Emerson Hyndman

Getty Images

Hyndman, Hamid seal permanent MLS deals

Leave a comment

Two players who have featured for the U.S. Men’s National Team in the past signed permanent MLS deals on Monday, after spending the all or parts of the 2019 MLS season on loan in the league.

The question is, should we be disappointed? It’s two USMNT-eligible players in their prime who are leaving Europe for regular playing time? Will that playing time get them back in the USMNT picture? Or were their old club teams simply the problem before?

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

It was a return for Bill Hamid, who was a D.C. United homegrown player and arguably the first player on the team sheet between 2009-2017. Hamid actually returned from Europe in 2018 and spent all of the last year and a half on loan from FC Midtjylland in Denmark.

Hyndman on the other hand signed a permanent deal with Atlanta United, after the former MLS Cup champions signed the 23-year-old midfielder on a loan deal from Bournemouth in the Premier League. It was Hyndman’s fourth club in four years – including three loan moves – and perhaps Atlanta is a place he can put down roots and stay for the long term.

Per both D.C. United and Atlanta United, both players signed multi-year deals. D.C. United reportedly even paid a transfer fee for Hamid.

Both players are solid to good players in MLS, and as Americans, they add quality and don’t cost a team an international spot. But for the U.S. Men’s National Team, it’s unclear how this could affect the pair.

On one hand, USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter has shown a preference to certain players he had in the 2019 January camp, including guys like Nick Lima, Paul Arriola and Christian Roldan, even if performances don’t necessarily merit them playing each match. On the other hand, as someone who has played in Germany, and England, Berhalter surely understands the benefits of challenging yourself every few years to play and train at a higher level. It doesn’t have to be Jurgen Klinsmann levels, where every single year they have to step it up, but finding a new way to freshen things up in a tough environment can have positive benefits for everyone, assuming there is playing time.

For Hyndman, who moved to Fulham’s academy in 2011 at the age of 15, it marks the end of seven years in Europe trying to break in. He had decent half-season spells with Hibernian and Rangers in the Scottish Premier Division, but one can argue that Atlanta United is itself on a higher level of play. That being said, Hyndman has clearly decided that regular gametime is best for his development as a player than relocating to the Netherlands, Italy or Germany to play. He wasn’t likely to get any at Bournemouth, even with their current Premier League struggles.

In Hamid’s case, he took a chance on Europe with FC Midtjylland. However, pretty quickly he realized that it wasn’t the right situation for him and within six months, he was back on D.C. United on loan for the next year and a half.

In both cases, there may have been options to continue their European adventures. Whether it was in the Championship or another “mid-major” European league, in the past, two players entering their primes might have tried to stay in Europe a little longer. But the lure of MLS, with a decent salary, less competition for places and the opportunity to play at home in front of family is a strong one, and the national team will have to adjust with it.

 

Atlanta United wins Campeones Cup as Josef Martinez comes through

Associated Press
Leave a comment

If at first you do not succeed, try and try again. That is how Josef Martinez proceeded through the 90 minutes at Mercedes Benz Stadium, missing a first-half penalty and seeing a close-range effort saved after the break, but he delivered the winning blow with a 65th minute spot-kick to see Atlanta United over Club America 3-2 to win the Campeones Cup.

Atlanta United went in front early thanks to Bournemouth loanee Emerson Hyndman who put Atlanta United up inside the opening five minutes. A fabulous flick by Dion Pereira sent Hyndman through who finished one-touch inside the far post past Oscar Jimenez.

The home side was dominant on the ball, holding 60% possession through the first 45 minutes. Club America, however, remained dangerous when countering, and they struck back just minutes later through Roman Ibarra who roofed the equalizer. The goal came off fabulous work by Roger Martinez who corralled a hot pass from Andres Ibarguen down the left and worked his way down to the end line and along the edge before rifling a ball across the face of goal to Ibarra waiting at the far post for a thumping finish.

Atlanta United had a glorious opportunity to go in front after VAR forced a review of an incident in the box and a penalty was given for a foul by Bruno Valdez who clumsily hacked down Pity Martinez. Josef Martinez stepped up but his unorthodox run-up failed to produce a result as Jimenez saved the poor effort and the charging defense thwarted any rebound effort.

After the break, the two sides had good chances, with Josef Martinez missing a glorious opportunity soon after the restart as he trickled a breakaway shot wide left. Roger Martinez put Club America in front just before the hour mark on a corner as Atlanta goalkeeper Alec Kahn failed to judge the delivery right at the goal mouth and Martinez poked the effort in from point-blank range.

The lead wouldn’t last long – two minutes to be exact – as Jeff Larentowicz produced a piledriver from well outside the box and the effort took a deflection off the head of Carlos Vargas, seeing the ball sail into the top corner past a rooted Jimenez. The goal brought a sheepish smile from Frank De Boer as Mercedes Benz Stadium lit up.

Josef Martinez nearly put Atlanta in front minutes later, but Jimenez saved spectacularly with the goal gaping on Pereira’s scything cutback. He got another chance moments later, though, as Florentin Pogba was barged over by Guido Rodriguez, a blatant penalty. Martinez this time delivered a blistering effort from the spot, putting Atlanta United up 3-2 with a firecracker into the top-left corner.

The home side took firm control from that point, first coming close again via Pity Martinez who delivered a stunning free-kick that was athletically headed off the line by Valdez. The Paraguayan defender would not last much longer on the pitch, however, as he dragged down Josef Martinez on the break to earn his second yellow card and a sending off with 18 minutes to go.

The Club America meltdown was complete when manager Miguel Herrera and an assistant were both shown yellow cards by the official for dissent on the touchline, and the boss took some time to calm down as he gesticulated wildly. Club America threw goalkeeper Jimenez for a final corner effort, but it was a poor delivery and the final whistle blew to crown Atlanta United the first Campeones Cup winners from Major League Soccer.

Atlanta United tops Orlando to reach USOC Final (video)

Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Eric Remedi scored a goal and helped set up Emerson Hyndman for another as Atlanta United clinched a spot in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final with a 2-0 defeat of Orlando City SC in Florida on Tuesday.

The marker for Hyndman, the American midfielder on loan from Premier League side Bournemouth, was his first for the Five Stripes.

[ MORE: Bournemouth season preview ]

Remedi had one assist in nearly 1600 MLS season minutes heading into the match.

Minnesota United and Portland Timbers stage the other semifinal on Tuesday in Minnesota, and the winner with meet Atlanta on Aug. 27 or 28.

Bournemouth’s Hyndman marks American return with assist (video)

AP Photo/John Bazemore
Leave a comment

Bournemouth loanee Emerson Hyndman wasted no time in making an impact with Atlanta United in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday.

Making his first start for the Five Stripes the former Fulham, Rangers, and Hibernian playmaker set up Pity Martinez’s opening goal of a 2-0 win at Kennesaw State.

[ MORE: Alves to Man City? ]

Atlanta United’s lineup was no joke against USL side Saint Louis FC, with the 23-year-old Hyndman in the middle of a 4-3-3 with Martinez, Josef Martinez, and Justin Meram atop him.

Hyndman took advantage of a poor giveaway from the SLFC right back, and popped the ball to Martinez for a pretty finish.

Despite its temporary status, the move is reminiscent of Sebastian Lletget‘s move to the LA Galaxy from West Ham United. In that scenario, however, Lletget didn’t go on loan and spent most of his time with the Irons’ U-23 side.

Lletget’s move has been a success. We’ll see if Hyndman’s is any better.

Atlanta United reportedly talking with Bournemouth’s Hyndman

Photo by Robin Jones - AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Emerson Hyndman could return Stateside this summer after eight years abroad.

Hyndman has been on the books at Bournemouth since leaving Fulham in 2016, but may be trading Southern England for the Deep South of the United States according to Doug Roberson with the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Atlanta United is thin at midfield and Hyndman is still a terrific talent despite not finding a regular place in the Premier League. He’s been on loan to Rangers and Hibernian in Scotland, making just two Premier League appearances with the Cherries.

Hyndman is still just 23, which is one of those facts that read as odd when a player like him has been in the mainstream of U.S. Soccer since he was a teenager.

[ MORE: Almiron remarks on Real Madrid rumor ]

He’s entering the final season of a three-year deal at the Vitality Stadium, and couldn’t join Frank De Boer‘s Five Stripes until the open of the MLS transfer window on July 9.

The Dallas-born Hyndman was with MLS academy FC Dallas for a season before moving to Fulham. He’s been capped twice by the USMNT, once in 2014 and another time in 2016.

Hyndman would bring six goals and four assists in 72 European first team appearances back to MLS. Compare that to Sebastian Lletget, who returned to U.S. at the same age after playing for West Ham almost exclusively in the U-21 Premier League. That’s just one player, but it’s hard to imagine Hyndman would be any less promising a figure for an MLS team.