Your Weekly USMNT Update — September 17, 2019
As we were thinking about who to focus on in today’s newsletter, we decided to focus this week on some USMNT prospects in a couple of leagues that don’t get much media attention but should be on Berhalter’s radar.
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Jonathan Amon (20, Summerville, SC) - FC Nordsjælland, Danish Superliga
Playing for Danish top-side FC Nordsjælland, Jonathan Amon has already earned two senior USMNT caps and is clearly on Berhalter’s radar already. Always a smile on his face, Amon is a pacey, hard to contain winger who thrives in 1v1 situations when he is running at the defense. To be honest, the 20-year-old winger is one of the prospects we are most excited about in our U20 category as he’s already shown that he can succeed at the pro level in Denmark. Difficult to separate from the ball, Amon is a special talent when it comes to making things happen in the final third. He also has a knack to find the back of the net and is particularly skilled at maneuvering through tight spaces, which has let him to feature as striker on occasion with Nordsjaelland.
Erik Palmer-Brown (22, Napoleon, OH) - Austria Vienna, Austrian Bundesliga
On loan from English Champions Manchester City, Erik Palmer-Brown is currently playing in Austria’s Bundesliga for Austria Wien following his time on loan at NAC Breda in the Netherlands. Strong on the ball, Palmer-Brown embodies the attributes of a modern center back, as he is accustomed to passing out of the back, having registered a very impressive 86% pass completion all of last year. Further, despite joining Austria Vienna late during the pre-season, Palmer-Brown has already cemented his spot as a starter for the ambitious Austrian team. While the start into the season was far from ideal, as Palmer-Brown picked up a red card in his first game with the team, he has already shown his raw talent/game awareness and should be at a club that can further aid in his development. The depth at center back is tough to get by between John Brooks, Matt Miazga, Aaron Long, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Miles Robinson, Walker Zimmerman, and Chris Richards, but if Berhalter continues to favor playing out of the back, we think Palmer-Brown could be an interesting option.
Emmanuel Sabbi (21, Chicago, IL) - Hobro IK, Danish Superliga
Though Emmanuel Sabbi did not earn a call up to any of the recent USMNT camps, he is still finding great form in recent matches for Danish side Hobro IK. In their upset victory against FC Copenhagen, Sabbi notched his second goal of the campaign, rising high to nod in a cross. His speed, 1v1 skills, solid finishing abilities, and impressive vision for the 21-year-old definitely make him an interesting prospect - though we think he’ll likely need to transfer clubs to play his way onto the senior USMNT squad. Last season, Sabbi single handedly saved his side from direct relegation with an assist and a goal in Hobro’s 2-0 extra-time win vs. Vejle BK in the Danish Superliga play-offs. Without a doubt, Sabbi is an interesting player to keep an eye on. If Sabbi can find some good form and continue to be a key player for Hobro, he should earn a call up to Jason Kries’s U23 camp.
Sabbi’s goal this week:
Romain Gall (24, Herndon, VA) - Malmo FF, Allsvenskan
Gall, a winger for Swedish side Malmo FF, lit up the Swedish first division last year. Though the league has just begun, we expect that Gall will continue his great form and get a lot of minutes for one of the best teams in Sweden. Romain is known for his classic winger technique - impressive transitional pace, nice dribbling, and a thunderous shot. He’s well known for picking the ball up on the wing, cutting in, and buying himself a yard or so of space to unleash a rocket into the top corner.
What really set him apart is his right foot and shots from distance. We don’t have players in the pool that can hit shots like this:
Gall is currently working his way back into the starting 11 of Malmo FF, as he recently was an unused substitute for Malmo’s 1-0 victory this week.
Andrija Novakovich (22, Muskego, WI) - Frosinone Calcio, Italian Serie B
One of the more under the radar USMNT prospects, this season is an opportunity for Andrija Novakovich to play himself into the USMNT circle, as the tall striker will have a chance to play in the second Italian division side Frosione. While he already impressed with Dutch side Fortuna Sittard last year (nine goals and two assists in the first Dutch league), it seems Berhalter is waiting to see Novakovich prove himself in a different league before a call up. We were admittedly a bit disappointed to not see Novakovich get a chance with Reading, but we wouldn’t write him off just yet.
Interestingly, we think his strengths could be of real value for the USMNT. Strong in the air, robust 1v1 with his back to goal, and able to put the ball in the net out of virtually any position. As a player, he reminds us of a very raw Robert Lewandowski (yes, we get it - not a totally realistic comparison), and his style could be an interesting addition for the USMNT long term. If he can net 10 goals this year, he deserves a chance.
Check out his highlights from last season here:
Star of the Week
Keaton Parks (22, Plano, TX) - New York City FC, MLS
NYCFC’s midfield anchor has continued to quietly have an excellent season. Scoring his first MLS goal, Parks rounded off a play initiated by his driving run by pouncing on a loose ball after a rebound in a 2-1 comeback victory. The defensive midfielder has put together some standout performances for NYCFC this season and at 22 years old, he has plenty of time to blossom into a tactical force in the midfield and secure a permanent move to Europe (on loan from Benfica). Parks’s physical presence makes him key to NYCFC’s midfield, as he is an aerial threat at 6’4” and is surprisingly mobile for his stature. Keaton’s 86% pass success rate and three tackles kept NYCFC in the game after they went down at home against San Jose. His goal to tie the match switched the momentum as the NYC quickly took the lead three minutes after. Parks is a unique player in the USMNT pool and we would love to see him continue to develop and provide a physical and assertive presence in an American midfield.
Richie Ledezma (18, Phoenix, AZ) - Jong PSV Eindhoven, Eerste Divisie
Ledezma had a man of the match performance, scoring a breakaway finish and cheeky chip, and adding a nice assist to drive a comeback victory, 3-2 against Jong AZ Alkmaar. In his fifth match for the Dutch side, Ledezma finally showed his complete skill set, with each offensive play showing a different ability in his toolkit. His composure and close control allowed him to turn away from a defender and slot cooly for his first, his assist was a perfectly weighted through ball and the game winning goal showed a creativity and confidence that sets him apart from other players on his team. Though Ledezma is still eligible for a senior team call up for Mexico, his experience playing on the U20s, as well as American imagery on his social media posts make it seem that he is yet another young American talent lighting up in European leagues.
All three of Ledezma’s key plays:
OneGoal’s 2022 World Cup Roster as of Today
Zack Steffen (24, Coatesville, PA): Played 90 minutes in Fortuna Dusseldorf’s 1-1 draw vs. VfL Wolfsburg (Bundesliga).
Ethan Horvath (24, Highlands Ranch, CO): Did not play competitive soccer this week - on the bench.
Bill Hamid (28, Annandale, VA): Played 90 minutes in DC United’s 0-1 victory vs. Portland Timbers (MLS).
John Anthony Brooks (26, Chicago, IL): Did not play competitive soccer this week - recovering from injury.
DeAndre Yedlin (26, Seattle, WA): Did not play competitive soccer this week - recovering from injury.
Antonee Robinson (22, White Plains, NY): Played 90 minutes in Wigan Athletic’s 2-2 draw to Hull City (Championship).
Cameron Carter-Vickers (21, Baton Rouge, LA): Played 90 minutes in Stoke City’s 1-2 loss to Bristol City (Championship).
Matt Miazga (24, Clifton, NJ): Did not play competitive soccer this week - recovering from injury.
Sergino Dest (18, New York, NY): Did not play competitive soccer this week - on the bench.
Aaron Long (26, Oak Hills, CA): Played 90 minutes and scored a goal in NY Red Bulls’ 4-2 loss to Seattle Sounders (MLS).
Reggie Cannon (21, Chicago, IL): Played 90 minutes in FC Dallas’ 0-4 loss to Chicago Fire (MLS).
Tyler Adams (20, Wappingers Falls, NY): Did not play competitive soccer this week - recovering from injury.
Weston McKennie (21, Little Elm, TX): Played 28 minutes in Schalke’s 1-5 victory vs. SC Paderborn (Bundesliga).
Wil Trapp (26, Columbus, OH): Played 1 minute in Columbus Crew’s 1-3 victory vs. Atlanta United (MLS).
Duane Holmes (24, Columbus, GA): Played 81 minutes in Derby’s 1-1 draw vs. Cardiff (Championship).
Paxton Pomykal (19, Lewisville, TX): Played 90 minutes in FC Dallas’ 0-4 loss to Chicago Fire (MLS).
Djordje Mihailovic (20, Lemont, IL): Played 24 minutes in Chicago Fire’s 4-0 victory vs. FC Dallas (MLS).
Christian Pulisic (20, Hershey, PA): Did not play competitive soccer this week - on the bench.
Paul Arriola (24, Chula Vista, CA): Played 90 minutes in DC United’s 0-1 victory vs. Portland Timbers (MLS).
Tyler Boyd (24, Santa Ynez, CA): Played 24 minutes in Besiktas’ 3-2 loss to Gazisehir (Turkish Super Lig).
Jonathan Amon (20, Summerville, SC): Played 13 minutes in FC Nordsjælland’s 4-2 loss to Brondby IF (Danish Superliga).
Timothy Weah (19, New York, NY): Did not play competitive soccer this week - recovering from injury.
Josh Sargent (19, O’Fallon, MO): Played 22 minutes in Werder Bremen’s 1-2 victory vs. Union Berlin (Bundesliga).
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, Frosinone Calcio
Erik Palmer-Brown (22, Napoleon, OH), Defense, Austria WIen
Chris Richards (19, Hoover, AL), Defense, Bayern Munich
Miles Robinson (22, Arlington, MA), Defense, Atlanta United
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
Jonathan Amon is back from injury and was already named part of the game day roster.
Tyler Adams is back in practice for RB Leipzig and working on his comeback.
Jordan Morris continued his good form with a goal and assist in a 4-2 win vs NYRB. Aaron Long also found the net in the match.
Chris Gloster got his debut for Jong PSV this past match week.
Timothy Weah (out through international break)
DeAndre Yedlin (Groin injury, timeline TBD)
In Case You Missed It
Lyndon Gooch scored his 3rd of the season brilliantly for Sunderland:
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