03 November 2011
While I enjoy a legendary night of MLS playoff matches, I will give you the run down of today's news and notes that you may have missed during the hoopla of Klinsmann's November Roster Release...
* The biggest news story of today that trumped the US roster release in my opinion is Brek Shea's next move. The young FC Dallas winger will be training with the Gunners after the November friendlies. Shea will make Arsenal his home for a month as he tries to impress legendary coach Arsene Wenger while also attempting to stay fit during the MLS off-season. An official statement from FC Dallas said US coach Jurgen Klinsmann was a motivating factor for the move.
"The decision to send Shea to train with the Gunners was made after U.S. head coach Juergen Klinsmann encouraged his MLS-based players to spend the off-season training overseas to enter January camp in top shape."
Everyone relax though, Shea is not going to be playing for Arsenal anytime soon. Shea made it clear that he is happy in Dallas and that this move is strictly a training stint when talking to Simon Evans of Reuters today. Let's not forget the new, shiny 5-year contract Shea signed with FC Dallas at the beginning of this year that will keep him in the MLS until 2015. It's going to take a significant sum of money for the MLS to allow Shea to leave. Remember the MLS is run as a single entity, so FC Dallas has no say in Shea's future.
*In other news, the Yanks were not the only nation to release their roster today. France also let the public know, who they were calling-up for this next wave of friendlies, except they released their roster normally instead of s-l-o-w-l-y announcing names on twitter. Here are the players you will see face off against the US on November 11th in Paris...
Defenders: Eric Abidal (Barcelona), Mathieu Debuchy (Lille), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal),Jeremy Mathieu (Valencia), Adil Rami (Valencia), Anthony Reveillere (Lyon), Mamadou Sakho(Paris Saint-Germain).
Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kevin Gameiro (Paris Saint-Germain), Olivier Giroud (Montpellier), Jeremy Menez (Paris Saint-Germain), Loic Remy (Marseille), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich).
I am afraid of Benzema, Ribery, Menez, Malouda, Nasri....actually I'm very afraid of the whole French team.
* Believe it or not matches actually were played today. Europa League, the poor man's Champions League as I like to call it, continued on Thursday with some entertaining matches. Here is how US players fared...
GK Brad Friedel not in the 18 (rested) for Spurs’ 1-0 loss at Rubin Kazan (Spurs are 3rd in Group A)
D Steve Cherundolo in the 18, didn’t play in Hanover’s 2-1 win at Copenhagen (Hanover is 2nd in Group B)
D Oguchi Onyewu in the 18, didn’t play in Sporting Lisbon’s 1-0 loss at Vaslui (Sporting is 1st in Group D)
D Jonathan Spector 90 in Birmingham’s 2-2 draw with Club Brugge (Birmingham is 2nd in Group H)
MF Jermaine Jones not in 18 (rested) for Schalke’s 0-0 draw with Larnaca (Schalke is 1st in Group J)
MF Clint Dempsey 90 in Fulham’s 4-1 win over Wisla (Fulham is 2nd in Group K)
MF Sacha Kljestan 90 in Anderlecht’s 3-0 win over Sturm Graz (Anderlecht is 1st in Group L with four victories , 12 points)
F Jozy Altidore 87 in Alkmaar’s 2-2 draw at Vienna (Alkmaar is 2nd in Group G)
*Finally, some US players received some honors over the last couple of days. Clint Dempsey was voted Futbol de Primera US national team player of the year for the second time. He last won the award back in 2006. Tim Howard finished in 2nd, while Landon Donovan rounded out the top 3.
Chris Wondolowski meanwhile was named the Castrol Index Player of the Year. His 16 goals were tied for the MLS lead this year with Dwayne De Rosario. Wondo beat out Seattle's Alvaro Fernandez and NY's Thierry Henry for the top spot. After scoring 6 goals in the last 5 matches Wondo finished with a cumulative score of 9.31/10, ahead of Fernandez's score of 9.26/10.