AO Talking Points February 2017

What’s worse than having to sit silent and uninformed at a watch party while the rest of the bar passionately debates a soccer topic you missed that week? Well fear no more! The latest AO Talking Points have you covered, from screamers in Tijuana to DeAndre Yedlin’s tea party on the River Tyne. Let’s talk!


It’s been a busy (and impressive) 2017 for our boys abroad so far. Players representing the red, white and blue made headlines both south of the border and across the Atlantic. Especially in Germany, where the DFB Pokal might as well have been a USMNT training camp with a whole host of Yanks scoring and assisting to help their teams advance in cup competition.
  • Fabian Johnson notched an assist with a silky through ball to Oscar Wendt on the way to a 2-0 win for Borussia Mönchengladbach. The winger also added a headed assist in Bundesliga play last week against Freiburg enroute to a 3-0 victory.  
  • Teenage heartthrob and overall American legend Christian Pulisic assisted Marco Reus to help BVB draw level with John Brooks’ Hertha Berlin side. Despite Pulisic doing his best impression of a mere mortal and missing his penalty in the ensuing shootout, BVB moved on to the Pokal quarterfinals.
  • “Julian Green cooly nets a crossfield volley to bag his first goal.” No, we aren’t rehashing the 2014 World Cup, Julian just started off his Stuttgart career with a beautiful goal.
  • DeAndre Yedlin is having no problem assimilating to the English culture both on and off the field. He provided two assists against Rotherham and garnered rave reviews for his defending last week against Wolverhampton, prompting Fox to say he’s the best American right back. Off the field he’s becoming something of a fan favorite thanks to his his banging, social media-fueled “tea party” with fellow Newcastle teammates. 
Source: GallowgateShops
  • Youngster Gedion Zelalem is enjoying his study abroad stint while on loan with Dutch second division side VVV-Venlo. He capped off a 7-0 win for the team with a nice finish late in the game on Friday. A tip of the hat to the young Yank for his first professional goal!
  • Despite it being the MLS and NWSL offseasons, U.S. players are giving us plenty to talk about. Sporting KC striker Dom Dwyer (and one half of America’s sweetest soccer couple) will submit his paperwork to become an American citizen this month and will toss his hat in the ring for USMNT forward. Arena said had Dwyer been eligible in January, he would have been donning the stars and stripes - something he’s already used to.
Source: Sarah Huffman ProSoccer Talk
  • Jill Ellis named the full USWNT squad for the She Believes Cup. The announcement featured plenty of youngsters as well as some notable absences, including Megan Rapinoe. The women will take on France, Germany and England in Chester, PA., Harrison, NJ. and D.C. as part of the competition next month. Have a look at Grant Wahl’s take on the roster here.
  • Bruce Arena certainly has his job cut out for him this summer, balancing the grueling challenges of The Hex with the 2017 Gold Cup. Look for two separate squads to compete in each, as was the case when we brought home the trophy in 2013. In case you missed it, the boys will play group games in Nashville, Tampa and Cleveland. See you there!
  • In a high-profile coaching change, it’s easy to miss the behind-the-scenes-moves that can really make a big difference for the players. At the turn of the year, Bruce filled his staff with some names we all know and love, like Thomas Rongen. Read more on his hiring here.
  • Following moves abroad by Alex Morgan and Heather O’Reilly to Lyon FC and Arsenal respectively, the USWNT might be exporting another top talent to Europe. Rumors are abound saying Carli Lloyd is considering a move to Manchester City, some even asserting she’s already signed a contract.
  • The collective bargaining agreement between the USWNT and U.S. Soccer had a bit of a shakeup, with the players changing their legal representation this month and Becky Sauerbrunn, Meghan Klingenberg and Christen Press being elected player representatives in January. Various reports say the negotiations are making great progress.
  • The Baby Yanks have an important month approaching, with the U-20 World Cup qualifying kicking off Feb. 18 in Costa Rica. Tab Ramos announced his 20 player roster for the games, with Sporting Kansas City center back Erik Palmer-Brown named captain. Check out the full roster here.
  • DaMarcus Beasley has re-signed with his club,Houston Dynamo, after a brief and uneventful stint with Unattached FC. Beasley’s back in the picture for the USMNT as well, and has us thinking again of Michael Corleone. 

    That’s it for this week’s talking points! Tune in for next week’s, by which time DeAndre Yedlin might have his own line of teaware.

February 14, 2017