Americans abroad analysis

Aaronson scores & wins Austrian Cup, Renya hits brace to top Americans abroad weekend

The weekend for Americans aborad wasn't too busy but there were some real highlights - topped by Brenden Aaronson scoring to lead Red Bull Salzburg to a win in the Austrian Cup final. Meanwhile, Gio Reyna scored a brace in the German Cup semifinal. Also, Ben Lederman won the Polish Cup final. ASN's Brian Sciaretta breaks it all down with his thoughts on what took place. 
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
May 02, 2021
9:55 AM

THE WEEKEND ABROAD for Americans was somewhat limited with no Bundesliga games and a few top players not playing for various reasons. But the silverware train rolled on with two more American players lifting trophies while others were part of big games as the season draws to a close.


Here are my thoughts on the top stories.


Reyna’s brace lift BVB into final


In the German Cup semifinal on Saturday, Gio Reyna put on an absolute show against Holstein Kiel of the 2.Bundesliga – scoring Borussia Dortmund’s first two goals in the first half. The game was an immediate rout and Dortmund had a 5-0 lead at halftime.

Reyna was taken out at the halftime to keeps his legs fresh and with the win will meet RB Leipzig in the final on May 13.

As for Reyna, he has been in fantastic form since just prior to the March international window when he reversed a tough three month run. Since the March window, Reyna has been on top of his game and has been a big part of the club’s late push to qualify for the Champions League. It was always an issue of confidence, not ability (which he has in droves) and now Reyna putting out consistently strong performances.

RB Leipzing meanwhile advanced to the final with a 2-1 extra time win over Werder Bremen on Friday. Tyler Adams went as an unused sub for Leipzig but his U.S. national teammate, Josh Sargent, played the full 120 for Werder in the tough loss.

Sargent’s numbers weren’t great but they also weren’t reflective of his effort. Werder Bremen was outmatched in this game and Sargent had to contribute on both sides of the ball. He covered a ton of ground to try to force turnovers, clear balls out of danger, and break-up plays. It was a tough outing for Sargent who gave physically demanding effort, had little to show for it, and must now focus on the Bundesliga where Werder Bremen is now in a relegation fight – sitting just one point clear of the relegation playoff position. 


Aaronson & Salzburg win Cup


It was a huge day for Brenden Aaronson in Austria who won his first piece of silverware in Europe when he scored the second goal for Red Bull Salzburg in a 3-0 win over LASK in the Austrian Cup final. After being an integral part of 2020 Supporters Shield winning effort for the Philadelphia Union, Aaronson now has two impressive trophies to his collection inside of six months. Unless something completely catastrophic happens, an Austrian Bundesliga title will be added to the collection in the coming weeks.

In this game, Aaronson was strong in his 88 minutes of action. His 67th minute goal was reflective of his impressive talent that has now put him on the national team. While he seems more likely to stay with Salzburg next year than immediately follow Jesse Marsch to Leipzig, his career is clearly on the rise following very strong development at Philadelphia.


As for Marsch, he continues exit the Salzburg door in fine fashion and should have a perfect four domestic titles in two years wrapped up soon.


As a manager and as player, Marsch has won a lot. It’s easy to see why he’s move himself into elite status.



Dike and CCV in promotional race


Heading into this weekend, there were two more rounds left in the Championship and the four playoff teams have already been decided. Now it was just about seeding.

Two American players are guaranteed to be in the Championship playoffs – Daryl Dike and Barnsley along with Cameron Carter-Vickers and AFC Bournemouth. Both players are at their respective clubs on loans.

This past weekend saw both players have tough results. Dike was unable to get anything going for Barnsley over his 90 minutes of action and they lost 2-0. Meanwhile, Carter-Vickers and Bournemouth lost their second in a row (after an eight game winning streak) with a 1-0 defeat to last-place Wycombe.

It was a weekend both players will want to put behind them.

In the standings, Barnsley sit in sixth and Bournemouth sit in fifth (by virtue of a huge edge in goal differential). Barnsley might be able to overtake Bournemouth on the final day but almost certainly won’t climb any higher than fifth. Bournemouth meanwhile can only climb as high as fourth.

What this means is that Dike and Carter-Vickers can’t meet in the first round of the playoff – only the final if they both advance.


Robinson & Fulham near relegation


It was a tough task for Fulham on Saturday when they made a very short trip to Chelsea in a London Derby. In the game, U.S. national team left back Antonee Robinson earned the start while Tim Ream was on the bench. Christian Pulisic was on the bench for Chelsea and was unlikely to play due to the bigger contest ahead midweek against Real Madrid in the return leg of the Champions League semifinal.

In this game, Fulham dropped a 2-0 decision and are now nine points deep in the relegation zone with just four games remaining. Any chances of survival are remarkably remote.

As for Robinson, he was solid in this one. In the first half he stole the ball from Kai Havertz to get a shot which forced a save from Edouard Mendy.

The American struggled at times to contain Reece James but overall it was a pretty good outing for a team that was completely overmatched as a whole.

  •         90 minutes
  •         90 touches
  •         2 shots
  •         1 key pass
  •         42/57 passing (74%)
  •         2/3 long balls
  •         1/3 accurate crosses
  •         4/7 duels won
  •         2/2 dribbles
  •         1 clearance
  •         0/1 aerials
  •         1 interception


The question becomes what will the future be for Robinson after relegation. It's hard to predict during COVID-times and money is tighter for most clubs. Fulham seems like a club that will want to make a return ASAP. That might keep Robinson with the Cottagers. On the otherhand, the more likely scenario is that he moves. If he could secure an eight-figure deal to AC Milan while playing with Wigan (only to be undone by a medical), he will have plenty of interest after this current season where he's played well in the Premier League. 

While Pulisic did not play in this one, it was an important result for him and Chelsea to remain in the top four – for a spot in next year’s Champions League. With four games remaining, they are in fourth place with a five-point cushion on fifth place Tottenhem.


McKennie starts in Juve win


It wasn’t necessarily a good outing for Juventus or any of the team’s players, but a 2-1 win over Udinese was enough to keep it in a favorable position to qualify for the Champions League next year with a top four finish in Serie A. While winning another Scudetto hasn’t seemed likely for most of the season, Juventus was officially dethroned today as Inter Milan clinched the title.

With this win, Juventus is in third-place on goal differential. Second place Atalanta, Juventus, and and fourth-place AC Milan all are even on 69 points. Fifth-place Napoli is just two points behind.

McKennie made a few mistakes, gave up a few dangerous free kicks (including on the Udinese goal), and his duel-winning wasn’t particularly great. Still, he got a high number of touches, and his pass completion was generally outstanding.  


It was a mixed outing for McKennie in a dull, but ultimately successful outing for Juventus.


Lederman wins Polish Cup


American players have certainly been having successful cup runs in Europe this season. Sergino Dest won the Copa del Rey, Mark McKenzie won the Belgian Cup, and Brenden Aaronson won the Austrian Cup. Last weekend, Zach Steffen won the English League Cup with Manchester City.

On Sunday. Ben Lederman started for Raków Cz?stochowa in a 2-1 win over Arka Gdynia in the Polish Cup final.

That makes it five Americans who have won European Cups this season. Either Gio Reyna or Tyler Adams will become a sixth winner with the DFB Pokal.

There are others who have the possibility to win. Christian Pulisic and Chelsea are in the FA Cup final. Weston Mckennie and Juventus are in the Coppa Italia final. Haji Wright and Sonderjyske are in the Danish Cup final. Ian Harkes and Dundee United are in the Scottish Cup semifinal. Josh Cohen and Maccabi Haifa are in the Israeli State Cup semifinal.

In theory, there could be 11 different Americans to win European domestic cups.

For Lederman, 20, it should give him a boost of confidence and momentum in his career after struggling since leaving La Masia in Barcelona. This past year he has dealt with COVID and minutes haven’t been regular, but he is trending upward recently. He earned 217 minutes for Raków Cz?stochowa in the cup campaign and 388 in the Ekstraklasa – where they currently sit third.

For the Los Angeles native, it has been a successful boost to his career and a good story.


Dest & Barca’s big win


Sergino Dest, 20, started for Barcelona on Sunday against Valencia and it was a game Barca needed to win if wanted to remain in contention to win La Liga. Those hopes took a major hit last Thursday following a 2-1 loss to Granada but coming into this, a win would move Barcelona within two points of leaders Atletico Madrid.

Despite falling behind 1-0 on Saturday, Barcelona rallied and won 3-2. Dest played 75 minutes in this one while U.S. international Yunus Musah did not get off the bench for Valencia.

Dest was quiet over his 75 minutes and left with Barcelona up 3-1.  Most of his 40 touches were in the attacking half but he was rarely involved in anything dangerous (and didn’t have much to defend either). Most of Barcelona’s attacks were on the left.

  •         75 minutes
  •         40 touches
  •         0 shots
  •         0 key passes
  •         33/34 passing
  •         1/1 long balls
  •         0/2 duels
  •         0/0 aerials
  •         0 clearances
  •         0 interceptions
  •         0 tackles
  •         0 dribbles
  •         0x foules
  •         1 foul

 Next weekend's game against Atletico Mardid is everything. 


Miazga & Anderlecht open Championship Round


The top four of the Belgian Pro League opened the final round of the season with each team getting slated to face each other twice with the points halved from the regular season.

Leaders Club Brugge hosted Anderlecht with U.S. international Matt Miazga earning the start for guests.

The game finished 2-2 and normally this would be satisfactory for Anderlecht to walk away from a trio to face the league’s best team and come away with a point, but this was tough. Anderlecht moved ahead in the 86th minute but suffered a late equalizer at the hands of Bas Dost in stoppage time. On that play Miazga was partially responsible.

Miazga, 25, rarely moved into the attacking half. Only three of his 30 completed passes were in Brugge’s half of the field.

  •         90 minutes
  •         49 touches
  •         30/39 passing
  •         1/3 long balls
  •         3/6 duels
  •         3/6 aerials
  •         5 clearances
  •         0 tackle attempts
  •         0 fouls
  •         0x fouls
  •         1 interception

In this Championship round, three teams are competing for second place and a spot in the Champions League playoffs next season. With this draw, Anderlecht fell to third – one point behind second place Genk. But in getting their toughest game out of the way, Anderlecht is in a good spot.


Cannon & Boavista’s bad draw


On Saturday, Boavista played to a 3-3 road draw against Santa Clara in the Azores. It was a very disappointing, and potentially costly, draw as the club had a 3-2 lead until the fourth minute of stoppage time when Santa Clara found an equalizer through Fabio Cardoso.

Former FC Dallas right back and current U.S. international Reggie Cannon earned the start for Boavista. Two of Boavista’s goals were scored by former Houston Dynamo attacker Alberth Elis and Boavista had to play with 10 men starting in the 66th minute.

Cannon played relatively well against the favored Santa Clara and he did well on the defensive side of the ball. Offensively, he wasn’t too involved with just 12 completed passes and 0 dribbles over 90 minutes.

  •         90 minutes
  •         43 touches
  •         12/19 passing
  •         2/2 long balls
  •         1/3 crossing
  •         6/10 duels
  •         3/6 aerials
  •         4 clearances
  •         0 dribbles
  •         1x fouled
  •         1 foul
  •         1/3 tackles
  •         2/3 aerials
  •         2 interceptions

With four games remaining, Boavista is two points away from automatic safety. Three of its remaining opponents are all midtable and one is leaders Sporting CP.


Elsewhere across Europe


In Ligue 1, Tim Weah was an unused sub for Lille in a 2-1 win over Nice to remain atop Ligue 1.

In the Eredivisie, Luca de la Torre started and played 89 minutes for Heracles against VVV Venlo. The San Diego native played well in the midfield and has had a great season but VVV is one of the worst top-division teams in Europe at the moment having lost 12 games in a row and conceded 35 in that span. It hasn’t scored a goal in 381 minutes.

In Scotland’s Premiership, Ian Harkes started and played 57 minutes for Dundee United in a 2-0 home loss to Ross County. Scott Pittman played the full game for Livingston in a 2-1 loss at home to Aberdeen.

Mark McKenzie played just the final minute for KRC Genk in a 3-2 away win over Royal Antwerp in the Championship round of Belgium's Pro League.

In Poland’s top flight Ekstraklasa, Aron Johannsson started and played 65 minutes for Lech Poznan in a 2-1 home loss to Stal Mielec. Kenny Saief started and played 67 minutes for Lechia Gdansk in a 3-1 away win over Wisla Plock.

In the relegation half of the Danish Superliga, Haji Wright started and played 84 minutes for Sonderjyske in a 2-1 win over OB Odense. Fellow American Emmanuel Sabbi played the final 21 minutes on the wing for OB in the loss.

In the English Championship, Duane Holmes started and played 58 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Coventry. Matthew Olosunde was an unused sub for relegation battling Rotherham United in a 1-1 draw with Blackburn.

In the Swiss Super League, U.S. national team forward Jordan Siebatcheu started and played 66 minutes for BSC Young Boys in a 2-1 loss to Servette on the road. Young Boys has already clinched the league title.

In Hungary’s top flight, Henry Wingo played the final 18 minutes for Ferencvaros in a 2-1 win over Mezokovesd SE. Ferencvaros has already clinched the championship.

In Sweden's Allsvenskan, Romain Gall started for Orebro but was pulled at the half in a 3-0 home loss to IFK Norrkoeping

In Turkey's Super Lig, DeAndre Yedlin was an unused sub for Galatasaray in a 2-0 win over Genclerbirligi. It was Yedlin's first time making a matchday roster since his ankle injury last month. Mix Diskerud started and played 86 minutes for Denizlispor in a 1-0 loss to Rizespor with that loss, Diskerud and Denizlispor have been relegated out of the Super Lig. 

In Argentina, Joel Sonora started and played 66 minutes for Talleres de Cordoba in a 1-1 draw with Huracan.

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