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Americans Abroad

Carter-Vickers to Sheffield; Wood Scores; Ream Wins

The final week of play before the international break proved to be an eventful one for Americans playing in England, Germany, and Mexico. Here's a quick roundup of the key happenings.
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
August 28, 2017
1:00 PM

Wood opens his 2017-18 account

After a surprise ouster from the German Cup, it was easy to be pessimistic on Hamburg’s chances this season. Two games into the Bundesliga season, however, the outlook seems to be much brighter as the club has secured six points.

On Friday the club made a statement with a 3-1 road win over Cologne. U.S national team forward Bobby Wood scored the team’s second goal in the 34th minute. It was the Hawaiian’s first of the season.

The goal could provide Wood with a bit of confidence and momentum as he joins U.S. camp in New Jersey ahead of Friday's World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica

Carter-Vickers heads out on loan

It was far from a sure thing that a loan would ever come for Tottenham’s American central defender, Cameron Carter-Vickers, but it has been obvious since the start of preseason that one was needed. The open questions revolved around Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino’s general reluctance to loaning young players.

Carter-Vickers had an uneven year in 2016-17. He appeared in a few cup games and was on the bench for 16 Premier League games but t that led to the false notion that he was progressing. He never played a minute in the league and his reserve minutes dropped since he was with the first team. When he played this preseason, the rust was apparent. Another season like the last would result in a complete lost year. Training with world-class players is great up to a certain point but young players need to play and there is no substitute for competitive games.

On Friday Tottenham announced that Carter-Vickers extended his contract through 2020 and that he would spend the rest of 2017-18 on loan to Sheffield United. United is a better-than-average Championship team and its win on Saturday lifted  it to fifth place of the second tier. Playing time will still be tough to come by but it is certainly attainable for the English-born Carter-Vickers. (He made the bench and was an unused substitute on Saturday.)

United sometimes play with three central defenders and that will increase the team’s need for players at that position. The Championship features a grueling 46-game season, and when you add in cup matches that means there's a lot of soccer to be played. Carter-Vickers should force himself onto the field sooner rather than later.

Champions and Europa League draws

The Champions League and the Europa League had their draws on Friday—here's how it will affect three Americans.

Christian Pulisic and Borussia Dortmund were drawn into Group H of the Champions League, where they will face Real Madrid, Tottenham, and Apoel.

In the Europa League, Tennessee native and former Columbus Crew forward Aaron Schoenfeld of Maccabi Tel Aviv will play in Group A. The Israeli team will face off against Spain’s Villarreal, Kazakhstan’s Astana, and the Czech Republic’s Slava Prague. Schoenfeld, 27, helped to send Maccabi Tel Aviv into the group stage on Thursday when he picked up a crucial assist in the playoff round against Austria’s Altach.

Finally, Matt Miazga and Vitesse were drawn into Group K of the Europa League. The Dutch Cup champions will face Italy’s Lazio, France’s Nice, and Belgium’s Zulte Waregem.

Wagner and Williams Stay Near Top

The season is only three games old but Huddersfield Town's start to its first Premier League campaign has been a great story so far.

On Saturday, Huddersfield played Southampton to a scoreless draw. Danny Williams made his second Premier League appearance when he came on in the 61st minute and helped preserve the point. Widely predicted to be relegated this year, Huddersfield has seven points from its first three games.

While relegation is still a possibility, former U.S. national team forward David Wagner has come into the season with a great game plan in shoring up the defense first. Through three games, the club has yet to concede a goal. The Terriers do not bunker either—Wagner’s teams do create opportunities and are fun to watch.

Wagner is a rising star and has a bright future as a coach. American fans are just hoping one of his stops along the way is with the national team he represented.

Pulisic, Ream, Horvath all win

Pulisic was active and involved for Borussia Dortmund in a 2-0 win over Hertha Berlin. The Pennsylvania native could not find the target but his ability to make great runs and send in dangerous passes was instrumental in the win.

Tim Ream is playing good soccer at the right time. The St. Louis native has been perhaps Fulham’s best player so far this season and on Saturday the Cottagers cruised to a 2-0 victory over Ipswich for its first win of the season. With John Brooks out for the United States, Ream could be in line for an important start at Red Bull Arena, a venue he once called home at the start of his career.

Finally, Ethan Horvath posted his second shutout of the season in Belgium as his league-leading Club Brugge downed Standard Liege 4-0. The Colorado native made five saves in the contest.

Good weekend for Americans in Mexico

Just about every American player playing in Mexico has something to smile about right now—including players who are rarely talked about these days.

Edgar Castillo had his best game in ages for Monterrey, which played to a 1-1 draw against Cruz Azul. Castillo's teammate, U.S. U-20 midfielder Jonathan Gonzalez, continues to start and keep Mexican international Jesus Molina on the bench. League-leading Monterrey should have won this game but its finishing was subpar.

Santos Laguna started two U.S. internationals in defense—left back Jorge Villafana and central defender Ventura Alvarado. Both looked good in a 2-1 road win over Leon.

Omar Gonzalez started for Pachuca against Club Tijuana this weekend—the central defender's first minutes since an August 9 injury. While Pachuca fell 2-1, Gonzalez played well in a tough spot as his central defense partner was given a first-half red card. Fellow American Joe Corona came on for Tijuana in the 74th minute and was on the field for his team’s 87th-minute winner.

Even former national team left back Jonathan Bornstein got into nice run with a strong performance for Queretaro in a scoreless draw against Chivas.

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