Archive for the ‘Benny Feilhaber’ Category

Gooch Plans To Surprise Liverpool

August 11, 2008

After scoring two goals over the weekend to help Standard Liege beat RSC Anderlecht 3-1 in the Belgian Cip over the weekend, Oguchi Onyewu has his sights on their next foe; Liverpool.

Onyewu told the Belgian press that he thinks Standard can surprise a team like Liverpool when he said “Now we must concentrate our Liverpool. There are always chances, I think nobody thought that Anderlecht would be eliminated but we surprised them.” He further told the national TV station RTBF that “In football sometimes the underdog can surprise you. Hopefully, we can do something on Wednesday to show what Belgian football is about.”

From the way Onyewu has comported himself the past few weeks, you would never know that he is perhaps on the verge of being transferred to a bigger European club. Regardless of whether he ends up at FC Koeln, Fulham, or somewhere in France or Italy, it seems he wants to go out of Liege with a bang. Standard will face Liverpool at home on Wednesday in the third round of Champion’s League qualifying.

A few quick hits from the weekend:

– Villarreal may be missing Giuseppe Rossi and Jozy Altidore in training but they can be proud that the pair has already scored a combined three goals in Olympic play.

– American defender Bryan Arguez did not play for Hertha Berlin in their 3-1 German Cup win over Trier this weekend.

– The US team played very well within themselves yesterday against the Dutch and coach Piotr Novak proved what a good tactician he can be with his adjustments and substitutions. The missed US chance near the end came back to haunt them after the Oranje equalized but the card collecting in the waning minutes was annoying. If anyone’s international stock rose yesterday, it was Sacha Kljestan and Freddy Adu (the AS Monaco discussion boards are buzzing already).

– I have a good feeling about the Nigeria game, when Altidore, Danny Szetela, and Benny Feilhaber will need to step up. The team is starting to gel and play with much more confidence. They seem to believe in their coach, his system, and each other – not a bad way to go into Wednesday’s match.

Feilhaber: Still A Chance At Derby

August 9, 2008

A few weeks ago, we reported that Benny Feilhaber was on the auction block at Derby shortly before he was named to the US Olympic squad. Now, it seems he may still have a place in the club’s side, but just barely. After his meteoric rise from Hamburg and the US national team to last summer’s transfer to Derby, Feilhaber seemed to be the next big thing. But he fell on black days, riding the bench after Paul Jewell took the reins at Pride Park. But, he kept his head down, continued training, and waited for a break which never came.

Last week, the new numbers were passed out at Derby and Feilhaber went from being #22 to being #31, the last number passed out by the club. Its usually a good sign when a coach assigns a number (and a bad one when they don’t), but being #31 is a clear sign that the American midfielder in the man on the bubble. There is, of course, always a chance he be sold before the August 31st transfer deadline.

As the English Championship season started today, Derby lost 1-0 to Championship newcomer Doncaster Rovers sans Feilhaber and Australian Ruben Zadkovich, also in Beijing to compete in the Olympics. That makes it 25 straight losses for Jewell, who has yet to win a game at Derby. Since he did not get a result today after starting seven of his new signings, the door may be creaking open for Feilhaber.

The question remains whether Feilhaber can prove himself now by starting and making a good showing at the Olympics. But that is already proving to be a difficult task. With so many quality players competing for a starting spot, it is easy to be outshined by the others – coach Piotr Novak only used Feilhaber as a substitute in the 1-0 win over Japan.

If Feilhaber can break out of his rusty cage and prove his worth, he needs to do it quickly. If Team USA has a chance to steal a point from a powerful Netherlands squad tomorrow, a resurgent Benny Feilhaber may be just what they need. Given Derby’s form, he may be just what they need as well.