Americans in Europe: Tracking Back

It was a busy weekend for Yanks all over the continent, with Michael Bradley and Benny Feilhaber both bagging goals, Carlos Bocanegra’s team going top of the table and Oguchi Onyewu … continuing to be buried on the AC Milan depth chart.

Let’s take a look, with sidebar commentary on which U.S. players need to come back to the States and play in MLS—before the league gets too good for them. (Ha!)

Spain

Jozy Altidore dressed but did not play in Villareal’s 3-2 win over Malaga yesterday. New Jersey–born striker Giuseppe Rossi scored Villareal’s second goal in the triumph, which vaults the Yellow Submarine (4-1-0) into second place in the Primera Division.

Altidore has only played in the Europa League thus far this year for Villareal.

Should he come back to play in MLS? Nah. Altidore just left, and he’s only 20. We will not be surprised when he finally breaks through in Europe.

Italy

Oguchi Onyewu did not dress in AC Milan’s 1-0 victory over Genoa on Saturday. Onyewu has not played for the Italian giants this year, and earlier in the month he was left off the squad list for the Champions League group stages.

MLS? It’ll never happen, but a move somewhere is not a bad idea for Gooch. He appears to be in a black hole with the Rossoneri, which just extended his contract through the 2012-13 season—which he will play for free. At 28, and theoretically in his prime, he should be getting regular minutes.

Germany

Steve Cherundolo got the start and went the full 90 in Hannover 96’s 1-0 win over Kaiserslautern on Sunday.

MLS? The 31-year-old defender is still a mainstay—and a deputy captain—at Hannover so, no, not now. But maybe in a couple of years.

Cherundolo’s new teammate, DaMarcus Beasley did not dress for the game.

MLS? If it doesn’t work out at Hannover, we say yes.

Michael Bradley started, went the distance and scored a goal in Borussia Moenchengladbach’s 2-2 tie with Schalke 04 on Saturday. Click here for the highlights. (Schalke’s two recent big signings, Klass Jan Huntelaar and Raul, each found the net.)

Bradley’s goal was his second of the year.

MLS? Nope. Bigger and better things await him in  Europe.

Potential U.S. national-teamer Jermaine Jones started for Schalke and played 51 minutes.

MLS? No. He’s only 28, and looks to be (finally) rounding back into fitness.

Ricardo Clark dressed but did not play in Eintracht Frankfurt’s 2-0 win over Nurnberg on Saturday.

MLS? No. The 27-year-old is still settling in at Frankfurt.

Scotland

Maurice Edu played 16 minutes in Rangers’ 3-2 win over Aberdeen on Sunday.

MLS? The 2007 MLS Rookie of the Year has a bright future in Europe.

France

Carlos Bocanegra played 90 minutes for top-of-the-table St. Etienne (5-1-1) in a 1-0 win over Lyon on Saturday.

MLS? Not this year—he’s 31—but maybe down the line a bit.

Charlie Davies did not dress for Sochaux’s 2-1 loss to Marseille on Saturday. Davies’ recovery is not going smoothly. See here for the details.

MLS? He just needs to get back to 100%—if that’s possible.

England: Non-Premier League

Championship

Former Duke star Mike Grella did not make the bench for Leeds’s 1-0 shutout of Sheffield United on Saturday.

MLS? How much is Leeds paying him to ride the bench? More than Toronto FC would pay him to start? His lack of playing time has kept him out of the USMNT pool.

Zak Whitbread has a calf injury and sat out Norwich City’s 2-0 loss to Hull on Saturday.

MLS? Maybe it’s time for the 26-year-old—who has bounced from Liverpool to Millwall to Norwich City—to give the U.S. circuit a try.

League One

Frank Simek started and went 90 in Carlisle United’s 2-0 loss to Bournemouth on Saturday.

MLS? Carlisle United, Frank? Really? You were called in to the U.S. camp for last March’s Netherlands friendly, for crying out loud. Here are three MLS teams that need help on their backline: New England (45 goals against), Houston (45), DC United (42)—and every one of them could beat Carlisle United.

Greece

Freddy Adupoor Freddy Adu—did not dress in Aris’s 1-0 win over Ergotelis on Sunday.

MLS? If any team would have him.

Belgium

Sacha Kljestan did not make the bench for Anderlecht’s 5-0 rout of Mechelen. But he does have two goals for his new club this season. He’s just returned from an injury.

MLS? He just left. Let’s give him some time in Europe.

Denmark

Michael Parkhurst went the full 90 in FC Nordsjaelland’s 3-0 shutout of Horsens on Sunday.

MLS? He’s doing fine in Denmark and getting paid more than he would earn in the States.

Chris Rolfe and Marcus Tracy sat out Aalborg’s 2-0 defeat to Sonderjyske. Rolfe has a hamstring injury and Tracy has a knee injury.

MLS? Rolfe just left the U.S. and Tracy is determined to make it in Europe, which he seems capable of—if he can stay healthy.

Benny Feilhaber went the distance, scored a goal and had two assists in Aarhus’s 3-2 win over Koge in the Danish second division. The man is on a roll, with five goals and two assists in his last three games.

MLS? If his current white-hot form doesn’t get him a solid European offer this winter, then why not? The Danish second division is surely a lower level than the U.S. top flight.

Norway

Hunter Freeman and Clarence Goodson both went the distance in IK Start’s 0-0 tie with Honefess yesterday.

MLS? Freeman can make more money in Scandinavia, apparently, and Goodson could jump to a continental European league if he keeps up his solid play.

Mikkel Diskerud played 88 minutes in Stabaek’s 2-1 win over Kongsvinger on Sunday.

MLS? The U.S. youth international has bigger aspirations—including getting called into the senior USMNT—and at 19, time to pursue them.

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