Americans Abroad Review: Bedoya and Williams net during busy weekend

Leave a comment

It was an eventful weekend for Yanks overseas and south of the border, and there’s plenty of in-depth reading around if you’ve missed any of these stories.

WATCH: Aron Johannsson scores, reaches second base with Roda defender
– Julian Green undergoes medical exam on injured left shoulder

So, yeah, things were going on. Let’s get to it.

Geoff Cameron left Stoke City’s 3-0 loss to Chelsea at halftime with an apparent lower-body injury, one that ends the right back’s streak of 24-straight matches going the distance for the Potters. He was not to blame on either of the Blues’ first-half tallies.

Over at Aston Villa, Brad Guzan can’t be thrilled with the defending in front of him. He surrendered multiple goals for the third-straight week and the Villans fell to relegation struggling Fulham 2-1 at home.

Elsewhere in the Premier League:
– Jozy Altidore not in Sunderland’s 18-man squad, with U-21s
– Tim Howard, Everton blank Arsenal to keep pressure on Gunners
– Rich get richer? Toronto GM would be “100%” interested in Brek Shea

Down in the Championship, an American scored a match-winner to give Reading some breathing room in its race for the final playoff spot. Their sixth-place standing is fairly secure after Danny Williams scored in the 73rd minute. There’s some great field-level video here, plus the news that Reading have signed US U-18 player Andrija Novakovich to join their academy this summer.

Jonathan Spector will be sitting out Birmingham City’s next match after picking up his fifth yellow card in Brum’s 3-1 win at Doncaster. Will Packwood did not play in the match, and Spector was strong by many accounts.

Staying with Championship backs, Tim Ream manned the left side for Bolton as they beat Huddersfield Town by a 1-0 scoreline. The Wanderers are all but safe, sitting 12 points above the drop. Duane Holmes played 10 minutes in the Terriers loss.

Oguchi Onyewu was injured, but it wasn’t the Sheffield Wednesday defender’s back this time around. Onyewu left at halftime of the club’s loss to Leicester City with a rib injury.

Germany saw Fabian Johnson‘s Hoffenheim side square off with John Anthony Brooks and Hertha Berlin. Johnson played the duration of the 1-1 draw, while Brooks left the match after 61 minutes and a yellow card.

In Turkey, Jermaine Jones picked up a yellow card in Besiktas’ 2-1 win over Kayserispor. On-loan to the club, Jones sees his team level on points with No. 2 Galatasaray but losing out by five goals in differential. Sacha Kljestan played the final 15 minutes of Anderlecht’s 3-0 win over Club Brugge.

Mix Diskerud did not play for Rosenborg in its 1-1 draw at Aalesund, but two other Americans in Norway did quite well. Coach Bob Bradley led Stabaek to a 2-1 win at Brann, with former L.A. Galaxy man Michael Stephens playing 72 minutes.

France was the spot for Ale Bedoya‘s return to the scoresheet, albeit in Nantes’ 3-1 loss to AS Monaco. His headed goal was a late highlight for the Canaries. See it here:

The Netherlands was the spot where FC Utrecht sunk to 10-men before calling on Juan Agudelo, who did not score in 45 minutes of work.

MLSSoccer.com has some solid reporting on the Yanks at work in Mexico’s Liga MX, and was hailing Joe Corona and Edgar Castillo for the jobs they did for Tijuana this weekend. Puebla played to a scoreless draw with Atlas, and DaMarcus Beasley went 90 minutes though Michael Orozco Fiscal was injured early on to complicate his already disappointing week after the Mexican club denied both players a trip to join the USMNT in Arizona. Jose Torres saw red in Tigres 2-0 win over Atlante, apparently tossing a punch in the later stages of the match.

Pep Guardiola praises Man City’s “animals”

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Pep Guardiola‘s Manchester City have set a new English top-flight record with 15 consecutive wins and, of course, comparisons are already being made as to just how good this City side are.

Runaway leaders of the Premier League with an 11-point lead heading into the busy festive period, City are being compared to the great teams in PL history.

Their winning run means they’ve accomplished something none of the other great PL teams have, and it seems like there is no stopping City.

Speaking to the media after the 4-0 win at Swansea on Wednesday which clinched the record, Guardiola praised his players for breaking the record but also their ability to not only excel when they have the ball but to hunt in packs to win it back.

“In history there have been some amazing teams – Liverpool, [Manchester] United with Sir Alex Ferguson, Chelsea with Jose Mourinho. A lot of good, good teams and we are the first ones to win 15 games in a row,” Mourinho said. “Of course that will not make sense if we do not win the title, if we don’t win the title it will just be a record. This record will be broken but it will not be easy. When (my players) don’t have the ball they go to win it like animals. At this level it’s so competitive. That means we are strong in the head.”

Guardiola’s team have made the best start in Premier League history to a season with 49 points from their opening 17 games and 16 wins from those matches.

They’ve scored 52 goals and the duo of David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne are controlling the tempo of each and every game they play in, but not much has been said about the tenacity in City’s play to win the ball back.

That quality has always been a hallmark of Guardiola’s teams at Barcelona and Bayern Munich with the fabled “six second rule” mentioned time and time again as he set his players a target of six seconds to win back possession of the ball.

City did that time and time again against Swansea on Wednesday with Silva regaining possession on multiple occasions in midfield and releasing the likes of Sterling and Sergio Aguero to attack.

There is a lot more behind this ruthless City side than just breaking winning and scoring records. Their extreme hunger for success and doing the dirty work was duly noted by Guardiola.

USSF says nominations submitted for 8 president candidates

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File
Leave a comment

CHICAGO (AP) The U.S. Soccer Federation says it received the required three letters of nomination for eight candidates in its presidential election, one fewer than the total of people who announced their intention to run.

The USSF is conducting background checks on the candidates whose nominations were received by Tuesday night’s deadline. The governing body said the check is to ascertain that a candidate has “no conviction or no contest plea to a felony or crime of moral turpitude” and it will announce the candidate slate after completing the process.

[ MORE: Atlanta acquires Nagbe ]

Sunil Gulati, the USSF president since 2006, decided after the Americans failed to qualify for the World Cup that he will not seek a fourth four-year term.

The nine people who announced they are running include former men’s national team players Paul Caligiuri, Eric Wynalda and Kyle Martino; U.S. women’s goalkeeper Hope Solo; Soccer United Marketing president Kathy Carter; USSF vice president Carlos Cordeiro; Boston lawyer Steve Gans; New York lawyer Michael Winograd; and Paul LaPointe, Northeast Conference manager of the United Premier Soccer League.

The election will be held in February.

Madrid rallies to beat Al Jazira, reach Club World Cup final (video)

AP Photo/Hassan Ammar
Leave a comment

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Gareth Bale scored an 81st-minute winner as Real Madrid came from behind to beat Emirates club Al Jazira 2-1 on Wednesday and reach the Club World Cup final.

Madrid will try to win its third world title in four seasons when its faces South American champion Gremio on Saturday.

[ MORE: Premier League Weds. roundup ]

The match had two goals disallowed by video review, one for each team.

Madrid struggled early and allowed the local league winners to open the scoring with a goal by Brazilian forward Romarinho just before halftime.

But Cristiano Ronaldo equalized early in the second half and Bale netted the winner less than a minute after entering the match as a substitute for Karim Benzema.

Paul Clement admits helplessness at facing Man City

Nick Potts/PA via AP
Leave a comment

Swansea City manager Paul Clement may have the enduring quote of the season so far when it comes to facing the behemoth that is Manchester City.

[ RECAP – City hammer Swansea ]

The suffering Swans have had their share of poor performances this season — Clement later said January transfer spending “is a must” if the club wants to stay up — but he’s throwing his hands up in the air when it comes to Wednesday’s loss at the Liberty Stadium.

The man sounds exasperated, and sorry for his team. From the BBC:

“At times it was horrible to be on the sideline watching that, seeing my side trying but suffering for long periods. They’re not the games that will decide our season but it was hard to watch at times because they were so dominant. For me, one of the best sides I’ve ever come across. So many good athletes, so many intelligent footballers and it’s really hard to pin them down. We actually had some attempts on their goal so I’m disappointed we didn’t get on the score sheet but they were a far superior side to us. We’ve got to put it aside that game. We’ve got Everton away (next) and we’ve got to try and pick something up there.”

All that’s left is for Clement to pick up a clarinet, awkwardly blow into it, then point at Pep Guardiola and say, “He’s good.”

Free message board points to the first one to name the reference.