Americans Abroad, 2020-21: The Kids Are Alright

Titans Bastard

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Titans Bastard

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Brandon Servania has joined St. Pölten on loan as well. He had a rough 2020; he started off injured and then never got into good form and lost his starting job to Tanner Tessmann and others. Servania debuted for the USMNT in 2020's January camp, but that feels like ancient history now. There was actually talk that he'd go to a Puerto Rico NT camp, but he opted to train with Bayern as part of the FC Dallas partnership, which led to this trial in Austria.

My guess is that Servania will wind up with PR eventually; his younger brother already plays for them.


--

Strong rumors that Aron Jóhannsson will sign for Lech Poznań in Poland.
 

67YAZ

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Morris starts and Arriola makes the bench fit Swansea going up against Man City today.

Also, the Swans have a really slick jersey.

.
 

cromulence

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Don't forget Steffen in goal for City. I guess we want Morris to score a goal where Steffen never had a chance?
 

scott bankheadcase

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a bit forgotten, but CCV dominated in an FA Cup start for Bournemouth Monday:

 

67YAZ

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Quiet match for Morris, the whole Swansea side really, but Arriola got 25 minutes of run out. Steffen allowed a late consolation goal, but that was about lazy marking by a cruising City defense. Gives Pep the proverbial thing to complain about.
 

Titans Bastard

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Brenden Aaronson scored his first goal in the Austrian Bundesliga.

View: https://twitter.com/MarijanKelava/status/1359608434467999752


Mark McKenzie started for Genk in a 1-0 cup win over Sint-Truiden. McKenzie has been getting a lot of run early on, a good sign. Chris Durkin started for the opposition at right wingback(!!). He's alternated between RWB and DM and it's kind of shocking a relatively immobile player would be used out wide, but good for him.


Elsewhere, it's perhaps noteworthy that Johnny Cardoso has been regularly coming off the bench for Internacional, who are on track to win the best non-European league in the world.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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2/3rds of the names on that list are pretty interesting for the USMNT watcher, because Kohfeldt moving would affect Sargent, although I am not sure how.

On the one hand, the world's biggest Josh Sargent fan would no longer be managing his club, but on the other hand, he'd be managing a much better club.

On the other other hand, the guy responsible for producing the turgid soccer Werder Bremen are currently playing would be gone, but on the other other other hand, who knows what anyone else could wring out of that weird, weird squad and how if at all Sargent would be involved.
 

Titans Bastard

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As the CL and EL return this week, a reminder on who is still involved:

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Manchester City (Steffen)
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)

By historical standards of our country, it's really amazing that Americans will likely get on the field in more than half of the R16 matchups.

And in the Europa League R32:

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

Reynolds isn't in Roma's Europa League squad.
 

Titans Bastard

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Pulisic didn't play today and social media is doing one of their regular freakouts about him. He'll be fine.

Reyna and Musah are working through some midseason struggles in their age 18 seasons as well. Cannon hasn't been doing that well either, though he reportedly just had a good game against Porto. Every player has ups and downs and when our player pool is so young there are going to be fluctuations in form.

Tim Weah's season has picked up. He's mostly coming off the bench, but he's playing more substantial minutes and getting a few starts too.


Taylor Booth reportedly had a nice pro debut start with St. Pölten. He had an assist and made the league's team of the week. Aaronson has been looking saucy in the highlights in Austria. Daryl Dike had decent reviews in his first start with Barnsley.
 

TheRealness

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Pulisic didn't play today and social media is doing one of their regular freakouts about him. He'll be fine.

Reyna and Musah are working through some midseason struggles in their age 18 seasons as well. Cannon hasn't been doing that well either, though he reportedly just had a good game against Porto. Every player has ups and downs and when our player pool is so young there are going to be fluctuations in form.

Tim Weah's season has picked up. He's mostly coming off the bench, but he's playing more substantial minutes and getting a few starts too.


Taylor Booth reportedly had a nice pro debut start with St. Pölten. He had an assist and made the league's team of the week. Aaronson has been looking saucy in the highlights in Austria. Daryl Dike had decent reviews in his first start with Barnsley.
Tuchel basically said Pulisic deserves to play, but he just didn't fit on Monday. Chelsea looks much better, and with Abraham injured, I suspect Pulisic will get some more run. As with Rayne and Musah, these guys are really young, and we have to be somewhat careful about overreacting to dips in form.
 

Titans Bastard

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Probably the wrong thread, given this is domestic, but any chance this kid is a future US soccer player rather than Mexico?

Yes, there's definitely a chance.

There have been more than a few Mexican-Americans who have gone down to El Tri camps and found it a bit alienating. Even second generation immigrant kids who are fluent in Spanish and from El Tri-loving households in the US find that they are seen as more of a "gringo" than they expected. That Alcala is staying in the US and not signing in Mexico is a plus, as well. It's harder for the US to win dual national battles for Mexican-American kids when they become immersed in Mexican fan/media/sports culture — like Jonathan Gonzalez, for example. (Who by the way, isn't even getting callups for Mexico's U23 team anymore!)

One dynamic that we're going to see with dual nationals over the next five years is that there will be unprecedented-by-US-standards competition for the full NT as well as the youth national teams. That means a lot of American players are going to choose to play for other countries across CONCACAF and elsewhere, but it also means that there will be an appealing buzz around the idea of playing for the US for elite dual nationals.

Not sure anyone could have convinced Yunus Musah to come to a USMNT camp if the situation were in 2017. But now there is a young and exciting core and people want to be part of that.
 

Titans Bastard

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Daryl Dike compilation from this weekend. Two minutes and twenty seconds of proof that Dike was born to thrive in the Championship, if nothing else.

View: https://twitter.com/goal_verse/status/1363186646284267520


Aaronson got great reviews today in a big win over second-place Rapid Wien. It just seems like he oozes quality in every game at this level and if he keeps this up over the next 18 months he'll be bound for the Bundesliga or somewhere similar.

View: https://youtu.be/v4BJOqEPvNY


Richards started in a 4-0 win over Werder. Sargent started on the other side. Adams had a good game for Leipzig and pressed his way to an assist in a 3-0 win at Hertha. Dest maintained his starting spot for Barcelona despite some hand-wringing from the local media who were concerned at the shocking revelation that he's not as good a player as Kylian Mbappé.

Weah still isn't starting all that much for Lille, but he's playing a significantly larger role for the team now than he was in the opening months of the season. He looks good out there whether he's been on the wing or used as a center forward. PSG lost at home to Monaco, so Lille extended their lead at the top of Ligue 1 from one to three points, with Lyon also in the hunt.

With so many players on competitive teams, there are a lot more players in the mix for domestic silverware. Johnny Cardoso's team suffered a tough blow today, losing to and being leapfrogged by Flamengo with one match to play. Johnny came on for his usual sub appearance but Internacional played the whole second half down a man.

I've been a bit concerned glancing at some of Genk's scorelines in the last month, as they've conceded more goals than you'd like to see with McKenzie in the lineup. But this local article claims that issues are elsewhere and that McKenzie has been one of their better defenders, moving into a starter role faster than expected.

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Titans Bastard

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Orange County SC is an unusual independent USL club in that it regular signs domestic teenagers. They've formed a partnership with Rangers and have now sent their second player there. The first was goalkeeper Aaron Cervantes '02, now Francis Jacobs '05 makes the move. Jacobs has a UK passport, which allows him (a) to move at age 16 and (b) the legal right to work in the UK. Cervantes is going to be a loan army type since he can't legally work in the UK right now.

View: https://twitter.com/samstejskal/status/1363842775649812486
 

67YAZ

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Morris’ injury is the dreaded ACL. A probably does him in for the Sounders’ season, too.

Feel for the guy. He was pushing himself, going in search of more competition and seeing how far he could go. Now that’s dashed and he’s going to spend a year of his prime in rehab.Can he get back in the picture for World Cup?
 

Titans Bastard

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Wow. This kid really looks like a player. I wonder whether he makes the standard move to RBL eventually.
While there’s a real pipeline to RBL, a lot of Salzburg players go elsewhere. A couple years ago, they had sales to Dortmund, Sevilla, Gladbach, Liverpool, Hoffenheim, and Wolfsburg (x2). It’s just ridiculous.


How did Leipzig let Haaland get away, btw?

Anyway, Aaronson always looks good to me when he’s on the ball, but he’s not always continuously influential within the game as much as you’d like. CL caliber teams in the top leagues might see that as too much of a shortcoming. On the other hand, his game is very well suited to RBL’s pressing style.

But ultimately if he’s “merely” a mid table Bundesliga level player in the end, well, that’s not a bad thing.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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While there’s a real pipeline to RBL, a lot of Salzburg players go elsewhere. A couple years ago, they had sales to Dortmund, Sevilla, Gladbach, Liverpool, Hoffenheim, and Wolfsburg (x2). It’s just ridiculous.


How did Leipzig let Haaland get away, btw?

Anyway, Aaronson always looks good to me when he’s on the ball, but he’s not always continuously influential within the game as much as you’d like. CL caliber teams in the top leagues might see that as too much of a shortcoming. On the other hand, his game is very well suited to RBL’s pressing style.

But ultimately if he’s “merely” a mid table Bundesliga level player in the end, well, that’s not a bad thing.
Thanks for the insight on Aaronson!

On Haaland, from what I understand his career has been very tightly plotted by his father and Mino Raiola. When he signed with Salzburg, they insisted he have a 20m euro release clause that would become active only one year later. This basically let them choose his next move very freely as many clubs would buy him for that price. I think RBL probably could not compete with Dortmund due to having more strikers in the way (Werner was still there for example) and less of a reputation for developing top attacking players. I have also read that BvB paid Raiola a 15m agent fee and the father another 10m, so perhaps RBL also refused to play those kinds of games.

My guess is that Haaland will not move this summer but wait until his 66m release clause kicks in during summer 2022, as this will also allow him to maximize control over where he goes (at that price he'll have a huge number of suitors) while also maximizing their ability to negotiate wages and fees for the agent and player's family.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I feel like I have too much emotional investment in Dike, having barely even seen him play. But our top talents range from slight to very slight, and I'd love to have this size/physicality combo in the mix up front.
 

Titans Bastard

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With so many players on competitive teams, there are a lot more players in the mix for domestic silverware. Johnny Cardoso's team suffered a tough blow today, losing to and being leapfrogged by Flamengo with one match to play. Johnny came on for his usual sub appearance but Internacional played the whole second half down a man.
Flamengo bottled it by losing to São Paulo, so Internacional needed to beat Corinthians at home to win the title. This happened:

View: https://twitter.com/MattDoyle76/status/1365130284606382080
 

Domer

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Crazy that a recent Club World Cup winner (2006) hasn’t won a league title in 40 years. They’ve also won Libertadores twice in that time span.
 

Titans Bastard

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Josh Sargent scored a very, very sorely needed goal for Werder today, and also had a nice assist (correctly) called back for offside.