Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind


photo by Michael Janosz/



The U.S. U-20 men's national team is one win away from reaching this summer's World Cup, and one player who could be on the team that isn't right now is Joshua Gatt. The 19-year-old attacker made that more likely with a start for Molde FK this weekend.

Having made his Molde debut by coming off the bench in the club's season opener two weeks ago, Gatt earned his first start of the season on Sunday. Gatt played 78 minutes in the team's 2-2 draw with Tromso, helping earn Molde its first point of the season.

Frank Simek and Carlisle United didn't win their first point of the campaign, but they did claim the Johnstone's Paint Trophy with a 1-0 triumph over Brentford. Simek started and played 90 minutes in the match.

It wasn't all good news this weekend. U.S. men's national team defenders Oguchi Onyewu and Jonathan Bornstein each failed to see the field for their respective clubs. Onyewu did not play in a 2-0 FC Twente victory over PSV Eindhoven that raised the Twente to first place, while Bornstein sat on the bench for Tigres UANL's 2-0 win versus Atlante.

Here is how the Americans Abroad performed this weekend:



  • Tim Howard started and played 90 minutes in Everton's 2-2 draw vs. Aston Villa on Saturday.
  • Clint Dempsey started and played 90 minutes in Fulham's 3-0 win vs. Blackpool on Saturday.

  • Brad Friedel started, played 90 minutes and made three saves in Aston Villa's 2-2 draw vs. Everton on Saturday.
  • Michael Bradley did not dress for Aston Villa.
  • Marcus Hahnemann dressed but did not play in Wolverhampton Wanderers' 4-1 loss vs. Newcastle United on Saturday.
  • Jonathan Spector dressed but did not play in West Ham United's 4-2 loss vs. Manchester United on Saturday.
  • Stuart Holden did not dress in Bolton Wanderers' 2-1 loss vs. Birmingham on Saturday. He is recovering from a knee injury.
  • Jermaine Jones started and played 89 minutes in Blackburn Rovers' 0-0 draw vs. Arsenal on Saturday.


  • Conor Doyle did not dress in Derby County's 4-1 loss vs. Cardiff City on Saturday. He is with the U.S. U-20 national team.
  • Zak Whitbread started and played 90 minutes in Norwich City's 6-0 win vs. Scunthorpe United on Saturday.
  • Eric Lichaj started and played 90 minutes in Leeds United's 4-1 win vs. Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
  • Robbie Findley did not dress in Nottingham Forest's 4-1 loss vs. Leeds United on Saturday. He is recovering from a thigh injury.
  • Eddie Johnson started and played 59 minutes in Preston North End's 2-1 win vs. Swansea City on Saturday.
  • Brad Guzan started, played 90 minutes, received a yellow card and made 5 saves in Hull City's 1-0 loss vs. Millwall on Saturday.


  • Frank Simek started and played 90 minutes in Carlisle United's 1-0 win vs. Brentford in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final on Sunday. 
  • Anton Peterlin and Plymouth Argyle did not play this weekend. 
  • Mike Grella came off the bench and played 11 minutes in Swindon Town's 1-1 draw vs. Hartlepool United on Saturday.



  • Maurice Edu started and played 90 minutes in Rangers' 3-2 loss vs. Dundee United on Saturday.
  • Dominic Cervi and Celtic's match vs. Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Saturday was postponed.



  • Steve Cherundolo started and played 90 minutes in Hannover 96's 4-1 loss vs. Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.
  • DaMarcus Beasley did not dress for Hannover 96.
  • Ricardo Clark started and played 90 minutes in Eintracht Frankfurt's 1-1 draw vs. VfL Wolfsburg on Sunday.
  • Daniel Williams did not dress in SC Freiburg's 1-1 draw vs. Mainz on Saturday. He is recovering from a knee injury.
  • Timmy Chandler did not dress in Nurnberg's 1-0 loss vs. FC Cologne on Sunday. He was serving a one-game suspension for last game's ejection.


  • David Yelldell started, played 90 minutes, received a yellow card for a penalty kick foul and made one save in MSV Duisburg's 2-1 loss vs. SpVgg Greuther Furth on Saturday.
  • Luis Robles came off the bench and played 34 minutes in Karlsruhe's 2-2 draw vs. VfL Osnabruck on Friday.
  • Edson Buddle started and played 66 minutes in FC Ingolstadt 04's 2-1 win vs. Energie Cottbus on Friday.
  • Amaechi Igwe did not dress for FC Ingolstadt 04. He is recovering from a knee injury.
  • Bobby Wood did not dress in TSV 1860 Munich's 2-1 loss vs. Alemania Aachen on Sunday. He is with the U.S. U-20 national team.
  • Alfredo Morales did not dress in Hertha Berlin's 2-0 loss vs. SC Paderborn 07 on Sunday.



  • Carlos Bocanegra started and played 90 minutes in St Etienne's 1-1 draw vs. Valenciennes on Sunday.


  • Quentin Westberg dressed but did not play in Evian Thonon Gaillard's 1-0 win vs. Nimes on Friday.


  • Oguchi Onyewu dressed but did not play in Twente Enschede's 2-0 win vs. PSV Eindhoven on Saturday.



  • Jozy Altidore came off the bench and played 4 minutes in Bursaspor's 0-0 draw vs. Fenerbahce on Sunday.


  • Freddy Adu came off the bench and played 32 minutes in Caykur Rizespor's 3-0 loss vs. Mersin Idmanyurdu on Sunday.


  • Sacha Kljestan dressed but did not play in RSC Anderlecht's 3-1 loss vs. Standard Liege on Sunday.



  • Michael Parkhurst started and played 45 minutes in FC Nordsjaelland's 0-0 draw vs. Horsens on Sunday.
  • Marcus Tracy did not dress in Aalborg BK's 1-0 loss vs. Odense BK on Saturday. He is recovering from a knee injury.
  • Chris Rolfe came off the bench and played 14 minutes for Aalborg BK.
  • Clarence Goodson did not dress in Brondby IF's 2-2 draw vs. Silkeborg on Sunday. He is recovering from a toe injury.


  • Benny Feilhaber did not dress in AGF Aarhus' 3-0 win vs. Kolding on Sunday. He is recovering from a thigh injury.


  • Alejandro Bedoya and Orebro SK play IFK Goteborg on Monday.
  • Ryan Miller dressed but did not play in Halmstads BK's 0-0 draw vs. Kalmar on Saturday.
  • Gale Agbossoumonde and Djurgardens IF play AIK on Monday.


  • Mikkel Diskerud started and played 90 minutes in Stabaek IF's 2-1 win vs. Rosenborg on Sunday.
  • Josh Gatt started and played 78 minutes in Molde FK's 2-2 draw vs. Tromso on Sunday.


  • Jose Torres started, played 67 minutes and received a yellow card in Pachuca's 3-1 win vs. Morelia on Sunday.
  • Herculez Gomez dressed but did not play for Pachuca.
  • Edgar Castillo dressed but did not play in Puebla's 5-4 loss vs. America on Sunday.
  • Sammy Ochoa did not dress in Estudiantes Tecos U.A. de G.'s 1-1 draw vs. Atlas on Saturday.
  • Sonny Guadarrama did not dress in Atlante's 2-0 loss vs. Tigres UANL on Saturday.
  • Jonathan Bornstein dressed but did not play in Tigres UANL's 2-0 win vs. Atlante on Saturday.
  • Gustavo Adrian Ruelas did not dress in Santos Laguna's 3-0 win vs. Cruz Azul on Saturday.


Surprised Gatt earned his first start for Molde in just the second game of the season? What do you think of Simek and Carlisle United winning the Johnstone's Paint Trophy? Expecting Onyewu and Bornstein to get back into their club's starting lineups next week?

Share your thoughts below.

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109 Responses to Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

  1. Hush says:

    Bradley not even making the bench is probably the most troubling.

  2. mark says:

    Don’t worry, Bob will keep starting him for the national team.

  3. Leo says:

    but why go get a guy on loan at the close of the window and really never use him?

  4. OmarVizquel says:

    Dear Nike,

    Pretty please, can our next red jerseys look like the ones in the picture above? No wimpy shoulder-to-waist sash, just a simple design that’s not too loud, not too weak.

    (What team is that in the picture, by the way?)

  5. Der_Amerikanische_Kaiser says:

    Bradley not making the bench? And that is surprising, to who? Look, the kid got bad advice and should look deep within himself for not sticking with his TEAM, Gladbach, and by helping them stay up–that is if he is good as he thinks he is. Moving to Villa was a mistake and he knows it (although he won’t say it)

  6. bizzy says:

    Hype…as a result of always being selected at the national team level & son of coach BB. You get the guy and you realize he’s not what you thought he was or hyped up to be……for a struggling EPL team to spend money to get you and you don’t even make the bench, think about it.

  7. Cannons says:

    Maybe he’s not all that in a fair competition for playing time.

  8. bizzy says:

    Key word in that statement Mr. Cannons……”FAIR”


  9. Todd says:

    I am ridiculously excited for Josh Gatt and his Michigan teammate Sean Cunningham who is 18 and on Molde.

  10. Thorpinski says:

    Hollier by all accounts is a buffoon and if he doesn’t get AV relegated it will be by pure luck.

    Bradley is good enough to start for AV, that he didn’t make the bench this week is probably due to dad playing him 90 in back to back games. I think we should see him getting minutes soon, but then again the coach is an idiot so maybe not.

  11. On the Outside says:

    Bradley just played over 180 minutes for his national team then had to travel over 4,000 miles to get back to England, recover from jet lag and prepare for an EPL contest…let’s be realistic guys, there is a reason why he did not dress.

  12. StevenG says:

    And yet Dempsey went the full 90 in Fulham’s 3-0 win over Blackpool. Hmm……….

  13. StevenG says:

    I heard this Cunningham kid is a leftback. Cunningham to USMNT! lol

  14. DrewROC says:

    I follow Beasley on Twitter and it makes you wonder if the guy is motivated to ever get on the field again. I’ve been critical of Donovan in the past, but I sure am thankful he has the work ethic that he does.

  15. David says:

    RE: Bradley

    Why not just be logical about it?

    It is highly likely that he is having trouble adjusting to the speed of the game. It can also be just as tough to crack the lineup of a team sinking and fighting for their lives as a team fighting for trophies. Thinking he would immediately be starting and drawing comparisons with the likes of Essien is just as unfair as using the last month as an indictment on his entire career!

    This si the first time he HAS struggled, anywhere! And guess what? There are players of all levels of quality and class who fight for games in the EPL, its the top of the top! Its a growing experience, in all facets i’m sure. He is a tough kid if nothing else.

    Just appreciate that there are MANY factors at play in the situation: consider that he is slotted behind Makoun, who Houllier managed and nurtured coming up in France. We can all agree Makoun is a pedestrian at best EPL midfield player, but there is a trust and a familiarity that Houllier very likely feels during a period of the season where he can’t afford to bring players along or give them games to adjust/situate themselves, everyone is on a short rope.

  16. spencer says:

    We know you feel the need to defend him, but the reality is he hasn’t played in several games. He isn’t even an option off the bench right now for him. Yes we are aware the coach doesn’t really like him for one reason or another. As we all believe he could be a useful addition to the team.

  17. AC says:

    I hope Bob Bradley will recall Torres into the national team. With Holden gone, Torres is the mold of an offensive midfielder who can spring other players from the middle if Bradley is going to try the 4-5-1 again…If not, he’d be a good assett off the bench….Obviously he’s no Xavi, but who is…I just hope he gets his shot again….

  18. otergod says:

    LOL, im sorry, but if Aston Villa does their scouting via hype and callups then perhaps they should be relegated. I would imagine that they’ve actually seen him play whether it be in US National games or for M’bach.

  19. OmarVizquel says:

    To heck with your logic — Houllier, like the rest of the French, hates Americans!!!1

  20. C. Rob says:

    Everyone seems to ignore (or is unaware of) the fact that there is a lot of depth in the Villa midfield. It will take a lot of work to get minutes. It’s not like Blackburn Rovers. BTW Deuce wasn’t an instant starter at Fulham when he first got to the Premier League.

  21. denpasar_sam says:

    come on you turk yanks, get in the game

  22. DGS says:

    Was Gooch still out due to injury?

    (Watched that game on Saturday. Entertaining 2nd half. Glad Mexico got stuck with Bryan Ruiz in their group for the Gold Cup and not us.)

  23. Chavftw says:

    Gerard Houllier is not an idiot. He watched MB and praised him publicly at the World Cup. AV might be making odd choices, but they’re making soccer decisions.

  24. Tab says:

    I agree — Torres should be given more of a look.

    Even if he is not a conventional offensive midfielder.

    The kid can pass and this is something we desperately need in central midfield.

    A three of Jones, Bradley, and Torres would be nice to see given a run out some time.

  25. ... says:

    I like Torres with Pachuca, but I’m not sure how he fits into the current formation/style of play the USMNT uses. It might be moot for the moment though, since he subbed out injured yesterday. I don’t know how serious an injury it was, but he was stretchered off.

  26. aristophanes says:

    Since we saw in SBI’s last poll (during the Q&A) that 95% of his readers agree that Michael Bradley is a first choice starter for the Stars and Stripes, that means these constant critiques of lil Bradley come from a small minority. There incessant haranguing, by definition, makes them trolls. So, ignore them.

  27. Der_Amerikanische_Kaiser says:

    Logical about it? I am, and Jones is doing just fine transitioning to the EPL.

  28. Der_Amerikanische_Kaiser says:

    Oh please, gimme a break. Friedel isn’t sitting the bench…what say you?

  29. Der_Amerikanische_Kaiser says:

    And Friedel seems to be a regular, so your logic also faslls short.

  30. spencer says:

    So are you trying to imply that Jermaine Jones really isn’t that good? As he starts every game for Blackburn. Even though he played on a much better team in Germany than Bradley.

  31. David says:

    congrats on your transcendently low reading comprehension skill.

    I was referring to Bradley, and very logically, his competition in the midfield at Villa. Friedel not only predates this season but also predates the manager. Jones plays for a different team, in different situation, with a different coach.

  32. John says:

    That poll was a heat of the moment type for the couple hundred of people on that specific moment during that Q & A. I want to see a poll for a larger demo.

  33. Haters Hate says:

    Can I just point out to all the M. Bradley haters the fact that MULTIPLE websites, SBI included, had Bradley as one of the best players in each friendly, and definately our best CM. I’m a huge Bradley fan, but I’m not pointing out my opinion, I’m pointing out the opinion of multiple soccer journalists.

  34. Haters Hate says:

    I agree with David. Another logical point is this-Bradley has been there since the end of Jan, so about 2 months. The other players have been there at least since the beggining of the season. If people are realistic, they’ll see how difficult it is to come in half way through the season when people already have spots solidified.

  35. Jeremy says:

    And I would like to see Jones or Edu actually play better than Bradley before people start whining about his playing time for the USMNT.

  36. Dainja says:

    There’s no way you could watch the Arsenal-Blackburn game, and not think that Jermaine Jones deserves to start next to Bradley on the USMNT. Germany J was everywhere in that game! Blackburn’s best player in that game, easy. JJ Bad, suckas.

  37. OmarVizquel says:

    Sarcasm fails you….

  38. DC Josh says:

    Oof, depressing weekend for our boys. Does Whitbread get a callup for the Gold Cup squad if Norwich gain promotion to the Premier League? I’d rather have an in-form central defender instead of Goofy Gooch, who has been pretty bad lately for the national team.

  39. joe says:

    I don’t think anyone anyone really disagrees the he should start in games that matter. I think people disagree that he is an automatic and unsubable. People also would like to see parings in CM that don’t involve Bradley (in friendlies). I don’t understand why some automatically jump up and down, “Bradley hater!” whenever someone says something like that.

    Personally, I think it’s great that we have enough CM talent that we can have a debate like this.

  40. Andy in Atlanta says:

    No praise for an American winning silverware…. Well done Frankie Simek, congrats!!

  41. joe says:

    Anyone else noticing a pattern with Adu and his loans? It seems like he always starts well, then he’s a sub, then he’s unused.

  42. Warren says:

    Yeah the Statue of Liberty swam from France to US just to get away.

    It’s just a myth they gave it to us.

    And of course it must be prejudice or exhaustion which kept MB from bench!

  43. Brian says:

    I heard he was taken off for an injury at the end of the game?

  44. Ben says:

    Yeah, but that could also just show that journalists form a consensus about a player and are likely to remain in the narrative they has been constructed. This is not to say Bradley wasn’t our best central mid in the friendlies, but that it is never wrong to reevalute why we think what we think. For example, the journalists also say that Paraguay came to play defense, pressuring very little, so the praise of the US controlling the ball must be tempered by the fact that Paraguays game plan was to let us see the ball. Many of the Central American team do this against us as well, ceding possession to organize the space. To be praised for possession when the opposition is okay with your having the ball is somewhat empty praise. The ability required to break down the defense in the final third was somewhat missing. Indeed, it often came as a result of our outside backs storming forward and rarely from passing through the middle that opened up the field. Bradley had a pretty good World Cup, punctuated by a very important goal, but the tendency to turn him into the conditio sine qua non of the midfield worries me. He is also the player who was hounded by Torrado in Mexico City, who has had many ups and downs on the field in Germany, some diffculties with his coach in Germany, and now struggling to get playing time in England. Remember, Aston Villa hasn’t bought him, which makes the willingness of BMG, caught in a fight for regelation, to let him go somewhat puzzling. Without firm compensation, they have loaned him when millions of euros are at risk as the possibility of relegation looms. Again, I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve to be first choice, based on past performances he does, but that just as fans are silly in hating him, so journalists tend to overrate him, especially when they can engage in favorite cliches like “hustle, effort, determination, will to win” and all the associated ideas.

  45. OmarVizquel says:

    And sarcasm fails you too….

    Geez, people are so devoid of humor around here. I can’t believe the extra “1” among the “!!!” didn’t give it away.

  46. Yamm says:

    Samuel Petrone made his debut in the Swedish league for Mjällby AIF. He played the last 17 minutes as his team lost 0-1 against Helsingborg.

  47. Mike says:

    Yeah, but it took him awhile….His first few games were poor. He really is just now, after what 8 starts, adjusting to the EPL. And as somebody pointed out above, there was a ready made spot for him at Blackburn, whereas there was not one for Bradley at Villa. Two different circumstances, impossible to compare. And no I am not a Bradley apologist.

  48. bottlcaps says:

    I wouldn’t read too much into Onyewu not playing. It seems, according to to the Dutch press, that they were resting him from the weekend travel. Twente is giving Onyewu a lot of “breathers” as to not overplay him which may lead to another injury or breakdown.

    Bradley does have a problem in getting serious playing time with AV. But I think it may be Houllier’s decision more than Bradley’ play. I do not think that Houllier will be back next season, even if AV avoid relegation. They have a talented squad, injuries notwithstanding, but Houllier’s decisions this season have more than a few pundits in the UK seond guessing him a lot, The fact that they are in a relegation battle speaks volumes.

  49. Mike says:

    I think it was more that he was cramping after running himself into the ground. Put in a massive effort. Something, frankly that had been lacking in his play until then. After all, he was banished to the Schalke reserves for lack of effort and poor attitude.

  50. elpool009 says:


  51. Rob says:

    Except Jones was named Blackburn’s MoM. Horrible start after being transferred.

  52. TimN says:

    It’s hard to say why Bradley’s not getting minutes right now at Villa. I’m not sure I believe that it’s just because he played two friendlies and then had a long trip back to England. Dempsey was in the exact same scenario and went 90 minutes for Fulham. Villa is a pretty deep team in the midfield, so that certainly could be a factor. As well, Houllier strikes me as the kind of coach that’s hard to “get in with,” and very easy to fall out of favor with- see Eric Lichaj. However, it also seems odd that Villa would go through the expense and effort of a loan deal and then not use him. I guess time will tell…

  53. Rob says:

    Oh and that was Jones’s first game with the club…..

  54. Rob says:

    + 1 Everyone defending Bradley, seem to see only Black and white, or have a need to polarize. What is wrong with wanting to see something else?

  55. fifawitz1313 says:

    I was going to say the same thing. Let the downward spiral to riding the pine begin.

  56. Rob says:

    No he and the manager got into a fight. They didn’t see eye to eye. Manager was fired and the first move by the new manager was to say Jermaine Jones will not be sold and will be back with the squad….. Sigh

  57. bryan says:

    absolutely, i was just about to post that. if he continues to get minutes, he needs to be re-called.

  58. Mike says:

    Should have been subbed out though. He looked exhausted. He never really looks fast, but he seemed to lag a bit. Think if he was a bit fresher would have bagged at least one goal.

  59. Mike says:

    BMG let him go because they are preparing for relegation because it is essentially a certainty. Of all BMG players,only Bradley would not have wages cut in the event of relegation. The option to buy specified in the loan is at a set price, first choice to Villa. They essentially locked in a buy price for him, whereas if they waited they probably would have gotten less because they would be desperate to move him.

  60. Rob says:

    Oh same goes for those few who think he has no skill….

  61. Rob says:

    Oh obviously I’m talking Shalke

  62. Mike says:

    Yeah, argument with coach over lack of effort and poor attitude. As I said.

  63. Mike says:

    Undeserved….he was slow and mediocre in possession..and was lucky not to give up a penalty that much. He has looked better recently as I said. Listen, the point is that it takes time to adjust to the EPL. Look at Edin Dzeko…banging in goals for Wolfsburg now can’t even sniff the pitch and hasn’t looked good when he does. All I am saying is that Jones situation at Blackburn and Bradley’s at Villa are not comparable.

  64. C. Rob says:

    No, I am not. If I didn’t think Jermaine Jones wasn’t any good I would say it. I can be supportive of both players. My point is when it comes to getting minutes, these guys have to compete against other talented players. All things being equal, the situation at Blackburn made it easier for Jones beak into the lineup.

  65. Rob says:

    No it was over tactics, according to German press (however who really knows)…. Just weird that a lazy guy gets an immediate call back from the new manager.

  66. hogatroge says:

    I agree… I’m a Bradley fan, and it seems to me he’s the one always working to win balls in the midfield (even if he gives up almost as many), but I don’t see why we don’t experiment a little bit in the games that don’t matter.

    That said, I wouldn’t have taken him out in either of the two March friendlies. He was about the only one making steals against Messi & co. and we were desperately pushing for an equalizer against Paraguay.

  67. bizzy says:

    “Fair” in when its fair for “all” midfielders he can’t get play time but when he’s on the US national team he’s an automatic starter….mmmmm

  68. spencer says:

    Just making sure, it is true Jermaine went to a team that needed him. Bradley didn’t go to a team with that kind of need.

  69. Rob says:

    So say you on the undeserved MoM. The fact is Jones looks good in the EPL, and for some strange reason people who overly defend Bradley, seem to try and talk down Jones (ie he will just get red cards every match, hope he doesn’t break so and so’s leg when he has no history of injuring people, Blackburn is a weak side so he gets playing time, etc). No clue why, but that’s how it is. Maybe Jones isn’t American enough, I don’t know.

  70. Rob says:

    Oh sorry poor attitude was also referenced as he openly criticized his manager….

  71. Jack says:

    Just noting that Lichaj had a very good game for Leeds. He had a great assist on one of their goals and did some very solid defending, especially considering the fact that Leed’s CBs seemed to be a bit confused about what exactly the definition of “staying in your position” is. I kind of wonder what might happen to him if Leeds gets the promotion to the EPL.

    I guess, though, that that would depend on whether or not Houllier sticks around. I know that the owners are insisting that they want to keep him, but, managerial merry-go-round or not, that’s just seeming stupider and stupider as the season goes on. The team seems to be falling apart, there are rumors of some very serious disagreements with players, and the majority of the fans hate him. I know that a lot of people are laying blame on Bradley for not getting playing time, but in his defense, Houllier just seems completely irrational.

  72. Paul C says:

    Anyone else catch that Bradley played in the reserve game today?

    Also, Jones had an amazing game. It was the first time I’ve seen him play that I genuinely liked his performance.

  73. Mike says:

    Listen, I like Jones and think he should be a starter for the United States. However, any criticism of him is well founded. He picks up a lot of cards, that is a fact. He had a ready made spot open at Blackburn, that is a fact. He has a history of attitude problems, fact. It is not conjecture, it is a statement of fact. For some reason people who are overly critical of Bradley feel a need to put Jones up on a pedestal.

  74. Jack says:

    I’m not 100% sure if you can really compare Dempsey and Bradley’s situations. Dempsey is an integral part of Fulham and has, at times throughout the season, seemed to singlehandedly be the one keeping them afloat. Bradley hasn’t established himself at Villa–they don’t have the mentality that they HAVE to play him, even if he’s tired, because they need him.

    I definitely do agree with you about the Houllier comments and the fact that AV has such a deep midfield. It strikes me as really strange that he would go through all that effort to scout out Bradley at the WC, keep him in mind for half a year, and compete with all of those other clubs who were interested in him only to have him sit on the bench. But, then again, rationality doesn’t really seem to be Houllier’s defining quality.

  75. Mike says:

    This really isn’t going anywhere, I just think we have a different perspective on the same thing. I like Jones and hope he continues to succeed. I also like Bradley and hope he does succeed. Further, I think that they will inevitably be the best CM pairing for the time being. Both Bradley and Jones have had a history of clashes with managers that has caused them problems for whatever reason. My only problem is, I don’t think it is fair or right to compare the situations at Blackburn and Villa. As I said, different situations.

  76. bizzy says:

    Why is it when other players fail to make the starting 11 they are judged on performance but when Bradley can’t make the team, Houllier dislikes him, the very man that brought him there??? Secondly if there was so much talented depth in the Villa midfield why did they waste time to get him from Gladbach??

    What coach in their right mind wouldn’t want to field their best/strongest players? If he’s not even making the bench for Villa that should tell you something about MB. What does he bring to the USMNT that makes him a definite 90 min starter? Skill….like Dempsey, speed….like Donovan…..strength and control like Jones? CM is supposed to be one of the most skillful players on the team, strong at defense and an integral part of controlling the ball, orchestrating the plays and supplying the offense. When was the last time he had an assist for the USMNT or proved to be dangerous on offense?

    “One of the best players on the USMNT” is a statement Bradley’s not backing up at this current moment. Maybe it is too early to judge MB but he’s not as good as people make him out to be

  77. Jay says:

    Really? Oy.

    Seems like Lichaj all over again. Got some games at first (although Lichaj arguably performed better than Bradley in most of the AV games that he got…but in Bradley’s defense, he also had to transition leagues), fell out of favor, then the bench, and then finally slipped back into the reserves.

    Just can’t figure out why Houllier went through all of that effort to get him if he’s not going to play him.

  78. Rob says:

    Lol show me where I am over critical of Bradley… thanks

  79. Jay says:

    Maybe you should rewatch the friendlies from last week. I’m not saying that Michael Bradley is brilliant, but he is a solid player, was the best CDM we had, and fully deserved the time that he got.

    As far as an automatic starter–and this is probably the most hackneyed debate in US soccer at the moment–if you have someone else with better skill in mind, please, enlighten us. Jones probably deserves one of the CDM spots, but Edu just was not impressive during the friendlies.

  80. Mike says:

    Didn’t say you…I said people. I don’t think you were over critical of him in this post. Maybe you were in past, I have no. I don’t look at names and memorize what people post. But people do tend to be overly critical of the guy.

  81. bizzy says:

    Since MB is getting no playing time in Villa and was coming off the bench for Gladbach in the latter months….its clear that he’s keeping his job based on passed glory. In that case BB needs to bring in Beasley and shut the haters up because now we know you don’t even have to make the bench of your club team to be a starter on the USMNT……hahahahaha I love it..

  82. Rob says:

    This is why I find you overly defending Bradley, and then pointing out J. Jones’s “flaws” amusing:

    Career yellow cards for Jermaine Jones: 43 Career Yellow cards for M. Bradley – 45; Red Cards – Jermaine Jones -4 Michael Bradley – 2 …… Jermaine Jones has only gotten ‘into it’ with one manager who was fired, M. Bradley has gotten ‘into it’ with one manager who still has a job (for now), Judgment call on Blackburn vs. Aston Villa on Depth of squad (I personally think AV is a deeper squad) Blackburn rovers and AV are sitting on 34 points with Blackburn ahead on goal differential.

  83. Rob says:

    And by the way, Good D. Midfielders should have a decent card total….. So I am in no way bashing either player.

  84. bizzy says:

    If you play Torres, Adu, Benny or Diskerud repetitively, regardless of what they do for they’re club…eventually they’ll play well especially if their dad’s coached the team. What happen when he played his first game for Villa that he was actually being evaluated (like most midfielders on the national team always are) he sucked. Let me enlighten you, he’s not a bad player but Jones is a better CM than MB, hands down….Better defender, has better vision and better impact on offense.

    If Bedoya, Torres or Benny had the confidence of the coaching staff and knew they could take risks to try to make things happen during game time, better yet if their daddy was head coach MB will have difficulty seeing the pitch with his current record…

  85. Hush says:

    Tired? He hasn’t seen much playing time besides the USMNT. Dempsey and the gang when 90 minutes or so. And they are starters in their team meaning if someone is tires, is Dempsey and the rest of the USMNT players who are regulars for their club. Let’s me realistic, you love justifying everything that says Bradley in a

  86. Mike says:

    I agree Bradley has a history with cards as well. Obviously. Actually, I agree with everything that you said. I think Villa has a better overall squad, except perhaps in central defense.

  87. Mike says:

    If I come off as overly defending Bradley and overcritical of Jones, I apologize. I just think that some people are irrationally over critical of Bradley (not saying you). Truth be told it is a tiring debate.

  88. Rob says:

    Hmmm well then….. Have a nice day :)

  89. Rob says:

    Yes the problem is it goes both ways. Someone says they want to see something other than Bradley in the midfield, and instantly we are vilified. Then you get people who take it to the next level (whichever side) and logic flies out the door, and people say “Bradley is not worthy”, or others who defend Bradley start ripping M. Edu or J. Jones for no apparent reason. People need to see a grey in this matter, and not make it so Black and White.

  90. Hush says:

    I hope MB starts getting at least a few games in the EPL. He is a good player for us and does the little things on the field that helps us win. With that said, I’m also glad that we have a variety of players to choose from in the midfield. Disk,Benny,Torres,Adu,and Bedoya all have the talent to be that midfield offensive weapon we are in need of. So It’s a no lose situation for us. The USMNT will be fine with MB on the bench or not, we have others. Him being a regular starter for us even though he rides the bench is a no go for me.

  91. Kenny_B says:

    Villa is close to being relegated. They better find a better midfield combo.

  92. Kenny_B says:

    I think if the standard that the U.S. National Team Coach holds his players to for selection to is that “players are currently playing regular minutes for their respective teams”, then that should be the standard.

    I personally like Michael Bradley as a player. However, he shouldn’t be starting. He isnt match fit. It’s hypocritical and doesn’t merely just stink of nepotism for his dad to being starting him.

    If I could read Bob Bradley’s mind I think it might go something like “if Mikey shows well at the National team level maybe he’ll get a start at AV”, purely speculative on my part of course.

  93. C. Rob says:

    No agrument here. Similar to the USMNT they have a surplus of defensive midfielders.

  94. Kenny_B says:

    Umm, I disagree with that remark. IMO, Jones played as well or better than Michael against Argentina (and I’m not saying either played well). Jones was far more active around the ball then Bradley. Granted Jones turned it over alot, several times when trying to thread balls through narrow spaces, but HE WAS THERE involved. Bradley was non-existent in the first half. It wasn’t till Jones went out of the game that Bradley showed up. Could it be that the ground Jones was covering limited Michael some? I think so.

    Bradley should have been the one to be subbed out.

  95. Kenny_B says:

    I agree with you. None of those players get the length of rope Bradley gets. Give Torres or Diskerud 10 starts with at least 60 minutes and then evaluate them at the end of the session. It’s hard to walk on the pitch unfamiliar with the rest of the squad and shine.

  96. Mike says:

    I can agree with that. I didn’t want to come off like I was ripping Jones, but apparently I did. Like I said, I like the guy and think he really adds something to the National Team. I think that without Holden, a CM tandem of Bradley and Jones is the best option, but I see no harm in experimenting with other combos.

  97. Josh D says:

    That’s just it – journalists have just opinions based on the same things we’re seeing. I’ve watched soccer longer than most of the journalists that have an opinion – the only difference is a I don’t have a blog/paying gig at a media outlet.

    I respect other fans’ opinions just as much and pay attention to other coaches/players’ opinions more.

    Plus, Bradley played more and Americans STILL care more for the hard worker than the guy trying to create something. Like against Paraguay, we can pass all we want, until we get people into the system who know what to do with it, things won’t change. Jones/Edu pushed the ball forward. Edu though played terribly.

    It seems based on Jones’ comments, he wants to be paired with Edu.

  98. Dennis says:

    Wow! So many players and only Bradley gets any significant attention from this list. I guess he’s the guy everyone either loves or hates.

    I would be more interested in hearing which forward would be useful in games where the US actually has possession. For example, it seemed to me that against Paraguay the US forwards were unable to get open or create space for each other. This is different than being able to make quick counters where the decisions are more obvious or latch onto rebounds. Of course, it is always unclear whether the run or the pass must come first, but to make a run to get open all that is required is a good idea and a bit of energy, to make a pass to reward that run takes some vision and skill. I do not see any of our forwards making the runs so we did not get to see if anyone had the vision to see them or the skill to get them the ball.

  99. Josh D says:

    Hasn’t stacked up in practice, looked terrible in his time actually playing, and isn’t where they thought he was. Happens all the time.

    I hate this suggestion that the gaffer is some crazy nut case who hates Americans. He’s a well respected manager with years of experience, who did give Americans a chance. I’d give him praise for sending Guzan out on loan and Lichaj.

  100. Josh D says:

    Thanks for pointing it out! We also have a couple players in Colombia – Ives can we expand this list?

  101. Josh D says:

    Doubt he did go through that. Villa is owned by an American and has a history of American (going back only a few years though), perhaps the owner wanted Bradley more than the manager.

  102. Josh D says:

    In a game like that, when the other team parks the bus – you rely on your midfield for the goals. Our midfield had no creativity and there’s no use in keeping possession if we have no idea what to do with it or if we have to continually pass back to keep possession. At some point you have to try the pass.

  103. William J says:

    Weighing in… I have never been a fan of Bob Bradley as US coach. I believe his incredible lineup decisions in the Ghana WC 2010 game cost us the game and a deep run. I have been praying for JK to become our coach (twice now!) However, I believe Bob’s son, Michael, is an outstanding young player and by far our strongest option at the deep holding mid position. When the chips are down, you want him in the game!(remember the Slovenia game anyone?)

    Re: the unis, I like the new red (finally!) but with a white stripe for contrast. I’d also like to see a red stripe on the white home jersey. Right now the home unis are too boring (Penn State bland). A white/blue/white home “kit” would be colorful, very striking and distinctive. I do like the red/blue/red “third” uni. Viva Estados Unidos!!!

  104. Warren says:

    Re ‘Houllier is crazy'; maybe a coach fighting for his job isn’t convinced going with an EPL newbie will help.

    Nahh, can;t be since that would be a simple logical conclusion.

  105. kellybirda says:

    bb said.” only starters play”. HIs son does not play any yet he is on the the team. His rules don’t apply to his son.

  106. Dancy says:

    My guess from watching him over the years is that he looks dangerous and exciting, but not quite in sync with the rest of the team at first. This seems reasonable as he is new to the team and might not know his teammates and role well. As this continues, it becomes clear that he is not linking up with players any better and is often poor positionally. It becomes harder and harder to play the guy as he does too many things that are bad for the team.