Young Danny Williams took a tumble in 2013, falling way down Jurgen Klinsmann’s depth chart at holding midfielder.
Williams, 24, left Germany’s Hoffenheim in the summer, signing a four-year deal with Reading in England’s second tier. He needed some time to find his feet, but seems to be rolling now.
Williams started his first league match over the weekend, going all 90 minutes in a 0-0 draw with Brighton Hove & Albion.
Williams was back at it Wednesday, setting up the late game-winner in a big 1-0 win over visiting Leeds. That one moves Reading up the 7th in the 24-team table, although there is a long, long way to go.
Reading has a home undefeated streak of 13 games in league play. If Williams can keep at it, he still has time to find a place on Klinsmann’s 23-man roster for Brazil next summer. Remember, Williams was a U.S. starter at this time last year, but lost his place during the spring and summer, some of that due to injury.
Jermaine Jones remains the incumbent at holding midfielder. Kyle Beckerman, with another credible performance in last week’s 2-0 spot-clinching win over Mexico, has moved ahead of the German-American.
And while Williams struggled to regain his spot, Geoff Cameron showed he could fill the gap at holding midfielder, so he’s probably ahead of Williams now.
Middlesbrough has impressed at times during its return to the Premier League this season, and now the club looks to bolster its backline as the transfer window closes.
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The club announced the loan signing of Arsenal defender Calum Chambers on Tuesday, providing the Boro with a promising young player to contribute in the back.
Chambers, 21, has made 58 appearances in the PL with both the Gunners and Southampton, while also earning three caps for England.
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka revaled his excitement over the signing, while also stating that the player addresses a big need on the backline.
“I’m really pleased,” said Karanka. “It’s a position where we’ve been working towards bringing the right player in. We haven’t been in a hurry because Calum was the player we were waiting for, and he’s going to help us a lot.”
The Gunners have been heavily criticized for not spending enough during the transfer season, however, Arsene Wenger has gotten the man he wanted to help out defensively.
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Arsenal announced the signing of Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi on Tuesday, after the German centerback had been previously been linked to the club for some time as their top transfer target.
Mustafi will likely figure immediately into the Arsenal defense, which has also added Rob Holding this summer. The 24-year-old made over 64 appearances for Valencia while in La Liga after beginning his academy career in England with Everton.
Hope Solo hasn’t had the best couple of weeks since the U.S. Women’s National Team bailed out of the 2016 Olympics.
On Tuesday, the U.S. keeper announced her decision to take a step back from her club team as well after receiving a six-month ban from U.S. Soccer.
The veteran American shot stopper took to Twitter to make her decision known, leaving her status unknown with the Seattle Reign in the future. Solo remains under contract until the end of the current campaign, however, it is not known as to how her decision to sit out will affect her financially.
Solo wil be eligible to return to the USWNT in February, but it will be up to head coach Jill Ellis to reintroduce the 35-year-old into the fold.
U.S. Men’s National Team and LA Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes will miss the rest of the MLS regular season with a broken bone in his right foot.
It was initially believed on Monday that the U.S. attacker could be out until the end of 2016 after suffering the injury in Saturday’s 0-0 draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Zardes was taken down by Whitecaps defender Kendall Waston during the latter stages of the match, with the Costa Rican apparently catching the inside of the 24-year-old’s foot, ultimately causing the injury.
Because of his extended absence, Zardes was ruled out of consideration for the USMNT squad ahead of their upcoming CONCACAF World Cup qualifying matches vs. St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago.