quinta-feira, 30 de abril de 2015
OBETZ, Ohio – Since he was acquired last August, midfielder Romain Gall hasn’t seen the field much with Columbus Crew SC, relegated to a reserve role while players like Ethan Finlay andJustin Meram enjoy breakout success.
Though he only has three league appearances – all of which came last year – the 20-year-old attacking midfielder has plenty on his plate, traveling frequently with United States youth squads while working hard on a daily basis in Columbus. He recently returned from a week-long stint with the U-20 team in Austria, where he scored the game-winner in the team’s 1-0 victory over Croatia.
“The week went well,” he said. “I got back with the team after missing the last camp, and getting the game-winner, I’m obviously happy about that. I was able to deliver when I was called upon, so I’m happy.”
And after a training session in which Gall impressed head coach Gregg Berhalter by spending several minutes hitting shots past goalkeepers, the Crew SC boss said the team’s focus for Gall is a successful trip to the upcoming FIFA U-20 World Cup, which will begin late next month in New Zealand.
“We’re looking at this half of a year for him in terms of trying to prepare him for the Under-20 world championships,” Berhalter said. “The first step is making the roster and the second step is doing well there. So we’re preparing him for that.”
Berhalter said he thinks Gall is dealing well with his backup role, part of the learning process for any young player.
“You’ve got to stay focused and stay day-to-day; that’s the job,” Berhalter said. “He’s a pro now, and he knows chances will be difficult to come by at his age given the quality in his position on our squad. You just have to stay focused and each and every day show up.”
Gall said he’s not feeling frustrated with his lack of playing time, and is focusing on training.
“I’m all about hard work,” he said. “I just stay focused and work hard and things will pan out.”
And, after nearly a year with Berhalter and in MLS, he says he can feel himself improving.
“I can see it in myself on the field – even when I’m with the national team – the difference in myself as a player from being here and learning from Gregg and the team,” he said.
Berhalter said the national team has given Gall “game time and sharpness,” and the versatile attacker says he thinks the trips overseas with the group are helping him improve his game back home.
“We have a very competitive group, so the level is really high,” he said. “So when I’m over there and I can perform well, my confidence gets higher. When I come back here I can keep growing on that confidence. So I think it helps me, definitely.”
And while Gall’s spot on the World Cup roster seems certain – he led the US and tied for the tournament lead with five goals at the CONCACAF U-20 Championships this winter – he’s not taking anything for granted.
“I’m just hoping I can make the team and be on the final roster,” he said. “If I can, I’ll be looking forward to it. It’s exciting; it’s something you dream about when you’re a kid.”
American Exports: Cole Grossman scores as Bob Bradley's Stabaek win third straight, move to second
AMSTERDAM – Cole Grossman bagged a tidy insurance goal as Bob Bradley's Stabaek ran their Tippeligaen win streak to three games with a 2-0 road decision over Tromso on Thursday night.
Three minutes after Ernest Asante fired the Blue Ones ahead, Grossman (pictured above) stuck around in the box to capitalize on a the weak clearance of a corner kick. The former Real Salt Lake midfielder accepted a short feed to rip home a left-footed shot from 15 yards on the edge of halftime.
Stabaek needed no more than Grossman's second strike of the young season, closing out the win by extending their shutout run in league play to 285 minutes and the version that covers all competitions to 375 minutes. Through five rounds, Bradley has his side level on points with three other teams in second place.
Elsewhere, A.J. Soares was strong at the back in his first Viking start, a 2-1 victory at Sandefjord. By snapping a two-game slide, the visitors rose to ninth place in the table.
Zarek Valentin set up the late consolation strike and loan winger Danny Cruz made his debut as a halftime sub in Bodo/Glimt's 2-1 home loss against FK Haugesund.
In a match that saw a handful of dangerous Valentin crosses go unrewarded by finishers, Fitim Azemi finally made good on one of the right back's deliveries by nodding it home with six minutes remaining on the clock.
Cruz, meanwhile, picked up a 79th minute yellow card for griping when the referee ignored his side's handball shouts after the American's cross was pawed down in the area. With but one point on the season, Glimt stayed locked in the league basement.
It was all downhill after an early opener for Rhett Bernstein's Mjondalen, who collapsed in a 4-1 home defeat against Lillestrom.
The center back was only to blame for failing to track Fred Friday on the 49th minute winning goal, the second tally from his hat trick. Bernstein had a golden chance to tie the game when fortunate bounce sent him in alone at the other end mere moments later, but he fired too close to the keeper and was duly robbed. The loss, Mjondalen's first of the season, dipped them to eighth place.
Finally, IK Start defender Alex DeJohn worked the final 26 minutes of a 3-2 defeat away to league leaders Rosenborg.
The New Jersey native entered with the game tied 1-1, but was not at fault on either of the last two RBK goals. Now winless in three, Start fell to 10th.
PURCHASE, N.Y. – David Villa looked sharp in limited involvement in an intrasquad scrimmage at training Thursday, but New York City FC’s star striker is still questionable for Sunday’s clash with the Seattle Sounders FC at Yankee Stadium (7 pm ET; Fox Sports 1).
“I think it’s a very difficult thing in this league, and I’ve always thought so, when you have extremely important players like that, that you’re allocating a lot of resources to, you need those guys on the field,” NYCFC coach Jason Kreis said. “It’s not just about what David Villa is, it’s also about what he brings to the group and how everyone feels a bit more confident and positive that plays around him.”
Villa warmed up with the full team, played in the first full-sided scrimmage, and worked with trainers along the side of the field during the second scrimmage. Originally sidelined with what was believed to be a hamstring issue, Villa has been diagnosed with right hip irritation, something Kreis said is not uncommon with veteran players.
“The real area of concern is the hip. Everything is stemming from there,” Kreis said. “It’s something we need to be mindful of. I think we’ve got it in a good place now and we need to consider it as we move forward”
While Kreis said it’s still too early to determine if Villa, who has missed the last two matches to injury, will return for Sunday, he was encouraged that forward Adam Nemec and Javier Calle, who has played well as a left back, will be back sooner than initially thought from hamstring injuries suffered in a 1-0 loss at Chicago last Friday.
Both worked with trainers on Thursday.
“The initial indication was that they would be out for several weeks, but now we’re hopeful we can have those guys back and ready for next week,” Kreis said.
Central defender Jason Hernandez, who also did side work, could return to full training as early as Friday and fullback Josh Williams, who is probable with an adductor strain, trained fully with the club on Thursday.
The rash of injuries has forced Kreis to bring in outside players – not trialists – just to have a full training squad. Gambian defender Emmanuel Gomez, who previously played for Toronto FC, defender R.J. Allen, who played for Skive IK of the Danish first division, and former Jamaican youth international Ashani Fairclough of the Wilmington Hammerheads all participated in training Thursday.
Kreis said he believes several factors – getting an entire team acclimated to living in a new area, numerous injuries and the recent logjam of matches – has resulted in a bit of a disjointed start for the expansion side.
“If you start to consider all those things, I think you have to feel pretty good about what we’re doing,” Kreis said. “Obviously we’d like to have a lot more points under our belt, but if you look at the individual performances and you actually start to break down the individual games, I think we’ve been a little unfortunate.”
And even when completely healthy, the team isn’t quite whole, with former England international Frank Lampard scheduled to arrive from Manchester City in July. However, Kreis isn’t concerned about the club’s rhythm when the star midfielder finally joins the squad.
“By the time we get him we will have a group that has been together for several months,” Kreis said. “They should be able to support him and his changes that he’s having to make outside of the game and also should be able to support him by knowing what we’re trying to do tactically.”
FC Dallas buoyed by goalscoring return of midfielder Mauro Diaz: "He turns the lights on"
FRISCO, Texas – The enigmatic story of Mauro Diaz’s injury may have entered a new chapter after FC Dallas’ Friday game against the Colorado Rapids.
The oft-injured but talented Argentine finally cracked the lineup after five weeks nursing a recurring leg injury. And to make his return even better, it only took Diaz 31 minutes into the game to score his first goal of the season, giving him a sense of confidence as he gets his legs back under him.
“I feel very happy to be back, and obviously a goal makes me more confident to keep going on a good track,” Diaz told MLSSoccer.com through a translator.
And even though it took Diaz five frustrating weeks of mixing in training with rehab and sitting on the bench, after starting the first three games of the season, all FCD wins, head coach Oscar Pareja believes his young midfielder is returning to his full potential.
“It’s natural with a player that didn’t have too much continuity last year to retake his full level,” Pareja told MLSsoccer.com, noting that Diaz only played in 17 games in 2014. “It takes games, especially when we wanted to work on his strengthening and his balance to avoid future injuries. So it’s a process for sure, but I do really see all things coming back.”
The Dallas attack remained dangerous even without Diaz on the pitch – featuring the eye-popping ability of winger Fabian Castillo. Even Diaz’s goal on Friday in the 1-1 draw was a direct result of Castillo’s innate ball skills.
But as a team, FCD logged a mere 1-2-1 record without Diaz in the lineup. Pareja says getting Diaz back in the starting XI adds another dimension to his team’s attack.
“He brings calmness,” Pareja said. “Like I said before, he turns the lights on in the last third of the field especially. That’s his ability. He does that job well. So it’s good to have someone who can glue us in the middle, and at the same time have that final pass and decision right.”
As far as playing a full 90 minutes is concerned, Diaz and Pareja both believe that the midfielder is nearing that workload. But as has been the case since his injuries last season, the team continues to take a conservative approach to make sure he is fully right to avoid overworking him.
“I feel like I could do 90 minutes,” Diaz said, “but it all comes down to the decision of the coach and keeping recuperating with my legs.”
Given the skills Diaz has shown in limited MLS action and the fact that the team struggled to pick up wins with him out of the lineup, his return could not come at a better time.
“We are happy to see a player who is important for the group, who has different characteristics getting back to that level,” Pareja said. “It’ll take a few games, but we’re in a good direction.”
O Leão Azul conseguiu grande vantagem com a goleada de 4 a 1 sobre o Cuiabá. Rafael Paty, duas vezes, Ratinho e Ameixa construíram a vitória do Remo, que decide título dia 7
Inflamado pela torcida, que praticamente lotou o Mangueirão, o Remo goleou o Cuiabá por 4 a 1 na noite desta quinta-feira e deu um passo gigantesco para a conquista da Copa Verde. Rafael Paty, duas vezes, Ratinho e Ameixa anotaram os gols da goleada. Kaíque marcou o gol único do time mato-grossense.
Com a goleada comandada por Rafael Paty, que marcou dois gols, a equipe azulina pode perder por até dois gols de diferença que, mesmo assim, levanta a taça da competição. Portanto o Cuiabá só será campeão se vencer por 3 a 0. O campeão, que garante uma vaga na Copa Sul-Americana, será conhecido na próxima quinta-feira, na Arena Pantanal.