Yanks Abroad 2014-15

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Titans Bastard

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Johannsson signed a new four-year deal with AZ
 
Eintracht Frankfurt bought Chandler and signed him to a three-year deal.  I think Chandler had a relatively cheap transfer release clause in his contract in the event of relegation.  Frankfurt is the club who cut Chandler loose as a reserve team player, about a half-season before he broke out for Nürnberg II and moved up to the first team.
 
Herculez Gomez is apparently on his way to Tigres UANL.  Tigres are a bigger and better club than Tijuana, but he's likely taking a smaller contract as backup.
 

Titans Bastard

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A few more updates:
 
The one and only Jonathan Bornstein, who is still under contract at Tigres, is heading on loan to Querétaro.
 
FC Dallas U18 midfielder Ethan Sonis has signed a pro deal with SC Freiburg.
 
Chivas USA U18 central defender Anthony Rodriguez has signed with Club Tijuana.
 

Titans Bastard

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And another teenager goes abroad -- Abuchi Obinwa has signed a pre-contract with Hannover 96, according to the German press.  He's a central midfielder who has played with US youth teams.  Nigeria called him up for the U17 World Cup, but he failed the age test even though he was born in the US so his age isn't really in doubt.  He's a January birthday, so if there's an error bar for the age test, and I'm sure there is, he'd be a borderline guy.
 
Off the top of my head, there have been quite a few teenagers finalizing deals in Europe and Mexico in the last six months or so:
 
Obinwa (Hannover)
Flores (Dortmund)
Rubin (Utrecht)
Rodriguez (Tijuana)
Requejo (Tijuana)
Moreno (Tijuana)
Sonis (Freiburg)
Barbir (West Brom)
Perez (Fiorentina)
Akale (Villarreal)
Yomba (Atlético)
Novakovich (Reading)
 
 
Keep it rolling....
 

Titans Bastard

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Boyd's not moving from Rapid, at least for now.  But every player has a price.  There's still plenty of time before the end of the transfer window.
 
https://twitter.com/SchnitzelSoccer/status/477962901521973248
 
 

Titans Bastard

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Andrew Wooten has moved from Kaiserslautern to Sandhausen, also in the 2.Bundesliga.  Wooten was on loan with them two seasons ago and was on loan at FSV Frankfurt last year.  He never got much of a shot at Kaiserslauern.  A smaller club in the same division is a better option for him right now.
 
Oh, and Freddy Adu is training at Stabæk.  That would be fun.
 

Titans Bastard

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New thread, new LIST for all those waiting anxiously out there!!!!
 
It's a new era for Yanks Abroad.  Right now it's a little quiet.  Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley, long staples of the YA brotherhood, have returned to MLS.  With Jozy's struggles in the last season, our most prominent and successful field players are now Cameron, Jones, Johnson, and Bedoya.  For me, the larger story is what's going on beneath the surface.  In addition to some of our young Germericans like Brooks and Green who have been progressing, we've also seen a wave of US-raised players head overseas to foreign academies in Europe and Mexico.  Many of them will not have an impact on the USMNT or even have much of a professional career.  But when it comes to prospects, there is safety in numbers and at this point in time we have more tickets to the lottery than we've ever had.
 
Let's do this by country or region to break it down into digestible pieces.  I'll provide some exciting color commentary as well.
 
ENGLAND
Premier League
GK Brad Friedel -- 1971 -- Tottenham Hotspur
GK Brad Guzan -- 1984 -- Aston Villa
GK Tim Howard -- 1979 -- Everton
RB/CB Geoff Cameron -- 1985 -- Stoke City
AM Brek Shea -- 1990 -- Stoke City
FW Jozy Altidore -- 1989 -- Sunderland
 
Championship
RB Eric Lichaj -- 1988 -- Nottingham Forest
RB/CM Jonathan Spector -- 1986 -- Birmingham City
CB Will Packwood -- 1993 -- Birmingham City
CB Tim Ream -- 1987 -- Bolton Wanderers
CM Stuart Holden -- 1985 -- Bolton Wanderers
CM Daniel Williams -- 1989 -- Reading
AM Duane Holmes -- 1994 -- Huddersfield Town
 
Free Agents (last club)
CB Oguchi Onyewu -- 1982 -- Sheffield Wednesday
CB Zak Whitbread -- 1984 -- Leicester City (on loan to Derby County)
FW Juan Agudelo -- 1992 -- Stoke City (on loan to Utrecht)
 
Other
Maurice Edu is still on the books at Stoke City, but on loan at Philadelphia Union.  I wouldn't expect him to go back to Stoke.
 
At the PL level -- Howard, Guzan, and Cameron are very solid.  Jozy needs to get his act together and his spot at Sunderland is in danger.  If he doesn't start next season well he'll be in a very bad place.  Friedel is old and basically a coach at this point, while Brek Shea continues to be a simpleton with poor touch.
 
 
There's almost more action at the Championship level, which is packed with fringe USMNT candidates.  None of them made the Brazil roster, but Spector, Lichaj, Williams, Ream, and Holden all got looks in the past cycle.  Lichaj and Holden were shelved by injury and didn't make the cut.  It's sad, but the reality is that it would be shocking if Holden has any semblance of a career from here on out.  Fucking Nigel de Jong.
 
Ream had a huge comeback year for Bolton in 2013-14, playing CB, LB, and even DM at times.  He won the official club Player of the Year award as well as the supporters' POY.  Ream has signed a new contract with Bolton.  He's always been classy on the ball, but has finally adapted to the physicality of the English game, much needed for a somewhat soft defender like Ream.  Getting back to the USMNT is a realistic possibility for him.
 
Williams has been quite good with Reading at times, but has a bad habit of picking up minor injuries.  I would expect him to get more looks from Klinsmann, especially with Beckerman and Jones aging out of the pool.
 
 
A few youngsters to keep an eye out for:  Will Packwood, a CB with a great name who hails from Concord, MA, has broken into Birmingham's first team last year.  This a great story because Packwood broke his tibia and fibula in January 2013 after landing awkwardly in a League Cup game.  He returned faster than expected, did well at Bristol Rovers on loan, and was brought back to Birmingham.  Now with a full offseason to prepare, I am hoping that he can take another step forward in the coming season.  Also, Duane Holmes is a speedy little winger with some spunk.  He's still raw, but if he works out we'll see him with the Olympic U23 team.
 
Lastly, Juan Agudelo was unceremoniously kicked out of England when his second attempt at a work permit was denied.  Stoke City, who had sent him on loan to Utrecht in the Dutch Eredivisie after the first denial, concluded that it wasn't happening and both parties agreed to terminate Agudelo's contract.  Agudelo's MLS rights are held by the New England Revolution, but he'll almost certainly stay in Europe.  There are rumors of interest in the Netherlands and Germany, so we'll see.  I am very high on Juan and I hope he stays healthy.  I expect big things from him next cycle.
 
 
ENGLAND YOUTH
GK Arie Ammann -- 1996 -- Watford
GK Cody Cropper -- 1993 -- Southampton
DF Danny Barbir -- 1998 -- West Bromwich Albion
DF Kyle Gruno -- 1999 -- Leicester City
MF Luca de la Torre -- 1998 -- Fulham
MF Lynden Gooch -- 1995 -- Sunderland
MF Emerson Hyndman -- 1996 -- Fulham
MF Sebastian Lletget -- 1992 -- West Ham United
MF Marc Pelosi -- 1994 -- Liverpool
MF Kris Scott -- 1995 -- Swansea City
MF Kyle Scott -- 1997 -- Chelsea
MF Gedion Zelalem -- 1997 -- Arsenal
FW Andrija Novakovich -- 1996 -- Reading
 
How can you really know with youth players that one rarely, if ever, gets to see play?
 
Still, there are names that jump out based on reputation, press, YNT play, and progression relative to age.  It's a bit of guesswork, but it's all we have.
 
The first name is Gedion Zelalem.  Born in Germany, raised in the DC area, he joined Arsenal's academy a few years ago and debuted in the FA Cup last season.  He doesn't have a man's body yet and won't have an impact at Arsenal until he does, even if he has the talent.  The big question for Zelalem is his international allegiance, particularly because his US citizenship status is a question.  He was called up to the German U17s but turned them down, which is relevant because he wasn't a US citizen at the time and playing in UEFA youth qualifiers would have rendered him ineligible for the US.  A prominent DC soccer beat writer reported that he may have gotten citizenship in the last month or two...so potentially very exciting.  Apparently the USSF thinks highly enough of him that Klinsmann has already spoken to him.
 
Pelosi is a guy who was reportedly doing well at Liverpool, but he got a long-term injury and only recently returned.  Hopefully he didn't lose anything physically; it's a tough road to break into that squad with all the young talent they have as it is.  Lost development time sucks.
 
Gooch and Hyndman seem to be stars on their respective club youth teams, for whatever that's worth.  Cropper is a long-time youth national team keeper who started for the U-20s.  Novakovich just signed with Reading and was said to be the top forward of his age cohort in the US.  Again, for whatever that's worth.
 

Titans Bastard

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GERMANY
Bundesliga
GK David Yelldell -- 1981 -- Bayer Leverkusen
RB Timothy Chandler -- 1990 -- Eintracht Frankfurt
RB/LB/AM Fabian Johnson -- 1987 -- Borussia Mönchengladbach
CB John Anthony Brooks -- 1993 -- Hertha Berlin
CM Caleb Stanko -- 1993 -- Freiburg
AM Julian Green -- 1995 -- Bayern Munich
AM Joseph Gyau -- 1992 -- Hoffenheim
 
2.Bundesliga
CM Alfredo Morales -- 1990 -- Ingolstadt
FW Bobby Wood -- 1992 -- 1860 Munich
FW Andrew Wooten -- 1989 -- Sandhausen
 
3. Liga
GK Kenneth Kronholm -- 1985 -- Holstein Kiel
CB Royal-Dominique Fennell -- 1989 -- Stuttgarter Kickers
FW Marc Heider -- 1986 -- Holstein Kiel
 
Out of contract
CM Jermaine Jones -- 1981 -- Schalke 04 (on loan to Besiktas)
 
There's been some movement here.  Chandler left relegated Nürnberg for his former club, Eintracht Frankfurt.  Fabian Johnson moved up the ranks on a free from Hoffenheim to Gladbach (would be more fun if ossie were here).  There are also some transfer rumors swirling around Brooks right now, but we'll have to see what happens.  I wouldn't get too worked about that just yet.
 
Jermaine Jones is out of contract and probably won't return to Schalke.  Where he winds up is anyone's guess.
 
There are some young players breaking through now that are worth mentioning.  Julian Green should be familiar to everyone by now.  He has a battle on his hands to get into Bayern's squad; I'd expect him to begin the year with the reserve team or on loan.  There's also Joseph Gyau, who was on past youth squads but who disappeared from the radar for a while.  He finally made his Bundesliga debut for Hoffenheim at the end of the last season, so he's moving forward again.  Gyau is a small winger who is incredibly explosive.  He is also technical, but incredibly one-footed.  I haven't seen him in a while, so hopefully his left foot and his tactical sense have improved.  He has the physical tools to be very dangerous.
 
Lastly, Caleb Stanko captained Freiburg's reserve team last season and has been given a pro contract and been promoted to the first team.  He's a defensive midfielder.
 
If you are intrigued by a keeper at Leverkusen, don't be.  He's their 3rd string and he's not very good.
 
GERMANY YOUTH
 
CM Benjamin Arnold -- 1995 -- Kaiserslautern
CM Russell Canouse -- 1995 -- Hoffenheim
CM Omar Castro -- 1996 -- Eintracht Braunschweig
CM Shawn Kauter -- 1995 -- Hertha Berlin
CM Eric Lickert -- 1995 -- Unterhaching
CM Abuchi Obinwa -- 1997 -- Hannover
CM Ethan Sonis -- 1995 -- Freiburg
CM Quinton Washington -- 1995 -- Hamburg
AM Junior Flores -- 1996 -- Borussia Dortmund
FW Christian Albelo -- 1998 -- Hoffenheim
FW Kainoa Bailey -- 1995 -- Bayer Leverkusen
FW Jann George -- 1992 -- Greuther Fürth
FW Jerome Kiesewetter -- 1993 -- Stuttgart
FW Mario Rodriguez -- 1994 -- Borussia Mönchengladbach
FW Timothy Tillman -- 1999 -- Greuther Fürth
 
 
Junior Flores is a youth national team darling whose deal with Borussia Dortmund is finally taking effect now that he is 18.  He will start with the reserve team next year.  Russell Canouse is also a guy who has done well, captaining Hoffenheim's U19 team.  Obinwa has some hype, but I don't know that much about him.  Some of this guys like Bailey, Kiesewetter, Washington, and Rodriguez, I fear are basically organizational soldiers.  George has some talent but is apparently a total head case.
 

Titans Bastard

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FRANCE
Ligue 1 (France)
MF Alejandro Bedoya -- 1987 -- Nantes
 
Out of contract
GK Quentin Westberg -- 1986 -- Luzenac
 
Bedoya has done well for himself at Nantes, but you have to imagine that this is his level, more or less.
 
Westberg started for a team that won promotion from the third tier last season.  He may re-sign.
 
BELGIUM
Jupiler League
CM Sacha Kljestan -- 1985 -- Anderlecht
 
Kljestan has been a mainstay at Anderlecht for a while, playing alongside current Argentina WC player Lucas Biglia (now at Lazio).  However, he lost his spot this season to a 17 year old named Youri Tielemans (EPL fans take note, you'll probably see him soon enough) and is rumored to be heading out the door.
 
NETHERLANDS
Eredivisie
FW Aron Jóhannsson -- 1990 -- AZ Alkmaar
 
AJ had a good season at AZ, although he faded down the stretch.  He just signed a new deal with the club, so he isn't going anywhere this offseason.
 
Eerste Divisie
DF Charles Kazlauskas -- 1982 -- Helmond Sport
FW Dion Watson -- 1993 -- Fortuna Sittard
 
PORTUGAL
Superliga
GK Caleb Patterson-Sewell -- 1987 -- Gil Vicente
MF Sérgio Duarte -- 1993 -- Marítimo
 
MISC WESTERN EUROPE YOUTH
 
GK Benjamin Machini -- 1996 -- Excelsior (NED)
DF Desevio Payne -- 1995 -- Groningen (NED)
MF Romain Gall -- 1995 -- Lorient (FRA)
MF Ben Lederman -- 2000 -- Barcelona (ESP)
FW Mukwelle Akale -- 1997 -- Villarreal (ESP)
FW Rubio Rubin -- 1996 -- Utrecht (NED)
FW Dembakwi Yomba -- 1996 -- Atlético Madrid (ESP)
 
Rubin is a good prospect who I am excited about.  Akale is hyped as well; he and Yomba just signed in Spain.
 
Ben Lederman is eye-catching as a Barcelona player, but he may be on the way out.  There are rumors that he was one of those youth players who was improperly signed.
 

Titans Bastard

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AUSTRIA
Bundesliga
FW Terrence Boyd -- 1991 -- Rapid Vienna
 
First League
DF Shawn Barry -- 1990 -- LASK Linz
 
Boyd has been the subject of some transfer interest, but thus far Rapid has been holding out for more money.
 
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA
Premier League
FW Danijal Brković -- 1991 -- Željezničar
 
CYPRUS
FW Tony Taylor -- 1989 -- Omonia
 
CZECH REPUBLIC
Gambrinus Liga
DF Christian Ibeagha -- 1990 -- Bohemians
MF Nermin Crnkić -- 1992 -- Znojmo (on loan from Jablonec)
 
ISRAEL
Out of contract
CM Bryan Gerzicich -- 1984 -- Hapoel Tel Aviv
 
MISC SOUTHERN/CENTRAL/EASTERN EUROPE YOUTH
 
MF Nicholas Gaitan -- 1995 -- OFI Crete (GRE)
MF Kevin Orth -- 1999 -- Slovan Bratislava (SVK)
FW Joshua Perez -- 1998 -- Fiorentina (ITA)
FW Dylan Alexis Romney -- 1996 -- Varese (ITA)
 
Joshua Perez is Hugo Perez's son.
 

Cellar-Door

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Besiktas has a two year option on Jermaine Jones. Seems likely they'd pick it up.
 
Edit- it's 1.8M Euro with a 10k Euro per match bonus, so I guess it depends what their finances look like.
 

Titans Bastard

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MEXICO
Liga MX
GK William Yarbrough -- 1989 -- León
CB Ventura Alvarado -- 1992 -- América
CB Michael Orozco -- 1986 -- Puebla
CB Miguel Palafox -- 1994 -- León
LB DaMarcus Beasley -- 1982 -- Puebla
LB Jonathan Bornstein -- 1984 -- Querétaro (on loan from Tigres UANL)
LB Edgar Castillo -- 1986 -- Atlas
LB Greg Garza -- 1991 -- Tijuana
CM Joe Corona -- 1990 -- Tijuana
CM Dennis Flores -- 1993 -- León
CM Jose Torres -- 1987 -- Tigres UANL
AM Paul Arriola -- 1995 -- Tijuana
AM Gabriel Farfan -- 1988 -- Chiapas (on loan from Chivas USA)
AM Michael Farfan -- 1988 -- Cruz Azul
FW Herculez Gomez -- 1982 -- Tigres UANL
FW Alonso Hernandez -- 1994 -- Monterrey
FW Jose Villarreal -- 1993 -- Cruz Azul (on loan from Los Angeles Galaxy)
 
Ascenso MX
GK Austin Guerrero -- 1989 -- Altamira
CM Marco Vidal -- 1986 -- Zacatepec (on loan from Lobos BUAP)
AM Daniel Cuevas -- 1993 -- Lobos BUAP
FW Eder Guerrero -- 1992 -- San Luis
 
 
There are a huge number of Americans in Mexico, almost all of whom also hold Mexican citizenship.  There are more that come down every year as Liga MX clubs scout the Hispanic areas of the American Southwest quite heavily.  There are probably more that I'm missing because often the players are recruited to academies without any fanfare at all and then quietly move into the first team.
 
Some movement here.  Good old Jonny Bornstein has gone on loan once again in search of playing time.  Yes, he's still alive.  Castillo has moved from Tijuana to Atlas, which is his seventh club(!) in Mexico.  Herc Gomez left an injured-riddled season at Tijuana behind and moved to Tigres, where I'd expect he'll be a backup.  Beasley is likely to leave Puebla before the offseason is over.
 
Some players to watch:
 
* Tijuana signed Arriola away from the Galaxy's academy and he went straight into the first team.  He's inconsistent, but has shown well at times.  Small/quick/technical winger.
 
* Yarbrough is the most Aryan Mexican ever.  He starts for the reigning Mexican champions and isn't cap-tied to either country.
 
 
MEXICO YOUTH
GK Bernabé Magaña -- 1993 -- Pumas
GK Sebastian Mora -- 1998 -- Pumas
GK David Silva -- 1994 -- Chivas
DF Jose Alfaro -- 1999 -- Morelia
DF Juan Pablo Ocegueda -- 1993 -- Tigres
DF John Requejo, Jr. -- 1996 -- Tijuana
DF Victor Reyes -- 1996 -- Querétaro
DF Anthony Rodriguez -- 1995 -- Tijuana
DF Raul Rodriguez -- 1994 -- Tijuana
DF Angel Uribe -- 1999 -- Tijuana
DF Jesus Vazquez -- 1995 -- Tigres
MF Fernando Arce, Jr. -- 1996 -- Tijuana
MF Ernesto Espinoza -- 1999 -- Tijuana
MF Alejandro Guido -- 1994 -- Tijuana
MF Ethan Lotenero -- 1998 -- Pachuca
MF Fernando Mercado -- 1994 -- Morelia
MF Juan Ruiz -- 1997 -- Chiapas
FW Joe Gallardo -- 1998 -- Monterrey
FW Emilio Garcia -- 1994 -- Pachuca
FW Amando Moreno -- 1995 -- Tijuana
FW Esteban Rodriguez -- 1994 -- Tijuana
 
 
This is definitely an incomplete list.  Hope some of these guys make something of themselves.  A bunch are currently active with US youth national teams.
 

Titans Bastard

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DENMARK
Superliga
CM Conor O'Brien -- OB Odense
 
First Division
CB Sebastien Ibeagha -- Horsens
CB Babajide Ogunbiyi -- Viborg
 
Ibeagha turned down several offers from Houston (he came through the academy there) during and after his career at Duke, but he wanted to try Europe.  He's moved straight into the lineup at Horsens, but they missed out on promotion so he's stuck at a low level for now.
 
FINLAND
Veikkausliiga
DF Alex DeJohn -- 1991 -- TPS
MF Justin Moose -- 1983 -- SJK
FW Jordan Seabrook -- 1987 -- VPS
 
If you are playing in Finland, then you are definitely a journeyman.  Moose was a top MLS draft pick in way back when, but washed out of the league quickly.  The other two were low round picks who never made a roster.
 
ICELAND
Urvalsdeild
DF Sean Reynolds -- 1990 -- FH
MF Pablo Punyed -- 1990 -- Stjarnan
MF Matthew Ratajczak -- Fjölnir
MF Andrew Sousa -- 1989 -- Fylkir
FW Chukwudi Chijindu -- 1986 -- Thor
FW Chris Tsonis -- 1991 -- Fjölnir
 
This is for-the-love-of-the-game territory.  But two fun facts.
 
Stjarnan is the club with the ridiculous goal celebrations.
 
Fjölnir is where Aron Jóhannsson got his start.
 
NORWAY
Tippeligaen
GK Ethan Horvath -- 1995 -- Molde 
RB Zarek Valentin -- 1991 -- Bodø/Glimt
CM Mikkel Diskerud -- 1990 -- Rosenborg
CM Michael Stephens -- 1989 -- Stabæk
AM Josh Gatt -- 1991 -- Molde
 
Manager -- Bob Bradley, Stabæk
 
1.Division
DF Rhett Bernstein -- 1987 -- Mjøndalen
DF Sebastian Troupe -- 1992 -- Bærum
 
We all know Mix.  Gatt is a ridiculously fast winger who has some technical and tactical deficiencies that he probably won't address because he's injured all the time.  Valentin is a solid attacking RB who left Montreal for Norway, but who is out for the season with an achilles injury after a 2013 season in which he and his club absolutely smoked the second division.
 
SWEDEN
Allsvenskan
(none)
 
Superettan
GK Alex Horwath -- 1987 -- Ljungskile
GK Matt Pyzdrowski -- 1986 -- Ängelholm
DF Patrick Hopkins -- 1987 -- Sirius
DF Brandon McDonald -- 1986 -- Ljungskile
DF Aaron Nichols -- 1989 -- Ljungskile
DF Eric Pothast -- 1991 -- Ängelholm
MF Paul Torres -- 1991 -- Landskrona
MF Bobby Warshaw -- 1988 -- GAIS
FW Andy Stadler -- 1988 -- Landskrona
 
Sweden's second division is another haven for sub-MLS quality players looking to live the dream for a while.
 

Titans Bastard

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Terrence Boyd has completed a move from Rapid Vienna to Red Bull Leipzig.  RB Leipzig have just been promoted to the 2.Bundesliga and with Red Bull's financial backing are expected to reach the Bundesliga within a couple of years, where they will bump Hoffenheim and Wolfsburg down a rung in the "most universally hated club" rankings.
 
Joseph Gyau has left Hoffenheim and joined Borussia Dortmund U23s.  It's a bit of a strange move since Gyau made a few late-season appearances for Hoffenheim's first team and had a year left on his contract.  I don't think he's viewed as a contender for Dortmund's first team, so he'll probably be spending the year in the 3. Liga.  Oh well, Boyd used Dortmund II as a springboard to better things elsewhere, so maybe it will work for Gyau as well.  Gyau is just such an explosively fast winger that he's going to find a place somewhere.
 

BigRed07

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What are your thoughts on Boyd's move? Is 2.Bundesliga better than the Austrian top flight, maybe sort of a wash? I was a little surprised as I had been hoping that he could have been picked up by a bottom-of-the-table or newly promoted Bundesliga team, though I guess in that situation he'd see less playing time. He scored a lot of goals last season, though and I've been hoping he could develop into a solid candidate for the USMNT.
 

Titans Bastard

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BigRed07 said:
What are your thoughts on Boyd's move? Is 2.Bundesliga better than the Austrian top flight, maybe sort of a wash? I was a little surprised as I had been hoping that he could have been picked up by a bottom-of-the-table or newly promoted Bundesliga team, though I guess in that situation he'd see less playing time. He scored a lot of goals last season, though and I've been hoping he could develop into a solid candidate for the USMNT.
 
I like this move.  RB Leipzig is only a moderate step up, but I think that's what Boyd needs.  In the 2.Bundesliga, playing time will be easier to come by, which he needs to improve his hold-up game (which isn't that good despite his size) and to carry over and consolidate his scoring record from Austria (which is good but not eye-popping, which is what a 23 year old in that league would need to do to attract the attention of a mid-table Big Four club).
 
The cherry on top is that Leipzig are throwing enough money around that promotion within a couple of years seems a good bet.
 
Besides, I'm not sure if Bundesliga clubs were interested.  The names thrown around that I heard were Wigan and Red Bull Salzburg and I think all three of these clubs are of similar quality.
 

Titans Bastard

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'92 keeper Keith Cardona has signed with FC Liefering in the Austrian second division.
 
Liefering is the farm team of Red Bull Salzburg and Cardona came through the New York Red Bulls academy, so that's the connection.  Cardona is a former US U17 keeper who had been playing at Maryland, but last year as a junior he lost his starting role to a freshmen, the next big hyped youth GK - Zack Steffen (a Philadelphia Union product).
 
Obviously with guys signing in low-level leagues like the Austrian second division, you want to see them immediately succeed and quickly move up and out.
 

Titans Bastard

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Cody Cropper signs an extension with Southampton
 
Aron Johannsson is going under the knife for an ankle operation.  AJ was having ankle problems late in the season with AZ Alkmaar, so this may have been in the works for a while.
 

Titans Bastard

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Sporting Kansas City’s Matt Besler has ‘enormous interest’ from international clubs following World Cup
 
 
 
Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman acknowledged Thursday that the club has received “enormous interest” from overseas teams wanting to acquire Besler, as well as his Sporting KC teammate Graham Zusi. The offers for Besler — which have come “from different leagues all over the world,” Heineman said — spiked after his highly-rated performance for the United States in the World Cup.
 
Asked about the chances of Besler transferring to play overseas, Heineman replied, “I’d say there’s a strong possibility that could happen based on the interest that’s out there.”
 
If it were to happen, it would happen “probably within the next 10 days,” according to Besler’s agent, Eddie Rock. Besler deferred questions about the situation to his agent.
 
Rock said Besler is weighing three options regarding his future — sign an extension with Sporting Kansas City, transfer to a club in the English Premier League or transfer to a club in Bundesliga, recognized as the top league in Germany. He has received offers from both leagues, which begin their 2014-15 seasons next month.
 
 
“If Matt re-signs with the league now, his intentions would be to be a one-club player for the rest of his career. His goal would be to finish atop Sporting and the Wizards in all-time appearances and longest captaincy. He would try to build a dynasty there,” Rock said.
 
 
It's nice of the Kansas City Star to clarify that the Bundesliga is recognized as the top league in Germany.
 

Titans Bastard

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DrewDawg said:
Get him over there. Zusi too.
 
I'll guess that Besler goes and Zusi stays.  I think the offers for Besler may be too good to turn down.  I don't think that's the case for Zusi.
 
You can't totally gut your team midseason.  KC fans want to win.  KC also just sold their 21 year old defensive midfielder to Sporting CP for over $1.5m a few weeks ago.  They have depth, but not enough depth to replace three key pieces in the middle of the year, unless they have some great replacements lined up.  There are rumors that KC is signing Honduran international Jorge Claros to replace Rosell.  Replacing Besler and Zusi would be tough, though.
 
The good thing about selling Besler in particular is that it would open up more opportunities for their next big defender, the 17 year old Erik Palmer-Brown who has impressed when pressed into action while Besler has been gone.
 

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Titans Bastard said:
 
I'll guess that Besler goes and Zusi stays.  I think the offers for Besler may be too good to turn down.  I don't think that's the case for Zusi.
 
You can't totally gut your team midseason.  KC fans want to win.  KC also just sold their 21 year old defensive midfielder to Sporting CP for over $1.5m a few weeks ago.  They have depth, but not enough depth to replace three key pieces in the middle of the year, unless they have some great replacements lined up.  There are rumors that KC is signing Honduran international Jorge Claros to replace Rosell.  Replacing Besler and Zusi would be tough, though.
 
The good thing about selling Besler in particular is that it would open up more opportunities for their next big defender, the 17 year old Erik Palmer-Brown who has impressed when pressed into action while Besler has been gone.
I agree. Zusi had offers before and turned them down for money and MLS, I doubt he has changed hims mind in less than a year.
 

DJnVa

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That's true. And I could see Besler being an important piece in 4 years, whereas that's likely not in the cards for Zusi.
 

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I agree. Zusi had offers before and turned them down for money and MLS, I doubt he has changed hims mind in less than a year.
 
I think Zusi was worried that he'd lose his spot in the team if he left before the WC and rode the bench somewhere.  I do think at this point he'd entertain offers abroad, but I don't think anyone will offer KC enough $$$ to convince them to sell after they've lost Rosell and may well lose Besler as well.
 
Maybe in the winter when there's more time to restock and reload.
 

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This story is old (from 2012):
http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/club-soccer-articles/pro-prospects:-another-path-to-pro-soccer_aid24376
but Irvin Parra is improving. At the time of this article, he played at FC Homburg, stayed two seasons at SVN Zweibrücken in the southwest of Germany in the Regionalliga (4th league level). This summer, he (now 20) went to FC Kaiserslautern II, where mostly U23 players are under contract. The team is also playing in the Regionalliga, just missed the promotion matches last season to get a shot at the 3.Liga, which was seen as a huge success. After many players went away and just as many new came (probably common, when you have such an age-structure), it will be fun to see where the new team lands this season.
 
In a first friendly match vs. a local team (which the FCK won 10-), Parra played 90minutes: http://fck.de/de/1-fc-kaiserslautern/nachwuchs/news-nachwuchs/news/detail/News/u23-macht-es-zweistellig.html
 

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mascho said:
 
Lots of reputable sources are reporting this now.  Looks like he'll stay in Seattle on loan for the rest of 2014 and then maybe go out on loan to another Italian club.
 
I don't mind that routine.  It might be good for him to have another half season in MLS with significantly increased expectations before he gets thrown into the fire in Serie A.
 
Schnerres said:
This story is old (from 2012):
http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/club-soccer-articles/pro-prospects:-another-path-to-pro-soccer_aid24376
but Irvin Parra is improving. At the time of this article, he played at FC Homburg, stayed two seasons at SVN Zweibrücken in the southwest of Germany in the Regionalliga (4th league level). This summer, he (now 20) went to FC Kaiserslautern II, where mostly U23 players are under contract. The team is also playing in the Regionalliga, just missed the promotion matches last season to get a shot at the 3.Liga, which was seen as a huge success. After many players went away and just as many new came (probably common, when you have such an age-structure), it will be fun to see where the new team lands this season.
 
In a first friendly match vs. a local team (which the FCK won 10-), Parra played 90minutes: http://fck.de/de/1-fc-kaiserslautern/nachwuchs/news-nachwuchs/news/detail/News/u23-macht-es-zweistellig.html
 
Good find.  I have heard of Parra, but missed the transfer to FCK.  It's hard to keep track of all the Americans in the Regionalliga and below, especially because most guys who aren't on reserve teams of 1. or 2.Bundesliga clubs are just on a brief post-college adventure and don't have the quality to make it as professionals even in the 3.Liga.
 
German-American Andrew Wooten also transferred from a small Regionalliga club (Wormatia Worms) to Kaiserslautern II and used the opportunity as a springboard to 2.Bundesliga.  As you know he didn't make it at Kaiserslautern, but he's getting chances to establish himself as a 2.Bundesliga player at Sandhausen now.
 
I don't know much about Parra at all, but if he has quality this is a very good chance for him.
 

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Gabriel Farfan's loan from Chivas USA to Chiapas in Liga MX is now permanent.
 
Jeb Brovsky, a fullback who was recently traded from Montreal to the not-yet-fully-in-existence NYCFC, will spend the rest of 2014 on loan in Norway with Strømsgodset.  Godset are the reigning Norwegian champions, so he could have a chance to play in CL qualifiers at least, although they've been drawn with Steaua Bucharest so they may well be one-and-done.
 
Freddy Adu is now training with AZ Alkmaar, whose technical director is Earnie Stewart who believe it or not actually played on the same DC United team as Adu in 2004.  I doubt he'll get a contract; the non-EU minimum salary in the Netherlands is far more than what Adu is worth.
 

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Left back Juan Pablo Ocegueda ('93) has gone on loan to Alebrijes de Oaxaca from Tigres UANL.
 
Defender David Chavez ('97) of the De Anza Force (ed's note: prominent Bay Area youth club) is the latest to join Club Tijuana.  It's getting a little crazy:
 
LB Greg Garza '91
CM Joe Corona '90
AM Paul Arriola '95
 
DF Raul Rodriguez '94
DF Anthony Rodriguez '95
DF John Requejo, Jr. '96
DF David Chavez '97
DF Angel Uribe '99
MF Alejandro Guido '94
MF Fernando Arce '96
MF Ernesto Espinoza '99
FW Esteban Rodriguez '94
FW Amando Moreno '95
 
I highly doubt that's a full list.
 

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Infield Infidel said:
Adu not offered a contract by AZ Alkmaar. Bob Bradley also declined to offer him a deal.
http://www.espnfc.us/story/1948110/freddy-adu-fails-to-secure-az-alkmaar-contract
 
He'll probably have to have to suck it up and go to a lower tier league or a second division somewhere. 
 
I think Adu had a chance at Stabæk, but AZ Alkmaar was never going to happen.  He must be calling in the last favors he has.  When crappy, desperate Norwegian teams with a manager who might be inclined to look favorably at him decline, it's grim.  The NASL is calling to him.
 

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Is he not even viable in MLS anymore? He never seemed terrible - though obviously way over-hyped - so what's his deal? People usually seem to cite work ethic and entitlement, is it really that simple? I was never really a fan but getting rejected by Bob Bradley in Norway seems almost pitiful at this point.
 

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BigRed07 said:
Is he not even viable in MLS anymore? He never seemed terrible - though obviously way over-hyped - so what's his deal? People usually seem to cite work ethic and entitlement, is it really that simple? I was never really a fan but getting rejected by Bob Bradley in Norway seems almost pitiful at this point.
 
Work ethic is a big issue - he apparently showed up to Stabæk badly out of shape, which is pretty shameful for a guy who has been looking for his next contract for a while.  This kind of stuff happens all the time -- his laziness has really held him back.
 
His other issue is that his physical abilities as an adult are far less impressive, relatively speaking, than they were at the youth levels.  Whether he has been lying about his age all along or whether he just stopped growing at about age 14, it doesn't matter.  As an adult he is slow and not super-quick.
 
I don't know what Adu is asking for salary-wise these days, but maybe someone in MLS would be interested if he comes cheap.  It's starting to be not even worth the bother of a flyer though.
 

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Sean Wheelock of the BBC Radio World Football Phone-In has always claimed it's an open secret that he's 2-3 years older than reported.
 

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Apparently David Regis is now managing a second-division club in Luxembourg.
 
In case you were wondering.
 

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Another American joins Dortmund's academy:
 
https://twitter.com/Cpulisic88/statuses/489089575189774336
 
Pulisic is very young -- born in 1998, so presumably he'll begin at the U17 level.  Joe Gyau and Junior Flores are slated to begin the year with BVB's reserves.  Gyau has been playing in some first team friendlies, which I find a little unexpected, but I still think he's a longshot to make it here.
 
Some other young players have been playing with the first team during preseason: Emerson Hyndman (Fulham), Shawn Kauter (Hertha), Rubio Rubin (Utrecht), Devante Parker (Mainz).  Devante is Shawn Parker's younger brother.
 

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Titans Bastard said:
Another American joins Dortmund's academy:
 
https://twitter.com/Cpulisic88/statuses/489089575189774336
 
Pulisic is very young -- born in 1998, so presumably he'll begin at the U17 level.  Joe Gyau and Junior Flores are slated to begin the year with BVB's reserves.  Gyau has been playing in some first team friendlies, which I find a little unexpected, but I still think he's a longshot to make it here.
 
Some other young players have been playing with the first team during preseason: Emerson Hyndman (Fulham), Shawn Kauter (Hertha), Rubio Rubin (Utrecht), Devante Parker (Mainz).  Devante is Shawn Parker's younger brother.
 
 
Continuing my spamming of this thread today....
 
I asked around about Pulisic and heard through the grapevine that his deal with Dortmund is very impressive.  A lot of years and money for a kid his age; it seems that Dortmund really likes him.
 
His US U17 forward co-star Haji Wright is supposed to be wrapping up a deal with Schalke right now, as well.
 

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Very exciting news. Thanks so much for what you do to keep us updated. 
 

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Four years is, of course, an eternity, especially for a teenage boy. But do Pulisic or Wright have a shot, even a remote chance, at being on the USA roster in 2018? I mean, Green and Yedlin were both on it, and they were 19 and 20.
 

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bosox4283 said:
Four years is, of course, an eternity, especially for a teenage boy. But do Pulisic or Wright have a shot, even a remote chance, at being on the USA roster in 2018? I mean, Green and Yedlin were both on it, and they were 19 and 20.
 
Yes, there's a chance.  Pulisic and Wright will be, respectively, 9 and 15 months older in 2018 than Green is now.
 

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Titans Bastard said:
 
 
Continuing my spamming of this thread today....
 
I asked around about Pulisic and heard through the grapevine that his deal with Dortmund is very impressive.  A lot of years and money for a kid his age; it seems that Dortmund really likes him.
 
His US U17 forward co-star Haji Wright is supposed to be wrapping up a deal with Schalke right now, as well.
 
It's six months old, but here's a nice article breaking down why Pulisic appears so promising.
 
http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/the91stminute/2014/01/christian-pulisic-and-the-making-of-an-american-no-10/
 

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DrewDawg said:
Matt Besler's decision to come soon: http://prosoccertalk.nbcsports.com/2014/07/15/report-matt-besler-considering-fulham-sunderland-among-10-european-options/
 
Fulham and Sunderland, and unnamed Bundesliga squad (at first thought to be Freiburg) are among the 10 teams Besler is deciding between, with 8 of the 10 in the Premier
League.
 
I think Sporting Kansas City is also one of the teams he is deciding between.  My gut feeling is that there's still a decent chance they will retain him.  Personally, that would be a little disappointing, although the level of disappointment would really depend on what his options truly are.  If a Championship club like Fulham and Sunderland are the best clubs out there bidding on Besler, staying in MLS won't seem as bad as if there were more compelling alternatives.
 
 
Also, it seems the U17 team is really good. What should we make of this beyond the caveats that kids development is always hit or miss?
 
 
Not too much just yet.  The "U17" designation refers to the cohort's age limit at the U17 World Cup in 2015, so the players eligible are still 15 and 16.  It's a really tough time to identify who your very best prospects are because puberty still muddles the pool -- players are all over the place in terms of physical development.  Plus, we have a history of a U17 group looking great early on in the Bradenton cycle, but fading off by the U17 WC.  There are several theories for this, all of which probably have some validity.  Without going on and on about it, I'll just say that I'd rather all the money we spend on Bradenton be allocated elsewhere.
 
Outside of the US' individual problems, there's just an enormous attrition rate across U17s throughout the world.  As an example - the 2007 squads.  Look at some of the power nations and how many players even they had who amounted to nothing at all.  This was also a weak group for the US by our standards -- only Brek Shea has been capped and there are several players who never even went pro.  Others are already out of the game.  One of them even died from a heart defect.  RIP Kirk Urso.
 
do think it's okay to get a little excited when European clubs throw a serious contract at a player, though.  Some of the time, a Euro club just takes a flyer on a kid  with the right passport or connections and people make too much of it.  But when the years and money on a contract for a youngster are high as it is with Pulisic, my interest is piqued.  It's still a long road for Pulisic, who only turns 16 in September.
 

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I think Sporting Kansas City is also one of the teams he is deciding between.  My gut feeling is that there's still a decent chance they will retain him.  Personally, that would be a little disappointing, although the level of disappointment would really depend on what his options truly are.  If a Championship club like Fulham and Sunderland are the best clubs out there bidding on Besler, staying in MLS won't seem as bad as if there were more compelling alternatives.
 
First, while Fulham is a Championship club, Sunderland is in the Premier League for at least one more season. 
 
Second, the level of competition Fulham will likely be at (i.e. Championship Playoff race, possible promotion) is several rungs up the ladder from Sporting KC. Sunderland is unquestionably a significant number of rungs up the ladder. An unnamed Bundesliga club lands somewhere between Fulham and Sunderland (depending on who it is), but still - several rungs up the ladder. 
 
If Besler chooses to stay home (and comfortable) he earns the same opinion I've long held about LD - not ambitious enough. It will be very disappointing if Besler chooses to stay at an inferior level of competition, if he has a chance to move to any of the clubs he's been linked to in the news.
 

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soxfan121 said:
 
First, while Fulham is a Championship club, Sunderland is in the Premier League for at least one more season. 
 
Second, the level of competition Fulham will likely be at (i.e. Championship Playoff race, possible promotion) is several rungs up the ladder from Sporting KC. Sunderland is unquestionably a significant number of rungs up the ladder. An unnamed Bundesliga club lands somewhere between Fulham and Sunderland (depending on who it is), but still - several rungs up the ladder. 
 
If Besler chooses to stay home (and comfortable) he earns the same opinion I've long held about LD - not ambitious enough. It will be very disappointing if Besler chooses to stay at an inferior level of competition, if he has a chance to move to any of the clubs he's been linked to in the news.
 
Yes, my sentence was poorly phrased and I didn't mean to imply that Sunderland isn't in the PL.
 
I'd like Besler to go abroad, but I also recognize that he's 27 and is unlikely to have much unrealized potential.  Spending his entire career at KC turned him into a defender who just did quite well at the highest levels.  I'm not sure exactly what he has to prove in the Championship, which is not all that much better than MLS. Fulham is very much a "meh" move.  Sunderland and other relegation-battlers would be a little better because at least he'd get to play against top teams.

I hope something works out for him, but the downside risk of staying really isn't that bad.
 

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Seltzer update:
 
 
 
What I will add to the Besler picture is one confirm and one offside flag. It seems there have been some whispers going around that Aston Villa are among those nine English clubs we talked about, so I will go ahead and confirm that as correct. However, any reports claiming that Stuttgart is the Bundesliga team involved to some extent are entirely false.

All in all, it looks like KC or England - which is kinda how it has looked for a while now.
 
 
KC or England makes sense.  I don't think German clubs would be willing to spend the kind of cash that KC is asking for Besler.  It's very un-German to pay $5-6m for a 27 year old who isn't a world star.
 

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So, is it a big deal that Julian Green may have made the first team a Bayern?
 
http://www.starsandstripesfc.com/usa-americans-abroad/2014/7/16/5909735/julian-green-bayern-munich-roster
 
 
Pep Guardiola said that Julian Green would play a part with Bayern Munich's first team this season and, at least in the preseason, that looks like the case. As Bayern get ready for summer training, the American has been listed on the team's first team roster.
This isn't a case of Bayern giving everyone a chance at the first team in the preseason. The club only lists 26 first team players, and that includes their newest signings so it really is close to a first team. Green is listed as a forward, along with four others, and is one of only two players born in 1995, making him one of the youngest on the team.
 

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Quintanariffic said:
So, is it a big deal that Julian Green may have made the first team a Bayern?
 
http://www.starsandstripesfc.com/usa-americans-abroad/2014/7/16/5909735/julian-green-bayern-munich-roster
 
 
Yep. Bayern is either the best club team in the world or one of the top three and their roster is so ridiculously stacked with talent that anyone on that roster can be assumed to be a very good player. 
 
Also, Pep Guardiola is either the best club coach or one of the top three and if he thinks a player is ready to help Bayern's first team, it is time to take off your pants and fap furiously in anticipation.
 

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Besler wants to stay in KC:  http://www.kansascity.com/sports/mls/sporting-kc/article756509.html
 


Sporting Kansas City captain Matt Besler has expressed a preference to remain in Kansas City for the long term, a source told The Star on Thursday.
 
While Besler previously conveyed interest in an opportunity to transfer overseas — an option his agent said remains in play — he would rather sign a new long-term contract to remain with his hometown club, the source said.
 
While I think I'd like him to go play overseas, he's 27, and as was said upthread, there's likely not a hell of a lot of growth left in his game--I think he'd still benefit from going abroad though.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/sports/mls/sporting-kc/article756509.html#storylink=cpy
 

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soxfan121 said:
 
Yep. Bayern is either the best club team in the world or one of the top three and their roster is so ridiculously stacked with talent that anyone on that roster can be assumed to be a very good player. 
 
Also, Pep Guardiola is either the best club coach or one of the top three and if he thinks a player is ready to help Bayern's first team, it is time to take off your pants and fap furiously in anticipation.
 
I love that on the Bayern site they list each player's "star sign". Green is a Gemini.
 
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