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Americans Abroad Player of the Week: Haji Wright


Turkish Super Lig club Antalyaspor has continued to fight for a spot in European competition for next season and American forward Haji Wright has been a major reason for its push up the league table.

Haji Wright scored the opening goal on Saturday as Antalyaspor earned a sixth-consecutive victory, defeating Alanyaspor 3-1 away from home. Wright now has 10 league goals for Antalyaspor this season and five in his last five appearances, helping him earn SBI’s Americans Abroad Player of the Week honors.

The 24-year-old continued his strong run of form, breaking the deadlock in the 17th minute of the eventual win. Wright watched as Antalyaspor extended its lead before and after halftime, picking up a 14th league win out of 33 matches played so far.

Wright also won the most duels in the match (6) and drew the most fouls (2), continuing to be a havoc for opposing defenders in the Super Lig. His presence down the stretch for Antalyaspor will be crucial if Nuri Sahin’s side wants to clinch a top-four finish later this May.

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

Erik Palmer-Brown

Erik Palmer-Brown is quickly making a name for himself in the Troyes squad and might be just the answer to keep the Ligue 1 side safe for another season.

Palmer-Brown earned his 15th league appearance on Sunday as Troyes earned a 1-1 draw with Strasbourg. The U.S. men’s national team defender was solid all around for Troyes, winning five of his duels, making two blocks, two tackles, and seven clearances.

The 24-year-old has helped Troyes improve its chances of survival over recent weeks and will push to remain in the starting lineup for the final six matches.

Tyler Adams

USMNT midfielder made his first start for RB Leipzig in almost two months on Sunday and helped the Bundesliga side remain in the running for a top-four finish.

Adams logged 83 minutes in a 1-0 road victory over Bayer Leverkusen, a win that extended RB Leipzig’s lead to two points over fifth place Freiburg. The 23-year-old completed 55 of 61 passes (90% completion rate), made three recoveries, and won two of his four duels.

RB Leipzig not only remains in the fight for a top-four finish, but also is in the mix for a Europa League title and a German Cup. Adams’ fitness down the stretch could play a key role for Domenico Tedesco’s side.

Terrence Boyd

Kaiserslautern FC picked up a fifth victory from its last six matches and American striker Terrence Boyd was among the goals once again.

Boyd scored the winning goal in Kaiserslautern’s 3-1 victory over Saarbrucken, keeping the German third tier side two points ahead in the race for automatic promotion to the 2. Bundesliga. The 30-year-old Boyd has now scored six goals in his last three outings for Kaiserslautern and overall has 16 league goals in the season.

Kaiserslautern has five matches left this season and will rely on Boyd to continue his hot run over the next few weeks.

Jordan Pefok

Swiss Pro League Young Boys will not retain its league title this spring, but could have one of its star players bring home the Golden Boot.

Jordan Pefok netted his 19th league goal of the season in a 2-1 defeat to FC Zurich on Saturday. The USMNT striker leads the Golden Boot race by three goals over second place Assan Ceesay and overall has totaled 24 goals for Young Boys this season in all competitions.

Pefok’s ability in the box has truly helped him become one of the top American forward prospects going forward. Young Boys will now hope Pefok can propel it back to a European competition next season, with Matteo Vanetta’s side only one point clear in third place.

What did you think of the top Americans Abroad performances this past week? Who impressed you the most? Who didn’t make the list that you feel deserved a mention?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I’d expect to see Haji Wright in the camp in June. I haven’t seen him play in years. I remember writing him off at the time; I thought he was a guy typical of the American youth system at the time – athletic, but unintelligent in his movement and not overly skilled, with bricks where his feet should have been. (This was why I was so excited about guys like Hoppe and Dike, who showed exceptional understanding with their movement and high soccer IQ’s even if Dike in particular needed some work on his touch, as is typical of a lot of former college players who don’t get the practice time a pro academy kid does.)

    The Turkish League certainly pays better than MLS, but I dunno if the quality is really any higher…but making a living playing abroad is intrinsically harder than doing it at home, and if Wright has progressed he did certainly have the physical tools to be an effective player.

    I’ll just settle for a big basic striker who is intelligent enough with his movement to get on the end of things and bully and battle in the box, hold the ball up, and slam in a header when somebody puts in a good cross. If he’s even that, he could make the plane to Qatar for us, he really could.

    • The Turkish League has really fallen on hard times…thought I saw recently that it’s now ranked between Croatia and Cyprus’s top flights.

      • As of 2019 – those were the latest stats I could find – the average salary was $864K per player in Turkey. MLS average salaries were $398K in 2020. So the Turks still do pay really well. Actually the average MLS salary is quite a bit more than the average English League Championship salary…which is just around $260K. Cost does not always translate to quality. – I mean, the average Chinese Super League salary is over a million dollars a year! – but there is a STRONG correlation.

        Just as a random sidebar: the Eurosnobs who sniff and dismiss MLS as “League One quality”, by the way, are morons. The average English League 1 salary is $130K…a third that of the average MLS player.

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