Thursday, January 28, 2010

Yanks Transferring Abroad

Here is a quick rundown of which Americans have made moves in the January transfer window:

1. Stuart Holden to Bolton Wanderers (EPL)

2. Freddy Adu on loan to Aris FC (Greece)

3. Eddie Johnson on loan to Aris FC (Greece)

Both Adu and Johnson have their European careers on life support with this move to Greece. Johnson saw little to no time while at Fulham and on loan to Cardiff. Adu bounced around from Benfica to Monaco to Belenenses and now Aris. Lets see if these guys can get their act together or we might see them in MLS sooner rather than later.

4. Ricardo Clark on loan to Eintracht Frankfurt (Bundesliga)

5. Landon Donovan on loan to Everton (EPL)

Donovan scored his first EPL goal the other day against Sunderland. This move seems to be panning out better than his time spent in Germany.

6. Bryan Arguez to Estoril FC (Portugal 2nd division)

A promising young talent that went from DC United to Hertha Berlin only to have some disciplinary problems. He will try for a fresh start with the 2nd division Portugese club.

7. Kenny Cooper to ????

The striker seems to be disgruntled with his situation in Germany and could find himself a new home. He is hoping to secure playing time in the run up to this summer's World Cup.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Things I'm Looking Forward to in MLS

1. The opening of Red Bull Arena. This has been a long time in the making and finally NYRB doesn't have to play in the cavernous Meadowlands. They will get to play their home fixtures in a top notch facility that will be the envy of the league. Now if DC could just get their act together and get a stadium built...(not in NoVa or Baltimore either)

2. Philadelphia Union. It will be nice to have some new blood here on the east coast. From the looks of the moves the management has been making, the team seems to be set up to succeed. Can Peter Nowak replicate the success that was seen in expansion Seattle last season. Let's hope so. The potential of the DC/NY/Philly rivalries is pretty enticing too.

3. The absence of Landon Donovan. He is scheduled to come back to the Galaxy by the start of the MLS campaign, but one of the best things that could happen for US soccer would be if he can make his stay in England permanent. Landon is one of the top talents in MLS and he can only progress by challenging himself in a higher level league such as the EPL. He seems to be performing well for Everton and hopefully he can make a good impression. Good luck Landon and I hope you don't come back to LA (for the benefit of the national team).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

USMNT Injury Report

US Men's National Team fans can breath a collective sigh of relief: both Clint Dempsey and Oguchi Onyewu released favorable injury reports this week.

Today Fulham indicated that Dempsey, who limped off the field during Fulham's 2-0 loss to Blackburn last weekend, indicated that his injury wouldn't require surgery. That news is extremely positive after Roy Hodgson had indicated earlier in the week that they suspected him to have severely injured his posterior crucial ligament.

And Onyewu, who injured his knee last October, is making good progress and is on the road to recovery. In a hilariously titled interview with MLS Insider (On the Couch with Onyewu), Gooch mentioned that he has already started running and that his rehab is proceeding ahead of schedule. He said he is poised to make a comeback in the near future and he hinted that he should be fine in time for South Africa.

While this is surely good news, lets all take a moment to pray to Allah/Buddha/and James Cameron that both of these guys are back to form by the World Cup. We could probably use their help against little ole' England.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

David Bently, A Bust?

Guest Post by Rob Gordon

As a Tottenham supporter for many years, I have seen my share of flops at the club. From Rebrov and Postiga to Hossam Ghaly, the previous decade was littered with players that arrived to the club with high expectations only to deliver performances that were far below the hype. There is one player on the current Spurs side that most supporters have already labeled a flop, and there is no debate that he has not played to the 15 million pound transfer fee we paid for him back in July 2008. David Bentley looked the part during his time at Blackburn, but the move to the Lane has sent his career into a tailspin. I think the DUI most recently just about sums up his time so far. I take a different look into the transfer however, and feel the 15 million pounds has actually partially paid itself back in a different sort of matter. And in a round about way, I wouldn’t consider the transfer a total bust in the eyes of a supporter.

While Bentley hasn’t played to the high expectations, but his arrival did light a spark under Aaron Lennon. Lennon’s form faded towards the end of the 2007-2008 season and many were worried he wouldn’t be the same after the Euro 2008 snub. The purchase of Bentley was another sign that the young lightning-quick winger might have lost the confidence that made him so dangerous. Fast forward to the 3-0 drubbing of Manchester City where he terrorized Sylvinho, and what you are seeing is a player brimming with confidence and a much improved final ball. What changed? You could possibly point to Redknapp’s appointment as manager or a better supporting cast. I think it has to do with one thing, Bentley’s arrival.

In horse-racing, the great ones have a competitive fire that drives them on when they go neck and neck with another horse. It is that intangible quality that makes them winners. Rather than shrink at the sight of an opponent, they rise to the occasion and raise their performance. In a sense, Bentley was the horse brought in to challenge Lennon on the right wing. It would have been easy for Lennon to give up or feel disheartened. Instead he fought to keep his place in the team and has found the form of his life. I say that Bentley’s threat brought out the best in Lennon. Now, Lennon has raised his value at least 15 million pounds. While Tottenham will no doubt lose money on Bentley when he is finally sold, I think we have ended up with arguably the most dangerous right winger in the game. A winger, I hope, that does not see the pitch on June 12th against the United States.

Obviously I am not in the locker room or even in England for that matter. This is merely a theory and an effort to take the positives from the Bentley Experiment. No matter what his form has been attributed to, his resurgence has been a major reason why Spurs are in the top 4 race. Now that the injury bug has hit him, let’s hope he comes back as strong as he left and that Spurs can continue the momentum.