US National Team
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – An already murky situation surrounding the future replacement of US goalkeeper Tim Howard has a new wrinkle thanks to news that broke this week in, of all places, Mexico.
Cirilo Saucedo, the 30-year old goalkeeper for Club Tijuana whose mother is a United States citizen, says he has been contacted by US Soccer about a possible call up to join the ever-changing pool of goalkeepers chasing Howard as the top choice for the US national team.
“There is the possibility of being called up for Mexico or the United States,” Saucedo (above) told the sports newspaper Récord. “My mother is American but first I want to focus on Xolos and afterwards we'll see what happens.”
He added: “I'm not closing or opening any door. I want to be in the playoffs with Xolos.”
Born in Mexico City, Saucedo was part of Mexico’s Under-23 setup but has never been called into the full national team, despite suggestions from parts of the local media that it would be deserved.
Earlier this week, Saucedo was named one of four candidates for the Balón de Oro Best Goalkeeper of the Clausura 2012, and he’s been a key part of Tijuana's success since the team was promoted from the second division in May 2011.
The Tijuana 'keeper first became a regular in the 2008-09 season with Indios de Ciudad Juárez before moving to Tigres UANL for a two-year stint, where he was the regular starter. He signed for Tijuana in the summer of 2011.
While Howard is the undisputed No. 1 goalkeeper for the US national team, Saucedo would likely be in the pool of goalkeepers on his tail that has changed dramatically since the 2010 World Cup. Expected incumbent Brad Guzan has lost his grip as the de facto No. 2, and MLS youngsters Bill Hamid and Sean Johnson and veteran Nick Rimando have all battled for the same spot in the past year.
For Mexico's national team, coach José Manuel de la Torre has alternated between Jesús Corona, Guillermo Ochoa and Alfredo Talavera, without giving others much of a look, something that Saucedo mentioned had frustrated him.
There are five other players on Tijuana's first-team squad with US ties, including two who were part of the squad that stunned Mexico at Estadio Azteca last week in Edgar Castillo and Corona. Greg Garza, Alejandro Guido and Stevie Rodriguez are all also on the roster for Tijuana.
It turns out the duo that helped the US earn their first-ever victory at Estadio Azteca may yet be reunited at club level.
Maurice Edu has been looking for a destination away from fourth-division Rangers for much of the summer, and manager Ally McCoist revealed on Tuesday that a suitable club may have gotten the process started by contacting the American's representatives.
Of course, that's no indication of a done deal -- or even the beginning of earnest negotiations -- but it does seem to be a good sign for a player desperately in need of a new home.
Would Stoke City be a good move for Edu? Let us know in the comments sections below.
Después de 75 años de no lograrlo, Estados Unidos finalmente puede decir que le ganaron a sus archirrivales de la CONCACAF en su casa. México cayó en el Estadio Azteca gracias a un gol de Michael Orozco (que irónicamente es mexico-estadounidense).
Muchos en Estados Unidos piensan que una importante barrera ha caído, que ese triunfo demuestra lo cerca que los estadounidenses están de los reyes de la CONCACAF, algo que llega en un momento critico, ya que recientemente el Tri había superado a Estados Unido en todo sentido… Copa Oro, Olímpicos, Mundiales juveniles, etc, etc, etc.
Sin embargo, es solo un partido, y no se jugaron puntos. Es solo un triunfo, en comparación de los muchos que ha tenido México ante los estadounidenses.
Pensando en eso nos preguntamos, ¿Cuántos partidos pasarán para que EE.UU. le vuelva a ganar al Tri en México? ¿Será que la brecha si se ha cerrado, o será que tendremos que esperar otros 75 años para ver esto?
Voten, comenten y escuchen el debate de Tiro Libre… la rivalidad continúa…
You would think with last night’s loss at Estadio Azteca, Mexico would be much more upset than it seems they are.
The loss gave Mexico their second historic mark in less than one week, winning an Olympic gold in soccer and losing at home to the rival USA. But the country seems to be more upset that the loss stole their thunder and put a damper on their fiestas than by what it actually means to the historic rivalry.
San Luis Hoy, the local newspaper where American goalscorer Michael Orozco Fiscal plays with Club San Luis, titled their piece “Les Aguaron la Fiesta.” Translation? They rained on our parade. La Cancha, sports section of Mexico City based La Reforma, titled their piece “Arruinan la Fiesta." Translation: They ruined the party.
Fear not Mexico, the game was just an international friendly and counted for no points. So pass another round of tequila and let’s keep the party going.
But maybe you should rethink the ever growing gringo threat and what they will do in CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers coming up.
Difficile de dire si le Canada est prêt pour sa double échéance contre le Panama, puisque les seules images que nous avons de son match amical d’hier sont celles du résumé ci-dessous. Le résultat contre Trinité-et-Tobago, une victoire 2-0, est toutefois encourageant, tout comme le compte rendu de Gavin Day, un des rares journalistes sur place.
La deuxième mi-temps a particulièrement plu à Stephen Hart, qui espère que ses jeunes auront davantage de temps de jeu dans leur club. Parmi eux, Russel Teibert, qui a laissé une bonne impression tant à son entraîneur qu’à ses coéquipiers.
Du côté de l’équipe nationale américaine, les réjouissances sont moins timides, et pour cause : pour la première fois de leur histoire, les États-Unis ont battu le Mexique au stade Azteca ! Les héros se nomment Orozco Fiscal, auteur du seul but du match, et Tim Howard, qui a repoussé tous les assauts mexicains. Un succès encore plus savoureux pour Herculez Gomez, l’international américain qui défend les couleurs de Santos Laguna.
On a aussi joué en championnat. Vancouver en veut particulièrement à l’arbitre suite à sa défaite 0-2 contre Dallas. Les cancres Toronto et Portland n’ont pas réussi à se départager (2-2). Pas de vainqueur non plus à Columbus - LA Galaxy (1-1), où toutes les pensées étaient dirigées vers Kirk Urso.
Well ... that was cathartic. Jurgen Klinsmann didn't do everything I'd have done, but he definitely got the formation and shape right. That's a big step in the right direction. Here are three things we learned from the US national team's first victory in Mexico in 75 years.
1. This is now Geoff Cameron's backline
We at MLSsoccer.com have been talking all week about how a generational shift in the center of defense has been needed.
Carlos Bocanegra has been a great captain and, at times, a great defender, but he's well past his prime. Oguchi Onyewu, meanwhile, simply hasn't ever recovered from that 2009 knee injury. We saw that much against Antigua and Barbuda. The other option recently has been Clarence Goodson, who is tissue-paper soft.
So that left first Bob Bradley, then Jurgen Klinsmann with the task of developing the next generation of central defenders, and to be honest, it didn't go as quickly as I'd have liked. I ripped Klinsmann in my column last Friday for sticking with the old guard for too long, and did the same to Bradley last summer after the Gold Cup disappointment.
The Antigua game, and the disappointing 1-1 draw with Guatemala that followed it, drove the point home, apparently. Klinsmann kicked "tried and true" to the curb in favor of Cameron and Maurice Edu, and was rewarded with one of the best defensive performances in years (this was miles better than the Italy game, in which the US were bailed out repeatedly by a flag-happy linesman).
Cameron was flawless for 80 minutes on the night, both in his distribution (expected) and positioning (a happy surprise). He'd struggled at times with Houston this year, playing more loosely than he should have. That was nowhere to be found against Mexico.
Edu was nearly as good, bar a couple of miscommunications in distribution. They both flagged down the final 10 minutes, but that's to be expected at the Azteca.
But man, was that a big step in the right direction.
The one concern now is that they both land with clubs that are only interested in playing them at midfield. Hopefully Stoke City and Valencia, or Ipswich Town, or whoever is going to sign Edu, watched this game and realized that these guys are defenders, not midfielders.
2. There may be no place to play Jose Torres against good competition
Look, he's gotten plenty of chances. On Wednesday he played 45 minutes with three defensive midfielders behind him, two pure attackers in front of him and a pair of fullbacks who could and would overlap if there was space. It was exactly what I asked for — a chance to see the guy playing his natural spot with plenty of support around him.
And Torres did nothing on either side of the ball. There is absolutely no reason to trust him against top competition at this point, especially if they're physical.
Would you want him out there against Jamaica next month when the games count?
Neither would I.
3. These aren't new tactics
When Klinsmann came aboard, he talked about playing a new, proactive style that would impose the game upon the opposition.
Those were his words. But his deeds have been the total opposite. His team stays deep, defends in numbers and punishes mistakes. They never hog the ball unless it happens to be against Scotland or the like.
That's been the recipe against top teams for 25 years (with a few exceptions). I recently rewatched the 0-0 draw from 1998 World Cup qualifying, and defensively it was pretty much a mirror image of this game.
So full credit to Klinsmann for realizing that, if he wants to write a new manual, he should at least master the old one first.
Michael Bradley wasn't called up to the US national team for Wednesday's match against Mexico because he's busy settling in at Italian Serie A club AS Roma.
Here's how it's going for him so far:
If you believe the reports, Clint Dempsey may very well land on Merseyside in England.
Just perhaps not in Liverpool FC colors.
The Daily Mail says that "Everton are considering rivaling Liverpool in the race to sign Clint Dempsey from Fulham."
David Moyes and Everton, big fans of American players over the years, have landed a windfall of cash after the transfer of Jack Rodwell to Manchester City and apparently are looking at potentially throwing some Clint's way as a replacement for Tim Cahill, who recently joined the New York Red Bulls.
It's probably not what the 29-year-old US national team star had in mind with one year remaining on his Fulham contract after making it abundantly clear he wanted to play in the UEFA Champions League.
The news out of England point to a disparity in Fulham's valuation on a transfer (reportedly $14 million) and what the likes of Liverpool and others are willing to offer (circa $7 million).
Dempsey was not called up by Jurgen Klinsmann for Wednesday night's US friendly in Mexico and he continues to train with Fulham's youth squad, apart from the first team.
According to the latest reports, the ex-New England Revolution player won't be there when Fulham opens the English Premier League season at home against Norwich City on Saturday.
"God with me partnerAin't no one for me to fearHindsight 20/20Future not as clear" (T.I.)
— Clint Dempsey (@clint_dempsey) August 14, 2012
Ce mercredi est principalement consacré aux équipes nationales, avec le match entre le Canada et Trinité-et-Tobago ainsi que le déplacement des États-Unis au Mexique. Ces deux duels amicaux servent à préparer la suite des éliminatoires de la Coupe du monde 2014, qui reprendront début septembre.
Avec un noyau on ne peut plus allégé, les Canadiens affronteront un adversaire réputé dans la Concacaf mais déjà hors-course pour le prochain Mondial. Pour les jeunes, il s’agira de se tailler une place dans l’effectif lorsque tout le monde sera là. Des joueurs aguerris comme Terry Dunfield et Patrice Bernier tenteront de convaincre leur sélectionneur Stephen Hart de les titulariser à l’avenir. L’échéance importante sera le Panama, avec un double duel les 7 et 11 septembre : malgré l’absence de nombreux titulaires, Bernier nous a expliqué dans le dernier numéro de Coup Franc l’utilité de ce match amical.
Les Américains tenteront de remporter leur première victoire au stade Azteca. Jürgen Klinsmann est très confiant et Chris Wondolowski compte profiter de brèches dans la défense mexicaine, en compagnie de Landon Donovan, dont l’avenir est incertain.
On jouera aussi en championnat ce soir… ce qui n’arrange pas tout le monde. Privé de leurs internationaux, Vancouver et Toronto recevront respectivement Dallas et Portland. Même épine dans le pied du LA Galaxy en déplacement à Columbus, où l’émotion sera à son comble pour le premier match depuis le décès de Kirk Urso.
19h00 : Canada - Trinité-et-Tobago
20h00 : Mexique - États-Unis
19h00 : Columbus - LA Galaxy
19h30 : Toronto - Portland
22h00 : Vancouver - Dallas
Toutes les heures HE (heure de New York et Montréal)
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You've probably heard by now that Maurice Edu is most likely going to get a start in central defense for the US against Mexico on Wednesday night.
Jurgen Klinsmann has his reasons. First and foremost is that none of the newcomers in the US central defensive player pool — including Geoff Cameron — have shown that they're ready to lock down a starting spot. So Klinsmann has to turn every card he can looking for an ace.
Secondly, though — and this is pure speculation on my part — this might be a chance for Valencia to see what Edu looks like on the backline against top competition.
Valencia have been the third-best team in Spain for about the past 15 years, meaning that their interest in Edu is a gigantic step up from Rangers, or whatever mid-table French side is pursuing him. And we know how Klinsmann feels about stepping up to the next level.
But there's virtually no chance that Edu can play in the midfield for a team of Valencia's caliber. He doesn't read the game well enough in 360 degrees, and is always more comfortable when things are playing out in front of him. We've also seen plenty of shanked 22-yard shots from him, enough to know that he's not going to add Michael Bradley-esque offense when pushing forward.
What Edu has the raw materials for, however, is the center of defense. I think Valencia see that much, and I also think that if he'd gone anywhere but Rangers he'd have been pushed into that spot after his great performance there in the 2008 Olympics.
So if you're a fan of both the US and La Liga, keep your fingers crossed that Edu has a blinder on Wednesday night. If he does, it could mean a move to the Mediterranean will soon follow.