Americans abroad analysis
Dest, Boyd, Siebatcheu, and Adams star in Mixed weekend for Yanks
March 22, 2021
THE WEEKEND FOR AMERICANS abroad started off slowly but picked up on Sunday. By the time it was all over, Tyler Adams, Tyler Boyd, John Brooks, Sergino Dest, and Jordan Siebatcheu all were the top performers.
There were also some players who had mixed outings. DeAndre Yedlin scored, and was set off. Chris Richards committed a terrible error for Hoffenheim to gift a goal for Mainz, - but then hit a lovely assist. Daryl Dike lost for the first time at Barnsley but was the focus of a physical battle where Sheffield Wednesday focused on physically manhandling Dike to stop Barnsley.
There were also plenty of other ups and downs. Tim Weah was quiet for Lille in a loss – which saw the team fall out of the Ligue 1 lead. Reggie Cannon and Boavista had a terrible result in a home loss to a Farense team that was in last place entering the day. As a result, Boavista fell to the bottom of the table.
Weston McKennie, still dealing with lingering issues, only played bench minutes for Juventus in a bad 1-0 loss to Benevento where the goal came off a brutal error minutes before McKennie came on the field.
On the flip side, Brenden Aaronson did not stand out for Salzburg in a 1-0 win over LASK but his team, coached by Jesse Marsch, is coasting to another Austrian Bundesliga title. Also, in Austria, Hartberg and St. Poelten played to a thrilling 3-3 draw. Taylor Booth came off the bench for St. Poelten and scored an equalizer while Brandon Servania started for the club and was sharp.
Finally, Christian Pulisic put forth his second straight very good outing for Chelsea in a 2-0 win over Sheffield United in the FA Cup. Likewise, Zack Steffen earned a rare start for Manchester City in a 2-0 win over Everton in the FA Cup. The U.S. national team stater only had to make one save in the win.
Here are the top stories from the weekend.
Dest scores twice in Barca rout
Sergino Dest has thrived in recent weeks with Barcelona when head coach Ronald Koeman has shifted formations to a three-man backline while using two wingbacks. With Dest now occupying the right wingback position, he has thrived in getting into the attack. His touches are now much further up the field, he is able to take defenders on with the ball, and he is a big contributor offensively.
Sunday’s game against Real Sociedad was one of the best games of Dest’s young career so far and he scored twice en route to a 6-1 away win.
The first goal came after Dest received a pass from Lionel Messi
The second came off a darting run into the box.
In this role, Dest is not very active in defense right now but he focused on offense and the result is that he is able to be a much bigger contributor to Barcelona.
- 84 minutes
- 68 touches
- 39/43 passing (91%)
- 2 shots
- 2 goals
- 1 key pass
- 1/2 long balls
- 3/8 duels won
- 3/4 successful dribbles
- 0x fouled
- 1 foul
- 0 aerial attempts
- 0 interceptions
- 0 tackles
- 0 clearances
With the win, Barcelona remains in second place but is only four points behind Atletico – a gap that has been steadily closing.
Boyd MOTM for Sivasspor
In Turkey’s Super Lig, Tyler Boyd was the MOTM for Sivasspor in a 5-3 win over Goztepe. The New Zealand-born, American winger scored two goals and had another goal questionably called back.
In short, he was everywhere in this game and here are both of his goals.
Sir Tyler Boyd pic.twitter.com/2JSMR7mfRq— ??C?C?NHO #Bozk?r?nLampard?HakanArslan (@KB_Sivasspor) March 21, 2021
Combined with his first goal for Sivasspor on March 7, Boyd is trending upward again after a tough spell at Besiktas to start the season. He went for months without playing and is now getting back into form.
Boyd, 26, is very streaky. When he’s hot, he is outstanding. But he also has times when he runs cold for long stretches. Now is a good time for Boyd and it will be interesting to see if he can keep it going and return to the United States national team this summer. He is certainly needed with the injury to Jordan Morris, the ongoing recovery of Paul Arriola, and the tough season from Uly Llanez.
Brooks bests Sargent
Two United States national team starters met up on Saturday when Josh Sargent and Werder Bremen hosted John Brooks and Wolfsburg. Wolfsburg ended up winning 2-1 to remain in third place in the Bundesliga and its Champions League hopes were boosted as a result.
Sargent came into this came having had a great March where he had a spell of three goals in three games – even when he didn’t score against Bayern Munich, he was very dangerous.
Sargent had a tough game in this one and had an own goal which gave Wolfsburg a 1-0 lead. This was Sargent’s only poor outing in a month and it was similar to how Werder was playing midseason when offense was tough to come by.
For Brooks, he won the battle and continues to anchor Wolfsburg’s backline in impressive fashion. In this game, his positioning was excellent and he rarely allowed Werder the space to operate. He was smart in shutting down passing lanes
- 90 minutes
- 63 touches
- 1 shot
- 0 key passes
- 36/44 passing
- 2/5 accurate long balls
- 5/12 duels won
- 3 clearances
- 1/2 dribbles
- 1 foul
- 1x foul
- 1/1 tackles
- 2/5 aerials won
- 7 interceptions
Wolfsburg has conceded just 22 goals in 26 games. It has a four point gap over fourth place Eintracht Frankfurt and should be in good position to see out a top four finish with eight games remaining and an eight point cushion in the Champions League positions.
Siebatcheu scores & assist
Jordan Siebatcheu has been in very good form for BSC Young Boys since late December – when his minutes increased in his loan from Rennes to the Swiss Leaders.
On Sunday in a 4-0 win over Zurich, the Washington, DC-born Siebatcheu, 24, scored his 10th goal of the Swiss Super League season. That scoring run began on December 19 and has run over the last 14 games. He also had three goals in the Europa League – all against Bayer Leverkusen.
Sietbacheu began the game with an assist.
He then followed it up with a goal.
This will be an interesting period for Siebatcheu who has finally turned the corner. BSC Young Boys has an option to purchase but Siebatcheu might be able to secure a full transfer to even a higher level. He’s also put himself into the mix with the U.S. national team. The forward depth chart is deeper now than it has been in years and Siebatcheu’s biggest competition right now is probably Daryl Dike and it will be interesting to see that unfold.
Adams busy in Leipzig win
Tyler Adams earned the start for second place RB Leipzig on Friday and while he did not play in his preferred central midfield position, he had his busiest day so far while playing outside midfield.
In the 1-0 win, Adams had a staggering 123 touches and covered to of ground to leave a big footprint on the win.
Tyler Adams: raw # for Leipzig in 1-0 win vs. Arminia Bielefeld— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) March 20, 2021
123 touches !
1 key pass
96/103 passes !
60/96 completed passes in attacking half
3/7 duels won
2/3 aerials won
Touch Map: pic.twitter.com/wczvFWYGG0
Adams won’t be with the national team this international window but when he does rejoin the team, he will play centrally. What is important now for Adams is that he put in active performances in wins. He’s still just 21 and is playing a lot. Eventually, with performances like these, he will return to the middle of the field.
Pulisic & Chelsea off to Wembley
Christian Pulisic is trending upward for the first time at Chelsea since Thomas Tuchel took over as head coach in January. Last week, Pulisic came off the bench and assisted in a 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League. On Sunday, Pulisic was a menace to Sheffield United in a 2-0 win in the FA Cup to advance to Wembley Stadium for a spot in the semifinals.
- 83 minutes
- 4 shots (2 on target)
- 1 key pass
- 32/39 passing
- 1 cross
- 2/3 accurate long balls
- 9/16 duels won
- 5/6 dribbles
- 4x fouled
- 0/2 aerials won
- 0 tackles
He was highly effective with the ball at his feet and drew fouls when he wasn’t getting past defenders. When Pulisic isn’t playing well, sometimes it seems like he is doing too much. In these last two games, Pulisic has been on the same page as his teammates and has had a big impact.
Things are trending up for Chelsea as Pulisic is hitting his stride. The team is now on the inside of the Champions League positions, it is still alive in the Champions League quarterfinals, and is into the semifinals of the FA Cup. For a team having a tough season, things are turning positive.
Best of the rest
Elsewhere around the globe, there were some really positive stories.
In the Austrian Bundesliga, Brenden Aaronson, Jesse Marsch, and Red Bull Salzburg weren’t great in a 1-0 away win over LASK on Saturday, but three points combined with second place Rapid Vienna posting a draw gave Marsch & Co. a seven-point lead to conclude the main stage of the league campaign. Now it will head to the Championship round where their lead is reduced to four points and it will be just the top six in the table competing. 10 games separate Salzburg from another Bundesliga title.
Staying in the Austrian Bundesliga, Taylor Booth and Brandon Servania both had nice outings for St. Poelten in a 3-3 draw with Harberg. Booth scored his second goal for the club (to go along with two assists) since joining in February on loan from Bayern Munich. His 67th minute goal, five minutes after subbing on, gave St. Poelten a 2-1 lead. Servania was a steady presence in the midfield where he started and played 68 minutes. St. Poelten will now head to the relegation round of the Austrian Bundesliga sitting third out of six teams.
In the FA Cup, Zack Steffen didn’t have a lot to do but still made one save in a rare start for Manchester City – which is into the semifinals following a 2-0 win over Everton.
Matt Miazga and Anderlecht got back into their winning ways on Sunday in Belgium’s top flight with a 4-1 win over Zlute-Waregem. Anderlecht has blown a lot of winnable games this season but it needs to try to finish in the top four to qualify for the league’s Championship Round.
In Argentina’s Liga Professional, Talleres de Cordoba posted a thrilling 2-1 win over Boca Juniors thanks to a stoppage time winner by Diego Valoyes which was assisted by 2015 U.S. U-20 World Cup midfielder Joel Sonora. Sonora, 24, has thrived playing against Boca Juniors where he scored a late winner over them in the fall. His father, Diego Sonora, played over 200 times for Boca Juniors before playing for the Dallas Burn and the Metrostars in the early days of the MLS.
Here it is. American midfielder Joel Soñora’s stoppage time winning assist for Talleres in a 2-1 victory over Boca Juniors. Boca Juniors employing some social distance defending here pic.twitter.com/zFG04eYvi6— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) March 22, 2021
In the Eredivisie, Luca de la Torre continues to play well for Heracles and was sharp in a 1-1 draw against Sparta Rotterdam on Sunday.
In Scotland's Premiership, Ian Harkes started, went the distance, and had a strong outing for Dundee United in a 1-0 win over Aberdeen.
Finally, Timothy Chandler came off the bench and scored an easy goal for Eintracht Frankfurt off a terrible turnover in stoppage time. The 5-2 win kept Eintracht in fourth place and in the Champions League positions of the Bundesliga.
Mixed results & struggles
There were plenty of games this weekend where American players were either up or down, struggled, or were part of tough losses.
Daryl Dike, 20, played well for Barnsley but was part of his first Championship loss in a 2-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday. This game was brutally physical and grueling and Dike had the upper-hand for stretches too. He forced both of Wednesday’s central defenders to pick up cards. He was the focal point of Sheffield Wednesday’s defense and this is something where he will have to adjust.
In Turkey’s Super Lig, DeAndre Yedlin earned the start for Galatasaray in a 4-3 loss at home Rizespor. Yedlin, 27, scored his first goal for the Turkish giants in this one but little else went right. He also conceded a penalty for a handball in the box, and was sent off in the 79th minute with the score 3-3.
In the Premier League: Antonne Robinson, Tim Ream, and Fulham dropped a 2-1 decision at home to Leeds United on Friday to remain two poitns deep in the relegation zone of the Premier League. Ream did not play while Robinson went a full 90 in the tough loss.
In Ligue 1, Tim Weah started for Lille on Sunday at home against Nimes. Weah was generally inactive and only played the first half in a 2-1 loss. It was the team’s second loss in a row. Combined with Paris St. Germain’s win over Lyon, Lille fell out of first place.
In the Bundesliga, Chris Richards had a very good moment and a very bad moment – which ultimately trended negative as Hoffenheim lost 2-1 to lowly Mainz. In the opening minute, Richards coughed up a bad turnover in a bad spot to gift Mainz the opening goal.
Richards rebounded quickly, however, and hit a terrific assist for Hoffenheim in an equalizer. It was a positive sign for him that he was able to shake off the error but this was a bad loss.
Staying in the Bundesliga, Gio Reyna wasn’t bad but he did not have much of an impact for Borussia Dortmund on Saturday in a bad 2-2 draw on the road to Koln. Reyna played 66 minutes in the draw which saw it fall four points behind Eintracht Frankfurt in the race for a Champions League spot.
In the Bundesliga, Schalke lost to Borussia Monchengladbach 3-0 at home to remain in last place with a goal differential of -53. Matthew Hoppe started for Schalke and played 76 minutes but there was nothing he could do in this one as Schalke is outmanned in every game they play.
American manager Pellegrino Matarazzo had a bad day with VfB Stuttgart which saw Bayern Munich reduced to 10 players inside of 15 minutes. That did not prevent a 4-0 loss.
In the 2.Bundesliga, Julian Green and Greuther Furth saw their promotional hopes take a hit with a 2-2 draw to Nurnberg. Further were lucky to get a point in this one as it took an equalizer with the last kick of the game to achieve it. Furth is now in third place, one point behind Bochum - which has played one fewer game. Furth is only one point ahead of Holstein Kiel which has played two fewer games. Green started and played 69 minutes in this one.
Weston McKennie isn’t at 100% but he couldn’t help Juventus earn a result against Benevento. McKennie came into the game minutes after Juventus coughed up an embarrassing goal for Benevento’s only shot in the game. McKennie played 20 minutes plus stoppage time in this loss.
In Portugal’s top flight, Reggie Cannon and Boavista fell into last place following a 1-0 loss to Farense – which was in last place coming into the weekend. Cannon played 66 minutes in this very bad loss at home.
In La Liga, Yunus Musah continues to earn only limited minutes for Valencia and he was an 86th minute sub on Sunday in a 2-1 win over Grenada. The score was 2-0 when he came on to see out the win.
In the Austrian Bundesliga, it was a game to forget for Erik Palmer-Brown and Austria Vienna which lost 5-3 at home to Wolfsberger on Sunday.
In the FA Cup, Cameron Carter-Vickers and AFC Bournemouth were bounced on Saturday following a 3-0 loss to Southampton.
U.S. national team attacker Nicholas Gioacchini and SM Caen played Chateauroux to a 2-2 draw on Saturday. Gioacchini picked up a yellow card and is suspended for Caen’s next game. His suspension, however, gave him a way to be readmitted to the national team camp.
Finally, in Serie B, Andrija Novakovich and Frosinone are in a very poor run right now and on Saturday dropped a 3-0 decision at home to Lecce to fall six points away from the promotional playoffs.