Americans Abroad, 2020-21: The Kids Are Alright

Jimy Hendrix

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 15, 2002
3,534
Dest has officially moved to Barcelona. He'll get a real chance to win the starting RB position too.

If you were to lay odds a year ago on "Sergino Dest to be starting for Barcelona within a year" what would they have been? Two billion to one?
I mean, if you asked me "how many members of our 2019 U20 World Cup team will be in or around the Barcelona first team squad in 2020?" and gave me the number 1, I'd have taken the under.

It is currently 2.
 

SocrManiac

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 15, 2006
3,593
Somers, CT
We're living in a world where we have Americans playing and contributing to top squads in Europe: Chelsea, Juventus, (hopefully) Barcelona, Dortmund, etc. And it feels like it happened virtually overnight (the past year). Awesome.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
2,655
I mean, if you asked me "how many members of our 2019 U20 World Cup team will be in or around the Barcelona first team squad in 2020?" and gave me the number 1, I'd have taken the under.

It is currently 2.
Or the odds that there'd be 2 USMNT players at Barca?!?!?!?!!
 
Last edited:

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,323
Matt Turner, however, has suddenly come up with a posse.

View: https://twitter.com/Altiscore/status/1311453956409786369
To assert that Matt Turner has been better in MLS than Zack Steffen was when he was in MLS is debatable, but not a wild hot take IMO. If you put stock in analytics like GK performance compared to xG against, Turner's numbers are off the charts. He'd already have more hype if he weren't playing for a team with a small fanbase and that's never on featured on the national TV broadcasts.

For me, Steffen is the undisputed starter for the USMNT right now. I expect Turner will get some looks and we'll see how it goes. Turner's prospects for moving to a big league improved recently with the revelation that he has acquired a Lithuanian passport.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
14,525
Pittsburgh, PA

Jimy Hendrix

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 15, 2002
3,534
Apparently we've got an ex USL guy in goal for Maccabi Haifa. He does not look great, and I think the announcer mentioning him as being in the frame for US callups was not correct.

I'd have probably known this already if I paid more attention to the bottom halves of TB's longer lists, but I was quite surprised as is.
 

cromulence

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 25, 2009
4,941
Reyna has assisted on all three Dortmund goals today. He seems to have a really good connection with Haaland, who scored two of them.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
2,655
To be fair, it’s kind of a disappoint every time you pass the ball to Haaland & he doesn’t score.
 

cromulence

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 25, 2009
4,941
To be fair, it’s kind of a disappoint every time you pass the ball to Haaland & he doesn’t score.
He really is basically automatic, which made it understandable when he got super pissed at Meunier for not playing him in.
 

TheRealness

Don't make him go all Lucic on your ash
SoSH Member
Feb 8, 2006
11,221
The Dirty Shire
The announcers were comparing Reyna to Zidane at the end of the game. Hefty praise.

His first was a nicely weighted ball that Haaland had a great finish on. The second a beautiful bending cross. The third he intercepted the ball, beat a man, and then slid Haaland through for the goal.

Sargent played most of the game on his end in a 1-0 Werder Win. He did not factor into the scoring but I was impressed with his aggression on defense throughout the second half.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,323
Reyna! What a day for the kid. He's on a hell of a trajectory.


Pulisic made his return to the field as a late sub for Chelsea. But there's balance to the USMNT universe, so Tyler Adams missed his game with a supposedly minor back injury.

Anderlecht announced that they've signed Matt Miazga on loan, which IMO isn't a bad move for him if he plays.

View: https://twitter.com/rscanderlecht/status/1312316459373129728
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
14,525
Pittsburgh, PA
The first assist was a nicely weighted ball (seconds after he lost the ball)...

View: https://twitter.com/usmntonly/status/1312393410888822789


...but it's the third one that made my eyes bug out:

View: https://twitter.com/USMNT/status/1312407457319325702


It's hard to tell because everyone's cut the clip really late, but in those first few seconds, or in the replay at ~0:27, watch him intercept the ball and then with his second touch, put it around the defender so bad the guy fell down. He basically uncleated a mid-table-bundesliga defender on a fast break. So yeah the key pass to set up Haaland was nice, but it was that setup on the break that made me go "dayam".
 

dirtynine

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 17, 2002
5,443
Philly
Having Haaland on the receiving end must be so amazing for Reyna. He’s going to grow that much faster knowing his partner can, and expects to, finish everything.
 

SocrManiac

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 15, 2006
3,593
Somers, CT
Having Haaland on the receiving end must be so amazing for Reyna. He’s going to grow that much faster knowing his partner can, and expects to, finish everything.
Can’t that be a double edged sword, though? He won’t always be partnered with such a competent striker.

I think of Pirlo with NYC as he sprayed passes to where players should have been but never were.
 

dirtynine

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 17, 2002
5,443
Philly
Can’t that be a double edged sword, though? He won’t always be partnered with such a competent striker.

I think of Pirlo with NYC as he sprayed passes to where players should have been but never were.
Yeah, maybe so... or maybe (given what the USMNT might become in the next few years) and where his career will take him, he will be with upper echelon strikers all the time. Rose colored glasses and all that...
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
14,525
Pittsburgh, PA
Yeah, but odds are, going from Haaland even to Josh Sargent or Uly Llanez is going to be a real downer, nevermind Zardes or Altidore.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
13,073
Yeah, I with Gio Reyna was actually playing for FC Dallas so he could get used to playing with American strikers.

Seriously, this guy is one of the best teenagers in the world. Let’s celebrate that before our pessimism ruins it.
 

Quintanariffic

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2002
4,944
The City of Studios
Wow, a start for Richards. Subbed off after 65 minutes. Anyone watch?
Saw a comp from Watke or Mr Kranks on Twitter (must follows, BTW) and thought he looked great going forward, competent defensively. Could have had 1-2 more assists with some different luck and better finishing.

And uh, no mention of Dest being the first American to play for the Barca first team?

Plus Antonee Robinson’s EPL debut where he looked very good.

All together, a great weekend for young Americans.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,323
It's happening. Close followers of YNTs and prospects expected a significant youth wave to emerge, but I don't think anybody thought we'd be at this point this quickly. Quite a few players are ahead of reasonable benchmarks one might have set for their careers a couple of years ago.
 

rguilmar

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
247
Wow, a start for Richards. Subbed off after 65 minutes. Anyone watch?
Saw the game. I thought he looked pretty tentative, which makes sense because it was his first start for Bayern frickin Munich in the Bundesliga and he was not playing his most comfortable position (as I understand it at least) at RB. I would be curious tactically what Bayern were having him do defensively. He was tracking his man across to the center/left part of the field at times. His crossing though was great. As was mentioned, could have had three assists (one called offsides, another was stopped by a great save). I like how Bayern sent him in for attacking corners too. That at least indicates he is strong in the air.

He left due to what looked like a muscle cramp.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
13,073
TB, what is the status of Gio Reyna being CAP'd? I know all signs point to him playing for the good ole' US of A, but he has a lot of powerful nations that would gladly take him, and each passing week his notoriety is growing. If they end up playing the rumored friendlies in England this November, I expect to see him on the field, but is this something people are talking about? I'm concerned.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
14,525
Pittsburgh, PA
Reyna has said, explicitly, that there has never been any question in his mind that he would play for the USA. He's the son of two American Soccer heroes, and grew up in the US every year of his life except when his dad was playing abroad. This isn't like Sergino Dest, or even Tim Weah.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
13,073
Reyna has said, explicitly, that there has never been any question in his mind that he would play for the USA. He's the son of two American Soccer heroes, and grew up in the US every year of his life except when his dad was playing abroad. This isn't like Sergino Dest, or even Tim Weah.
I understand all of this, but I can’t help that my cynical, pessimistic brain still wants him CAP tied this instant!
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
14,525
Pittsburgh, PA
I understand all of this, but I can’t help that my cynical, pessimistic brain still wants him CAP tied this instant!
I do too, but mostly because I want our emerging generation on the national team to have some time, ANY time, to practice and play together.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,323
I have zero concerns that Gio will play for anyone other than the US.
 

wonderland

lurker
Jul 20, 2005
329
TB, what is the status of Gio Reyna being CAP'd? I know all signs point to him playing for the good ole' US of A, but he has a lot of powerful nations that would gladly take him, and each passing week his notoriety is growing. If they end up playing the rumored friendlies in England this November, I expect to see him on the field, but is this something people are talking about? I'm concerned.
A friendly wouldn’t cap him since he’s only played for US at youth levels, right? Unless there’s some covid exception in place.
 

rguilmar

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
247
Gio has made it abundantly clear that he will only play for the USA, and it is something he looks forward to. I think ESPN had a 15 minute puff piece on him called the American Dream (the full video is on the ESPN+ app if you're interested) where he speaks to it. Talks about how great it will be to share the field with Pulisic and so on. If you hear him speak about it, you won't worry about who Reyna will suit up for.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,323
A friendly wouldn’t cap him since he’s only played for US at youth levels, right? Unless there’s some covid exception in place.
That's correct. The next cap-tying event for the US is the CONCACAF Nations League semifinal in June. (At least I think so — I'm not 100.0% sure whether Nations League type events are cap-tying.)

But as others have said, it doesn't matter. Reyna is going to play for the US. From various interviews, it's obvious that this whole rising generation is keenly aware of the talent that is flowing into the USMNT and they are excited to get going and rehabilitate the NT from its recent failures and then some.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,323
On another note, apparently Beasley and Onyewu have a podcast, and they had Reggie Cannon on recently.


In one of his last games for FC Dallas, Cannon was booed by hometown fans for kneeling during the national anthem. He spoke out about it, and FC Dallas tried to get him to apologize for what he said, which reflects quite poorly on the organization.

But in Americans Abroad news, he specifically cited competition with Sergino Dest at RB as a reason why he wanted to go abroad to continue to improve his game. It's going to be fun to watch the level of competition we'll have at a number of positions going forward, and it's also heartening to see guys like Cannon and Aaronson head abroad at young ages, knowing that there is more where that came from. MLS finally positioning itself as a launching pad for 19-21 year old players to go abroad is an ideal scenario. It's taken a long time to get the concentration of talent, and willingness to sell.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,323
US U-20 forward Charlie Kelman was sold from Southend to QPR. He's showed some promise for Southend, but it's a good time to get out. Southend were relegated from League One last year and early on look like candidates to go down again this year.

How good is he really? It's hard to say, but now that he's in the Championship we'll be able to gauge his progress more easily.

In general, I haven't been fully sold on any forward in the current U-20 cohort (2001s and 2002s) as a surefire future USMNTer.

View: https://twitter.com/SUFCRootsHall/status/1316348040316420096
 

Quintanariffic

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2002
4,944
The City of Studios
Another American at a Champions League club!! Okay, so Zyen Jones '00 signed with the reserve team of Ferencváros of Hungary. Jones came through Atlanta's academy, had a stint with Schalke U19, played in USL, and has been unemployed since late 2019.

View: https://twitter.com/jenkifoci/status/1316024475591221249
That's a head scratcher for sure.

Speaking of Young Americans abroad, really interesting note from Matt Doyle in the latest ExtraTime podcast stating that the RBNY signing of Caden Clark included a provision that will see him moving to RB Leipzig during the winter transfer period in early 2022. Love to see RBNY providing a clear, vertically integrated (academy>USL>MLS>Leipzig/Salzburg) path to Europe that others can aspire to follow.

Additionally, saw some chatter last night about how Bryang Kayo is training with the Wolfsburg first team during the international break despite the fact that only one mid-fielder from the team was called in. Clearly he's getting close, and whenever you see comps of his U-23 games, you immediately identify him as one of the best players on the field.

Suspect Clark and Kayo are very high up on the list of the next Yanks Abroad to break through in Europe a meaningful way.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,323
Love to see RBNY providing a clear, vertically integrated (academy>USL>MLS>Leipzig/Salzburg) path to Europe that others can aspire to follow.
CFG is going to be pissed when they have to spend $85m to bring former NYCFC academy player Gio Reyna to Manchester City.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
14,525
Pittsburgh, PA
McKennie has COVID:

9/30: This is awesome, look at these pictures of McKennie and Cristiano fuckin' Ronaldo, sharing a laugh and putting their arms on each other's shoulders! Wow, never thought I'd see the day
<two weeks later>
"Fucking Ronaldo permanently ruined the lungs of our best midfielder. Splendid."
 

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
39,022
That's a head scratcher for sure.

Speaking of Young Americans abroad, really interesting note from Matt Doyle in the latest ExtraTime podcast stating that the RBNY signing of Caden Clark included a provision that will see him moving to RB Leipzig during the winter transfer period in early 2022. Love to see RBNY providing a clear, vertically integrated (academy>USL>MLS>Leipzig/Salzburg) path to Europe that others can aspire to follow.

Additionally, saw some chatter last night about how Bryang Kayo is training with the Wolfsburg first team during the international break despite the fact that only one mid-fielder from the team was called in. Clearly he's getting close, and whenever you see comps of his U-23 games, you immediately identify him as one of the best players on the field.

Suspect Clark and Kayo are very high up on the list of the next Yanks Abroad to break through in Europe a meaningful way.
Speaking of...


(Sure he isn’t abroad yet but I will break the thread rules for a screamer like this)
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
14,525
Pittsburgh, PA
I would expect that Chris Richards will get into Bayern's early-round Pokal game today at 2:45 ET against FC Düren. Would be a very typical spot to see someone in his roster position.

edit: nope, Richards to miss game vs Duren due to injury. Feck.

 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,323
We don't have enough sales to establish much of a pattern in the market, but if the going rate for a promising young player in MLS moves from the $2m range to the $6m range, that would be a total game-changer IMO. I really want to get to a place where the ROI on MLS academy investment and general player development is a proven thing. We need more sales & players who go on to greater success in bigger European leagues to clamp us firmly in a virtuous cycle.

This article states that Aaronson's sale is the second-highest fee for an MLS academy product ever (behind Alphonso Davies of course). Still a ways to go, but this is a real milestone since apparently the $3m in add ons are fairly achievable.