Weston McKennie and Juventus both were in need of good performances after recent struggles, and the American midfielder delivered, helping the Italian giants to a much-needed win.
McKennie helped set up Juventus second goal in a 3-0 victory over Bologna on Sunday, delivering a solid all-around game to go with his first assist of the Serie A season. The 24-year-old earned SBI’s Americans Abroad Player of the Week honors for his outing.
McKennie’s dangerous cross from the right wing was headed home by Dusan Vlahovic, doubling Juventus’ advantage at the Allianz Stadium. McKennie finished the match with three duels won, four recoveries, and one shot on goal.
McKennie’s fourth-straight start for Juventus came at a crucial time of the season as the Old Lady prepares to resume UEFA Champions League play on Wednesday. The Italian club sits seventh in the Serie A table through eight matches played and will also try to propel itself up the table during a busy October schedule.
Here is a look at some of the other top Americans Abroad performers from the past week:
Ricardo Pepi’s strong run of form continued for FC Groningen over the weekend with the American striker netting his second goal of the Eredivisie season.
Pepi’s goal came in the 42nd minute of Groningen’s 4-1 loss to AZ Alkmaar, the lone bright spot for Frank Vormuth’s squad. The 19-year-old picked up possession inside of the Alkmaar 18-yard box, before circling in the box and sending a shot into the roof of the net. Pepi also won two duels, made one tackle, and created one chance, totaling 81 minutes from his forward position.
He now has two goals and one assist in his last three league appearances.
Genk’s current unbeaten run in Pro League action was extended to nine matches on Saturday with USMNT defender Mark McKenzie keeping the club within the top-two of the league table
McKenzie earned his seventh-consecutive start as Genk defeated Oostende 2-1 away from home, remaining two points back of league-leaders Royal Antwerp. The 23-year-old won six of his 11 duels, made two blocks, one interception, and logged a 93% passing completion rate.
After totaling 76 minutes during the USMNT’s September window, McKenzie will be pushing to stay healthy and high on confidence ahead of the World Cup.
Greuther Furth continued league action on Saturday with American midfielder Julian Green delivering his second goal of the 2. Bundesliga campaign.
Green’s header in the 48th minute helped Furth equalize in a 1-1 draw with Sandhausen, moving them to eight points this season. The veteran midfielder has made back-to-back starts Marc Schneider’s squad, fighting to remain a consistent starting XI player through the busy first-half schedule.
Green now has two goals and one assist in league action for 17th placed Furth.
Jeffrey Gal started the Allsvenskan season as Degerfors No. 2 goalkeeper, but following an injury to Alfie Whiteman, the 29-year-old has gelled right into the first-team mix.
Gal made two saves on Saturday as Degerfors defeated Djurgarden 3-0 at home, moving to 14th place in the league table. He has made back-to-back starts for the club and proved he can deliver some key saves with Whiteman’s status undetermined for the near future.
Upcoming tests against Sirius and Elfsborg won’t be easy for Gal and Degerfors though, especially with both sitting ahead of them in the Allsvenskan standings.
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.