Reading completed the signing of United States international Danny Williams on Tuesday and with many thanks to John Halloran, we ask a few questions about our new acquisition
Reading completed the signing of United States international Danny Williams on Tuesday and with many thanks to AmericanTouchline.com writer John Halloran (@JohnDHalloran), we ask a few questions about our new acquisition.
1) Williams is primarily known as a defensive midfielder, but seems to have some versatility, where else can he comfortably play?
He has played for the U.S. as a right midfielder as well, but was fairly ineffective when used there. He also played left and right back at Freiburg before he moved to Hoffenheim. His best games for the U.S. have come as a defensive midfielder.
2) What are his strengths that stand out?
He is usually a solid deep-lying midfield passer, switching the ball from side-to-side. His best game for the U.S. came last fall against Jamaica when he helped the U.S. switch the point of attack over and over again. His ability to hold also allows his center midfield partner to roam forward and contribute to the attack more often.
3) What are the notable weaknesses that he needs to improve on?
He needs to become more consistent. For the U.S., he became a regular starter last fall, but then lost his starting position after a number of so-so performances and injuries. Towards the end of last season, he also lost his starting position with Hoffenheim and did not start a single match for the team in April or May.
4) How has been playing on the international stage for the United States? Has he coped well?
He had a number of strong matches last fall, but then began to struggle, particularly in the U.S.’ matches against Russia and Honduras this past winter. He missed the U.S.’ March World Cup qualifiers due to illness and was dropped from the squad’s May/June camp due to fitness issues.
5) Are you surprised he dropped down to the second tier of English football? Do you feel he could have played in the Premier League?
He may have been able to play for a mid-to-lower level EPL team, but he was widely expected to leave Hoffenheim by the end of the last season due to his lack of playing time. Hoffenheim needed a series of near-miraculous victories to avoid relegation to Bundesliga 2 last spring, so no, it is not surprising he is moving down a league.