Americans Abroad: Soccer Update
As summer is slowly beginning to turn to fall across the northern hempisphere, that means European soccer is back in action. This season, there are many American players playing key roles on big teams.
Teams like Manchester City, Bayern Munich, FC Barcelona and other European giants boast American talent in key roles. Let’s take a look at five notable Americans across Europe whose teams took part in this past weekend's action.
The biggest performer from this past weekend was 17-year-old Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder Giovanni Reyna.
Reyna went 78 minutes and scored his first ever goal for Bundesliga vs. Borussia Monchengladbach. The goal was a part of a beautiful link up play with another up and coming 17-year-old, Jude Bellingham.
It was Reyna’s second goal in two games following his goal versus MSV Duisburg in the DFB-Pokal. Reyna looks to be a consistent piece in Dortmund’s title run this season.
Another performance that didn’t receive much hype but should have was Weston McKennie’s debut for Juventus in Italy’s Serie A.
McKennie played the full 90 minutes in the midfield during a 3-0 win over Sampdoria. McKennie was successful on 88 percent of his passes and had four tackles and three interceptions defensively. He also contributed two shots on the offensive end.
It will be interesting to see if new Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo uses the young American a lot during his time on loan from Bundesliga side FC Schalke 04.
Chris Richards made his debut for Bayern Munich in a triumphant 8-0 win over FC Schalke 04. The central defender from Birmingham, Ala. only played for 17 minutes in garbage time, but it was hopefully a sign of things to come.
Richards was one of the best players for Bayern Munich’s second team last season and coach Hans Flick seems to have faith in the FC Dallas academy product.
The question is, where does he slide into a backline with experienced players like Niklas Sule and Jerome Boateng?
Josh Sargent went the full 90 minutes for Bundesliga side Werder Bremen in a 4-1 loss to Hertha Berlin. It was an underwhelming performance for the 20-year-old Missouri native who fired a blank and was one of the least effective players on his team.
Bremen head coach Florian Kohfeldt said before the season that Sargent earned a starting role for the club, but if he struggles like he did last weekend, that spot may be gone before he gets to make an impact.
The pride and joy of American soccer fans missed his second straight week of action for Chelsea in the English Premier League. Pulisic’s absence was evident yet again as Chelsea fell 2-0 to defending champions Liverpool.
Pulisic was a major cog in Chelsea’s attacking machine last year and without him and all of Chelsea’s new pieces still adjusting, Frank Lampard’s team has been noticeably struggling.
The good news is Pulisic was back in training today and should hopefully be good to go for Saturday’s game versus a struggling West Brom team.
Connor Donohue is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.