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Americans Abroad Weekend Preview: Steffen faces Dike, and more


The EFL Championship kicks off this weekend in England and a pair of U.S. men’s national team teammates will square off in Saturday’s headlining contest.

Zack Steffen begins his loan spell with Middlesbrough on Saturday against Daryl Dike and West Bromwich Albion. Both second-tier clubs will be pushing to be involved in the promotion picture this season, while both Steffen and Dike aim to boost their stocks with the USMNT ahead of November’s start to the FIFA World Cup. Steffen comes into Chris Wilder’s squad as the favorite to start in goal for Middlesbrough, which finished seventh last season in the Championship.

Dike scored two goals in preseason for Steve Bruce’s side as the USMNT strikers focuses on getting back to his best. The former Orlando City draft pick made only two appearances last season for the Baggies after a hamstring injury abruptly ended his return to England. West Brom finished 10th last season and will be fighting to be in the top-six race this year.

In England, Josh Sargent and Norwich City faces Cardiff City in its season opener. Ethan Horvath will aim to start in goal for Luton Town while Lynden Gooch makes his return to the EFL Championship with Sunderland.

In Germany, Gio Reyna and Ricardo Pepi headline the American contingent in German Cup action this weekend. Kevin Paredes, Jordan Pefok, and Joe Scally will also be pushing for starts in their competitive openers.

In Scotland, Malik Tillman and Rangers kick off Premiership play against Motherwell while Cameron Carter-Vickers and Celtic host Christian Ramirez and Aberdeen.

In Norway, Sam Rogers and Rosenborg aim to keep their seven-match unbeaten run going.

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



Josh Sargent and Norwich City visit Cardiff City on Saturday.

Zack Steffen and Middlesbrough host Daryl Dike and West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Ethan Horvath and Luton Town host Auston Trusty and Birmingham City on Saturday.

Duane Holmes and Huddersfield Town host Burnley on Friday.

Lynden Gooch and Sunderland host Coventry City on Sunday.

Matthew Olosunde and Preston North End face Wigan Athletic on Saturday.


DFB Pokal

Gio Reyna and Borussia Dortmund visit 1860 Munich on Friday.

Joe Scally and Borussia Moenchengladbach visit SV Oberachern on Sunday.

Ricardo Pepi and Augsburg visit Blau-Weiss Lohne on Sunday.

Kevin Paredes and Wolfsburg visit Carl Zeiss Jena on Saturday.

Jordan Pefok and Union Berlin visit Chemnitzer FC on Monday.

Julian Green, Timothy Tillman and Greuther Furth visit Stuttgarter Kickers on Saturday.

George Bello and Arminia Bielefeld visit FC Engers on Sunday.

Pellegrino Matarazzo‘s Stuttgart visit Dynamo Dresden on Friday.

Timmy Chandler and Eintracht Frankfurt visit Magdeburg on Monday.

Terrence Boyd and Kaiserslautern host Freiburg on Sunday.

Nico Carrera and Holstein Kiel visit Waldhof Mannheim on Sunday.

Bryang Kayo and Nuremberg visit FC Kaan-Marienborn on Friday.

3. Liga

Johan Gomez and FSV Zwickau are off this weekend.



Cameron Carter-Vickers and Celtic host Christian Ramirez, Dante Polvara and Aberdeen on Sunday.

Malik Tillman, James Sands and Rangers visit Joe Efford and Motherwell on Saturday.

Ian Harkes and Dundee United visit Kilmarnock on Saturday.


Pro League

Mark McKenzie and Genk host Standard Liege on Sunday.

Owen Otasowie and Club Brugge visit Eupen on Sunday.

Kyle Duncan and Oostende host Mechelen on Saturday.

Sam Vines and Royal Antwerp host Zulte Waregem on Sunday.

Bryan Reynolds, Griffin Yow and Westerlo visit OH Leuven on Saturday.



Christian Cappis and Brondby visit Silkeborg on Sunday.

Emmanuel Sabbi and Odense host Midtjylland on Friday.


2. Liga

Ulysses Llanez and SKN St. Poelten visit Rapid Vienna II on Friday.



Sam Rogers and Rosenborg visit Odd on Saturday.

Kobe Hernandez-Foster and HamKam host Kristiansund on Saturday.



Jeffrey Gal, Joe Gyau and Degerfors host Kalmar on Saturday.

Forrest Lasso, Joe Corona and Sundsvall host Varberg’s Bols on Saturday.

Romain Gall is OUT (Injury) for Malmo.


Primeira Liga

Alan Sonora and Independiente visit Colon on Monday.

Joel Sonora and Velez Sarsfield visit Godoy Cruz on Friday.


Serie A

Johnny Cardoso and Internacional host Atletico Mineiro on Sunday.


  1. Also, Luca de la Torre is playing now for Celto. He got in against Braga yesterday at the 64th minute. Looks like they had him at right wing in a 4-4-2. Looked decent. Full game is under their videos for anyone interested. Considering he only just joined, like, three weeks ago, not terrible. Braga won 2-1 but Celto missed two absolute sitters.

    • He also reportedly tested positive for Covid on their US tour so missed a couple training days. He was supposed to be out of their game against SJ but then played so maybe it was false positive.

      • Also Steffen started in goal today for Middlesbrough against West Brom. 1-1 draw. Dike got in the 72nd minute…he had a chance at the 90th to win it but just missed.

        Would have been a great way to start for Dike…though it would have sucked for Steffen, too.

  2. If Uly Llanez starts the year hot (goal on Friday) in Austrian 2 is there a path to the WC.
    *plays with “verticality”
    *always had good performances for USMNT
    *Berhalter has called him when he hasn’t been playing top leagues before
    If he does well enough to get an invite to September camp I can see him sneaking on the roster with a good performance.

    • That’s a unique take. Was always a fan of this talented player that has seemed to fade far to the periphery. I would not be mad if this came to pass. Think he’d have to get crazy red-scintillating-hot to be considered though.

      • Oh for sure! Just would be one of my sleeper picks. Had a terrible loan to Herenveen, then got injured, missed the Olympic qualifying (which probably cost that team) and started really slow in Austria last season. Hopefully he can have a good season and find a first team spot next year somewhere.

    • Hard to say. Probably not. 2Austrian Bundesliga is pretty bad. My sleeper is Ledezma. He has had a very good preseason for PSV. Ledezma is another player who can play every midfield position just like De LA Torre.

      Uly needs to go somewhere better than the 2 Austrian Bundesliga. One player that would greatly benefit from coming back home and playing for an MLS team.

      • I think both Ledesma and Eryk Williamson have a chance, more so Williamson though, to sneak on the final roster. Uly Llanez is out for me, the wingers we have are just above him right now, so I think he’s more a 2026 contender

  3. Will be fun to watch Hoppe, Dike, and Sargent trying to make pushes for the USMNT. Still have a feeling Berhalter brings three strikers to the WC now that the roster is set at 26 players. It will also be fun to see Pepi and Pefok vie for a spot as well.

    • Agree with the 3 strikers…assuming he’s healthy you can pencil in Ferreira as the likely starter. The next guy’s going to be a target man since obviously Ferreira isn’t…that likely means Pepi, Dike, Wright, Pefok, or Brandon Vasquez – Gregg has dropped his name and the guy does have 11 MLS goals already this year and is playing well – are probably all vying for that spot.

      Which leaves the third striker. Does Gregg bring another target guy, or just go in for a pair of legs who can press like Josh Sargent? Dunno. Me, I’d probably bring in the two hottest and then see who’s showing best on arrival. Best guess is it ends up being Pepi and then whichever of Dike/Wright is hotter.

      • I think Vasquez has a very good chance. He is mobile, 6’3” and looks to be a real goal threat with his head and feet.

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