Agree. Sacha has the quality to fit into the USMNT starting lineup… I just don’t see him getting a chance to bounce Dempsey.

    Maybe Deuce should get a look at left wing. I know it’s not a natural position for him, but doesn’t he play there on occasion for Fulham? Then Sacha can get a shot in the CAM role.

    One problem using this setup is that we don’t get to take advantage of Fabian Johnson in an attacking role, unless he’s at LB and Chandler’s at RB.

    Just a thought, though.

  40. JG13 says:

    Agreed. Other than his early free kicks/corners, MB had another solid game for Chievo. The 2nd and 3rd goals had little to do with personnel: they were the result of a tactical change.

  41. TomG says:

    Your logic is, well, illogical. Zak is too old at 27 yet Gooch at 29 and Boca at 32 are our best options going forward? Los will be 35 at the next World Cup! It is very, very, very unlikely that he will still have the type of form necessary to play World Cup soccer at 35. Gooch will be 32 which is typically when the wheels begin to drop off. Considering Gooch’s injury history, it is extremely important for Whitbread to keep playing well. If you have a CB in his prime, playing well in the EPL, he WILL be a top contender for one of the CB slots on the USMNT. Ream, John, Omar, Cameron are all young maybes at this point. Goodson is 2 years OLDER that Zak, and in a far inferior league, yet he’s ahead of him? That’s crazy. Ditto for 29 year-old MLS journeyman Parke. Parkhurst is too small and too slow for World Cup football. Fiscal is too frail. Clark and Williams are not CBs – not sure why they are even mentioned. Whitbread seems to have at least proven that he belongs in the EPL. That is huge for an American CB. Not many others have ever been able to say the same. At this point, you have to be considering Whitbread in the top 3 at the very least.

  42. bryan says:

    i agree with just about everything you said. but FYI, Williams has been playing CB for Hoff for a few weeks now. Including this past weekend. hell, didn’t Clark play CB the few times he actually saw the pitch for his team?

    in any event, my order would be, excluding Williams and Clark:

    Gooch, Boca, Whitbread, Goodson, Ream, Gonzo, John, Cameron/Fiscal

    one thing Goodson has over Whitbread is experience with our team. also, John, Gonzo and Cameron haven’t really played with the full US team either.

  43. bryan says:

    i’m also hoping to see Lichaj and Chandler as our fullbacks. but i love Dolo, so until he starts slipping, he’ll probably remain the starter.

  44. bryan says:

    yeah, if i see Beckerman or Jeff L. over Sasha one more time I’m going to lose it.

    I like Beckerman, but Sasha is better. Jeff L. shouldn’t be on the A team.

    I use to knock Sasha but he has picked up his game and is playing well. we need someone like him on our team. especially since we have been without holden and torres.

  45. Kenny_B says:

    Lichaj is at the bottom of your list. He was blamed by a lousy manager (not McLeish) at AV for the woes of that team. He had played very well for them in several games.

    It is very difficult to provide accurate service on your weak foot on a full run if it isn’t something you work on all the time. So no soccer isn’t very simple. There is a reason why fullbacks with pace and accuracy are so rare. It’s very difficult. For the US to compete in the next world cup we will need pace on the flanks. I love Dolo but he will not be there.

  46. GW says:

    “So no soccer isn’t very simple. ”

    Sure it is. But simple is not the same as easy.

    Lichaj is at the bottom of my list because he has yet to experience JK’s system and he is back from a serious injury.

    Can you absolutely guarantee he will ever be as good as he was?

    Lichaj could not convince Martin Oneill he was first team material. Oneill is the guy who gave Keller his big break so don’t tell me he doesn’t like Yanks.

    Lichaj couldn’t convince Gerard Houllier either. What will you say if Mcleish doesn’t start him? Is he an anti American idiot as well?

    I like Lichaj I just don’t think he is better than Chandler, And if pace on the flanks is so damm important then why does everyone here love Robbie Findley and J. Bornstein, two very fast flank players so much?

  47. GW says:

    That is one way to look at it.

    Or you could ask yourself if he is a better fit for what JK is doing than the current batch of players.

    Do you start him over MB90, Dempsey, or Donovan? Do he, Edu and Jones play the same position? Can he do what Torres does? How about Benny?

    Where would you play Sacha and who do you drop in favor of him?

  48. GW says:

    I was not aware that Sacha stayed in his own half and screened the back four at Anderlecht.

    Is he better at that than defensive midfielders Beckerman and Lawrentowicz?

  49. GW says:

    “Your logic is, well, illogical. ”

    Not really. Perhaps I have not made myself clear. Kindly read my post again.

    My point about Whitbread’s age was by the time the World Cup rolled around he would be about the same age as Jay D. was in 2010 when he was a starter for us.

    I was also agreeing with Michael Stypulkoski that Gooch and Boca are our best options today, right now, Monday, January 30, 2012.

    However, in June of 2014, if we make the World Cup and if Gooch and Boca have kept their form, regardless of age I have no problem with them starting.

    The history of World Cup competition is full of 30 something players who did very well. In the 2010 WC semi final Holland had Gio Van Bronckhorst at left back scoring one of the goals of the tournament, a rocket from outside the box and he was 35. Bet you did not think he could kick a ball that far, huh? The man was Reyna’s team mate at Rangers back in the late 90′s.

    Maybe most important of all, Klinsmann as a striker for Germany scored three goals in the 1998 World Cup at the ripe old age of 33-34. Clint Dempsey at five years younger hasn’t been able to so that. If JK can do that as a striker back in 1998 I see no reason why Gooch at 32 and Boca at 35 can’t play centerback, assuming they have retained their form. I’m a little tired of all this BS that just because you are 35 or so you are garbage as a player. Today’s players are fitter than ever and training staffs are far more sophisticated. If Gooch and Boca are playing well and have the fire still, they will do what it takes to keep in shape and the science and technology is there to help them do it.

    As for the list in order of preference, that is my take and I made a point of saying the order of preference of all the centerbacks depending on form and health would probably change weekly.

    Clark played some at CB for Eintracht and JK thinks a lot of him. If he gets some PT at that spot who knows?

    Williams is currently playing centerback for Hoffenheim. I disagree with you about Parke, Fiscal and Parkhurst but it ‘s a free country. Besides, Parkhurst and Fiscal have a different style from Zak and would probably be paired with him. There is no rule that CB’s have to be big, tall goons. Playing defense in soccer is about more than just beating people up.

    Of course I ranked Goodson and all these guys in front Whitbread. Screw the lower league thing, Goodson has already proven he can play a valuable role for the US.

    There is no guarantee that what Whitbread does will fit in with the US. Zak has yet to attend even one practice with the USMNT.

    You don’t win a job with the USMNT because you are doing well with your club. Look at Sacha. Doing well with your club means they will notice you, but it is only the first step.

    You win a job with the USMNT because you win it on the US practice field and in US games.

    And it’s doubly tough with new centerbacks. If he was a winger that would be one thing but it is tough to just throw someone that cold in at the deep end of the very last line of defense before the keeper.

    Of course if he shows up and tears up practice fine start him. But right now, except for John, who is younger and stylistically more compatible with JK’s thinking than Whitbread, and Gonzo, whose caps were from Bradley, he’s the only one on the list who has yet to set foot upon a JK run US practice field.

    But don’t worry he probably won’t stay at the bottom very long.