Getty Images

How did USMNT players perform in Premier League this season?

Leave a comment

All week at ProSoccerTalk we are reviewing the dramatic 2015-16 Premier League season.

From dishing out awards to looking back at the highs and lows in the as 20 teams battled it out, we’ll have every angle covered.

MORE: All 2015-16 PL season reviews ]

For the full archive of our review content, just hit the link above. Now, it is time to analyze the U.S. national team contingent playing in the Premier League. The pool has grown smaller over the past few years and it is set to shrink once more this summer.

With Tim Howard heading back to Major League Soccer with the Colorado Rapids and Brad Guzan‘s Aston Villa relegated, for the first time in decades we will not have a U.S. goalkeeper in the PL.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]  

Five USMNT players saw minutes in the Premier League this season, so we thought now would be a good time to analyze how they got on.


Geoff Cameron

Geoff Cameron, Stoke City FC

Another very solid season for the Massachusetts native as he operated mainly at center back and in central midfield for Stoke but also slotted in at right back when needed. Cameron has now notched 129 Premier League appearances in his four seasons at Stoke and has become a mainstay in Mark Hughes‘s side. The Potters flirted with the top six and were knocked out on penalty kicks by Liverpool in the Capital One Cup semifinals. For the third-straight season Stoke finished ninth and Cameron suffered a nasty ankle injury midseason which he recovered from well.

[ VIDEO: Live from Geoff Cameron’s living room ]

The highlight for Cameron was perhaps scoring the winning penalty kick in an early Capital One Cup tie against Luton Town as fans chanted “USA! USA!” repeatedly. He also put in stellar performances against Manchester City in midfield and against Chelsea away from home. All in all, another hugely successful season as Cameron will be a sure starter in central defense for the U.S. this summer at the Copa America Centenario.

Premier League Appearances: 30


Tim Howard

LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 15: Tim Howard of Everton shakes hands with team mates after his final Everton match during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Norwich City at Goodison Park on May 15, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

This season turned out to be Howard’s 13th and final campaign in the Premier League. The New Jersey native, 37, said an emotional farewell to Everton on Sunday as he’s ended his 10-year association with the Goodison Park club. Howard has had his critics among the Everton faithful this season but it seemed a little harsh, especially given the shaky defense he was playing in front of. Everton — who finished in 11th place — fired Roberto Martinez after a poor season but scattered in among in all that Howard put in some great displays, with one at Tottenham sticking out early on. Midway through the campaign he did lose his place to Joel Robles after a loss of form and struggling with a calf injury.

[ MORE: Howard chats with JPW ]

Now that Howard’s 13-year career in the PL is over and he heads to Colorado in MLS for the next chapter in his career, he can look back fondly on his 491 total appearances in England with Manchester United and Everton.

The U.S. national team goalkeeper has been leading the charge for American players to gain respect overseas and he has certainly succeeded in doing that. With U.S. flags aplenty and adulation from all four corners of Goodison on Sunday, it was a fitting end to Howard’s fine career in England.

Premier League Appearances: 25


Brad Guzan

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 22: Brad Guzan of Aston Villa during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Aston Villa at Selhurst Park on August 22, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

What an awful, horrendous season for Guzan. The Illinois native wasn’t solely at fault for Villa’s relegation but he will be hugely disappointed as they were relegated from the Premier League for the first time in their history. Guzan will be playing in the Championship next season if he chooses to stay with Villa.

Guzan, 31, has had an up and down year as he’s been dropped for Mark Bunn, made a few high-profile errors but also kept the scoreline from getting embarrassing for Villa on many occasions. It was also alleged he was involved in an incident between some players and Villa fans during an FA Cup game at Wycombe Wanderers in January. Overall, a bad season for Guzan just as he was threatening to take over the number one jersey for the USMNT.

Premier League Appearances: 28


DeAndre Yedlin

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13: DeAndre Yedlin of Sunderland is tackled by Cameron Borthwick-Jackson of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Manchester United at the Stadium of Light on February 13, 2016 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

As the season wore on Yedlin got better and better. On loan from Tottenham Hotspur, the Seattle native struggled to get into the team at the Stadium of Light under Dick Advocaat. However, as soon as Sam Allardyce arrived his fortunes turned around and he helped Sunderland on its way to performing yet another great escape as they stayed up in the Premier League.

Yedlin was caught out defensively early on with Manchester City and Arsenal teaching him a lesson but the right back has become more solid throughout the campaign and has picked his moments to attack. Allardyce called him out on some of his defensive duties but the raw pace and athleticism he possesses will always be a threat to opponents. He provided a superb assist for Jermain Defoe in the crucial win against Chelsea last weekend and reports suggest that Sunderland will make an offer to Tottenham to sign Yedlin, 22, permanently this summer.

Let’s see what happens there but Yedlin will certainly be Klinsmann’s first-choice right back this summer and has improved almost on a weekly basis during his loan spell at Sunderland.

Premier League Appearances: 23


Matt Miazga

SWANSEA, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 09: Jefferson Montero of Swansea City and Matt Miazga of Chelsea compete for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium on April 9, 2016 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

Just two appearances for Miazga, 20, since his shock move to Chelsea from the New York Red Bulls in January. On his debut he looked composed and calm in a 4-0 win at Aston Villa, however he was hooked off in his second game at half time at Swansea after a few mistakes.

[ MORE: Sitting down with Miazga at Chelsea ]

Miazga is young and his future remains uncertain at Chelsea with new manager Antonio Conte arriving in the summer. He showed he has potential to play for the first team but next season he will likely go out on loan to gain experience playing in Europe. The RBNY academy product is rough around the edges and it will be interesting to see if Klinsmann selects him in his final 23-man squad for Copa America this summer.

Premier League Appearances: 2

Alli: “Arrogance, over-confidence” cost Spurs in Man Utd loss

Leave a comment

Tottenham Hotspur suffered their first loss of the Jose Mourinho era on Wednesday — a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford — which suddenly resurgent star Dele Alli believes was down to his side’s “arrogance” and “over-confidence.”

[ MORE: Lampard: Pulisic can reach “top level of world football” ]

Speaking after Wednesday’s game, Alli, who scored a sensational solo goal (WATCH HERE) to bring Tottenham level in the first half, revealed that he foresaw and tried to combat those destructive feelings, as well as the mindset of Man United playing at home against another of the “top-six sides” — quotes from the Guardian:

“I tried to fight exactly that state of mind. I tried to tell them exactly the way United approach these matches at home — against Liverpool [1-1 draw], against Chelsea [4-0 win], always they start strong with people running, pressing, trying to lift the morale of the supporters.

“Normally they come from bad results against smaller teams so when they face the big teams people think it’s going to be more difficult for them. It’s not more difficult for them because the style changes and they feel comfortable against this style of play.

“In the second half, we knew what we were going to do with the result at 1-1. After one minute you concede a goal. We have to blame ourselves. I think United must obviously be happy with the points, and overall they deserved it.”

Two takeaways form Alli’s comments:

1. Alli appears to have taken a much larger role in leadership within the team, taking it upon himself to “try to tell [his teammates]” what to expect and how to approach a given game. Given his red-hot form of late (four goals in four games), Alli’s confidence has clearly been restored by Mourinho’s arrival.

2. Speaking of positive feelings restored, the fact that Spurs felt “arrogant” or “over-confident” this season is news itself, the surest sign that the season can be salvaged, and an indication that three wins from Mourinho’s first three games were more than the standard “new manager bump.”

Van Dijk: Liverpool proved ‘everyone is ready’ for decisive December, January

Leave a comment

Liverpool will play as many as 13 more games between now and the end of January — a period which is sure to go a long way toward deciding the fate of their season, including the Premier League title — and superstar defender Virgil Van Dijk insists that Wednesday’s 5-2 thrashing of rivals Everton proved “everyone is ready” to step up and do their part.

[ MORE: Lampard: Pulisic can reach “top level of world football” ]

Manager Jurgen Klopp made five changes to the team that faced Everton, matching the number of goals his side scored. According to Van Dijk, that level of squad rotation was only a preview of what’s the come over the next eight weeks — quotes from the Guardian:

“The players who came into the team don’t play regularly at all. Look at Divock [Origi], [Xherdan] Shaqiri, they did fantastic. We played Adam [Lallana], Milly [James Milner]; everyone is contributing and we need everyone. That is the key message and it is good. The season is very long. This month is very long — January as well — so we need everyone to be ready.

“We have a big squad and everyone is part of what is going on at the moment. Everyone is happy with the situation we are in. And everyone is also feeling responsible as well, ready to play or if you are on the bench. Everyone is part of the success we have and that is the message to everyone and so far, so good.”

Liverpool’s schedule for December and January breaks down as follows: eight games in the PL, one each in the UEFA Champions League, FA Cup and EFL Cup, and up to two in the FIFA Club World Cup. The Reds’ PL fixture against West Ham United was also rescheduled due to their participation in the Club World Cup.

Through 15 games in the PL, Liverpool hold an eight-point lead on second-place Leicester City and an 11-point advantage on third-place and two-time defending champions Manchester City.

Italian newspaper condemned for “Black Friday” headline featuring Lukaku, Smalling

Photo credit: Corriere dello Sport
Leave a comment

Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport has been widely condemned after printing the headline “Black Friday” on top of photos of Inter Milan forward Romelu Lukaku and Roma defender Chris Smalling, former Manchester United teammates set to face one another in Serie A action on Friday.

[ MORE: Lampard: Pulisic can reach “top level of world football” ]

The sub-headline went on to read: “Lukaku and Smalling, former teammates at Manchester United and today idols at Inter and Roma, this is the battle within the battle tomorrow with the scudetto and a Champions League place at stake.”

Both clubs were quick to put out statements condemning the newspaper’s coverage.

[ MORE: Ole gushes over “the best performance Rashford has had under me” ]

Per the Guardian, an excerpt of the article which appeared to attempt to highlight Serie A’s problem with racism, saying, “We are all trying to tackle the issue of racism in Italian football,” before making a racially insensitive statement of its own:

“In the faces of those idiots who boo, tomorrow everyone must instead go ‘oooh’ like children. It will be a Black Friday, but this is not an end-of-season sale.” It went on to describe Lukaku and Smalling as “two giants of color.”

This comes less than a week after Serie A’s 20 clubs put out a joint statement “acknowledging a serious problem with racism” in the Italian game, while providing little or no concrete plan for action to rid the game of the very racism they acknowledged.

Lukaku has scored 10 goals in 14 league games since joining Inter this summer and Smalling has become a mainstay for Roma in recent months, scoring twice and leading the defense to a much improved record of goals conceded and five victories in six games.

Orlando City tabs Pareja as new coach

twitter.com/OrlandoCitySC
Leave a comment

Oscar Pareja is returning to Major League Soccer for a third stint.

The former Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas coach will now be plying his trade for Orlando City SC, leading Nani and Dom Dwyer as the fourth full-time coach in six MLS seasons.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

A longtime Dallas player and assistant, Pareja led the Rapids to the playoffs in 2013 before leaving for the head job at his former club.

FCD won the Supporters’ Shield and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup under his watch before he left for Club Tijuana in 2018, where he went 23W-4D-21L.

Here’s Pareja, via OrlandoCitySC.com:

“The future of this Club is extremely bright, with so many opportunities to grow and succeed at all levels of the Club – from the new training facility to the world-class stadium and from the Development Academy all the way to the MLS side. Orlando is an incredible soccer city, with an especially passionate and dedicated fan base. I can’t wait to get started.”

Pareja should be a huge asset in developing the club’s top young talents into professionals, but he’s got a lot of work to do in building a competitive roster. Orlando finished eight points out of the playoffs in a league in which making the playoffs isn’t that difficult of a proposition.