Your Weekly USMNT Update — August 13, 2019
The European leagues were back in action this weekend and we are back with our usual USMNT coverage including our Star of the Week, Notable Performances, and Spotlights.
Without a doubt, the headline grabber for the weekend included the start of the Premier League where Christian Pulisic experienced a disappointing debut, as Chelsea fell 4-0 to Manchester United on the first match day.
As always, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what you think about our newsletter!
Star of the Week
Reggie Cannon (21, Chicago, IL) - FC Dallas, MLS
Undoubtedly one of the major discoveries for the USMNT this year, Reggie Cannon continues to impress at the club level as well up and down the right flank. Despite playing a bit more of a defensive-minded role for FC Dallas, in this week’s 5-3 victory vs. Minnesota, Cannon clinched his first goal of the season after making a driven run into Minnesota’s box and finishing with a low driven shot. While likely a shot the keeper could have saved, this play clearly showcased some of the offensive qualities that make Cannon such an interesting right back for the USMNT: 1) he’s not afraid to march up and down the right wing, deep into the opponent's box, 2) in front of goal, Cannon can both cross or take a shot himself, and 3) he thrives in tight spaces, combining well with his teammates.
If there is one area for growth for Cannon, we’d point to his defensive positioning and physicality working against the ball. While not an issue during the Gold Cup, we think as the competition for the USMNT intensifies, Cannon will need to rise to the occasion to remain defensively sound against tougher, more dynamic opponents. Nonetheless, Cannon provides a more than solid option at right back, that not only ensures firepower going forward, but also would allow Tyler Adams to slot into the number 6 role in the midfield. In addition to Paxton Pomykal (who also notched a great assist vs. Minnesota), keep an eye out for Cannon as another potential FC Dallas prospect to make a move abroad in coming years.
Other Notable Performances
Djordje Mihailovic (20, Lemont, IL) - Chicago Fire, MLS
It’s been an up and down season for Mihailovic this year, as he’s been drifting in and out of the starting lineup with Chicago Fire for much of the MLS season. On the other hand, Berhalter as clearly taken a liking to the 20-year-old midfielder as demonstrated by his last minute inclusion to the USMNT Gold Cup roster. Above all, we believe Berhalter values Mihailvoic’s creativity on the ball, unpredictability in the final third, and danger from set pieces - a skill that he once again showcased in this week’s 3-2 victory vs. Montreal Impact. In the 88th minute with the game still level, Mihailovic stepped up to take a corner kick and delivered a perfectly weighted cross just outside the six yard box, where Schweinsteiger nodded the ball into the net for the game winning goal.
We continue to think Mihailovic will need to become much more consistent if he wants to earn a permanent spot with the USMNT, but the young midfielder shows all of the technical skills needed to succeed at a higher level including a strong shot from distance, dead ball skills, and superior one-touch passing abilities.
Matt Miazga (24, Clifton, NJ) - Reading FC, Championship
Back on loan with Championship-side Reading FC (the same club Miazga was on loan with last year), Matt Miazga has immediately assumed the role as the leader of the back line, having played the full 90 minutes in both Championship games this year. In this week’s 1-2 loss to Hull, Miazga once again led the entire team in clearances (5) and marked one critical blocked shot. More than that, it was clear to see that Reading values Miazga’s ability to start the play out of the back, underpinned by 79 pass attempts throughout the game (~84% pass completion). Interestingly enough, unlike Berhalter’s possession-oriented style of play where the center backs often open up play with short passes into the defensive mids or full backs, Miazga looked more than capable of hitting long-balls across the pitch against Hull - something that could prove valuable to the USMNT against tougher opponents. Having recently turned 24, this season will likely prove a critical one for Miazga if he wants to make the transition to become a permanent fixture in one of Europe’s top leagues.
Corey Baird (23, Escondido, CA) - Real Salt Lake, MLS
Corey Baird scored a clutch brace this weekend to help a mid-table Real Salt Lake secure a key away victory against Sporting Kansas City. Baird, who was the 2018 MLS Rookie of the Year, found the net twice while playing in his familiar left wing position. For his first, he bundled in a rebound after a sweetly struck free kick hit the post. Baird was the quickest to react, tapping in a poacher’s goal from point blank range. His second of the night was more impressive.
Finding himself in acres of space on the left, a lofted switch from Savarino found Baird who chested the ball nicely to control. Letting the ball bounce twice, Baird struck across on the half-volley to smash a shot into the side netting. The keeper had no chance. Real Salt Lake’s successful counter attack secured their victory, though SKC’s defense was suspect on the play. Though Baird only has only three goals and two assists this season, this confidence boost might be coming at the perfect timing for his team. RSL announced the termination of Head Coach Mike Petke (formerly Red Bulls coach and MLS player) after a seething tirade that saw him serve a multi-match suspension and hefty fines.
To keep the focus on Baird, as a player who forced his way into the starting lineup last season, he must find consistency and continue to drive RSL in a time of uncertainty. We know Berhalter has a liking for MLS players, so Baird has competition with a few similarly positioned players such as Jeremy Ebobisse and Jordan Morris. Baird is probably second in the pecking order behind Morris from Berhalter’s perspective, though Ebobisse has had more of an impact for the Timbers this season than Baird overall. Call ups for Nations League will certainly be directly tied to end of MLS regular season performances.
Highlights from RSL vs SKC:
Matthew Hoppe (18, Yorba Linda, CA) - Schalke FC U19, U19 Bundesliga
This week’s Youth Spotlight shines on relatively unknown striker Matthew Hoppe. Hoppe, formerly at Barcelona Residency Academy (an Arizona based academy organized by FC Barcelona and Grande Sports World), recently signed for the U19 Team of Schalke in Germany. Since his signing, Hoppe has scored five goals in five games across pre-season friendlies. Interestingly, Hoppe has been overlooked in terms of USYNT/USMNT team call ups, but his form at Schalke is beginning to catch a few eyes. At the Academy, Hoppe notched 29 goals in 20 games which attracted Schalke’s attention and his solid work ethic seems to be paying off with a start in Schalke’s opening fixture of the season (2-1 loss against Bourissa MunchenGladbach). Hoppe joins a legendary academy that has churned out megastars such as Leroy Sane, Mesut Ozil, and Manuel Neuer. Who knows, if he continues his form, maybe he can follow in the footsteps of fellow American Weston McKennie.
OneGoal’s 2022 World Cup Roster as of Today
Zack Steffen (24, Coatesville, PA): Played 90 minutes in Fortuna Dusseldorf’s 3-1 win vs. FC Villingen 08 (German DFB Cup).
Ethan Horvath (24, Highlands Ranch, CO): Did not play this week.
Bill Hamid (28, Annandale, VA): Played 90 minutes in D.C. United’s 2-1 victory against LA Galaxy (MLS).
John Anthony Brooks (26, Chicago, IL): Played 120 minutes in Wolfsburg’s 3-5 win vs. Hallescher (German DFB Cup).
DeAndre Yedlin (26, Seattle, WA): Did not play this week - getting back to full match fitness after injury.
Antonee Robinson (22, White Plains, NY): Played 90 minutes in Wigan’s 0-3 loss to Preston (Championship).
Cameron Carter-Vickers (21, Baton Rouge, LA): Did not play this week.
Matt Miazga (24, Clifton, NJ): Played 90 minutes in Reading’s 1-2 loss to Hull City (Championship).
Sergino Dest (18, New York, NY): Played 36 minutes in Ajax’s 5-0 win vs. FC Emmen (Eredivisie).
Aaron Long (26, Oak Hills, CA): Played 90 minutes in NY Red Bulls’ 4-2 loss vs. LAFC (MLS).
Reggie Cannon (21, Chicago, IL): Played 90 minutes in FC Dallas’ 5-3 win vs. Minnesota (MLS).
Tyler Adams (20, Wappingers Falls, NY): Did not play this week - recovering from injury.
Weston McKennie (20, Little Elm, TX): Played 32 minutes in Schalke’s 5-0 win vs. Dochtersen/Assel (German DFB Cup).
Wil Trapp (26, Columbus, OH): Played 90 minutes in Columbus Crew’s 2-2 draw to FC Cincinnati (MLS).
Duane Holmes (24, Columbus, GA): Did not play this week - recovering from injury.
Paxton Pomykal (19, Lewisville, TX): Played 90 minutes in FC Dallas’ 5-3 win vs. Minnesota (MLS).
Djordje Mihailovic (20, Lemont, IL): Played 15 minutes in Chicago Fire’s’ 3-2 win against Montreal Impact (MLS).
Christian Pulisic (20, Hershey, PA): Played 32 minutes in Chelsea’s 0-4 loss to Manchester United (Premier League).
Paul Arriola (24, Chula Vista, CA): Played 90 minutes and scored a goal in D.C. United’s 2-1 win vs. LA Galaxy (MLS).
Tyler Boyd (24, Santa Ynez, CA): Did not play this week for Beskitas.
Jonathan Amon (20, Summerville, SC): Did not play this week - recovering from injury.
Timothy Weah (19, New York, NY): Played 78 minutes in Lille’s 2-1 win vs. Nantes (Ligue 1).
Josh Sargent (19, O’Fallon, MO): Played 62 minutes in Werder Bremen’s 6-1 win vs. Altas Demenhorst (German DFB Cup).
On the Rise / In the Hunt
Kellyn Acosta (24, Plano, TX), Midfield, Colorado Rapids
Corey Baird (23, Escondido, CA), Forward, Real Salt Lake
George Bello (17, Douglasville, GA), Defense, Atlanta United
Jeremy Ebobisse (22, Bethesda, MD), Forward, Portland Timbers
Romain Gall (24, Herndon, VA), Midfield, Malmo FF
Chris Gloster (19, Montclair, NJ), Defense, PSV Eindhoven
Richy Ledezma (18, Phoenix, AZ), Midfield, PSV Eindhoven
Nick Lima (24, Castro Valley, CA), Defense, San Jose Earthquakes
Jonathan Lewis (22, Plantation, FL), Forward, Colorado Rapids
Andrija Novakovich (22, Muskego, WI), Forward, Reading FC
Erik Palmer-Brown (22, Napoleon, OH), Defense, Austria Vienna
Chris Richards (19, Hoover, AL), Defense, Bayern Munich
Sebastian Soto (19, Los Angeles, CA), Forward, Hannover 96
Haji Wright (21, Los Angeles, CA), Forward, VVV Venlo
Walker Zimmerman (26, Lawrenceville, GA), Defense, LAFC
News / Transfers
Carter-Vickers has officially transferred to Stoke City on loan from Tottenham Hotspur.
In a long awaited move, Chris Gloster has officially transferred to PSV Eindhoven from Hannover 96.
Sergino Dest made his debut in the Dutch first division this week, coming on as a second half sub for Ajax Amsterdam.
US U20 International Uly Llanez scored two goals for Wolfsburg’s U19 team in a 5-1 win vs. St Pauli U19.
Gio Reyna has continued his good form for the Dortmund U19 team, scoring in the season opener.
Lynden Gooch has scored 2 goals in as many games for Sunderland AFC.
Tyler Adams (Groin injury; back in full practice)
Jonathan Amon (timeline TBD)
Duane Holmes (timeline TBD)
In Case You Missed It
Check out this phenomenal one-touch pass from Jeremey Ebobisse to set up a goal for the Portland Timbers. Awareness on point.