Americans Abroad, 2020-21: The Kids Are Alright

Titans Bastard

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The new season is underway, so it’s time for a new thread!

I think it’s increasingly clear that we are on the cusp of an exciting era for the USMNT. The cohort of players born from 1998-2002 seems like the strongest generation we’ve had since at least the 1979-83 cohort (Donovan, Dempsey, Howard, Jones, Beasley, Onyewu, Bocanegra, Cherundolo, Beckerman, et al). It certainly has the potential to be the best American generation of all time when all is said and done and, frankly, I think that’s the most likely outcome.

There’s a lot of good young American talent abroad and in MLS, but the biggest stars are in Europe as one would expect. The 2020-21 season is one in which we’ll have more players in significant roles at huge clubs than ever before. Exciting times!

I'll start with an overview of the Big Five leagues and build out smaller leagues & academy kids later on. A lot of teams haven't confirmed their youth rosters yet, etc.

England
Premier League
GK Zack Steffen, 1995, Manchester City
RB DeAndre Yedlin, 1993, Newcastle United
CB Tim Ream, 1987, Fulham
CB Matt Miazga, 1995, Chelsea [candidate to be loaned/sold]
CB Cameron Carter-Vickers, 1997, Tottenham Hotspur [candidate to be loaned/sold]
LB Antonee Robinson, 1997, Fulham
AM Christian Pulisic, 1998, Chelsea
AM Indiana Vassilev, 2001, Aston Villa

Championship
RB Matthew Olosunde, 1998, Rotherham United
CB Giles Phillips, 1997, Wycombe Wanderers
CM Geoff Cameron, 1985, QPR
CM Duane Holmes, 1994, Derby County

League One
GK Duncan Turnbull, 1998, Portsmouth
RB Niall Mason, 1997, Peterborough United
RB Marlon Fossey, 1998, Shrewsbury Town (on loan from Fulham)
AM Lynden Gooch, 1995, Sunderland
AM Shane McLoughlin, 1997, AFC Wimbledon
FW Jordan Adebayo-Smith, 2001, Lincoln City

League Two
AM Vaughn Covil, 2003, Forest Green Rovers
FW Charlie Kelman, 2001, Southend United

For Americans, the EPL remains The Pulisic Show. Long may you stay healthy, Christian.

Antonee Robinson's move to Fulham is an important one for the USMNT left back position, which basically has no incumbents whatsoever. If he can win a starting job, it will go a long way towards shoring up a gaping hole for the US.

Steffen returns to Man City where he seems poised to be Ederson's backup. Hopefully he gets a few games along the way.

The chances of Yedlin leaving Newcastle seem to have decreased, but we'll see. Miazga definitely needs a move. CCV has been playing a bit for Spurs in preseason but it is unlikely that he'll stick around as a deep backup.

Other players worth noting: Vassilev got a few minutes for Villa last year; we'll see if he can build on that or whether he was just the beneficiary of some injuries. Holmes is a contender for a backup CM for the USMNT if he stays healthy and in form. It definitely wouldn't be shocking to see him on a B-team Gold Cup roster next summer. Owen Otasowie '01 is a CB/DM for Wolves U23 who is the likeliest EPL academy kid to break through this year; he even got into one Europa League game last year. Fossey was a nice U20 prospect who has been injured and could back on track while on loan. Kelman has had a variety of interest from bigger clubs; if he stays at just-relegated Southend hopefully he'll tear up League Two.


Germany
Bundesliga
RB Timothy Chandler, 1990, Eintracht Frankfurt
CB John Brooks, 1993, Wolfsburg
CB Chris Richards, 2000, Bayern Munich
CM Tyler Adams, 1999, RB Leipzig
AM Nick Taitague, 1999, Schalke
AM Gio Reyna, 2002, Borussia Dortmund
FW Josh Sargent, 2000, Werder Bremen

2.Bundesliga
CM Alfredo Morales, 1990, Fortuna Düsseldorf
AM Jann George, 1992, Jahn Regensburg
AM Julian Green, 1995, Greuther Fürth
AM Kevin Lankford, 1998, St. Pauli
FW Marc Heider, 1986, Osnabrück
FW Bobby Wood, 1992, Hamburg

3. Liga
CB Ryan Malone, 1992, Lübeck
AM Jalen Hawkins, 2001, Ingolstadt
FW Terrence Boyd, 1991, Hallescher FC
FW Justin Butler, 2001, Ingolstadt

Reyna's been on such a rocket ship of a career trajectory that it'll be really exciting to see what he pulls off this year. No moment seems to overwhelm him and BVB clearly like him very, very much. I hope Adams stays healthy and becomes an every game mainstay at CM.

This is a huge year for Josh Sargent, who had ups and downs on a bad Werder team. He won't get the best service and will need to do a bit more to help carry the team.

Nick Taitague is a well-regarded prospect who has always been injured. He's played very few games over the last two years for Schalke II, but the club like him enough to keep renewing his contract and now he has a first team number and is with the team in preseason. I think his first team status is partly a testament to his skill that he's in the mix despite missing most of two years, and partly due to Schalke's dumpster fire status where they are desperate for anyone who can help. In any case, here's hoping his body holds together and he makes the most of the opportunity. We could always use more attacking midfielders.

We hope that Uly Llanez will get his first team breakthrough this season. The winger looked good in his lone USMNT cap, and has been in some first team games in preseason, but it remains to be seen whether he'll start with the reserves.

I've also taken the liberty to list Chris Richards, who made his Bayern debut last year, but he may well end up in the reserves for most of the year, or on loan.

There are LOTS of prospects on Bundesliga reserve and U19 teams, so it wouldn't be surprising to see a couple more players emerge by the end of the season.


Italy
Serie A
CM Weston McKennie, 1998, Juventus (on loan from Schalke)

Serie B
FW Andrija Novakovich, 1996, Frosinone

Serie C
CM Gennaro Nigro, 2000, Potenza (on loan from Roma)

Juve! Wow. I've always liked McKennie, but I didn't expect this kind of move for him. It's exciting, and even if you worry that he's bitten off more than he can chew, at the end of the day ambitious players are going to be ambitious and we just have to let them take a crack at it. The good news is that the loan seems to be an accounting quirk, as reportedly it will become permanent if Juve qualify for the Champions League — not exactly a high bar for them. If so, it's a good sign that Juve are spending something in the range of €20m on him because it shows they're not just taking a flyer on him.


Spain
Segunda Division
RB Shaquell Moore, 1996, Tenerife
AM Josh Perez, 1998, Castellón

Segunda Division B
GK Victor Vidal, 1999, Lleida
CM Armando Shashoua, 2000, Atlético Baleares

We've never had many players in Spain and right now there's no one in La Liga. Shaq Moore had a nice season last year, but it's hard to see him as more than a fringe USMNTer. Konrad de la Fuente, the '01 winger with Barcelona, is the best hope for a player in La Liga, but obviously that's a very difficult lift and Konrad hasn't even played much for Barça B yet.


France
Ligue 1
AM Timothy Weah, 2000, Lille
FW Jordan Siebatcheu, 1996, Rennes

Ligue 2
FW Nicholas Gioacchini, 2000, Caen
FW Patrick Koffi, 2001, Paris FC

Weah is back as of this weekend!

Siebatcheu was a relatively big-money buy for Rennes who has been a bust. It seems like he's totally out of their plans now (he hasn't played in preseason) and hopefully he moves. He had some hopes of being involved with French YNTs a some point, but that's past now and it's not clear that he'll be US quality either.

Gioacchini had a breakout season last year and if he's able to improve on that in year two there will be bigger clubs calling.
 

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MDLzera
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Great breakdown as always. Some thoughts in order:

"AM Indiana Vassilev, 2001, Aston Villa" - I have never even heard of this guy, and I read everything you write here. I see he was on some U17 and U20 teams, but man, feels like he's coming out of nowhere. And somehow got EPL playing time last year. I do like that he told the Bulgarian FA to pound sand, though.

I've largely given up on Miazga. CCV seems like he's established a consistent professional level of play in the Championship, but his lack of footspeed just seems like it'll kill him in the EPL. He's one of the few I'm really still dreaming on, because our CB depth is... shallow.

Lynden Gooch has really gotten screwed by being on a shittily managed club. He broke through at age 21 to see a respectable amount of time on the field in the EPL... then they go down, he wins a starting role in the Championship, they go down again, and by now two years in League One later, nobody really has any idea if he could have made it at a higher level.

Steffen is still only 25 and I have to keep reminding myself how that's not "old" to really make oneself a fixture in goal at a top league. Just taking USMNT keepers,
- Tim Howard was 24 when Man United signed him, 26 before he really stuck at Everton.
- Kasey Keller spent ages 23-26 at Millwall in what's now the Championship before moving to Leicester.
- Brad Guzan was 24 when Villa bought him out of MLS, but he was loaned back to the Championship at 26, not really making it as a first-choice keeper for Villa until 27.
- Brad Friedel did 3 years in college, a year in Denmark, another in Turkey, and a year back in MLS before Liverpool finally managed to get him a work visa at age 26, and even there he struggled for playing time and wasn't really a starter until joining Blackburn at age 29.
- Marcus Hahnemann was 27 when he was bought by Fulham, failed to get playing time even at two loan spells, and became first-choice at Reading only at age 30.

I can't believe McKennie is going to make me root for Juventus, a year after Pulisic made me root for Chelsea. I feel like I need a shower just typing this. But man, what an opportunity for him. If they ever get a manager, that is (I'm not sure we can count Pirlo). And if that manager likes him.

I really hope we'll keep getting Konrad de la Fuente updates. They did bring him with the first team to the Portugal bubble, so they clearly like him. The bar to clear to advance there is just so absurdly high, I kinda hope we'll see a loan to a mid-table La Liga side where we can really take his measure. Can't have too many international-class wingers, there's always something you can do with them.
 

tmracht

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I can't believe McKennie is going to make me root for Juventus, a year after Pulisic made me root for Chelsea. I feel like I need a shower just typing this. But man, what an opportunity for him. If they ever get a manager, that is (I'm not sure we can count Pirlo). And if that manager likes him.
I will not, I hope they lose every game 3 to 2 with him scoring a goal and assisting on another.
 

Titans Bastard

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Great breakdown as always. Some thoughts in order:

"AM Indiana Vassilev, 2001, Aston Villa" - I have never even heard of this guy, and I read everything you write here. I see he was on some U17 and U20 teams, but man, feels like he's coming out of nowhere. And somehow got EPL playing time last year. I do like that he told the Bulgarian FA to pound sand, though.
He's a little under the radar because he was an '01 backup on a U17 squad of mostly '00s and his time to be a prominent U20 is the current cycle, which obviously has been low-key due to COVID.

I'm not yet convinced he's that good because his stint in the first team was triggered by an injury crisis. That doesn't mean he didn't also deserve it, but it doesn't prove that he did deserve it either. We'll see. Great name, though.

I've largely given up on Miazga. CCV seems like he's established a consistent professional level of play in the Championship, but his lack of footspeed just seems like it'll kill him in the EPL. He's one of the few I'm really still dreaming on, because our CB depth is... shallow.
It sure does seem like we have a lot of okay CBs and not that many top-notch ones. Even our best CB, John Brooks, is prone to injuries and the occasional stinker.

We have a lot of eggs in the Chris Richards basket.
 

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It sure does seem like we have a lot of okay CBs and not that many top-notch ones. Even our best CB, John Brooks, is prone to injuries and the occasional stinker.

We have a lot of eggs in the Chris Richards basket.
Yeah, though thankfully, in the hierarchy of problems, that seems way better than 3 years ago where we realized we had literally no left backs once Fabian Johnson fell off a table, and no right-backs other than Yedlin for basically a decade. Remember when 33yo Kyle Beckerman was counted on to play DM at the international level, and was so visibly slow it was physically painful to us as watchers, to the point where they moved Geoff Cameron up to DM sometimes? Or when our service to Dempsey against real competition was basically "route one and hope for a foul", because if you asked Gyazi Zardes for a hold-up move, he'd somehow end up kicking it out of play?

I feel like you can scheme to limit the number of times that a lack of world-class ability at CB really bites you in the ass, either because a close line forces them to attack in other directions, or because you can pull taller players from other spots to take over corner-kick defense vs other height, etc. But it's so much harder to avoid getting undone by weakness elsewhere on the field.

I guess it's even slightly a shame that Cameron himself isn't in our plans, because he still seems to be able to keep his shit together for QPR even at 35, whether DM or CB. Like, Brooks aside, are we sure that CCV or Tim Ream are better than Cameron right now? I haven't seen enough to know for sure, but QPR was running him out there most every game and finished mid-table.
 

Titans Bastard

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Europe update

Champions League

1st QR: Celtic 6-0 KR (Iceland)
2nd QR: Celtic 1-2 Ferencváros (Hungary)

Cameron Harper '01 was an unused sub in Celtic's CLQ loss, as well as in two league matches. The winger is looking for his first team debut this season.

1st QR: Celje (Slovenia) 3-0 Dundalk (Ireland)

Josh Gatt's comeback isn't off to a great start, as he hasn't been healthy enough to make the squad and his team got dumped out of the CL qualifiers.

1st QR: Molde (Norway) 5-0 KuPS (FIN)
2nd QR: Celje (Slovenia) 1-2 Molde (Norway)

Henry Wingo started against KuPS, but wasn't in the squad for Molde's second QR win.

2nd QR: PAOK (Greece) 3-1 Besiktas (Turkey)

Tyler Boyd started in an ignominious defeat for Besiktas. I mean, they're struggling with a weaker roster right now and PAOK are good, but losing to the Greeks is never what they want.

2nd QR: Lokomotiva (Croatia) 0-1 Rapid Wien (Austria)

Erik Palmer-Brown is heading back on loan to Rapid Wien, who moved on prior to his arrival.


3rd Qualifying Round
Qarabag (Azerbaijan) vs. Molde
Gent vs. Rapid Wien

Playoff Round

Red Bull Salzburg (Jesse Marsch) enters

Group Stage

Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)
Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund)
Weston McKennie (Juventus)
Sergino Dest (Ajax)
Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig)
Zack Steffen (Manchester City)
Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge)
Jordan Siebatcheu (Rennes)
Chris Richards (Bayern Munich)

Europa League

PR: Lincoln Red Imps (Gibraltar) 3-0 [awarded due to COVID outbreak] Prishtina (Kosovo)
Q1: Lincoln Red Imps 2-0 Union Titus Pétange (Luxembourg)

Ahinga Selemani hasn't played in any games for Lincoln Red Imps yet.

Q1: Zrinjski Mostar (Bosnia) 3-0 Differdange 03 (Luxembourg)

Mamadou Balde started in his team's loss.

Q1: Hammarby (Sweden) 3-0 Puskás Akademia (Hungary)

Aron Jóhannsson came off the bench for Hammarby in Q1.

Q1: AGF (Denmark) 5-2 Honka (Finland)

Haverhill native Tim Murray started in goal in Honka's loss.

Q1: Kesla (Azerbaijan) 0-0 (4-5pks) Laçi (Albania)

Kyrian Nwabueze started for Laçi and converted his PK in the shootout.

Q1: Maccabi Haifa (Israel) vs. Željezničar (Bosnia)

This game has not yet been played. Josh Cohen is Haifa's starting GK.


2nd Qualifying Round
Inter Club d'Escaldes (Andorra) vs. Dundalk [Gatt]
Hammarby [Jóhannsson] vs. Lech Poznań (Poland)
Lokomotiv Plovdiv (Bulgaria) vs. Tottenham Hotspur [CCV]
Laçi [Nwabueze] vs. Hapoel Be'er Sheva (Israel)
Lincoln Red Imps [Selemani] vs. Rangers
Kukësi (Albania) vs. Wolfsburg [Brooks, Llanez]

3rd Qualifying Round
Cameron Harper (Celtic)
Tyler Boyd (Besiktas)
Richie Ledezma (PSV Eindhoven)
Haji Wright (SønderjyskE)

Group Stage
Timothy Weah (Lille)
 

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MDLzera
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Where does Horvath stack up for Brugge these days? I thought he was basically persona non grata, no?

Also curious about Tyler Boyd's apparent standing at Besiktas.

The rest feel like more-known quantities to me, either in the USMNT picture or clearly below that level, rather than raw prospects with potential USMNT upside.
 

DJnVa

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I've largely given up on Miazga. CCV seems like he's established a consistent professional level of play in the Championship, but his lack of footspeed just seems like it'll kill him in the EPL. He's one of the few I'm really still dreaming on, because our CB depth is... shallow.
Yeah, I think the best we can hope for from CCV is that he's solid enough to be counted on as depth and he logs some caps here and there when there are injuries or games that aren't important.
 

rguilmar

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I will not, I hope they lose every game 3 to 2 with him scoring a goal and assisting on another.
If Juve lose every game 3-2, McKennie will be on the next loan bus out of Turin. He’s being brought in to add some teeth and grit to the midfield.

I’m trying to talk myself into it, but WM might have a role there. Off the top of my head, Juve have Bentancur, Rabiot, Arthur, Ramsey, an aging Khedira, And I think Emre Can coming back from a loan for the midfield. Lots of talent, probably could use some more steel.

He was Pirlo’s first transfer as well. He’ll never be confused with a Pirlo style of player, but the fact that the new manager moved so quickly to get WM could (possibly, hopefully) speak to what Pirlo might think of him. Of course, Pirlo went from never managing to being appointed manager of Juventus u-23 squad to full Juve like a week later, so he could be fired by the time the next season starts.

Red, white, and blue goggles on and all.
 

Titans Bastard

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Where does Horvath stack up for Brugge these days? I thought he was basically persona non grata, no?
Horvath isn't persona non grata necessarily, but Brugge spent a lot on Mignolet who isn't going anywhere. I really wish Horvath would leave because I don't think he has much of a chance of winning the starting job.

Also curious about Tyler Boyd's apparent standing at Besiktas.
Boyd was initially a starter, lost his job fairly early on, then was a starter again post-COVID as Besiktas recovered from a rocky season to finish 3rd. He's an okay player, but it's hard to see him having a big impact on the USMNT with the way the pool of attackers is evolving. He's a backup at best right now and his standing in the pool could erode considerably over the next few years as other young players develop.

The rest feel like more-known quantities to me, either in the USMNT picture or clearly below that level, rather than raw prospects with potential USMNT upside.
This makes sense. The USMNT pool is showing real signs of improvement, but we aren't at a point where a young, exciting prospect in the first team of a CL/EL caliber club in a Big Five league isn't going to get a very quick call to the NT. As such, Euro-based players with USMNT potential are either still in the youth ranks of clubs or on the very fringe of the first team at their club (e.g. Chris Richards, Richie Ledezma, and Uly Llanez even though he already has a cap).
 

Titans Bastard

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Eric Lichaj has signed with newly promoted Turkish Süper Lig club Fatih Karagümrük. I couldn't find the length of his contract, but he'll soon be 32 so this could be a last hurrah. Wiki says this is the first time the club has been in the top tier in nearly 40 years so it's not glamor on the field, but off the field he'll have a year or two living in Istanbul.

View: https://twitter.com/karagumruk_sk/status/1302967284110065670
 

Titans Bastard

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Reggie Cannon's move to Boavista is now official.

 

Titans Bastard

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Josh Perez's move to Castellón was quite short-lived, as apparently their manager decided that Perez wasn't in his plans. So they all agree terminate the contract and the same day Perez signed for UD Ibiza. It's down a division in Segunda B, but hey. Last year they were promotion contenders and gave Barcelona a scare in the Copa del Rey.

View: https://twitter.com/Joshua_Perez26/status/1303746606764785664


Ives reports that FC Dallas are getting $2m for Cannon, plus a 50% sell-on clause. If Boavista choose, they can pay FC Dallas $1.5m to reduce the sell-on clause to 25% at some point. I've previously read that Boavista's earlier transfer record was in the $1m range, so it is pretty clear that there is Gerard Lopez's money behind this (Lille owner and as of very recently Boavista owner).

 

Titans Bastard

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So, uh...Dest to PSG?

I wouldn't buy a PSG shirt with Dest's name on it just yet. That account has a habit of aggregating thinly-sourced rumors from the foreign press and making them sound a little more substantial than they actually are.
 

cromulence

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Lampard said that Pulisic is back in training, which seems quicker than expected but obviously good news.
 

Titans Bastard

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This article is a good read on Weston McKennie's transfer to Juventus and the perspective of Schalke on the American youth market. Brian Straus articles are always quality.




“I think the academies of the American clubs are getting better and better, and the young American kids are really well developed when they come over—technically especially, not as much in tactics,” Schneider said. “But the technical skills are really good, and then the spirit is—I’ve known a few American players, also Tyler Adams from Leipzig when he played for New York—the spirit of those players is just amazing. This is what helps them a lot when they come to Europe at such a young age.”
 

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I had not realized we'd advanced from "poor technique, poor tactics" to "well developed technique, poor tactics". It's almost enough to give you hope we can get the tactics part.
 

Titans Bastard

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I had not realized we'd advanced from "poor technique, poor tactics" to "well developed technique, poor tactics". It's almost enough to give you hope we can get the tactics part.
Hey, he only said the tactics weren't as good as the technique, so if the technique is now good maybe we've upgraded to mediocre on the tactics!

More seriously, I do think the tactical development of our top prospects is better than it once was. Although we definitely have a lot of work to do, every time there's a slate of MLS games this year, it feels like there are a dozen American teens doing something cool on that matchday. Meanwhile, there's a whole different group of American teens making progress for their clubs in Europe.

I certainly won't claim to be an expert scout, but the signs are that the post-Reyna cohorts (players born in 2003, 04, 05) are looking solid too.

I guess what I'm saying is: we're 100% going to win the 2026 World Cup. Put in the bank!
 

dirtynine

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We could be a season or so from having USMNT players starting at Chelsea, Juventus, PSG, Dortmund and Barcelona.

Pretty wild.
 

tmracht

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I had not realized we'd advanced from "poor technique, poor tactics" to "well developed technique, poor tactics". It's almost enough to give you hope we can get the tactics part.
It's funny I'm actually a terrible player and no one would confuse me for a proper coach.but I've had multiple people ask me to come in and just teach people about the actual tactics. So I've talked to a couple school coaches and lower-level club coaches about how they teach proper positioning, proper roles at that age.

I'm by no means a good coach, but I feel it's telling that I've been asked to try to talk to people to emphasize tactics more especially as an equalizer for less talented kids. Its a mixed bag whether the coaches want to deal with it but they're definitely been some that are more receptive.

But I find it interesting for me, I've gone to do small group trainings with like parents that wanted their kids to be a little more knowledgeable. I remember doing a virtual session with a group of bolts academy kids a couple summers ago, and just going over what formations they've been using and what their rules are probably going to be in that kind of a situation. And even at a club like that they weren't really sure what they were supposed to be doing which I found pretty interesting. Hopefully it gets better for more of the kids.

Please excuse any weird voice to text translations.
 

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Besiktas reportedly in on Yedlin, who did not even make the bench for Newcastle yesterday:

 

Titans Bastard

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Konrad played the second half of a friendly for Barcelona and scored a goal that was (incorrectly?) ruled offside.

Josh Sargent started and scored in a DFB Pokal game. We'll see how it goes, but Werder's manager has been very complimentary of Sargent in preseason.

McKennie was said by some random Italian pundits of unclear credibility to be the MOTM in Juventus' friendly. Good to see.

There were rumors that Mazraoui has taken back the starting RB job at Ajax in preseason and that indeed happened on opening day. However, Ajax's LB Tagliafico was sent off in the first half so Dest ended up getting around 60 minutes at left back anyway.

No Antonee Robinson in Fulham's matchday squad. Hopefully he's just settling in.

There was some very wishful speculation that Mourinho might have taken an unanticipated liking to CCV as a tough defender, but CCV wasn't given a first team number. Hopefully they just sell him so he doesn't have to do the constant loan dance. For that matter, there's been zero rumors about Matt Miazga's next destination.

There are rumors that Uly Llanez will be loaned to Heerenveen. I'd be a big fan if it's true — great league for wingers, solid stepping stone for Llanez, and apparently the club sold their best winger. Plus, Heerenveen is a sentimental club for this US fan, dating to Michael Bradley's epic 15 goal season back in the day.


Jordan Siebatcheu is on the move. He made a big money move from Reims to Rennes ($10m range) in 2018 but has completely flopped in Ligue 1, to the point where he was completely frozen out of the first team in preseason and demoted to the reserves. He's now on loan to Young Boys in Switzerland. He has played in friendlies for France, but obviously will never make it to the French NT, and has somewhat recently expressed interest in the USMNT. That would have been exciting in 2018, but the fortunes of the USMNT player pool and the fortunes of Siebatcheu's career have moved in opposite directions, and now he has work to do to prove he's good enough for the US.

View: https://twitter.com/BSC_YB/status/1305061234916626437
 

Titans Bastard

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Yunus Musah is a 17 year old midfielder who left Arsenal for Valencia last summer and he's starting their opener in La Liga, which is his first team debut. From what I can tell, he is eligible for England, Italy, Ghana, and the US. He has played for a number of English youth teams but not in any official matches so he's not cap-tied in any way.

I can't find information about his parents, but with so many nationalities I would speculate that both of his parents are non-US-citizens who happened to be living in NY for whatever reason when Yunus was born. He apparently spent his younger childhood in Italy before winding up in London. There is no information about where the USMNT would rank among his preferences. I'd say from experience that dual nationals without a clear cultural connection to the US (i.e. did they grow up there and/or is at least one parent from the US) who have good NT options elsewhere usually don't choose the US. The only real exception that I can think of is Sergino Dest. None of our German-Americans chose the USMNT when they still had hopes of being part of the German NT going forward; perhaps you could argue that Brooks committed to the US a little earlier than he needed to.
 

67YAZ

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Konrad played the second half of a friendly for Barcelona and scored a goal that was (incorrectly?) ruled offside.

Josh Sargent started and scored in a DFB Pokal game. We'll see how it goes, but Werder's manager has been very complimentary of Sargent in preseason.

McKennie was said by some random Italian pundits of unclear credibility to be the MOTM in Juventus' friendly. Good to see.

There were rumors that Mazraoui has taken back the starting RB job at Ajax in preseason and that indeed happened on opening day. However, Ajax's LB Tagliafico was sent off in the first half so Dest ended up getting around 60 minutes at left back anyway.

No Antonee Robinson in Fulham's matchday squad. Hopefully he's just settling in.

There was some very wishful speculation that Mourinho might have taken an unanticipated liking to CCV as a tough defender, but CCV wasn't given a first team number. Hopefully they just sell him so he doesn't have to do the constant loan dance. For that matter, there's been zero rumors about Matt Miazga's next destination.

There are rumors that Uly Llanez will be loaned to Heerenveen. I'd be a big fan if it's true — great league for wingers, solid stepping stone for Llanez, and apparently the club sold their best winger. Plus, Heerenveen is a sentimental club for this US fan, dating to Michael Bradley's epic 15 goal season back in the day.


Jordan Siebatcheu is on the move. He made a big money move from Reims to Rennes ($10m range) in 2018 but has completely flopped in Ligue 1, to the point where he was completely frozen out of the first team in preseason and demoted to the reserves. He's now on loan to Young Boys in Switzerland. He has played in friendlies for France, but obviously will never make it to the French NT, and has somewhat recently expressed interest in the USMNT. That would have been exciting in 2018, but the fortunes of the USMNT player pool and the fortunes of Siebatcheu's career have moved in opposite directions, and now he has work to do to prove he's good enough for the US.

View: https://twitter.com/BSC_YB/status/1305061234916626437
it’s a real trip to hear the announcer say “...Ronaldo, McKennie...”

 

Quintanariffic

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it’s a real trip to hear the announcer say “...Ronaldo, McKennie...”
THIS. Had the exact same thought.

Sort of brings the advance of American players to life a little bit. It will be interesting to see if this proliferation of youngUS internationals breaks the stereotype against US players and depresses their market value when leaving North America.
 

Titans Bastard

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Reyna started and scored in BVB's opener against MSV Duisburg in the DFB Pokal. It was a FK that took a slight deflection, but it was awarded to Reyna anyway.
 

Titans Bastard

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Llanez to Heerenveen is official. There was hope that he'd claim a role with Wolfsburg this year, but a season in the Eredivisie for a 19 year old winger is fine by me. Hopefully he plays; most of his competition is fairly young as well. In Wolfsburg's announcement of the move, they confirmed that he's signed a new deal through 2024.

View: https://twitter.com/scHeerenveen/status/1305892355283865601
 

Joe D Reid

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Yedlin played in Newcastle's 1-0 opening round League Cup win over Blackburn. Newcastle made 10 changes to the team they ran out for the first game of the EPL season, so that gives you a sense of level of seriousness NUFC brought to the affair and of where Yedlin stands in the club's affections at the moment.
 

67YAZ

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Yedlin played in Newcastle's 1-0 opening round League Cup win over Blackburn. Newcastle made 10 changes to the team they ran out for the first game of the EPL season, so that gives you a sense of level of seriousness NUFC brought to the affair and of where Yedlin stands in the club's affections at the moment.
It would be great if Yedlin could get away from Steve Bruce & get into the regular XI of a top-5 league side, but my guess is that all interested clubs are pinching pennies and looking to sign him on a free next season.

Edit: I’m also reading a lot about how clubs are waiting until late in the window in the expectation that transfer fees will nosedive as cash strapped club look to get any return/clear out salary to weather the pandemic. Wouldn’t be surprised if Yedlin were stuck in this purgatory.
 
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Titans Bastard

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Europe update

Champions League

1st QR: Celtic 6-0 KR (Iceland)
2nd QR: Celtic 1-2 Ferencváros (Hungary)

Cameron Harper '01 was an unused sub in Celtic's CLQ loss, as well as in two league matches. The winger is looking for his first team debut this season.

1st QR: Celje (Slovenia) 3-0 Dundalk (Ireland)

Josh Gatt's comeback isn't off to a great start, as he hasn't been healthy enough to make the squad and his team got dumped out of the CL qualifiers.

1st QR: Molde (Norway) 5-0 KuPS (FIN)
2nd QR: Celje (Slovenia) 1-2 Molde (Norway)

Henry Wingo started against KuPS, but wasn't in the squad for Molde's second QR win.

2nd QR: PAOK (Greece) 3-1 Besiktas (Turkey)

Tyler Boyd started in an ignominious defeat for Besiktas. I mean, they're struggling with a weaker roster right now and PAOK are good, but losing to the Greeks is never what they want.

2nd QR: Lokomotiva (Croatia) 0-1 Rapid Wien (Austria)

Erik Palmer-Brown is heading back on loan to Rapid Wien, who moved on prior to his arrival.


3rd Qualifying Round
Qarabag (Azerbaijan) vs. Molde
Gent vs. Rapid Wien

Playoff Round

Red Bull Salzburg (Jesse Marsch) enters

Group Stage

Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)
Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund)
Weston McKennie (Juventus)
Sergino Dest (Ajax)
Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig)
Zack Steffen (Manchester City)
Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge)
Jordan Siebatcheu (Rennes)
Chris Richards (Bayern Munich)

Europa League

PR: Lincoln Red Imps (Gibraltar) 3-0 [awarded due to COVID outbreak] Prishtina (Kosovo)
Q1: Lincoln Red Imps 2-0 Union Titus Pétange (Luxembourg)

Ahinga Selemani hasn't played in any games for Lincoln Red Imps yet.

Q1: Zrinjski Mostar (Bosnia) 3-0 Differdange 03 (Luxembourg)

Mamadou Balde started in his team's loss.

Q1: Hammarby (Sweden) 3-0 Puskás Akademia (Hungary)

Aron Jóhannsson came off the bench for Hammarby in Q1.

Q1: AGF (Denmark) 5-2 Honka (Finland)

Haverhill native Tim Murray started in goal in Honka's loss.

Q1: Kesla (Azerbaijan) 0-0 (4-5pks) Laçi (Albania)

Kyrian Nwabueze started for Laçi and converted his PK in the shootout.

Q1: Maccabi Haifa (Israel) vs. Željezničar (Bosnia)

This game has not yet been played. Josh Cohen is Haifa's starting GK.


2nd Qualifying Round
Inter Club d'Escaldes (Andorra) vs. Dundalk [Gatt]
Hammarby [Jóhannsson] vs. Lech Poznań (Poland)
Lokomotiv Plovdiv (Bulgaria) vs. Tottenham Hotspur [CCV]
Laçi [Nwabueze] vs. Hapoel Be'er Sheva (Israel)
Lincoln Red Imps [Selemani] vs. Rangers
Kukësi (Albania) vs. Wolfsburg [Brooks, Llanez]

3rd Qualifying Round
Cameron Harper (Celtic)
Tyler Boyd (Besiktas)
Richie Ledezma (PSV Eindhoven)
Haji Wright (SønderjyskE)

Group Stage
Timothy Weah (Lille)

Champions League update

  • RB Henry Wingo started for Molde as they prevailed on PKs over Qarabağ of Azerbaijan.
  • Jordan Siebatcheu, having just arrived on loan, came off the bench in Young Boys' 3-0 loss to Midtjylland.
In the Playoff Round, Molde have been drawn with Ferencváros. Hungarian clubs usually fare poorly in Europe so it seems winnable, although to be fair they've knocked off Celtic and Dinamo Zagreb this time.

Red Bull Salzburg (Jesse Marsch) face off against Maccabi Tel Aviv.


Group Stage

Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)
Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund)
Weston McKennie (Juventus)
Sergino Dest (Ajax)
Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig)
Zack Steffen (Manchester City)
Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge)
Jordan Siebatcheu (Rennes) (loaned to Young Boys)
Chris Richards (Bayern Munich)
Konrad de la Fuente (Barcelona) (playing with the first team in preseason, do we dare dream he gets some sub minutes in a meaningless 6th matchday group stage game?)

So exciting to have those top five potentially logging serious CL minutes.


Europa League 2nd Qualifying Round

Today, Aron Jóhannsson started but Hammarby got stuffed 3-0 at home by Lech Poznań.

In the bulk of the round's matches tomorrow:

Maccabi Haifa (Josh Cohen) vs. Kairat
Lokomotiv Plovdiv vs. Tottenham (CCV, but not really)
Laçi (Kyrian Nwabueze) vs. Hapoel Be'er Sheva
Lincoln Red Imps (Ahinga Selemani) vs. Rangers
Kukësi vs. Wolfsburg (John Brooks)
 

TheRealness

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Antonee Robinson played the full 90 today for Fulham in the Carabao Cup game against Ipswich. From accounts online, he played very well.
 

InstaFace

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Oh, I'm just assuming Davies is a winger now, after how they used him in the Champions League. I realize he can play LB, but it seems like they're (still) running Alaba out there in that spot most of the time and sending him forward, where his combination of speed and strength makes him a real problem for defending RBs. He was basically an end-line-penetration-and-cross machine, every Bayern match I watched.