USMNT / World Cup

US National Team Tidbits

Clint Dempsey injured his knee recently and many fans including myself will be holding their breath until news of the severity is shared later today. Hopefully Dempsey won’t be out too long, and from the early indications I can’t see this keeping him out of the World Cup. We’ll see what the doctors have to say.

On a more positive note, Oguchi Onyewu recently gave a short interview where he said he was running and making lateral movements, which makes me very happy. He said that he probably wouldn’t be ready for the March game against Holland, but he is pretty sure he will be back before the World Cup. That is good news. Kenny Cooper also appears to be on the mend and could see action again soon.

Even better news is that Landon Donovan has played very well in two games for Everton so far. I hope that he continues to tear it up in England without suffering an injury. If he goes down, then I am really going to suspect a conspiracy.

Eddie Johnson got a few minutes in Greece with Aris FC and hopefully will get a chance to contribute more in the next game. Freddy Adu made the bench, but did not get a chance to play. Aris FC keep winning, so I suspect the coach doesn’t want to upset the balance by benching starters.

In regard to transfers there is quite a bit of activity. Stuart Holden apparently has shown well at Bolton and may get a contract offer, while there have also been rumors of him moving to the Portuguese First Division with Sporting de Braga. I am not sure whether either of these moves are good ideas at this point. I would like to see him in Europe, but I don’t see him starting in the Premier League in England with Bolton. I also don’t see him starting at SC Braga, which is in first place in the Portuguese league. I think he could get time as a substitute at either club and could possibly start at Braga if the team started performing poorly or there was an injury. I would like to seem him go to a mid level first division club in Holland, a promotion contending Championship club in England, or a mid level first division club in Portugal. I even like the idea of a Scottish premier league club. We will see where he ends up.

It is being reported that Ricardo Clark is on trial at Eintracht Frankfurt and may find himself in the German Bundesliga. Previously Clark has been linked to clubs in Italy and other places in Europe. It will be interesting to see where he lands. I think he has the potential to start as long as he doesn’t land at one of the big name clubs. I would say that he would start at Eintracht Frankfurt for instance.

There are some rumors that Benny Feilhaber may be headed to a club in Spain. I am not sure about that one. I would also like to see him stay where he is until after the World Cup. I don’t seem him starting in Spain unless he moved to a smaller side near the end of the table.

Carlos Bocanegra may also be on the move to AS Saint-Etienne in the French First Division. Bocanegra has lost a starting position at Stade Rennais FC and would need to move to get consistent playing time. We will see if this rumor actually comes to fruition. This seems like a good move because it keeps Bocanegra in the same league, but offers him a starting position. AS Saint-Etienne is near the bottom of the table in the French First Division and needs help to stay in Ligue 1.

Another interesting tidbit is that Lee Nguyen may move to MLS. He played last year in Vietnam and has a contract waiting for him, should he decide to return. He has stated that he would like to come to MLS, but that he has not been able to reach agreement with MLS on all issues. Ngyuen also stated that he had some options available in Europe. Futhermore, he stated that if MLS wouldn’t meet him halfway that he would be perfectly happy to return to Vietnam.

I would like to see Nguyen come to MLS. He is a superstar in Vietnam. He scored nine goals and had 16 assists in 24 games, but I doubt he would have that kind of success in MLS or any other more competitive league. Of course that is not to say that he doesn’t have skill. He played well during the 2005 U-20 World Cup, trained recently with the Arsenal “B” Team, and played for PSV Eindhoven and Randers FC. I think he would be a major contributor for any MLS team. I don’t want to see him spend another season in Vietnam because he needs a higher level of competition if he is ever going to be a contributor for the Full Men’s National Team. He has played in a handful of games for the Full Men’s National Team, but he needs to develop further to become a starter. I do think he has the natural talent and creativity to be a winger or attacking midfielder for the US. I can’t seem him getting there if he continues in Vietnam. He will turn 24 this year, and he needs to get his career back on track. Moving to MLS will put him back on the National Team radar and possibly on a path back to Europe. Let’s hope he moves on from Vietnam.

Lastly, Tony Taylor, who had success at the most recent U-20 World Cup is moving to Estoril FC in the Portuguese 2nd Division. Taylor is a speed demon and will have a good chance at starting. Estoril FC are fighting for promotion and Taylor could find himself starting in the Portuguese First Division next season. It is always nice to have a speedy striker playing in Europe as an option for the National Team. Ok, that’s all I have for now. Let me know what you think.

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