American goalkeeper David Yelldell will be starting in goal for Leverkusen on Saturday in the German Cup game against Dynamo Dresden. With this move, head coach Robin Dutt has declared Yelldell the official fill-in for injured #1 René Adler, who will be sidelined for the next 3-6 months as he recovers from knee surgery.
Dutt was quoted on the team's website, saying "Both Yelldell and Fabian Giefer had similar performances during pre-season," which is why Yelldell's experience last season - where he played in the Cup final with Duisburg - played a deciding role in the decision.
Just a week ago, it was announced that US national team member and Hannover 96 defender Steve Cherundolo would be retaining the captain's armband for the 2011-2012 season. His back-ups will be Karim Haggui and Christian Schulz.
Maybe even better news is that the 32-year-old has returned to training following a four-week absence due to injury. He has been on the sidelines since the Gold Cup Final when he tore a ligament in his ankle just 11 minutes into the game.
As the European season is fast approaching for the top leagues, many Americans saw notable action in final preseason games.
On Saturday night Oguchi Onyewu continued to show that he will be an important part of Sporting Lisbon's defense when he started in a 2-1 preseason victory over Juventus in Toronto. In the first half he picked up an assist when he headed down a corner kick for Yannick Djalo who hammered it home for the first goal.
The midfield duo of Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones has become the norm on the national team. But the two seemed to be unwanted cogs in their club teams, with various reports in the German media pointing towards a parting of ways.
Both started last season in Germany, took their talents to England (both, on loan) for the second half of the season and have now returned to their parent clubs when the purchase options weren't extended.
Last week US Soccer announced that the US national team would take part in three friendlies in coming months and it's likely that a lot of different players will be given looks with no major tournaments on the horizon.
The Gold Cup taught the US national team many lessons about the state of its team. Many of the key players are aging and the defense needs a lot of work.