Americans abroad analysis

Pulisic, Dike, Mckennie, & de la Torre star in big weekend for Yanks in Europe

The positives far outweighed the negatives this weekend for Americans abroad and ASN's Brian Sciaretta walks you through all of it with goals from Christian Pulisic, Daryl Dike, and Weston McKennie topping the headlines. 
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
April 10, 2021
9:00 AM

THE WEEKEED for Americans abroad had a lot of high points that earned a lot headlines with Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, and Daryl Dike all scoring big goals while Sergino Dest played in the world’s greatest club rivalry. That was not the only highlights either, Gio Reyna had a big assist, Bryan Reynolds made his first Roma start, and Tim Weah and his Lille team remain atop Ligue 1.

While the positives outweighed the negatives, there were still plenty of concerns. DeAndre Yedlin left Galatasaray’s game on Saturday with an injury that looked ugly. While Sergino Dest played in the weekend’s big game, he was pulled at half due to ineffectiveness. Tyler Adams also was pulled at the half for Leipzig due to a back injury.

Dest wasn’t the only player who struggled. Josh Sargent was very quiet for Werder Bremen in a tough loss. John Brooks probably had his roughest game of the season where Wolfsburg conceded four goals. U.S. internationals Jordan Siebtatcheu, Tyler Boyd, Yunus Musah, and Nicholas Gioacchini all were more quiet than usual.

It also brings us to young American winger Konrad de la Fuente who will reportedly be shopped by Barcelona this summer.

My take on this is that it is good news. As a player who will turn 20 in 2021, de la Fuente needs to be in a position where he can realistically fight for regular minutes. Barcelona isn’t at its dominant level but will be looking to rebuild in the years ahead and that will include pricey additions.


It comes down to what price Barca will ask for de la Fuente. If the price tag is too high, de la Fuente might be priced out of the level where he needs to go to play. He’s a technical player that needs more of a foundation to compete with the athleticism found at elite levels.


It is not surprising, but de la Fuente is entering into a critical move at this point in his career. If he moves on from Barcelona, it needs to be the right place where he can play.

As for the news on the field, there was a lot to talk about.


Pulisic exceptional in MOTM outing


Christian Pulisic, 22, has been trending upward for the past month but Saturday was his high point, by far, of the season. Pulisic started against Crystal Palace and scored two goals in a 4-1 win in a London Derby. But even beyond the goals, Pulisic was dangerous throughout

His first goal in the 10th minute was a splendid left footed finish inside the box inside the near post.


His second goal rounded out the scoring following a counter attack where the Hershey native did well to make a well-timed run in the box.


His numbers reflect an overall solid performance

  • 90 minutes
  • 3 shots (all on target)
  • 2 goals
  • 4 key passes
  • 21/27 passing (78%)
  • 2/4 long balls
  • 6/15 duels won
  • 3/4 tackles
  • 1/7 aerials

“I feel him stronger and stronger, more self-confident," Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said on Pulisic, "and he can be a decisive factor in the next game with his speed and ability to dribble, and his ability to arrive in the box in dangerous situations, and balls from the side, and crosses he has the feeling to arrive and score.”

“You think I gave the wrong messages the last 15 games, and I gave the right one today?" Tuchel added. “You have to take it match by match."

This season has been up and down for Pulisic but it is all about staying healthy now. The quality and confidence is there. If he can help Chelsea remain in the Champions League positions in the Premier League while also continuing the current Champions League run (where advancing to the semifinals is now likely), no one will remember September through February. He is almost at the level he was last summer after play resumed from the COVID shutdown.

For American fans in a big year with the national team, seeing the best American player hitting his peak again is great news.


Dike scores again


Daryl Dike, 20, simply cannot stop scoring and his loan from Orlando to Barnsley has exceeded even the loftiest of expectations. With a goal on Saturday in a 2-0 win over Middlesbrough, Dike now has eight goals in 14 games and 939 minutes for a ratio of 0.77 goals per 90 minutes in the Championship.

The Oklahoma native scored in the 75th minute to finish the scoring and has become a sensation in the Championship – for his scoring ratio, his age, the physical style he plays, and the fact he has elevated his club from midtable nto the promotional playoff positions since his February arrival.

His goal in this one was off a diving header where Middlesbrough was simply unable to stop him.


His numbers in this were typical. He got involved in a huge number of duels, most of which he had a low probability of winning, but he was handful. Curiously, he drew no fouls despite being involved in physical battles.

  • 90 minutes
  • 43 touches
  • 14/26 passing (54%)
  • 6/21 duels won
  • 3 clearances
  • 6/19 aerials won
  • 0 dribbles
  • 0x fouled
  • 1 foul
  • 2 blocked shots


Through all of this, Barnsley is winning and the three points saw it remain in fifth place with a five point cushion on a playoff berth. Among all the teams in the mix for the playoffs, Barnsley has the most momentum and the team no one wants to face. Dike is the most important reason why the team is so feared.


Dest pulled at HT in El Classico


It was the biggest game on the planet over the weekend as Real Madrid hosted Barcelona in an edition of El Classico that had huge implications on La Liga title. Sergino Dest, who has been playing terrific soccer since the tough loss to Paris St. Germain in February, got the start.

Unfortunately for Dest, 20, this game didn’t go well for him or his team and they suffered a 2-1 loss to their archrivals. The U.S. national team right back struggled to get involved and Barcelona was entirely overmatched defensively.

Dest was eventually pulled to start the second half with Barcelona down 2-0. With the loss, Barcelona remained in third place in La Liga but still has time to remain in contention.


Reynolds makes first Roma start


It was a monumental day for Bryan Reynolds who made his first start for Roma since joining the club from FC Dallas in January. The American teenage right back was named to the starting lineup for Sunday’s game against Bologna and it set up an important test for him.

In the end, Roma came away with a 1-0 win but for Reynolds, the performance was up and down. In the first half he was a bit tentative and overly conservative. In the second half, he became more proactive and involved. He ended up leaving the game in the 75th minute with Roma up 1-0.

It was definitely a learning experience for Reynolds who should improve nicely with more minutes. Roma is heavily invested in him so it is safe to expect that he will continue to earn appearances with the preseason this summer being key.

Reynolds was always going to be a project given that he was only a starter at FC Dallas for less than half a season. But his upside is certainly intriguing.


Adams injures back in win vs. Sargent


It was an anticipated game for fans following Americans abroad as Josh Sargent and Werder Bremen hosting Tyler Adams and second-place RB Leipzig. Both U.S. internationals earned the start in this one.

This game was essentially no contest as Werder Bremen was very poor on the day and Leipzig coasted to a 4-1 win. Sargent rarely touched the ball in the first half and by the time he got more involved, Leipzig was well in command.

In the 31st minute, Adams was involved in Leipzig’s second goal when he played Christopher Nkunku down the right side. Nkunku’s cross found Alexander Soerloth who was able to take advantage of poor defending and head home a goal.

For Adams, however, he played through pain and was removed at the half due to a back injury.


While Sargent has been playing better the past month, he worked hard in this one but had little impact. He didn’t register a shot and was just 11/15 passes with 26 touches over 83 minutes. He won 4/6 duels and 2/2 in his aerials but the game was lost in the midfield as Werder struggled mightily to advance the ball into the final third.


De la Torre impresses for Heracles


On Saturday, Heracles rolled to a convincing 4-0 win over Willem II in the Eredivisie. American central midfielder Luca de la Torre continued his outstanding run since February when he moved from the wing to central midfield. He continues to get a high number of touches and his passing has been instrumental in Heracles’ improvement throughout the season.

In this game, de la Torre was on the ball consistently throughout the game with 96 touches in just 79 minutes. His passing was accurate and his defense was also important to Heracles winning this one easily.

Overall, it was just a very solid performance from de la Torre who has adjusted well in his first season as a regular starter at the first team level. His touch map shows that he was influential all over the field.


  • 79 minutes
  • 96 touches
  • 1 shot
  • 1 key pass
  • 74/81 passing
  • 1/2 long balls
  • 7/11 duels won
  • 2/2 dribbles
  • 4/4 tackles
  • 0 fouls
  • 0x fouls
  • 1/3 aerials won
  • 1 interception


With these types of outings, de la Torre could continue to not just get more call-ups with the U.S. team but also make regular appearances on the field as a back-up to either Weston McKennie or Yunus Musah.


Brooks & Wolfsburg concede four


Coming into this weekend, Wolfsburg was in third place mostly because of its defense which had conceded just 22 goals in 27 games this season. Visiting fourth place Eintracht Frankfurt, however, was a tougher challenge as Eintracht had scored seven goals from its previous two games.

Wolfsburg ended up conceding four goals in a 4-3 loss that narrowed the table among those looking to finish third and four for the final two Champions League spots in the Bundesliga. In turn, this was the worst defensive performance from Wolfsburg on the season and Brooks had a game he’d probably want to forget as well. He might have been able to do better on the initial ball over the top on Eintracht’s second goal. He was not able to shift right in time to stop the third goal. On the fourth goal, Brooks did not react quick enough after the ball hit the post and rebounded into a dangerous area.

Offensively, Brooks had two dangerous chances to score – the first when his 57th minute header went just wide and then in the 83rd minute when his shot from close range forced a big save.

This was just a tough game for Wolfsburg but its been a great season. Reading too much into this game isn’t fair for Brooks or Wolfsburg they will need to respond to ensure it has a safe grip on a Champions League spot. Wolfsburg remains in third place, but is just a point better than Eintracht now. Borussia Dortmund is now seven points behind Eintracht and eight behind Wolfsburg.

Wolfsburg schedule continues to be brutal with Bayern awaiting next weekend followed by Stuttgart, Borussia Dortmund, Union Berlin and RB Leipzig.


Robinson strong but Fulham lose


Antonee Robinson returned to the starting lineup for Fulham on Friday but he could not prevent a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Wolves that could prove to be devastating in the relegation battle.

Robinson, 23, played well despite the loss and the U.S. national team left back figured into many of Fulham’s best chances. His 28th minute cross found Bobby Ried but he ensuing glancing header was sent just wide of the goal. Then in the 43rd minute, Robinson sent in another cross which connected with Aleksander Mitrovic who missed the target.

Robinson had his own shot in the 82nd minute which forced a save from Wolves keeper Rui Patricio.

Wolves had a goal just before halftime called back on an extremely narrow offside goal after a long VAR review. But in stoppage time, Wolves would not be denied on when Adama Traore connected off a counter attack.

It was a devastating loss for Fulham which is three points deep in the relegation hole and has played one more game than most teams it is chasing.

Robinson’s numbers against Wolves:

  • 90 minutes
  • 86 touches
  • 1 shot
  • 2 key passes
  • 31/38 passing
  • 4/7 accurate crosses
  • 2/4 accurate long balls
  • 7/23 duels won
  • 3 dribbles
  • 0x fouled
  • 2 fouls
  • 1/2 tackles
  • 1 clearance
  • 2 interceptions

Robinson continues to be one of the team’s best players and there is fair hope that should Fulham suffer relegation, Robinson won’t go with him. He checks a lot of boxes for what top clubs want in a left back given his athleticism and his improved crossing. If Robinson can nearly secure a transfer to AC Milan while playing for Wigan in a Championship relegation battle, he should be able earn impressive offers while at Fulham.

On Monday, The Guardian wrote this about Robinson and the game:

“It also took the shine off an outstanding performance from the Fulham left wing-back Antonee Robinson, who was the game’s best player and – not for the first time – posed a constant menace from the flank. Robinson was at the heart of Fulham’s most promising moments while operating tenaciously in his own half too. Fulham are likely to go down if they cannot get something from the imminent visits to Arsenal and Chelsea, so their standout performers from this campaign may prove tempting fodder in the pre-season transfer market. Robinson, a tenacious and tricky runner with an excellent delivery, arrived for only £2m from Wigan in August but Fulham would make a handsome profit out of him now.”

Wherever he plays next season, it would be nice for Robinson not to have to play in a relegation battle- which he has done all four of his seasons at the professional level – one at Bolton, two at Wigan, and now one at Fulham.

Also of note in this game: Tim Ream was an unused substitute for Fulham and Owen Otasowie was an unused substitute for Wolverhampton.


Weah and Lille post huge win


After reclaiming the lead in Ligue 1 last week following a win over Paris St. Germain, Lille traveled to ninth-place Metz on Friday. Even with starting forwards Jonathan David injured, Tim Weah did not get the start for Lille.

After a scoreless first half, Lille took a 1-0 lead in the 60th minute on a goal from Burak Yilmaz. Weah came on in the 75th minute and was on the field when Mehmet Zeki Celik put the game out of reach with the second goal of a two goal win.

Weah played well in this one in limited action. In his 15 minutes, he had nine touches and was a perfect 7/7 in his passing.


Weah is in a great spot at the moment. It’s been a long path to return to health and his minutes, while mostly off the bench, have been steady. All this has come in strong campaign to win Ligue 1. With David set to miss several more weeks, Weah should expect some games where he will play a lot – and to win Ligue 1, Weah will have to play well.


McKennie scores in Juve win


Weston McKennie, 22, has had his minutes managed by Juventus in recent weeks as he deals with nagging injuries – which forced him out of action with the U.S. team in March. On Sunday, the Texan was on the bench for Juventus as they hosted 13th place Genoa.

Juventus roared out to a 2-0 lead by the 22nd minute. Shortly into the second half, Genoa pulled one back.

In the 66th minute, Andrea Pirlo turned to Weston McKennie and brough him into the game. Almost immediately afterward, McKennie restored the two-goal advantage with his fifth Serie A goal of the season. Genoa failed in its offside trap and McKennie had an easy move alone on the keeper.


 McKennie played entirely on the right side of the midfield in this one. After his goal, he was effective in helping to see out the win.

  • 22 minutes
  • 14 touches
  • 2 shots
  • 1 goal
  • 6/8 passing
  • 2 crosses
  • 2/3 duels won
  • 0 tackles
  • 0 fouls

Juventus remains in third place. It won’t win Serie A this year but its cushion is now four points on a Champions League spot for next year.


Aaronson & Salzburg win


Brenden Aaronson and Red Bull Salzburg are now firmly in command of the Austria Bundesliga. With a 3-0 win over second place Rapid Vienna, Salzburg now have a commanding seven points lead in the Championship round of the standings. This completed the second of 10 rounds of the Championship standings (after the points from the regular season were halved).

Aaronson, 20, earned the start in this game, played 85 minutes, and left with score 1-0.

The former Philadelphia Union midfielder was strong in this one where he hit a few dangerous passes, including one that eventually resulted in a Rapid red card, and he had three shots on target. In the 73rd minute he forced a great diving save from Rapid goalkeeper Richard Strebinger.

For Jesse Marsch, he’s in the hunt a second league title and a second Austrian Cup. He’s worked with elite talent during his time in New York and Salzburg. Without doubt, he will surface in the talks for a lot of openings this summer.



CCV & Bournemouth win


He is his sixth different loan from Tottenham to a Championship club, but Cameron Carter-Vickers is finally in a promotional hunt. The English-born American defender has been trending up for over a year now and his loan last season to Luton Town was massively successful has he was instrumental towards helping the club avoid relegation.

This year, Carter-Vickers is playing a big role with AFC Bournemouth in helping it climb into the promotional playoff positions. In the final year of his contract with Tottenham, Carter-Vickers is also playing well at the right time to possibly secure his next contract with a big club.

On Saturday, Carter-Vickers played the full 90 in a big 4-1 win over Coventry. Bournemouth was dominant in this one and Carter-Vickers had a lot of time on the ball which helped him to be more effective with his passing. His normal ball-winning and clearances were very good as was his reading of the game to help close down passing lanes.


  • 90 minutes
  • 82 touches
  • 0 shots
  • 0 key passes
  • 62/69 passing
  • 6/8 long balls
  • 6/8 duels won
  • 6 clearances
  • 4 interceptions
  • 1/1 tackles
  • 1 foul

With the win, Carter-Vickers and Bournemouth remain in sixth in the Championship with a two point grip over Reading on the final promotional playoff spot. Four of its final five games are away from home – including its next three.


Cannon & Boavista draw


Reggie Cannon and Boavista are in a tough relegation battle now in Portugal and recent weeks have been positive with two wins and a draw in their last five. Still, the club is in a perilous spot in the table and every point counts.

Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Rio Ave was disappointing, even if the point was helpful. Boavista squandered three equalizers, including the final one in the second minute of stoppage time. Cannon, 22, was subbed out in the 67th minute with Boavista up 2-1.

Cannon’s best moment came in the third minute when he was instrumental in the opening goal, delivering the “hockey assist” that resulted in the 1-0 advantage.


 Cannon’s numbers in this one were generally solid and they accurately reflect that he defended well in this one and that the team missed him once he left. His interception and clearance numbers were high and he delivered a pair of dangerous crosses in this one.

  • 67 minutes
  • 36 touches
  • 1 key pass
  • 0 shots
  • 9/15 passing (60%)
  • 1/1 long balls
  • 2/2 accurate crosses
  • 2/4 duels won
  • 0 dribbles
  • 1x fouled
  • 1 foul
  • 3 interceptions
  • 5 clearances

It was a good game for Cannon but he’ll be entering a crucial stretch in the weeks ahead. He’s in a relegation fight and he needs to play this well consistently for his team’s success. It’s also big for him personally. His spot on the national team is not secure with Dest being the top right back and Yedlin and Reynolds also raising their game significantly – with better clubs. If Boavista avoid relegation, Cannon is going to want to eventually build his case to move on. If the club is relegated, he can’t afford to go down with them.


Reyna assists in BVB win


It was an interesting Bundesliga matchup on Sunday when VfB Stuttgart hosted Borussia Dortmund. The last time these two teams met was in December and Stuttgart came away with a 5-1 win, and Dortmund fired manager Lucien Favre right afterward.

Stuttgart is pushing for a top 10 finish this season and American manager Pellegrino Matarazzo has been a huge success since his hire during the 2019/20 winter break. He promptly guided the team to promotion and a win on Saturday would have had it one point out of the Europa League place.

Unfortunately for Matarazzo, Dortmund put forth a much better than in December and was able to emerge victorious in a thrilling 3-2 win. Gio Reyna, 18, has had been struggling for stretches since Favre was sacked but he was solid in this one.

After Stuttgart took a 1-0 lead, Reyna assisted on Jude Bellingham’s equalizer in the 47th minute. It was a goal that drew a lot of attention in that Reyna is 18 years old and Bellingham, at age 17, scored his first ever Bundesliga goal.

Five minutes later, Dortmund took a 2-1 edge but Stuttgart equalized in the 78th minute. Two minutes later, Dortmund moved ahead for good with a goal in the 80th to make it 3-2.

Reyna left the game in the 79th shortly before the winner but it was a very nice outing for him in addition to the assist.


  • 79 minutes
  • 46 touches
  • 2 shots
  • 2 key passes
  • 21/24 passing (88%)
  • 2/6 accurate crosses
  • 5 corner kicks
  • 6/12 duels won
  • 0 clearances
  • 0 interceptions
  • 2/4 dribbles
  • 2x fouled
  • 1/2 tackles
  • 0/2 aerials

In this game, he looked confident on the ball and was routinely dangerous. Unlike games where he has been off, in this one he did not disappear. He was regularly dangerous against a good opponent. For Dortmund, the Champions League looks like a tough haul at the moment as there is a seven-point deficit. They best they can do is the Europa league and given this has been interim coaching staff since December, that’s not too bad.


Miazga & Anderlecht down Brugge


Matt Miazga and Anderlecht have dropped costly points this season against teams at or near the bottom of the Belgian table while having played well against the league’s best. That continued on Sunday as Anderlecht came away with a 2-1 win.

It was a valuable win for Anderlecht which now just needs a draw on the final round to advance to the playoff among the top four teams – with the possibility of qualifying for the Champions League still on the table.

Miazga in this game was solid and all of Anderlecht’s backline played well to preserve the win over Brugge.

  • 90 minutes
  • 1 shot
  • 41/55 passing (75%)
  • 3/8 long balls
  • 5 clearances
  • 1 foul
  • 8/11 duels won
  • 7/10 aerials won
  • 1 interception
  • 1/1 tackles

It’s been a good season for Miazga who should have interesting offers after his loan expires after the season. A second-place finish after the playoff, however, would make remaining with Anderlecht a viable option.


Elsewhere around the globe


In the Premier League, Zack Steffen was an unused sub for Manchester City in a 2-1 loss to Leeds United.

In La Liga, Valencia drew Real Sociedad 2-2. United States national team midfielder Yunus Musah came off the bench in the 63rd minute for Valencia but struggled to make an impact.

In the Bundesliga, Matthew Hoppe played the final six minutes for Schalke in a surprising 1-0 win over Augsburg. It was just the second win of season for last-place Schalke.

In Belgium, Genk defeated St. Truiden 4-0 in a lopsided game that featured two teammates of the 2019 U.S. U-20 team now opposing each other. Mark McKenzie was subbed into the game to start the second half for Genk when his team was up 3-0. Chris Durkin subbed into the game for St. Truiden after his team fell behind 3-0. Genk clinched a spot in the Belgian championship playoff with the win.

Also in Belgium, Joe Efford played the final 27 minutes for last-place Waasland Beveren in a 4-3 loss to Kortrijk.

In the Swiss Super League, runaway leaders BSC Young Boys rolled to a 2-0 win over St. Gallen. United States national team forward Jordan Siebatcheu started and played 81 mostly quiet minutes in the win.

In the relegation round of the Austrian Bundesliga, Erik Palmer-Brown started and played the duration for Austria Vienna in a 1-0 loss to Hartberg. SKN St. Poelten fell to SCR Altach 1-0. Taylor Booth played the second half and Brandon Servania played the final 14 minutes in the loss. Admira Modling fell to SV Ried 2-0 at home. Andrew Wooten went the distance in the loss.

In France’s Ligue 2 on Saturday, U.S. national team attacker Nicholas Gioacchini started and played a full 90 for SM Caen in a 3-1 loss to Grenoble.

In Turkey’s Super Lig, Tyler Boyd started and played 67 minutes for Sivasspor in a 3-1 win over Konyaspor.

In the Relegation Group of the Danish Superliga, Emmanuel Sabbi started and played 68 minutes for OB Odense in a 1-0 home loss to Vejle Boldklub. Also in the relegation zone, Haji Wright started, played a full 90, and scored for Sonderjyske in a 3-2 loss to Horsens. It was his first goal since December.


In the Relegation Group of the second-tier Danish 1st Division, Christian Cappis started and played a full 90 for Hobro in a 1-2 loss to Kolding IF.

In the 2.Bundesliga, Bobby Wood was an unused substitute for Hamburg SV in a 1-2 home loss to Darmstadt.

In Poland’s top flight Ekstraklasa, Ben Lederman played the second half for third-place Rakow Czestochowa in a 2-1 away win over Wilsa Krakow. Aron Johannsson was an unused for Lech Poznan in a 0-0 draw against Legia Warszawa. Kenny Saief played the final 27 minutes for Lechia Gdansk in a 1-1 away draw against Slask Wroclaw.

In the Championship, Huddersfield and Rotherham United played to a 0-0 draw. Duane Holmes started and played 82 minutes for Huddersfield and Matthew Olosunde started and played 73 minutes for Rotherham United. Charlie Kelman was an unused substitute for Queens Park Rangers in a 4-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday. Geoff Cameron missed the game for QPR due to an injury.

In League One, Lynden Gooch started for Sunderland in a 2-1 home loss to Charlton Athletic. In League Two, Indiana Vassilev was an unused sub for Cheltenham in a 1-0 win over Leyton Orient.

In Scotland, Dundee United defeated Hamilton Academical 1-0 on the road in the relegation half of the standings. Ian Harkes started and played 57 minutes in the win. In the Championship half, Celtic drilled Livingston 6-0 with Scott Pittman going the distance for Livingston in the loss.

In Italy's Serie B, Andrija Novakovich was an unused for Frosinone in 1-1 draw with Cittadella. Giuseppe Barone for Salernitana in a 3-0 win over Virtus Entella.

In Hungary’s top flight, Ferencvaros and Puskas Academy played to a 1-1 draw with American fullback Henry Wingo playing the final 10 minutes in the win. Ferencvaros would have clinched the league title with a win but will likely do so next week instead.

In Argentina, Talleres de Cordoba drew Defensa y Justicia 2-2. 2015 U.S. U-20 World Cup midfielder Joel Sonora was an unused for Talleres.

In Chile, O’Higgins FC defeated Colo Colo 2-1 with New Jersey native and former NC State Wolfpack defender Mattias Fracchia going the distance for O’Higgins in the win.

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