31 January 2012
In what was a fairly uneventful Deadline Day in the European transfer market compared to previous years, movement from US players was even less exciting. However, it is my duty to provide a quick rundown of all the "interesting" US moves from Friday....
1. Mikkel Diskerud moves from Norwegian club Stabaek to Belgium club KAA Gent
Diskerud's move is a loan arrangement with an option for Gent to purchase the contract at the end of the season, which would make the deal permanent. The 21-year-old attacking midfielder has played for Stabaek the past 4 seasons and has become a regular starter over the last 2, but the Norwegian club was forced to sell Diskerud due to financial problems.
Diskerud is in contention for a spot on the US olympic team as he participated in Caleb Porter's January camp. Diskerud also has two senior caps.
Gent is currently in the 2nd position in Belgium's top tier league, but are 7 points behind Sacha Kljestan's club- Anderlecht.
2. Edson Buddle was officially released by Bundesliga 2 club FC Ingolstadt
Edson Buddle has not yet moved, but we know where he will not play as FC Ingolstadt has officially released the US forward. Buddle like Diskerud was a victim of a club in financial trouble with Ingolstadt releasing Buddle despite his productivity with the club. Buddle scored 9 goals in his 31 club appearances and was one of Ingolstadt's leading goal-scorers this season.
Buddle, who trained unsuccessfully on loan with Everton last month, is now rumored to be headed back to MLS with the LA Galaxy. This rumor was further perpetuated throughout the soccer world after former Galaxy GM Alexi Lalas confirmed Buddle's likely return. The Galaxy have right to first refusal if Buddle is to re-sign with the MLS since they never received a transfer fee when Buddle left for Europe. As a result, LA held on to Buddle's rights if he were to return.
3. Charles Renken was signed by the MLS and the Portland Timbers
US youth product Charles Renken has been signed by the Portland Timbers, leaving German club Hoffenheim. The promising 18-year-old has spent the last year playing for Hoffenheim's U-19 squad after spending previous years training in Hoffenheim's academy system and in the Vancouver Whitecaps residency school. Renken, who was scouted by English giants Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal, just participated in Caleb Porter's U-20/U-23 camp in Germany this past November.
The Timbers were apparently the only MLS team willing to risk an allocation slot on Renken and thus got him basically for FREE. The lack of interest from the other MLS clubs limited the need for a lottery to be set up in order to determine who could acquire Renken's services. One of the main reasons for the lack of interest in Renken is due to the various knee injuries he has suffered already in his young career, which makes him a huge risk when weighing his value against a club's spot in the allocation order.
Also, Landon Donovan once again played the role of facilitator in an Everton goal and subsequent victory. Donovan collected the ball at the top of the box and calmly laid it back to ex-Manchester United man Darron Gibson, who rifiled an unstoppable shot into the back of the net. The goal came in the 60th minute and proved to be enough to secure the 1-0 upset over league leaders Manchester City at Goodison Park.
Everton has a PL record of 1 win, 2 draws, and 2 losses with Landon in the starting lineup thus far. The Toffees do have two FA Cup victories with Landon on the wing, as the American has started and played 90 minutes in all 7 matches in which he was eligible to be selected.
FYI- Everton picked up Croatian striker Nikica Jelavic from Rangers on Deadline Day, who will replace forward Louis Saha- Saha left for Tottenham Hotspur. Also, Steven Pienaar will be rejoining the squad to provide much needed depth to Everton's midfielder.
Check out Donovan's assist, which is something he has done on the Toffees last 3 goals...