Injuries Plague Top American Players

Injuries hit Americans as European leagues ready to kick-off
by Austin Farrow   |   Friday, August 02, 2013

Americans Overseas – column on USA soccer players playing abroad for clubs outside of North America


As Clint Dempsey and Tottenham continue their preseason, the club announced Thursday that it had come to terms with Spanish striker Roberto Soldado. Dempsey himself looks to be in talks with other clubs, as he recently came back stateside to, apparently, have talks with Everton.

Brek Shea’s preseason hit a snag Tuesday as the midfielder came out of the match against the Philadelphia Union with a knee injury after a bad challenge from Matt Kassel. However, the injury wasn’t as bad as initially feared and Shea shouldn’t miss more than a month with Stoke.

In the Championship, 2 Americans struggle with injury like Shea. Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden was the most unfortunate as he will face another tough recovery after tearing his ACL in the Gold Cup final with the United States Men’s National Team. Jonathan Spector has been ruled out with Birmingham City for roughly 6 weeks with a fractured right cheekbone. 

Even with the likes of Holden and Spector out, the Championship still has several Americans starting their seasons this upcoming weekend. The other American with Bolton, Tim Ream, will hope he is in the starting lineup in their 1st league fixture against Burnley on Saturday.

Three other Americans in the Championship will be hopeful of playing time this Saturday, 2 of which are with new clubs. Danny Williams and his new club, Reading, face off against Ipswich, while Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest play Huddersfield. Zak Whitbread will be looking to stay injury-free this season. He and Leicester travel away to Middlesbrough.


The Bundesliga hasn’t started quite yet but various Americans in the Bundesliga find themselves with DFB Pokal matches to attend to over the next few days. Hoffenheim starlet, Jeremy Toljan, has accumulated a lot of playing time over their preseason at left back and will be looking to continue that in the upcoming DFB Pokal fixture against Aumund-Vegesack.

Fabian Johnson is slowly making his way back from a slight preseason knock and should be fit by their start to the season on the August 10. The trio of Americans at Hoffenheim could find themselves competing for places this season with Joe Gyau and Johnson both options at left wing. It very much depends on where manager, Markus Gisdol, decides to deploy Johnson and whether he sends Gyau out on loan once again.

Julian Green is another young American looking for playing time with a Bundesliga club this season. The young midfielder picked up 13 minutes towards the end of Bayern Munich’s Audi Cup match against Sao Paolo as a sub.

Bundesliga 2 action has begun. Andrew Wooten has made the bench the past 2 fixtures for Kaiserslautern. He was only subbed into the season opener against Paderborn in stoppage time, however.

Alfredo Morales did start his season opener with new club, Ingolstadt. The game resulted in a 2-1 loss for Ingolstadt against Aue. Morales was sent off in the 80th minute which left him suspended to face Wooten’s club Kaiserslautern. Ingolstadt also lost that match which leaves the club winless to start the Bundesliga 2 campaign.

Bobby Wood has perhaps been the most fortunate American in Bundesliga 2 thus far. The forward was subbed on in the season opening 1-0 loss to St Pauli in the 82nd minute. The 20-year-old then started and played 63 minutes against Frankfurt in their 1st win of the season. The match ended 2-1.


AZ Alkmaar and Aron Johannsson start their season away to Heerenveen this Saturday. Johannsson is coming off of a good preseason with AZ and has big shoes to fill since fellow American Jozy Altidore, who scored 23 Eredivisie goals last season, left the club for Sunderland earlier this summer.


While many leagues are just now kicking off, the Tippeligaen is roughly upon the halfway point in its season. Steve Clark and Honefoss sit second from bottom after a disappointing 6-1 loss to 2nd place Stromsgodset. Will Steve Clark and Honefoss find themselves fighting to stay in the Tippeligaen as they did last season? If they do, at least it will give Clark the chance to have another heroic end to the season.

Nearly polar opposite in the table, Rosenborg, won their last match 4-1. Now Rosenborg bring Gold Cup champion, Mikkel Diskerud back into the mix. The midfielder could see time in their next match against Sogndal, this Sunday.


Oguchi Onyewu looks to be on the outs at Sporting Lisbon. Onyewu has a short amount of time to find a new club or will be stuck in a situation that could leave him quite inactive until the next transfer window.


The Danish Superliga has kicked off along with multiple Americans who play in the league. Conor O’Brien and Nordsjaelland started off their season in a difficult manner, losing to Esbjerg 4-0. O’Brien played 90 minutes in the match but then was not named a sub against Viborg in the subsequent match. Newly promoted Viborg proved a tough test for Nordsjaelland as they drew 1-1. Rochester native Babajide Ogunbiyi played the final 13 minutes of that fixture. He was not named to the bench in the side’s opener to Randers however, which ended 2-2.

A certain Charlie Davies was also not on his side’s bench for the match. Davies didn’t dress for Randers in their following match against Odense either.


Sacha Kljestan came off the field in Anderlecht’s season opener with an injury that saw his ear rip after an elbow from an opposing defender. The match against Lokeren ended in a 3-2 loss.


Brian Span has finally stumbled upon playing time after several weeks of not dressing for Djurgaarden. The 21-year-old was subbed on in the 75th minute against Mjallby in a 2-0 loss and was also subbed on in a 2-1 loss to Norrkoping in the 85th minute. Span picked up a yellow in the match against Norrkoping.


Terrence Boyd’s start to the season was an 8 minute cameo off the bench in a 2-2 draw to PZ Pellets. The following match, Boyd found himself more influential, however. Rapid Wien took down Wiener Neustadt 4-0. Boyd scored 2 goals and played the full 90 minutes.


Freddy Adu did not dress for Bahia in their last fixture against Flamengo. Bahia is currently 2nd in the Brasileiro table.


Tijuana kicked off its season with a 3-3 draw to Atlas. Paul Arriola played the final 29 minutes and picked up an assist in his professional debut while Greg Garza played the entirety of the match.

Tijuana then took down Pachuca 1-0. Garza once again played 90 minutes. Garza also picked up a yellow in stoppage time. Edgar Castillo and Joe Corona entered the match in the 69th minute together in their return from the Gold Cup. Paul Arriola dressed but did not play.

Elsewhere in Mexico, Beasley played the final 44 minutes of Puebla’s match against Santos Laguna. Michael Orozco dressed but did not play in the 1-1 draw. In Puebla’s previous match they faced Alonso Hernandez’ Monterrey but Orozco and Beasley were away with the United States. Hernandez played the final 12 minutes of the match which ended in a 1-1 draw as well. Hernandez dressed but did not play in the following game against Queretaro, which ended 3-3.


Indian River State
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Bringing you news on soccer players across MLS and American players playing in top leagues around the world, Austin is a journalism major who enjoys the fine arts. He doesn't favor one club over another, but just enjoys all MLS play.