Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

The Global Blog wishes all of you out there a Happy New Year! Now lets get down to business - it's been an action packed year for our guys abroad, and for most of them the season is only half over. Here's what's been going on so far this term for some MNT players:

Tim Howard (Everton, English Premier League) – After a slow start to the Premier League season, Everton have picked things up significantly, and the Toffees are up to sixth in the table. Tim Howard has continued as his reliable self in the Everton goal, setting a unique record in November and keeping four clean sheets in a row during December.
Premier League – 20 apps (20 starts), 7 Clean Sheets
Carling Cup – 1 app (1 start)
UEFA Cup – 2 apps (2 starts)

Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes, Ligue 1) – In his first season on the continent, Bocanegra is adapting seamlessly to life in Ligue 1. After moving from Fulham in the summer, Bocanegra has slotted into the Rennes backline as a left back, and he’s appeared in all nineteen league games thus far. Rennes are up to third place in Ligue 1 and maintain a seventeen match unbeaten run heading into 2009.
Ligue 1 – 19 apps (19 starts)

Oguchi Onyewu (Standard Liege, Belgian Juplier League) – Onyewu continues to make an impression at Standard Liege in Belgium. You don’t have to dig to deep to hear his name being tossed around during this month’s transfer window frenzy. After taking the league title last year, Liege are playing catch-up this time around – they currently sit in third place. In the UEFA Cup, the team has confidently progressed to the next round, where they’ll take on S.C. Braga of Portugal in Februay.
Jupiler League – 16 apps (15 starts)
UEFA Cup – 6 apps (6 starts), 1 goal
Coupe de Belgigue – 1 app (1 start)

Clint Dempsey (Fulham, English Premier League) – After starting the season as a frequently used substitute, Dempsey worked his way into the starting lineup, where he has remained a constant fixture for the past two months. Fulham enjoyed an excellent holiday period, taking 5 points from three games, with Dempsey’s two goals against Chelsea the highlight for Cottagers fans.
Premier League - 16 apps (9 starts), 4 goals
Carling Cup – 1 app (1 start)

Brad Guzan (Aston Villa, English Premier League) – El Guzano has spent the majority of his first few months in England backing up Brad Friedel in the Aston Villa goal during Premier League games. Guzan has made four appearances in other competitions, including 3 starts in the UEFA Cup, where Villa have progressed to the knockout round to face CSKA Moscow in February.
UEFA Cup – 3 apps (3 starts), 1 Clean Sheet
Carling Cup – 1 app (1 start)

Freddy Adu (AS Monaco, Ligue 1)*
Ligue 1 – 9 apps (0 starts)
*On loan from SL Benfica

Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach, German Bundesliga)
Bundesliga - 11 apps (9 starts), 1 goal

Steve Cherundolo (Hannover96, German Bundesliga)
Bundesliga 14 apps (13 starts), 1 assist
DFB Pokal Cup 1 app (1 start), 1 assist

Jozy Altidore (Villarreal, La Liga)
La Liga - 6 apps (2 starts), 1 goal
Copa del Rey - 2 apps (2 starts)

José Torres (Pachuca, Primera División de México)
Apertura 2008 – 13 apps (8 starts), 1 goal
FIFA World Club Cup – 3 apps (2 starts),

Michael Orozco (San Luis, Primera División de México)
Apertura 2008 – 8 apps (8 starts)

Danny Szetela (Brescia, Serie B)
Serie B – 9 apps (8 starts)
Coppa Italia – 1 app (1 start)

Jonathan Spector (West Ham Utd., English Premier League)
Premier League – 1 app

DaMarcus Beasley (Rangers, Scottish Premier League)
SPL - 8 apps (4 starts), 0 goals
CIS Cup - 1 app (1 start)

Maurice Edu (Rangers, Scottish Premier League)
SPL - 1 app (1 start)
CIS Cup - 1 app (1 start)

Eddie Johnson (Cardiff City, English Championship)*
English Championship – 15 apps (3 starts), 2 assists
Carling Cup – 2 apps (2 starts)
*on loan from Fulham

Jay DeMerit (Watford, English Championship)
English Championship – 18 apps (17 starts)
Carling Cup – 3 apps (3 starts)

Frank Simek (Sheffield Wednesday, English Championship)
English Championship – 3 apps (2 starts)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Spector Completes Return from Injury

Jonathan Spector completed his return from injury this past weekend, entering the game as a second half win during West Ham Utd.'s 2-1 win over Stoke City. Most of the headlines though were reserved for Stoke's Ricardo Fuller, who slapped his teammate and got sent off. Yup.

Highlights: Everton 3, Sunderland 0



BBC Match Report and Tim Howard talks about being impressed by Everton's fighting spirit during the recent injury crisis

Sky Sports Match Report

Roster Set for January Camp

U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named 25 players to the training camp roster that will begin workouts Jan. 4 at U.S. Soccer's National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The group will prepare for the USA’s first match of 2009, a friendly against Sweden on Jan. 24 at The Home Depot Center.

Here's what the roster looks like:
GOALKEEPERS (4): Jon Busch (Chicago Fire), Will Hesmer (Columbus Crew), Troy Perkins (Valerenga IF), Matt Pickens (out of contract)
DEFENDERS (8): Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Danny Califf (FC Midtjylland), Sean Franklin (Los Angeles Galaxy), Cory Gibbs (Colorado Rapids), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Chris Wingert (Real Salt Lake), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Brian Carroll (Columbus Crew), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Jack Jewsbury (Kansas City Wizards), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), John Thorrington (Chicago Fire)
FORWARDS (4): Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire)

Highlights: Fulham 2, Chelsea 2


As you have probably heard, Clint Dempsey scored two goals this past weekend in Fulham's 2-2 draw with London rivals Chelsea. The Blog was vacationing in Mexico (though it did manage to catch the game alongside some goofy Chelsea fans) so now we'll get you caught up:


BBC match Report

Sky Sports match report and an article where Dempsey discusses Fulham going forward.

Fulhamfc.com's match report



Pictures from Fulhamfc.com

Gooch Rumors

The January transfer window is fast approaching, which means everybody should get ready for a month of ridiculous speculation and rumors being thrown about with less regard than a Mitch Williams fastball.

Stepping into the batter's box today is Oguchi Onyewu who, according to The Sun, is linked with four clubs. Fulham is set to do battle with Borussia Monchengladbach, Marseille and Paris St. Germain for Gooch's signature. Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Dempsey Double Earns Fulham a Draw

Clint Dempsey scored twice as Fulham came from a goal down to earn a draw with Chelsea at Craven Cottage on Sunday.

The London derby was a back-and-forth affair, with the home side taking the lead first. Dempsey was in the right position at the far-post for a Simon Davies freekick, and Clint shook his marker and cleverly flicked the ball home from close range.

Chelsea took awhile to respond, but eventually they did through Frank Lampard.The England midfielder scored twice in the second half, and second place Chelsea looked to be heading for all three points.

Fulham was having none of it, and Dempsey capped a late push by grabbing his second goal of the game in the 89th minute.The game finished 2-2 at Craven Cottage.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing Day Action

- Clint Dempsey and Fulham fought out a 0-0 stalemate with London-rivals Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. The Cottagers' London derby weekend continues with a match agaisnt Chelsea on Sunday at Craven Cottage.

- Tim Howard and Everton overcame injury problems to snatch. 1-0 win over Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium. A goal from make-shift forward Tim Cahill was enough to outpace a sloppy 'Boro side that is slipping further down the table. Up next for Howard and Everton is a match with resurgent Sunderland on Sunday.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Everton Draws Chelsea at Goodison Park

Everton and Tim Howard tied Chelsea 0-0 on Monday night. The home side couldn't make the most of a man advantage, after John Terry was sent off for visiting Chelsea in the first half. Next up for Everton: Middlesbrough on Friday.

Late Fight Back for Rennes

Rennes are up to third place in Ligue 1, after two second half goals gave Carlos Bocanegra's side the comeback win over Lorient. Carlos started in his usual position at left back, played the full 90 minutes and earned a yellow card for his troubles.



Freddy Adu came on as a sub for AS Monaco but the team conceded two late goals to fall 4-3 to Bordeaux.

Fulham vs. 'Boro Highlights

Highlights from Fulham's 3-0 victory over Middlesbrough this weekend (Clint Dempsey scored the 3rd goal in the win):

Oguchi Onyewu and Liege Beat Gent 2-1

Oguchi Onyewu and Standard Liege are consolidating their 2nd place position in the Belgian League table, helped by this weekend's 2-1 win over KAA Gent. Liege are off until mid-January, when the Belgian League reconvenes.

Everton Set for Chelsea

Everton are set to host Chelsea in Monday night's Premier League fixture. Well, that's Monday afternoon for those of us in the States, and the game can be seen live on Setanta starting at 2 p.m. ET (kickoff is at 3 p.m.)

The holiday schedule is notoriously busy in England and the Premier League is one of the few countries that loads up a full slate of game for the festive period. Everton took time out from the hectic period to visit a children's hospital in Liverpool, you can read about their visit here.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fulham Climb to Eighth as Dempsey Scores in Victory


Around here we've talked a lot about Rennes unbeaten run over in France but check out Clint Dempsey and Fulham putting together a little run of their own.

With today's 3-0 victory over hapless Middlesbrough, the Cottagers stretched their streak to seven games without a loss and moved up to a respectable 8th place in the Premier League table.

Clint Dempsey started for Fulham and grabbed his second Premier League goal of the season when he finished a move in the 59th minute to seal the game for his club.



Picture from Fulhamfc.com

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Liege Ready to Finish Group Stage

Oguchi Onyewu and Standard Liege are already through to the next round of the UEFA Cup, but tonight's game against Stuttgart still has its importance. If Liege win or draw, they'll be assured of first place in Group C, a crucial bonus when it comes time to draw opponents for the next round.

With last night's defeat against Hamburg, Brad Guzan and Aston Villa missed out on that bonus. They will now face a team coming in from the Champions League in the next round.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bundesliga Highlights from Last Weekend

Gladbach vs. Dortmund



Hannover 96 vs. Arminia Bielefeld

Guzan and Villa Travel to Hamburg

Brad Guzan and Aston Villa are taking their UEFA Cup campaign to Germany tonight, when they take on Hamburg at the HSH Nordbank Arena. Kickoff for the game starts around 3 p.m. ET, and you can see the game live on Setanta Sports.

Hamburg and Villa are both assured of their spots in the final 32 of the tournament, with Ajax also booking their place from Group F. However, there is much on the line in terms of the upcoming draw. Here's why, according to UEFA:

"Group winners will be paired with third-placed sides from other UEFA Cup sections, while second-placed finishers will be drawn against one of the eight sides who finished third in the UEFA Champions League groups. The UEFA Cup group winners and runners-up will play the second leg at home."

So lots to play for still for Guzan and his team, we'll be back with highlights later.

Pachuca Eliminated by LDU Quito

Jose Torres and Pachuca were ousted from the FIFA Club World Cup by South American champions LDU Quito. Quito jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first first half and never looked back, becoming the first team into the final. Their opponent will be determined tomorrow, when Manchester United meets Gamba Osaka.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Don't Miss It: USA vs. Mexico

The U.S. MNT is set to face Mexico on February 11 at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. The opening match of the Final Round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying will be played in chilly conditions, recalling memories of the 'Guerra Fria' played in 2001, where temperature at kickoff was a balmy 29 degrees. Goals by Josh Wolff and Earnie Stewart led the U.S. to 2-0 win to start the final round. Four years later, Steve Ralston and DaMarcus Beasley did the business and the U.S. recorded another 2-0 scoreline at Crew Stadium, the victory on Sept. 3, 2005, booking the USA's place in the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

We spoke to Beas to get his thoughts on the upcoming game and his memories of qualifying in Columbus. Listen to the full podcast here.

Highlights: Stoke City 0, Fulham 0

Highlights: Manchester City 0, Everton 1

Brad Friedel Interview

A few weeks ago we highlighted Brad Friedel's record breaking appearance against Fulham. This week, the former MNT goalkeeper sat down with Premier League World to talk about his career in England:

Interview with Spector

Jonathan Spector is coming closer to first team football. He spoke to West Ham Utd.'s club website here about his road back for injury. Said Spector:

"I need at least one more reserve game before I feel fit enough to be in with the first team but I will certainly be pushing myself to be back as soon as possible...I am certainly happy to be back after being out for such an extended period of time and we got the result as well with a 3-2 victory [last week over a visiting team comprised of MLS players]. It was nice to score. That doesn't happen too often either. It was great to get a goal but more importantly I am just happy to be back playing. I really enjoyed it"

Read the full article here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Highlights from this Weekend

Oguchi Onyewu and Standard Liege defeated Club Brugge 4-1:


Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes tied Lille 0-0:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday Results

  • Taken down by a late winner last week, it was Everton's turn to inflict injury time pain on another team this week, with Tim Cahill's headed goal giving the Toffees the 1-0 win at the City of Manchester Stadium. Tim Howard made three saves in the victory.
  • Fulham drew again, fighting out a goaless snoozer with Stoke City. Clint Dempsey went the full 90 minutes for the Cottagers.
  • Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes continued their unbeaten run, but missed a chance to go just one point behind Lyon. Their 0-0 draw with Nantes leaves them fifth in the table.
  • Eddie Johnson came on as a first half sub as Cardiff City beat Ipswich Town 2-1.
  • Steve Cherundolo and Hannover96 tied 1-1 with Arminia Bielefeld.

Pachuca On to the Semis

Pachuca defeated Al Ahly 4-2 on Friday, scoring two goals in extra time to just get by the African champions from Egypt. The Mexican side moves onto the semifinals to face LDU Quito on Dec. 17. Jose Torres started the match before making way early in the second half.

Watch 1st First Half Highlights

2nd Half Highlights


2nd Half/Extra Time Highlights

Friday, December 12, 2008

Let's Catch Up on Highlights:

Dec. 6 - Caen vs. Rennes:


Villarreal vs. Getafe:


Fulham vs. Manchester City:


Dec. 7 - Everton vs. Aston Villa:

Long Break for Gladbach

Borussia Mönchengladbach fell 2-1 to Borussia Dortmund today, in a tough away loss that concluded the first half of the season. Michael Bradley started the game before being subbed out about midway through the second half. Gladbach will go into the long winter break on the bottom of the table, and they don't play again until January 31st when they meet VFB Stuttgart. The good news: just two point separate 14th from 18th place in the Bundesliga...

Pachuca Ready for World Club Cup

Pachuca and Jose Torres have traveled halfway around the world to compete in the FIFA Club World Cup, which kicked off in Japan last night. The Mexican side qualified for the tournament thanks to their CONCACAF Champions Cup victory and tonight they take on the African champions, Egyption side Al Ahly. You can see the game live, starting at 11:30 p.m. ET on FSC.

In the other quaterfinal match, Adelaide United takes on Asian champions Gamba Osaka for the right to meet Manchester United in the semfinals. The winner of Pachuca/Al Ahly will face LDU Quito in the other half of the draw.

Spector Nears Return

Jonathan Spector has been out of action for awhile but he's now making a welcome return to the West Ham squad. Yesterday he went the full 90 minutes in a reserve match against an MLS Select side during a 3-2 victory for the Hammers. Spector even scored in the victory, heading home from a Matthew Ethrington corner.

Howard Ready for Manchester City

Tim Howard and Everton were on the tough end of a 3-2 loss to Aston Villa this past weekend, but him and his teammates are eager to move on and take the positives from what was an excellent fight back by the Toffees. This week Everton faces Manchester City, here's Sky Sports with a preview of the game, which also features an interview with Howard:


As the video mentions, Howard was accepting the award for Everton Player of the Month for November. He also talked about Everton's ability to break into the top four in the Premier League, a feat that they achieved when they finished in fourth place in 2005:

"It [the top four dropping points] gives us hope, inspiration and motivation to keep plugging away and keep getting results. We said all along we want to be in the thick of it - sixth, seventh or eighth - so we can push on."

Next up for Everton is a visit to Manchester City on Saturday. You can see the game live on FSC starting at 10:00 a.m. ET.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Official U.S. Soccer Bar Welcomes Roman Abramovich


Nevada Smiths, the December U.S. Soccer Bar of the Month, got a special guest for their Saturday morning screening of the Chelsea-Bolton match when Blues owner Roman Abramovich dropped in to catch the action.

In the city for a shopping excursion, the Chelsea boss heard that Nevada Smith’s was the bar affiliated with the New York based Chelsea supporters group, New York Blues. In fact, Nevada Smith’s is affiliated with over 25 supporters groups, and has spent the past 10 years developing a “bar for the fans.” All supporters groups are welcome at Nevada Smiths.


Abramovich isn't the only celeb who has come through the 'round ball' bar. Sir Alex Ferguson, Sting, and former Man-U striker Dwight Yorke are just some of the luminaries who have joined the fans to get their football fix.


Nevada Smiths is one of the bars nominated for the 2008 Best U.S. Soccer Bar award. The winner for that and all of the Best of U.S. Soccer awards will be announced next week.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Parkhurst Moves to Denmark


MNT Defender Michael Parkhurst has signed a contract with FC Nordsjaelland in Denmark, and he'll join up with the team in January 2009 when his current deal with the Revolution expires at the end of this year.

FC Nordsjaelland is currently 8th out of 12 teams in the Danish top flight. The league is on a winter break until March, when play resumes for the second half of the season.

Picture from FC Nordsjaelland's official website.

Highlights from Liege's Loss this Weekend

That about sums it up:

Tough Loss for Timmy and Co.

Tim Howard and Everton lost a 3-2 heartbreaker to Aston Villa on Sunday. Highlights of the game:

Championship Midweek Update

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Saturday Results

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Aston Villa Lose but Still Advance

Brad Guzan and Aston Villa lost to Zilina 2-1 on Thursday but the English club but still advanced to the final 32 of the UEFA Cup. Guzan made 3 saves for Villa in the loss.



Up next for Aston Villa is a big matchup with Everton on Sunday in the Premier League.

Carlos Bocanegra on Rennes' Recent Run

We sat down with Renes defender and U.S. MNT captain Carlos Bocanegra to get his thoughts on Rennes' good form in Ligue 1. Rennes are up to second in the French top flight, and they will look to keep up the pace with Lyon when they travel to face Caen.

Listen to the full podcast with Carlos here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Onyewu Scores as Liege Go Through to Last 32


Oguchi Onyewu scored the second goal in Standard Liege's 3-0 victory over Sampdoria in the UEFA Cup on Wednesday and the Belgian side qualified for the final 32 of the tournament with the win.

There's still one more matchday left, but Liege is safe atop the Group C standings, and they're joined in the last 32 by FC Metalist Kharkiv, FC Twente, Galatasaray AŞ, and Udinese Calcio.



Liege rounds out the UEFA Cup group stage with a match against Stuttgart on the 18th, but the Belgian champions already have their sites set on the knockout round, which begins in 2009.

Picture courtesy of UEFA.com

Watford Felled by Spurs

Jay DeMerit and Watord came up just short against Carling Cup holders Tottenham tonight. Watford took the lead against the favored visitors, but couldn't hold on as Spurs came fighting back for two goals to advance to the semfinals.

watford v spurs

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Watford Ready for Carling Cup Quarters

Jay DeMerit and Watford are enduring a tough time in the Championship this season, but they look to be turning things around just a bit. The Hornets are unbeaten in three games, including this weekend's draw against Doncaster. Perhaps the recent reversal has to do with the team's support of the Movember campaign which, as you can see from the picture, appears to be going quite well.



Next up for DeMerit and company, is a Carling Cup quarterfinal date with Tottenham. Harry Redknapp's team has been enjoying a rejuvenation of late, and they're the holders of the cup, having defeated Chelsea earlier this year. The game can be seen live in the U.S. on Setanta starting at 2:00 p.m. ET.

And speaking of Tottenham, The Mirror says the London club is lining up a bid for Reading goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann.

Highlights from Villarreal against Recreativo

Jozy Altidore started in his first La Liga game this weekend as Villarreal moved up to second in the Spanish table. Highlights from the game below:

Rangers to Continue Cup against St. Johnstone

Rangers, holders of the Scottish Cup, will travel to St. Johnstone in the fourth round of this year's tournament. The draw was made today for the next set of games, which will take place on January 10 or 11.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Rennes Move into Second with Win

Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes beat PSG 1-0 on Sunday to move into second place in the Ligue 1 table. The win also stretches Rennes' unbeaten run in the league to 14 games.

Everton Earn Three Points in London


Tim Howard and Everton traveled to London to take on Tottenham on Sunday, and the Toffees came away with all three points.

Howard made three saves in the victory, and Stephen Pienaar's goal was enough to separate the sides on manager David Moyes' 300th game on the touchline for Everton. The win did not come without cost, however, and it has been learned that striker Yakubu will be out for the rest of the season after rupturing his achilles during the match.

Everton are up to 7th in the Premier League table, just three points behind 5th place Aston Villa. The two sides will meet next Sunday at Goodison Park in a battle of American goalies, when Howard takes on record-breaker Brad Friedel (with backup support from Brad Guzan).

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Liege Ties

Oguchi Onyewu and Standard Liege tied KV Mechelen 0-0 on Sunday. The point keeps Liege 3rd in the Belgian league table. Up next for Liege is a quick turnaround for the UEFA Cup - they face Sampdoria on Thursday. Last week Liege went top of Group C with a 1-0 win over Partizan Belgrade.

Today's highlights: KV Mechelen 0, Standard Liege 0


Thursday's highlights: Partizan Belgrade 0, Standard Liege 1

Altidore Starts as Villarreal Win

Jozy Altidore got the start and went 78 minutes for Villarreal as the Yellow Submarine defeated Recreativo Huelva 2-1. Goals from Santi Carzola and Ariel Ibagaza were the difference as Villarreal moved back into 2nd place in La Liga with the victory. Next up for Villarreal is a match against Getafe next weekend.

Rennes vs. PSG Live on Setanta

Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes host PSG in a Ligue 1 clash on Sunday. Rennes put their 13 match unbeaten run on the line against the resurgent side form France's capital, themselves unbeaten in their last three.

Adding to the intrigue is the fact that Rennes manager Guy Lacombe is the former gaffer for PSG. He left in January before coming to Rennes. Since then, PSG has turned around significantly, and they currently lie in 6th in the table, level with Rennes on 26 points.

You can tune in to see Bocanegra and Rennes in action, as the game kicks off at 3 p.m. ET live on Setanta.

Fulham Grab Another Away Result


Fulham stoically held on for another road draw on Saturday, digging in to earn a 0-0 draw with Aston Villa.

The tie marked Fulham's second consecutive away draw against tough opposition, after the Cottagers tied Liverpool last weekend.

Clint Dempsey went the full 90 minutes for Fulham, and earned a yellow card in the fourth minute. Goalkeeper Brad Guzan was in his customary position of backup for the hosts, though he could be back on the field in midweek when Aston Villa take on MSK Zilina in the UEFA Cup.

Another American goalkeeper, Brad Friedel, added another award to his already storied career thanks to his appearance in Saturday's game. Friedel broke the record for consecutive starts in the Premier League, when he took the field for the 167th consecutive time against Fulham.

For Nancy Armour's article on both Brads (Friedel and Guzan) at Aston Villa, click here.

Next up for Fulham is a return to Craven Cottage to take on Manchester City next Saturday.




Picture from soccernet.com

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

San Luis Down after One Leg

Despite ending the season at the top of the Primera División table, Michael Orozco and San Luis was unable to hold off reigning champions Santos Laguna in their first match of the 2008 Apertura quarterfinal series at Estadio Coronoa in Torreón, Coahuila. Santos was without injured Christian Benitez, and replaced him with Cuauhtémoc Blanco, on loan from the Chicago Fire. Santos scored first, on an own goal that went off Oscar Mascorro’s head in the 17th minute. Santos scored again in the 34th minute and San Luis cute the lead in half in the 44th, but was unable to come back as the Guerreros sealed the 3-1 scoreline in the 78th minute.



Next, the San Luis will host Santos, and they will do it without head coach Raúl Arias on the sidelines. Arias as suspended for two matches for arguing with the referees. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, Nov. 29.

Wigan 1, Everton 0

Tim Howard and Everton were defeated by Wigan on Monday night, with a Henri Camara goal separating the two sides at the JJB stadium. You can see first half highlights here, and second half highlights here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Timmy on TV

Tim Howard and Everton take on Wigan this afternoon in Monday's Premier League action. If you're looking for a reason to take a long lunch, well now you have it. The game is being shown life on Setanta, so head over to your nearest Official U.S. Soccer Bar to catch the midday action.

Rennes Extend Unbeaten Run

Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes extended their unbeaten run in France to 13 games, courtesy of a 1-1 draw away to Bordeaux. Next up for Carlos and Co. is PSG. The teams are in 4th and 5th in Ligue 1, separated by just a point, and both teams are in excellent form. PSG just dispatched league leaders Lyon 1-0 over the weekend.

Liverpool 0, Fulham 0

Fulham traveled to Anfield this weekend and came away with a 0-0 draw.

Clint Dempsey played 85 minutes in the match, as Fulham spoiled Fernando Torres' return to the starting lineup for Liverpool.

In other Fulham news, Eddie Johnson, on loan to Cardiff, played 90 minutes in Cardiff City's 2-1 loss to Plymouth in the English Championship.

Next up for Fulham is a trip to Villa Park to meet a tough Aston Villa side with Brad Guzan.



Picture courtesy of fulhamfc.com

Liege One Point Back

Oguchi Onyewu and Standard Liege beat Mouscron 3-1 over the weekend to keep pace with Club Brugge in the Belgian League. Up next for Liege is a trip to Serbia to take on Partizan Belgrade in the UEFA Cup.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday Results

Drawn Together

The U.S. has gone hexagonal, and results are in from South Africa for the draw for Final Round Qualifying. Here's the full schedule. More on ussoccer.com later today, including the Confederations Cup Draw.

Wednesday 11 February
Costa Rica-Honduras
El Salvador-Trinidad and Tobago
USA-Mexico

Saturday 28 March
Mexico-Costa Rica
Trinidad and Tobago-Honduras
El Salvador-USA

Wednesday 1 April
Costa Rica-El Salvador
USA-Trinidad and Tobago
Honduras-Mexico

Wednesday 3 June
Costa Rica-USA

Saturday 6 June
Trinidad and Tobago-Costa Rica
El Salvador-Mexico
USA-Honduras

Wednesday 10 June
Mexico-Trinidad and Tobago
Honduras-El Salvador

Wednesday 12 August
Honduras-Costa Rica
Trinidad and Tobago-El Salvador
Mexico-USA

Saturday 5 September
Costa Rica-Mexico
Honduras-Trinidad and Tobago
USA-El Salvador

Wednesday 9 September
El Salvador-Costa Rica
Trinidad and Tobago-USA
Mexico-Honduras

Saturday 10 October (*)
Costa Rica-Trinidad and Tobago
Mexico-El Salvador
Honduras-USA

Wednesday 14 October (*)
USA-Costa Rica
Trinidad and Tobago-Mexico
El Salvador-Honduras

(*) simultaneous kick-off

The top three finishers from the final 'hexagonal' round will qualify automatically for South Africa 2010 as the region's representatives, while the fourth-place team will contest an intercontinental play-off with the fifth-place finisher from the South American Zone over two legs. The winner will also go to South Africa.

Friday, November 21, 2008

San Luis Set to Begin Playoffs


On Saturday, Nov. 22, at 5 p.m. CT, Michael Orozco and San Luis will travel to Torreón, Coahuila, to face off against Santos Laguna in the first leg of the 2008 Apertura quarterfinals. San Luis heads into the quarterfinals, not only at the head of Group 3, but also at the top of the overall Primera División table, with 29 points at the end of the regular season. San Luis and Santos have met only once in Apertura 2008, resulting in a 2-2 draw in the second to last regular season game.

As a defender, Orozco may face off against a new face in the Santos attack, as Chicago Fire midfielder Cuauhtémoc Blanco has been loaned out to Santos for the Liguilla. San Luis will host the return leg at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday, Nov. 29.

If you haven't noticed yet, Orozco is nominated for U.S. Soccer's Young Male Athlete of the Year Award, along with Robbie Rogers, Maurice Edu, Stu Holden, Marvell Wynne, and Sacha Kljestan. Head over the 2008 Best Of Blog to cast your ballot.

Picture courtesy of isiphotos.com

Back to the Grind


The international break is over, which means the Global Blog is back in operation! Here's what's going on this weekend:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

U.S. Wins 2-0 to end 2008



The U.S. closed out 2008 with a 2-0 win over Guatemala. Goals from Kenny Cooper and Freddy Adu gave the U.S. a good win to end the semifinal round. Now the U.S. looks towards 2009, where they will meet Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Trinidad & Tobago, and Mexico in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying, aka 'the hexagonal.'

USA vs. GUA: Live Blog from Colorado

5:50 p.m. - Well, the teams are off the field, and that means it's time for us to sign off! We'll be back after the match!

5:48 p.m. - Just a reminder: Guatemala needs to win tonight. Los Chapines are three points behind Trinidad & Tobago, so they'll need a win and a T&T loss to have any chance of advancing to the Hexagonal. In Group 2, Mexico, Honduras, and Jamaica are still fighting over two spots. There's still much to play for in these last games of the semifinal round.

5:46 p.m. - More highlights from today, with England beating Germany 2-1:


5:45 p.m. - Brad Guzan has had enough, and he's marched back to the locker room. The team should follow pretty soon.

5:43 p.m. - Looks like we're wearing our whites tonight, with blue shorts and white socks. That may sound fairly straightforward but actually it wasn't - there was a bit of a snafu with some of Guatemala's gear getting here, so we were not quite sure what colors the teams would be wearing. Anyhow, looks like it's going to be the U.S. in white, and Guatemala in blue

5:41 p.m. - The stadium soundtrack has reverted back to its traditional form: The Boss' "Born to Run" is playing now.

5:37 p.m. - Sean Franklin and Matt Pickens are inactive tonight.

5:35 p.m. - Tonight's referee crew is from Mexico, with Benito Archundia taking the whistle as the center ref.

5:33 p.m. - Apparently the Snake Pit was goin' off! Here are some pictures from the pre-game festivities out in the parking lot.

5:26 p.m. - Out come the U.S. and Guatemala for warmups...

5:20 p.m. - Some Guatemala fans have arrived and they're making their home behind the near goal. They've got their blue and white streamers out already...

5:16 p.m. - Here come Brad Guzan and Troy Perkins, they're the first players out on the field as they walk across the pitch to the far goal box.

5:14 p.m. - The players should be out any minute now...There was a full slate of international games around the world today. Perhaps most notable was Diego Maradona's debut as head coach of Argentina in Scotland. Argentina grabbed the 1-0 win for their new coach.



5:10 p.m. - Here's how the U.S. will start tonight's game against Guatemala:

Guzan; Thorrington, Goodson, Parkhurst, Bornstein; Mastroeni (c), Clark, Adu, Kljestan; Cooper, Altidore

That's a 4-4-2, though expect Clark and Mastroeni to operate a bit behind Adu and Kljestan, who will use the wings to get forward and support the strikers.

Six players make their first ever starts in World Cup Qualifying: Thorrington, Goodson, Parkhurst, Bornstein, Clark and Cooper.

Four players retain their places from the previous game against T&T: Guzan, Adu, Kljestan and Altidore.



5:08 p.m. - In case you haven't seen it yet, here's today's pre-game video:


5:05 p.m. - Currently The Killers' new single, Human, is playing over the loudspeaker. Um...Where is "R.O.C.K. in the USA?" Where is James Brown's "Living in America?"

5:03 p.m. - Our U-20's got off to a great start in the World Cup today, defeating France 3-0. Alex Morgan opened the scoring before substitute Sydney Leroux added a brace to nab all 3 points.

5:00 p.m. - We've put out the lineup over on the U.S. Soccer Twitter. Go check it out! Or just wait here if you want, we'll have it in a few minutes.

4:58 p.m. - Pre game sprinklers are watering the field. At this time of year, usually the grounds crew wouldn't water the field - since the ground would freeze. It's unseasonably warm here, almost 60 degrees! That'll cool off more into the tonight but it shouldn't be nearly as cold as we (or probably Guatemala) expected.

4:55 p.m. - The team arrived a few minutes ago, but nobody is on the field yet. A few coaches and players walked out onto the pitch to check it out. Jozy Altidore, Ricardo Clark and Freddy Adu trotted out to the center circle, along with assistant coach Mike Sorber.

4:50 p.m. - Hello from Commerce City, Colo! We've settled ourselves in the press box and we'll be here live blogging up until kickoff.

Ready to Go?


The team is en route, we're here at the stadium ready to go and we'll be back in a few minutes with a live blog leading up to the game!

TT - Game Day

If you took our advice and read the pre-game notes this morning, you would have seen this tidbit:

Three players are in the squad from the Colorado Rapids. In addition to team captain Mastroeni, Conor Casey and Cory Gibbs return to the U.S. fold. Casey looks to get his first international action since 2005, while Gibbs comes back after a knee injury knocked him off the 2006 FIFA World Cup roster.

Got us thinking about which player has had the longest interval between national team appearances. One player in the running may very well be starting tonight! Anyway, you know the drill. Starting the stopwatch ... now.

A (Game) Day in the Life ...

Game days are often the longest days in any camp. With matches normally having night-time kickoffs and no real activities beforehand, it often winds up being a day of eating, resting, eating, napping, eating ... you get the idea. With the 6 p.m. MT kickoff, things move up a little bit for the team. Here's a look at today's schedule:

7 - 10:30 a.m. - Breakfast available
8:30 - 10:30 a.m. - Pick up Game Day Attire
2 p.m. - Pre-Game Meal
2:45 p.m . - Team Meeting
4:10 p.m. - Depart for Stadium
6:11 p.m. - Kickoff
9 p.m. - Post-Game Meal

(Somewhere around 8 p.m., we're hoping to pencil in 'defeated Guatemala')

Pre-Game Video: USA vs. Guatemala

U-20s Kick Off World Cup

You may have noticed that the MNT isn't the only U.S. team with a game today. The U-20 Women's National Team has just kicked off their World Cup campaign, as they take on France down in Chillan, Chile. The game is currently being shown on ESPN2, so tune in to see what will hopefully be a good victory for the U.S. You can aso follow the game over at ussoccer.com with MatchTracker.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

To Read With Your Morning Coffee

Official Pre-Game Notes

Sacha Casts His "Best Of" Ballot

The 2008 "Best Of" Awards kicked off today, with voting taking place over at the Best Of Blog. Fans are invited to vote on 12 different categories, ranging from Best Goal, to Best Bar and even Best Blog (seriously, is that one even a contest?). We asked U.S. MNT midfielder Sacha Kljestan to weigh in with his votes in different categories. You better believe that we watched Sacha while he filled out the ballot, too.

Best Assist - Drew Moor vs. MEX, Feb. 6: "I wasn't at this game, so I was watching it on TV. Drew hit a pinpoint cross and Jozy finished well. It looked like a great crowd at the game, it's just too bad we couldn't get the win."

Best Goal: MNT -
Michael Bradley vs. TRI, Sept. 10: "This was a good finish on a set piece that we had worked on. It's pretty difficult to score with a touch like that and the goal started out the game really well for us. It set us on pace for the 3-0 win and took us closer to qualifying for the next round."

Best Goal: WNT - Carli Lloyd vs. BRA, Aug. 22: "This was an important goal, not just for the Women's team but for U.S. Soccer. It gave the U.S. another gold medal and marked a big win over one of the toughest teams."

Fan Photo - Jeff York: "I picked this photo because it shows the spirit of the home fans we had in D.C. It was a good atmosphere at the game that night, and it really helped us get a 6-1 victory that put is in the next round of qualifying."

Best Performance: Player - Tim Howard vs. ARG, June 8: "This was a great individual performance and Timmy came up with a ton of saves, especially early to keep us in the match against Argentina. The atmosphere at giants stadium, with the cheering fans and the heavy rain at the end. For Tim, it must have felt great to put in such a good performance in the stadium he used to play in for the MetroStars."

Best Performance: Team - U.S. MNT vs. Guatemala, Aug. 20: "In a hostile environment our team did really well to handle the pressure; we needed to start out semifinal round with points. Maybe it wasn't our best soccer at times, but we got a good result because of a great collective team effort and I think that's what made it such a good performance."

Best Photo - Triple Celebration: "I remember when this photo was taken; it was a good moment for our team. Getting the second goal in that game solidified our lead and help us qualify [for the Olympics]. It was early in the half and Freddy stepped up and just buried the free kick (Ed. See Best Goal - MNT) , and the keeper didn't move. We were so happy and ready to celebrate."

Best Video: All_Access - It Starts Here: "It's an inspiring video about preparing for World Cup Qualifying and I think it really captures a lot of the feelings you have getting ready for these big games. I've been lucky enough to be a part of these squads, and the team has done really well and we hope to continue getting better throughout the rest of qualifying."


Sacha didn't get a chance to vote for his favorite blog before heading to dinner, so we just cast his vote for the MNT Blog. We think it's what he would have wanted. Remember to cast your votes at the Best Of Blog!

Pictures from Today's Beautiful Sunset Training


Today's training took place inside of Dick's Sporting Good Park. We had the customary one hour on the field, and because the guys were split up into groups of starters and non-starters, we can't show you too many pictures! Muuahahahaha! Instead, you can get by with a few shots of what was a beautiful sunset tonight.
Be sure to check out the full gallery at ussoccer.com.

Anatomy of a Training Session

Here's the latest installment of Anatomy of a Training Session:

A Couple Club Connections

Considering the number of players from CONCACAF who ply their trade in MLS, there is normally quite a bit of crossover between club and country when the U.S. plays in the region. This time...not so much. Chris Rolfe and John Thorrington share the same locker room with Marco Pappa in Chicago, the trio coming off a 2-1 loss to Columbus in the Eastern Conference finals. They are the only current teammates lining up against each other Wednesday night. Sean Franklin now sits in the space at The Home Depot Center that was once the home of Guillermo “El Pando” Ramirez, who many will recall scored the championship-winning goal in overtime for the Los Angeles Galaxy in the 2005 MLS Cup.

U.S. Soccer Official Bars Heating Up for Guatemala Match


It may be getting close to winter time, but The Official U.S. Soccer Bars are continuing to heat up across the nation as fans gather to support the U.S. national teams. There are 27 locations ready to turn on the tube live for kickoff when the U.S. takes on Guatemala on Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. MT, including the November 2008 Bar of the Month, Summers Grill and Sports Bar. Click here to find the Official U.S. Soccer Bar near you.

Vote for the 2008 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards.


The election is over but you voters out there still have a bit more work to do. The finalists have just been announced for the 2008 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards and we need your help deciding winners in 12 different categories. Make your way over to the Best Of blog, to cast your ballot...

Monday, November 17, 2008

You Probably Won't See this on Wednesday

So the MNT Blog has consulted the Global Blog, an expert on world affairs, about this story. It is pretty ridiculous if you ask us, but apparently it works. Regardless, those of you coming to the game on Wednesday probably won't see the U.S. pull this off - we haven't been working on it much during this training camp. We'll see what Guatemala comes up with though...

Video from Today's Training

Pics from Today's Highly Elevated Training

We're training at the Dick's Sporting Goods Park Complex and as you can tell, the scenery is fantastic. The guys did a bunch of work outside today, as preparations for Wednesday's game began in earnest. A warm up, possession game and 8v8 were on the agenda before the team headed inside to finish up with a brief session in the gym.
Bob Bradley and Mike Sorber also took timeout to address coaches of various teams in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Visitors from the Development Academy have become a common occurrence in the past year, as coaches from around the country come out to watch training whenever we're nearby.


Edit: The full gallery is now up on ussoccer.com. There you go, Kim!