Yanks Abroad Weekend Roundup

The weekend was good to Amerkins plying their trade abroad as two Yanks went the full 90 in the Old Firm derby, Michael Bradley made his Serie A debut with Chievo, and several others got on the scoresheet. Let’s hop to it.

Edson Buddle bagged a brace for his Bundesliga 2 side Ingolstadt, helping them to a 4-2 win over Dynamo Dresden, and getting called a “Klinsmann boy” by the German announcer. Buddle hopes so. See his goals here:

Herculez Gomez is probably wondering if he, too, might be called a “Klinsmann boy” soon, after he continued his goal-scoring ways in Mexico, slotting home the second one in Estudiantes Tecos’s 2-0 win over Club Tijuana (and potential U.S. international Joe Corona) on Sunday:

While Buddle and Gomez hit the net, and Clint Dempsey set up a goal for Fulham against Manchester City, U.S. winger DaMarcus Beasley had a huge impact in Puebla’s 4-1 win over Chivas de Guadalajara without actually getting his name on the scoresheet.

The 29-year-old speedster from Fort Wayne, Ind., torched the Chivas backline twice, drawing two red cards and one penalty for his team (scroll to 2:27 mark for Beasley’s first great run):

In Scotland, Carlos Bocanegra and Maurice Edu both started and played 90 minutes in Rangers’ 4-2 win over archrivals Celtic, and in Italy, Bradley became just the second American in the modern era (after Alexi Lalas) to appear in a Serie A match when he came on for the last 18 minutes of Chievo’s 2-1 loss to Parma on Sunday.

Finally, from Sports Illustrated’s website comes the following quote out of Germany regarding potential U.S. international Timmy Chandler:

“I can tell you that [Germany coach Joachim] Loew neither phoned nor met with Timmy,” says the player’s agent, Thomas Kroth. “Nothing has changed, nothing at all. He’s still very happy to play for the U.S.”

For the latest MLS action, go check out our column at the league site.

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That Didn’t Take Long: Buddle Scores in Ingolstadt Debut

He’s moved to Germany, but Edson Buddle is picking up right where he left off in Major League Soccer: scoring goals.

After bagging 17 goals in 25 regular-season games for the Los Angeles Galaxy last season, Buddle debuted today for his new Bundesliga 2 side, Ingolstadt, and scored a goal to put his team ahead 1-0 in the 76th minute.

Buddle started the game, and after his well-taken volley with 14 minutes left, his new teammates had to be happy with their latest acquisition—and probably felt they were headed for a much-needed victory over fourth-place Duisberg.

Ingolstadt is 3-12-4 so far this season, and mired in second-to-last place in the 18-team German second flight. So three points against a top-half-of-the-table team would have been huge. It was not to be though, as the visitors snagged a late equalizer to split the points.

Still, a great start for the U.S. striker, and almost a dream debut.

Click here to see Buddle’s goal.

Your Colossal Early-2011 Backpost Roundup

 

Yeah, we’ve missed a few stories as the New Year has gotten off the ground. Today, we catch up (again) with links, clips, and roughly 1,200 words on the biggest BP talking points of the past seven or eight days.

Ready, set, go:

• The Beckham-to-Tottenham arrangement turned out to be a training stint only, and it has not—as yet, anyway—transformed into a loan deal.

• Remember this guy? He was red-carded for that heroin smuggling charge last year and now faces a 51- to 63-month suspension.

• The fallout continued to rain down from FIFA’s dubious decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, as Mohammed Bin Hamman, Qatar’s representative on the FIFA executive committee, bit the hand that feeds (or that Qatar fed?), criticizing Sepp Blatter’s regime while also rejecting proposals to move the tournament to January to escape Qatar’s unhealthy summer heat.

“I believe Qatar can stand alone and organize the competition by itself,” said Bin Hamman, “and I’m really not very impressed by these opinions to distribute the game over the Gulf or change the time from July to January.”

That was interesting, but then Bin Hamman went on to add, in a moment of irony so dense it caused the head of everyone within earshot to explode:

“I think we [FIFA] need to be more open to the people, more transparent. A lot of things could be done. Maybe the actual administration can do that, they have to commit themselves to doing that. The structure is not helpful or useful for our world.”

Can mere words adequately do the above justice? We’re not even going to try.

Edson Buddle left MLS for Bundesliga 2 side Ingolstadt, and these guys were not happy about it. We can hardly blame them; the German side, which is in second-to-last place in the German second-flight—in other words, on the brink of dropping to the third division—reportedly offered Buddle twice his MLS salary.

So long, Edson. Here’s another look at his half-brilliant, half-fluky goal vs Seattle in last year’s playoffs:

• Red Bulls striker Thierry Henry embarked on an offsesaon training stint with his old club, Arsenal, while his countryman defender Didier Domi signed a deal with the New England Revolution. Domi, 32, has played for PSG, Newcastle, Leeds, and Espanyol.

• In other Red Bulls news, the club confirmed the long-anticipated signings of Norwegian midfielder Jan Gunnar Solli, and speedy, feisty English forward Luke Rodgers. More intriguingly, to us anyway, New York also acquired 20-year-old Brazilian winger Marcos Paullo, formerly of Atletico Paranaense, the same club for which reigning MLS MVP David Ferreira used to play.

For video of the young Paullo, um, not scoring, click here (he does look skillful though).

New York is also in talks with homegrown product Matt Kassel, a midfielder who played at Maryland, about an MLS contract.

• Chivas USA striker Justin Braun and FC Dallas defender Ugo Ihemelu were released from Bob Bradley’s January US national team camp. Both players were struggling with injuries. The MLS-heavy US roster will meet Chile on Jan 22 at the Home Depot Center (TeleFutura, 10 p.m. EST).

DC United signed 24-year-old Uruguayan defender Rodrigo Brasesco, on loan from Uruguyan first-division side Racing Club.

• Promising 18-year-old Toronto FC academy product Nicholas Lindsay will miss the entire 2011 season with a knee injury.

• Following weeks of speculation that he would join the expansion side, former MLS and occasional U.S. national team striker Kenny Cooper officially signed with the Portland Timbers. Portland fans are excited about the prospect of Cooper and No. 2 draft pick Darlington Nagbe paired up top for their team.

• US defender Maurice (or “Morris,” as they call him in Scotland) Edu returned from a two-month injury layoff and did this for Rangers against SPL foes Hamilton:

Said Rangers boss Walter Smith as the team approached a busy patch of the schedule, trailing SPL leaders Celtic by five points: “We’ve got a lot of games coming up and Maurice Edu needs some game time.”

• The MLS SuperDraft and Supplemental Draft both concluded within the past seven days, giving us, among other players, a Mr. Irrelevant and a Mr. Utterly [?] Irrelevant, namely William and Mary’s Alan Koger—a striker picked last in the SuperDraft (by New England)—and South Florida defender Javed Mohammed, selected with the final choice of the Supplemental Draft, by Colorado.

Kidding aside, the MLS version of Mr. Irrelevant does not always live up to his name—see Parke, Jeff, class of 2004, the starting centerback for Seattle Sounders FC six years later.

Late-round Supplemental Draft picks are not always doomed to obscurity, either. The 2005 edition featured two final-round picks you may recognize: Jeff Larentowicz and Chris Wondolowski—both currently in training camp with the US national team.

• The Chicago Fire added two Designated Players last season, Swedish midfielder Freddie Ljungberg and Mexican attacker Nery Castillo—and both are gone now. Ljungberg signed with Glasgow Celtic a few weeks ago, and today, Chicago confirmed that Castillo will go on a five-month loan to Greek club Aris.

• There was an Oguchi Onyewu sighting yesterday—on the field, in a competitive game, that is. After months of bench warming at AC Milan, the hulking US center-back was loaned to Dutch league defending champs FC Twente on Jan 11. Yesterday Gooch debuted—at left back—in a 5-0 rout of Heracles Almelo. Great to hear that Gooch is back in action after 20 months out of club ball, but … not so sure about that new position.

• Other Americans on the move or reportedly on the move included midfielder Jermaine Jones, who left Schalke 04 to join EPL side Blackburn on loan, striker Robbie Findley, who signed with Nottingham Forest, and Borussia Moenchengladbach midfielder Michael Bradley, who was rumored to be the target of a transfer bid from Sunderland.

• Last, but definitely not least, you have to like the way the re-born New York Cosmos are conducting business so far.

They hope to become MLS’s 20th team, in 2013, and they’ve already established youth academies on both coasts of the United States, headed up by former MLS stars Ted Chronopoulos and Giovanni Savarese. These training centers have already started to bear fruit, placing players in the US U-17 residency program and with the US U-15s.

On Jan 10, the Cosmos hired former US national team midfielder Cobi Jones as assistant director of soccer, and yesterday they unveiled former Manchester United icon Eric Cantona as director of soccer.

Given Cantona’s track record, this last move may be more of a publicity splash than an actual executive addition, but it’s certainly interesting. As were Cantona’s quotes after his hiring was announced. We’re not sure if there was a translation problem, or what, but … well, take a look:

“The Cosmos are very strong, beautifully made, with a great past. It’s kind of a mix between football and art.”

Then again, that’s probably just the quote we should expect from Cantona, who flashed midfield brilliance, Gallic impetuousness, and a popped collar during his years at Manchester United.

The latter two are on display here:

All right folks, that’s it for this round. If we missed something here, we either covered it elsewhere on the site—or we’re just going to have to live with missing it. But feel free to let us know of any big omissions in the comments. Onward.

Morning Grab-Bag: Quiz Answers, Quote of the Day, and the Bloody Bloody Galaxy-Union Highlights

We’ve got a three-part post to start off this morning.

First up, the answers to Tuesday’s NASL quiz. Thanks for playing. A few readers came up with several correct answers, and Prison Mike came verrrry close on one, but no one was able to ace all five.

Here they are:

1. Name the two players who played in both the NASL and Major League Soccer.

Hint: One is South African by birth who played for the USMNT, and the other is a recent coach of the Mexican national team.

A: Roy Wegerle, Hugo Sanchez.

2. Who was MVP of the final (1984) NASL season?

Hint: He went on to a legendary indoor-soccer career—as much as such thing is possible—with the New York Arrows, among other clubs. Also earned 14 caps for Yugoslavia.

A: Steve Zungul, who went on to score 372 goals in 145 games for the Arrows. Check him out here, and here.

3. Which team won the league in ’84?

Hint: They had a German striker with a wicked left foot, and were located in the Midwest, like the Columbus Crew, which has the same black-and-yellow color schem as this team did.

A: Chicago Sting. Their lethal striker was KarlHeinz Granitza.

4. Who is the NASL’s alltime leading scorer?

Hint: This one’s easy.

A: Giorgio Chinaglia, with an astonishing 193 goals in 213 appearances. He also scored 50 in 43 playoff games. The man’s play was as immense as his ego.

5. Which team suited up George Best, Teofilo Cubillas, and Gerd Muller, yet never won an NASL title?

Hint: They also featured former MLS coach and current Gol TV commentator Ray Hudson—and they might be coming back.

A: Ft. Lauderdale Strikers

QUOTE OF THE DAY (POSSIBLY THE YEAR):

From Reuters:

Michel D’Hooghe, Senior FIFA executive committee member and chairman of FIFA’s medical committee, on the rash of brutal tackling the game has seen in the past few years:

“I have made myself a compilation of hard tackles with dramatic consequences over the last two or three years in the most important competitions in the world. I do not dare to present it—it would take away your appetite. It is terrible. This must go out [of the game]. … This is my wish, that all that brutality that sometimes goes close to criminality on the field is thrown out in the interest of our players and of a nice soccer game.”

Los Angeles 1, Philadelphia 0

Beckham follows last week’s game-winning goal with a game-winning assist; Edson Buddle bags his league-leading 16 goal of the season; and Fred gets his melon split open by fellow Brazillian Juninho (not intentionally, we don’t think).

Also: A terrific backheel by MVP-worthy Sebastien Le Toux produces a save-of-the-week candidate from Donovan Ricketts.

Good game last night. Check it out:

It’s Friday: the next four days hold a full slate of MLS action, Euro 2012 qualifiers, and international friendlies—including two U.S. games. Buckle in.

Nike to Buddle: Will that be ‘medium’ or ‘large’ for your U.S. shirt?

Los Angeles Galaxy forward Edson Buddle continued his scorching start to the 2010 season on Saturday night, bagging two goals in LA’s 3-1 win over Philadelphia (1-4-0), while also permitting someone else on the Galaxy to score—though of course Buddle set that one up.

Clearly, No One Shall Score for Los Angeles Unless Buddle is Involved, Preferably Doing the Actual Scoring. In the first minute of play, Buddle squared the ball across for A.J. DeLaGarza, whose sliding shot found the back of the net.

Buddle then struck himself in the 27th and 44th minutes to give the Galaxy a 3-0 halftime lead. L.A. (5-0-1) has scored 10 times this season; Buddle has nine goals and one assist.

Galaxy coach Bruce Arena marveled at his striker’s superhuman production, and added, “[But] maybe his best play was his assist. That was a fabulous ball he laid across.”

There can’t be any doubt now that Buddle will be called into the U.S. World Cup camp on May 15, and if he proves himself there, well, he could be going to South Africa, possibly even starting over there—as farfetched as that would have seemed even a month ago.

Philadelphia’s 17-year-old striker Jack McInerny pulled one back in the 84 th minute, scoring his first career goal off of some great work by midfielder Fred.

Edson Buddle Will Not, Cannot, Be Stopped

It may be time to start one of those Chuck Norris sites on Edson Buddle, who has handled all of the scoring, thank you very much, for the LA Galaxy so far this season.

He bagged both goals in the Galaxy’s 2-1 win against Real Salt Lake on Saturday to bring his season total to seven and run the team’s record to 4-0.

Here are the highlights:

Considering the U.S.’s holes at forward right now, it seems like a no-brainer that Buddle will be called into the national team camp that opens on May 15.

Related:

The Galaxy is currently suing the U.S. defense department, claiming that “Shock and Awe” are trademarked names for Edson Buddle’s left and right foot.

Referees never calls fouls against the Galaxy, because with Edson Buddle on the field, they always have the advantage.

No? …  Ah, we gave it a shot. Feel free to top our efforts in the comments, and let us know if you think Buddle will make the trip to South Africa.

Buddle Flying High; BP Laying Low, Temporarily

Hey folks, just keeping an oar in here, as Time Warner Cable has given us a window, a large window, for when they can reconnect the BP home offices to the Internet and we can rejoin the 21st century. We’re pretty sure they said anywhere from Easter Sunday to the Fourth of July. We’ll just have to see.

So we’re hanging tight, and in the meantime, coming to you live from the Mailboxes etc at the local strip mall, between the Quizno’s and the Szechuan Dragon, where they are currently offering ‘Free All You Can Drink Wine with Every Entree.’ That could end badly.

The meter is running, so let’s get right to a couple of updates and highlights from the week:

MLS

The Galaxy’s Edson Budddle scored his team’s first goal of the year last weekend, then followed that up with two more in L.A.’s 2-0 blanking of crosstown rivals Chivas USA last night. Sean Franklin was the provider on Buddle’s first, in the seventh minute, and Landon Donovan assisted on the second, in the 87th minute.

In Houston, Javier Morales continued his hot start, scoring for Real Salt Lake in the 18th minute against Houston, but it was not enough as the Dynamo’s Brad Davis answered with two from the penalty spot, within three minutes of one another (52nd and 55th minutes). U.S. World Cup hopeful Brian Ching left the game 30 minutes in with a hamstring strain.

There are only three more games on tap in MLS Week 2, all of them tomorrow: At 4:00 p.m. EST the Fire visit the Rapids (TeleFutura will broadcast it); at 7:30 New England kicks off against D.C. United at RFK (MLS Direct Kick); and on the West Coast, the Red Bulls face a tough test, taking on Seattle at rowdy Qwest Field at 10:30 (Fox Soccer Channel).

And we wondered in our last post if things might be gettting off on the wrong foot in San Jose. Judging by the following quote from midfielder Bobby Convey—a onetime U.S. national teamer and Premier League veteran who was taken off at halftime of the Quakes’ 3-0 opening loss to Real Salt Lake—we’d have to say yes:

“Coming out at halftime was the most embarrassing and disappointing thing that has ever happened in my career, and this is my 11th year. I don’t think it was warranted. … When a team loses, there always has to be a scapegoat, and that was me [last season]. And unfortunately it happened in that first game again.”

Some huge off-field MLS news: they expanded the Designated Player Rule (aka the Beckham Rule). Read all about it here. Does this mean the Red Bulls will add a Thierry Henry and a big-time midfielder? It could happen, and would not break the bank.

Yanks Abroad, Premier League

Clint Dempsey was involved in both goals as Fulham dropped Wolfsburg 2-1 in their Europa League semifinal first leg, setting up Bobby Zamora for the first, and starting the buildup that led to Damien Duff‘s second.

The strongest opponent for the U.S. in Group C of this summer’s World Cup, Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney, suffered an ankle in injury in United’s 2-1 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich on Wednesday, but he should be back well before the tournament. Scans revealed only minor ligament damage, and Rooney will return in two to three weeks. He’s targeting April 17, when Man U takes on archrivals Manchester City, for his return.

The injury comes at a terrible time for Man U’s Premier League title hopes, though, as the Red Devils host Chelsea tomorrow.

Jonathan Spector and West Ham travel to Goodison Park to meet Tim Howard and Everton, while the Hammers’ fellow relegation-battlers Hull City will take on Stoke City. Jozy Altidore is expected to start for the Tigers.

In other Premiership games involving Yanks, Marcus Hahnemann and Wolves face third-place Arsenal; Brad Friedel, Brad Guzan and Aston Villa will square off against Stuart Holden‘s Bolton. Friedel will likely get the start, while Guzan will be on the bench and Holden is out injured.

Dempsey and Fulham play Wigan Athletic.

Another notable Yank abroad, Herculez Gomez, has continued his goal-scoring ways. Check out his thoughts on MLS vs the Mexican League and other topics here.

Okay, our time is up–that’s your truncated update. Do you think Gomez has played his way onto U.S. coach Bob Bradley’s radar? How about Buddle? With Ching’s injury, and if Buddle continues his hot start, is he a possibility for at forward for the U.S.?

Let us know in the comments.