This much is clear when it comes to future U.S. goal scorers: their best chance, clearly, is to route their careers through Dutch club AZ Alkmaar.
OK, maybe it’s more coincidence than some kind of Dutch fairy dust, but there is something quite strange about how Jozy Altidore hit so frequently for the small Netherlands club last year – and how fellow U.S. international Aron Johannsson is doing the very same this year.
Johannsson scored yet again today, this time in an Eredivisie match against Heerenveen. He now has an absolutely sensational 18 goals in all competitions this year.
This comes just three days after 23-year-old striker scored twice to help his team advance into the KNVB Cup quarterfinals.
So it begs the question: can Johannsson possibly top Altidore’s record goal-scoring totals from one season back?
Before he moved during the summer to Premier League side Sunderland, Altidore scored 31 goals across in all competitions last season for Alkmaar. That shattered the old record for U.S. players abroad, one held by Clint Dempsey. His prolific scoring was among the reasons voters chose Altidore as U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year.
But here comes Johannsson, with 18 at this point … and four-plus months to chase down Altidore’s mark, one that’s not yet a year old.
Either way, Altidore’s U.S. national team record of scoring a goal in five consecutive matches (from June 2-Aug. 14) seems safe enough. That’s one Johannsson (or anyone else) will have a tough time breaking.
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Chris Coleman says he chose to remain as Wales manager despite interest from Premier League side Hull because he’s in a job that is “close to his heart.”
The Football Association of Wales rejected an approach for Coleman from Hull this month, with the Welshman deciding to stay on rather than resigning.
Coleman, who guided Wales to the European Championship semifinals against the odds, said on Wednesday that “if someone comes and it’s the Premier League, anybody, you kind of look at it sideways. Of course.”
But, Coleman added, managing your country “comes around once, if you’re lucky.”
Coleman has made no secret of his desire to manage in club football in the future, but says “what I’ve got here is something very special and close to my heart.”
Who’s going to join Porto, Monaco, Legia Warsaw, Ludogorets Razgrad and Celtic as playoff teams to join the UEFA Champions League group stage?
The biggest names of Wednesday’s slate are cruising after their first legs, with Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach putting five and three goals on the board, respectively.
[ MORE: Champions League Tues. roundup ]
Could the match be Joe Hart‘s last for City? The longtime backstop gets the call with the transfer window a week away.
In the other three cases, things are wide open. Rostov plays Ajax, Red Bull Salzburg faces Dinamo Zagreb, and APOEL lines up Copenhagen.
Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League slate — FOLLOW LIVE
Borussia Monchengladbach (3) vs. (1) BSC Young Boys
Rostov (1) vs. (1) Ajax
Red Bull Salzburg (1) vs. (1) Dinamo Zagreb
APOEL (0) vs. (1) Copenhagen
Manchester City (5) vs. Steaua Bucuresti (0)
The newly-renamed EFL Cup, formerly the League Cup, rolls on Wednesday with four more matches ahead of the evening’s third-round draw.
American attacker Lynden Gooch starts for Sunderland, while Tim Ream starts for Fulham and Luca de la Torre is on the Cottagers’ bench. Emerson Hyndman is on the bench for Bournemouth.
Tuesday’s action saw Premier League sides West Brom and Watford excused from the tournament.
Wednesday’s EFL Cup schedule — FOLLOW LIVE
Accrington Stanley vs. Burnley
Fulham vs. Middlesbrough
Morecambe vs. Bournemouth
Sunderland vs. Shrewsbury Town
Robbie Keane is ending a big chapter in his career.
Fear not, Galaxy fans, the 36-year-old living L.A. legend isn’t calling it quits on club soccer, but Keane is done with representing the Republic of Ireland.
Keane will play one more game for the Boys in Green, a friendly against Oman next week, before leaving the Republic to qualify for the World Cup without him.
[ MORE: Yedlin, Newcastle make it official ]
In a sprawling and understandably emotional — if not moving — statement, Keane says he isn’t going to stop playing for his club anytime soon, and that he hardly dreamed he’d get to this point.
No player has been capped (145) or scored (67) as many times for Ireland than Keane.