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USMNT Watch: Freddy Adu Makes 1st Start in Finland

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 19, 2015

Freddy Adu of the USA plays the ball during a Group B Men's soccer match between Japan and the USA at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Tianjin, China, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2008. The other teams in Group B are Nigeria and The Netherlands. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Michael Sohn/Associated Press

In a week when the latest fresh face made an exciting debut for the United States men's national team, one of its biggest busts made his first start for a club most people had previously never heard of. 

Freddy Adu, who made 17 appearances for the Yanks in his prime, signed for Finnish club Kuopion Palloseura at the end of March and earned a starting gig on Sunday.

Elsewhere in Europe, a pair of USMNT players experienced mixed fortunes in the FA Cup. On home soil in Major League Soccer, one of the in-form defenders continued his hot streak. 

We'll have all of that and much more in this week's edition of the USMNT Watch.

Adu Starts for 1st Time in Finland

The eyes of the American soccer world briefly turned to Kotka, Finland on Sunday, as Adu made his first start for Kuopion Palloseura in the Veikkausliiga.

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The former D.C. United and Philadelphia Union man played the first 66 minutes of KuPS's 1-0 road win over Kotkan Tyovaen Palloilijat.

Adu's appearance for the Finnish side was his first since inking a deal with the club on March 28. There is no telling if he will ever jump back into the USMNT discussion, but it is worth noting just how far Adu's stock has fallen since he was the most hyped youth player in American history.

Mixed Fortunes in FA Cup for USMNT Duo

Danny Williams and Brad Guzan did not share the same emotions following their respective matches at Wembley Stadium this weekend.

Williams and Reading fell to Arsenal on a brutal goalkeeping error by Adam Federici in extra time, while Guzan watched from the bench as Aston Villa defeated Liverpool on Sunday.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

If the current trend continues, Guzan will not earn a start in between the pipes for the final against Arsenal on May 30; Shay Given has been the first-choice goalkeeper for the Villans throughout their FA Cup run.

In league action in England, Tim Howard and Geoff Cameron both went the distance in victories on Saturday. Everton beat Burnley 1-0 at home, while Stoke City earned a 2-1 victory over Southampton at the Britannia Stadium.

DeAndre Yedlin made the Tottenham Hotspur bench for Sunday's trip to face Newcastle United at St. James' Park. 

Tim Ream and Eric Lichaj both played 90 minutes for their respective sides in the Championship. Ream and Bolton Wanderers sit in 17th place in the table, while Lichaj's Nottingham Forest are 11th. 

Gonzalez Scores Game-Winning Goal for Galaxy

Omar Gonzalez extended his strong run of form into Saturday night, scoring with an unlikely part of his body in the waning moments of the LA Galaxy's 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City

Gonzalez's right shin made contact with Juninho's corner before the ball bounced off a defender and into the back of the net in second-half stoppage time. 

April 18, 2015; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez (4) celebrates his goal scored with teammates against Sporting KC during the second half at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The LA center-back and Gyasi Zardes both entered the match as substitutes after playing for the Yanks in the win over Mexico on Wednesday. Benny Feilhaber recorded his league-high fifth assist in defeat for Sporting KC.

Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Matt Hedges endured a three-hour rain delay at Toyota Stadium before they could finish their match on Saturday night. All three players went the full 90 in FC Dallas' 3-2 win over Toronto FC

Brek Shea, Michael Parkhurst, Brad Evans and Clint Dempsey also earned starts across MLS on Saturday.

Johnson, Borussia Monchengladbach Lose Ground in Race for Champions League

In the opening match of the Bundesliga weekend, Fabian Johnson and Borussia Monchengladbach dropped points on the road against Timothy Chandler and Eintracht Frankfurt

Johnson played the entire match, while Chandler came on in the 65th minute of the 0-0 draw. It is likely the two will be competing for playing time at one of the full-back positions at the Gold Cup. 

Michael Probst/Associated Press

The draw, combined with a Bayer Leverkusen win, dropped Borussia Monchengladbach down to fourth in the Bundesliga table on goal differential.

John Brooks also participated in a 0-0 draw this weekend, as Hertha Berlin tied with Cologne on Saturday.

Down in the 2.Bundesliga, Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt moved one step closer to promotion with a 3-2 win over Fortuna Dusseldorf

Andrew Wooten and Sandhausen leaped up to eighth following their 0-0 draw with Karlsruher on Friday. 

Quiet Weekend for USMNT Contingent in Mexico

Greg Garza and Joe Corona highlighted a light weekend in Liga MX for USMNT players, as they both started in Club Tijuana's 1-1 draw with Chivas de Guadalajara. 

Apr 15, 2015; San Antonio, TX, USA; United States defender Greg Garza (14)  against Mexico in an international friendly at Alamodome. The United States defeated Mexico 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Orozco and Herculez Gomez both featured in Puebla's 1-0 defeat to Atlas. Edgar Castillo did not play for Atlas.

Ventura Alvarado, who delivered a strong performance at center-back against Mexico, remained on the bench during Club America's 4-0 loss to Queretaro.

After his 45-minute shift in the second half for the USMNT on Wednesday night, William Yarbrough started in net for Leon in the 1-1 draw against Toluca. 

News and Notes

Aron Johannsson recorded an assist on Nemanja Gudelj's 65th-minute goal for AZ Alkmaar in their 3-1 over ADO Den Haag on Saturday. 

Patrick Post/Associated Press

Rubio Rubin earned a start up top for Utrecht for their Sunday afternoon victory with Twente. 

Borussia Dortmund trio Joe Gyau, Junior Flores and Christian Pulisic will have a new first-team boss next season. Thomas Tuchel will take over from the departing Jurgen Klopp.

U20 boss Tab Ramos called up a group of 20 players for a training camp in Austria ahead of friendlies with Qatar and Croatia.

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

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