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Americans Abroad Weekend Rewind: Mendez, Palmer-Brown, and more

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Alex Mendez and FC Vizela ended up on the losing end of Saturday’s 4-2 loss to FC Porto, but the American midfielder left the match with his first Portuguese Liga goal in stellar fashion.

Mendez scored in the 36th minute on Saturday, delivering one of the goals of the season in the Portuguese top-flight. The 21-year-old logged 90 minutes for his 25th league appearance of the season, while also completing the most dribbles (3), winning six duels, and two tackles. Mendez picked up possession outside of the box before cutting past two FC Porto defenders and rifling a left-footed shot off the left post and in. It was Mendez’s first top-flight goal of his career, after previously spending two seasons with Jong Ajax in the Eerste Divisie.

In Ligue 1 action, Erik Palmer-Brown played a key role in Troyes’ 3-0 win over Lille. The central defender delivered three clearances and two interceptions to help earn the clean sheet. The victory now gives Troyes a five-point gap from the relegation zone with only three matches remaining.

In English Premier League play, Christian Pulisic came off the bench and played 22 minutes in Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Everton. Josh Sargent’s return from injury was short-lived for 14 minutes as the USMNT striker re-aggravated an ankle injury. Norwich City suffered relegation with the road defeat at Aston Villa.

Elsewhere in England, Duane Holmes started and played 65 minutes in Huddersfield’s 2-1 win over Coventry City on Saturday. Huddersfield clinched a spot in the EFL Championshop promotion playoffs.  

In Germany, John Brooks scored in Wolfsburg’s 1-1 draw with Stuttgart on Saturday. The crucial performance by Brooks also included a total of eight clearances for the central defender.

In Austria, Brenden Aaronson lifted the Austrian Cup for the second time in his European career. Ulysses Llanez scored and assisted once in St. Poelten’s 4-1 romp over Kapfenberger on Friday.

Elsewhere, both Jordan Pefok and Haji Wright scored for their respective clubs in league play. Pefok’s goal streak is now at four games as he is running away with the scoring title on 22 goals. Wright’s streak is at five games, but most notably his goal helped Antalyaspor earn a 2-2 draw against league-leaders Trabzonspor.

Here is a closer look at this weekend’s Americans Abroad action:


England


Premier League

Christian Pulisic came off the bench and played 22 minutes in Chelsea’s 1-0 loss to Everton on Sunday.

Zack Steffen dressed but did not play in Manchester City’s 4-0 win over Jesse Marsch’s Leeds United on Saturday.

Josh Sargent came off the bench and played 14 minutes in Norwich City’s 2-0 loss to Aston Villa on Saturday. Sargent left the match after re-aggravating an ankle injury.

Championship

Antonee RobinsonTim Ream, started and played 90 minutes in Fulham’s 7-0 win over Luton Town on Monday.

Duane Holmes started and played 65 minutes in Huddersfield’s 2-1 win over Coventry City on Saturday.

Ethan Horvath dressed but did not play in Nottingham Forest’s 5-1 win over Swansea City on Saturday.

Matthew Olosunde did not dress in Preston North End’s 3-1 win over Barnsley on Saturday.

Daryl Dike is OUT FOR SEASON (injury) for West Brom.

League One

Lynden Gooch started and played 90 minutes in Sunderland’s 1-0 win over Morecambe on Saturday.

Marlon Fossey is OUT FOR SEASON (Injury) for Bolton.


Germany


Bundesliga

Joe Scally came off the bench and played one minute in Borussia Monchengladbach’s 3-1 win over RB Leipzig on Monday.

Tyler Adams dressed but did not play for RB Leipzig.

John Brooks started, scored ONE GOAL, and played 90 minutes in Wolfsburg’s 1-1 draw with Pellegrino Matarazzo‘s Stuttgart on Saturday.

Kevin Paredes did not dress for Wolfsburg.

Ricardo Pepi dressed but did not play in Augsburg’s 4-1 loss to Koln on Saturday.

Justin Che dressed but did not play in Hoffenheim’s 4-3 loss to Freiburg on Saturday.

Timmy Chandler and Eintracht Frankfurt visit Bayer Leverkusen on Monday.

Tim Tillman started and played 89 minutes in Greuther Furth’s 1-1 draw with Union Berlin on Friday.

Julian Green came off the bench and played 17 minutes for Greuther Furth.

George Bello came off the bench and played 18 minutes in Arminia Bielefeld’s 1-1 draw with Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

Gio Reyna is OUT FOR SEASON (injury) for Dortmund.

Chris Richards is OUT FOR SEASON (injury) for Hoffenheim.

2. Bundesliga

Ryan Malone started and played 90 minutes in Hansa Rostock’s 0-0 draw with Paderborn on Saturday.

Nico Carrera dressed but did not play in Holstein Kiel’s 3-2 win over Werder Bremen on Friday.

Bryang Kayo did not dress in Nuremberg’s 1-1 draw with St. Pauli on Friday.

3. Liga

Terrence Boyd started and played 90 minutes in Kaiserslautern’s 3-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund II on Saturday.

Johan Gomez came off the bench and played 30 minutes in FSV Zwickau’s 3-0 lost to Turkgucu Munchen on Saturday.

Regionalliga

Taylor Booth started and played 70 minutes in Bayern Munich II’s 2-1 win over Greuther Furth II on Sunday.


Italy


Serie A

Gianluca Busio dressed but did not play in Venezia’s 2-1 loss to Juventus on Sunday.

Tanner Tessmann dressed but did not play for Venezia.

Weston McKennie is OUT (Injury) for Juventus.

Serie B

Andrija Novakovich started and played 75 minutes in Frosinone’s 3-0 loss to SPAL on Saturday.

Anthony Fontana dressed but did not play in Ascoli’s 1-0 win over Cremonese on Saturday.


Spain


La Liga

Yunus Musah came off the bench and played one minute in Valencia’s 1-1 draw with Levante on Saturday.

Matthew Hoppe came off the bench and played one minute in Mallorca’s 2-1 loss to Barcelona on Sunday.

Matt Miazga dressed but did not play in Alaves’ 2-1 win over Villareal on Saturday.

Sergiño Dest is OUT FOR SEASON (injury) for Barcelona.

Segunda Liga

Shaq Moore came off the bench and played three minutes in Tenerife’s 2-0 win over Lugo on Sunday.

Samuel Shashoua did not dress for Tenerife.

Jonathan Gomez came off the bench and played 15 minutes in Real Sociedad B’s 2-1 win over Real Valladolid on Monday.


France


Ligue 1

Tim Weah started and played 90 minutes in Lille’s 3-0 loss to Troyes on Sunday.

Erik Palmer-Brown started and played 90 minutes for Troyes.

Nicholas Gioacchini came off the bench and played four minutes in Montpellier’s 2-2 draw with Metz on Sunday.

Konrad De La Fuente is OUT FOR SEASON (injury) for Marseille.


Netherlands


Eredivisie

Luca de la Torre started and played 78 minutes in Heracles’ 1-1 draw with FC Twente on Saturday.

Cole Bassett came off the bench and played 23 minutes in Feyenoord’s 3-1 win over Fortuna Sittard on Sunday.

Richie Ledezma came off the bench and played one minute in PSV’s 4-2 win over Willem II on Sunday.

Eerste Divisie

Dante Sealy is OUT (U.S. U-20 training camp) for Jong PSV.


Portugal


Liga Portugal

Reggie Cannon started and played 90 minutes in Boavista’s 2-1 win over Moreirense on Sunday.

Alex Mendez started, scored ONE GOAL, and played 90 minutes in Vizela’s 4-2 loss to FC Porto on Saturday.


Belgium


Pro League Championship Playoff

Mark McKenzie started and played 90 minutes in Genk’s 4-2 win over KV Mechelen on Friday.

Sam Vines started and played 71 minutes in Royal Antwerp’s 0-0 draw with Union St. Gilloise on Sunday.


Scotland


Premiership Second Phase

Cameron Carter-Vickers started and played 90 minutes in Celtic’s 1-1 draw with Rangers on Sunday.

James Sands dressed but did not play for Rangers.

Joe Efford came off the bench and played 26 minutes in Motherwell’s 1-0 loss to Dundee United on Saturday.

Christian Ramirez started and played 69 minutes in Aberdeen’s 1-0 win over Dundee FC on Saturday.

Sebastian Soto came off the bench and played one minute in Livingston’s 1-0 win over Hibernian on Saturday.

Chris Mueller dressed but did not play for Hibernian.

Ian Harkes is OUT FOR SEASON (injury) for Dundee United.


Austria


Austrian Cup

Brenden Aaronson came off the bench and played 27 minutes in Red Bull Salzburg’s 3-0 win over Ried on Sunday.

2. Liga

Ulysses Llanez started, scored ONE GOAL, registered ONE ASSIST, scored and played 90 minutes in St. Poelten’s 4-1 win over Kapfenberger SV on Friday.


Switzerland


Super League

Jordan Pefok started, scored ONE GOAL, and played 90 minutes in Young Boys 2-1 win over Sion on Sunday.


Denmark


Superliagen Championship Playoffs

Christian Cappis started and played 73 minutes in Brondby’s 2-1 loss to Randers FC on Sunday.

Emmanuel Sabbi started and played 74 minutes in Odense’s 1-0 win over AGF Aarhus on Sunday.

Jonathan Amon is OUT FOR SEASON (Injury) for Nordsjaelland.


Hungary


Nb I

Henry Wingo did not dress in Ferencvaros’ 2-1 win over Paksi SE on Friday.


Turkey


Super Lig

Haji Wright started, scored ONE GOAL, and played 90 minutes in Antalyaspor’s 2-2 draw with Trabzonspor on Saturday.

Tyler Boyd came off the bench and played 27 minutes in Rizespor’s 7-1 win over Goztepe on Sunday.


Sweden


Allsvenskan

Joe Gyau started and played 33 minutes in Degerfors’ 6-0 loss to Elfsborg on Sunday.

Jeffrey Gal did not dress for Degerfors.

Romain Gall and Malmo visit Hammarby on Monday.

Joe Corona started and played 73 minutes in Sundsvall’s 2-0 loss to AIK on Sunday.

Forrest Lasso did not dress for Sundsvall.


Argentina


Copa De La Liga Profesional

Joel Sonora started and played 64 minutes in Velez Sarsfield’s 3-2 win over Tigre on Saturday.

Alan Sonora did not dress in Independiente’s 1-0 loss to Lanus on Saturday.


Brazil


Gaucho

Johnny Cardoso did not dress in Internacional’s 0-0 draw with Avai FC on Sunday.


Mexico


Liga MX

Sebastian Saucedo did not dress Pumas’ 2-0 win over Pachuca on Sunday.


Comments

  1. The problem is to use Robinson and Dest as offensive threats (and they were two of our best offensive players) Berhalter has to slide Musah and McKennie wide and deep to cover. So if you play Reyna and Aaronson in either of those spots now they are playing as wide midfielders in possession which is not where they play. Think about from fall of 2020 to Switzerland match. The US scored a ton but were very stretched on counters think Jamaica, Panama, NIreland, and Switzerland. Using this tactic has put Musah, Busio, and McKennie largely playing in the same space they play for club and made the US very difficult to score on from run of play. So Berhalters tactics have placed Dest, Robinson, McKennie, Adams, Musah, Pulisic, Pepi in the exact role that they are successful in for their club. He has Aaronson and Reyna playing roles that both played successfully for their clubs last year but don’t currently because their managers changed. In NT at least 1 or 2 guys are going have to do something slightly different than what they do for club. I’d say 7 out of 8 offensive players is pretty good.

    Reply
    • JohnnyR – were ARob amd Dest some of the best offensive players because they are some of the teams best offensive players or because they try to attack with them every time (I suspect coaches tactics). I would say there are probably 7 better attacking players so why not game plan your attack around your best attacking players? I agree with you that the 8s end up playing lime fullbacks and Dest and ARob are like wide halfbacks or even wingers. It doesn’t make sense to me. LDT passed the ball forward to ARob what seemed like 10 consecutive ineffective times against CR. I want LDT to be further down the field than ARob. I just don’t get it.

      Reply
      • The reason for that I believe is that neither are super strong 1v1 defenders so by pushing them up you pin their wide players back.
        —————————
        The point still remains for a NT you are never going to get everyone playing exactly where and how they play for club. We’ll see if any options come out after the extended cap this summer. Berhalter has experimented with 3 man backline last spring but abandoned it after Honduras. With frequent injuries, Covid restrictions, and travel schedules there just wasn’t time to implement changes and he went straight 4-3-3.

    • JR,

      Wales November 12, 2020 0–0
      Panama November 16, 2020 6–2
      El Salvador December 9, 2020 6–0
      Trinidad and Tobago January 31, 2021 7–0
      Jamaica March 25, 2021 4–1
      Northern Ireland March 28, 2021 2–1

      Wales and Ireland are half way decent but were without their best players.
      Regardless, at their best, neither of them are known for scoring a lot.
      Panama, El Salvador, T&T and Jamaica were crap.

      The point being it was hard to take much away from that run of games

      After Switzerland they played:

      Switzerland May 30, 2021 1–2 Switzerland Friendly
      Honduras June 3, 2021 1–0 United States Nations League SF
      Mexico June 6, 2021 3–2 United States Nations League F
      Costa Rica June 9, 2021 4–0 United States Friendly
      Haiti July 11, 2021 1–0 United States Gold Cup GS
      Martinique July 15, 2021 6–1 United States Gold Cup GS
      Canada July 18, 2021 1–0 United States Gold Cup GS
      Jamaica July 25, 2021 1–0 United States Gold Cup QF
      Qatar July 29, 2021 1–0 United States Gold Cup SF
      Mexico August 1, 2021 1–0 United States Gold Cup F

      Again, the only decent attacking teams, and that’s being generous, the USMNT played before the qualifiers were Mexico and Canada.

      Are the USMNT hard to score against ? The stats say yes.
      But the stats don’t tell you who is trying to score against the USMNT.

      Antonee and Dest are highlighted as attacking players in part because being fullbacks means they often not as well marked as a Reyna or a Pulisic. They can get a head of steam up and going coming from space, while the other two are often well covered.

      And both have enough skill, (Dest more so) to do something good with the ball once they penetrate.

      Reply
  2. Always liked Mendez’ game and that goal was what we saw from him as a U-20 player, he just needed to find a club to get a foothold as a young player to continue developing, which it seems Vizela has allowed him to do the last 2 seasons. I think he can sneak into the conversation as an #8 for Qatar, but he’ll have to contribute a bit more offensively with goals but mainly assists, to show Berhalter his ability to be a set up man!

    Reply
  3. I don’t want to take anything away from the goal, because it was a great shot. But the defense there left quite a bit to be desired. Both defenders thought he was going to pass and neither one of them got in front of him. To his credit, Mendez took advantage and made them pay.

    Another week, another goal for both Wright and Pefok. Meanwhile, Pepi doesn’t get on the field, and Sargent and Dike are injured.

    Reply
  4. Wright has to be a lock in June for the USMNT. He will be a cheap transfer for a team in need of a striker. I could see Wright back in the Bundesliga next year. Perhaps Dortmund????

    Reply
    • I appreciate your optimism but Cyle Larin had 10 more goals for Bestikas last season and wasn’t able to make any big move. Also Haji was with Schalke not Dortmund.

      Reply
      • Yes I know he was with Schalke. Cyke Larin was on a much better team. What Haji is doing is way more impressive.

      • Sorry read your first comment wrong in regards to Dortmund. I went with all competitions totals Haji 32 app 13g 2a, Cyle 45 app 23g 6a. Even just looking at the 19 to 12 difference Haji isn’t going to a big team off this seasons Super Lig performance. Last years league leader 23 yr old Aaron Boupendza who had 22g went on a free transfer to Al-Arabi in Qatari Stars League. Another player to compare with would be Joseph Paintsil, last season for Ankaragucu he had 11g. This season he returned from his loan to Genk in Belgium and has 2g 2a in 22 league appearances. Turkey is mostly a retirement league Haji’s had a great season but he’s not likely to move to a top 5 league. You have a couple in the past 5 years that have but usually they were in Turkey on loan or returned to their home country.

  5. Mendez to Vizela was one of the low key great moves by an American last summer. 1600 minutes across all comps 3g, helped team stay up that hasn’t been 1st division since 1985. Reggie had some early injury problems but Alex has just 100 less minutes in the same league. Most rankings have Portugal as the 6th best league in the world so certainly an accomplishment he’s been playing mostly as an 8 so like Luca doesn’t have big G and A stats. Maybe bridge too far for Qatar but he could still push into the “group” for ’26.

    Reply
    • 15 years ago a guy playing 1600 mins in Portugal would have been a lock MNT roster, now I’m not sure many would have him top 50.

      Reply
      • Mendez has a lot of talent and potential. Maybe a bigger team in Portugal might snap him up this summer. Things are always fluid before a WC. Player form, injuries will be big things to worry about leading up to the WC. Mendez may sneak in if he is doing great things at the start of next season.

    • Always like Mendez and thought he just needed the right opportunity to show his talent. The problem for Mendez is that the 8 is actually one of our deepest positions, with a number of quality players. Where he stacks up amidst the US CM player pool is hard to determine since all our 8’s are spread across so many leagues.
      Tier 1: McKennie, Musah, Reyna & Aaronson (if Gregg would play them there).
      Tier 2: Luca DLT, Busio,
      Tier 3: Williamson, Senora, Tillman, Pomykal, Mendez, Booth, Bassett – Players who need to be tried or re-tried as the case may be.
      Tier 4: Roldan & Lletget – Players Gregg seems to have a soft spot for.

      Except for the Tier 4 players, everyone listed above are young enough that they could challenge for a roster spot in 2026. Health & Form may knock another 1 or 2 out of discussion. I’m sure that there are another 3-6 younger players who could break into consideration by 2026 with the right moves and/or development opportunities. I just hope we get a new coach after 2022….one who can actually make use of the talent the US has.

      Reply

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