Eddie Johnson and Freddy Adu at Aris Thessaloniki
Eddie Johnson was able to score off a well weighted Freddy Adu long pass after both had come as substitutes late in the game for Aris Thessaloniki in Greece. This bodes well for both players. In addition the team was not able to score before the Americans came on to the field. This may signal to the coach that it is time to start both or either of the Americans. Hopefully Eddie and Freddy will start in the next game.
Stuart Holden at Bolton
Although many people seem to feel that this is an excellent move for Stuart Holden, I am not convinced. Stuart Holden is young and talented, but I would not consider him to be at the level of a regularly starting Premier League midfielder. While Bolton is not a great team and is only hanging just above the relegation zone, they still have the quality to be playing in the Premier League.
This is without even considering that two young star midfield players were recently brought on loan to Bolton as well. Both Vladimir Weiss of Manchester City and Jack Wilshere of Arsenal were brought in to play in presumably the same positions as Stuart Holden might play in. Vladimir Weiss plays right midfield and as an attacking midfielder, while Jack Wilshere plays left midfield and as an attacking midfielder.
Given the current roster and the additions of these two young starlets, I am not sure that Stuart Holden will be seeing much playing time for the rest of the season. I will be pleasantly surprised if he does get playing time, but he has tough competition for a spot. Maybe they will look to play him in the center of the pitch. If he doesn’t get much playing time, then he certainly won’t have much of an opportunity to impress at the World Cup in June. He might not even make the trip.
Kenny Cooper at Plymouth Argyle
This seems like the smartest move for any of the World Cup contenders on the US National Team fringe. Besides having a coaching staff that knows Cooper, there isn’t too much competition for a starting place on the team. Looking over the roster there isn’t a player who has scored more than 5 goals this season. I also didn’t see any recognizable names amongst the striker corps.
I think Cooper on talent starts above the other forwards in the Plymouth Argyle stable. If he gets settled in properly, which I think he will given the support from Paul Mariner, the head coach who knows Cooper from MLS, then he should do well. Plymouth Argyle are in the relegation zone and obviously were looking for someone to help pull them out and keep them in the Championship. As long as there are no spats between Kenny, Sr. and the coaching staff, I see Cooper shining. If he can get in form and build his confidence, he may be able to contribute at the international level and get on the plane to South Africa. Good luck Kenny Cooper.
Chris Rolfe to Aalborg BK
This looks like another good move, although I didn’t want to see any more competition for Marcus Tracy. I looked through the Aalborg BK roster, and I didn’t see any easily recognizable talents. Of course that’s not to say that Aalborg doesn’t have good players. Chris Rolfe could play on the wings, as a forward, or as a more centrally placed attacking midfielder.
He has a lot of chances to break through on the team because of his versatility. He has good skill, and I think that getting looks in Denmark might put him back on the National Team radar. If he does well, he might be able to get on the plane to South Africa.