Wednesday, October 31, 2007


In the Carling Cup yesterday, Jonathan Spector and West Ham United came from behind to defeat Coventry City 2-1. The win secures the Hammers’ passage into the fifth round, though they don’t yet know who their opponent will be. Spector came on at halftime and sparked an improvement in West Ham, who got an injury time winner from Carlton Cole to sneak out a win. Today in the same competition, Tim Howard and Everton travel to lower division Luton for an evening kickoff.

Over in Germany, cup action was also on the cards. Heath Pearce was in the starting lineup for Hansa Rostock for the first time in over a month, as they dismantled Kickers Offenbach 6-0. In a match up of two 2nd Bundesliga sides, Gregg Berhalter and Josh Wolff helped guide 1860 Munich to a 2-1 victory over Mainz. Neven Subotic, who scored at the weekend for Mainz, was not in action for his club.

Today, Michael Bradley and Heerenveen take on Ajax in a tough third round matchup in the Dutch Cup, while across the channel, DaMarcus Beasley and Rangers travel to Fir Park stadium to take on Motherwell in the quarterfinals of the Scottish Cup. Rangers were eliminated from the competition at this stage last year by St. Johnstone, and will look to better that performance in today’s encounter.

In Portugal, Freddy Adu and Benfica face Setubal in the second leg of the cup tie. Last week, Adu grabbed a late equalizing goal to make sure that Benfica went into tonight’s rematch on level terms. With a goal at the weekend and manager Hector Camacho slated to rest some established starters Adu could make his way into the first eleven. As a side note, the League Cup in Portugal works much differently than most other countries on the continent. Instead of a single elimination, bracket style, tournament, all the clubs playing tonight will vie for progression into a group stage, where a round robin group of matches will then determine who competes in the final.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


The News: Fulham captain Brian McBride targets a December return for the Cottagers.

Of Note: In an interview on Fulham’s website, manager Lawrie Sanchez talks about the absence of McBride in attack, and the effect that its had on the team. He also updates fans on Brian’s recovery from successful surgery in August. You can read the entirety of the interview here.

Up Next: After a draw with Sunderland this past weekend, Fulham will face Reading and American’s Bobby Convey and Marcus Hahnemann in a Saturday match up at Craven Cottage. Though Clint Dempsey will likely take part in that match for Fulham, defender Carlos Bocanegra is suspended for yellow car accumulation.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Below are highlights of Freddy Adu’s goal, but here’s how the rest of the Americans in Europe fared this weekend:


Carlos Bocanegra and Clint Dempsey both played 90 minutes in Fulham’s 1-1 draw against Roy Keane’s Sunderland. Fulham jumped out to an early lead, courtesy of Welsh international Simon Davies, and when Sunderland were reduced to ten men in the second half, the Cottagers looked to be on the road to a vital win away from home. However, Sunderland fought valiantly, and eventually equalized late in the game to earn a share of the points.

Tim Howard and Everton traveled to Pride Park on Saturday to face Eddie Lewis and Derby County, where the Toffees came out 2-0 victors. The clean sheet was Howard’s second of the season and the victory vaults Everton into the top half of the table, in ninth place. For Derby, trouble seems to be mounting with zero wins in their last five matches. However, they still remain only two points away from safety and will look to get back on track next week against Aston Villa. Benny Feilhaber did not dress for the game on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Reading hosted Newcastle, and Marcus Hahnemann resumed his position between the sticks for the Royals, overseeing a 2-1 victory for Steve Coppell’s side. In a back and forth game, Reading took the lead through Dave Kitson, though they were later pegged back by a Michael Duberry own goal. The home side were not to be denied, and Shane Long scored with only his second touch of the game, after just coming on the field only seconds before, to secure all three points for Reading. Bobby Convey is just returning to fitness for Reading, having been out for a few weeks with an injury, and was an unused substitute in the game.

Finally, Jonathan Spector made a late substitute appearance for West Ham United in their 0-0 draw against Portsmouth. Spector came on in the 78th minute for Nolberto Solano, as West Ham survived a late penalty scare to salvage a point.

So, what do you think about this week's matches overseas? Let us know by making a comment below.



On Friday, Steve Cherundolo and Hannover played to a 0-0 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt. Cherundolo played 90 minutes, and will likely be on the field again on Tuesday when his club travels to Gelsenkirchen to face Shalke 04. With both clubs tied on 18 points, the winner of tomorrow’s game will be thrust into the top four in the Bundesliga.

In the 2nd Bundesliga, Neven Subotic played 90 minutes in Mainz’s 1-1 draw against FC Augsburg. On Tuesday, Mainz travels south to face 1860 Munich and Gregg Berhalter, Josh Wolff, and Steve Purdy. Over the weekend 1860 beat Kickers Offenbach 3-0 and both Berhalter and Wolff were in the starting eleven. For the first time in his career, Purdy was called into the first team, after playing this season with the reserves. He was an unused substitute in 1860’s victory on Friday.


Michael Bradley started and played 65 minutes in Heerenveen’s 4-0 win against VV Venlo. Brazilian scoring machine Afonso Alves was twice on target for Heerenveen, who on Wednesday will take on Ajax in the third round of the Dutch Cup.


Standard Liege drew 2-2 with KV Mechelen to remain both top of the league and unbeaten in the Belgian Jupiler League. American defender Oguchi Onyewu went the distance for SL, who will next face Excelsior Mouscron on Friday, November 2.


In the final game of the season, a Charlie Davies hat trick propelled Hammarby to a 4-0 victory over Gais. Davies’ three goals were his first in the league for the Swedish club, who finished sixth in the table this year, and can be seen in this video, accompanied by a tremendous soundtrack.


DaMarcus Beasley was inserted back into the starting lineup for Rangers, but unfortunately his club slipped to a 2-1 defeat away to Dundee United. Beasley was the source of Rangers’ goal, as he drew a penalty in the 51st minute which Daniel Cousin converted. However, The Tangerines earned a penalty of their own just three minutes later, and Barry Robson converted from the spot in what proved to be the decisive action of the game. The loss leaves Rangers three points adrift from rivals Celtic who top the Scottish Premier League table with 25 points.

So, what do you think about this week's matches overseas? Let us know by making a comment below.


The News: Freddy Adu scored his third goal of the season in the 87th minute to give Benfica a 2-1 victory over Maritimo in the Portuguese League on Sunday.

Of Note: The goal was Adu’s first in league play for his club, who climbed to second place with the victory. After going a goal down early in the match, Benfica equalized in the 18th minute, however they were reduced to 10 men after their goalkeeper, Quim, was red carded later in the first half. Adu came on late in the second half, and his timely finish from inside the six yard box sent the Estadio da Luz crowd into raptures. It caps an impressive week for the 18-year-old, who scored last Saturday in the League Cup for Benfica. In midweek, he appeared as a sub in Benfica’s victory over Celtic in the Champions League, and played a part in the build up to Óscar Cardozo’s winning goal.

Up Next: Benfica play Paços de Ferreira in a League match on Saturday, November 3, before traveling to Scotland to face Celtic in Champions League Parkhead on next Tuesday, November 6.

Two goals in a week for Adu? Is he finally hitting his groove at Benfica? Let us know what you think by adding a comment below!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


The News: Tim Howard and Everton open UEFA Cup group play by hosting Greek side AE Larissa tonight.

Of Note: Everton just scraped through the first round, defeating Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv 4-3 on aggregate. Tim Howard played in goal for that first round game, and also minded the net for Everton’s defeat in the Merseyside Derby this past weekend. The Toffees are still smarting from what they feel were some poor referee decisions, but they’ll have to put the lingering effects of the loss aside for now to focus on tonight’s match against a team they’ve never faced before in European competition.

Up Next: Check out some facts on the upcoming match here. Also, the game will be aired on FSC at 5 pm ET (delayed)


The News: Freddy Adu became the youngest American to play in the UEFA Champions League proper when he came on in the 61st minute of Benfica’s 1-0 win over Scottish champion Celtic in their Group D match on Wednesday.

Of Note: Adu entered the game early in the second half while the score was still knotted at zero. The Portuguese club bombarded the Celtic goal for the duration of the second half, hitting the crossbar and the post, before Óscar Cardozo eventually scored the winner five minutes from time.

In the game last night against Celtic, Freddy was the first sub off the bench, and was also involved in the passing movement which built up to the goal. At 18 years, 4 months, Adu broke the record for the youngest American to play in the group stage of the Champions League held by Jonathan Spector (18 years, 11 months). That mark was set when he came on as a sub for Manchester United against Turkey's Fenerbahce in 2004.

Up Next: On Sunday, Benfica host Maritimo in a Portguese League match. Benfica have arguably underachieved thus far this year in the domestic league, and though they have yet to lose, sit at fourth place in the table due to four ties. The Lisbon club can go a long way toward rectifying their problems in their match this weekend; Maritimo currently are one point ahead of Benfica.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


The News: Freddy Adu and Benfica take on Celtic in Champions League action on Wednesday at the Stadium of Light.

Of Note: Freddy Adu has yet to really break into the first team, but he is on the squad list for the match. With injuries to a few players - including striker Nuno Gomes - is there a chance Adu sees some playing time? We won't know for sure until kickoff tomorrow (oh, by the way, the match is only on closed circuit TV or broadband pay-per-view). Adu has been making an impact as he scored the tying goal in Benfica’s Carlsberg Cup match on Saturday (see earlier Adu blog entry for video of the goal), coming into the game in the 71st minute and ripping a first time half volley from the edge of the area to ensure they earned a replay in the fourth round of the cup.

Up Next: The game of course! Get all the starting line-ups and more here before the match and then follow online.


The News: DaMarcus Beasley came on in the 72nd minute for Nacho Novo during the Rangers 0-0 draw against Barcelona in their Champions League clash this evening at Ibrox Stadium.

Of Note: The scoreless draw was a favorable result for Rangers, who now have seven points from three games and are tied atop Group E with Barcelona.

Up Next: Rangers get set to take on Dundee United away in league play on Sunday. Beasley, who is coming back from a slight ankle injury he suffered during the USA-Switzerland match last week, will be looking to crack the starting line-up once again.


The News: Fulham goalkeeper Kasey Keller will be sidelined until next February after suffering a torn bicep muscle in training.

Of Note: Keller, who had established himself as the first-choice ‘keeper after joining the team in August, will likely need surgery. About the injury, Keller said: “I feel absolutely destroyed, devastated. It’s hugely disappointing because things were going so well and then this comes along and now I have to start all over again. I just wanted to make my name here and I was doing that until I suffered this cruel injury.”

Up Next: Keller-less Fulham next face Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, Oct. 27 as they try to start digging out from their relegation hole.


The News: DaMarcus Beasley and Rangers take on Barcelona in Champions League action live on ESPN 2 at 2:30 ET. The match up tonight between two of Europe’s most tradition-laden clubs marks the first time that they’ve met in a European competition.

Of Note: Both clubs have won their first two Group E matches, though Barcelona currently sits in first place on goal difference. The two teams had contrasting results at the weekend: Rangers comprehensively defeated Celtic, 3-0, in the first Old Firm Derby of the year, while Barcelona crashed to a 3-1 defeat at high-flying Villarreal. Additionally, both clubs have key players sidelined for tonight’s game. For the Glasgow club, forward Jean-Claude Darcheville and holding midfielder Brahi Hemandi will both miss out, while the Catalans lengthy injury list includes long term absentees Samuel Eto’o and Deco, as well as Yaya Toure, Edmilson, Gianluca Zambrotta, and Rafael Marquez. However, Ronaldinho does return for the 2006 European Champions, who despite the injury omissions, still boast a frighteningly potent attack that has thus far banged in seventeen goals in La Liga, good for the most in the league.

Up Next: Well, the game doesn’t start until this afternoon, but the probable lineups are listed here, and you can find a good preview for the match right here.

Monday, October 22, 2007


The News: Neven Subotic scored his first goal as a professional in Europe as Mainz defeated SV Wehen 3-1 on Sunday.

Of Note: A former U-20 player for the United States, Subotic has appeared in all 10 games for Mainz so far this season. His goal on Sunday, which proved to be the eventual game winner, catapulted Mainz into third place, one point behind Borussia M’gladbach and Freiburg who are tied atop the German 2.Bundesliga stadings. Subotic has been everpresent for Mainz’s defense, having played 90 minutes in each of their games.

Up Next: Mainz host FC Augsburg on Friday, Oct. 26, before traveling south on Tuesday to play Josh Wolff, Gregg Berhalter and 1860 Munich in a cup match.


News: Lee Nguyen is training again with PSV, following an extended period on the sidelines with a shoulder injury.

Of Note: Lee has been slowed this season by a shoulder injury. The club were cautious about binging him back, but the 21-year old has finally resumed training with the first team in Eindhoven.

Up Next: PSV has started the season well, and currently sit in second place in the table, behind Feyenoord. The club has yet to lose a match in league play, and will put that record on the line next Sunday when they travel to Rotterdam to face their rivals in a top of the table clash. Prior to that, however, PSV will turn its attention to Europe, where on Tuesday they play host to Fenerbahce in a Champions League Group G match up.

JOSH WOLFF (1860 Munich)

News: Josh Wolff returned from injury to play 58 minutes in 1860 Munich’s 3-0 loss to SpVgg Greuther Fürth on Sunday.

Of Note: Wolff, who had previously missed the last three games due to a leg injury, returned to the starting lineup, and showed no lingering affects from his recent absence. He was replaced in the second half by Timo Gebhardt

Up Next: 1860 will look to get back on track when they host Kickers Offenbach on Friday the 26th.


News: Freddy Adu appeared as a sub and scored in Benfica’s Carlsberg Cup match on Saturday, coming into the game in the 71st minute.

Of Note: Down 1-0, Freddy scored the equalizing goal for Benfica in stoppage time. His first time half volley from the edge of the area ensured that the Lisbon team earned a replay in the fourth round of the cup. The goal was Adu’s second in the competition, after he scored a similarly late equalizer from the penalty spot in the previous round. Benfica went on to win that match in penalties.

Up Next: Benfica resumes Champions League play on Wednesday when they host Celtic at the Estadio da Luz. A result for the Portuguese club is vital, as they remain pointless in Group D after losing the first two matches. The top two teams from each group advance to the next round.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


THE NEWS: DaMarcus Beasley gets his first minutes in an Old Firm as Rangers cruise past city rivals Celtic with a 3-0 win to pull level on points at the top of the SPL table.

OF NOTE: Following the USA's 1-0 midweek win against Switzerland, Beasley entered in the 75th minute as Rangers shutout Celtic in the first of three scheduled meetings between the Scottish superpowers this season. Nacho Novo scored a pair of goals sandwiching a finish by team captain Barry Ferguson. Over 50,000 fans packed Ibrox Stadium to witness one of the greatest rivalries in sport.

UP NEXT: Rangers face their biggest test in nearly 20 years when they welcome mighty FC Barcelona to Glasgow on Oct. 23 for their first meeting in this year's Champions League group phase.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Games on TV this Weekend

European club football recommences this weekend after domestic leagues were put on hold this past week for the international break. With a full slate of games on TV, U.S. Soccer Global breaks down the ones that feature our guys:

(All times are ET)


7:40 am: Everton v. Liverpool (Setanta) – What better way to start out the weekend than by watching one of the most hotly contested games in world football? The 204th edition of the Merseyside Derby will be played at Goodison Park, where Tim Howard and Everton will look to improve on their current position of 10th in the table. Timmy talked to Everton’s website about playing in the derby. You can read the full interview here.

4:30 pm: Blackburn v. Reading (FSC, delayed) – In a battle of U.S. international goalkeepers past and present, Brad Friedel and Blackburn take on Marcus Hahnemann and Reading at Ewood Park. Rovers have been steadily climbing the table this year and currently sit in sixth place, tied with three teams on 15 points. Meanwhile, Reading have gone a long way towards reversing their poor start to the season and have clawed their way to 12th in the table on 10 points. Bobby Convey is an injury doubt for the Royals, but Hahnemann, who contributed 45 minutes to Wednesday’s clean sheet against Switzerland, will likely get the nod for Steve Coppell’s side.

3 am: Fulham v. Derby Country (Setanta, delayed) – Nothing seals the deal like a nightcap of soccer. At least that’s what we’ve always thought here at the blog. Maybe that explains something. Regardless, if you’re up late, be sure to catch the re-run of this game which could feature five American national team players. For the Cottagers, Kasey Keller, Carlos Bocanegra and Clint Dempsey could all see time for a Fulham side in need of a positive result. Coincidentally, Derby County needs the exact same thing, as they currently prop up the table with only five points. For the Rams, Eddie Lewis and Benny Feilhaber could both have a part to play.


8 am: Hannover v. Wolfsburg (Gol TV) – Change pace a bit with the Bundesliga, where Hannover take on Wolfsburg from the AWD-Arena. Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 currently lie sixth in the table, after back-to-back wins have significantly improved their position.

11 am: West Ham v. Sunderland (FSC) – Finally, Jonathan Spector and West Ham United play host to Sunderland in this brunch-time kickoff. West Ham have solidified their spot in midtable, but losses in their last two games have their demanding fans on edge again. For Sunderland and Roy Keane, any point will do. Spector spoke to West Ham United's website about getting his chance in the starting XI. You can read the interview here.

As always, keep refreshing U.S. Soccer Global all weekend long. We’ll try to bring you updates, videos and news as they happen around the continent.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Obviously a very pleased group after tonight's win. It's good to get a positive result after a week of hard work, and when you stay focused and committed for 90 minutes good things can happen. Check out for highlights, quotes, behind-the-scenes footage and audio podcasts from tonight's 1-0 victory against Switzerland. The U.S. moved to 11-5-1 for 2007 and is batting .500 in Europe this year after posting its sixth shutout. We hope you enjoyed the coverage this past week, and hope you join us next month when the MNT makes its first-ever trip to South Africa for the Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup. Auf Wiedersehen!


USA starters v. Switzerland


Cherundolo      Onyewu      Bocanegra      Lewis

Edu          Bradley

Feilhaber                                                  Beasley

Twellman                    Dempsey

Bob Bradley has gone with an experienced lineup, beginning with a backline that mirrors the back four from the opening match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Eddie Lewis returns to the lineup as the leading capwinner in the group (73), with Carlos Bocanegra continuing his role as team captain. Maurice Edu earns his first cap for the full team alongside Michael Bradley, pushing Benny Feilhaber out wide right with DaMarcus Beasley patrolling the left flank in search of his fourth goal in 2007. The former Revs tandem of Taylor Twellman and Clint Dempsey reunite as strike partners, Dempsey looking for his second goal in as many matches for the United States after scoring against Brazil last month in Chicago. Bradley previews today's match in today's podcast.

The reserves:

Brad Guzan
Freddy Adu
Dan Califf
Jay DeMerit
Robbie Finley
Heath Pearce
Danny Szetela


A bunch of hollers just rang out from the players' rooms as Wayne Rooney just smashed home a volley to put England up 1-0 on Russia in the 29th minute. It's the first of a full slate of European qualifiers scheduled for this evening. The English media and fans have been in uproar for the last two weeks about having to play on artificial turf. Didn't seem to bother Rooney on that one ...


The team is in their pre-game meeting at the moment following the final meal before departure to the stadium. The bus leaves at 6:45 p.m. for the ten minute drive to St. Jakob Park. By now, the players all know who is in the 18-man roster for tonight. They watched a little more film on Switzerand, reviewed responsibilities on re-starts, and got a few more words on what to expect from the match tonight. They are expecting 15,000 spectators on a crisp, clear evening here in Basel. Check back in just under two hours to find out who made the starting lineup for the USA's 17th match of 2007 and their first against Switzerland since the 1994 World Cup.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Switzerland is famous for its time pieces, so for watch hound DaMarcus Beasley it's like being a kid in a candy store. DaMarcus had a couple hours to kill this afternoon, and wasted no time in heading for the fine jewelry shops in Basel. While we wouldn't normally make this a blog post, the Pasha by Cartier with pink gold and diamonds he purchased is absolutely stunning. We hope the photo does it justice.

Congrats to Beas on the selection of his 10th fine time piece. Hey, we told you he was a watch hound.


Training session, that is. The U.S. trained for just over an hour at St. Jakob Park, which is an absolutely gorgeous stadium for football. Great pitch, great sight-lines, and excellent setup within the grounds. It was a typical pre-game session, the group working on shape and re-starts before having free time at the end. The stadium itself is situated in the middle of a residential neighborhood, a la Highbury in London. We hate to sound repetitive, but it really is a joy to be in a proper soccer stadium. It just feels right ...


Now that Taylor Twellman has arrived safe and sound into Basel, we can tell the story of his rather difficult experience coming here.

Actually, we''ll let Taylor tell it:

"The Patriots are playing the Cowboys at 4 p.m. on Sunday, so I'm bummed because I have to check in at the airport at the same time. Of course that's because I thought my flight was at six, when in reality it wasn't until 9:15. Realizing the mistake, I met my wife and some friends for sushi and watched the game. Long story short, I tried eel for the first time - and the last time. I knew there was trouble when I was outside at curbside check in. It was 40 degrees at 7:30 at night, and I asked the lady checking my bag why it was so hot outside (she was wearing a winter jacket and gloves). That's when I knew there was a problem. I proceeded to go through security OK, but once the full body sweats started I knew my journey was going to take a slight detour. Twenty four hours later, I'm in Switzerland bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready to go. By the way, the most humiliating part of the story was showing up at the airport the next day and having all the airline personnel recognize you and recount the whole experience.


The News: Johann Smith, who was forced to miss the recent Under-20 World Cup with an injury suffered just days before leaving for Canada, will go on a one-month loan from Premier League side Bolton to League Two’s Darlington.

Of Note: The speedy winger, still rehabbing the third-degree sprain of his ankle, will look to gain experience and get back to match fitness during the loan, which includes options for extension. The move from Bolton is the second loan for the 20-year-old in two years, after appearing 14 times for Colchester United in the 2006-07 season.

Up Next: The Quakers, who have started the season nicely and sit in second place in the table, travel away to Bradford on Saturday.


Once again, our audience has performed famously on a question that presented a serious challenge. Why? Let's review:

The question: When was the last time two players from the state of Maryland were in camp at the same time?

Many of you named pairs of Marylanders that had been in at the same time (Quaranta and Adu in January of 2006, for example), and some got the correct combination of Oguchi Onyewu and Kyle Beckerman. So why was it tricky? There were only camp together for one day. For the double fixture date of March 25-28 earlier this year, the U.S. first played Ecuador in Tampa and Guatemala three days later in Frisco, Texas. U.S. coach Bob Bradley decided to use many of the European-based players for the first game, than let many head back home after Ecuador and added a few MLS'ers to the list for the Guatemala game. So when the initial roster came out, Gooch was on it and Kyle was not. Beckerman only came to Tampa the day before, and was not even listed on the game-day roster for the Ecuador game. Gooch left after the 3-0 win, Beckerman flew to Frisco, and their names never appeared on the same team sheet for those games.

So congrats to the correct respondents. You definitely did your homework.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Being back in a German-speaking town reminded us of the confusion surrounding the pronunciation of Benny Feilhaber's last name. For the final time, it's FAIL-ha-ber. Glancing down the roster for of the potential land mines, we come across the name Sal Zizzo. Looks easy enough, but as we all know, looks can be deceiving. The correct pronunciation. is ZEE-zo. And just for good measure, we have Danny ZEH-tell-uh. Any questions?


The team is on the road as we speak, leaving the French-speaking town of Yverdon-les-Bains and heading east to the German-speaking city of Basel. It's been a productive five days of training, and the group will surely miss the thermal pools and Jacuzzis attached to our temporary home at the Grand Hotel Des Bains. Training was fairly intense this morning with two different exercises of 9 v. 9, followed by crossing and finishing. You'll get a glimpse of some of the effort in tomorrow's all_access feature on Clint Dempsey. Meantime, the headphones are out and the DVD players are fired up as the bus cruises on and the sun sets on Monday in Switzerland.


The coaches take the fitness of the group quite seriously, even for the staff. That must be the explanation why at two minutes before nine this morning when the team left for training, team chiropractor Dr. George Billauer was seen lumbering down the road after the bus. Had George thought quickly, he would have remembered that the bus makes a circle every day out of the hotel to head back towards the training site. The other explanation would be that someone forgot to do a head count. Sorry, George!


Sorry for the delay in posting today. The screen on the laptop has some pretty psychadelic elements flashing intermittently, which the help desk at U.S. Soccer tells us 'indicates that monitor failure is imminent.' Yikes. In any case, we're back up to speed and will resume entries as if this never happened. So scroll up ...

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Even with players representing ten different states on the roster, it's no surprise that California sends 10 of its natives into camp. The Golden State frequently contributes big numbers to the full team. But two from the state of Maryland? Doesn't happen very often, but it has here with Gooch and Freddy Adu in camp together. Which got us thinking - when was the last time two players hailing from Maryland were in camp at the same time?

Incidentally, near as we can figure this is the first time that three players from the state of Washington are on the same roster.


Both Cuba and Haiti have qualified for the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2008 Olympic Games, each winning their group in the second round of Caribbean Zone qualifying. In Group G, Cuba surprised host Trinidad and Tobago with a 3-0 win in their first match, then beat Grenada, 3-2, to advance.

In Port-au-Prince, Haiti shellacked the Bahamas, 6-0, before sending the stunned Jamaicans home after downing the Reggae Boyz in a 2-1 victory.

The first round of Central American Zone qualifying kicks off next month, with Panama hosting El Salvador and Honduras in one triangular, and Guatemala welcoming Costa Rica and Nicaragua in the other.


Today has been a quiet day for the guys, since only a morning regeneration session is on the schedule. Taking a glance in the rooms we saw Carlos Bocanegra, Jay DeMerit and Heath Pearce catching up on the last season of Entourage, Clint Dempsey practicing Halo 3 on Marcus Hahnemann's Xbox, and Gooch listening to tunes. but mostly there are 'do not disturb' signs hanging on the doors. For many, 'down time' has meant 'schluff time' ...


It’s a good thing that we bloggers aren’t too insecure, or we would feel threatened by the excellent job you all did in asking questions. While we couldn’t get to all of them, we sat down with Danny this afternoon to show him the list, and here’s what he had to say:

wavedagner3 said...
Danny what are the goals you have set for yourself with your new team, you'd like to accomplish by the end of the season?

Danny: “My goals are to be in the starting lineup and for the team to finish in the top eight in La Liga. We’re a smaller club, so to finish that high would be a good accomplishment.”

julie said...
Having just read Grant Wahl's article on Michael Bradley, are you taking Wahl's advice and showing your commitment to the league and the game by learning Spanish at your new home?

Danny: “I think it’s important for a player who comes from a different country to learn the local language so they can communicate well with the other players on the field. I take private lessons three days a week. So far, so good.”

~emersonite~ said...
Hi Danny! 

How do you like Santander, and how close are you to a possible debut?

Danny: “I love the city. I love the beach, and there are about 13 of them. It’s a tourist city, so there a lot of people from all over the world that come to visit. There are plenty of people who speak English. I think training has been going really well. I’ve been playing well, so hopefully I will get an opportunity to play soon.”

adam said...
Out of all of Spain's legendary sides, which are you most excited to take on this season?

Danny: “I would say Barcelona and Real Madrid. They are two of the best clubs in the world, so any opportunity to play against them is a chance to showcase yourself.”

matthew said...
Have you made any big purchases since your transfer? A car, a house, anything? Show me the bling bling.

Danny: “Not yet. I plan on being a new house for my mom in New Jersey. She deserves it.”

jeffrey said...
Danny, could you expand on the difference in the intensity of supporters for Racing compared to your previous experience in Columbus?
 Has anything in particular stood out?

Danny: “The Columbus fans were great. At Racing, the passion is incredible. The stadium is almost always sold out, and the noise when we score a goal is amazing. Fans are singing all game long. It’s a fun experience.”

cdm76 said...
You know Giuseppe Rossi from your club days in NJ. Have you been in contact with him recently? Is he interested in playing for the US?

Danny:“We played Villareal three weeks ago, and we got a chance to talk. It would be great if he chose to play for the U.S., but that is a personal decision for him to make. We don’t really talk about it. “

lawrence said...
Your career has taken quite a jump in success this past year. Sometimes things off the field can make a big impact, especially with a younger player. Can you attribute any of your success this year to something off the field?

 When can we expect the mohawk back?

Danny: “Injuries were definitely something that hurt me during my MLS career, and I didn’t always to the right things to get myself back on the field quick enough. I’ve gotten much better about taking care of my body, eating right and making sure that I am better prepared to perform. I know how important it is. As for the mohawk, it might be a while. But you could see the long hair back soon.

albert said...
Who were the practical jokers on the U20 team?
Danny: I would say Michael Bradley and myself. Jules Valentin would try, he just wasn’t very good at it!"

prime time said...
Danny, how do you feel walking onto the pitch and practicing with the more experienced guys such as DaMarcus Beasley and Carlos Bocanegra? Good luck against Switzerland and in Santander!

Danny: “It’s good. Even though Beas and Carlos are still young, they are very experienced and it’s good to learn from players who are playing at the highest level.”

natalie said...
What have you learned so far from the veterans in the full team? What advice have they given you?

Danny: “The game at this level is a lot faster than at the U-20’s. You have to play faster and take less touches. Communication is also key. You make the job easier on yourself and the players around you. It’s been nice to have guys like Michael Bradley around for my first camp to help me get adjusted while I’m getting to know the other players. I’m just trying to be confident and play soccer they way I know how to play.”

phillip said...
Danny, how have you enjoyed your move to Spain?

“Spain is a great country. There are definitely some cultural differences that you have to get accustomed to. For example, one thing that is different is that everyone eats really late. Nothing opens for dinner until nine o’clock at night. At first it was hard getting used to. My mom and sister were over and we showed up at a restaurant for dinner at 7:15. We had to wait almost two hours for it to open. Another thing is that the people in Spain love to get out of the house and be social. They will go and sit at a coffee shop and drink coffee and talk for hours. People in the U.S. like to talk on the phone or stay at home. In Spain, they love to get out.”

Saturday, October 13, 2007


The t.v. sets in the rooms are tuned into the Switzerland-Austria friendly that is taking place about two hours away in Zurich. Austria nearly scored in the opening minute, and Switzerland did just that sixty seconds later on a breakaway. The Austrians stormed back, and before the game was five minutes old the score was even at 1-1. The game has been an atypically open affair, the normally stingy Swiss defense allowing several good opportunities. Remember, this is a team that didn't give up a single goal in the 2006 World Cup. Switzerland has moved ahead as we write, taking advantage of an Austrian miscue at midfield and a fine individual effort by Bayer Leverkusen-based midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta. It's 2-1 to the hosts at the break.


The local kids have taken a liking to the team, and showed up this morning at the hotel to get autographs as we loaded up the bus for training. Lots of smiles, photos, and even a hug or two, and off they went on their bikes. When the team arrived at the stadium ten minutes later for training - which is some five kilometers away - there were more kids waiting for the guys. But were they different kids? Negative. The little speedsters somehow managed to beat the bus!

OK, so it's not the riddle of the Sphinx or anything, but the players were pretty impressed ...

Friday, October 12, 2007


Once again, Amy was all over the trivia question. We even tried to be a little sly, but she was having none of it. To recap, the question was as follows:

Only one guy here has spent time playing for a Swiss club. Name him, the club, and when he played.

As Amy correctly pointed out, the 'guy' in question is not a current player but assistant coach Peter Nowak, who played for BSC Young Boys in 1992-93, scoring four goals in 33 games. Peter tells us that Young Boys won the winter championship in '92, finished in second place for the summer championship behind Lausanne, and the following season were drawn against Celtic in the UEFA Cup. They drew the first leg, 1-1, at home, and the very next day Peter flew to Germany to sign a contract with Dynamo Dresden.

As some of you pointed out, Frankie Hejduk did play for St. Gallen, but alas "Dukes" isn't here.

It's back to the drawing board for us. Meantime, Amy, have you considered trying out for Jeopardy?


The team received an official welcome from the Mayor of Yverdon-les-Bains this afternoon when he visited the hotel before lunch. Joining the party was Mayor Remy Jaquier, Vice-Mayor Paul Burkhardt, and Jean Daniel Carrard, the Minister of Police and Sport. Mr. Jaquier read a statement to the group - in English, if any of you were wondering - in which he predicted that the U.S. would win on Wednesday. If that doesn't get the Swiss team motivated, we don't know what will. The team thanks Mayor Jaquier and the entire town for their hospitality. From what we've seen, it's a pretty cool place. But don't take our word for it - have a look.


Random as in we got in the elevator together and decided to do an impromptu sit down. If there's anybody who can handle being put on the spot, it's Dan. What were the odds that Aalborg would beat Sampdoria and advance to the UEFA Cup Group Stage?

Dan: "It was long shot. I would have said that if you bet on us, you would have made a lot of money." How big a victory was that for the club?

Dan: "It's huge for the club, and huge for the city. It's really got everybody excited about the team. It's the first time we have qualified into the group stage of a European competition all on our own. In 1995, we were put into the Champions League after Dynamo Kiev got booted for trying to bribe a referee." Big party?

Dan: "Everybody had a good time. The whole town was out celebrating, but there wasn't really anything formal. I think people were still kind of shocked." You are pretty well known for your tattoos. Any new ones?

Dan: "Not yet. I'm working on it. That is to say, working on my wife letting me get one. I'm chipping away at her." You and your wife started a book club amongst your friends. What brought that about?

Dan: "Yeah, it's more like a reading list. Erin got the idea from someone who used to be friends with her boss. Because I read a lot on the road and people are always asking for recommendations, my wife suggested that I review the ones that I have read. She really got into reading in the last year, so she contributed quite a bit for the last issue." What book do you have on the night stand here in Switzerland?

Dan: "A book by W.E.B. Griffin called By Order of the President. I try to alternate between a book that you have to think about it a little bit more, or something that I can learn from, with a page-turner. I just read The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier. I thought it was tremendous. Now it's time for the page turner." If someone was moving to Denmark, what advice would you give them?

Dan: "Bring some warm jackets, and be ready for the wind. It seems like it's always windy." We see the hair is jet black at the moment. How many different colors have you been through?

Dan: "At least 15 different colors. A lot of those multiple times. It's just something different. You get tired of seeing the same thing in the mirror all the time, and your hair is something that you can switch up pretty easily, experiment with, and have fun with it. And if you don't like it, you can just shave it right off. I've only met one hair color that I really didn't like." You get asked questions by reporters all the time. Any you'd like to ask back?

Dan: "I would ask why they always seem to ask the same questions. I get the same question seven different ways. If I were doing it, I would ask questions that make people think. If you can do that, than it's a worthwhile question." Who is the funniest guy on the team?

Dan: "Depends on who you ask, but for me Steve Cherundolo is one of the funniest. Not because he says funny things all the time. But he has great timing, and sometimes he says the things that everyone else is thinking. He's also good at the low brow humor, which is always good with a bunch of guys." We've been listening to all kinds of random music since we got in here. What would you put in next?

Dan: "A little rock and roll. Something classic. Maybe The Police. I just read about their concert tour, so I have Police in the head. Some Clapton might be nice, too." What interests you in soccer right now?

Dan: "More than anything, I've been intrigued the parity throughout Europe, and the world really. More and more, teams and leagues are bringing the level up. The level of what you would consider the middle of the road teams or leagues is very good. Even if they aren't teams that you have ever heard of, there are quite a few Aalborgs out there that are quality teams. It's exciting."


Afternoon, folks. Lot's of catching up to do since it's been quite the busy day here as you'll see later on the website. Much nicer day for training today, and with Carlos and Clint ready for action it was 21 guys on the field. After a warmup, the team played a 'four corners' game. Using one half of the field, the coaches set up four 'goals' in each corner by creating a box out of cones. In order to score, you have to possess the ball inside a box. It's a good exercise for working on transitions, changing the point of attack, and positioning as a group. The play was much sharper as the guys had the first day of training and nerves under their belt. Next they pulled one big goal up to the 18 and played 8 v. 8 with two neutrals, who in this game were Beasley and Zizzo. That's a lot of speed to having running at you when you're numbers down! The session finished with a shooting exercise for some, fitness for others and a game of horseshoes that Jay DeMerit would like to forget. There was a reporter from the local paper out covering; ironically, he didn't speak any English but his Spanish was excellent. That left the interview duties to Carlos Bocanegra, who unfortunately doesn't get the chance to habla espanol that much in England. Let's just say they got through it. Speaking of Carlos, time to meet up with el capitan for our next all_access feature.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Q&A - Your Turn!

Often we hear from people how cool it must be to have our jobs - traveling to exotic places, getting to ask players questions, finding out what they are really like - and the truth is, you're right. But we bloggers aren't selfish. In fact, we like to spread the wealth. So in lieu of one of the usual entertaining and revealing Q&A's that we normally provide, we're going to hand over the question asking duties to you. Today's contestant is Danny Szetela, the U-17 Residency product who parlayed a fantastic performance in the FIFA U-20 World Cup into a transfer to Spanish Primera Liga side Racing Santander and now his first stint with the full team. Post your questions here and we will hit Danny up for responses. Remember,you're supposed to be 'reporters', so let's try to keep the questions above board.


Calling those boots blue isn't doing them justice. You could probably spot those things using Google maps. In any case, don't think DaMarcus will be taking them off any time soon. He told us those boots arrived two weeks ago, and he took them right of the box to wear in a game. That game happened to be the 3-0 away win at Lyon in the Champions League in which he recorded a goal and an assist. Leave 'em on, baby ...


We'll start the week with an easy one:

Only one guy here has spent time playing for a Swiss club. Name him, the club, and when he played.

The average time for someone to post the correct answer to trivia questions on the blog has been about 8.2 minutes, so the clock is ticking.


Believe it or not, almost. The hotel is attached to a private spa, which amongst its many facilities are 17 different pools consisting of hot pools, cold pools, Jacuzzis, and some kind of cool- looking slide thing. For this afternoon's regeneration session, the players have started a rotation through the gym that will conclude with a dip in the pool of their choosing. We're taking bets on who goes down the slide. Meantime, the spa has an interesting rule about shoes - you can't wear them. The choice is either to wear the hotel slippers - one size definitely does not fit all, according to Gooch - or put on these blue plastic booties over your runners. Imagine sporting smurf-colored shoes. Better yet, don't bother. We'll get our photographer on the case...


The first training session in Switzerland is in the books, the group going for about 75 minutes on a rather chilly morning here in Yverdon-les-Bains. All 19 players currently in camp trained, with the Fulham duo of Carlos Bocanegra and Clint Dempsey arriving this afternoon. DaMarcus Beasley, who has been out of action since the weekend with a sore ankle, resumed full activity. With a lot of new faces, there was a sense of excitement and a bit of nerves as the young players got accustomed to each other and the new environment. The teamed trained on the match field of the local second division club, performing for an audience of school children who took a break from their own practice to watch the big boys in action. Stay tuned for a video recap of day one in Switzerland, where you'll hear from some of the neophytes as well as a couple of your old favorites. And by old, Marcus, we mean experienced. Actually, Marcus is pretty old ...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


There has been a steady flow of players arriving into camp throughout the day, although several guys got stuck in traffic after two trucks collided on the highway leading out of the airport in Geneva. A 45-minute ride turned into a 90-plus minute nightmare - loads of fun after flying overnight. Chris Seitz and Robbie Findley got the early bird award, reaching the hotel just after 8 a.m. this morning. We found them wandering the streets this afternoon, They managed to find a convenience store that took credit cards, and came back with some less-than-healthy snacks, but considering how hungry we were - and as you read, no restaurants open - we certainly understood. Most of the group filtered into the meal room as soon as they got to the hotel, so forks were being put down for handshakes and hugs throughout dinner. Dan Califf, Tally Hall and Steve Purdy rolled in around 9:30 p.m with the room empty save for the coaches, who were engaged in their typical deep discussion. We'll help you get to know Tally and Steve later this week, but here's the initial impression: those are some tall dudes.

It's getting late here, but there is still activity in the training room. DaMarcus Beasley and Steve Cherundolo are getting a little work done, and Jay DeMerit is sampling the chocolate chip cookies that somehow got left on the table in here. Things are winding down, so we're calling it quits for day one.


Helpful hints for tourists traveling to this part of the country:

1) There is no snacking between meals: Well, you can, but not in a restaurant. Lunch is served until 2 p.m., then they shut down until 5 p.m. No such thing as the 24-hour diner (which by the way, we think is a good thing).

2) Bring your Visa card, but an ATM card too: Unlike almost anywhere in the U.S., credit cards are not as ubiquitous in these parts. The lady at the bakery counter vigorously shaking her head at goalkeeper coach Tim Mulqueen holding up his Visa was indication enough.

3) Switzerland has four official languages, but English isn't one of them: While many people in the large cities speak fluent English, they are few and far between here. One can, however, converse in French, German, Italian, or Romansh. And if you can speak Romansh, you're in another class.

4) Locker rooms and saunas are co-ed and clothing optional: That one speaks for itself.

All in all, seems a very cool (and quiet) town. Like any good tourist, we'll post some photos when we have them.


Like a precision Swiss timepiece, the U.S. Soccer blog will measure the movements of the team's arrival into Switzerland. Only about half the team has arrived at this point, the bulk of the group landing in Geneva inside the hour. Training doesn't begin until tomorrow, but we bloggers already have our ears to the ground and will keep you up to date all week long with photos, news and tidbits as we prepare for the MNT's penultimate match of 2007. Welcome back ...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


The News: Aalborg have been drawn into Group G with RSC Anderlecht (BEL), Tottenham Hotspur FC (ENG), Getafe CF (ESP), and Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC (ISR)

Of Note: One of two representatives from Denmark in the Group Stage, Aalborg advanced by getting past Italian side Sampdoria on away goals. They will face two-time UEFA Cup winners Tottenham Hotspur, as well as an Anderlecht side that has played over 80 matches in tournament history and has the 1983 cup in their trophy case.

Up Next: Aalborg open up at home against Anderlecht on November 8 at Aalborg Stadium


The News: Everton are drawn into Group A of the UEFA Cup along with AZ Alkmaar (NED), FC Zenit St. Petersburg (RUS), 1. FC Nürnberg (GER), and Larissa FC (GRE)

Of Note: After getting past Ukrainian club FC Metalist in the first round, Everton are entered into an intriguing group that includes Tony Sanneh's former club FC Nürnberg, an AZ Alkmaar team coached by former Barcelona, Ajax, and Dutch national team boss Louis van Gaal, and Larissa FC from Greece, the team that knocked out fellow U.S. international Brad Friedel and Blackburn Rovers.

Up Next: Group play kicks off Oct. 25 with Everton hosting Larissa FC at Goodison Park


The News: Benny Feilhaber earns his first start for Derby County in a 1-0 loss to Reading

Of Note: Benny's debut in the starting XI came in his third appearance for the Rams after entering as a reserve against Newcastle and Arsenal. Derby were held scoreless for the sixth time in nine league games this year, the loss keeping them at the foot of the EPL table.

Up Next: Feilhaber joins forces with his national team brethren for a week-long training camp in advance of the USA's match against Switzerland on Oct. 17 in Basel

Thursday, October 4, 2007

UEFA Cup Wrap-Up

The News: The first round of the UEFA Cup was completed today with teams squaring off in the second legs of their home and away ties.

Of Note:
Helsingborg 5 – 1 Heerenveen: Despite taking a two goal lead into the second leg, Michael Bradley and Heerenveen were unceremoniously eliminated from the UEFA Cup after today’s 5-1 loss left them two goals adrift on aggregate. Henrik Larsson opened the scoring for Helsingborg in the 20th minute, and the Swedish cup scored four more unanswered goals, before Heerenveen notched a late consolation in the 89th minute. Now Heerenveen turn their sights towards the weekend where they face SC Heracles Almelo in Eredivisie league play.

Standard Liege 1 – 1 Zenit St. Petersburg: Standard failed to overturn a three goal disadvantage from the first leg, and were eliminated from the UEFA Cup 4-1 on aggregate. Oguchi Onyewu opened the scoring in the 37th minute, but was sent off later in the half for his second bookable offense. Despite constant pressure in the second half, the Belgian Club couldn’t find the net again, and when Zenit scored a late equalizer in the 81st minute, Standard Liege’s fate was sealed. Despite being out of European competition, Gooch and his club remain in excellent form domestically, having not lost a game thus far this season. They’ll put their undefeated record on the line again this weekend when they face Germinal Beerschot on Sunday.

Everton 3 – 2 FC Metalist Kharkiv: Everton came from behind twice in a 3-2 victory that saw them advance into the group stage of the UEFA Cup. After the first leg ended even at one, the Toffees found themselves with their backs against the wall early, when Metalist Khariv scored the opening goal. After halftime, however, Everton turned it on, and scored three goals in forty-five minutes to ensure their passage into the next round. Tim Howard was between the posts for Everton, his second successive start after recovering from a dislocated finger. On Sunday, Newcastle travel to Goodison Park for an afternoon kick off as Everton tries to maintain their solid position in the Premier League table.

Up Next: It's the end of the line for Michael and Gooch, but for Timmy and his teammates they move on. Everton finds out who they face next on Oct. 9 when they hodl the drawing for the group stage.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


The News: Rangers pulled off a remarkable 3-0 against Ligue 1 champions Lyon. DaMarcus Beasley, starting his first Champions League match of the year, was integral to his team’s victory, notching an assist and a goal as Rangers made it two wins from two games in Group E.

Of Note: The Stade Gerland has been a stronghold for the French champions in recent years, but Rangers dispelled any lingering doubts about their pedigree for Europe’s premier competition with an assured and organized performance. The Glasgow club got off to an excellent start when DaMarcus Beasley’s inswinging corner was headed home with a thumping effort by Lee McCulloch in the 23rd minute. For the rest of the first half, Lyon had the majority of the possession, but couldn’t capitalize on any of their opportunities. Brazilian playmaker Juninho came closest to leveling the score when he struck the bar from a trademark free kick on the stroke of halftime. In the second half, Rangers came out and hit Lyon for two quick goals. In the 48th minute, the away side doubled their lead through Frenchman Daniele Cousin. Within four minutes they had increased the margain to three, after DaMarcus Beasley controlled a long ball from Cousin, rounded the keeper and slotted it home with his left foot. Though Lyon continued to press, and even finished the game with an astounding 32 shots and 14 corners, Rangers’ defense held tight and the game finished 3-0.

Up Next: Rangers have a tough few weeks ahead of them. This Saturday, in the Scottish Premier League, they face third place side Hibernian, who haven’t lost a match yet this year. After the international break, Rangers face their biggest rivals Celtic on the 20th, before hosting Barcelona in the Champions League on the 23rd.

Monday, October 1, 2007


The News: Fulham, led by goalkeeper Kasey Keller, earned an impressive 0-0 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. With that point, Fulham move up to 16th place in the table.

Of Note: For the first time this year, Fulham’s defense kept a clean sheet against the opposition, as Keller rolled back the years to produce some of the fine saves that helped him make his name in the Premier League years ago. After starting midweek against Bolton in the Carling Cup, Keller was again inserted into the first 11, this time against London rivals Chelsea, who themselves were looking to shake their recent poor form. Aided by a strong performance by the back four, including stand-in captain Carlos Bocanegra, Keller and Fulham kept Chelsea’s high powered attack at bay and earned an impressive point on the road. After Didier Drogba was dismissed for his second bookable offense, Fulham created a few excellent chances but were unable to convert any, with Clint Dempsey coming close to a goal late in the game. Last year, Fulham also earned a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.

Also, you can check out this interview with Kasey on Fulham’s website, where he talks about his career, and coming back to London. Read it here.

Up Next: Fulham face Portsmouth at Craven Cottage on Saturday. Portsmouth is coming off an unbelievable 7-4 win against Reading in a match that set the record for goals in a Premier League game.