Americans abroad

Corona into Liga MX final, Dest and Perez contract news, & more

On the field, it was a slow weekend for Americans abroad in Europe outside of Sargent's goal. Off the field as well as on the field in Central and South America, there was a lot of news. Brian Sciaretta breaks it down
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
December 09, 2018
11:00 PM
THE WEEKEND abroad was certainly interesting for Americans abroad. Obviously Josh Sargent got everything started on the right foot with his first Bundesliga goal, but after that the news came from places and people who are typically not the top newsmakers.

Sargent’s goal was welcome news as Americans abroad, as a whole, have not had a good season in Europe. Christian Pulisic has been deal with injuries and increased competition at Borussia Dortmund and that has limited his playing time. The Hershey native only made a late-game cameo against Schalke on Saturday in the Revierderby. Weston McKennie started for Schalke in the 2-1 loss.

Aside from that, there really wasn’t much going on of note in Europe. DeAndre Yedlin saw a red card and Duane Holmes came off the bench for Derby as it defeated Wigan 2-1 to further signal that it will contend for promotion. Tim Ream started for Fulham in a bad loss to Manchester United and Danny Williams made a rare start for Huddersfield which lost to Arsenal. Julian Green and Greuther Furth were destroyed by Erzgebirge Aue 5-0.

That being said, there were some things that were newsworth from abroad.

Corona’s big win

Joe Corona, 28, often doesn’t get a lot of attention among Americans abroad but the California-native earned a big start for Club America in the second leg of the Liga MX semifinal against Pumas. After the first leg finished 1-1, the two teams met in Mexico City at Azteca Stadium on Sunday night where Corona was named to the starting XI.

The game wasn’t close as Club America put on a show and won 6-1 (and 7-2 on aggregate). Corona did not score but he played well, along with everyone on Club America, to help it advance to the final where it will meet Cruz Azul. The first leg is set for Wednesday night.

Dest signs Ajax deal

Sergino Dest, 18, is a very highly regarded prospect within U.S. Soccer and one person close to the youth national team program said he is one of the best right back prospects to come through the program in years (while also adding that Atlanta’s George Bello is one of the best American left back prospects in years).

On Monday, it was formally announced that the Dutch-born Dest has signed a professional contract with Ajax through 2021. Recently, Dest has been promoted to the second team of Ajax, Jong Ajax, which plays in the second tier of the Dutch pyramid. Dest has been performing well there with an assist this past round and a goal the weekend before.

Dest recently played a big part of the U.S. U-20’s triumph at the CONCACAF championships where he was instrumental in the 2-0 win over Mexico in the final. Dest joined the team after the first group stage and was one of the team’s best players.

2019 will be a big year for Dest where he will have the U-20 World Cup in May followed by a big preseason with Ajax in the summer where he will likely have a very real chance to establish himself with the club’s first team.

Perez at Celtic

The U.S. U-20 team is loaded at right back. Sergino Dest is a huge prospect but the next two in line are also really good. Jaylin Lindsey has already played for Sporting Kanas City and will likely feature more in 2019. Then there is also Manny Perez who is publishing pictures of himself in Glasgow with Celtic.

Perez recently completed his second season at NC State, the same college that produced U-20 head coach Tab Ramos.

Perez has only recently been converted to right back with U.S. youth national teams (he had been a right winger) but has performed well there. According to one scout, the physical but less technical Scottish League will probably suit Perez well.

But should he come to terms with Celtic, Perez will need to obtain a U.K work permit via an appeals process which is easier in Scotland as opposed to England.

Moore looks to get paid

Getting paid on time is something that players based domestically in the United States sometimes take for granted. There are many places abroad where that can be a struggle.

United States national team right back Shaq Moore is finding that out the hard way where he plays in Spain’s second tier with CF Reus Deportiu (on loan from La Liga’s Leveante). On Saturday, Reus players staged an on-field protest over not having been paid for three months.

During the protest, Reus players intentionally kept the ball in their own half against opponents, Alcorcon, who were passive. Eventually the protests ended and Reus went on to win 1-0.

Hoyos scores in 2018 finale

Michael Hoyos, 27, has had a good season in Ecuador even if his team, Guayaquil City, has been poor. On Saturday, the California-born/raised winger scored a stunning free kick goal in a 2-1 win over Universidad Catolica in the season finale. It was his 10th goal of the season to go along with three assists.

Hoyos was once a very promising player in his parents’ native Argentina where he played with Argentina’s U-20 team. Unfortunately for him, a serious car crash set him back years. It has only been the past two years where he has been able to get back on track regularly and play over 2500 minutes a season.

The next destination for Hoyos is unclear although he told ASN in November that he would like to return to the United States and play in MLS. At this point, he seems like he should have performed well enough to get an offer somewhere. Powerful left wingers are in short supply in MLS and Hoyos has returned to play at a high level.

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