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American Exports

25 January 5:46 pm

Could Jozy Altidore be the first American to capture a Golden Boot on European shores?

He's certainly on the right track at the moment, finding himself alone in poll position after scoring his 15th league goal of the season on Friday against VVV Venlo (above). With a little more than half a season in the books, only Vitesse's Wilfried Bony has scored more in the Dutch top flight with 16 goals.

Friday's goal, an effort reminiscent of a certain Frenchman now playing with Altidore's former club in New York, matched the American striker's total for all of last season with AZ. It also matched Michael Bradley's haul with Heerenveen during the 2008-09 season.

Herculez Gomez remains the only American to capture a Golden Boot outside the United States, tying for top scorer (10 goals) in the Mexican first division while playing for Puebla in 2010.

Do you think Altidore can do it? Let us know in the comment section below.

15 January 3:52 pm

US international Robbie Rogers’ contract with Leeds United has been terminated by mutual consent, so what does that mean for the winger’s future? Could a return to MLS be in the cards?

The Columbus Dispatch has some early details for those wondering. For now, though, Rogers' agent is staying mum on the subject of potential destinations for the former Crew star.

The 25-year-old joined the Championship side 12 months ago after a successful trial period, but a head injury and ankle injury limited his involvement to just one start and three further appearances as a sub.

Rogers left MLS on a free transfer after five seasons with the Crew and is free to sign with any team overseas, but his rights belong to Columbus after the club made the left-footed winger a qualifying offer after the 2011 season.

Should Columbus bring him back? Or should Rogers look for another landing place in Europe?

14 January 1:55 pm

Stuart Holden is back.

The hard-luck US national teamer is expected to be on the gameday roster when Bolton take on Sunderland on Tuesday, giving the former Houston Dynamo midfielder his first chance to suit up in an official first-team game since he appeared in an FA Cup match in September 2011.

He underwent what was expected to be a routine follow-up procedure on his right knee following that match, but the examination revealed more serious cartilage damage than was expected. He's been rehabilitating ever since, and earlier this month began appearing in games with the Bolton reserves.

10 January 12:11 pm

Stuart Holden is back on the field for Bolton, even if he still waiting to step onto the pitch with the first team.

Holden played 65 minutes for Bolton's reserves against Oldham Athletic on Tuesday, a huge step in his quest to return from a knee injury that's kept him out for more than a year. Check out the footage above and comments from Holden after the match below. Needless to say, he's itching to get back but also understands it's still too early to know exactly what the future will hold.

“If all goes well from this then I don’t anticipate any reaction and I can now take the next step," Holden told Bolton's official website. "That will be playing a bit longer and then I think I will be ready to roll with the full 90 minutes. I am very close now. I have worked so hard to get to this stage and I don’t want to do anything now to mess that up."
08 January 4:25 pm

The New Year may bring another much-needed move for Maurice Edu, the former Toronto FC No. 1 pick and 2007 MLS Rookie of the Year .

In August, Edu jumped from Rangers to Stoke City in hopes of gaining valuable Premier League experience. Unfortunately, he’s only seen 10 minutes of playing time with the club. 

With World Cup qualifiers inching closer and closer, Edu simply can’t afford to be sitting on the bench. But sources are reporting that Edu may be in luck – Stoke City are open to loaning him out by the end of January, so the versatile defensive midfielder doesn’t jeopardize a spot on Jurgen Klinsmann's World Cup qualifying roster.

Where exactly Edu would end up is still up in the air, but there has been chatter suggesting he could join up with EPL sides poised to lose players to the African Cup of Nations as well as several Ligue 1 clubs. 

If you were Edu, where would you want to end up on loan?

06 January 10:32 pm

Herculez Gomez was back to his goalscoring ways on the opening weekend of the new Liga MX season in Mexico.

The US international forward headed in a 26th-minute opener for Santos Laguna in their 1-1 tie against San Luis on Saturday night.

It sure helped that the San Luis goalkeeper was none other than Óscar "El Conejo" Pérez, who turns 40 next month.

Nonetheless, it can only bode well for the US national team, who open World Cup qualifying on February 6 at Honduras. Gomez started the match and played 73 minutes before being subbed out.

MLS side Houston Dynamo, who face Santos in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, will also have taken note.

06 January 10:24 pm

It was one of the lowlights of the American soccer weekend: US youth international and Birmingham City defender Will Packwood suffered a leg fracture vs. Leeds United, which will rule him out for the foreseeable future. The video of the incident follows at the end of this post (warning: video is graphic).

The player himself gave an update on the surgery and his current condition via Twitter:

03 January 1:23 pm

Les nouvelles de ces derniers jours, souvent liées aux transferts, peuvent, comme les épisodes de la série Friends, avoir un titre qui commence par « Celui qui… » Tour d’horizon.

Celui qui a déjà signé : Carlo Cudicini au LA Galaxy et José Goncalves à New England, les deux nouveaux venus les plus récents, titulaires plus que potentiels.
Celui qui se tâte : Il y a toujours ces joueurs importants pour l’équipe qui ne savent pas trop s’ils vont tenter une nouvelle aventure. Le champion de la catégorie cet hiver s’appelle Landon Donvan, sur qui le LA Galaxy compte cependant déjà pour 2013.
Celui qui se fait attendre : À un peu plus de deux semaines de la reprise, deux équipes n’ont toujours pas d’entraîneur, Montréal et New York. Gary McAllister, souvent cité autour de la Red Bull Arena, n’aurait cependant pas reçu d’offre du club au taureau ailé.
Celui qui envisage l’aller-retour : L’hiver en MLS, c’est aussi l’occasion pour certains joueurs de décrocher un contrat de quelques mois en Europe. Ce ne sera pas le cas de Thierry Henry à Arsenal. « Il n’est pas prêt », estime Arsène Wenger. Tim Cahill, en revanche, pourrait être prêté à Sunderland.
Celui qui viendra peut-être, mais peut-être pas tout de suite : « J’aimerais, un jour, jouer en MLS ». Le refrain est connu, qu’il soit chanté par Kaka ou Olivier Occean. Dernier interprète en date : l’international polonais Ludovic Obraniak.
Celui qui est bien où il est : Pas question de traverser l’Atlantique pour les Canadiens et Américains dont la carrière tourne à plein régime en Europe. Parmi eux, Sacha Kljestan, qui préfère même Anderlecht à l’Espagne ou à la France.
Celui qui ne prend pas encore sa retraite : Il y a de ces joueurs éternels qui déjouent chaque année les pronostics prévoyant la fin de leur carrière. Montréal a eu Eduardo Sebrango, Houston a Brian Ching.
Celui qui est attendu de pied ferme : Cette entrevue de Sepp Blatter, président de la Fifa, date bien d’il y a quelques jours et non d’il y a plus de 6 ans. Le commissaire Don Garber l’a donc invité au Coup d’envoi de la saison pour qu’il constate les progrès de la MLS de ses propres yeux.

20 December 4:53 pm

Moins animée que les précédentes, cette semaine a vu la scène des transferts s'activer sur trois fronts : les arrivées d’Amérique du Sud, les loteries pondérées et les signatures de jeunes joueurs.

Beckham parti, la MLS pourrait avoir trouvé son nouveau roi des coups francs : l’ancien Lyonnais Juninho, qui a signé à New York. Âgé de 37 ans, il évoluait ces dernières saisons à Vasco De Gama, où se produisait aussi Pipico, nouvel avant du FC Dallas. Autre recrue dont on attend beaucoup : le nouveau joueur désigné du Sporting Kansas City, l’attaquant argentin Claudio Bieler, finaliste de la Coupe du monde des clubs 2009.

Deux jeunes espoirs américains qui ont tenté leur chance à l’étranger sont revenus au bercail. Ex-internationaux en équipes de jeunes, ils ont trouvé acquéreur via le système de loterie pondérée (voir point I ici pour le règlement). Ainsi, le défenseur Mobi Fehr a pris la direction de Portland alors que l’arrière central Gale Agbossoumonde défendra les couleurs du Toronto FC.

Par ailleurs, plusieurs clubs offrent une promotion à leurs propres jeunes. Cette semaine, Bradlee Baladez (Dallas) et Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy) ont ainsi obtenu une place dans l’effectif de MLS de leur club respectif.

03 December 3:44 pm

Life in Europe hasn't always been hunky-dory for Oguchi Onyewu – see ill-fated spells at Newcastle and AC Milan – but things certainly seem to be looking up for the big man these days.

Surplus to requirements at Sporting Lisbon? No problem. Gooch has happily accepted a slot in the Champions League with La Liga side Málaga, who have already sealed a spot in the final 16 and where he also plays in what he considers the best league in the world.

However, that doesn't mean Onyewu has forgotten his Portuguese slight. Far from it. The US national team veteran discusses the career that's taken him to seven countries in this BBC feature, dropping profound nuggets like the following:

"A lot of times in my career, I have been frustrated, annoyed and upset about how it was going, but at the end, it always worked out for me," Onyewu told the BBC. "That's how I am right now. As angry as I was to have to leave Portugal, I have found myself in an even better situation here in Spain. Life is a journey and, if you are brave enough to ride it, it is going to take you where you need to be."

If you want to check out Onyewu in Champions League action, Málaga take on Sasha Kljestan and Anderlecht on Wednesday in both team's Group C finales (2:35 pm ET on Fox Soccer 2Go).