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Posts Tagged ‘Americans Abroad’

Get well cd9

Tragic news has struck today with the report that Charlie Davies and two others were in a serious single car accident at 3 AM yesterday morning. One passenger was killed immediately, while the other two were taken to the local hospital. I will let the professionals explain all the details. Goff, SBI

Davies will be out for 6 to 12 months at least and will require massive rehabilitation on his broken leg, and while worrisome, it means nothing in comparison to how generally lucky he was. Seeing the picture of the car makes the whole situation hit home even more clearly. However, I have seen accidents and professional athletes hurt before, but none have filled me with this deep sense of  sadness like this one has. It was like a classmate, or distant relative was hurt, not an athlete who I have only seen on television. I felt a pain that made me think of the good times I have had with Charlie not on the pitch, but as another young 20-something figuring out the world. I feel a kinship to him, like I know him personally.

I think this is due in large part to the access we get to our favorite stars these days as American soccer fans. The rising talent of US soccer is different from nations like England, and Spain. They grew up doing the same things we did. Playing on little league teams, going through the throes of high school and struggling in college. Now, they are out in a world they love and we love. They use twitter to tell us anything from their feelings after a crushing loss to the hottest new song they just heard.  They update their facebooks with pictures of parties and their normal (in comparison to WAGS) girlfriends showing us that while being stars, they are, in fact, young, immature and human, just like me. European starlets don’t seem the same in this sense. I don’t feel any connection to them beyond the fact that they play football, and I love football. Beyond that, I don’t know who they are or what they do with their spare time. The connection isn’t as strong because since they are stars, they lead such different lives from such an early age. Guys like Wayne Rooney, or Cesc Fabregas have spent their entire lives in academies designed to make them great players, but I have no connection to them. I did not spend time in those academies.

Of course there are other reasons why I wouldn’t feel a kinship to these players and do for American players; like their different nationality, my lack of exposure to them on the national team or many others, but my argument is that some of this American affection is in part due to the fact that players like Davies, Jozy Altidore, and Stuart Holden are easy to relate too, and through this, they are easy to love, cheer for, and worry about like a friend of the family.

Look across the blogosphere today and the rest of this week, and you will see a coming together, a unification of bloggers, intent not to talk about strategies and point totals, but of a common heartfelt sorrow for a young man who may never have the career he was destined to have before this fateful day.

My thoughts are with Charlie and his family, and I hope he has a speedy recovery from his injuries.

The USMNT faces off against Costa Rica Wednesday night. During the 9th minute, do something special for Charlie Davies, the number 9 for the US Men’s National Team. I will be in my home holding a candle and thinking positive thoughts.

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Colombian Independiente Medellin Jair Benitez (R) vies for the ball with Uruguayan Defensor Sporting's Julio Marchant during the Copa Libertadores soccer match in Medellin on February 24, 2009.

Today, FC Dallas made their second move of the transfer window by signing Jair Benitez from Deportivo Cali on loan for the rest of the season. Benitez is a 30 year old Columbian left fullback with good speed and average ball handling skills. To make room for him in the 24 man roster, FC Dallas released Micheal Dello-Russo.

I think this is a great signing to cure the Hoops’ left side defending problems. Benitez looks like he can attack well, but has the experience and skill to defend better than the company of players that have inhabited the left fullback spot this year. Here is a not very good video that kind of shows Benitez. He is in green on the left side of the field.

FC Dallas are trying to fix their problem spots during this window. They traded for Atiba Harris, a right side midfielder meant to balance the threat of Dave Van den Burg on the left. Now with this signing, Dallas is looking more and more dangerous. I believe they will make at least one more big move and probably more this summer. I know they are actively seeking a high target striker to compliment Kenny Cooper, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see another defender enter the mix as well.

In other FC Dallas news, the rumors are picking up again that Kenny Cooper is being courted by teams from England, specifically Bristol City, a Championship club. Cooper’s english passport makes him easier to acquire since he won’t need a work permit and teams are recognizing his skills. I would be surprised to see him move this summer, as I think the MLS will want too much money for him, but stranger things have happened. If he does leave, then the Hoops’ will definitely need to find a striker who can replace his goal production which is one of the best in the league.

Cooper has his detractors here in the States, saying that he is lead-footed, and isn’t as good in the air as he should be due to his 6′ 3″ frame. He does have things to work on, and he isn’t as good as he can be, but he is a young player (23) that has a good skill set. I see a good future for Cooper as he figures out his game and matures more.

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Danny Szetela has now signed with the MLS, leaving Racing Santander. Szetela is a central midfielder that played with Columbus before making the move to Europe in 2007.

FC Dallas is first on the allocation list of teams who can sign Szetela. The team is in need of another striker, a right midfielder, and some defensive help, but are pretty secure in the center of midfield. Szetela could play as a right midfielder, but I don’t know how affective he will be there.

Personally, I think this is the best that FCD will be able to get with the allocation, and will be a good option for the team to persue.

He could also be picked up by FCD, and then traded to New York or another team who wants him for another player or allocation money. Szetela is from New Jersey and may want to move back home and play for NYRB.

I’ll keep you updated.

UPDATE~~~~~~~~Szetela has signed with DC United as cover for the often injured Ben Olsen and others. A good pickup for DC who looks like they may be a real contender for the Cup. FC Dallas passed on the chance to sign him, and still hold the #1 allocation slot. Click here for more.

Rumors abound that Demarcus Beasley will come back to the MLS, and FCD might be able to lure him to Big D. However, I don’t see him coming back to the US to play his club soccer. I think he is still relevant in Europe, and a small club somewhere will take a chance on him.

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In a summer that should be full of Americans moving to promising clubs, Charlie Davies has been transferred from the Swedish club Hammarby to Sochaux, a team in the French first division.

Reports of the deal have been anywhere from €2 million to €2.5 million.

The deal seems like it will be a great move for Davies whose speed and control on the ball will fit in well in Ligue 1.

Here is SBI’s take on Davies’ move.

Davies has been with the USMNT in the Gold Cup, where he scored a goal, but is now leaving camp to join up with Sochaux in preseason training.

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Big news in American Soccer news today. Oguchi Onyewu signed a three year deal with European powerhouse AC Milan today, and Fifa handed out a 3+1 match ban for Micheal Bradley after an altercation between the ref and himself after he was sent off during the Spain v. USMNT match in the Confederations Cup.

My thoughts in two sentences. Great for Gooch, as he will be challenging for a starting role in one of the best leagues in the world. The ban on Bradley won’t make him miss the Mexico match in August, so it doesn’t mean too much besides the fact that he is a little bit of a hothead who needs to mature some more.

Since I was in class when all of this broke, here are some links from every other blog that has covered it. Check them out to learn more about both.

UF
SoccerByIves: Onyewu, Bradley
du Nord
Goal
TOW
USMNT Blog
Yankssoccer

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Rising Stock

Wow, less than a week after the Confederations Cup Final, and the Americans who played well in the tournament are getting new interest from all over the world.

We will look at the biggest winners and losers from the tournament:

Biggest Winners:

Charlie Davies–A move away from his current club Hammarby was pretty much destined to happen as he has had two very good seasons with them and bigger clubs were bound to take a look, but since the tournament, clubs from France, Germany and the Netherlands have shown more than just a glance in his direction. I see him going to Ligue One, where I feel like his speed and quickness will be able to make the most damage.

Jozy Altidore–Since making the loan move to Xerex in January, he hasn’t played a competitive match, and he isn’t happy about it. He returns from his loan back to Villarreal in the coming weeks, but I don’t see him staying there. English clubs such as Everton, and other clubs from Spain have inquired about him asking for a loan deal. I feel like he would do well in the Premier League and learn a lot from testing against the tough physical backs that hold down the forts in England.

Clint Dempsey–While he has become a starter for Fulham, it has been his breakout during the Confederations Cup that has increased his stock the most. Everton has been linked with him, as well as some clubs from Germany and Spain. He only has one more year left in Fulham, and it has been rumored that he recently turned down a two year deal that would keep him at the Cottage, so they may be willing to sell. A deal worth 4 million euros would probably send him on his way. I have a hard time seeing him in Germany or Spain, so I think he will stay in England.

Oguchi Onyewu–We wrote here a few weeks ago that a move to Fenerbache was imminent, but it seems like he realized that bigger teams would be on the prowl after his dominating performance in the Cup. Reports have come in linking him to pretty much everywhere in the world. Teams from Italy, England, Spain, and even the Netherlands have shown interest. This is a toss up, but I want to see him in England, as I think his game will grow the most in that physically demanding league.

UPDATE: Ajax from the Netherlands is VERY interested, while he has narrowed down his choices to teams from four clubs, the Dutch (with Ajax), one from Spain in La Liga, and two from the Serie A in Italy. Thanks go to Greg Seltzer at No Short Corners for the find.

Jay DeMerit–His stock has gone up as well as he played wonderfully, and it has been reported that some of the lower end Premier League clubs in England are taking a look at him. I doubt Watford will be able to hold onto the surly looking, never say die defender.

The Biggest Losers

Demarcus Beasley–Let’s just say this. When he was on the field, the Americans looked terrible, and when he wasn’t, they played with the best teams in the world. He needs to find a team and play, but his stock has plummeted. It might even take him coming back to the MLS for a few seasons, and trying to get his game back together. FC Dallas is first on the allocation list, and he would fit in well…(maybe I’m dreaming).

Sacha Kljestan– His stock has been falling for awhile now, but since the Cup, I don’t see him leaving the MLS in the near future. Ever since he cut his flowing soccer locks, he hasn’t been the same player. He played wonderfully against Sweden, scoring a hat trick, and almost got a transfer to Celtic. However, since his rise, there has been a tremendous fall. In the cup, he turned the ball over more than anyone else on the field. He would either get the ball and pass it to the other team, or become completely invisible and do nothing until he would get red carded. He is going to have to turn his game around pretty quickly to get any serious offers from Europe.

Some Links:

Transfers

Thoughts About Transfers

What do you think? See these players getting moves to new teams? Agree with who I have said? Think some more people should be added? Let me know in the comments.

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