Weston_mckennie_-_asn_top_-_celebrates_vs_hoffenheim_-_3-7-20 Schalke
Americans abroad analysis

Epic 48 hours for Americans abroad sees loads of goals, assists, & cleansheets

Americans abroad had a banner Friday and Saturday across three continents where McKennie, Sargent, Miazga, Sonora, & Kelman all scored. Bofo Saucedo hit a jaw-dropping assist. Central defenders earned cleansheets. There was also a puzzling outing with Sergino Dest. ASN's Brian Sciaretta does his best to bring it all into focus. 
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
March 07, 2020
6:55 PM

THE WEEKEND FOR AMERICANS abroad is not over yet but Friday and Saturday were so good, it needed a book to itself. Sargent, Mckennie, Miazga, Sonora, and Kelman scored. Sebastian Saucedo hit a stellar assist. Three top central defenders provided clean sheets. Tyler Boyd was very sharp.

Sure it wasn’t all perfect. Tyler Adams didn’t get off the bench for Leipzig in looking for a return from injury. Antonee Robinson, Tim Weah, Christian Pulisic, and Erik Lichaj are out injured. Bobby Wood is MIA and DeAndre Yedlin is in a rough stretch not playing at Newcastle United.

But the good from this weekend was remarkable. And it comes after a lengthy stretch of lackluster weeks where good news was hard to come by.

So here the story of Friday and Saturday.   

Sargent’s fine strike can’t save Werder

The good news is that Josh Sargent hit an outstanding goal in the third minute of Werder Bremen’s away matchup in Berlin vs. Hertha BSC. The bad news is that the club squandered a 2-0 lead and played to a disappointing 2-2 draw. An away draw is typically good but for a club firmly inside the relegation zone, this was two point lost.

Sargent’s goal took a lot of skill and should be boost of momentum. It was his first goal scored for Werder since October 19 – which was also against Hertha BSC. It was his third goal of the season for the St. Louis native.


A confident Sargent can be a huge asset for Werder in its late survival push but the opponents will only become more challenging. It’s next five games (Bayer Leverkusen, @Freiburg, Borussia Monchengladbach, @Schalke, Wolfsburg) are all against opponents in the top 10 of the Bundesliga.

His numbers overall were pretty good. The goal was great, the outing otherwise was a little quiet but decent.

  • 86 minutes
  • 1 goal
  • 3 shots (1 on target)
  • 1 key pass
  • 70.8% pass completion
  • 1 aerial won
  • 44 touches
  • 2x fouled
  • 0 successful dribbles


McKennie scores in Schalke draw

Weston Mckennie scored a classy goal for Schalke and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Entering into this game, Schalke had scored just one goal from its past six Bundesliga games and had been outscored 14-1 over its last 572 goals.

In the 20th minute, McKennie collected the ball on the right side, danced around some defenders, and hit a hard-driving low shot to open the scoring.


But Schalke was not able to keep the lead and coughed up a second-half equalizer to settle for a 1-1 draw. Schalke’s problems remain. It has just two goals from it last seven Bundesliga games and its forwards are completely unproductive. It still has a loose grip on sixth place and the Europa league spot, but it is hard to see that lasting.

But for McKennie, it was a great sign. He was part of the team’s solutions and didn’t get bogged down in the ongoing problems. Instead, he put forth man of the match numbers in the draw.

  • 90 minutes
  • 1 Goal
  • 2 Shots
  • 4 Key Passes
  • 86.8% pass completion
  • 1 aerial won
  • 61 touches
  • 1 successful dribble
  • 2x fouled
  • 2 tackles
  • 1 inteception
  • 4 clearances
  • 1/1 accurate crosses
  • 3/4 accurate long balls


Saucedo’s stellar assist

On Friday night, U.S. U-23 winger/attacking midfielder Sebastian Saucedo came off the bench in the 80th minute for Pumas with his team trailing Club America 2-1 at home. Saucedo ended up being on the field for a crazy finish. In the 82nd, Pumas equalized.

Then in the 84th minute, Saucedo hit a stunning assist to Juan Dinenno to move Pumas into a 3-2 lead.


Unfortunately, the lead would not last and Club American would find its equalizer to end the game at 3-3. Pumas is off to a strong start in Liga MX’s Clausura with 15 points from nine games.

For Saucedo, he is likely to join the U.S. U-23 Olympic qualifying team soon and if he can play at this level, it will be a huge boost for its chances of qualifying for its first Olympics since 2008.


Sonora strikes for Arsenal de Sarandi

In Argentina’s Primera, Joel Sonora came off the bench in the 78th minute for Arsenal de Sarandi vs. Aldosivi and scored a goal in a manner of seconds – with his father, former FC Dallas mainstay Diego Sonora, in the stands to watch. The Texas-born Sonora’s goal gave Arsenal a 4-0 lead which would finish the scoring in the game. The win kept Arsenal de Sarandi in ninth place in the Primera.


Sonora, 23, has made 17 appearances this season but only five starts. He has played just 550 minutes this season at Arsenal de Sarandi but has scored four goals. The goal in this game played to his strength. Sonora is not that fast or defensively strong, but he has a great shot from distance. This was a very nice shot.


Kelman hits goalazo for Southend United

In England’s third-tier League One, United States U-20 national team forward Charlie Kelman hit a goalazo for Southend United in a 2-1 win over Bristol Rovers. His numbers are impressive for a teenager stuck playing for one of the worst teams in the league.

Kelman’s goal was his fifth league goal of the season and seventh across all competitions. ASN has learned that Kelman has been called up to the upcoming U.S. U-20 camp in Portugal but with League One playing through the international windows, the club is hesitant to release him.

Southend is still a whopping 16 points deep in the relegation zone but Kelman is playing for a transfer right now. He’s too good for League 2 and Southend’s finances are not great. So selling Kelman is a necessity – but now it is just about adding value. Goals like the one he scored today will only help. 

Dest & Ajax win, but tempers flare

It’s been a terrible three weeks for Ajax which were eliminated from the Europa League and the Dutch while also losing two straight Eredivisie games which has shrunk its lead atop the table to mere goal differential. Sergino Dest has played every step of the way during that stretch, and like many of his teammates, has been poor.

The good news for Ajax is that it won on Saturday over Heerenveen by a 3-1 scoreline. The bad news, the team still looks off. At one point, tempers flared between Sergino Dest and his teammate Dusan Tadic and it appeared as if Tadic was angry with Dest being caught too far up the field.

Overall it was an improved outing for Ajax. Dest was partially responsible for Herenveen’s goal but was decent at other moments. He’s clearly not as confident as he was earlier in the season but part of development is learning to fight through runs of poor form.  

But this will be the defining image from this game.


Boyd improving at Besiktas

Tyler Boyd has seen his minutes increase at Besiktas over the past month since the club made a coaching change and hired Sergen Yalc?n. Boyd, 25, has also been improving quite a bit under the new manager.

On Friday, Boyd put in perhaps his best shift of the season when he went a full 90 in a 2-1 win over his former club, Ankaragucu. Boyd did not assist or score, but he was dangerous and effective.

His numbers were solid.

  • 1 shot
  • 1 key pass
  • 2 aerials won
  • 88.9% pass completion
  • 3 successful dribbles
  • 2x fouled
  • 2 tackles
  • 2 interceptions

He still needs to get on the ball more with just 48 touches but overall, he is trending in the right direction and perhaps just needed an adjustment period moving from one of Turkey’s smaller Superlig club to perhaps its biggest.

But following the game, Yalcin’s spoke highly of Boyd. And should Boyd get the call-up for March, he should arrive with more confidence than he has had since he elected to play for the U.S. team.

“Our players are free in certain patterns,” Yalcin told the media. “We are very pleased with Boyd, an athletic player. The lens is a player who can play at the back and front. He has been playing for 3-4 weeks, gaining physical strength."


Brooks & Wolfsburg earn cleansheet

There was some good news and disappointing news for American fans when Wolfsburg hosted RB Leizpig on Saturday.

The good news is that Adams was healthy enough to make the matchday roster – although it was disappointing that he did not get off the bench. The 0-0 draw was good in that U.S. national team central defender John Brooks played well but it was disappointing in that RB Leipzig’s chances of winning the Bundesliga took a severe blow.

Since returning to the field three weeks ago after being benched, Brooks has been solid for Wolfsburg. Today was another positive notch on his resume. His numbers were good in a cleensheet draw vs. a high-quality opponent in the second best team in the Bundesliga.

  • 90 minutes
  • 1 shot
  • 2 aerials won
  • 43 touches
  • 81.3% pass completion
  • 1x fouled
  • 2 tackles
  • 1 interception
  • 3 clearances
  • 6/11 accurate long balls


Miazga shines in Reading win

Matt Miazga’s ankle injury is now safely in the rearview mirror. Saturday was the New Jersey native’s best outing since his return two weeks ago. In a 3-1 win over Birmingham City, Miazga scored in the 52nd minute to even the game at 1-1. That goal started Reading’s rise for the win.

The game was of little importance as both teams are midtable and have no hope of promotion or any threat of relegation. But for Miazga, playing well the remainder of the season only increases his value as he only at Reading on loan. A strong run in the next few months will open up doors for his next destination next year.


It wasn’t a complete performance as Miazga was responsible for Birmingham City’s opening goal. But following that, Miazga bounced back and put forth a terrific outing.


  • 90 minutes
  • 1 goal
  • 1 shot
  • 70.5% pass completion
  • 7 aerials won
  • 61 touches
  • 9 clearances (best in game)
  • 1 tackle
  • 1 blocked shot


CCV & EPB get clean sheets


John Brooks had a cleansheet for Wolfsburg and Matt Miazga was massive in a win for Reading. But that wasn’t the end of a list of American central defenders who succeeded on the day.

In the Championship, Cameron Carter-Vickers went the distance for Luton Town vs. Wigan in a 0-0 draw. In the Austrian Bundesliga, Erik Palmer-Brown also played 90 for Austria Vienna in a 0-0 draw vs. SKN St. Poelten.

For Palmer-Brown, he is likely to join the U.S. U-23 team after next week’s game and participate in Olympic qualifying. Austria Vienna is safely midtable and this result means little but Palmer-Brown has quietly had a very nice season.

For Carter-Vickers, the defensive aspect against Wigan Athletic was nice but the failure to win is a setback to the Luton Town’s chances of avoiding relegation.

Cameron Carter-Vickers vs. Wigan Athletic (3/7/20)

  • 90 minutes
  • 57.1% pass completion
  • 5 aerials
  • 50 touches
  • 10 clearances (next highest in game was at 4)
  • 1 tackle
  • 1 interception
  • 2 blocked shots
  • 1/5 accurate long balls

His passing numbers weren't great but the American was a defensive and physical presence vs. Wigan.

Novakovich & Frosinone hit a speed bump

A little more than a week ago, Andrija Novakovich and Frosinone had won six games in a row in Serie B to move into second place. Then this past midweek, things started to go wrong. Frosinone drew last-place Livorno 2-2. Novakovich played well (as he has been the past several weeks with two goals, two assists, and a draw penalty in his last four) but the two points lost were a setback.

On Saturday, Frosinone took an even bigger step back with a 2-0 loss at home to Cremonese, another relegation battling team. With the result, Frosinone dropped out of the automatic promotional places in and into third place (the playoff positions).


There was plenty of other games involving American players abroad.

Gio Reyna, 17, came off the bench for Dortmund in its 2-1 over fourth place Borussia Monchengladbach. Reyna only came on in the 82nd minute and had seven touches and didn’t really have much to do. But he continues to play in important situations – close games against good teams. With the win, Dortmund moved into second place of the Bundesliga.

Tim Ream, 32, was fairly solid for Fulham in its 1-1 away draw on Saturday vs. seventh-place Bristol City. He went 81 minutes and was pulled to make a tactical adjustment as Fulham had to press for a late equalizer. As is the norm, Ream was solid passing out of the back and was overall steady. Fulham remains in third place and is cruising for a spot in the promotional playoffs.

Nicholas Gioacchini, 19, earned the start for SM Caen away at Chateauroux on Friday. The Kansas City-born forward has been a regular starter the past three months for the Ligue 2 club in France and has been productive, even though he’s not always scoring or assisting. The club has been playing well recently and has moved out of a relegation battle and into midtable. On Friday, he went 67 minutes and was subbed out with the score 1-1. He was not on the field when Chateauroux scored a late winner for a 2-1 victory.

Geoff Cameron, 34, was sent off for Queens Park Rangers on Saturday in a 3-1 away win over Preston North End. Cameron’s second yellow card happened in the 67th minute with the score 1-1 but QPR found two more goals despite being down a man against the sixth place team in the Championship. QPR current sits in 12th.

Haji Wright, 21, still cannot score or assist for VVV this season in the Eredivisie. The California native started and played 77 minutes in a 3-0 loss to Emmen. It was his 22nd appearance and 16th start of the year.

Alex Mendez, 19, went the distance for Jong Ajax on Friday in a 4-0 loss to Volendam in the second tier Eerste Divisie

For Jong PSV, the U.S. U-23 duo of Chris Gloster and Richard Ledezma both went a full 90 in a 1-0 loss to Telstar. Jong PSV sit in 18th place in the 20-team league.

Lynden Gooch
, 24, and Sunderland will be very disappointed in allowing a late equalizer to Gillingham in a 1-1 draw in League One action. Sunderland had a 2-1 lead late but coughed up an equalizer to Gillingham in the sixth minute of stoppage time. Gooch went the distance in the draw and Sunderland fell into fifth place and has not won in three league games.


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