DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Gold Cup Switch-a-roo
The days since his team's overtime win over Panama has seen Bob Bradley further juggle around his available roster thanks to injuries and pre-season club commitments.
After only featuring for the Nats' 2-2 draw against Haiti in the final game of the group stage, Luis Robles was finally allowed to return to 2. Bundesliga club FC Kaiserslautern to participate in their well-underway preseason training. Robles originally joined up with the national squad in late-May prior to a pair of World Cup qualifiers, and has remained with the team throughout all of their summer competitions with only a brief break in early-June for his wedding. He returns to Kaiserslautern having won the starting goalkeeper position from previous number-one Tobias Sippel in the spring, however that status is uncertain after having missed the first month of pre-season. The Red Devils have one last preparation game against Bundesliga team Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday afternoon before facing 3. Liga team Eintracht Braunschweig the following Friday in the first round of the DFB Cup, then open their league campaign the following weekend.
Replacing Robles with the team is Chicago Fire keeper John Busch, who was included in the original Gold Cup roster but had remained thus far with his club team. He will serve as lone backup to Valerenga's Troy Perkins, who will presumably remain the starter for the duration of the tournament.
In addition, a concussion to central defender Jimmy Conrad has prompted the recalling of FC Nordsjælland defender Michael Parkhurst, who had momentarily returned to Denmark for their 2-0 opening day upset over reigning Danish champions FC Copenhagen. He joins former Mainz target Chad Marshall and IK Start-er Clarence Goodson as the three available center backs for Thursday night's semifinal against Honduras.
Hamburg is a little more Joy-full
Now-former Real Salt Lake defender Ian Joy left his MLS club last week and has returned to Hamburg, Germany to be with his daughter, aiming to land a contract with a team in the land of Audi. While currently having no clubs firmly lined up, he hopes to have his situation resolved within one week as top two divisions in Germany begin league play during the weekend of August 8, and the 3. Liga begins this coming Saturday. Joy had previously spent a pair of seasons at legendary Hamburg-based club St. Pauli, who will compete in the 2. Bundesliga, however spent the last year in stateside pursuing opportunities in MLS.
We know you're out there, but...
While our normal week-to-week coverage will not include Italy's Lega Pro Prima Divisione (which is easier to just call Serie C), we would be borderline negligent to not mention the loan deals of two young Italian-American players (both of whom have featured in the US youth setup) to teams within the division.
21 year old former Red Bull New York academy member Gabriel Ferrari spent the 2008-09 season on loan to Serie C club Perugia, and has now been sent to the club U.S. Foggia for the upcoming season by parent club Sampdoria. Foggia finished fifth place in the "Girone B" division of Serie C last season.
Giuseppe Nazzani, product of Bologna FC's youth setup has also been loaned out to Italy's third division, landing for the year with newly promoted A.S. Figline, who have quickly risen through Italy's ranks with three consecutive promotion campaigns.
While we won't be giving weekly updates on Serie C, YA will keep an eye on both players throughout the season in case either makes a splash (belly-flops don't count).