Friday, October 9, 2015

2012 Olympic Qualifying - Where Are They Now?

As the U.S. U-23s get set to take on Honduras tomorrow with a spot in the 2016 Olympics on the line, I thought it would be fun to look back at the ill-fated U.S. squad from 2012 and see where they are now:

Bill Hamid - Now in his sixth MLS season, Hamid continues to man the pipes in DC with 138 regular season starts under his belt to go along with 37 shutouts. After a dismal 2013 that saw him post a record of 2-17-6 in 25 starts, Hamid bounced back to win the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Award in 2014. Now 24, Hamid has 2 CAPs for the USMNT.

Ike Opara - Opara, now 26, started off 2015 with a bang scoring twice in his first six matches, but just like in 2014, his season came to an abrupt end with an injury. In 2014 it was his ankle, in 2015 it was a ruptured achilles tendon. As such, Opara has been limited to just 62 games in 6 MLS seasons, scoring 8 times.

Kofi Sarkodie - Sarkodie is in his fifth season with the Houston Dynamo and needs just 2 appearances to make it 100 in his MLS career. The 24 year-old former Akron Zip has 10 career MLS assists.

Perry Kitchen - The 23 year-old Kitchen is currently in his fifth season with DC United, and barring any surprises will likely make it five straight seasons with at least 30 starts. Kitchen has 10 goals and 10 assists in 156 appearances for the black and red, and made his USMNT debut this year with a pair of appearances.

Zarek Valentin - The fourth overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, Valentin left MLS after the 2012 season, and currently the 24 year-old defender plays for Bodø/Glimt in Norway.

Jared Jeffrey - Jeffrey joined DC United in 2013 after playing professionally in Europe to start his career. Jeffrey has made just 22 regular season appearances in three seasons with United notching two goals.

Freddy Adu - The 26 year-old Adu has been with 13 clubs since beginning his professional career in 2004 with DC United, most recently landing in the NASL with the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Adu last appeared for the USMNT in 2011 and has scored a pair of goals in 17 appearances.

Mix Diskerud - 2015 has been tough for the 25 year-old Diskerud as his new club New York City FC will likely miss the postseason and he's seen his USMNT playing time slowly diminish. That said, Diskerud does have six goals for the U.S. in 35 appearances including the equalizer in the U.S.'s stunning win over Germany back in June. In MLS, Diskerud has three goals and an assist in 26 appearances.

Juan Agudelo - It seems like Agudelo has been around forever, but he's still just 22 years old. Now with the New England Revolution after struggling to get a work permit in England, Agudelo is in the midst of his best MLS season tallying 7 goals and 3 assists in 31 appearances (19 starts). In his career, Agudelo has 25 goals and 10 assists in 104 appearances, and he's logged 20 CAPs with the U.S. scoring three goals including an April strike against rival Mexico in San Antonio.

Joe Corona - Corona, now 25, has spent his entire professional career in Mexico, predominatly with Club Tijuana, but is currently on loan to Veracruz. Corona scored twice in the 2013 Gold Cup, once each against Cuba and El Salvador, and has been CAP'd 17 times for the USMNT.

Brek Shea - After a disappointing stint in England, the 26 year-old Shea is back in MLS with Orlando City SC and while he missed a good chunk of the season with an injury, his return has sparked Orlando's recent 4-game winning streak. Shea has four assists on the year, three coming in the last month, and 19 goals and 18 assists in his MLS career. Shea has also enjoyed success with the USMNT scoring 4 goals in 33 appearances, including goals against both Chile and Switzerland this year, and the winning goal in the 2013 Gold Cup Final against Panama.

Teal Bunbury - Now 26, Bunbury's carved out a nice niche for himself in New England over the past two seasons after starting his MLS career with Kansas City. He has 27 career MLS goals to go along with 18 assists in 149 appearances and has 4 CAPs for the USMNT scoring a penalty kick against Chile.

Jorge Villafaña - The 26 year-old defender has found a home in Portland after 7 seasons with now defunct Chivas USA. He has 135 career MLS appearances, including 30 starts for the Timbers this year, and has scored 8 goals to go along with 11 career assists.

Joseph Gyau - Gyau suffered a knee injury playing for the U.S. last October, shortly after making his first team debut with Borussia Dortmund in Germany, and has struggled to return to the field since. The 23 year-old has two CAPs for the U.S.

Terrence Boyd - Boyd suffered a torn ACL in December while playing in Germany for RB Leipzig. He made the 30-man preliminary roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but wasn't selected for the final squad. Now, 24, he has amassed 12 CAPs for the U.S., but has not scored. His last USMNT call-up came back in 2013.

Amobi Okugo - The sixth overall pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, Okugo has been traded twice in the last year, first to Orlando City SC, and then this July to Sporting Kansas City. Okugo has appeared in 134 career MLS matches notching 5 goals and 7 assists.

Tony Taylor - Taylor suffered a season ending injury on April 19th, just has second match of the year, when he ruptured his ACL against the Portland Timbers. The 10th overall pick in this year's expansion draft by New York City FC, the 26 year old Taylor has appeared in just three MLS matches since returning from Europe last August.

Sean Johnson - Currently in his sixth year as the Chicago Fire's starting keeper, the 25 year-old Johnson has 31 shutouts in 154 career MLS starts. While stuck behind Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando, and others Johnson has appeared in five matches for the USMNT.

Sheanon Williams - The 25 year-old Williams joined the Houston Dynamo in July after spending his first five MLS seasons with the Philadelphia Union. In 153 career MLS appearances, Williams has 7 goals and 21 assists.

Michael Stephens - Stephens, now 26, joined the Fire last December after playing in Norway for Stabæk. He's made 113 appearances in his MLS career scoring 2 goals and notching 16 assists.

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