Americans Abroad: Soccer Update 3
With another week of matches across European soccer coming and going, a handful of American players shined brightly. From a huge transfer to some notable firsts to some spectacular goals, this was a defining week for Americans playing overseas. Let’s take a look at some headlines and what players have done across Europe this week.
Ten Americans get spots on Champions League squads
A record 10 Americans were selected by clubs to be on their rosters for the upcoming UEFA Champions League. These players include forward Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), midfielder Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig), midfielder Weston McKennie (Juventus), defender Chris Richards (Bayern Munich), Alex Mendez (Ajax), midfielder Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), fullback Sergino Dest (FC Barcelona), winger Konrad de la Fuente (FC Barcelona), goalkeeper Zack Steffen (Manchester City) and goalkeeper Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge KV).
Reyna made a huge impact all throughout Borussia Dortmund’s 4-0 win over SC Freiburg in the Bundesliga. The 17-year-old had three assists in the game, highlighted by two beautiful passes to striker Erling Haaland en route to goals in the 31st and 66th minute.
He has already tallied a goal and four assists in his first three appearances in Germany’s top flight. With the young star’s value already rising at such a young age, he already has the potential to be the best young American playing overseas.
This past Thursday, Ajax and FC Barcelona completed a transfer deal to send fullback Sergino Dest to the famed Spanish club. It came at a price tag of $24 million, and his new deal will reportedly last five years. This is the second highest transfer for an American player ever, behind Christian Pulisic’s $70 million transfer back in 2019.
Just three days later, Dest became the first American to play in a game for Barcalona’s senior team. He entered in the 75th minute of the team’s 1-1 draw with Sevilla FC after Jordi Alba was injured.
Richards also had a notable first for an American playing in Europe. On Sunday, the Alabama-born defender became the first American to start a game for Bayern Munich.
His impact was seen in the 51st minute of the game, when he sent a right-wing cross into the box to set up striker Robert Lewandowski for one of his four goals on the day. Bayern Munich won the game 4-3 over Hertha.
The golden boy of American players was back in action for Chelsea on Saturday against Crystal Palace. However, Pulisic didn't play much, entering in the 83rd minute of a game that was already decided, Chelsea being up 4-0 at the time.
This was Pulisic’s first appearance of the season and first since his hamstring injury in the FA Cup Final on Aug. 1.
The Kansas City-born Gioacchini made a statement for his club, SM Caen, on Saturday. He scored the lone goal of the game in the 42nd minute, securing the 1-0 win over Amiens SC. He’s helped the club advance to the fourth spot on the Ligue 2 table.
Charlie Murray is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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