Midweek musings

Dike's Bike, CCV keeps winning, Aaronson scores in loss, Reyna shines, & more

Daryl Dike's popularity at Barnsley continues to soar, and for good reason as his latest goal was both impressive and it was a winner. Meanwhile Cameron Carter-Vickers and Gio Reyna both had strong efforts in big midweek wins. ASN's Brian Sciaretta walks you through those games and more with his thoughts. 
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
April 22, 2021
7:05 AM

THE EUROPEAN SEASON only has a few more weeks and there were a ton of midweek games for Americans abroad. Some performances were good, some were not – but most all played a part in games that will have implications in the stretch run of the season – whether it be for promotion, relegation, European qualification, or championships.


Here was my notebook on the midweek that was


Dike's Bike


Daryl Dike, 20, is becoming a sensation with Barnsley and on Wednesday the forward scored a dramatic overhead kick to deliver a 1-0 win over Huddersfield. For the U.S. international from Oklahoma, it was his ninth goal in just 1100 minutes since joining the club in February. He has been the catalyst for the club’s rise from midtable and into the playoff positions.

In this game, he came on seconds before halftime and had 24 touches in the final 45. He is a player who is just very difficult to contain and coming off the bench is especially difficult. After 45 minutes, defenders are set playing one way. Dike presents a completely different challenge for defenders and adjustment is tough.

In this game, Huddersfield gave Dike an opportunity for a high difficulty finish – and he took advantage.


With the win, Barnsley now is in sixth place (the final playoff spot) but has a six-point lead on 7th-place Reading. For now, Norwich has clinched promotion and Watford is close. The current teams in the four playoff positions are likely the teams that will be in the tournament. But just three points separate 3rd place AFC Brournemouth and Barnsley.

Dike is essentially going to the playoffs and it will be a huge opportunity for him.


Carter-Vickers strong in win


AFC Bournemouth is playing the best soccer in the Championship. If the playoffs were right now, they’d be the favorites. Instead, there should be a concern if they are peaking too early. On Wednesday, Bournemouth defeated Millwall for their 11th win in a row.

Carter-Vickers, 23, is finally thriving while with the chance to finally play for a promotional contender in his sixth different loan within the second tier of England.


It's all about placement for Carter-Vickers and Bournemouth and if the playoff started today, Bournemouth would be facing Dike and Barnsley.


Reyna continues strong form


The first few months of 2021 were not kind for Gio Reyna who struggled for Borussia Dortmund after Lucien Favre was fired. Over the past month, he’s been great and has been on the top of his game.

On Wednesday, the U.S. national team midfielder started for Dortmund in a 2-0 win over Union Berlin. While he didn’t score or assist, he was generally always dangerous while on the ball. His number reflect his solid performance.

  •         75 minutes
  •         32 touches
  •         3 shots
  •         12/14 passing
  •         1/1 accurate crossing
  •         5/13 duels won
  •         1 dribble
  •         2x fouled
  •         1 foul
  •         1/1 tackling
  •         1/4 aerials won

For Dortmund, Reyna’s return to top form is a huge boost as it attempts to make one last push for a Champions League spot. It currently sits in fifth place and is four points behind Eintracht Frankfurt with four games remaining. Three of its final four games are against teams in the top six.



Aaronson scores in loss


Brenden Aaronson came on to start the second half for Red Bull Salzburg on Wednesday in an otherwise disappointing 3-2 loss to Swarovski. The score was 1-1 when he came into the game and Aaronson would later put Salzburg up 2-1 on a play where Tirol’s backline was simply non-existent.



Unfortunately for Salzburg, Tirol rallied for both an equalizer and winner. With second-place Rapid Vienna drawing on Wednesday, Salzburg’s lead is eight points with six games remaining. Jesse Marsch and company still sit in great shape for another title.

As for Aaronson, here were his total numbers in the loss.



Green looking solid for promotion


Julian Green’s potential return to the Bundesliga is now stronger than ever with Greuther Furth’s 3-0 win over Eintracht Braunschweig on Tuesday.

Green was decent in this one with 53 touches and 32/34 passing over 90 minutes and Greuther Furth remained in second place. Third place Hamburg is four points behind but will make up its game-in-hand on Thursday.

Brooks & Wolfsburg win


John Brooks and Wolfsburg defeated VfB Stuttgart 3-1 on Wednesday to remain in third place. It’s grip on a Champions League spot is still five points (and it is one point better than fourth place Eintracht Frankfurt).

After two straight losses, Wolfsburg returned to the winning column. It was a mixed performance from John Brooks who conceded a penalty via a handball (which was saved) but also won 5/6, drew three fouls, and completed 29/37 in passing.


Elsewhere around Europe


Weston McKennie and Juventus defeated Parma 3-1 on Wednesday. The Texan went 74 minutes but wasn’t particularly as sharp as he normally is in this one.

Alabama’s and Hoffenheim defeated Borussia Monchengladbach 3-2 on Wednesday with Richards playing the full game for Hoffenheim.

On Wednesday, Josh Sargent and Werder Bremen dropped a 1-0 decision at home to Mainz. The St. Louis native had a goal called back on an offside call through VAR in the 44th minute. In 14th place- Werder Bremen are not quite safe from relegation – sitting four points clear of the relegation playoff position.

In La Liga, Yunus Musah struggled for 14th-place Valencia in a 3-1 loss to 8th place Osasuna. Due to injury, the U.S. international will likely start most games down the stretch of the season.


The game was overshadowed by the demise of the European Super League, but Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion played to a 0-0 draw on Tuesday. No player stood out for Chelsea and Christian Pulisic played the full 90. the club is now clinging to a Champions League berth via goal differential over West Ham United.

Tyler Adams had a rare lackluster game on Tuesday for RB Leipzig when he started and played 61 minutes in a 2-1 loss to Koln. Adams was criticized on his effort in the second goal.

Reggie Cannon played the final 16 minutes for Boavista in a 2-1 loss to third place Braga. The game was 1-1 when Cannon came into the game but his team was down to 10 players. With six games to go, Boavista is just one point clear of the relegation playoff position.

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