Tuesday Kickoff: Donovan returns with reserves, UEFA withholds money & more

Donovan (Getty Images)

While the U.S. men's national team is gearing up for Tuesday's all-important World Cup qualifier against Jamaica, its all-time leading scorer is continuing his return to fitness on the MLS reserve level.

Landon Donovan, who was left out of the two matches against Jamaica as he nurses a hamstring injury, returned to the field Monday, shaking off the rust with a goal in an assist in his first nine minutes off the bench in the Los Angeles Galaxy's 4-0 reserve match victory over Portland. Donovan came on in the 57th minute and combined with Pat Noonan for two scores in his first time back on the field since injuring his hamstring in the U.S. national team's 1-0 win at Mexico almost a month ago.

Donovan, who had never played a reserve match in his career, said that he was targeting a first-team return on Friday, when the Galaxy play the Colorado Rapids.

"It's a fine line between it being ready enough to play on and not hurting anymore," Donovan told LA Galaxy Insider. "Right now it's just ready enough to start working on and now we have to be careful with it to get ready for Friday." 

Here are a few more stories to get your day going:

UEFA WITHHOLDS PRIZE MONEY

UEFA is serious about getting teams to comply with the financial fair play regulations, and the organization is withholding prize money from 23 teams across Europe for failing to either pay off their debts or taxes.

Oddly enough, both of Oguchi Onyewu's teams — parent club Sporting Lisbon and current loan club Malaga — were impacted by the ruling. Other high-profile times include Atletico Madrid and Fenerbahce. Here is the list of all 23: 

FK Borac Banja Luka (BIH), FK Sarajevo (BIH), FK Željezničar (BIH), PFC CSKA Sofia (BUL), HNK Hajduk Split (CRO), NK Osijek (CRO), Club Atlético de Madrid (ESP), Málaga CF (ESP), Maccabi Netanya FC (ISR)
FK Shkendija 79 (MKD), Floriana FC (MLT), FK Budućnost Podgorica (MNE), FK Rudar Pjevlja (MNE), Ruch Chorzów (POL), Sporting Clube de Portugal (POR), FC Dinamo Bucureşti (ROU), FC Rapid Bucureşti (ROU)
FC Vaslui (ROU), FC Rubin Kazan (RUS), FK Partizan (SRB), FK Vojvodina (SRB), Eskişehirspor (TUR), Fenerbahçe SK (TUR)

BRAZIL ROUTS CHINA

Brazil's preparations for being the host team at the 2014 World Cup continued with a friendly against China, and it was about as one-sided as can be. 

The Selecao ran rampant on their Chinese opposition, with Neymar's hat trick paving the way for an 8-0 victory. Ramires, Hulk, Lucas Moura and Oscar each scored as well, and China pitched in with an own goal to help Brazil roll to the victory.

The result was a bounce-back one and confident booster for Brazil, which was unconvincing in a 1-0 win over South Africa on Friday. 

NEW ZEALAND TOPS OCEANIA QUALIFYING TABLE

The fourth-place finisher in the CONCACAF hexagonal will square off with the winner of the Oceania region in a playoff for a place at the 2014 World Cup, and in the early going of the final qualifying round it looks like a certainty that the Oceania representative in that playoff will be New Zealand.

The Kiwis blew past Solomon Islands, the second-place team in the four-team final qualifying group, 6-1 on Tuesday. Six players scored for New Zealand who have a three-point edge and a +10 goal differential advantage on Solomon Islands through two games. The other two teams in the qualifying group, New Caledonia and Tahiti, both have 0 points and square off on Wednesday.

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Happy to see Donovan returning to the field? If he is playing, do you think he should be with the national team even though he's not fully fit? What do you think of UEFA withholding prize money from teams? Will that send a strong enough message? Do you think all of these friendlies against lesser opposition will help Brazil prepare for the 2014 World Cup? Do you see CONCACAF eventually getting four places in the World Cup, or will the Oceania winner (likely New Zealand) provide a test in that playoff round?

Share your thoughts below. 

This entry was posted in European Soccer, International Soccer, MLS- LA Galaxy, U.S. Men's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Tuesday Kickoff: Donovan returns with reserves, UEFA withholds money & more

  1. biff says:

    Timothy Chandler is still doing his PR campaign in Germany to catch the attention of Jogi Low, hoping that Low will at some point call him up for the German national team. In both news stories linked below, it says Klinsmann invited him for Jamaica and he declined. In the story in Kicker, Nuremburg sport director Martin Bader says Chandler is “still brooding because he feels more German” than American.

    Klinsmann lockt Chandler vergeblich
    link to kicker.de

    In this local newspaper story Timmy is again playing coy, saying Klinsmann “has total understanding for my motives (not to play against Jamaica) and he still wants me.”

    Chandler: Lieber Rumpfteam als Reisestrapazen
    link to nordbayern.de

  2. al17 says:

    Couple of things
    1. to Hell with Chandler. He should no longer be a
    topic of conversation when it comes to playing for
    our National Team.

    2. When UEFA withholds prize money from a big club
    then I’ll believe they’re serious and that’s
    without disrespect to the clubs mentioned. They’re
    messing with low hanging fruit in my opinion.

    3. Good to see the reserve league being used by to
    help a HIGH PROFILE MLS player return to form.
    One of the many beauties of having a reserve
    league.

  3. HoboMike says:

    Instead of Google translate, my computer needs Biff translate.

  4. MLS to Raleigh says:

    By reading a few articles here and their about the German American’s relationships with their American serviceman fathers is there any surprise that one of them would rather play for the country he grew up in and not the country of the dad who abandoned them?

  5. HoboMike says:

    MLS, I believe the issue is that fact that Chandler basically used the US team as a showcase for his skills.

    I’m one of the few who didn’t mind when Rossi played for Italy, because that was his intention all along and he never flirted with the US.

    If you want to play for a country, man up and say “I’m holding out for (insert country here).” I’ll have a lot more respect for you than what he’s done/continues to do. This doesn’t just go for Chandler or the USMNT either. Balotelli told Ghana to stop calling him. Way back when, Giggs told England to go pound sand.

  6. biff says:

    i no comprehend. what mean you say?

  7. 99 says:

    Extremely valid point. I think with Chandler, it’s been the back-and-forth flirting. Maybe Juergen knows his motives, but most of us fans will be here longer than Juergen. If Chandler doesn’t feel that he has a responsibility to let the supporters in on the secret we will interpret how we see them.
    Not that anyone needs to beat Chandler over the head with xenophobic statements over it, whatever his reasons, I’m sure they make sense for him. But yeah, Chandler/Klinsi/Fans all gave it a go. It didn’t work out for all involved. Let’s move on to players dedicated to our team. It’ll make life simpler for all, especially Chandler.

  8. HoboMike says:

    You obviously speak German. When I try to translate your websites, Google hilarious translates each word as it’s own separate word instead of being in a sentence. Makes for fantastically hilarious reading.

  9. biff says:

    And we can now breathe a sigh of relief because England coach Roy Hodgson yesterday called up Liverpool’s 17-year-old wonder child Raheem Sterling, who was born in Kingston, Jamaica. And that kid is phenomenal.

    I agree with HoboMike on Rossi. He was open from the beginning about his wishes, so no problem with him at all. And, actually, the only thing that bugs me about Chandler and why I can no longer stand the prima donna, is that last autumn he promised Klinsmann, his teammates and we the fans that he was 100% committed to us and we did not need to worry. We now know he was lying and we wasted a whole year thinking that he would be able to cover left back, right back or right wing for us.

  10. Joe+G says:

    Actually, Donovan played in a number of reserve league games in Germany. (And I pity the poor reserve league guy who discovers he has to play against Donovan “And don’t hurt him…”)

  11. HoboMike says:

    True that. I’m a big ‘Pool fan and Sterling’s been fantastic.

    However, Hodgson did say he had no intention of playing him, and just wants to give him experience. I’ll keep holding my breath until he gets a cap-tying game, since he can still file his one-time switch.

  12. al17 says:

    AMEN and I felt the same about Rossi. I have alot of respect for he, Balotelli and Giggs for those reasons. Chandler’s trying to play us and that’s just WRONG. Some things you just don’t do and this is one of those things.

  13. al17 says:

    I’m referring to playing in MLS reserve league matches. Always nice to see a Marquee player play matches in it.

  14. Adrian says:

    Right, UEFA, right.

    Let’s hit a few of those hanging fruit while some EPL clubs are saddled with more debt than many of those clubs are worth in their entirety.

  15. Joe+G says:

    I understand, but it always helps to be specific. Even the MLS article about it pointed out his reserve league play in Germany: link to mlssoccer.com

  16. ManicMessiah says:

    They don’t care about the amount of debt, rather that clubs are showing they are handling it (by paying what they owe).

  17. soccerhorn says:

    +1. Somehow Chelsea is not on that list? Real? But sure, let’s go after Banja Luka. They have a proven record of succumbing to dictators.

  18. Mark says:

    USA vs. Jamaica

    West Los Angeles Soccer Viewing Party!

    Come support our boys on this emotional anniversary of 9/11.

    Cock N’ Bull in Santa Monica. Tuesday 9/11, 5pm 2947 Lincoln Boulevard Santa Monica, CA 90405

  19. The Imperative Voice says:

    Donovan has been such a reliable USMNTer, Camp Cupcake or real deal, that it’s a new world to have to factor in injuries, illness, motivation. Obviously another realm from Jozy or Chandler in terms of reliability still but not quite the automatic check of the roster box he used to be.

    In which case, we need to start developing speed forward and wing options. You get the idea the Jamaica roster was created in shock at his absence and ran out of a wing concept quickly with Dempsey central, Donovan hurt, Gatt absent, and only Shea called. Klinsi seems to have just quit at some point, thrown up his hands, and then fielded 3 dms again.

    And here I thought he was going to implement some flowing continential style from the seniors down to U-10 and there’d never be too few players in the pipeline trained at any particular spot. Two years in, second set of qualifiers, and he’s already at a loss for options just from the senior pool.

    I do expect a better result today but not as advertised from the German.

  20. lop2 says:

    Why is Oceania still a confederation?

  21. bryan says:

    guys, come on, do a google search if it amazes you so much.

    “The clubs, all of whom are involved in European competition in 2012-13, had to provide information regarding the status of any overdue payables as at June 30, 2012. While these are part of the first measure of the new Financial Fair Play structure, there is no suggestion that particular rules regarding overspending have been breached.”

    in other words, this is just ONE part of the new FFP rules. so relax.

  22. Zak1FCK says:

    There is no reserve league in Germany. Reserve teams play in the football pyramid with a lot of the Bundesliga teams in the 4th and 5th level.

  23. Number 4 says:

    so that we have 6 confederations. 5 is too odd a number