Friday afternoon kickaround

PSV keep Tillman but hold off on Dest, Venezia to playoffs, Adams returns, weekend preview, & more

ASN's Brian Sciaretta offers up his thoughts on the weekend ahead, while looking at the big news from PSV, Serie B, and the U.S. Olympic team. 
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
May 10, 2024
6:00 PM

CONGRATULATIONS EVERYONE, you’ve made it to Friday. Ahead of us is a full slate of games both domestically and abroad where many Americans will be playing is some important games. And as always, the news keeps rolling in from everywhere.

Here is what we have.


PSV keeps Tillman, passes on Dest (for now)


The big news from the abroad from was with PSV Eindhoven as there were announcements and reports over the two USMNT players the club has on loan.

First with Malik Tillman, PSV announced that it had purchased the winger/attacking mid from Bayern Munich for $13 million. This past season on loan at PSV, Tillmann notched nine goals and 15 assists across all competitions.

This is a huge investment for PSV who sells more than buys, but this is a big sign of faith that Tillmann can help them repeat as champions and help them make another knockout run in the Champions League.

Tillman, who turns 22 this month, will eventually move into one of the top European leagues but this keeps him playing regularly where he’s going to score, assist, and earn appearances in the Champions League.

As for Sergino Dest, the news was unsurprising given his injury, but PSV has reportedly declined its option to buy as part of its loan from Barcelona. Dest is out with an ACL tear and will not play until 2025. His contract with Barca runs out in June 2025. But once Dest returns to the field in 2025, he will be within six months of the end of his contract. This means he can already begin to negotiate with teams.

As part of the report, it was worded that PSV declined to exercise the option to purchase after meeting with all parties. Do not be surprised if PSV comes in with an offer to sign Dest in January for free. This is simply a matter of not wanting to pay a transfer fee for a player who will be injured until the point they can sign him for free.

The only way Dest doesn’t become free to negotiate with clubs in January is if he extends with Barca in the fall. Based on the relationship between Dest and Barca, that seems unlikely.


Adams returns, again


In March 2023, Adams injured his hamstrings playing for Leeds and it kept him out until September, after he transferred to Bournemouth.

Then in September, he attempted his first comeback in a Carabao Cup game but after a 20-minute appearance, he was sidelined for another long period which lasted until March 2024.

Then after one sub appearance in March for Bournemouth in the Premier League, he went to play for the USMTN in March. He made two appearances. Then he made his first ever start for Bournemouth right after returning from international duty. This then caused back spasms which kept him out until now.

Today, Bournemouth announced that Adams would be returning to the matchday squad for Saturday’s game vs. Brentford. It amounts to his third comeback from his injury suffered 14 months ago. It is the second to last game of the Premier League season.

As for whether this will be successful and whether Adams can or should be on the Copa America roster, who knows? You can’t predict health. You can only hope it works out.


U.S. Olympic team to host Japan


The United States Olympic team will hold its final camp before the Olympics in Kansas City and the camp will conclude with a friendly against Asian U-23 champions Japan on June 11 at Children’s Mercy Park.

With this team, it should be expected that overage players begin integration into the team.


Como promoted as Serie B ends


Serie B’s regular season ended and for 45 minutes, it looked great for Venezia (with its two American midfielders Tanner Tessmann and Gianluca Busio). To finish in the top two, they needed to win at Spezia and hope Como did not win at home vs. Cosenza. At the half for both games, Venezia were up 1-0 while Como trailed 1-0.

But the second half was a gondola wreck for Venezia who conceded twice and dropped a 2-1 loss to Spezia. Como, meanwhile, drew 1-1 and were promoted.

Nicholas Gioacchini was unused for Como and did not play much since his midseason arrival from St. Louis City (just 195 minutes). He will now get a taste of Serie A, but for him to carve out a role with minutes, he needs to have a big preseason with Como.

As for Venezia, they will enter the playoffs in the semifinal rounds as they are the top seed. Tanner Tessmann and Gianluca Busio both went 90 minutes. But fatigue could be an issue as Tessmann has played 3200 minutes and Busio surpassed 3000 in the loss. But, they have important games ahead.

Also in the playoffs will be Palermo, who defeated Sudtirol 1-0 on the road to snap a six-game winless run and perhaps give them some momentum in the playoffs. Kristoffer Lund went 90 minutes at left back for Palermo and finished the regular season with over 2500 minutes played.

Finally in Serie B, Andrija Novakovich played the second half for Lecco in a 3-2 loss at home to Modena. Lecco finished last and are relegated to Serie C. Novanovich was at Lecco on loan from Venezia, but his future plans remain unclear.


A look at the weekend ahead


There will be a full slate of games this weekend both domestically, in Europe, as well as the playoffs in Mexico.

Here are some of the top games to follow in terms of importance.

Josh Sargent and Norwich will open their promotional playoff campaign on Sunday when they host Leeds United in the first leg. Norwich finished sixth this season, but the truth is that they improved tremendously when Sargent returned to the field in late December after a four-month ankle injury. Since that time, he has been the best striker in the Championship.

Also, for Norwich’s manager, former USMNT forward David Wagner, he will be attempting to get his second team promoted after helping Huddersfield earn promotion in 2017.

Celtic cannot clinch the Premiership title on Saturday when they host Old Firm rivals Rangers but if Celtic secure all three points, the title will essentially be theirs. Even a draw would likely make it out of reach for Rangers. Cameron Carter-Vickers will be looking for another title with Celtic.

Domestically, the best game this weekend in MLS is the Hell is Real derby in Ohio when the Columbus Crew host FC Cincinnati on Saturday night. Wilfried Nancy’s team will now be entering the difficult phase of juggling the emption and demands of a Concacaf Cup final run with MLS league play. All recent MLS teams who have made the CONCACAF final run have struggled, this is no different.

Messi and company head to Canada for a visit to FC Montreal. As always, it will have a lot of eyeballs. Montreal has improved and they even defeated Miami earlier this season without Messi. But so did the Red Bulls. Then when they had to face Inter Miami with Messi, they lost 6-2.

The LA Galaxy (3rd in West) host Real Salt Lake (1st in West) on Saturday in what are among the most improved teams in the league both played under managers who played with the USMNT. This game should be well worth watching. From a U.S. YNT perspective, both the Galaxy's Jalen Neal and RSL's Diego Luna are in a push to make the Olympic team. 

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