Dutch Eredivisie - Roda JC Kerkrade v FC Utrecht

Americans Abroad Review: Agudelo debuts, Onyewu scores, Shea loan extended, Yank on trial with Bob Bradley

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The Premier League was off, but the FA Cup was on and Germany returned to action as the number of Americans in action overseas was high and mighty.

Juan Agudelo made his FC Utrecht bow as a 58th minute substitution but was not able to help his new club avoid a shock defeat to No. 15 in the table Roda JC Kerkrade. He was the only sub made by his side in the match, and registered one shot over his 32-plus minutes. And as the on-loan from Stoke kid made his European debut, another Potter was introduced by the Philadelphia Union in Maurice Edu.

PSV Eindhoven was able to do what plenty of Eredivisie sides have not: stop Aron Johannsson. He was held scoreless for the first time in a few matches as PSV jumped to No. 6 in the table and banished Johannsson’s AZ Alkmaar side to No. 8 with a 1-0 decision.

In FA Cup fourth round action:

– Everton gave Tim Howard a rare day-off as the Toffees squeezed Stevenage for an easy 4-0 win. Everton hosts Swansea in the next round.

– Jozy Altidore played all 90 minutes as Sunderland needed everything it had to hold off lower league side Kidderminster in a 1-0 decision. Manager Gus Poyet said, “It was not a classic” and that “it became boring and difficult to watch.” The Black Cats will host Southampton in the next round.

– Clint Dempsey wasn’t in the Match Day 18 for Fulham’s 1-1 draw with Sheffield United, as he was saved for the midweek PL relegation scrap at Swansea. The two sides with dance again on Feb. 4, with the winners getting the victor of a Nottingham Forest/Preston North End replay.

– Gooch with the goal! Oguchi Onyewu netted the game-winner as Sheffield Wednesday toppled Rochdale 2-0 to earn a fortunate fifth round date with Charlton Athletic.

– Duane Holmes (Huddersfield Town), Tim Ream (Bolton) and Will Packwood (Birmingham City) all saw their sides crash out to stiff, higher competition.

In France, Ale Bedoya and Nantes rebounded from their 5-0 squashing at the hands of PSG two weeks ago to draw Stade Reims. The home stalemate kept the Canaries ahead of their opponents, and Bedoya played 76 minutes, credited with one of his side’s best chances when he was denied in the 66th minute.

Timothy Chandler fired home as FC Nurnberg toasted Fabian Johnson’s Hoffenheim squad by a 4-0 score. MLSSoccer.com described the goal:

Midway through the opening frame, the FCN right back picked the top corner from about 24 yards for his first tally since September of 2012. Soon after, Chandler went close with a lefty try from distance. Johnson, just back from injury, was replaced as Hoffenheim left back at halftime.

The injury to Johnson is not a kind one: his broken hand could cause him problems for both club and country.

There was no Jermaine Jones for Schalke again in their 3-0 win over Hamburger SV.

In Mexico, Puebla blew a 2-0 lead and fell 3-2, with 90 minutes each for DaMarcus Beasley and Jonathan Orozco. Edgar Castillo played the full match as Club Tijuana won yet again at home, 1-0 over Morelia.

Sacha Kljestan did not play as Anderlecht won a huge Belgian battle against Club Brugge, 2-0.

An effective Brek Shea has extended his loan deal with Barnsley through April.

Former LA Galaxy midfielder Michael Stephens is on trial for Bob Bradley at Stabaek in Norway.

Sydney FC return to winning ways in A-League

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 24:  Goalkeeper Danny Vukovic of Sydney FC makes a save as Bruno Fornaroli of City competes for the ball during the round 21 A-League match between Melbourne City and Sydney FC at AAMI Park on February 24, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
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SYDNEY (AP) Bobo scored twice as Sydney FC rebounded from its first loss in the A-League to beat Melbourne City 3-1 and continue atop the table.

[ MORE: Schmeichel speaks about Ranieri sacking, state of Leicester ]

Sydney’s ambitious attempt to become the first team to end the regular season unbeaten came unstuck last week when it was beaten by Western Sydney Wanderers in a fractious local derby, repercussions of which continued through the week. Wanderers were fined $20,000 by Football Federation Australia after its fans unfurled an obscene banner targeting Sydney coach Graham Arnold.

[ MORE: Chelsea, Everton extend unbeaten run in Saturday’s PL play ]

Sydney raised itself above that controversy on Friday with a comprehensive win over Melbourne City which briefly took it 11 points clear in first place.

Melbourne Victory restored the gap to eight points when it beat defending champion Adelaide United 2-1, and Perth leapfrogged Melbourne City into third place when it dumped the Wanderers 2-0.

Bobo opened Sydney’s scoring with a penalty, but City canceled that out only a minute later.

Sydney went in front again after the break, and Bobo sealed the win, set up by a superb through ball by Milos Ninkovic which highlighted their developing combination.

Midfielder Brandon O’Neil said Sydney was determined to leave behind the contention of their derby loss.

“When it all came out, the FFA and Western Sydney had to deal with it and it did,” O’Neil said. “It brought us together and we spoke about a few things, and nothing changed for us. We want to be premier (champions).”

Melbourne Victory’s win over Adelaide kept it in touch with Sydney with seven regular season rounds remaining.

Wellington kept its faint playoff hopes alive, staying in seventh place with a 2-1 win over Brisbane.

Whitecaps acquire U.S. defender Brek Shea in deal with Orlando City

Toronto FC v Orlando City SC
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With almost a week to go until the Major League Soccer season kicks off, the Vancouver Whitecaps and Orlando City may have pulled off one of the biggest trades of offseason.

[ MORE: MLS negotiating to bring Chicharito to U.S. in 2018 ]

The clubs announced on Saturday that the Whitecaps have acquired U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder/defender Brek Shea in exchange for forward Giles Barnes, who is headed to Orlando City.

“We are excited to welcome Brek to our club and city,” said Whitecaps FC manager Carl Robinson. “Brek is a tall, physical, skilled player and will bring a different dimension to our attack. Brek will join the group in coming days and we anticipate he will be available for selection as early as this Thursday’s Champions League match against New York.”

Shea, 26, began his career in MLS with FC Dallas before heading to England for a brief stint with Stoke City. The U.S. defender made his way back to MLS ahead of Orlando City’s inaugural season in 2015 and started 39 matches in that span.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

Meanwhile, Barnes has scored 33 goals since joining MLS in 2012. The 28-year-old forward played with the Houston Dynamo before spending last season with the Whitecaps.

Report: MLS negotiating to bring Chicharito to U.S. in 2018

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, Bayer Leverkusen & Mexico
AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
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Major League Soccer has attracted some of the world’s biggest stars over recent years and now one of the Mexican national team’s top talents could be heading stateside very soon.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

According to ESPN FC, MLS is currently in negotiations with Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen in an attempt to lure Mexican striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez to the U.S. in the summer of 2018.

Expansion side Los Angeles FC has been heavily linked with Hernandez, with the club making its entrance into MLS in 2018. Additionally, the Los Angeles Galaxy have also been said to have strong ties with Chicharito.

Hernandez, 28, is currently under contract until next summer, and MLS is reportedly seeking a move in 2018 to avoid paying a transfer fee for the El Tri forward.

ESPN FC is also reporting that Chicharito could make around $9 million annually if he does in fact join MLS.

In 2015, Orlando City and the Chicago Fire were both linked with acquiring Hernandez but the Leverkusen forward was insistent upon the fact that he play Champions League football.

PL Sunday: Spurs look to regain second against Stoke

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Although there’s only one match on Sunday’s Premier League docket, the fixture bears great weight for both clubs.

[ MORE: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Tottenham vs. Stoke City — 8:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Spurs have the chance to move back into second place at White Hart Lane as Mauricio Pochettino‘s side are firmly in a battle to finish runners’ up to Chelsea this season. Tottenham currently sit 13 points out of the top spot, however, five clubs are within four points of another in the battle for second. Danny Rose and Erik Lamela remain sidelined due to injuries but Spurs will remain the favorites in the fixture after having won their previous two league meetings.

Stoke enters Sunday having gone unbeaten in five of its last six PL matches and the Potters can enter the top 10 with a victory. Mark Hughes‘ side could be given a big lift with the potential return of Xherdan Shaqiri while Saido Berahino could be in line to earn his first start since joining Stoke. Both players could present massive upside for the Potters, who have struggled to find goals as of late. In their last four matches, Stoke have managed just three finishes, one of which came from an own goal.