Americans Abroad, 2020-21: The Kids Are Alright

rguilmar

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McKennie comes off the bench to equalize in the derby. His first goal for Juve after going 90 minutes midweek in the Champions League.
 

Titans Bastard

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Nice to see Chris Richards get subbed in for the last ~10 minutes of a high-stakes, top-of-the-table game that's currently 3-3. He's not playing a lot, but they aren't just giving him garbage minutes.
 

rguilmar

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Nice to see Chris Richards get subbed in for the last ~10 minutes of a high-stakes, top-of-the-table game that's currently 3-3. He's not playing a lot, but they aren't just giving him garbage minutes.
It's also the first time I have seen Bayern use him at CB. Every other time has been at RB which isn't his preferred position. It makes sense as it's rare for to give youngsters a lot of time at CB where mistakes are often deadly. Like you said though, nice to see.

Hell of a game too
 

cromulence

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Llanez creates a great chance for Heerenveen to put away PSV late but his teammate doesn't put it away, then at the other end Ledezma helps create the tying goal.

But now a penalty for Heerenveen and a red for PSV after a somewhat Suarezesque handball to save a goal. But then VAR overturns the whole sequence for offside. Absolutely insane ending to this game.
 

cromulence

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Zack Steffen got some Champion's League press conference time today, which would indicate that he's starting tomorrow.
 

Quintanariffic

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Worth noting that with Barça, Juve, Dortmund, Leipzig and Chelsea playing today, it’s almost certain that the record for Champions League minutes played by Americans will be broken today. On match day 6. In the group stage.

It’s a new era, folks.
 

cromulence

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We're at the point now where it's a good thing to see Gio not starting - this game isn't that important and it's largely the B team out there.
 

TheRealness

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Gio just entered the game while they are down 1-0.

Pulisic on the bench as Chelsea starts their B squad.

McKennie and Dest both playing in their game.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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It's in the UCL thread. This goal pretty much seals McKennie as my favorite US player since Clint.
Pretty decent chance he is not the "best" player in this generation but I expect he will be a massive fan favorite as more casual fans are exposed to his play through the USMNT. Since seeing him at Schalke for the first time he has always given off "heart and soul of the team" vibes. Love him.
 

Titans Bastard

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Ledezma started for PSV in the Europa League, but left early after a non-contact knee injury. No info on the injury yet, but all the quotes from various club officials make it sound rather bad.

I'm bracing myself for a torn ACL.
 

Quintanariffic

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To your ongoing point expressed here and on Twitter - yet another example of why development as a national team is a numbers game. However devastating this may end up being for Richie, the reality is that an injury to a CAM who is on the cusp of breaking through at PSV isn't all that impactful to the USMNT program right now. Not sure we could have said that even 2 ys ago.
 

Titans Bastard

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Ledezma started for PSV in the Europa League, but left early after a non-contact knee injury. No info on the injury yet, but all the quotes from various club officials make it sound rather bad.

I'm bracing myself for a torn ACL.
Yup. Torn ACL, out 6-9 months. Huge bummer for the kid.
 

Titans Bastard

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What a finish.

BVB are getting destroyed at home, though. Nice work from the most slept-on American in soccer, Stuttgart manager Pellegrino Matarazzo.
 

cromulence

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Garbage time goal for Gio. He's easily been their best player.

Or not. Moukoko was offside in the build up.
 

cromulence

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I saw an even better one, from high behind the goal, on the montage of highlights that plays during halftime on ESPN+. Will see if I can find it.

Can't find it anywhere else, but it's at 57:50 in the replay of the game on ESPN+.
 
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Titans Bastard

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Americans in the Champions League knockouts:

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Manchester City (Steffen)
Lazio vs. Bayern Munich (Richards)
Atlético Madrid vs. Chelsea (Pulisic)
RB Leipzig (Adams) vs. Liverpool
Porto vs. Juventus (McKennie)
Barcelona (Dest, Konrad) vs. Paris Saint-Germain
Sevilla vs. Borussia Dortmund (Reyna)

Only Atalanta vs. Real Madrid doesn't have a US player involved.

And Europa:

Dynamo Kyiv vs. Club Brugge (Horvath)
Red Bull Salzburg (Marsch, Aaronson) vs. Villarreal
Young Boys (Siebatcheu) vs. Bayer Leverkusen
Molde (Wingo) vs. Hoffenheim
Lille (Weah) vs. Ajax
Olympiacos vs. PSV (Ledezma - inj)
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Otasowie on for a big half against Chelsea, holding his own.

All halves are big when Otasowie is involved.
 

Titans Bastard

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He played in one Europa League game last year, but that's Otasowie's EPL debut.
 

Titans Bastard

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There are reports today of a complete financial meltdown at Lille. The club apparently has a ton of debt, and creditors are calling owner Gerard Lopez, who is now planning to sell the club. Combined with the collapse of the MediaPro deal, Lille won't be the only French club putting on a firesale this January.

The biggest implications are for Tim Weah's career, but Reggie Cannon is also affected. Boavista is owned by Lopez and a move to Lille in the near future was considered a strong possibility for Cannon. Fortunately he's been doing quite well and Lille is not the only bigger-than-Boavista club interested in him.
 

Titans Bastard

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Musah scored a stoppage time equalizer for Valencia in a Copa del Rey game against fourth-tier Terrassa. He subbed on in the 86th minute and they're currently up 3-2 in extra time.
 

Kliq

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How much are deals like these related to the success of players like Pulisic, or more likely, Weston McKennie and Alphonso Davies; players who came up through the MLS system and are now proving to be top level players in Europe? There was the famous story of Barcelona scoffing at making a bid for Davies because he was Canadian, but I doubt teams would make that same mistake now in a post-Davies world. I'm excited that our boys having success in Europe is opening the doors for major European clubs to take an interest in MLS-bred talent.
 

rguilmar

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How much are deals like these related to the success of players like Pulisic, or more likely, Weston McKennie and Alphonso Davies; players who came up through the MLS system and are now proving to be top level players in Europe? There was the famous story of Barcelona scoffing at making a bid for Davies because he was Canadian, but I doubt teams would make that same mistake now in a post-Davies world. I'm excited that our boys having success in Europe is opening the doors for major European clubs to take an interest in MLS-bred talent.
I would think players like Davies and Tyler Adams who played in MLS and made the transition to Germany play a role in helping European clubs get a feel how skills translate from MLS. I do remember some experts saying that they felt like North America in general was a type of market inefficiency, that better deals can be found.

I do wonder about that rumor you mentioned though. Barca have brought in players from soccer powers such as Mali, Israel, and Andorra, and signed a Canadian to Barca B before Davies left Vancouver for Bayern. Sometimes I think it's a lot of "this is what we think that they think about us" type of stuff (in this case, we think Barca didn't sign Davies because Barca thinks Canada/MLS/whatever sucks). Could be that they didn't like him, but I doubt it had anything to do with nationality.
 

Kliq

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I would think players like Davies and Tyler Adams who played in MLS and made the transition to Germany play a role in helping European clubs get a feel how skills translate from MLS. I do remember some experts saying that they felt like North America in general was a type of market inefficiency, that better deals can be found.

I do wonder about that rumor you mentioned though. Barca have brought in players from soccer powers such as Mali, Israel, and Andorra, and signed a Canadian to Barca B before Davies left Vancouver for Bayern. Sometimes I think it's a lot of "this is what we think that they think about us" type of stuff (in this case, we think Barca didn't sign Davies because Barca thinks Canada/MLS/whatever sucks). Could be that they didn't like him, but I doubt it had anything to do with nationality.
For the sake of clarity, I brought up the Davies/Barca thing because former Barca player Hristo Stoichkov told reporters that he recommended Davies to Barcelona, and Barcelona brass told them no thanks because he was Canadian. So it isn't as much of a rumor as much as if you believe Stoichkov is full of shit or not.

https://www.givemesport.com/1592424-barcelona-president-opted-not-to-sign-alphonso-davies-because-hes-canadian
 

ninjacornelius

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This is some serious coin.
Just this past week, the guys on the Total Soccer Show speculated that Mark McKenzie and Caden Clark could both get sold for more than Reynolds. This was before the Roma bid came out, but do you think that the transfer valuations of those three guys are roughly equal? And I guess more abstractly, would you predict that the Roma bid would now set the market for all of them?
 

rguilmar

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For the sake of clarity, I brought up the Davies/Barca thing because former Barca player Hristo Stoichkov told reporters that he recommended Davies to Barcelona, and Barcelona brass told them no thanks because he was Canadian. So it isn't as much of a rumor as much as if you believe Stoichkov is full of shit or not.
Fair enough. I'm more than willing to throw the Barca leadership under the bus for the move that they have made that has set the club up for disaster (minus Dest, of course). I'm sure that's what they told Hristo, but really were thinking "we'd rather pay more money for a player who does not fit. Get Antoine's agent on the phone! We can just try to force him to be the 9 when we let Luisito walk".


https://www.givemesport.com/1592424-barcelona-president-opted-not-to-sign-alphonso-davies-because-hes-canadian[/QUOTE]
Just this past week, the guys on the Total Soccer Show speculated that Mark McKenzie and Caden Clark could both get sold for more than Reynolds. This was before the Roma bid came out, but do you think that the transfer valuations of those three guys are roughly equal? And I guess more abstractly, would you predict that the Roma bid would now set the market for all of them?
Doesn't RB Leipzig have a clause in Clark's contract that they can exercise anytime before 2022? It seems unlikely that it would be higher than the rumored offers for Reynolds as I imagine there is some sort of RB discount. I think Juve were rumored to be up around $7 million for Reynolds earlier this month. I doubt McKenzie gets that much, but as recent posts today show, I am wrong pretty often.
 

Titans Bastard

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How much are deals like these related to the success of players like Pulisic, or more likely, Weston McKennie and Alphonso Davies; players who came up through the MLS system and are now proving to be top level players in Europe? There was the famous story of Barcelona scoffing at making a bid for Davies because he was Canadian, but I doubt teams would make that same mistake now in a post-Davies world. I'm excited that our boys having success in Europe is opening the doors for major European clubs to take an interest in MLS-bred talent.
I think the presence of multiple factors create an amplification effect which is moving the needle. Pulisic was sold to a big club for a mega transfer fee. Reyna and McKennie are doing great, and came from MLS academies. Adams and Davies went pro in MLS, then were sold and had quick success. Aaronson and Cannon have been sold in lower-profile deals, but Cannon has been an immediate hit and already has interest from the big three in Portugal, and probably elsewhere.

All of this makes American players and MLS in general seem a bit more interesting to bigger clubs, and suggests that shopping for Big-Five-level young talent in MLS isn't necessarily looking for a needle in a haystack like it once was. There's more talent to be had, and now more clubs know it and are acting on it.
 

Titans Bastard

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I agree with @rguilmar. If Reynolds really does go for nearly $10m, I don't think McKenzie will fetch as big a fee. If Caden Clark pans out he could theoretically command a larger fee, but he won't because of the Red Bull stuff. Adams was sold within the Red Bull organization for $3m, an absolute steal of a fee.

(CFG must hate Claudio Reyna for not steering his son from their affiliate club to Man City. How much would Man City have to pay for Gio right now?)

This is all great stuff. If the market is that talented young American players in MLS are sold for $5m-$10m, that's an inflection point. We've been waiting for a long time for academy investment to pay off (on the field and on the balance sheet), and frequent sales at this price range are IMO when the virtuous cycle kicks in. The more it's clear that investment in academies can help you win in MLS through (a) talent on the field and (b) funds generated through sales of academy players, the better off American soccer will be.
 

67YAZ

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Feel like there should also be a COVID-coefficient on these fees. In the current market, €7.5m for an overseas prospect (even with American ownership at Roma) is quite an outlay.
 

Titans Bastard

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Owen Otasowie '01 is making his first Premier League start for Wolves.
 

Titans Bastard

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Sargent scored for Werder in the DFB Pokal. Weah scored for Lille in Ligue 1.

Both great to see. Sargent's manager has been saying a lot of good things about him this season and he's been a lock starter when healthy, but it's hard to put up big numbers on a team that isn't very good.

Weah's season is gaining steam after he played very sparingly at the beginning of the year.
 

Kliq

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Sargent scored for Werder in the DFB Pokal. Weah scored for Lille in Ligue 1.

Both great to see. Sargent's manager has been saying a lot of good things about him this season and he's been a lock starter when healthy, but it's hard to put up big numbers on a team that isn't very good.

Weah's season is gaining steam after he played very sparingly at the beginning of the year.
I thought Weah played pretty well at Celtic, but he fell out of favor there for some reason. Actually, he played pretty well at PSG, but that's a tough team to crack. Really I feel like injuries have been his problem as opposed to his actual play; its great to seem him produce off the bench for Lille, that has the chance to be a really good place for him to grow.
 

rguilmar

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Big day for MLS-to-Europe transfers with the McKenzie news earlier and now this about Reynolds to Juve.

View: https://twitter.com/TaylorTwellman/status/1343976847676203012


That's four American youngsters heading abroad this winter, counting earlier-agree-upon deals (Aaronson to RB Salzburg, Scally to Borussia Mönchengladbach). It's not an epic haul, of course, but it's different.
Would this be the largest transfer fee for an American player from MLS to Europe? It's gotta be up there. I imagine that Juve are looking for the long term replacement for Cuadrado. I'm curious where he will be loaned to. Juve seem to like to loan to Parma and Genoa who are both in Serie A.

And I keep forgetting about Scally. That deal was signed like a year ago...
 

Titans Bastard

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Would this be the largest transfer fee for an American player from MLS to Europe? It's gotta be up there. I imagine that Juve are looking for the long term replacement for Cuadrado. I'm curious where he will be loaned to. Juve seem to like to loan to Parma and Genoa who are both in Serie A.

And I keep forgetting about Scally. That deal was signed like a year ago...
It would depend on the final number with Reynolds and how you weigh base fee vs. incentives, but I think the largest fee is still Jozy's sale to Villarreal. The only larger ones were for non-Americans: Almiron, Davies, and Pity Martinez.

All reports are that Reynolds would be loaned to Cagliari if he signed with Juve.
 

rguilmar

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It would depend on the final number with Reynolds and how you weigh base fee vs. incentives, but I think the largest fee is still Jozy's sale to Villarreal. The only larger ones were for non-Americans: Almiron, Davies, and Pity Martinez.

All reports are that Reynolds would be loaned to Cagliari if he signed with Juve.
FFS do I now need to watch Cagliari? At least they can't have any fans in the stands now, but when they do have fans it can be ugly. Cagliari ultras do rank behind Lazio ultras for me, but not by much. Off the top of my head, Moises Kean, Romalu Lukaku, Matuidi and Sulley Muntari were all subject to racist chants in recent years. To be fair, racist chants are a horrible but common thing in Italian soccer, so it takes a lot for one club to stand out in that regard.