Scott Parker

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Americans Abroad: Championship and 2.Bundesliga primer

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Plenty of focus over the next few weeks will be given to the many Americans playing in the Premier League and Bundesliga, but the seasons of several USMNT prospects, alumni, or current players in the lower levels are already underway.

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We already showed you Julian Green’s terrific goal for 2.Bundesliga side Gruether Furth on Friday. Here is a list of several other Yanks to monitor this season in Europe.

English Championship

Antonee Robinson, Wigan Athletic — The Latics purchased Robinson from Everton, and USMNT fans will be hoping the left back continues to grow with full-time duty in England’s second tier.

Matt Miazga, Reading (loan from Chelsea) — Reading also liked what it saw from the gumption-filled American center back, and Frank Lampard has shipped the former New York Red Bull out for a second stint.

Andrija Novakovich, Reading — A loan stint in the Eredivisie saw goals in bunches, but some cold streaks. Can he earn regular playing time at his parent club?

Eric Lichaj, Hull City — The Tigers captain has been a mainstay in England, and has performed well when called upon by the national team. He just hasn’t been called too often.

Geoff Cameron, QPR — The longtime Stoke City man just signed a deal to return to the R’s.

Duane Holmes, Derby County — Will the creative midfielder rebound from his summer injury to impress new manager Phillip Cocu.

Tim Ream, Fulham — The longtime defender is back with the Cottagers following relegation to the second tier.

Luca De La Torre, Fulham — At 21, he’ll have a chance to impress Scott Parker. Relegation was good to the young center midfielder.

Also of note: Cameron Carter-Vickers is currently with Spurs, as he’s yet to play in preseason due to injury. He’s been linked with a loan to Leeds United after spending last season on loan to Swansea City and Ipswich Town. There’s also Lynden Gooch at Sunderland, still in League One after failing in a bid to reclaim a place in the Championship. Gboly Ariyibi of Nottingham Forest is reportedly wanted by Motherwell after a loan stint there last season. QPR’s Giles Phillips has been loaned to League One’s Wycombe Wanderers.

2.Bundesliga

Green, Greuther Furth — In addition to Friday’s goal, he’s gone 90 in both of Furth’s matches so far this season.

Khiry Shelton, Paderborn — He’s yet to appear in a match through two matches this season, but made two sub appearances last season.

Kevin Lankford, FC St. Pauli — The 20-year-old left winger is yet to appear for FCSP through two weeks.

Bobby Wood, Hamburg — The same is true for Wood, who went on loan to Hannover 96 last season.

There are several other dual nationals, like Ken Gipson of Sandhausen, but they are not yet on the USMNT radar.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Everton, Spurs, and Man United

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With the transfer window shutting in just five days, a number of rumors that have seen constant play over the past few weeks seem to be thinning, but a few teams continue to add ahead of Deadline Day.

Everton is one of the latter, and the Toffees appear close to securing a highly coveted young player who could come in and help immediately. Juventus striker Moise Kean is on his way to Goodison Park, according to Gianluca Di Marzio staffer Fabrizio Romano.

Kean has been linked to Everton for quite a while but it seemed Juventus was keen to keep him around with Mario Mandzukic aging and Gonzalo Higuain coming off a poor loan spell at Chelsea. With Paulo Dybala also linked with an exit, it’s odd that Juventus would be willing to green-light the sale of Kean, but it seems his time in Turin could be coming to an end.

The 19-year-old would be a fabulous addition for Everton who boasts just Cenk Tosun, Oumar Niasse, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin at striker. Kean scored six goals in 13 Serie A appearances last season, seeing most of his time coming at the end of the campaign, bagging all six of his scores through March and April, earning a spot in Italy’s squad and scoring twice in March Euro qualifiers.


Manchester United may have sealed a move for Harry Maguire, making the Leicester City defender the most expensive in the world, but they could be sweating another signing as Paulo Dybala has reportedly told Juventus he has no interest in moving to Old Trafford.

According to Gazzetta dello Sport, passed on by Football Italia, Dybala is involved in a proposed swap deal for Romelu Lukaku, and while all agreements are completed, Dybala does not wish to move to Manchester United, putting the entire deal at risk.

The reason, in the report, is that United’s style does not suit the Argentine and that he wishes for a more attacking team like Paris Saint-Germain or Inter. Dyaba, according to the report, has not yet spoken to head coach Maurizio Sarri about his role in the team, but he has appeared in at least 30 games in all of his four seasons at thee club, so he figures to be an important player for The Old Lady this season.


Like Manchester United, Tottenham could also miss out on a target, although this could represent a much bigger miss for Spurs on a player they have been linked to for over a year.

Fulham hybrid wide player Ryan Sessegnon was thought to be headed to Spurs from the start of the summer, a player who has been linked to the Champions League finalists since at least last summer. The transfer, however, has dragged on with Fulham looking to secure top dollar for their teenage star.

Sessegnon had a poor season last campaign in his first full Premier League season, looking out of depth at times in top flight matches. Still, he is two seasons removed from his 16 goal, eight assist Championship campaign that saw him nominated for PFA Young Player of the Year and is a player that has enamored Tottenham since his early teenage years.

The question surrounding Sessegnon currently is the status of Danny Rose, who Spurs has reportedly tried to sell all summer to no avail and whose roster status could affect the purchase of Sessegnon, rumors have suggested. Rose has finally rejoined the squad for the end of preseason after skipping the Asia tour and the possibility he starts the season with the club is growing every passing day. Still, according to the London Evening Standard, the two transactions for now remain separate.

Will Spurs pull the trigger? Fulham boss Scott Parker thinks time is running out, saying, “Obviously I have read the speculation. Will it affect him? That would be up to Ryan.  It is not as if the phone has been ringing off the hook, a bid every other day for him and Fulham are turning it down, for him to have the hump.  I had this too as a young player. But if there is one good thing about the transfer window it is that come 5 o’clock next week when the door shuts, he can’t go anywhere.”

Sessegnon has a hamstring injury that has left him out of Fulham’s preseason preparations, and it remains to be seen whether he will continue as a White, having rebuffed all contract negotiations with the club to this point.


Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek was one of the Dutch side’s more underrated players during the Champions League run last season. Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong received many of the plaudits, but the creative van de Beek was one of their best attacking players all season long.

Despite less transfer rumor noise than his more popular teammates, the 22-year-old attacking midfielder confirmed he has been the subject of interest from Real Madrid.“Yes, Real Madrid are interested in me, but you are going very fast,” van de Beek said in his pre-match media obligations ahead of the club’s season opener against Vitesse tomorrow. “I don’t want to talk about what’s there or what is not, now I want to be focused on the match (for Ajax) against Vitesse.”

Over the last two Eredivisie seasons, van de Beek has made 68 league appearances, scoring 20 goals and assisting 16 more. Most impressively, he was spectacular in the latter stages of the Champions League against the biggest clubs in the world, scoring goals against Juventus and Tottenham while picking up assists in games against Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

Season Review: Huddersfield, Fulham, Cardiff, Brighton, Southampton

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As the 2018/19 Premier League season has come to a close, it’s time to take a very brief look back at each club’s campaign and review how they did. First, we look back at the bottom five sides and work our way up the table.

Huddersfield Town, Fulham, and Cardiff City were relegated to the Championship, while Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton both managed to stay up, barely. Each team took its own path to where they finished in the table, so here’s a look back at some of the journeys.

Huddersfield Town

Finishing position/points total: 20 / 16pts
High point
: Doing the double over Wolves.
Low point
: Losing 5-0 to Liverpool to cap a stretch of 8 losses.

Our opinion: They struggled to score all season, with just 22 goals in 38 league matches. Shut out in a whopping 19 Premier League matches, they never had the firepower to compete.
Star player
: Aaron Mooy
Most memorable goal
: Isaac Mbenza equalized on an assist from goalkeeper Jonas Lossl to draw Manchester United on the penultimate day of the season.


Manager grade: David Wagner: C- / Jan Siewert: F
Hopes for next season
: Huddersfield needs to stabilize and regroup next season, and a top-10 Championship finish should be the target, building towards a promotion campaign the following year. Siewert wasn’t able to do anything of note in charge during the second half of the Premier League season, and the jury is still out on if he’s the right man to lead them through the Championship.

Fulham

Finishing position/points total: 19 / 26pts
High point
: Winning 3 straight under Scott Parker.
Low point
: A 4-1 loss to Watford to mark 9 straight.

Our opinion: An absolutely woeful defense doomed what was an otherwise entertaining attacking club. With a change of manager came a change of style, but nothing improved at the back. Fulham needs to sort out its back line for next season or a quick return to the Premier League can be thrown out the window.
Star player
: Aleksandar Mitrovic
Most memorable goal
: Jean-Michael Seri blasted an absolute stunner against Burnley early in the season. Andre Schurrle also victimized Burnley with a glorious volley as well.


Manager grade: Slavisa Jokanovic: D- / Claudio Ranieri: F / Scott Parker: C+
Hopes for next season
: The club did well to secure a permanent manager so quickly so they can get to work strengthening the squad for a promotion campaign to come straight back up. The priority this offseason will be looking to secure assets like Mitrovic, Jean-Michael Seri, and Ryan Sessegnon while looking to improve the defense.

Cardiff City

Finishing position/points total: 18 / 34pts
High point
: Beating Manchester United on the last day of the season.
Low point
: Failing to score in 4 straight, confirming relegation.

Our opinion: A club that many through would finish bottom of the league, or close to it, gave it a real fight and came close to staving off relegation a few times. The season clearly wore on Neil Warnock, who said there isn’t “a cat’s chance in hell” he ever manages in the Premier League again.
Star player
: Victor Camarasa
Most memorable goal
: Junior Hoilett‘s wonderful curler to beat Wolves in November pulled the club out of the relegation zone for the time being, but it can’t beat Camarasa’s unbelievable strike to beat Leicester City in stoppage time.


Manager grade: Neil Warnock: C
Hopes for next season
: They will be a real challenger for promotion in the Championship and should do well if they can improve the playmaking abilities up front.

Brighton & Hove Albion

Finishing position/points total: 17 / 36pts
High point
: Winning 3 straight in October, critical to staying up.
Low point
: 8 straight without a win Jan-Feb in a relegation battle.

Our opinion: Brighton was one of the most fun teams this season, with a combination of suffocating defense and an attack that could crop up at any time against any club. While they often fired blanks, when they came alive it was exciting and enjoyable. Still, the attack was too inconsistent and they’ll want to make smart improvements.
Star player
: Shane Duffy
Most memorable goal
: Glenn Murray‘s winner against Wolves capped off a critical 3-game winning streak and ultimately proved vital in keeping the club alive.


Manager grade: Chris Hughton: C-
Hopes for next season
: Sacking Chris Hughton, the man who pulled the club out of the muck and brought them to the promised land, is a bold decision. This is a team with good assets and a solid base, and they should be able to stay up again next season with the right leader.

Southampton

Finishing position/points total: 16 / 39pts
High point
: Beating Arsenal 3-2 in December.
Low point
: 6-1 loss to Man City as part of a 12-match winless run.

Our opinion: Southampton started off the season horribly and was a real candidate to go down until Ralph Hassenhuttl saved them. His management kept this team up and there’s real hope for the future with a young, scrappy squad that needs improvement.
Star player
: Nathan Redmond
Most memorable goal
: It wasn’t the best goal of the season (that would be the Redmond curler to finish off the campaign on Sunday?) but the most memorable is Charlie Austin‘s in the 85th minute to beat Arsenal and end their long unbeaten run. It sparked the turnaround for Southampton, marking their first league win in over three months and beginning a nine-match run where they picked up 15 points.


Manager grade: Mark Hughes: D- / Ralph Hassenhuttl: A-
Hopes for next season
: With Hassenhuttl in charge and improvements to the defense this summer, Southampton should be able to show more consistency next season. On their day, they’re capable of beating any team in the league and that should lead them to a belief in a top 10 finish. This team shouldn’t be battling for Premier League survival again.

Fulham hires Scott Parker as full-time head coach

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Fulham has taken its first step towards next season in the Championship by locking down a boss, hiring interim boss Scott Parker as full-time head coach, the club announced on Friday, signing a two-year deal.

Parker spent the final four years of his playing career at Fulham, making 128 appearances for the club before retiring in 2017 and joining the backroom staff. He remained part of the coaching staff through multiple managerial changes in the Premier League this season, finally being tabbed as caretaker manager after the dismissal of Claudio Ranieri in late February.

Under Parker’s guidance, Fulham finished the season strong despite being strapped with relegation. They lost their first five matches under Parker, but three of those came against Manchester City, Chelsea, and Liverpool. They then won three in a row against Everton, Bournemouth, and Cardiff City in mid-April despite having won just four matches all season previously.

“Scott was brave to accept a very difficult challenge in February when appointed as our Caretaker Manager,” said club chairman Shahid Khan in the official team announcement . “Since that time, day by day, whether in training or on matchday, we’ve undeniably become a better football club. Scott will now have another challenge to face, and that is to return Fulham to the Premier League. I fully believe Scott is more than up to the task.”

The 38-year-old former Fulham captain feels he is ready for his first managerial gig, having previously played nearly 600 career matches for Charlton, Chelsea, Newcastle, West Ham and Tottenham.

“Now, the challenge lies with me to move things forward,” said Parker in the official team release. “Ultimately, success comes from a culture and a desire – that needs to be our foundation. We’ll drive a culture here that our fans will recognize.”

A big focus for Parker is the atmosphere in the dressing room, which Parker believes he can influence as a recent player. “I’ve got 20 years of playing experience and 20 years of being in changing rooms,” Parker said. “I want to use that experience to help the club be successful and move things forward.”

The job ahead is a tough one moving forward given the Fulham squad is in a state of horrible flux. Young winger Ryan Sessegnon is out of contract next summer and therefore likely to be sold unless he changes course and signs and extension with the club. Striker Aleksandr Mitrovic and midfielder Jean-Michel Seri could also be out the door given their level of talent, potentially avoiding dropping down a league with the club. Sergio Rico, Calum Chambers, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Havard Nordveit, Andre Schurrle, and Luciano Vietto are all loanees scheduled to return to parent clubs after the season ends. Denis Odoi, Floyd Ayite, and Neeskins Kebano are all out of contract this summer and could depart as well.

Fulham’s Odoi suffers scary head injury

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Fulham’s Denis Odoi was involved in a scary incident against Cardiff City on Saturday.

The Belgian defender was kicked in the face by his own teammate, Maxime Le Marchand, and appeared to be immediately knocked out before regaining consciousness.

Odoi, 30, received treatment for close to 10 minutes on the pitch, receiving oxygen and being looked after my multiple members of the medical staff before he was carried off on a stretcher.

Fulham’s medical staff had to hold Odoi down when he first regained consciousness as he seemed dazed, and it seems likely that the Premier League’s concussion protocol will have been used.

Speaking after the 1-0 win for Fulham, his manager Scott Parker gave the following update.

“Denis is OK, I have just seen him, it was a big head injury,” Parker said. “He was out of it for a few seconds which was concerning, but he is fine and will be OK.”