A Post-Hex Hangover? Yanks Struggle with Clubs
In the wake of World Cup qualification, U.S. soccer supporters will now focus their attention on players' form at their clubs. For this past weekend, at least, there's wasn't a ton of good news.
THE FIRST WEEK
October 21, 2013
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of post-Hexagonal club action is now behind us, and the news is not exactly wonderful.
At Stoke City, Geoff Cameron was kept out of the team due to a calf injury suffered while he was with the U.S. international team.
Brek Shea scored a goal with the Potters’ reserve side, but then earned an off-the-ball straight red later in the same contest—perhaps bolstering the belief that the 23-year-old Texan is not ready for first-team Premier League soccer. The loan watch continues for the beleaguered Shea, rumored to be on his way to the Championship.
If anybody sees, or hears from, Maurice Edu, please give us a shout.
The consistently strong—and inexplicably overlooked—right back Eric Lichaj didn’t have a chance to make yet another positive impression this weekend, as he was suspended due to yellow card accumulation. His campaign to get back into the U.S. team will start back up again Saturday when Nottingham Forest takes on Yeovil Town.
The good news for Jozy Altidore? He had very little to do with the Black Cats’ embarrassing 4-0 loss to Swansea on Saturday, coming on with eight minutes left to play. And the bad news? He had very little to do with the Black Cats’ embarrassing 4-0 loss to Swansea. Is Altidore part of new coach Gus Poyet’s plans? It’s impossible to say at this point. But Sunderland’s dreadful campaign isn’t getting any better.
At Birmingham City, resurgent right back Jonathan Spector suffered a major injury to his thigh and is expected to miss at least a few months. City manager Lee Clark had this to say about the loss of Spector: “That is a massive blow to me, not just because of the way he has been playing, but he’s played well at center back, right back, right wingback, midfielder—you are basically losing the equivalent of two or three players because he is so versatile. He has been one of our top performers, one of our most consistent players this season.”
It was an unusually quiet weekend for Americans in the Bundesliga too, with only one player—Nuremburg right back Timothy Chandler—cracking the 18 for their respective clubs. The rest of the American contingent in Germany? Injured, out of favor, or recovering from the long trip back from Central America.
Two-and-a-half months into his move from Tottenham to Seattle, Clint Dempsey has started just five matches for the Sounders and he has yet to score or register an assist in 561 minutes of playing time. Dempsey has taken 29 shots since arriving in Major League Soccer, but only six have been on frame. This past weekend, an anemic Seattle side lost to woeful FC Dallas, 2-0.
The ASN 100 Editorial Panel will be considering these and many other performances as they craft their rankings this week. The Panel—Jon Arnold, Travis Clark, Jason Davis, Jared DuBois, myself, Alexi Lalas, Ryan O’Hanlon, and Brian Sciaretta—will be submitting their individual ranks by this Friday, so if you want to influence them, please go here today, leave your comments on the current rankings, and make sure we hear you loud and clear.