Michael Stephens

Bob Bradley, Stabaek’s strong Norwegian Cup run ends in semis

Leave a comment

Bob Bradley and Stabaek’s surprising run through the Norwegian Cup has come up two games short after the club fell 1-0 to Molde in the semifinals.

The finish was the club’s best since 2008, when Stabaek won the tournament.

Still, Bradley’s been on a roll with the small club, pulling them up to ninth place with a 9W-3D-12L record and American midfielders Michael Stephens and Andrew Jacobson have played a big role in the success, and both played in the semifinal (Jacobson for 90, Stephens for 63).

[ RELATED: Americans Abroad weekend preview | Brek Shea spills guts on Klinsmann ]

And the manager has also received the sort of compliments that American fans will find quite fitting given his gruff demeanor. From Grant Wahl’s SI.com piece:

“Bob is fantastic,” says Inge Andre Olsen, the Stabaek sporting director who hired Bradley. “I’m always saying he’s a mix between a Mafia boss and a Navy SEAL. He’s tough and he’s honest, but still he’s competitive and works really hard to achieve what he wants.”

A mix of a Mafia boss and a Navy SEAL? Is he going to be playing a guest role on Lillehammer next season?

Americans Abroad Review: Johannsson, Jones, Bob Bradley active

1 Comment

With many leagues done, it’s a lighter time for the Americans Abroad Review. That doesn’t mean there aren’t updates cooking overseas.

Aron Johannsson had a match of massive importance for AZ Alkmaar, a club that needed to win its playoffs to qualify for the UEFA Europa League again. And while Johannsson was a factor for AZ, the club went out with a whimper. AZ was spanked 3-0 away to FC Groningen, losing 3-0 on aggregate. Stat-wise, Johannsson finished with one shot over 117 minutes and no goals in his final five appearances of the season. He scored 24 goals with 7 assists for AZ this season across all competitions.

There was more watching for Sacha Kljestan at Anderlecht. A fixture at the Belgian club, Kljestan’s declining use in 2013/14 lends a lot of credibility to his potential move back to the States (or at least away from Anderlecht).

Bob Bradley‘s Stabaek has two wins in a row and continues to score goals. They beat Rosenborg 3-1, though the opponents were without Mix Diskerud, already at USMNT camp. Former Galaxy midfielder Michael Stephens has an assist for Stabaek, which is now sixth in the table, two points out of third and 7 back of toppers Molde.

The loan stint of Jermaine Jones ended at Besiktas with a yellow card (whaaaaat?!?) and a full match that concluded 1-1 and gave the Turkish club a third-place league finish and a spot in the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds. That’s because Fenerbahce remains banned from UCL for two more competitions.

Americans Abroad Review: Terrence Boyd’s red-hot form continues

Leave a comment

It was a light weekend for Americans overseas and south of the border, but there were still goals to be found and wins to be had for the Yanks abroad… not to mention time for last-minute pleas to Jurgen Klinsmann

Terrence Boyd now has 20 goals this season at Rapid Wien, as the young American striker continues to impress in form ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Boyd’s goal in Rapid’s 5-2 win over Josko Ried was his 15th in Austrian Bundesliga play to go with five goals scored in the Europa League. Those goals came against Genk, Thun, Asteras and Dynamo Kiev.

Bob Bradley‘s Stabaek side scored thrice early and held on for a 3-2 win over Sarpsborg. Michael Stephens came on for the final 33 minutes, picking up a yellow card in that half-hour plus.

After warming up the Nantes crowd with an American college hoops chant, Ale Bedoya played 78 minutes in the Canaries 3-1 loss to Saint Etienne.

In the Premier League, Tim Howard posted a career-best 15th shutout as Everton finished its season with a 2-0 win over Hull City, while Geoff Cameron helped Stoke City jump Newcastle for the ninth-spot in the top flight with a 2-1 win at West Bromwich Albion.

Brad Guzan had another forgettable day as Tottenham Hotspur thrashed Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa side 3-0. Over at Sunderland, Jozy Altidore played only six minutes at the end of a miserable season for the Black Cats. Sunderland lost 3-1 to Swansea City.

John Anthony Brooks went 90 minutes for Hertha Berlin, but his team was crushed 4-0 by visiting Borussia Dortmund as the Bundesliga season came to a close. Fabian Johnson played 75 minutes in Hoffenheim’s 3-0 win over Eintracht Braunschweig.

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.

No more loans: LA Galaxy complete full acquisition of Juninho

3 Comments

I’m going to miss Galaxy fans’ annual winter panic.

Each of the last two around Decembers, Juninho’s flown back to Sao Paulo, his fans in Los Angeles left behind to wonder whether their starting central midfielder will return next season.

At first they’re optimistic, but as winter progresses without a quick resulting they start to worry. Shock, denial, sandess – the starts are all there. By January, fans have convinced themselves they’re ready to move on, assuaging themselves with missives like “Marcelo Sarvas is fine” or “maybe Michael Stephens is ready to step up.”

By the time training camp rolls around, they’ve starting believing their own lies.

But with Tuesday’s news that Juninho’s completed a full move to Los Angeles, that whole game’s over. The 24-year-old midfielder is now fully on the Galaxy’s books after leaving São Paulo for good.

He announced the move on his various social media instances. As posted to LAGalaxy.com:

“I would like to thank Sao Paulo Futebol Clube for these 10 years I was with the Club. The soccer player that I am today I owe it to you. Thank you for shaping me as the player and [sic] the person I am today. Things change, we have to make choices in life and I’m sure that choosing Galaxy was the right choice. It’s a team that always believed in my soccer, that gave me the opportunity to return and show what I have to offer and come back to my fans who have always been by my side. I’m coming home, to our home! To the great team Los Angeles Galaxy.”

The move isn’t so much surprising as it is reassuring. We don’t have to go through this song-and-dance again. We won’t have to listen to the waverings of our one Galaxy friend.

Will he? Won’t he? Oh, shut up! Of course he will!

Juninho will be back. He always comes back. And now, there’s no reason to doubt. He’s officially a full Galaxy player.