*Diego Restrepo, an American goalkeeper with Venezuelan and Colombian roots, started for America de Cali in its Colombian league opener Wednesday night, a 1-1 draw at Pereira. Restrepo, 23, who played college soccer at South Florida and Virginia, was in the mix at the U.S. under-17 and under-20 levels, and is making a case for a senior call-up.
Among Americans overseas, Tim Howard (Everton) is the undisputed No. 1 goalkeeper while Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Dominic Cervi (Celtic), David Yelldell (Bayer Leverkusen), Quentin Westberg (Evian) and Luis Robles (Karlsruhe) are currently on the bench. Jurgen Klinsmann has summoned D.C. United’s Bill Hamid, 20, the top under-23 candidate for Olympic qualifying next spring, to back up Howard at the past two camps. Westberg might play in a French Cup match at Lens today.
The U.S. staff will have plenty of opportunities to watch Restrepo, assuming he maintains the starting job: GolTV shows Colombian matches each week. America’s match last night was carried live, and this Saturday’s game against Nacional will also be shown.
Here’s my 2009 feature about Restrepo and his family.
For more U.S. news & notes.....
*The U.S. squad continues preparations for Friday night’s friendly against Costa Rica in Carson, Calif. (11 p.m. ET, ESPN2, Galavision, ESPN3.com). To recap the roster situation for this match as well as Tuesday’s visit to Belgium, Zach Loyd and Heath Pearce were dropped because of hamstring injuries; Chris Pontius and Jonathan Spector were added; Fabian Johnson is training with the team but ineligible to play while he awaits FIFA clearance to switch allegiances to the USA from Germany; Landon Donovan will play in the first match only; Kyle Beckerman, Clint Dempsey and Steve Cherundolo are available for the second game only.
*Pontius, enjoying his finest MLS season with D.C. United, is seeking his first cap Friday — just like his former United teammate and roommate Rodney Wallace, who was called up by the Ticos for the first time. If they’re on the field together, they’d likely be on opposite flanks: Pontius is a left wing, Wallace a left back.
*USA vs. Ecuador on Oct. 11 in Hartford? The Americans are also planning to play a home friendly Oct. 8. No details have been revealed.
*Fox Sports is planning to pair English Premier League coverage with NFL games, including Manchester United vs. Chelsea on Super Bowl Sunday.