Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Pick of Dest-iny

It's official: An American has scored for Barcelona. And Sergiño Dest didn't pick any old occasion to break his Blaugrana duck. No, he bagged the ice-breaking winner in their 4-0 Champions League victory at Dinamo Kyiv. Onward and upward, my dude.

- Greg Seltzer

Another Tricky Sunday

Between the USMNT and the MLS playoffs, I've been super busy of late. I am going to kick off a fresh Clipboard tomorrow, but first I need to take care of a couple of pieces of business. First up, the trio of Sunday strikes by our boys.

We'll begin in Germany's second flight, where Julian Green bagged what will surely be one of the Americans Abroad strikes of the season when it's all said and done. The US international gorgeously tucked a tough angle free kick inside the far post to cap off a 3-1 defeat of Jahn Regensburg that gave Greuther Fürth sole possession of second place.

Next, we head north to Sweden, where Hammarby forward Aron Jóhannsson scored again, because of course he did. The Bajen ace notched his 12th league goal of the term, and the 10th in their last 11 Allsvenskan tilts, to help the hosts rally twice for a 2-2 draw with league leaders Malmö.

We stay in the Allsvenskan for a "clean up the trash" strike from Mix Diskerud that got Helsingborg back in the game at Elfsborg. Unfortunately, it ended up as mere consolation as the cellar dwellers fell 2-1.

- Greg Seltzer

Monday, November 16, 2020

Your USMNT Line-Up v Panama

With four changes from Friday's XI, we will have the second youngest starting crew in USMNT history (the youngest was the one that faceds Italy almost exactly two years ago). And even though he's probably not the one I would have picked, we do have an actual forward to lead the line this time. Yay!

I'll catch you all on the other side with player ratings over at MLSS.

- Greg Seltzer

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Your USMNT Line-Up v Wales

I can't say for sure, but I'm thinking this may be the youngest starting XI in USMNT history. What I definitely can't figure out is who the hell is playing as a striker? De la Fuente? Musah as false nine? As you know quite well by now, I'm not a fan of this formation funny business. Put a damn striker out there, coach, you have 3-4 of them on the bench.

Oh well... in any event, the boys are finally back and it should be fun. See you all on the other side with my ratings at MLSS.

- Greg Seltzer

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The Rewards Reapers

So we've talked about which European teams have played the most Americans, which European teams have played Americans the most and which Americans have won the most top level prizes in Europe. But what about which European teams that have won the most top level prizes while playing Americans?

I've kept the same parameters for this list as the players' silver count, but with on addition. For this list, I've also included promotions to a top flight, as that's a very important thing to win. All told, there were seven such instances counted, including all six of Fulham's "prize" captures.

As it stands this one is no contest, and if you saw those other three lists, you probably can guess who has lapped the field to date. It's also interesting to note that every club except the runaway count leaders that has won at least three pieces of silver/promotions currently has an American on their books, and those teams are marked with an asterisk. 

14 Rangers
(Maurice Edu 5, DaMarcus Beasley 4, Claudio Reyna 2, Gedion Zelalam 1)
6 Fulham*
(Luca de la Torre 2, Tim Ream 2, Marcus Hahnemann 1, Eddie Lewis 1)

6 Molde FK*
(Josh Gatt 3, Ethan Horvath 2, Henry Wingo 1)

4 PSV Eindhoven*
(DaMarcus Beasley 3, Lee Nguyen 1)

3 Ajax*
(John O’Brien)

3 Anderlecht*
(Sacha Kljestan 3)

3 FC Nordsjælland*
(Michael Parkhurst)

Teams with two that currently have an American in the squad: Anderlecht and Borussia Dortmund.

- Greg Seltzer

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Curtin Call

First, let me say a hearty congrats to Philadelphia for scoring the Supporters Shield as the first piece of silver in club history. It has been a pleasure seeing them improve year by year, and especially watching them operate this season.

Secondly, I've got a quick little fun fact "Did you know?" for ya: Union boss Jim Curtin has become the fifth man to win an MLS Supporters Shield as both a player and a coach, joining Chris Armas, Jesse Marsch, Greg Vanney and Frank Yallop.

It's a pretty cool feat, and also pretty cool for me, as Curtin was one of the first guys I interviewed as a soccer scribe way back in 2001 when he was a rookie in his first Chicago Fire preseason camp.

- Greg Seltzer