Los Angeles Soccer: Brad Guzan

Donovan, Buddle off for Italy

February, 23, 2012

Galaxy captain Landon Donovan and returning forward Edson Buddle are heading to Genoa for next week's U.S. national team friendly against Italy.

The L.A. attackers are among four Major League Soccer players in Jurgen Klinsmann's 21-man roster for Wednesday's friendly, a prep for the start in June of the Americans' World Cup qualifying campaign. The match will be telecast on ESPN2 and Galavision (11:45 a.m. PT kickoff). Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando (Montclair/Montclair HS and UCLA) and Houston Dynamo defender Geoff Cameron also are on the list.

Donovan and Buddle are fresh off European experience. Donovan (Redlands/Redlands East Valley HS), who has been sidelined most of the past week with the flu, is coming off a successful seven-week loan to Everton. Buddle spent a year in the German second division before re-signing with the Galaxy at the start of the month.

Four local “regulars” also are on the roster: U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra (Alta Loma/Alta Loma HS and UCLA) and his Rangers FC teammate Maurice Edu (Fontana/Etiwanda HS) and Chievo Verona midfielder Michael Bradley, whose family lives in Manhattan Beach. Hannover 96 defender Steve Cherundolo is from San Diego.

Former Chivas USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan returns to the U.S. team for the first time since November 2010.

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GALAXY: Donovan starts Everton win

January, 7, 2012

Landon Donovan set up an early goal and nearly added a spectacular strike near the end as Everton's opened its F.A. Cup campaign with a 2-0 victory Saturday over fifth-tier Tamworth.

The third-round victory sends the Toffees into a round-of-32 match later this month. The opponent will be determined in a draw Sunday.

The Galaxy captain again went the full 90, as he did in Wednesday's English Premier League loss to Bolton -- his first appearance in an eight-week loan -- and it appears he's quickly meshed with his new teammates. He was dynamic in stages, as against Bolton, and unfortunate to be involved in only one goal.

Donovan's fifth-minute corner kick curled to the far post for Johnny Heitinga, whose header deflected off a Tamworth defender and into the net. Everton added a Leighton Baines penalty kick in the 79th minute.

Donovan teamed with Baines to create a fine chance for Diniyar Bilyaletdinov in the 77th minute, and nearly scored a tremendous goal in the 85th, a 25-yard blast to the upper V that hit near where the post and crossbar meet.

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EUROPE: Brad Friedel finalizes Spurs move

June, 3, 2011

Former UCLA All-American Brad Friedel's move to Tottenham was finalized Friday, with the 40-year-old goalkeeper signing a two-year contract with the North London giant.

The move was announced on Spurs' website and has been anticipated for most of the past week. His contract with Aston Villa expired when the English Premier League season ended last month, and Villa, Liverpool, West Bromwich Albion and clubs outside England had expressed interest.

“It was a very difficult decision to leave Villa,” Friedel's agent, Tony McGill, told Sky Sports. “Brad has really enjoyed his time there … but Brad felt the time was right to move on, and he has not been short of offers. The last 48 hours have been hectic.”

Friedel, an Ohioan who starred on UCLA's 1990 NCAA title-winning side, spent the past three seasons at Aston Villa and has been in the English Premier League since 1997, previously playing for Liverpool and Blackburn. His departure could give former Chivas USA netminder Brad Guzan the starting job with the Birmingham club.

Tottenham finished fifth in the Premier League this season and won a berth in next season's UEFA Europa Cup, Europe's No. 2 club competition.

Friedel is the third goalkeeper with the club, joining 37-year-old Italian Carlo Cudicini, who last month extended his contract with the club through 2012, and 30-year-old Brazilian Heurelho Gomes, who has been the first-choice keeper. Gomes has been linked with a return to Dutch power PSV Eindhoven after his errors cost Spurs goals in April losses to Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League and Chelsea in EPL play.

"Brad is a top goalkeeper of real quality who has great experience,” Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said in a statement. “It is good to have three such experienced top goalkeepers at the club in Gomes, Carlo and now Brad, and it means we have competition for places, particularly with the number of games we will hopefully face next year both domestically and in Europe as well.”

Friedel, who also has played for Turkish giant Galatasaray and in Major League Soccer for the Columbus Crew, made 82 appearances for the U.S. national team from 1992 to 2004 and was on three World Cup rosters, backing up Tony Meola in 1994, getting one of three games in 1998 and playing a huge role in the Americans' run to the quarterfinals in 2002.

EUROPE: Aston Villa claims Michael Bradley -- for keeps?

January, 31, 2011

Michael BradleyChristof Koepsel/Getty ImagesMichael Bradley, son of U.S. coach Bob Bradley, left Borussia Moenchengladbach for Aston Villa on Monday.

There were a lot of clubs looking closely at Michael Bradley, but as soon as the U.S. national team midfielder got word that Aston Villa was interested, his departure from Borussia Moenchengladbach was a done deal.

The 23-year-old midfielder, the son of U.S. coach Bob Bradley, on Monday joined Villa, arriving on loan until summer.

The Birmingham-based club, mired in a disappointing English Premier League campaign, has an option to purchase Bradley's contract, which runs until summer 2012. The announcement follows by days Pasadena's Yura Movsisyan's move from Danish club Randers to Russian Premier League side FC Krasnodar.

Bradley, whose family lives in Manhattan Beach, won't be cleared to play in Villa's game Tuesday against Manchester United, but he could debut Saturday against U.S. teammate Clint Dempsey and Fulham.

“Within the last week or so I heard that the manager [Gerard Houllier] was interested in bringing me here,” Bradley told Aston Villa's Web site. “From the moment I heard that, I was really excited and really just hoping that everything could get done. For me, the Premier League is the best league in the world. You watch a game in the Premier League, and the speed of the game, the pace and the power all stand out.

“To have the opportunity to come here and test myself at the highest level, week in and week out, is incredible, and to try to take the things I do as a player and make them count at the highest level -- it's a great challenge.”

Bradley's father was linked to the Aston Villa managerial job until Houllier, a former French national team coach, was hired in early September. The club is owned by Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner and features three other Americans: goalkeepers Brad Friedel and Brad Guzan and defender Eric Lichaj.

Bradley, who signed with MLS's MetroStars (now the New York Red Bulls) at 16, moved to Holland's Heerenveen at 18 and joined Gladbach in 2008 on a $3.43 million transfer, has quickly risen in international soccer. He enjoyed a breakthrough World Cup in South Africa and was one of few pluses this season for the German club, which sits at the bottom of the Bundesliga standings.

Bradley's representatives asked for a transfer during the Bundesliga's winter break, Gladbach technical director Max Eberl told German newspaper Express, and there was immediate interest from England's Sunderland, Turkey's Galatasaray, Italy's Palermo and several Bundesliga clubs.

Reports Friday had Bradley headed to Galatasaray on a $6.8 million transfer, but he spent the weekend in England finalizing details and taking a medical exam.

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EUROPE: Still no sign of Maurice Edu

January, 3, 2011

Rangers FC twice has said Maurice Edu is on the verge of returning to action from a knee injury suffered in November, even listing target games for his comeback. The second date passed Sunday, and still no Edu.

When will he be ready to play? No clue. Turns out the midfielder from Fontana hasn't returned yet to full training. “He's doing his workouts in the gym,” a club spokesman told Major League Soccer last week.

Edu was hurt during a 3-0 loss to Hibernian on Nov. 10 and has missed seven games. Another five matches have been pushed back by poor weather.

Rangers lost, 2-0, in Sunday'sshowdown with archrival Celtic FC and finds itself four points behind the Bhoys-- but with two games in hand.

FEILHABER ON THE MOVE?: Benny Feilhaber'sDanish team doesn't return to action until late March, but he could be on the field well before then. The U.S. national-teamer's agent says he is considering three offers.

“There's a few different things on the table,” Lyle Yorks, the agent, told Major League Soccer's Web site last week. “There's a European club, a team in Mexico and one in South America.”

Mexican media have reported that Cruz Azul is interested in the 25-year-old midfielder from Irvine, and the SouthAmerican team is understood to be from Brazil, where the former UCLA standout was born. Yorkshas said there has been contact with clubs in Denmark, Netherlands and Spain.

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2010: Big breakthroughs ... So Cal in South Africa

December, 26, 2010

Our countdown of 2010's top 10 soccer stories and newsmakers -- from a Southern California slant -- continues.

  • Newsmakers/No. 6: Kevin Hartman and Amy Rodriguez

One was a veteran goalkeeper dumped by the club he'd served admirably for three seasons. The other was a promising young striker who hadn't lived up to the acclaim and expectations.

Both delivered breakthrough campaigns in 2010.

Kevin Hartman (Palos Verdes/Peninsula HS and UCLA) had the finest year of his career -- the finest year any Major League Soccer netminder has posted -- to lead FC Dallas to its first MLS Cup title game.

Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest/Santa Margarita Catholic HS and USC) asserted herself as one of the best forwards in the women's game, leading the expansion Philadelphia Independence to Women's Professional Soccer's championship game and making a real impact for the U.S. women's national team.

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Jonathan Bornstein: Back to South Africa

November, 11, 2010

Former Chivas USA defender Jonathan Bornstein got the call this week: He's heading back to South Africa with the U.S. national team.

Bornstein is one of five players from last summer's World Cup squad that U.S. coach Bob Bradley placed on his roster for Wednesday's "Nelson Mandela Challenge" friendly against South Africa in Cape Town. The former Los Alamitos High School, Cal Poly Pomona and UCLA standout, who will join Mexico's UANL Tigres in January, is the most experienced player on the roster, with 34 international appearances.

Bradley also called in Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who played for the coach when he was in charge at Chivas USA, West Ham United defender Jonathan Spector, Orebro midfielder Alejandro Bedoya, and Real Salt Lake forward Robbie Findley from the World Cup team.

Columbus Crew winger Robbie Rogers (Palos Verdes and Huntington Beach/Mater Dei HS), who was on the U.S. preliminary World Cup roster but did not go to South Africa, also is on the team.

Six uncapped players are on the roster. The most intriguing is Kansas City Wizards forward Teal Bunbury, who has turned down invitations to play for his native Canada, saying he has a better chance to realize his goal of playing in a World Cup by declaring for the U.S. That he does.

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