First off lets take a gander at the weekend schedule shall we?
Oguchi Onyewu and AC Milan play Udinese. (Onyewu is out injured.)
Michael Bradley and Borussia Moenchengladbach play Nurnberg.
Matt Taylor and FSV Frankfurt play St Pauli.
Kenny Cooper and Plymouth Argyle play Barnsley.
Jon-Paul Pittman and Wycombe Wanderers play Brentford.
Zak Whitbread and Norwich City play Brighton.
Ian Joyce and Southend United play Tranmere Rovers.
Jemal Johnson and Stockport County play Colchester United.
Mike Grella and Leeds United play Leyton Orient.
Dominic Cervi and Celtic play Aberdeen.
Steve Cherundolo, Sal Zizzo and Hannover 96 play Werder Bremen. (Cherundolo and Zizzo are out injured.)
Charlie Davies and Sochaux play Le Mans. (Davies is out injured.)
Marco Vidal and Indios de Ciudad Juarez play San Luis.
Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers play Tottenham Hotspur in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Brad Friedel, Brad Guzan and Aston Villa play Crystal Palace in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Clint Dempsey and Fulham play Notts County in the fifth round of the FA Cup. (Dempsey is out injured.)
DaMarcus Beasley, Maurice Edu and Rangers play Hibernian.
Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 play FC Cologne. (Jones is out injured.)
Ricardo Clark and Eintracht Frankfurt play SC Freiburg. (Clark is out injured.)
David Yeldell and TUS Koblenz play Hansa Rostock. (Yeldell is out injured.)
Carlos Bocanegra and Stade Rennes play AJ Auxerre.
Freddy Adu, Eddie Johnson and Aris Salonika play Ergotelis.
Herculez Gomez and Puebla play Jose Francisco Torres and Pachuca. (Torres is out injured.)
Edgar Castillo and Tigres UANL play Monterrey.
Now on to more pressing matters. Like the growing number of players with dual citizenship. Of which, the US is in prime position to cash in on. The "list" of players, that I know of at least, stands at six. Three of whom we already know quite well (Jose Torres and Edgar Castillo picked the USA over Mexico and Jermaine Jones chose the States over Germany). The other three are Michael Hoyos of Argentine champs Estudiantes de La Plata, Daniel Williams of SC Freiburg in the Bundesliga, and Fabian Johnson of reigning German champs VfL Wolfsburg.
Some quick background on these three hopefuls:
Michael Hoyos was born in Manhattan Beach, California in 1991. He retains dual citizenship through his Argentina-born parents. This kid is star waiting to be kindled. "In fact, he was playing two levels below the reserve team in what is called the quinta when the coaches realized they had a gem and moved him straight up to the first team this past winter." Thats a pretty substantial jump, especially at a club like Estudiantes, which boasts Argentine stars like Juan Sebastian Veron. He's young (18) and apparently has the skill to do some damage. US Soccer is well aware of Hoyos and had invited him to the Under 20's camp, but Hoyos elected to stay at his club for the time. All of this, in three years. For more on Hoyos, Yanks Abroad had a sit down with him.
Daniel Williams another German with an American military father, born in Karlsruhe, Germany in 1989 (age 20) . He plays right back for Bundesliga club SC Freiburg. He has represented German youth teams (at the U15 level) but with the German wing back pool quite full at the time, he is in a position to make the switch to the stars and stripes. "Of course I would consider playing for the US National team," Williams admitted in an interview with Yanks Abroad. His natural position is defensive midfield, but since his move to the first team has started at right back. Another fast mover after spending most of his time with the reserves, then suddenly promoted to the first team and then becoming a starter. He claims US Soccer has not contacted him about switching to the stars and stripes. Better get on that Sunil!
Fabian Johnson, like Williams, born in Munich, Germany in 1987 (age 22) with an American father. This is more of a hopeful pick on my part. I say that because at 22 years of age he's played for numerous German youth teams (U19, U20, U21). After making 43 appearances for the 1860 Munich II squad, he was quickly promoted to the first team where he made made 90 appearances and scored 4 goals (he is mainly a defender, but can be deployed in midfield). In 2009 he made the switch to German champions Wolfsburg, where he has found playing time inconsistent, making only four appearances, scoring once. This guy could have Jermaine Jones syndrome, a player who is on the fringe of the German national team but can't quite make it and see's the US as his ticket to the World Cup. This is no offense to US soccer or its players, because lets face it, 8 of 10 times Germany beats the US (handball on the goal-line or not). Here is his wikipedia page for those of you who want more info.
- Kevin Alston will miss the beginning of camp with a hamstring injury, the same one that kept him out of the Honduras match. Hopefully he gets well enough to play, as I'm sure most US fans don't want to see any more of Marvell Wynne
- Zach "Big Boy" Thornton suffered a mild knock in training and will be evaluated by the US training staff. Just in case, Kevin Hartmann has been recalled.
I found this very interesting with my afternoon coffee. It seems that the International Football Associations Board has received an item from FIFA that would make the last-man foul a yellow card offense, reducing it from a straight red. In this article from ESPN Soccernet, it also claims that "feinting" before a penalty shot and goal line technology and the addition of officials on the goal line will also be looked at. Interesting.....
Stay tuned for more possibly coming should something arise.