Granted a work permit, Cameron finalizes to EPL's Stoke City.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Thursday, August 9, 2012) -- With the European transfer window remaining open until August 31, there were a number of developments concerning Americans.
With the issuance of a United Kingdom work permit, American defender Geoff Cameron completed his move from Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo to Stoke City in England's Premier League.
The permit was approved after an appeal hearing in Manchester. The appeal was necessary because Cameron did not have enough appearances with the United States men to automatically qualify.
"We wouldn't have come this far and worked as hard on getting the transfer done if we didn't think that we had a good chance of getting a work permit," Stoke City chief executive Tony Scholes said after the hearing. "It's been a difficult period between agreeing the transfer deal and the hearing, most difficult for Geoff, in particular, because his life has been on hold. Now Geoff can focus on the start to his career at the Britannia Stadium."
The saga of the three Americans who played last season for Glasgow Rangers in Scotland's Premier League is still unfolding. The trio -- defender Carlos Bocanegra, and midfielders Maurice Edu and Alejandro Bedoya -- are still not signed with new clubs and actually have been training with the "new" The Rangers FC, as the formerly bankrupt club is now officially known in in the fourth division.
Now, however, only Bocanegra is welcome to train with the new team. Rangers manager Ally McCoist did not list either Edu or Bedoya on the club roster for a midweek League Cup match against East Fife, won easily by Rangers 4-0. McCoist said it was clear that the Edu and Bedoya are leaving the club and he does not have the time to play anyone who does not want to stay.
"Edu and Bedoya are not in the squad due to the fact that they want to leave," McCoist said.
Bocanegra started, went 90 minutes and wore the captain's armband, but it is far from clear that he intends to stay with Rangers for their upcoming season.
Media reports have had Bedoya leaving for Swedish club Helsingborgs, but his agent says that is not true and that he hopes to have a signed contract with an unnamed club shortly. Edu has also been rumored heading for Turkey, while Bocanegra has reportedly been talking with French clubs.
There has been a rather strange happening involving U.S. midfielder Clint Dempsey and Fulham in England. Dempsey was left off of Fulham's training roster for a preseason camp in Switzerland after, according to media reports, manager Martin Jol decided it was best that Dempsey stay in London and continue training with the club's youth team.
Fulham maintains Dempsey did not ask to stay behind, but Jol believes he must work to regain his fitness.
American striker Chad Barrett has been loaned by the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS to Vålereng of Norway.
Barrett is reportedly being moved to open a roster spot for the Galaxy. Barrett made 18 appearances for the team this season, recording one goal and three assists.
Barrett made his Norwegian debut in Vålerenga's 4-2 loss to Haugesund on Friday. He started and played 56 minutes before being replaced.
U.S. under-20 defender Will Packwood won promotion to Birmingham City's first team for the upcoming season in England's second-tier League Championship.
Packwood, 19, played last season for City's reserve team both as a central defender and midfielder. He is now in the second year of a two-year contract.
American goalkeeper Luis Robles, who has spent the last five seasons in the German second division, has signed an MLS contract and now must go through the league's allocation process.
Robles, 28, was ready to sign with the New York Red Bulls in January, but pulled back when MLS said he would have to be allocated. Now he is ready to go to whichever MLS team claims him after it became clear he was no longer wanted by Karlsruher SC in Germany.
He was originally drafted in 2007 by D.C United of MLS, but instead moved to Germany and played three years with 1. FC Kaiserslautern before moving to Karlsruhe two seasons ago.
American striker Jacob Wilson signed CD Feirense of Portugal's second division.
Wilson was first a forward and then a defender during his career at University of California (2005-09).
"Jacob has certainly paid his dues playing in the lower divisions of Germany these past few years," California coach Kevin Grimes said. "He's also had some setbacks with injuries. To make it through all that and get himself signed with a great team in Portugal is quite an achievement."
Two other Cal alumni are playing in Europe. Midfielder Anthony Avalos plays with Norway's SK Vard Haugesund, while defender Leo Krupnik, is with Maccabi Netan of Israel.
Three Americans were involved in European Champions League and Europa League qualifying rounds.
Midfielder Sacha Kljestan played the final 28 minutes for Belgium's RSC Anderlecht in a 5-0 victory over visiting Ekranas of Lithuania in the first leg of their first round Champions League qualifying series.
Steve Cherundolo was in his usual place for Hannover 96 of the German Bundesliga's back-line, going the distance in an easy 3-0 whitewash of visiting St. Patricks of Ireland 3-0 the first leg of their qualifying series.
German-American forward Terrence Boyd and Rapid Vienna did not have a good week. First, with Boyd playing 90 minutes, the team lost its first leg match to host FK Vojvodina Novi Sad of Serbia 2-1 on a stoppage-time goal last Thursday.
On Sunday, in an important league match, Rapid was soundly beaten by arch-rival Austria Vienna 3-0 with Boyd again going the distance.
American striker Charlie Davies is beginning to see more action for his new Danish club Randers FC. He entered at halftime and played the second 45 minutes in a 2-1 loss to FC Midtjylland.
In Mexico, American forward Herculez Gomez scored his second goal iof the first three games of the Apertura season for Santos Laguna in a 2-2 draw with Puebla.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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