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Americans Abroad Player of the Week: Andrija Novakovich

Andrija Novakovich hasn’t been with the U.S. Men’s National Team in more than a year, but he put in a performance last week that merits a closer look for the young forward.

Novakovich scored his first goal of the new year, and registered an assist to help Italian Serie B side Frosinone to a 2-0 victory over Cosenza on Friday, a performance that earned Novakovich SBI Americans Abroad Player of the Week honors.

Novakovich scored his first goal since November to help Frosinone open up a two-point gap in second place in Serie B, leaving the club in position to be promoted to Serie A. Novakovich has started four of his team’s past five matches in what is now a five-match winning streak for the Italian club.

Novakovich is the only American forward in Europe currently earning regular starts, and could be poised to earn a look from Gregg Berhalter, who has lamented the current started of the USMNT forward pool.

Novakovich earned call-ups from interim USMNT coach Dave Sarachan in 2018, but didn’t see much playing time. His move away from English side Reading to Serie B seemed a curious one at the time, but Novakovich has found steady playing time in a tough league, and could find himself in Serie A next season if he can help Frosinone maintain its current strong form.

Here is a look at the other top Americans Abroad performers of the past week:

John Brooks

It appears Brooks’ stint on the Wolfsburg bench is over, as he made it three straight starts in Wolfsburg’s 4-0 win against Mainz. Brooks enjoyed his best match of the new year, helping Wolfsburg post the shutout and climb into seventh place in the Bundesliga.

Erik Palmer-Brown

With U.S. Under-23 national team coach Jason Kreis in attendance, Palmer-Brown delivered an 89th-minute equalizer goal in Austria Vienna’s 2-2 draw with Red Bull Salzburg on Sunday. The central defender, on loan from Manchester City, has established himself as a regular starter for the Austrian club, and could feature on Olympic qualifying in March.

Lynden Gooch

Gooch scored his sixth goal of 2020, and 11th goal of the season, to help Sunderland roll to a 3-0 win over Bristol Rovers. Sunderland’s fourth straight win has the Black Cats in fourth place in League One, just three points away from the automatic promotion spot currently held by Coventry City.

Matthew Olosunde

Making his first start in almost a month, Olosunde turned in a strong shift at right back to help Rotherham United post a 2-1 win against Accrington to maintain first place in League One. Olosunde had been a regular starter through the first half of the season, and his latest showing could help him regain that starting job.

Timothy Tillman

Making his first start for his new club, Tillman played 73 minutes in Gruether Furth’s 1-1 draw with Wehen. The tie helped Furth snap a two-match losing skid, and marked Tillman’s first start since March of 2019, and just the second start of his professional career.


  1. Good to see many young players abroad learning their trade and becoming professional, under the microscope of European media and pressure of Pro/Rel. According to Brian McBride, while MLS is a good professional league, the pressure doesn’t come close to Europe

  2. SupaNova needs opportunity. EPB is starting, so I have lil hope, he will be in the Olympic qualifying squad, but it would be nice, though. Gooch can’t get any props, he’s been a starter since the Black Cats were in Premiere. At least, there wasn’t any major injuries this week, tbc.

    • That’s a pretty big exaggeration on Gooch, he started four EPL matches due to injury played in about 1/4 of their matches that year almost all in Aug/Sept, Started 1/4 of matches played in 1/2 in Championship (if you watch the Netflix show of that you year he is hardly ever on screen). Wasn’t until they went to League One that he became a regular starter.
      16/17 EPL 11app 4starts 0g 0a
      17/18 Champ. 24app 12starts 1 goal 4 assists
      18/19 L1 41 app 32starts 5g 8a
      19/20 L1 26app 25starts 10g 2a

  3. “Novakovich is the only American forward in Europe currently earning regular starts”
    why does everyone always overlook 19 yr old Nick Gioacchini in Ligue 2?

    • Probably because he’s never represented the US at any level. Not saying he won’t or shouldn’t just keeps him under the radar.

      • neither has Tim Tillman, Johnny
        There’s no rhyme or reason to SBI’s lists of Yanks.
        Maki Tall’s inactivity gets tracked every week for crying out loud.
        and there are a dozen or so Americans playing in u19 Junioren Bund that never get mentioned.

      • It is a mystery. I was giving Romain Gall updates for almost a year. I think it’s driven a lot by interest. Until enough people ask guys don’t get on. Holmes and Arriyibi didn’t used to get on when they were in League One. I advocated for a separate youth list that could come out every few weeks a couple years ago because the U23 and U19s didn’t used to get mentions, but now they almost make the list too long.

      • there are so many potential players in the pool now, and it’s all in flux, but the staff writers at places like this are used to the pool being relatively stagnant.
        .. having a set list of players on their pre-weekend spreadsheets and just subbing words for the recap.
        that’s not good enough anymore

      • Tons of hidden players aka Easter Eggs and, dual nationals. Look up Manny Perez he is 21 and American, he plays for Rangers but is on loan at a USL team.

      • Manny’s a bit of a hometown celebrity here in the Raleigh area. He’s actually Celtic property (along with Gutman and Cameron Harper).
        Rangers have 18 yr old American Julian Anderson playing on their reserves- although he’s set to leave this summer for UVA.

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