Americans Abroad: Soccer Update 2

Story posted September 30, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Connor Donohue

Another week went by on the European soccer calendar, and a plethora of American players caught some headlines. Some players landed on the score sheets, while others are still struggling to get healthy. Let’s take a look at some American players and how they made headlines on and off the field this past weekend.

Josh Sargent

Sargent got involved in the goal-scoring action for the first time this season. Sargent went 87 minutes and bagged an assist during Werder Bremen’s 3-1 victory over Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga. Sargent’s assist came on Niclas Füllkrug’s opening goal after Sargent flicked the ball towards Fullkrug off a corner.

Sargent’s attacking involvement this past weekend was encouraging after he struggled in Bremen’s season opener versus Hertha Berlin. He will look to keep it going and gather some momentum this upcoming weekend, as Bremen will play newly-promoted side Arminia Bielefeld.

Sebastian Soto

Soto got off the mark with his new squad Telstar in the Eerste Divisie, the second division in the Netherlands. Soto scored two goals in the first 29 minutes of the game versus FC Den Bosch. Telstar won the game 6-1.

Soto is on loan at Telstar following his move to Norwich City in the English Championship from Hannover 96 in Bundesliga 2. The U.S. U-20 star is looking to make a big impact during his time in Holland, as he attempts to kickstart his professional career and get into Daniel Farke’s Norwich squad.

Weston McKennie

McKennie got his second straight start for Italian giant Juventus this past weekend. Despite an overall good performance from McKennie, Juventus was held to a 2-2 draw with Roma. Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo was able to salvage a point following a red card on teammate Adrien Rabiot in the 62nd minute.

McKennie didn’t appear on the score sheet, but he was exceptional on the ball again. In his 57 minutes of action, he was able to complete 94.9% of his passes, an improvement on his 87.3 passing percentage from last week. He didn’t do too much defensively, but that was an indication of Juventus dominating possession.

McKennie will look to keep his good start to the season going against Napoli on Sunday.

Sergino Dest

Dest has been making headlines off the field in the transfer market over the last couple weeks. The 19-year-old defender had been rumored to be going to either FC Bayern Munich in Germany or FC Barcelona in Spain. In the end, it looks like Barcelona will be his destination.

Soccer insider Fabrizio Romano has the fee for Dest around 22 million euros. Dest was pictured in Barcelona earlier in the week and is expected to announce his signing within the next couple of days.

Dest’s transfer would be a landmark move for the U.S. National Team player. He would join Konrad De La Fuente as the second American currently on Barcelona’s first team.

Christian Pulisic

It was yet another week on the sideline for Christian Pulisic. He and Hakim Ziyech both remain sidelined for longer than originally expected. The duo was seen back in training earlier in the week, but Chelsea manager Frank Lampard cited fitness concerns for Pulisic during his recovery.

Pulisic spent large portions of last season injured before bursting onto the scene after the COVID-19 restart. His injury troubles are concerning considering he is so early in his young career.

Pulisic’s absence was felt yet again, as Chelsea managed to scrap out a 3-3 draw against an already relegation-threatened West Brom team. His injury, along with the defensive woes, is costing Chelsea already in what is supposed to be a title-challenging season.

 

Connor Donohue is a junior studying broadcast journalism. To contact him, email cvd5417@psu.edu.