Meat Pies and Orange Slices


Here’s a roundup of some of the stories we’ve been reading from around the world of soccer.

MatchFitUSA has an interesting piece noting that the flow of American soccer talent seems to be coming back in the direction of MLS, with that Danny Calif, Vincenzo Bernardo, Lee Nguyen, and now Niko Gkoinis are coming back from Europe. Some of the movement, of course, could be because they weren’t sticking with their teams in Europe and didn’t really have much choice. But whatever the reason, it is important for MLS to be able to be a repository of good American players. Despite seeing his first action during Rangers’ Champions League finale, DeMarcus Beasley would benefit from such a move and could force his way back into the thinking of Bob Bradley with a strong start to the MLS season.

One player moving in the other direction will be Landon Donovan, who looks all but certain to join Everton on loan in January. The Guardian follows up yesterday’s rumors with a report that talks are at an “advanced stage” and Donovan will be joining on a three-month loan deal. Donovan is an excellent fit with Everton, the new Mikel Arteta?, and will definitely benefit by playing a dozen or so games in the Premier League as the USMNT prepares to face England in the Group C opener.

More good news for the US team as Jay DeMerit has finally returned to the Watford lineup after three months out with a serious eye injury that required a cornea replacement after something got stuck under his contact lens. DeMerit shined for the US at the Confederations Cup this summer and his experience in England will be a huge asset for the Americans against England. If Gooch comes back in time, I might favor a Gooch-DeMerit central pair over Boca. Boca on the left does worry me, though, against the speedy Aaron Lennon.

And finally, Steven Goff runs down the DC United coaching search, which appears to be down to two: former USMNT assistant Curt Onalfo and University of Akron head coach Caleb Porter. I admit to knowing next to nothing about Porter, but I am very intrigued by the idea of DCU hiring someone from outside the regular MLS circle. Porter just let the Zips (I went to college just 20 miles from Akron and do know that they are called the Zips) to a 23-0 record and has been called “one of the bright starts of this profession” by legendary Indiana coach Jerry Yeagley. Onalfo would of course be the safer pick, having served under Bruce Arena at the USMNT and coaching Kansas City for 2.5 seasons. But I’d go for Porter.


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