Americans abroad analysis

Robinson, Dest, & Cappis top a quiet weekend for Americans abroad

It wasn't the busiest if weekends for Americans abroad as many players returning from international duty did not play much. But there were some important high notes such as Zack Steffen starting, Sergino Dest looking impressive on the wing, and Antonee Robinson lifting Fulham to a win. ASN's Brian Sciaretta does a long walk through it all and breaks it all down with his analysis. 
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
October 17, 2021
9:10 PM

THE WEEKEND FOR Americans abroad went a bit as expected. Many players who part of the U.S. team’s October didn’t play after returning from international duty and some who did play were a bit sluggish. There were exceptions as there were some big performances from players in the U.S pool and those looking for future call-ups.

There is a lot to break down, so let’s get into it.


The Long List of DNP’s


The list of players who didn’t play this weekend was long – most of it due to international duty. Brenden Aaronson missed out on Salzburg’s 1-1 draw with Altach. It was the first time Salzburg has dropped points this season, but it still has an eight point lead atop the table.

Matthew Hoppe missed Mallorca’s 1-0 loss to Real Sociedad on Saturday.

Weston McKennie was an unused sub on Sunday for Juventus in a 1-0 win over Roma on Sunday. Roma’s Bryan Reynolds also was an unused sub.

Tyler Adams did not make the matchday roster for RB Leipzig on Saturday for a 1-1 draw with Freiburg. It was a disappointing result for Jesse Marsch’s club.

Luca de la Torre did not make the matchday squad on Saturday for Heracles in a 4-2 loss to Go Ahead Eagles.

Gianluca Busio and Venezia host Firorentina on Monday. Matt Miazga and Deportivo Alaves take on Real Betis on Monday.

The most disappointing news, however, came with the two big U.S. internationals who have been injured since the September international window.

Christian Pulisic was still not healthy for Chelsea’s 1-0 away win over Brentord on Saturday. Meanwhile, Gio Reyna’s hamstring still prevented him from playing in Borussia Dortmund’s 3-1 win over Mainz on Saturday.

The big question is now whether either player will be back in time for the November window and the big game vs. El Tri.


Robinson’s big game


It didn’t seem as if Antonee Robinson was going to play for Fulham on Saturday, but Fulham needed him in the second half of a London Derby against Queens Park Rangers. With the score 1-1, Robinson came into the game in the 58th minute and was the difference maker.

Robinson had a hockey assist minutes after coming into the game to put the Cottagers up 2-1.


Then in stoppage time, Robinson scored to seal a big 4-1 win and move the club into third place in the Championship – just two points out of second place. His goal took a lucky deflection but with the way he played in his 32 minutes, he earned the luck.


Captain Tim Ream also went the distance for Fulham in the win and put in his usual solid showing for the London-based club.


Steffen starts in City win


Zack Steffen got the nod for Manchester City on Saturday in a 2-0 win over Burnley. With Ederson forced to quarantine after his return from Brazil, Steffen was forced into action for this game and possibly the midweek Champions League visit to play Club Brugge.

Steffen made two saves in this game, including a very nice 1v1 stop in the first half to keep the game 0-0.


Steffen was strong in this game, but will soon return to the bench. It did lead to an interesting article from the Manchester Evening News asking the question if Steffen is just too good to be a backup. Maybe, but Manchester City is always willing to pay a ton for backups and it will be tough for Steffen to break free.


Richards unexpectedly subs in


When Hoffenheim hosted Koln on Friday, Chris Richards was on the bench as it was less than 48 hours since he started for the U.S. team in Columbus, nearly 4500 miles away. But with Hoffenheim up 1-0 in the 37th minute, an injury to Pavel Kaderabek saw Richards come into the game for the final 53 minutes.

Richards didn't have too much to do as Hoffenheim rolled to a 5-0 win over a very poor Koln team. He completed 21/28 passing and was a modest 1/4 with his long balls. He won a majority of his duels (5/8).

What is very impressive, however, is that Hoffenheim rates him highly enough that he even played in this one, given the circumstances. He's in a great spot to play a lot of minutes his season.


Cappis hits Brondby winner


The good news is that Christian Cappis, 22, was the hero for Brondby on Sunday in a big comeback 3-2 win over Vejle Boldklub. The bad news is that it should not have come to this point. Vejle is looking as if it is one of the worst clubs in the history of the Danish Superliga as it is still winless and has a -23 goal differential.

Cappis came into the game in the 63rd minute with Brondby down 2-1. In the 87th minute, he hit this strike to give his club a 3-2 win.  


Cappis only had 13 touches in his 27 minutes but made the most of his big scoring chance when he gave Brondby the win.

Brondby is certainly struggling this season compared with last year – when it won the title. After 12 games, it sits in sixth place and 13 points behind leaders Midtjylland. This goal, however, might open the door for Cappis to start. The Texan has thus far only started twice, but he’s building a case to help the club climb the table.


Scally starts vs. Matarazzo & Co.


Joe Scally got the start on Saturday for Borussia Monchengladbach in a 1-1 draw against a VfB Stuttgart team managed by New Jersey native Pellegrino Matarazzo.

Scally, 18, ended up going 81 minutes in a 1-1 draw and the final nine minutes were the first minutes he has not been on the field this season for M’Gladbach.

The Long Island native was once again very steady and sharp in this win – where he played on the right side of the backline.

  • 81 minutes
  • 53 touches
  • 31/33 passing
  • 2 key passes
  • 1 shot
  • 3/5 duels won
  • 2/2 tackles


The club is extremely bullish and it is easy to see why Scally is one of the most exciting young American prospects in the game. A call-up is certainly approaching for Scally to make his U.S. national team debut.

With the draw, M’Gladbach moved into 10th place in the Bundesliga while Stuttgart remained in 12th place.


Weah struggles in Lille loss


It was a bit surprising to see Tim Weah get the start for OSC Lille on Saturday away against Clermont Foot as he started for the U.S. team on Wednesday in Ohio (and played all three games for the U.S. team that window). Given his history with muscle injuries, this was perhaps a welcome sign that the team is no longer cautious with their approach with Weah. Jonathan David, meanwhile, did not start after returning from international duty with Canada.

On the flip side, Weah wasn’t able to get anything going in this game and Lille posted a 1-0 loss to Clermont Foot. Weah played 71 minutes up top in a 4-4-2 and had just one shot over 23 touches. He was just 8/15 with his passing and won 2/7 of his duels.

It’s been a good season for Weah, but he wasn’t in a good position to succeed in this game.


Sargent’s finishing absent in Norwich draw


On Saturday, Norwich City hosted Brighton & Hove Albion still looking for their first win of the Premier League season. The good news is that Josh Sargent started for Norwich and played well in some areas – but his finishing let him down and Norwich played to a 0-0 draw.

Sargent passed well in this one and created several chances for his teammates. He had three key passes and could have had an assist. But later in the game, his finishing let him down and he is still searching for his first goal.

Norwich is on the verge of seeing its season fall out of reach early. For Sargent, he badly needs a boost of confidence with his goal scoring. Unless he bags one in the coming games, he might again be on the outside of the national team picture in November.


Brooks starts in Wolfsburg loss


After missing the recent U.S. national team games in October, John Brooks started for Wolfsburg on Saturday in a visit to his home city of Berlin to face Union Berlin.

Union Berlin ended up posting a 2-0 win but Brooks wasn’t responsible for either goal. Brooks didn’t standout – either for good or bad. He had four interceptions and won 4/7 of his duels. He was 73/88 with his passing and 2/7 with his long balls.

After a strong start to the season, Wolfsburg is in a rough patch and has lost three in a row. Brooks is typically a big part of their team and he needs to stay healthy in the coming weeks to return to the national team.


De la Fuente starts in Marseille win


After a strong start to the season, Konrad de la Fuente, 20, faded a bit in September and early October with Marseille. This was expected given that these are still his first steps as a first-team player on a weekly basis.

On Sunday, he got the start against Lorient and looked closer to getting back on track. He had a strong game in a 4-1 win.

For the first time since early September, the Miami area was effective with his impressive skillset. His dribbling and creative moments were on display on a few important occasions.


With a tad better finishing, he would have bagged his first goal a the first-team level.  When he gets the ball, he typically looks to go right at defenders. Hasn’t involved too much in the passing game (just 8 completed passes with 32 touches). He attempted seven dribbles and was successful five times. He won 7/11 duels which was reflective of his strong work-rate.

He’s far from the finished product and he will struggle at times on his path, but he’s certainly coming along nicely.


Dest impresses on the Wing


Sergino Dest has played a lot of positions for Barcelona this year. Right back, left back, right wing-back in a 3-5-2. On Sunday against Valencia, Dest got the start as a pure winger in a 4-3-3 and impressed. The U.S. national team fullback notched an assist en route to a comfortable 3-1 win.

Dest was given a lot of freedom to simply attack and run at defenders. He was an outstanding 31/33 in his passing and was 4/5 in his dribbles. He had 29 completed passes in Barcelona’s attacking half. He drew two fouls and was 7/13 in his duel winning.

His assist was a combination of slick dribbling, intelligent awareness, and a nice execution of a pass.


Will Dest continue to play on the wing? - maybe. It is tough to get a read on him given how much he switches positions. He has played on the wing before at Ajax and it plays to his strengths.

Yunus Musah, 18, came into the game for Valencia in the 75th minute and struggled, despite playing centrally. He made a nice run in the 90th minute but he looked off his game and it could be that he is getting used to playing regularly for both club and country in the middle of the season. It is a hard thing for a player of his age to do.


Yanks impress in Scotland


Four Americans featured in the Scottish Premiership over the weekend and all did quite well. Between Ian Harks, Scott Pittman, Christian Ramirez, and Cameron Carter-Vickers, the quartet posted two goals, an assist and a cleansheet in four different games.

Ian Harkes is the reigning Scottish Premiership Player of the Month and he might again win it in October. On Saturday, Harkes assisted on Dundee United’s opening goal of a 3-0 away win over Hibernian to move third in the table and just three points behind Rangers.

Scott Pittman, 29, scored the final goal for Livingston in a 3-0 romp over St. Johnstone.

Christian Ramirez, 30, scored his fourth of the Premiership and seven in all competitions for Aberdeen in a 2-1 loss to Dundee FC.

Cameron Carter-Vickers, 23, started and went the distance for Celtic in central defense in a 2-0 away win over Motherwell. Celtic are starting to get back on track and are in fourth place, one point behind third place Dundee United. Carter-Vickers was a rock in the backline winning 10/13 duels, amassing 100 touches, 10/12 with his long balls, and posting 10 clearances. Those are great numbers for the young English-American defender looking to get back into the national team picture.


Yedlin strong in Galatasary win


DeAndre Yedlin started and went the distance for Galatasaray on Saturday in a 1-0 win over Konyaspor. After returning from the U.S. team, Yedlin walked quickly back into Galatasaray’s starting XI and did well to complete 27/31 passing, winning 5/10 of his duels. Defensively, he had four clearances and was 2/3 in his tackles. Most impressively, he had six interceptions to breakup plays to help in the cleansheet win over Konyaspor.

The top of the Turkish table is tight. Galatasaray is even on points for third place and is just two points behind second place Fenerbahce. Everyone is chasing Trabzonspor which is four points ahead of Galatasaray.

Yedlin has competition for the backup right back spot on the national team behind Dest. Even with players like Scally pushing, Yedlin brings a veteran edge to him which is important.


Yanks in South America update


Several Americans continue to progress in South America and here is how they did.

The most impressive performer so far this season has been Alan Sonora, 23, at Independiente in Argentina’s Primera. The New Jersey native had an uncharacteristic off game for Independiente on Sunday in a 1-0 loss to Aldosivi. The attacking midfielder and his team weren’t able to generate many chances and Independiente fell to ninth place

Joel Sonora, 25, was an unused sub for Banfield in a 1-1 draw in the Argentine Primera with Lanus on Saturday.

Johnny Cardoso, 20, made his first start since August for Internacional on Sunday in a 1-0 loss to Palmeiras. The Denville-born Cardoso played 70 minutes in the loss as Internacional fell to seventh in Brazil’s Serie A.

In Chile's top tier, Mattias Facchia played the final six minutes for O'Higgins in a 2-2 draw with Palestino.

In Peru's Primera, Ernest Nungary went the distance for Sport Boys in a 1-1 draw with CD UT Cajmarca. Sport Boys remained in fourth place with the away point.

In Ecuador, Michael Hoyos remains out injured for Barcelona which lost 4-1 to Delfin.


Yanks in Belgium update


Two Americans and former teammates on the 2019 U.S. U-20 World Cup team were in action in Belgum over the weekend.

Chris Durkin started for St. Truiden on Sunday in a 2-2 draw with eighth-place Anderlecht. He played 83 minutes in the draw which kept St. Truiden in midtable at 12th place.

Mark McKenzie returned from national team duty to start for KRC Genk on Sunday in a 2-0 loss to Sporting Charleroi. He was subbed out in the 81st minute with the score 1-0.

McKenzie had 99 touches in this one and his passing numbers were excellent. He was 92/95 passing which includes 12/13 in long balls. He was just 1/4 in duels won. That will be interesting to follow moving forward is how much trust he has defensively. His passing numbers out of the back are excellent.

San Vines is back training for Royal Antwerp but didn't not take part in Royal Antwerp's 2-1 away loss to Zlute Waregem.


Lots of Goals elsewhere


When looking some American players at lower tiers in Europe, there were some impressive goals scored.

Duane Holmes had a very impressive strike for Huddersfield in a 2-0 win over Hull City. Huddersfield has moved into 6th in the table after 12 fames.


Andrija Novakovich scored his first goal of the season for Frosinone in a 1-1 draw with Cosenza in Serie B. The Wisconsin native took advantage of a terrible mistake to help his squad earn a draw.

Uly Llanez scored and assisted for St. Poelten in a 5-1 win over GAK in Austria’s second tier on Friday. It’s his second goal of the season.

In the Eerste Divisie, Dante Sealy scored a stoppage time equalizer for Jong PSV 2-2 draw with Roda JC Kerkrade


In Portugal, Alex Mendez scored for Vizela in a 2-0 win over Vitoria de Setubal (now in the 3rd tier) in the Portuguese Cup.


In Germany’s 3.Liga, Johan Gomez converted a penalty for FSV Zwickau in a 3-2 win over Duisburg on Saturday.

Also in the 3.Liga, Terrence Boyd scored his fourth of the season for Hallescher in a 3-2 loss to Saarbrucken.




In the Bundesliga: Julian Green played the final 23 minutes for Greuther Furth in a 1-0 loss at home to Bochum. Furth remain dead last in the Bundesliga with just a one point from eight games. Timothy Chandler started but was pulled at halftime of Eintracht Frankfurt’s 2-1 home loss to Hertha BSC. It was a wild swing from Eintracht to defeat Bayern Munich on the road in its most recent game and then follow it with a loss to a poor Hertha team.

In France’s Ligue 1, Nicholas Gioacchini came into the game in the 83rd minute for Montpellier and helped the club secure a 1-0 win. Gioacchini’s minutes were limited but he made a positive contribution after his club went down a man in the 88th. Erik Palmer-Brown was an unused sub for Troyes in a 1-0 win over Nice. In Ligue 2, Amir Richardson played 83 minutes for Le Havre in a 2-2 draw with Caen.

In the Portuguese Cup, Reggie Cannon made his first appearance of the season when he started for Boavista in a 4-0 loss to Rio Ave. Cannon played 66 minutes and left with the score 1-0.

In Turkey, Tyler Boyd started for Rizespor but was sent off in the 12th minute of a 2-0 loss to Giresunspor. Haji Wright played the final 31 minutes for Antalyaspor in a 2-2 away draw to Sivasspor.

In the Championship, Ethan Horvath was an unused substitute for Nottingham Forest in a 2-1 win over Blackpool.

In Switzerland’s Super League, Jordan Pefok started for BSC Young Boys but was taken out at halftime in a 1-1 draw vs. Luzern. Young Boys was reduced to 10 players in the first half and Pefok had to make way for a defensive player.

In Austria’s Bundeslita, Thomas Roberts did not get off the bench for Austria Klagenfurt in a 1-1 draw with Rapid Vienna.

In the Danish Superliga, Emmanuel Sabbi did not play for OB Odense in a 2-1 loss to Randers

In Hungary’s NB 1, Henry Wingo started and played 90 minutes for league leaders Ferencvaros in a 2-1 home loss to Zalaegerszegi TE.

In Mexico’s Primera, Sebastian Saucedo played the final 34 minutes for Pumas in a 1-0 win over Juarez.

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