MATCHES
 
 
 
 
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02/20/2014
 

Julian Green's international future has rightly been a subject of recent debate among the USA's soccer media and fans. Many players that hold multiple passports have popped up over the years and in many cases, the Yanks have had troubles getting them to commit to their ranks. 


The list is quite extensive, but the big names as of recent times are Neven Subotic and Giuseppe Rossi. It looks like the third may be on the horizon in Julian Green. 


Is he just nibbling, or will he actually bite on the USMNT? To understand the machinations better, it is helpful to examine the brief flirt the United States had with now Borussia Dortmund defender Neven Subotic.


Subotic was a young man when he was in America, and played for the Under-20 side under coach Thomas Rongen. Yes Rongen. 


That name seems like it still haunts many US fans. This is an important key to the loss of Subotic's services and although Subotic is arguably one of the best center-backs around, this is what Rongen had to say about  him in 2006, on the cusp of the team selection for the 2007 U-20 World Cup:


“He (Subotic) had not accelerated over there to the point where we feel he belongs on the [US] team.”

Take into account that those comments came off the heels of Subotic’s recent signing with second division side FSV Mainz, incidentally managed at the time by Juergen Klopp, the same man who just took Dortmund to the Champions League final. 

Klopp valued him so much that when chosen for the job at Dortmund in 2008, one of the first pieces of business was bringing in the young center back to Dortmund. Ever since, Subotic has been a revelation. 
 
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01/19/2014
 
South Korean captain Koo Ja-Cheol signed for Bundesliga mid-table side Mainz from highflying VfL Wolfsburg on Sunday on a four-and-a-half year contract.

The 24-year-old midfielder, who joined Wolfsburg from Korean outfit Jeju United in 2011, had only played 10 times this season in all competitions and with the signing of Belgian international Kevin de Bruyne on Saturday from Chelsea his chances of more playing time were vastly reduced.


Both clubs refused to reveal the transfer fee. "Koo Ja-Cheol has been on our wish list for quite some time now and we intensified our efforts of late as we consider him being a potentially key player in our team," said Mainz manager Christian Heidel.


Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel highlighted the 'talent and technical qualities' of Koo. Wolfsburg had already loaned Koo out to Augsburg last season before returning to them for this campaign. De Bruyne, 22, signed a five-and-a-half year contract with Wolfsburg on Saturday for a reported club record fee of 22 million euros ($29.8m, £18.1m).

 
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10/21/2013
 

The most recent Bundesliga break saw another round of World Cup qualifying matches where Germany beat Ireland 3:0 and in a meaningless albeit exciting final matchup versus Sweden in Group D a 5:3 victory with Götze scoring and setting up Schürrle once. Bayern’s Number 1, Manuel Neuer, had to concede three goals that were as many as in his last 8 Bundesliga games combined and continuing Die Mannschaft’s struggles in defense.

 

The break also gave some Bayern players more media exposure than hoped for: Thomas Müller was rumored to have met with Barcelona officials in the Catalan city during two days off, but the Munich right wing denied any potential interest with the Culés by posting on his Facebook page that his heart remains in Bayern and that “one can eat well in Spain but he prefers pork roast from Bavaria.”  


Xherdan Shaqiri ruptured a muscle in his right hamstring during the Swiss National team’s victory over Albania and will be out 6-7 weeks and Ribéry suffered a laceration of the capsule in his last training session before the Mainz match but might be back in the Champions League game versus Plzen. Plenty for Guardiola to deal with.

 

In the 9th match day of the Bundesliga Bayern Munich welcomed Mainz, who are in a bit of a crisis and have only won one point in of the last five games. Guardiola, due to the injuries, had to make several changes in the lineup with Contento playing left back giving Alaba a well-deserved break; Müller moving to the left for Ribéry. Neuer started in goal again and Kroos and Schweinsteiger in midfield: Neuer – Rafinha, Dante, Boateng, Contento – Lahm – Robben, Schweinsteiger, Kroos, Müller – Mandzukic. In the typical 4-1-4-1 formation. Mainz coach Tuchel began with 5 players in defense, 4 midfielders and the lone striker Shawn Parker, following a regular strategy of visiting teams playing defense with as many players possible.

 
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