8816_isi_williamsdanny_usmntjd05191660 John Dorton/isiphotos.com
Americans Abroad

Williams, McBean, Zendejas Making News Overseas

Danny Williams helped Reading win its 2016-17 debut but could be on the move; Alex Zendejas, now at Chivas, had to put club before country; and Jack McBean appears to be England-bound.
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
August 08, 2016
4:35 PM

Danny Williams shines for Reading

The English Championship season just openedand Reading got off to strong start, defeating Preston North End 1-0 at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday. Reading generally controlled the possession of the match and U.S. international Danny Williams was efficient, completing 85% of his passes despite being fouled five times—the most of any player for either team.

The strong performance boosts Williams’ resume at a time when he could be on the move before the end of the summer transfer window. Reading boss Jaap Stam admitted that there was a chance Williams, 27, and other internationals could be on the move in the coming weeks.

Williams has had to deal with multiple injuries since joining Reading in 2013 but when healthy has performed well in England's second tier. He should be an interesting player to watch in the next few weeks.

Bob Bradley goes two for two

France's Ligue 2 season finished its second week of play and with every team now having played a pair of games, only one has a perfect six points. That team is Bob Bradley’s Le Havre which defeated Nîmes 1-0 in its home opener.

The pressure is on Bradley and Le Havre this season after the club fell just short of promotion last year. So far, it has responded well with a strong start to the season. After a midweek League Cup match, Le Havre returns to league play on Friday with a visit to Gazélec Ajaccio—a team which was relegated out of Ligue 1 last season.

Zendejas makes Chivas debut

In frustrating news for American fans, Alex Zendejas made his Liga MX debut Saturday night for Chivas de Guadalajara, a scoreless draw against Jonathan Bornstein and Quertaro. Coincidentally, Zendejas replaced American-born Mexican international Isaac Brizuela in the 67th minute.

As many are aware, Zendejas, 18, has played for U.S. youth national teams including at the 2015 U-17 World Cup. It was expected that he would be an integral part of the current U-20 team but his transfer this summer from FC Dallas to Chivas changed all of that. With the club’s century-old policy of signing players only eligible and willing to represent the Mexican national team, Zendejas has pledged to decline any future U.S. call-ups in the future.

As a result, the only hope for the U.S. team is for Zendejas to leave Chivas, which does not appear close to happening at the moment. 

Stadler scores winner for Ostersunds

Andrew Stadler has persevered through some difficult circumstances to make a career in Sweden. Following his collegiate career at George Washington University, he worked as an apartment doorman before getting an opportunity in the sixth tier in Sweden.

Now he’s in the top flight, the Allsvenskan, and starting for a newly promoted Ostersunds which is pushing toward the top half of the table. On Saturday he scored this very nice goal, the first for Ostersunds in a 4-0 romp over Sundsvall.

Stanko gets first Super League win

Caleb Stanko, 23, earned his first win for Vaduz on Sunday in a 2-0 road win over Lugano. His first game in Lichtenstein last weekend was rough, a 5-1 loss at home to perennial favorites Basel, but this game put the team back on track with four points in its first three contests.

The defensive midfielder has been rated by U.S. Soccer for years despite missing nearly a season after suffering an ACL tear in 2014. He wore the captain’s armband at the 2013 U-20 World Cup and even earned a full national team call-up in May for the Puerto Rico friendly (although he did not get off the bench).

Now he finally has an opportunity to show what he can do and contribute on a regular basis. He is one of several young central midfielders in American soccer looking to raise through the ranks. Others include Russell Canouse, Tyler Adams, and Sean Davis.

McBean to go on loan?

Homegrown product Jack McBean, 21, has had a tough time breaking into the Los Angeles Galaxy team. He’s made a few appearances with the first team—scoring twice in MLS, once in the Open Cup, and five times in the CONCACAF Champions League.

This season, however, McBean has been dominant in the USL for the Galaxy II, scoring 15 goals in 17 games and establishing himself as the league’s leading scorer. That has been enough to attract interest from English League One (third tier) Coventry City FC which appears set to sign the Newport Beach, Calif., native on loan with an option to buy. The Coventry Telegraph reported the news and also informed that McBean was in attendance at Coventry’s 1-0 loss on Saturday in the League One opener.

McBean has been capped by U.S. youth national teams at the U-17, U-18, and U-20 levels and represented the United States at the 2011 U-17 World Cup. His case is another example of the benefits of a European passport. McBean’s father is from Scotland, which gives him the opportunity few Americans have to move to Europe free from regulations. Now the American appears ready to take advantage of that.

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