Americans Abroad

Adams shines in first Forest start, Balogun adds brace, PSV loses, and more

ASN's Brian Sciaretta provides the full breakdown of the weekend for Americans abroad, and the biggest highlight was an outstanding full shift from the USMNT World Cup captain Tyler Adams. 
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
April 01, 2024
8:10 AM

THE WEEKEND FOR AMERICANS abroad was a little bit more quiet as many of the players who were involved with recent camps for the full U.S. national team or the U.S. Olympic teams only saw limited minutes.

But, as always, that didn’t stop there from being any big highlights – and that started from the captain.


Adams takes huge step in comeback


Tyler Adams made his first appearance of the Premier League season (and first league appearance in a year) just before the international window for Bournemouth. Then during the international window, Adams played quite a bit but still had limited minutes for the U.S. team where he scored a wonder goal against Mexico.

But on Saturday, any kind of restrictions came off and Adams looked like he was truly back. The former RBNY midfielder went a full 90 minutes for AFC Bournemouth in a 2-1 win over Everton. The numbers he put up were first rate, across the board.

He was good with the ball, he was good in defense, and he was good winning 50-50 balls. Most importantly, he went 90 minutes.

Adams looked reliable and almost like he hadn’t been away for almost an entire year. This is big news for Bournemouth, big news for Adams, and big news for the USMNT with the Copa America just a few months away. Not only on the field, having Adams on the field is critical to the U.S. team’s heart and soul.


 Paredes solid, Imasuen debuts


In the Bundesliga on Saturday, Wolfsburg posted an impressive 2-0 away win over Werder Bremen. Entering into the game, both teams were struggling. Wolfsbug had not had a league win in 11 games. Werder Bremen had lost three straight (all by 2-1 scores).

Kevin Paredes returned from an Olympic national team camp with the U.S. team and played all 90 minutes for Wolfsburg. The winger was not at his best with the U.S. U-23 team but was in sharp form for Wolfsburg against Werder Bremen.

The former DC United winger won 7/8 ground duels and drew three fouls for Wolfsburg. He was one of the team’s better players in the game and he featured in his preferred left-wing position.

The question for Paredes, as always, will be what team he plays for this summer, the Copa America team or the Olympic team? He has been with both teams. Right now, it seems like the Olympic team is more likely but Wolfsburg’s release will be an open question. But another issue will be his form over the next two months. Consistency has been what has separated Paredes thus far with issues of playing for the USMNT or youth teams, or simply being a regular starter for Wolfsburg.


This game was a good step, but keeping at this level is the key.

Meanwhile, Joel Imasuen, 19, made his debut for Werder Bremen when he came on in the 89th minute of what was a very bad team performance for Werder (and the club’s fourth straight loss). He didn’t do anything of note – 1 touch, 1/1 passing – but a debut in a top European league is always an important milestone for an American player.

 It’s tough to read on how Imasuen is developing as a player. Werder isn’t in a good place right now and Imasuen simply hasn’t been challenged with the club’s reserve team which plays in the 5th tier Oberliga (and after Germany’s 3.liga, the divisions split. The 4th tier Regionalliga has 90 teams and the 5th tier Oberliga has 257 teams).

This current season, Imasuen has scored 27 goals in 21 games for Werder Bremen II. That’s obviously very good. But Werder Bremen II is not challenged at all and has a +132 goal differential in the club’s 22 games this season. Imasuen is the second leading scorer in the league, behind a teammate who has 32 goals. It’s a low level and it’s tough to read much on Imasuen’s development until he plays against more fair competition.

Last season in the U-19 Bundesliga, Imasuen had five goals and five assists in 1498 minutes.

It’s an exciting development for Imasuen and something well worth following. But it’s very hard to contextualize right now.


Reyna faces Richards in EPL draw


After a very successful international window with the USMNT where he helped the team to the Nations League title, Gio Reyna returned to Nottingham Forest in search of regular minutes which have eluded him since joining the club in January on loan from Borussia Dortmund.

Forest manager Nuno said Renya returned to Forest in a good mood after good international performances and Reyna was on the bench against Crystal Palace while his USMNT teammate, Chris Richards, started in central defense for Crystal Palace.

Reyna came on in the 60th minute with Forest down 1-0 and one minute later, he had a small role in his team’s equalizer via Chris Woods.

What was more important about Reyna than his simple touch on the equalizer is that he got on the ball a lot, more than once a minute, and finished with 33 touches. He also completed all 22 of his passes and forced a save in the 74th.

Reyna had his best outing since joining Nottingham Forest, and it gives them another weapon down the stretch. That point lifted Nottingham Forest out of the relegation zone after the team was docked four points two weeks ago due to financial rules. They now are ahead of Luton Town on goal differential.

But more importantly than Reyna’s performance, this performance should give the team trust in Reyna. That is something that had been lacking and a confident Reyna should be able to help this team in a relegation fight. Then for the USMNT, this will only continue to have him ready to play extended minutes in the Copa America.

Also, for Forest, Matt Turner was an unused sub, which is the norm. There isn’t much to be said about this. He’s in a bad spot and who knows if he can fix it this summer in the offseason.

Meanwhile, Chris Richards had a good game for Palace. His passing was okay. His aerial winning was excellent. Palace are comfortable in midtable in 13th.


Balogun nets brace off the bench


Besides Reyna, if any other American needed a good outing this past weekend it was Folarin Balogun. The USMNT forward was on the bench for Monaco in a visit to relegation zone dwellers Metz.

It’s been a tough season for Balogun who has been way behind the level that he showed last year Stade de Reims. This has similarly affected his USMNT form and he has not been on the same page teammates there.

On Saturday, Balogun came into the game in the 65th minute with Monaco up 3-0. He scored in the 76th minute to make it 4-0. Then with the score 4-2 in stoppage time after two Metz goals, Balogun netted another.

There are two ways to look at Balogun’s performance. From a confidence perspective, it helps a lot. Anytime a striker scores, it builds momentum and confidence.

The goals themselves weren’t fantastic. The first was a comical goalkeeping error and the second was a blown coverage off a set piece. This doesn’t necessarily mean Balogun is doing better to be on the same page as his teammates or that he’s playing better. Monaco played terrific soccer before he came into the game.

But for his sake, these goals will hopefully lead to him playing better.


De la Fuente nets brace in Eibar route


Konrad de la Fuente, 22, had both a very good and a very important performance on Saturday for Eibar in a huge 5-1 win over Eldense. The Miami native came off the bench in the 71st with his team up just 1-0. But he scored in the 76th minute to make it 3-0 and then in the 85th to make it 4-0.

These were actually the first two first-team league goals in de la Fuente’s career and it came at a good moment as Eibar in the midst of a promotion push (sitting in second place in Spain’s Segunda) and de la Fuente has been only seeing very limited minutes this season. This might open the door for more playing time.

It’s likely far too late for de la Fuente to make the U.S. U-23 Olympic team given he has not been involved yet in a camp, the wingers for the team are solid, and he still only has limited minutes. But this was a step in the right direction in terms of his career. He needs to avoid another lost season.

Also, if Eibar are promoted and de la Fuente plays well down the stretch, maybe he can work out a deal to remain at the club since he’s only there on loan from Marseille (which likely has no interest in keeping him).

De la Fuente has been an afterthought for so long, but at least it’s a start to getting back on track.


PSV lose first of season


It took until the final game of March for PSV to drop its first Eredivisie game of the season. This time, it was to NEC Nijmegen on a 3-1 scoreline away.

All three of USMNT players saw the field for PSV while Richard Ledezma did not make the bench for PSV.

Sergino Dest went all 90 minutes while Malik Tillman replaced Chucky Lozano to start the second half. Ricardo Pepi came into the game in the 59th.

None of the American players had a particularly strong game. Tillman missed a great chance in the 47th minute. Dest also missed a chance in the 32nd minute while Pepi wasn’t able to get much service.


Sargent Scores 14th


When we last heard from Josh Sargent, it was when it was announced that an injury was going to force him off the USMNT Nations League roster. The American forward picked up an injury in Norwich’s final game before the window, a 3-0 win over Stoke.

But Sargent, 24, was back in the lineup on Friday and he scored his 14th goal of the season for Norwich in a big 2-1 win over Plymouth Argyle. Sargent got on the board in the 67th minute to equalize the game at 1-1. Norwich would then find a winner in the 74th on an own goal.

It wasn’t just the goal for Sargent. He was solid in all phases of the game. He completed 17/20 passes, he had seven shots, he was 4/6 in ground duels, and 2/2 in aerials. He also drew three fouls and committed zero.

Sargent was solid in all phases of the game and his goal was critical.

The win was massive for Norwich and it kept the team in sixth place in the Championship as they look to push for a top six finish, which would put them in the promotion playoffs.

As for Sargent, he now has 14 goals in just 1271 Championship minutes this season. He missed nearly four months due to an ankle injury and he is continuing to play through that injury. That is why he was not with the USMNT in March and Norwich manager, and former USMNT forward David Wagner, said Sargent is still managing through the injury.

But with Haji Wright also playing well, it is a horse race to try to make the Copa America roster this summer. Sargent is hurt by the fact he hasn’t been with the USMNT since the World Cup, but if he pushes towards 20 goals this season when he only played limited minutes and he helps a team towards promotion, maybe he can sneak into the team.

Also in the game, British-American forward Kenneth Aboah, 19, was an unused substitute for Norwich.


Wright scores again for Coventry


Haji Wright, 26, had a busy day for Coventry on Friday and scored the final goal in stoppage time to seal a 3-1 away win over Hudddersfield. The win kept Coventry in seventh place, four points behind Norwich for the final playoff spot. Coventry has played one fewer game.

Wright went all 90 minutes and had six shots – three on target and the other three blocked. Wright had 43 touches, including nine in the Huddersfield box. He lost duels and was dispossessed three times, but still found a way to get on the score sheet. Even it games when he is not at his best, there are always a few times when he is dangerous.

Wright now has 14 Championship goals in 2297 minutes and another two goals in the FA Cup. He is going to need to remain hot for Coventry to climb into the playoffs. But that is hard given how hot Norwich is as well.

For the national team, Wright also needs to continue to play well given how in-form the other No.9 players are in the USMNT pool. There is some discussion about Wright’s position. He is listed as a winger for Coventry but he gets a lot of touches centrally. For the USMNT, he is likely not going to be seen as a winger and more as a No. 9.


Yanks in England


On Saturday in the Premier League, Fulham played to a thrilling 3-3 draw with last-place Sheffield United. It was a wild game where Fulham’s Joao Palhinna scored an overhead goal kick to make it 1-1 but Sheffield United had a 3-1 lead when Auston Trusty was subbed into the game to help seal the rare victory.

But Fulham scored two thrilling goals at the end (86, and 90+6) to force a draw. Antonee Robinson was solid in the game getting into the attack and helping his team apply the pressure. He continues to be nearly automatic with his solid performances.

The Championship was in action both on Friday and then on Monday.

On Friday, Ethan Horvath had a good outing but was unable to prevent Cardiff from falling to Sunderland 2-0 at home. One of Sunderland’s goals came from a penalty and the other came off close shot. Perhaps Horvath could have cut out the cross but it would have been difficult.

Horvath made six saves, five were inside the box, and three were very difficult. His best came at the very end of the game. Cardiff sit midtable in 11th place in the Championship.

On Monday, Cardiff City defeated Coventry 2-1 in what was a huge blow to Coventry’s playoff push. In that game, Horvath only had to make one save while Haji Wright was held in check with just one shot and three touches in Coventry’s box.

Preston North end remains in the Championship promotion hunt in 8th place after a comfortable 3-0 win over last-place Rotherham United. All goals were in the first half and American attacking midfielder Duane Holmes opened the scoring in the 22nd minute when he made a move to get on the end of a low pass (or bad shot) across the goal mouth. It was the fourth game of the season for the 29-year-old from Columbus, GA.

On Monday, Holmes played 89 minutes for Preston North End in a 1-0 loss away to Birmingham City.

Lynden Gooch was out with a knock as his Stoke City pulled off a big 2-0 upset win over promotion contending Hull on the road. Stoke sits in 17th place, and is five points clear of the Championship relegation zone. He then also missed Stoke City’s 1-1 draw with Huddersfield on Monday.

Queens Park Rangers was once headed for relegation but is now six points clear of the Championship relegation zone after a 2-1 win over Birmingham City and a 1-0 away win over Swansea on Monday.. Reggie Cannon’s tough season continued and he was an unused substitute for both games. .

Matthew Hoppe was once again not in the squad for Middlesbrough as they played Southampton to a 1-1 away draw on Friday and then again on Monday.

After another big game on Friday, Josh Sargent was held to just one shot on Monday for Norwich in a 3-1 away loss to league leaders Leicester City.

In League One on Friday, Donovan Pines was out with a knock as Barnsley dropped a 2-0 decision at home to Cambridge United. Also in League One, Alex Mighten was out for Port Vale’s 2-0 win over Bristol Rovers on Friday.

In League Two, Jonathan Tomkinson returned from international duty with the U.S. Olympic team and played the final 11 minutes of Bradford City’s 2-0 win over Tranmere Rovers on Friday.


Yanks in Italy


In Serie A, Juventus fell to Lazio on Saturday 1-0 in Rome. The only American to feature in this game was Weston McKennie who played the second half. McKennie did not do much as it was a bad outing for Juventus who were chasing the game for almost the entire time. Juventus remains in third place, a 2 point lead on Bologna and a seven point lead on Roma to remain in the top four for a Champions League spot.

AC Milan meanwhile remained in second place with a 2-1 win over Fiorentina. Yunus Musah came on in the 63rd minute while Christian Pulisic came on in the 73rd. Pulisic was quiet but Musah had some nice moments on the ball and in defense to help preserve the win.

In Serie B, it was a brutal Monday despite two Yanks getting on the scoresheet.

Both Tanner Tessmann and Gianluca Busio returned from the U.S. national team Olympic camp to start for Venezia at home against Reggiana. In the 19th minute, it was Busio who opened the scoring with his sixth goal of the season.

But while Venezia eventually jumped out to a 2-0 lead at home, they collapsed and ended up suffering a 3-2 loss. Busio played 71 minutes while Tessmann went the distance.

The loss combined with Como’s 2-0 win over Sudtirol saw Como move one point past Venezia and into the final automatic promotion place in Serie B. In that game, Nicholas Gioacchini played the final 20 minutes for Como.

Also in the promotional race, Palermo travelled to Pisa and jumped out to a 2-0 lead with the second goal coming from U.S. international Kristoffer Lund.

But Pisa came back and notched a 4-3 win with two late goals after Palermo were reduced to 10 men in the 64th. In the last five games, Palermo has one win and five losses. Once seemed destined for promotion, Palermo is still in the promotional playoffs places but has tumbled to sixth.

Finally in Serie B, Andrija Novakovich played the final 21 minutes for last place Lecco in a 1-1 draw at home to Cittadella.


Yanks in Germany


In the Bundesliga on Saturday, Eintracht Frankfurt and Union Berlin played to a 0-0 draw. Brendan Aaronson started for Union Berlin and put in a strong 65-minute shift where he was among the more dangerous players for his team. He continued with the nice run of form he's displayed since just before the international break.

Timothy Chandler came into the game for Eintracht in stoppage time.

For 88 minutes, it seemed as if Hoffenheim was going to pull off a huge upset over leaders Bayer Leverkusen when they held a 1-0 lead. But Bayer scored in the 88th minute and then in stoppage time to secure a 3-1 win to remain 13 points on top of the table.

Pellegrino Matarazzo's Hoffenheim fell to ninth place while John Brooks was suspended for the game.

On Sunday in the Bundesliga, Augsburg and Koln played to a 1-1 draw. German-American teen Damion Downs played the final 17 minutes for Koln and had a 1v1 with the keeper on his first touch. Unfortunately for Downs, he couldn't get off a good shot and Koln were denied a winner. Koln sits in 17th place, in the relegation zone.

Heidenheim traveled to Stuttgart and played to a 3-3 draw. Lennard Maloney returned from his knee injury to sub into the game in stoppage time. Unfortunately, Maloney was on the field for Stuttgart's late equalizer and Heidenheim remained in 11th place.

In the 2.Bundesliga, Johan Gomez returned from U.S. Olympic team camp, where he scored in a 3-0 win over Guinea, and started for Eintracht Braunschweig in a 5-0 win over Elversberg. It was mostly a quiet outing for Gomez who had just one shot. The win was huge for Eintracht as it pulled them out of the relegation zone by a point. It was a great time for Eintracht to have their best game of the season, but the relegation race remains tight.  

St. Pauli remained atop the table following a 2-1 win over Paderborn. The team managed by Houston-born Fabian Hurzeler is 11 points clear of promotion.

Greuther Furth’s once realistic promotion hopes are going up in smoke. After a Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Hamburg, Furth is now seven points out of the playoff. U.S. U-23 defender Maximillian Dietz went the distance for Furth while Julian Green was not in action.


Yanks in Belgium


On Friday, Standard Liege suffered a brutal 5-1 defeat to Gent in the opening round of the playoff spot for the Conference League. Marlon Fossey played 85 minutes as the left wingback in the loss. He nearly scored in the 39th minute when his shot from just inside the box hit the post. He also forced a good save in the 83rd minute. But it was a tough day for all involved from Standard. After the first round of the playoffs, Standard is 10 points behind Gent.

On Sunday, Griffin Yow and Bryan Reynolds were given the day off for Westerlo upon returning from camp with the U.S. U-23 team. They missed Westerlo's 2-0 loss to St. Truiden. Meanwhile for St. Truiden, former Yale forward Kahveh Zahiroleslam played 72 minutes and was effective in his hold-up play.

In the Championship round on Monday, Mark McKenzie played 90 minutes for Genk in a huge 1-0 upset win over Union SG. That win blew the title race open as Union SG is now even on points with second place Anderlecht.


Yanks in the Netherlands


In the Eredivisie, Paxten Aarosnon was lively in his full 90 effort for Vitesse in a 2-0 away loss to AZ Alkmaar but ultimately couldn't help his team get on the matchday squad. Aaronson was lively with three shots and two key passes, but Vitesse was outmatched.

Similarly, Zach Booth had a quiet day for last-place Volendam in a 1-1 draw with Almere City.

Anthony Fontana did not get of the bench for PEC Zwolle in a 3-1 loss at home to Ajax.

In the second tier Eerste Divisie on Friday, Justin Che was not in the squad for ADO den Haag in a 2-0 loss at home to FC Groningen. ADO den Haag fell to fifth, but is still likely to make the promotional playoffs.

Also, in the Eerste Divisie, FC Den Bosch dropped a 3-0 decision at home to FC Dordrecht. Gedion Zelalem went all 90 minutes in the loss. Meanwhile for Dordrecht, John Hilton, 22, went 22 minutes at left back. Also, former Orange County forward Korede Osundina, 20, came into the game in the 14th minute for Dordrecht due to an injury but had a quiet outing. Dordrecht sits fourth and is in a promotion hunt. The news is more grim for Zelalem and Den Bosch which sit 19th in the 20 team league.


Yanks in Spain


In La Liga, Celta Vigo drew Rayo Vallecano to continue to move away from the relegation zone but Luca de la Torre was out due to a hamstring injury.

Girona defeated Real Betis 3-2, its fourth loss in a row. Johnny Cardoso was an unused substitute after returning from the international break.

In the Segunda, Mirandes travelled to FC Andorra and dropped a 1-0 result. Jonnathan Gomez played all 90 at left back in the loss and they are only four points clear of the relegation zone.


Yanks Elsewhere


In France’s Ligue 1, Le Havre’s tough stretch continued with a 2-0 loss at home to Montpellier. Emmanuel Sabbi fought hard, put on a good defense performance while also mustering three shots, but he could not stop his team from yet another loss (its fourth in five games). Le Havre is not out of the relegation playoff position by just a point. If Le Havre does go down, does Sabbi go with them or does he earn a transfer?

In a costly defeat, Hajduk lost at home to archrival Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 to fall into third place of Croatia's HNL. 2023 U.S. U-20 midfielder Rokas Pukstas started for Hajduk Split but was pulled at halftime.

In Scotland's Premiership, Cameron Carter-Vickers had a strong day for Celtic in a 3-0 win over last-place Livingston. CCV was rarely tested defensively, but he was useful in possession and setting a high line.

Next week Celtic faces Rangers in a game that will likely decide the title race. 

Meanwhile, Scott Pittman went 90 minutse for Livingston but didn't do much for his overmatched team in the loss.

Also in Scotland, Dante Polvara was an unused substitute in a 2-1 loss to Ross County.

In the Austrian Bundesliga, LASK defeated Austria Klagenfurt in the Championship playoff. George Bello was an unused substitute for LASK while Sebastian Soto played 15 minutse for Klagenfurt and had 0 shots and was 2/4 in passing.

In Switzerland, Lucas Pos was an unused substitute for last-place Stade Lausanne-Ouchy in a 3-1 loss at home to Lugano.

In the Danish Superliga, Jonathan Amon only had 2 touches during his 11 minute shift at the end of Lyngby's 6-2 loss to Randers.

 In Portugal's top league, Alex Mendez was an unused substitute again for Vizela in a 4-0 loss at home to Casa Pia.

In Hungary, Henry Wingo did not get off the bench for Ferencvaros in a 3-0 win on the road over Mezokovesd.

In Greece’s Super League, Caleb Stanko went 66 minutes for Lamia in a 3-1 loss to Aris in the opening round of the Championship playoff.

In Poland, Danny Trejo returned from injury and played the final 32 minutes for Korona Kielce in a 3-1 loss to Widzew Lodz. Korona Kielce is one point deep in the relegation zone but Trejo has played well since is arrival in January from Phoenix Rising.

In, Argentina's Copa de la Liga Professional, Matko Miljevic played the final 21 minutes for Newell's Old Boys in a 1-0 away win over Sarmiento. Miljevic was on the field for the winning goal in the 81st.

Also in Argentina, Huracan defeated River Plate 1-0 but American midfielder Alan Sonora did not get off the bench. The same could be said for his older brother Joel Sonora for Independiente Rivadavia in a 2-1 loss at home to his former club Banfield.

In Uruguay, Mattias Fracchia wend 90 minutes for Danubio in a 1-0 loss on the road to Defensor Sporting.

In Mexico, Fernando Arce Jr. went 90 minutes for Necaxa in a 2-1 loss at home to Leon.

Among two of Mexico's biggest teams, Monterrey dropped a 2-0 decision at home to Chivas. Cade Cowell started for Chivas and played 62 minutes, but the U.S. Olympic hopeful didn't do much. Brandon Vazquez came on to start the second half and had just one shot over 13 touches. Monterrey was reduced to 10 men in the 45th and then was down to nine men in the 82nd.

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