Tuesday September 13th, 2011

What could have been a landmark weekend in the seasons of three first-choice U.S. national team midfielders turned out to be nothing more than a wait-till-next-time occasion.

Jermaine Jones remained an afterthought at Schalke despite not being moved during the recent transfer window; Michael Bradley failed to see the field in his first game as a member of Chievo Verona in Italy; and Stuart Holden's anticipated comeback to Bolton's first team was put on hold for at least another week.

Jones' case is the most troubling of the bunch. According to reports out of Germany, Jones had stated his desire to remain at Schalke and be a part of the team moving forward, but it remains to be seen whether that feeling is reciprocated by his club after efforts to move him and his contract before the transfer deadline went unfulfilled.

He was nowhere to be found on the matchday lineup over the weekend against Wolfsburg and former Schalke manager/Jones nemesis Felix Magath, and he hasn't played a minute for Schalke since an Aug. 6 loss to Stuttgart. He was left off of U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann's roster for the friendlies against Costa Rica and Belgium in order to sort out his club situation, but that still looks like it is a work in progress. If things don't shape up in the next few weeks, he'll be in danger of missing out on the national team's October friendlies against Honduras and Ecuador, too.

Bradley's situation is hardly dire, especially considering his fresh move to Serie A. Despite his reputation for typically being in peak fitness, Bradley likely isn't yet match-fit for Chievo after being held in purgatory while with Borussia Monchengladbach for the opening weeks of the Bundesliga season. Once he gets more acclimated to the team and its system and finds his bearings, he should return to his accustomed regular playing role for both club and country.

For Holden, his first-team comeback on the club level really is just a matter of when. He played in his second Bolton reserve match this past week with Klinsmann in attendance, and he remains a favorite at Reebok Stadium after his standout showing last season. Although a place in Bolton's lineup was not in the cards for Saturday's Premier League match against Manchester United -- the same team Holden was playing when he suffered his injury in March -- he should have no problem reclaiming his place in the center of the park once Bolton's medical staff deems him ready.

"(Holden)'s had a lot of attention from all of the staff at Bolton, and he is without doubt in the best possible hands," Klinsmann said on Bolton's official website following Holden's 65-minute stint against Rochdale. "They're treating him wonderfully well and doing all they can to get him back on track, which is nice to see.

"He's getting closer and closer, but I'm not looking to get him in United States squad as soon as possible. He's certainly in my plans, but I'm sure I'm one of many who don't want to rush him back. We'll follow what Bolton want, because they know him best. I'll be in contact with Owen (Coyle, Bolton manager), and I'm sure we'll have plenty of dialogue over the coming months."

The weekend did provide an opportunity for one player trying to work his way back into the national-team picture, though, as centerback Oguchi Onyewu earned his first start with Sporting Lisbon and played the entire match in his first game action since an exhibition against Juventus in the World Football Challenge on July 23.

Despite being shut out on the scoresheet across the globe, here is how the Americans playing abroad fared over the past week (season statistics encompass all competitions):

Premier League

Clint Dempsey, M, Fulham -- Started, played 90 minutes in Fulham's 1-1 draw with Blackburn on Sunday. SEASON: 7 games, 7 starts, 3 goals

Brad Friedel, GK, Tottenham -- Started, played 90 minutes, made six saves and earned the clean sheet in Tottenham's 2-0 victory over Wolverhampton on Saturday. SEASON: 3 games, 3 starts, 21 saves, 8 goals allowed, 1 clean sheet

Brad Guzan, GK, Aston Villa -- In the 18, did not play in Villa's 2-2 draw with Everton on Saturday. SEASON: 1 game, 1 start, 3 saves, 0 goals allowed, 1 clean sheet

Stuart Holden, M, Bolton -- Not in the 18 for Bolton's 5-0 loss to Manchester United on Saturday. Holden has played in Bolton's last two reserve matches and is creeping closer to making his return to the first team after suffering a severe leg injury in March. SEASON: 0 games

Tim Howard, GK, Everton -- Started, played 90 minutes and made one save in Everton's 2-2 draw with Aston Villa on Saturday. SEASON: 3 games, 3 starts, 8 saves, 3 goals allowed, 1 clean sheet

Eric Lichaj, D, Aston Villa -- Not in the 18 for Villa's 2-2 draw with Everton on Saturday. Lichaj's hip injury that he suffered in August turned out to be more serious than originally thought, and he is expected to miss up to four months while he recovers. SEASON: 1 game, 1 start, 1 goal

Zak Whitbread, D, Norwich City -- Not in the 18 for Norwich City's 1-0 loss to West Brom on Sunday. SEASON: 3 games, 3 starts

League Championship

Conor Doyle, F, Derby County -- Not in the 18 for Derby's 2-0 loss to Coventry City on Saturday. SEASON: 0 games

Robbie Findley, F, Nottingham Forest -- Not in the 18 for Nottingham Forest's 3-2 loss to Southampton on Saturday. SEASON: 6 games, 4 starts, 3 goals

Jonathan Spector, M/D, Birmingham City -- Started, played 90 minutes in Birmingham's 3-0 victory over Millwall on Sunday. SEASON: 5 games, 5 starts

League One

Mike Grella, F, Brentford -- In the 18, did not play in Brentford's 1-0 victory over Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday. SEASON: 2 games

Frank Simek, D, Carlisle United -- Not in the 18 for Carlisle's 2-1 loss to Hartlepool United on Saturday. SEASON: 1 game, 1 start

Anton Peterlin, M, Walsall -- In the 18, did not play in Walsall's 2-1 loss to Notts County on Saturday. SEASON: 5 games, 3 starts

League Two

Jemal Johnson, F, Southend United -- Not in the 18 for Southend's 2-0 loss to Swindon Town on Saturday. SEASON: 6 games, 2 starts

Jon-Paul Pittman, F, Oxford United -- In the 18, came on as a 76th-minute substitute in Oxford's 2-2 draw with Burton Albion on Saturday. SEASON: 7 games, 1 start

Bundesliga

Timmy Chandler, D, FC Nurnberg -- Started, played 90 minutes in Nurnberg's 2-1 victory over FC Cologne on Sunday. SEASON: 6 games, 6 starts

Steve Cherundolo, D, Hannover 96 -- Started, played 90 minutes in Hannover's 3-0 loss to VfB Stuttgart on Saturday. SEASON: 6 games, 5 starts

Fabian Johnson, M/D, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim -- Started, played 73 minutes in Hoffenheim's 4-0 victory over FSV Mainz 05 on Saturday. SEASON: 6 games, 5 starts, 1 goal

Jermaine Jones, M, FC Schalke 04 -- Not in the 18 for Schalke's 2-1 loss to VfL Wolfsburg on Sunday. SEASON: 2 games, 1 start

Alfredo Morales, D, Hertha Berlin -- Not in the 18 for Hertha Berlin's 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund on Saturday. SEASON: 2 games

Daniel Williams, D, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim -- In the 18, came on as a 57th-minute substitute in Hoffenheim's 4-0 victory over FSV Mainz 05 on Saturday. SEASON: 2 games, 1 start (1 game, 1 start with SC Freiburg)

David Yelldell, GK, Bayer Leverkusen -- In the 18, did not play in Bayer Leverkusen's 4-1 victory over Augsburg on Friday. SEASON: 1 game, 1 start, 1 save, 4 goals allowed

2. Bundesliga

Edson Buddle, F, FC Ingolstadt 04 -- Started, and played 14 minutes before being taken off with an unspecified injury in Ingolstadt's 4-1 loss to FC Union Berlin on Sunday. SEASON: 8 games, 3 starts, 1 goal

Ricardo Clark, M, Eintracht Frankfurt -- In the 18, did not play in Frankfurt's 3-3 draw with Energie Cottbus on Saturday. SEASON: 1 game, 1 start

Luis Robles, GK, Karlsruhe -- In the 18, did not play in Karlsruhe's 4-2 loss to Fortuna Dusseldorf on Saturday. SEASON: 0 games

Matt Taylor, F, SC Paderborn 07 -- Started, played 67 minutes in Paderborn's 0-0 draw with Alemannia Aachen on Friday. SEASON: 6 games, 3 starts, 4 goals

Bobby Wood, F, 1860 Munich -- Not in the 18 for Munich's 4-2 loss to St. Pauli on Sunday. SEASON: 0 games

Serie A

Michael Bradley, M, Chievo Verona -- In the 18, did not play in Chievo Verona's 2-2 draw with Novara on Sunday. SEASON: 0 games

Ligue 1

Quentin Westberg, GK, Evian Thonon Gaillard -- Not in the 18 for Evian's 0-0 draw with Bordeaux on Saturday. SEASON: 3 games, 3 starts, 8 saves, 3 goals allowed, 1 clean sheet

Jozy Altidore, F, AZ Alkmaar -- Started, played the first half of AZ's 4-0 victory over Vitesse Arnhem on Saturday. SEASON: 7 games, 4 starts, 5 goals

Oguchi Onyewu, D, Sporting Lisbon -- Started, played 90 minutes in Sporting's 3-2 victory over Pacos de Ferreira on Saturday. SEASON: 1 game, 1 start

Sacha Kljestan, M, RSC Anderlecht -- Started, played 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card in Anderlecht's 2-0 victory over Kortijk on Sunday. SEASON: 7 games, 7 starts, 1 goal

Alejandro Bedoya, M, Rangers FC -- Not in the 18 for Rangers' 1-0 victory over Dundee United on Saturday. SEASON: 17 games, 15 starts, 4 goals (16 games, 15 starts, 4 goals with Orebro SK)

Carlos Bocanegra, D, Rangers FC -- Started, played 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card in Rangers' 1-0 victory over Dundee United on Saturday. SEASON: 5 games, 5 starts, 1 goal (1 game, 1 start with St. Etienne)

Dominic Cervi, GK, Celtic FC -- Not in the 18 for Celtic's 4-0 victory over Motherwell on Saturday. SEASON: 0 games

Maurice Edu, M, Rangers FC -- Started, played 75 minutes in Rangers' 1-0 victory over Dundee United on Saturday. SEASON: 9 games, 9 starts, 1 goal

DaMarcus Beasley, M, Puebla -- Started, played 90 minutes in Puebla's 3-3 draw with Monterrey on Sunday. SEASON: 8 games, 8 starts, 1 goal

Jonathan Bornstein, D, Tigres UANL -- Not in the 18 for Tigres' 5-0 victory over Pachuca on Saturday. SEASON: 0 games

Edgar Castillo, D, Club America -- Started, played 90 minutes in America's 1-0 loss to Atlante on Sunday. SEASON: 6 games, 4 starts

Joe Corona, F, Tijuana -- In the 18, did not play in Tijuana's 1-1 draw with Toluca on Sunday. SEASON: 6 games, 6 starts, 2 goals

Michael Orozco Fiscal, D, San Luis -- Started, played 90 minutes in San Luis' 1-1 draw with Atlas on Saturday. SEASON: 5 games, 4 starts

Herculez Gomez, F, Estudiantes Tecos -- In the 18, came on as a 69th-minute substitute in Tecos' 2-0 loss to Jaguares on Friday. SEASON: 8 games, 4 starts, 2 goals

Sonny Guadarrama, M, Atlante -- Not in the 18 for Atlante's 1-0 victory over Club America on Sunday. SEASON: 1 game

Adrian Ruelas, F, Jaguares -- Not in the 18 for Jaguares' 2-0 victory over Estudiantes Tecos on Friday. SEASON: 0 games

Jose Francisco Torres, M, Pachuca -- Started, played 90 minutes in Pachuca's 5-0 loss to Tigres UANL on Saturday. SEASON: 7 games, 6 starts

Allsvenskanliga

Ryan Miller, D, Halmstads BK -- In the 18, came on as a 69th-minute substitute in Halmstads' 2-2 draw with Gefle on Monday. SEASON: 14 games, 9 starts

Samuel Petrone, F, Mjallby -- Not in the 18 for Mjallby's 0-0 draw with IFK Norrkoping on Saturday. SEASON: 4 games

Clarence Goodson, D, Brondby IF -- Started, played 90 minutes in Brondby's 5-0 victory over HB Koge on Sunday. SEASON: 9 games, 9 starts

Conor O'Brien, M, Sonderjyske -- Started, played 77 minutes in Sonderjyske's 3-1 loss to Horsens on Sunday. SEASON: 5 games, 4 starts, 1 goal

Michael Parkhurst, D, FC Nordsjaelland -- Started, played 90 minutes in Nordsjaelland's 2-1 victory over Aalborg BK on Sunday. SEASON: 10 games, 10 starts

Chris Rolfe, F, Aalborg BK -- Started, played 73 minutes in Aalborg's 2-1 loss to FC Nordsjaelland on Sunday. SEASON: 9 games, 8 starts, 2 goals

Brad Rusin, D, HB Koge -- Not in the 18 for Koge's 5-0 loss to Brondby on Sunday. SEASON: 6 games, 6 starts, 2 goals

Sean Cunningham, D, Molde FK -- Not in the 18 for Molde's 2-2 draw with Brann on Sunday. SEASON: 2 games, 2 starts

Mikkel Diskerud, M, Stabaek -- Started, played 90 minutes in Stabaek's 4-2 loss to Tromso on Friday. SEASON: 24 games, 24 starts, 3 goals

Josh Gatt, M, Molde FK -- In the 18, came on as a 66th-minute substitute in Molde's 2-2 draw with Brann on Sunday. SEASON: 23 games, 15 starts, 5 goals

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