Archive for the ‘Hertha Berlin’ Category

Arguez, Three Others Sent Home From US U-20 Camp

January 3, 2009

Steven Goff and others are reporting that Hertha Berlin’s Bryan Arguez and three other unidentified players were sent home from the recent US U-20 camp, reportedly for disciplinary reasons. For Arguez in particular, it confirms a pattern of disciplinary problems which began early in his tenure at Hertha; missing practice and showing up late for practice – unpardonable sins when you are being paid to play. The press in Berlin is already lambasting Arguez for being tossed out of the US camp and wondering aloud when his club will do the same.

Last summer, Arguez had been whispered as a strong possibility to seee significant playing time for the high flying Hertha this year before disciplinary issues put the rangy midfielder into coach Lucien Favre’s doghouse. Since then, he’s made only one appearance with little hope of seeing the field in anything but a reserve team match. Still, he is young (20 years-old), loaded with talent, and has a chance to redeem himself if he can cease this pattern of standing out for all the wrong reasons.

Its not clear yet who the other three players are but according to Goff, they’ll all be eligible to return to the next U-20 camp. I hesitate to speculate on who they may be but the truth will come out eventually.

One thing these young players will learn quickly is that while clubs enjoy the honor of their players being called up for national team duty, they are not amused when those same players are sent home under such circumstances. There will be some awkward moments for each of them as they return to their club team’s training camps over the next few weeks.

While many players are ready to play at the next level, not all are ready for the level of scrutiny and professional standards which are expected by coaches and team management. I’m glad that U-20 coach Thomas Rongen is putting the hammer down now, six months before the world championships, rather than trying to correct disciplinary problems in the coming months.

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.

Cherundolo and Hannover Down Hertha 3-1

August 4, 2008

After a mistake-ridden 4-2 preseason loss to RCD Mallorca last week, Hannover 96 redeemed itself last night with a 3-1 win over fellow Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin. As expected, American Steve Cherundolo went the distance at right back while newcomer Sal Zizzo was not selected for the team.

Among the good news for Hannover was to see newcomer (and former Bayern Munich player) Jan Schlaudraff score goals in the 19th and 68th minutes. Cherundolo covered well in the back and managed to contribute on offense in the 44th minute sending a perfect through-ball to find Schlaudraff, who then tapped it to Mike Hanke, who easily stroked it into the Hertha goal to make it 2-0.

While Hertha’s young American defender Bryan Arguez did not play last night, he appears to be out of the doghouse having started in a 1-0 win over Newcastle on Friday.

Sal Zizzo: Rough Outing For Hannover Against Mallorca

August 1, 2008

There has been some speculation during the preseason that Hannover veteran Steve Cherundolo may get bumped from his starting right back role by a younger player, including possibly young American Sal Zizzo. After a 4-2 friendly loss to RCD Mallorca Friday night in which coach Dieter Hecking gave Zizzo a start, Cherundolo’s job looks as secure as ever.

The largely experimental team made many mistakes which their Mallorcan hosts capitalized on each time, especially toward the end of the match. Zizzo was credited with many defensive mistakes, including getting the blame for causing the penalty kick which let Mallorca’s Jose Manuel Jurado tie the score at 2:2. Zizzo was replaced in the 62nd minute by 19 year-old Leon Balogun as Mallorca scored two more goals by Oscar Trejo in the 72nd and Juan Arango in the 77th minute to make it 4-2.

Hecking seemed to be saving his first team for the next match in the preseason tourney against Hertha Berlin on Sunday night – expect to see Cherundolo in his customary right back position. Also, given Bryan Arguez’ current situation at Hertha Berlin, it is doubtful if he will play against Hannover on Sunday.

Arguez in Hertha Coach’s Doghouse

July 29, 2008

Accroding to several Berlin news sources, young American defender Bryan Arguez is in Hertha Berlin coach Lucien Favre’s doghouse these days after missing two practices in the past few weeks. His most recent was last week when he skipped an afternoon practice to join 200,000 other Berliners (including many other expat Americans) to see Senator Barack Obama speak in front of the Siegesaule. He probably would have been excused missing that day had he not already started a trend of missing and being late for practice.

After looking like he would see several early season starts as a stand-in for Swiss international Steve Von Bergen, Arguez may be blowing a golden opportunity. Last week he was on the subs bench but did not play in a 0-0 draw with Liverpool before 51,000 home fans. A shaky performance in a previous match and skipping practices have drawn public questions on his level of committment (ouch). Favre has several options on Hertha’s starting back line when the Bundesliga season kicks off in three weeks. Whether Arguez will be one of them looks less likely than it did two weeks ago.

Adu to Monaco: Loan With An Option to Buy?

July 14, 2008

According to several French press reports, AS Monaco boss Jerome de Bontin is still working to bring Benfica’s Freddy Adu to his club. The arrangement reportedly being discussed is a loan with an option to buy since Monaco was not prepared to pay the €4 million Benfica was asking. Observers think the deal is close to done and could be announced within the near future.

Meanwhile up in Austria for pre-season training with his team, Hertha Berlin’s Bryan Arguez continues to see significant playing time with the first team due to injuries of veteran defenders. Saturday in Stegersbach against FC Copenhagen, Arguez continued to prove his value to the team in a 0-0 draw. Based on his performance, coach Lucien Favre voiced his satisfaction with Arguez (and four others), that “I’m very happy with these players.”

Hertha faces its first real challenge of the season on Thursday in the home leg of a UEFA Cup qualification match against Moldavian side FC Nistru Otaci. The road leg will be played on July 31st in Chisinau before the team heads off to a preseason tourney in Mallorca where they will face Newcastle United and Steve Cherundolo and Sal Zizzo’s Hannover 96. Barring injury or a drop in form, Arguez is expected to start each of these early matches in central defense.

Today, Danny Szetela and his Brescia teammates head up north to the Alto Adige region to start their training camp. There, coach Serse Cosmi will put the team through its paces before playing a series of pre-season matches. According to Brescia Oggi, Szetela stands a good chance to earn more playing time this season if he can continue to show improvement.

Arguez Shows Well in Pre-Season Matches

July 12, 2008

Hertha Berlin’s American midfielder, Bryan Arguez, has had a few growing pains in recent weeks but now looks to be on track. After passing out in a training session two weeks ago (reportedly due to jet lag), the Miami native acquitted himself well in two friendlies last week against Hoeppel Tel Aviv with the latest result being a 0-0 draw.

While the Berlin press continues to bemoan the lack of scoring punch in this year’s edition of Hertha, they seem satisfied with the back line, in particular Arguez who is filling in for injured Swiss international Steve Von Bergen. Brazilian defender Lucio also remains injured which means that Arguez, a natural defensive midfielder filling in on the back line, could see some starts with the first team during the early season.

Arguez’ arrival and role at Hertha Berlin displays a number of parallels with Hertha’s last American player, Tony Sanneh. Both were former players for DC United, both are tall (6’2″) and envisoned for use in set piece plays, and both are midfielders who at Hertha spent time filling in on the back line. The main difference is that Arguez is starting his Bundesliga career at a much younger age. He is only 18 while Sanneh was 27 when he joined the team.

Hertha is still looking for an attacking midfielder with Manager Dieter Hoeness and Scout Rudi Wojtowicz reportedly in Brasil this week looking for talent. Too bad they don’t take a look over at Heerenveen where American Michael Bradley would fit the bill quite well.

Arguez and his Hertha Berlin teammates play their next friendly tonight against FC Copenhagen near their training camp in Austria.