Featured Matches
Previous
Valencia
Malaga
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Augsburg
Borussia Dortmund
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Marseille
Nice
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sporting Kansas City
Houston Dynamo
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Getafe
Almeria
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Getafe
Almeria
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Valencia
Malaga
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Augsburg
Borussia Dortmund
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Marseille
Nice
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Perugia
Bologna
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Union Berlin
Nurnberg
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
FSV Frankfurt
RB Leipzig
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
VfR Aalen
Kaiserslautern
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
AJ Auxerre
Valenciennes
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Ajaccio GFCO
Troyes
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Chateauroux
Orléans
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Le Havre AC
Créteil
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Nimes
Arles
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Niort
Clermont Foot
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sochaux
Dijon FCO
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Stade Laval
AC Ajaccio
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Go Ahead Eagles
Willem II Tilburg
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Achilles '29
Fortuna Sittard
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Den Bosch
Jong Ajax
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Helmond Sport
NEC Nijmegen
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Jong PSV
FC Eindhoven
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
RKC Waalwijk
Jong FC Twente
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
SC Stormvogels Telstar
Almere City
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sparta Rotterdam
FC Volendam
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
VVV Venlo
FC Emmen VV
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Academica de Coimbra
Vitoria Setubal
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Ural Sverdlovsk Oblast
Terek Grozny
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Balikesirspor
Akhisar Belediye
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Caykur Rizespor
Genclerbirligi
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
KAA Gent
KV Kortrijk
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Helsingborg
Halmstad
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Orebro SK
Brommapojkarna
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Athlone Town FC
Cork
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bray
UCD
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Derry City
St Patricks
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Dundalk
Bohemians
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Limerick FC
Drogheda Utd
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Shamrock
Sligo
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Glenavon
Ballymena
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Coleraine
Portadown
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sporting Kansas City
Houston Dynamo
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Queretaro
Monterrey
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Tijuana
U. de G.
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Aberystwyth
Bangor City
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Carmarthen
Port Talbot
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Newi Cefn Druids
Connah's Quay
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Airbus UK
Newtown
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
T.N.S.
Rhyl
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Independiente Rivadavia
Atlético Tucumán
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Unión de Santa Fe
Crucero del Norte
7:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Huracán
Patronato
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Instituto de Córdoba
Ferro Carril Oeste
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Temperley
Sp. Belgrano
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy
San Martín de San Juan
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlante
At. San Luis
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Coras Tepic
Lobos BUAP
1:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Joinville
Oeste
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sampaio Correa-MA
América Mineiro
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Santa Cruz FC
Goianiense
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Arica
Palestino
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
12 de Octubre
Nacional
Postp
Game Details
Bidvest Wits
Moroka Swallows
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Chippa United
Ajax Cape Town
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Next

Season preview: Will Juve win it again?

Serie A about an hour ago
Read

Marcotti: Platini's missed opportunity

FIFA 21 hours ago
Read
Sep 5, 2008

Johnson continues to receive benefit of the doubt

As American soccer fans mull over the recent failure by MLS teams in the CONCACAF Champions League, their attention now shifts to an even bigger shock: Despite a pedestrian run of form over the past 18 months at the international level, Eddie Johnson keeps getting called up to the U.S. national team. It has left me to wonder just what U.S. coach Bob Bradley sees in Johnson. And on Thursday, as the Americans prepared for World Cup qualifying matches against Cuba as well as Trinidad and Tobago, Bradley opened a window into his thinking when it comes to his talented but misfiring forward. Johnson, you will recall, burst onto the international stage back in 2004, bagging five goals in three World Cup qualifiers. Such a start invited inevitable waves of euphoria among the U.S. fan base, along with the label of "America's Latest Striking Phenom." Injuries and some clashes with his club coaches sidetracked his career at one point, but Johnson is now almost two years removed from such trials, and fans have been left hoping he'll recapture his initial form. It hasn't happened. Johnson's recent performances at the international level have teased observers, as the unique combination of power and pace often does. But like most tantalizing attributes, if they're not complemented by at least a smidgen of guile, interest quickly morphs into exasperation. Johnson's game has remained largely unrefined, with the Cardiff City forward relying almost exclusively on his undeniable physical gifts.

U.S. men's schedule
U.S. vs. Cuba
Saturday
Havana, Cuba
8 p.m. ET, ESPN Classic
ESPN360.com

U.S. vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Wednesday
Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Ill.
8 p.m. ET, ESPN2
ESPN360.com

In fact, Johnson's play has revealed a predictable line of thinking. When he gets the ball he either makes a safe pass back into midfield or he takes his man on. The thought of trying any kind of combination play rarely enters his head. This has led to calls that one of a trio of young attackers -- Jozy Altidore, Freddy Adu or Kenny Cooper -- should be called in instead. During Thursday's media conference call, Bradley refused to be drawn into a discussion of why players like Altidore and Adu hadn't been selected. Yet when Johnson's name was brought up, Bradley made it clear he remains a firm supporter of the former Kansas City striker. "Eddie showed what I felt was good progress in the month that we were together," said Bradley. "That includes the England game, Spain, Argentina, and both games against Barbados." While Bradley's response could draw accusations that someone spiked his Gatorade, it's true that Johnson's performances during the spate of friendlies last spring did improve, in that he took up better positions and began playing at a quicker tempo. But the final match against Argentina also revealed his lack of confidence, as a clear look at goal in the second half of that match was squandered when he opted to pass instead of shoot. It leaves open the question of whether Johnson is simply the beneficiary of low expectations. While that may be true, what's also evident is that Bradley, like so many coaches before him, is enamored with Johnson's athletic attributes. "[Johnson's] progress ... in terms of his overall game, together with the fact that he physically gives us something different -- those are factors in terms of his selection, and those are things that we consider as we put our lineups together in these next two games," Bradley said. One suspects that the U.S. coach's faith in Johnson does have its limits, and for that reason much is riding on how Johnson's recent loan move from EPL side Fulham to Cardiff City pans out. With the offseason acquisitions by Fulham of Bobby Zamora and Andrew Johnson, the American was clearly looking at a lengthy spell on the bench. Now that looks to have been avoided, and the move is one that Bradley was clearly pleased to see come about. "I think [Johnson's] loan to Cardiff comes at a great time," Bradley said. "I keep saying this, but it's important that our players are playing, and I think the opportunity for him there will be a good one." One can only hope that Johnson's game will undergo the requisite growth needed to find sustained success at the international level. And if it does, that will be one surprise U.S. fans will be only too happy to ponder. Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPNsoccernet. He also writes for Center Line soccer and can be reached at eljefe1@yahoo.com.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.