Terrence Boyd, Julian Green Score in Preseason Games
July 19, 2016
THE PRESEASON CONTINUES throughout much of Europe and this week sees many top U.S. national team players reporting to their clubs after given a rest following Copa America Centenario.
Players like Fabian Johnson, Geoff Cameron, and John Brooks are fairly well established. The real story right now is the young players who trying to make names for themselves early in their careers. Additionally, Liga MX got underway with the opening of the Apertura.
Boyd scores in Leipzig’s rout
Terrrence Boyd, 25, is continuing his comeback at RB Leipzig after missing more than a year-and-a-half with a knee injury. On Saturday the German-born Boyd scored the eighth goal for RB Leipzig in a 10-0 rout over fifth-tier FC Frankfurt.
It's tough to evaluate players when scores are that lopsided as the talent gap is huge. Still, for Boyd, it appears he is physically holding up well so far and should be in a good position to play more in future preseason friendlies at RB Leipzig prepares for its first-ever Bundesliga campaign.
Green tallies for Bayern Munich
Who scored the first-ever goal for Bayern Munich in the Carlo Ancelotti-era? Julian Green.
On Saturday, the American scored the opening goal for Bayern Munich in a 4-3 preseason friendly win over Lippstadt. On the play, Green pounded on a rebound after Lippstadt’s goalkeeper failed to hold onto the ball. Green then had a hand in the second goal after his cross was turned into net on an own goal.
Bayern Munich is still missing several regulars who participated at the Euros but this does boost Green’s stock for a sale or a loan-type agreement.
De la Torre's goal downs Tottenham
Luca de la Torre recently had a good camp for the U.S. U-20 team, playing well in the first two games at the NTC Invitational Tournament. He left that camp early to return to Fulham for preseason with the first team.
So far he has been earning minutes in friendlies and the San Diego teenager could be poised to make his professional debut early this season with the Championship club. Coincidentally, the departure of fellow American Emerson Hyndman has opened a door for de la Torre.
On Saturday, Fulham faced fellow-London club Tottenham in a closed door friendly and it was de la Torre who scored the winner in a 1-0 victory.
American defenders start in Liga MX
The Liga MX season opened over the weekend and American defenders in Mexico enjoyed a strong start.
Jonathan Bornstein has been maligned by American fans but he has quietly had a very good career. He has helped take Queretaro to a Liga MX final when he scored the biggest goal in club history. On Saturday, he went the distance and played very well in Queretaro’s 2-0 win over Veracruz.
Elsewhere, Omar Gonzalez went the distance as Pachuca opened its Liga MX title defense with a 5-1 pounding of Club Leon—which started American keeper William Yarbrough (who had a rough day at the office).
Edgar Castillo did not play at all for the U.S. team at the Copa America but he started for Liga MX runner up Monterrey in its opener on Saturday against Puebla. He was replaced in the 61st minute with Monterrey up 1-0. Unfortunately for Monterrey, Castillo’s replacement was shown a red card minutes after coming on and Puebla found an equalizer in a 1-1 draw.
Jorge Villafana’s success in the 2016 Clausura with Santos Laguna was one of the top stories for Americans abroad this year. There was tough competition for his spot but he won the job immediately and never let go. He’s back at it and started on Saturday in a scoreless draw against Tigres. Will it translate over to the international stage? It would not be surprising to see Klinsmann give him a chance in the fall.
Jordan Siebatcheu scores for Reims
Jordan Siebatcheu is a multinational striker who appeared out of nowhere last year and signs pointed to a potential U.S. U-23 call-up in the first part of 2016. Unfortunately for Siebatcheu, he was injured in February and missed his chance. Now he’s back with his club, Stade de Reims, which was relegated to Ligue 2 this year.
Siebatcheu, 20, should see more time in Ligue 2 and on Saturday he scored his team’s only goal in a 1-1 draw with Nancy. His strike came on a quality volley from distance.
Siebatcheu has yet to play on the international stage and he is eligible for the United States, Cameroon, and France. As for his willingness to play for the United States, I’m told he is eager to do so although he likes Cameroon as well.
Antonee Robinson signs Everton deal
Antonee Robinson, a dual-national who has already made an appearance with the U.S. U-18 team, is also making waves. The Everton academy product, a left back, grew up in England but has an American passport. Last year he played with Everton’s first team in preseason but missed most of the campaign due to injury.
Now Robinson is healthy and playing for Everton and on Monday the club announced Robinson, 18, has signed a new one-year deal. It will be interesting to see if he can sneak into the U-20 picture moving forward.
Pulisic returns to Dortmund
On Tuesday 17-year-old Christian Pulisic wiill report to Borussia Dortmund’s preseason camp for his first training session. The Hershey, Pa., native was given an extended vacation following his involvement with Copa American Centenario last month.
Pulisic is likely to continue to contribute to Dortmund’s first team although he must compete with more depth this year. Mario Gotze is likely returning and the club also added attackers Ousmane Dembélé, Sebastian Rode, and Emre Mor.
Weston McKinnie update
Another American who could be making the jump abroad is Weston McKennie. The highly touted FC Dallas product was recently named the MVP of the Slovakia Cup for the United States U-19 team. McKennie, 17, has been with FC Dallas for several years and it was expected he would be the next player to sign a homegrown contract.
McKennie has attracted scouts this year and a Bundesliga club, rumored to be Schalke, is making a serious run at him.
It would be hard to blame McKennie should he jump to Germany but it would also be a real loss for FC Dallas who would receive nothing after successfully developing him to this point. FC Dallas has been an MLS team that has done things the right way both with creating a solid academy and giving young players an opportunity with the first team.
It seemed as if signing McKennie was always a matter of when, not if for FC Dallas. A big hold up was whether or not he was going to play his freshman season at the University of Virginia—where he would potentially be a “one and done” type player. Now the opportunity could be gone.
A jump to Germany may be exciting but it would be discouraging to see FC Dallas receive nothing. If an American organization is going to develop players that are good enough for a higher level, you would hope to see them rewarded. Otherwise, other organizations are going to see little reason to invest in the creation infrastructure for youth development stateside.