USMNT Watch: Green, Williams Open Preseason with Friendly Goals

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 17, 2016

Bayern Munich 's Julian Green vies during a friendly match between Bundesliga clubs SV Lippstadt and Bayern Munich in Lippstadt, western Germany on July 16, 2016. / AFP / PATRIK STOLLARZ        (Photo credit should read PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

It may seem hard to believe, but the 2016-17 European soccer seasons are just around the corner.

With just around a month remaining in the offseason, most of the clubs in Europe have started their season preparations by playing in friendly matches. 

Two Americans who are trying to fight their way back into the United States men's national team scored for their respective clubs in Europe this weekend. 

Over in North America, Liga MX restarted while Major League Soccer continued its regular season. Plenty of USMNT-eligible players featured in Mexico, the United States and Canada in the last week.

We'll have news on all the USMNT players at home and abroad below in our latest USMNT Watch. 


Julian Green, Danny Williams Score in Preseason Friendlies 

Julian Green, who gained notoriety for earning a spot on the 2014 USMNT World Cup roster, appeared in Carlo Ancelotti's first starting XI of the preseason on Saturday. 

Green, now 21, netted a strike and forced an own goal in Bayern Munich's 4-3 win over fifth-division side Lippstadt. 

FC Bayern English @FCBayernEN

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAL (hopefully the first of many this season!) - @J_Green37 taps home to give #FCBayern the lead https://t.co/IxKiSzs7tL

Green may not suddenly find himself on Jurgen Klinsmann's next roster, but Saturday's appearance is a good sign for the player's future. If he can earn consistent playing time either at Bayern or on loan somewhere else in Germany, the forward will work his way back onto the USMNT radar. 

Over in the Netherlands on Friday, USMNT and Reading midfielder Danny Williams notched a tally in the Royals' preseason opener against Al-Taawoun from Saudi Arabia. 

Reading FC @ReadingFC

WATCH: Danny Williams stoops to head in Joseph Mendes' cross to make it 2-0 to Reading. https://t.co/9QrAGGi4hJ

Williams is one of a few defensive midfielders just below the first-team regulars on the USMNT depth chart. The biggest issue facing the Reading man is the abundance of youngsters at the position. If Klinsmann opts to use more youth in the buildup to the 2018 World Cup, Williams could be on the outside looking in. 

Eric Lichaj, who is already on the outside looking in at full-back, played 63 minutes for Nottingham Forest in their preseason win over Braga. 


Greg Garza Makes Return in Liga MX Opener

After 11 months on the sideline dealing with a hip injury, Greg Garza returned to the pitch in Club Tijuana's Apertura opener on Friday night against Morelia. 

The 24-year-old left-back played 68 minutes in his first match of the season for Xolos while fellow Americans Michael Orozco and Paul Arriola did not feature. 

SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 15:  Greg Garza #14 of the United States outruns Gerardo Flores #15 of Mexico for the ball during an international friendly match at the Alamodome on April 15, 2015 in San Antonio, Texas.  (Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images)
Chris Covatta/Getty Images

If Garza puts together a string of consistent performances south of the border, he could find himself in a USMNT uniform sooner rather than later given his age, past showings for the Yanks and the lack of depth at the position. 

Omar Gonzalez, who has to fight for a starting gig once again with the Yanks, started and played 90 minutes for Club Pachuca in their 5-1 win over Club Leon. William Yarbrough was in net for the 10-man losing side. 

Ismael Sosa (L) of Pumas vies for the ball with Emmanuel Garcia (C) and Omar Gonzalez (R) of Pachuca during a Mexican Clausura football tournament match at the Olimpico Universitario stadium in Mexico City on February 7, 2016.   AFP PHOTO / ALFREDO ESTREL

Jonathan Bornstein went the distance for Queretaro in their 2-0 victory over Veracruz, while Edgar Castillo played 61 minutes in Monterrey's 1-1 draw with Puebla. 


Wondolowski, Amarikwa Help 9-Man San Jose Earn Victory

Chris Wondolowski and Quincy Amarkiwa were a part of a wild match at Avaya Stadium on Saturday night as the San Jose Earthquakes somehow pulled out a 2-1 victory despite playing with nine men. 

Jul 1, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski (8) reacts after the game at Toyota Park. The Chicago Fire defeat the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0.  Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Amarikwa provided the Earthquakes with the opener in the 30th minute. USMNT U23 midfielder Fatai Alashe handed out the assist on Amarikwa's tally.

Wondolowski played 87 minutes in San Jose's gutsy performance at home against Toronto FC.

Gyasi Zardes featured for 90 minutes in the LA Galaxy's 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo on Friday. Ricardo Clark started for the Dynamo at the StubHub Center. 

Benny Feilhaber, Steve Birnbaum, Wil Trapp, Matt Hedges, Tim Parker, Kyle Beckerman and Lee Nguyen all played in their respective matches on Saturday. 


Joe Tansey covers U.S. Soccer for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter, @JTansey90


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