Americans abroad analysis

Robinson, Novakovich, & Adams shine in busy weekend abroad

It was a fun weekend for Americans abroad because while all the regulars were in action, many of the best highlights came from those outside of the United States national team picture. ASN's Brian Sciaretta goes deep with his highlights from abroad
BY Posted
March 17, 2019
6:00 PM
THE WEEKEND abroad was pretty good for Americans abroad and a few of the top performances came from players who were not called up to the U.S. team for the March window.

Antonee Robinson and Andrija Novakovich, in particular, stood out for their clubs in wins that will help their respective clubs avoid relegation. Michael Hoyos and Aaron Schoenfeld also scored eye-opening goalazos.

Among the regular performers, Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, John Brooks and Christian Pulisic all had nice outings. Matt Miazga also helped Reading secure a point in a scoreless draw – which also helps its chances at survival. Overall, it has been a great loan so far for the New Jersey native.

Of course, things could be better. Jonathan Amon is looking for more playing time made a late-game sub appearance for FC Nordsjaelland and was on the field for a late winner. The same could be said for Tim Weah at Celtic. Josh Sargent, meanwhile, did not get off the bench again for Werder Bremen. Regardless of what happens the rest of the way, it has been a positive learning experience for Sargent in his first full season as a professional.

Antonee Robinson – Americans Abroad player of the week

Wigan Athletic left back Antonee Robinson only came back from injury two weeks ago. The English-born American injured his leg while with the United States national team in November. On Saturday, Robinson turned in his best outing of the season in a 5-2 win over his former team, Bolton Wanders. The three points moved Wigan three points away from the relegation zone while sent Bolton further into it.

Offensively, Robinson’s speed was very hard for Bolton to defend. But defensively, Robinson stood out with a game-high six clearances and four tackles (tied for a game-high).

Robinson is eligible for the United States U-23 team and if he continues to play, he could be a strong contender to start for that team.

Novakovich’s big day

American forward Andrija Novakovich wasn’t on the U.S. national team roster for March but that didn’t stop the Wisconsin native from having a big day on Friday. In a game against Emmen, Novakovich scored and assisted in a 3-1 win. It was his seventh goal in the Eredivisie this season and his eighth in all competitions for Fortuna Sittard.

The win came at an important time as it stopped a four-game skid for Fortuna Sittard and kept the club four points above the line for automatic safety. In a season where the newly-promoted club’s goal was to survive, a midtable finish is very achievable.

Adams and Leipzig defeat McKennie and Schalke

It was an exciting day on Saturday for American fans as both Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie earned the start for their respective clubs as RB Leipzig visited Schalke.

In the end, Leipzig came away with the deserved road victory as it seeks to hold onto its grip on third place in the Bundesliga.

Adams was decent offensively but his best attributes were clearly on the defensive end where his four tackles and two interceptions forced turnovers and kept Schalke from being threatening.

For McKennie, it was frustrating as he was perhaps his team’s best player in the loss. Towards the end, he was part of two scoring chances that his team was not able to finish. The result now has Schlake in 15th place and just three points clear of automatic safety.

Now Adams and McKennie will travel stateside to play for the United States national team for a pair of friendlies against Ecuador and Chile.

Yedlin's equalizing assist

For awhile it seemed as if it was not going to be Newcastle United’s day against AFC Bournemouth trailing 2-1 late. In the third minute of stoppage time, the team pulled out an amazing goalazo from Matt Ritchie that was set up by United States national team right back DeAndre Yedlin.

The valuable point kept Newcastle in 12th place in the Premier League and far from any relegation danger.

Brooks & Wolfsburg rebound with big win

John Brooks and Wolfsburg dropped a bad 6-0 decision last weekend to Bayern Munich and it came at a time when the club was pushing for a spot in Europe. On Saturday, the club quickly shook off the ugly defeat and rebounded with a 5-2 defeat over Fortuna Dusseldorf (Alfredo Morales did not get off the bench in this game).

Brooks was decent in the game and made 95 touches throughout the 90 minutes. Wolfsburg has been playing well since the league resumed from winter break but still trails Bayer Leverkusen on goal differential for the league’s Europa League spot.

Pulisic & Dortmund keep heat on Bayern

As it’s looking right now, Christian Pulisic probably won’t be playing in the Champions League next year due to Chelsea’s standing in the Premier League. But it would be a great accomplishment if Pulisic could leave Germany with a Bundesliga title. After squandering a large lead, Dortmund now trail Bayern Munich on goal differential.

But Dortmund did its part to stay near the top with a 3-2 road win over Hertha BSC. Pulisic started and went the distance in the game after a stellar outing off the bench last weekend vs. Stuttgart. And while Pulisic missed a few chances, he did well to pressure Hertha throughout.

Hoyos and Schoenfeld hit goalazos

To find the best goals scored by Americans this weekend, you have to go to places you typically wouldn’t expect.

In Israel, former Columbus Crew forward Aaron Schoenfeld hit a goalazo for Maccabi Tel Aviv for the team’s second goal in a 2-0 win over Hapoel Hadera.

Then in Ecuador, Michael Hoyos hit this amazing free kick for Guayaquil City in a 1-1 draw with Olmedo.

Gutman scores in pro debut

While not an American abroad yet, Andrew Gutman scored in his professional debut on Friday for the Charlotte Independence. Gutman, a left back, recently won the Hermann Trophy as the nation’s best collegiate player while playing for Indiana University. As opposed to signing a homegrown deal with Chicago, Gutman trialed in Scotland and signed for Celtic but started his pro career on loan with the Charlotte Independence of USL.

In Friday’s opener for Charlotte, the club dropped a 3-2 decision to Indy Eleven but Gutman scored towards the end of the game to cut Indy’s lead in half.

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