USMNT: Back from Brazil


Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The USMNT has been back from Brazil for a week now, and while the World Cup is not yet over, America has started adjusting to life after the tournament.  For the players, it’s back to business as usual, but they have each felt the effects of a hard-fought tournament.  Of the 23 players on the roster, 10 of them ply their trade in Major League Soccer, and many of them returned and played with their clubs only a couple of days after falling to Belgium in Brazil.

The San Jose Earthquakes played their match against Chivas USA on Wednesday night, and Chris Wondolowski had barely set foot on American soil when the match kicked off.  The Earthquakes missed Wondo that night, as they fell to Chivas off a Cubo Torres goal in the 53rd minute.

Brad Davis returned to action on Friday night, and played the full 90 minutes against the New York Red Bulls.  The Houston Dynamo greatly benefitted from his return, and he even found his way onto the score sheet in the 82nd minute by converting a penalty.  However, it was not enough to give the Dynamo the victory, and they had to settle for a draw.

Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando also played 90 minutes on Friday, and helped Real Salt Lake earn a 2-1 victory against the New England Revolution.  Rimando and Beckerman, who received high praise for his work in Brazil, were welcomed back to a team that had not won a game since the two left for the USMNT pre World Cup camp in May.

The LA Galaxy played the Portland Timbers on Friday Night, but Omar Gonzalez did not play.  Bruce Arena chose to rest Gonzalez after the World Cup, saying “Wisdom would be that he doesn’t play”.  The Galaxy went on to draw the Timbers 2-2.

On Saturday, Michael Bradley suited up when Toronto FC took on DC United. Bradley started the match, and played until the 61st minute, when he was subbed out for Jonathan Osorio. Toronto ultimately fell to the United after Perry Kitchen scored the winner in the 69th minute.

The Seattle Sounders have missed two of their own, Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin for the past couple of months, but Sigi Schmidt chose to rest his stars.  Unfortunately for the Sounders, the Vancouver Whitecaps triumphed through a 12th minute goal from Sebastian Fernandez.

Disappointment was a theme for the teams that rested their returned stars, and Sporting Kansas City followed the trend with a home draw against the Chicago Fire, in which neither Matt Besler nor Graham Zusi saw any minutes.  The result was disappointing, but the game was not, with goals from both teams, and a celebratory selfie from Dominic Dwyer in the 33rd minute.

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Besides this week’s MLS matches, both DeAndre Yedlin and Matt Besler have been dealing with transfer rumors since their return to US soil.  Besler has not been tied to a specific club, but according to his agent, several European clubs have expressed interest in signing him.  Besler has said that he would enjoy staying with SKC, but that the interest might be an once-in-a-lifetime chance, and he needs to at least consider it.

DeAndre Yedlin has been linked to AS Roma, but it seems certain that he will be staying with Seattle through the end of the season.  Rumors suggest that, once the deal is set it stone, Roma will loan Yedlin to the Sounders for the rest of the MLS Season before bringing him back to Italy.

Outside of MLS, most of the USMNT players belong to clubs that are not in season at the moment.  Puebla FC did play a friendly against the Carolina Railhawks on Sunday, but DaMarcus Beasley did not suit up for his Liga MX side.  The Railhawks defeated Puebla 2 – 1.

And while there has been nothing official said, Jermaine Jones seems to be interested in coming to play in MLS.

Jürgen Klinsmann is signed on to be the head coach and technical director of the USMNT through the 2018 World Cup, and after this cycle, I don’t think he is going anywhere before that.  He has made several comments about how US Soccer can improve over the next four years, and if rumors are to be believed, there will be a heavy emphasis on youth over the next year in preparation for the Gold Cup.  Klinsmann has stated that he wants to field a strong team for the 2015 Gold Cup, in preparation for the Copa America, held on US soil in 2016.

We are only a week out from the USMNT’s departure from Brazil, and already the players are settling back into their routines.  It will be interesting to see what comes of DeAndre Yedlin’s transfer rumors, if Matt Besler is going anywhere, and to see who makes the roster for the US friendly against the Czech Republic in September.  Heard any other rumors, or care to weigh in?  Sound off in the comments!