As far as smooth transitions to a new league go, Sebastian Saucedo is enjoying one of the better ones.
The former Real Salt Lake winger has jumped right into a starting role with Liga MX side UNAM Pumas, and on Saturday he turned in his best performance since arriving, delivering the winning assist in Pumas’ 3-2 win against Toluca on Saturday, a performance that earned him SBI Americans Abroad Player of the Week honors.
Pumas is off to a dream start, sitting in first place in Liga MX after an undefeated start to the Clausura campaign, and Saucedo has been a part of the whole ride, starting all six league matches for Pumas.
The 23-year-old winger is playing well enough to merit consideration for a U.S. Men’s National Team call-up, though he is age-eligible for the upcoming Olympic qualifying tournament, assuming Pumas would release him for the competition.
Saucedo was one of the few Americans to enjoy good days in foreign leagues. Here were the top Americans Abroad performers of the past week:
Dest has solidified his starting role at right back for Ajax and turned in another strong shift, playing 90 minutes in Ajax’s 3-0 win against Waalwijk. Ajax moved five points clear of the pack in the Eredivisie with Sunday’s win, and Dest made it five straight starts in all competitions as Ajax prepares to face La Liga side Getafe on Europa League action.
Turning in his best showing since joining Luton Town, Carter-Vickers put in an outstanding shift to help Luton post a vital 1-0 road win against Middlesbrough. Luton is still three points away from relegation safety, but Carter-Vickers made a strong case for continued playing time.
Continuing to settle into a defensive midfield role, McKennie put in another steady shift in Schalke’s 0-0 draw with Mainz. The tie is Schalke’s third straight, and keeps the club in sixth place in the Bundesliga. The good news for USMNT fans is McKennie has settled into a regular midfield role after having been used as a centerback and right back by David Wagner before.
Back in the starting lineup for Wolfsburg for the first time in three matches, Brooks made the most of a red card to teammate Marin Pongracic, playing a full 90 minutes in a 3-2 win against Hoffenheim. It wasn’t Brooks’ best performance by any means, but getting back on the field was still a net positive for the veteran defender.
The young German-American made a memorable first-team debut with 2. Bundesliga side Gruether Furth, registering a pair of assists coming off the bench in Furth’s 4-2 loss to league leaders Arminia Bielefeld. Tillman had been struggling to get on the field since making the move to Furth from Bayern Munich, but his two-assist outing should help him earn more minutes.
Though he didn’t start, Novakovich came off the bench and played 57 minutes in Frosinone’s 1-0 win against Perugia, a victory that keeps Frosinone tied on points with second-place Spezia in the race for promotion to Serie A. Novakovich has earned regular playing time since joining the Serie B side, though he has managed just one goal so far this season.