Americans Abroad 2022-23

rguilmar

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Johnny made the team sheet for Betis and could make his debut tomorrow night at home against Granada.

The next game is against Barcelona so I’d rather he make his debut beforehand (though I’ll be in the stands for that one).
 

Titans Bastard

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Cade Cowell has been sold to Chivas for $4m. He had kind of a disappointing year in MLS last year, so this is good business for the Quakes. I think it's their club-record sale.

Anyway, Cowell is an elite physical specimen. I'm not sold on the other parts of his game, but we'll see. Chivas recently loosened their player policy yet again to allow for a player like Cowell, who is cap-tied to the USMNT, to play for their team. It is absolutely hilarious that the first USMNT-tied Mexican-American at the club is a non-Spanish-speaking California meathead dude who is a huge gringo.

View: https://twitter.com/Chivas/status/1747072478718156911
 

rguilmar

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Johnny will get his first La Liga minutes today as he will start against some minnows from Catalunya.
 

Titans Bastard

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Jimy Hendrix

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Feels like Orlando is deciding to repeat the Dike thing of a loan to the Championship with a team that will most likely not buy in the hopes that he kills it and demonstrates value such that a team with money steps up.

That said, pretty sure the actual deadline hits soon and not seeing a confirmation on this yet...

EDIT: eyeing Transfermarkt, Blackburn have not done a fee that large in about 4 or 5 years. Seems like very little chance they make it a buy, possibly even if McGuire did kill it.
 

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Jimy Hendrix

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I was reading up on that and apparently Blackburn’s transfers guy has priors for fucking one of these up last year too, which is grim.
 

Titans Bastard

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It's Utrecht vs. Volendam today in the Eredivisie, which means the battle of the Booth brothers. Taylor starts for Utrecht while his little brother Zach, who is on loan from Leicester, starts for Volendam.

It worked out well. 4-2 Utrecht — Zach scored the opened, but Taylor ultimately scored a hat trick.
 

Titans Bastard

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Blackburn are still awaiting a final appeal, but McGuire's loan has been rejected.

The club claimed that someone hit "save" instead of "submit" on the paperwork...

The initial deal fell apart because the club board didn't want to pay a transfer fee. Blackburn seems like part clownshoes operation, part downwardly mobile / broke club, so while it's unfortunate a solid move abroad didn't materialize for Duncan this winter, it may be for the best that he's avoided this situation. A growing challenge for the MLS export operation is that the number of non-EPL clubs in Europe that are financially stronger than MLS clubs seems to be steadily shrinking.

View: https://twitter.com/_elliottjackson/status/1754761844424949969
 

rguilmar

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Johnny ended up with MOTM honors

The good today (so far):
Lennard Maloney scored

The terrible:
Daryl Dike was carted off the field. I feel just awful for him.
 

Titans Bastard

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Johnny ended up with MOTM honors

The good today (so far):
Lennard Maloney scored

The terrible:
Daryl Dike was carted off the field. I feel just awful for him.
There are a lot of American fans who watch the big Euro leagues and a lot of American fans who watch MLS, but nobody watches South American leagues. As a result the question of "Is Johnny Soccer Good?" has persisted for an unusually long time in this digital age. It's really nice to see what he's doing at Betis. It seems difficult to overstate how quickly he's transitioned to La Liga.

Dike is cursed.
 

rguilmar

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There are a lot of American fans who watch the big Euro leagues and a lot of American fans who watch MLS, but nobody watches South American leagues. As a result the question of "Is Johnny Soccer Good?" has persisted for an unusually long time in this digital age. It's really nice to see what he's doing at Betis. It seems difficult to overstate how quickly he's transitioned to La Liga.

Dike is cursed.
Johnny fit in starting Day 1 at Betis. I was impressed by his game against Barca. I think others were more lukewarm on it, but we all see the game a bit differently. One thing that has impressed me has been his ability to advance the ball with the dribble, often with subtle movements that make defenders move to block a pass, allowing Johnny to drift by them.

Dike out until 2025. Just heartbreaking.
 

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Josh Sargent had three goals and one assist in his first four games in August, then got injured. He returned at the end of December and has scored 7 goals in 525 minutes following today's brace against Cardiff City.

He's in amazing form. 10 goals in 799 minutes in the Championship this year, which is an outrageous pace.
 

rguilmar

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Josh Sargent had three goals and one assist in his first four games in August, then got injured. He returned at the end of December and has scored 7 goals in 525 minutes following today's brace against Cardiff City.

He's in amazing form. 10 goals in 799 minutes in the Championship this year, which is an outrageous pace.
He’s giving Gregg a lot to consider going into the Nations League in March and Copa America this summer, especially assuming competitions revert to 23 man rosters. Does he go with 3 strikers, meaning one less at a different position (likely winger where depth behind CP and Weah gets thin and Sargent/Gio can reasonably play)? Does he leave one of Balogun, Pepi, Sargent off the roster? With the Dest suspension, I imagine GGG will want to bring and extra fullback in March, but I can see an argument for 3 fullbacks at the Copa America given that Dest and Scally can play on either side. Ultimately this is one of those good problems to have and injuries make these types of decisions easier, but if everyone is healthy some very good attacking players will be left off the roster. I am guessing the Olympic and Copa America rosters will be completely different, so any combination of Sargent, Pepi, Booth (who is on a heater of his own right now), Aaronson, Paredes and so on can go to Paris. Things get real fun if Koleosho is an option. Again, good problems to have.
 

rguilmar

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Because there is an American abroad performing well for one of my teams:

Real Betis remain very happy with investment they made to sign Johnny Cardoso from Internacional.

He's candidate for U23 of the Month in La Liga and the club believes in his potential, after very good instant impact.

https://x.com/fabrizioromano/status/1760922439230619786?s=46&t=XvGOrrWIyL-5CHVVL_0JYQ

There is a belief among the Betis faithful that he’s the long term replacement for World Cup winner Guido and a fear that he will be sold at a profit (such is the life of a Bético). Other fanbases have already taken notice.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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There are a lot of American fans who watch the big Euro leagues and a lot of American fans who watch MLS, but nobody watches South American leagues. As a result the question of "Is Johnny Soccer Good?" has persisted for an unusually long time in this digital age. It's really nice to see what he's doing at Betis. It seems difficult to overstate how quickly he's transitioned to La Liga.
Relatedly, if you had asked me "How old is Johnny Soccer?" I almost certainly would have told you at least 25 and marveled at the surprising second act revival of his career.
 

nayrbrey

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McKennie looks to have sustained a shoulder injury in today’s game.

Was wincing in pain as they tried to stabilize his arm as he left the field.

Edit- Dislocated.
https://theathletic.com/5298183/2024/02/25/weston-mckennie-injury-juventus-usmnt/?source=user_shared_article


Weston McKennie suffered a dislocated left shoulder during Juventus’ win over Frosinone on Sunday.

The 25-year-old USMNT midfielder sustained the injury late on during his side’s 3-2 victory at the Allianz Stadium.

McKennie had provided two assists for striker Dusan Vlahovic before being substituted in the 87th minute, being replaced by Samuel Iling Junior.”
 
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rguilmar

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It’s a shame that Weston got hurt, but he tends to recover quickly and has had this injury before. Yanks with one helluva weekend, including Weston’s two assists. Luca got an assist. Both Aaronsons scored (albeit Brenden’s was a lucky deflection off his back). Pepi scored. Flo scored. Pefok scored. Vasquez and Cowell scored in Mexico. Chris Richards scored. Johnny with a golazo.

https://x.com/jaimeor96/status/1761797860775878779?s=46&t=XvGOrrWIyL-5CHVVL_0JYQ
 

Jimy Hendrix

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I clicked that expecting racism, so not exactly, I guess.
It’s hard to do racism against Pulisic, he’s quite white so you maybe get some Croatia stuff that doesn’t hit. I’m sure they were in fine awful shit form for Leao though.
 

Titans Bastard

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It’s hard to do racism against Pulisic, he’s quite white so you maybe get some Croatia stuff that doesn’t hit. I’m sure they were in fine awful shit form for Leao though.
Absolute scenes when Pulisic goes ballistic and gets a five-match suspension after he hears an insult regarding Franjo Tudman from the crowd.
 

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Did not see CP morphing into Brad Marchand. I don’t hate it. Italy has been good for him.
He's always drawn a ton of yellows from challenges by guys in his wake. So the first red yesterday was of a piece with that: defender didn't play to the whistle, he did, defender lost his mind.

It's the second one that's maybe a little different. He was trying to TAKE an intentional foul to prevent a fast break that could've tied the game (and did), and then Guendouzi lost his mind at that and retaliated wildly. He's very rarely in a position to need to take a tactical foul.

Not sure if it's as much of a shift for CP as it is that Lazio, in particular, is tremendously undisciplined. But it'll help his reputation. The rest of Italy was basically singing his praises yesterday, he and Wes have really won them over.
 

Titans Bastard

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It’s a shame that Weston got hurt, but he tends to recover quickly and has had this injury before. Yanks with one helluva weekend, including Weston’s two assists. Luca got an assist. Both Aaronsons scored (albeit Brenden’s was a lucky deflection off his back). Pepi scored. Flo scored. Pefok scored. Vasquez and Cowell scored in Mexico. Chris Richards scored. Johnny with a golazo.

https://x.com/jaimeor96/status/1761797860775878779?s=46&t=XvGOrrWIyL-5CHVVL_0JYQ
"Weston McKennie has been crushed in the Death Star trash compactor. He will be back in three weeks."

View: https://twitter.com/juvefcdotcom/status/1764691794132963823
 

InstaFace

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what a picture of him. He looks like he's just been told that the team nutritionist is making him eat only chicken cutlets and steamed veggies from now on.
 

rguilmar

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So it looks like the rumors that Konrad was switching to Haiti were just rumors. He got a brace for Éibar over the weekend.

I still don’t hold out much hope for him and he is coming off the bench in the Segunda. That being said, he’s still pretty young and plays a position of need for the USMNT. Hopefully a season in a small industrial Basque city with help him deal with the personal issues he’s been having, even if he never suits up for the national team again.
 

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If Konrad were born in Mexico, he would at least come off the bench for El Tri, and possibly even start for them if Antuna doesn't turn his career around. Warts and all. That's how much deeper our pool is than theirs right now. Diego Lainez is still getting call-ups, and arguably he's done even less in his career than Konrad has.
 

rguilmar

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If Konrad were born in Mexico, he would at least come off the bench for El Tri, and possibly even start for them if Antuna doesn't turn his career around. Warts and all. That's how much deeper our pool is than theirs right now. Diego Lainez is still getting call-ups, and arguably he's done even less in his career than Konrad has.
Oof, Diego Lainez. I thought he was going to be so good. He just disappeared at Betis and never recovered.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m pretty alarmed at the state of Mexico right now. The talent decline is immense, and unlike the USMNT who had a lost generation followed by a great crop of youngsters, there is no indication that Mexico is improving at all. The Fútbol Americas guys put it correctly- it’s easy to say that Mexico needs to have players playing in the top 5 leagues in Europe but it’s harder to have players good enough to play in the top leagues. Mexico just isn’t producing much talent now.

Edgar Moreno aka CONCACAF Edgar was on Scuffed this week and he brought up a great point. FMF is run by the top Liga MX club presidents. They have a financial incentive to have their own players called up, including FIFA payments. It puts more money in their pockets to not have players go to Europe. Taking it a step further, players who want to increase their marketability and sponsorship deals in Mexico need to sign for these top clubs.
 

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I haven't followed Lainez's career closely so I can't tell if he is actually a bust or just a guy who was never that good and got overrated because of that one really nice goal against the USMNT in 2021.
 

rguilmar

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I would say Lainez was a promising player who never panned out. Betis have a pretty good track record in buying players from this side of the Atlantic, at least in the post-Lopera era (may that crazy MF rest in peace). The club don’t drop $14 million on a player for no good reason, again post-Lopera. They bought Guido Rodriguez for $4 million from Club America, the same club as Lainez, right around the same time, and if it weren’t for Guido blowing out his knee they would’ve sold him for a pretty penny. As it is, Guido is still a World Cup winner and possibly off to some cash-poor Catalan club in need of a 6 on a free this summer.

But that’s beside the point. Lainez was playing in Liga MX at the age of 16 for Club America and was bought as a 18-19 year old by Betis, but never could cement a role there. Betis didn’t loan him out for three seasons, so they believed in the talent. He made over 50 appearances but scored a grand total of zero La Liga goals (he scored one in the Copa and one in Europe). He was the youngest Mexican player sold to a European club and the second most expensive. The sense at the club was that he was a good kid who worked hard and performed well at practice but could never translate that to actual games. Maybe it was the pressure or maybe it was lack of comfort being so far away from home. I look at him as more of a cautionary tale about a talented youngster moved out of his comfort zone and not living up to expectations. I do think the club learned something from the experience. Now they reach agreements with players in the Americas well in advance but allow them to stay at their parent clubs for a little while longer, often bringing them over in the winter so they can have a half season plus a summer to adjust. Brazilian Luis Henrique and our own Johnny Cardoso come to mind.