Your Weekly USMNT Update — September 3, 2019
The big news first. As expected, Gregg Berhalter announced his 26-man roster for the upcoming friendlies vs. Mexico (September 6) and Uruguay (September 10). Importantly, unlike the previous Gold Cup roster, it seems as though Berhalter is taking a much more aggressive stance at integrating some of our younger talents as the average age of the roster is only 25 years and 47 days. Without a doubt, some of the most interesting players to see will be Sergino Dest and Paxton Pomykal - who will both be making their first senior USMNT. Other first-time call ups include MLS players Miles Robinson and Jesse Gonzalez, both of whom have made a demonstrable impact at their clubs and have deserved a closer look, in our opinion. Two other names were particularly intriguing to us: the return of Alfredo Morales to the team and the inclusion of Jackson Yueill from the San Jose Earthquakes. Both players can take on a holding role in the center of the midfield and will likely fill the void left by Tyler Adams (injury) and Michael Bradley (not selected as Toronto is fighting for a playoff spot). Tough to say if Yueill and Morales will become permanent fixtures in the team as both of them trail the currently injured Tyler Adams and Duane Holmes in the depth chart. Nonetheless, we think both Morales and Yueill could break into the group with a good showing this camp.
Despite the roster drop, this week also marked the end of the summer transfer window and included two more USMNT transfers (Chris Durkin and Andrija Novakovich). All in all, it has been a busy summer of transfers for some of our most promising prospects. We have attempted to provide a quick overview of the most important USMNT transfers this summer:
Christian Pulisic: From Dortmund to Chelsea (Premier League)
Timothy Weah: From PSG to Lille (French Ligue 1)
Zack Steffen: From Columbus Crew to Fortuna Dusseldorf (Bundesliga)
Tyler Boyd: From Guimareas to Besiktas (Turkish Super Lig)
Matt Miazga: From Chelsea to Reading (Championship)
Cameron Carter-Vickers: From Tottenham to Stoke (Championship)
Erik Palmer-Brown: From Manchester City to Austria Vienna (Austrian Bundesliga)
Chris Gloster: From Hannover 96 to PSV Eindhoven (Dutch Eredivisie)
Alex Mendez: From Freiburg to Ajax Amsterdam (Dutch Eredivisie)
Andrija Novakovich: From Reading to Frosinone (Italian Serie B)
Chris Durkin: From DC United to Sint-Truidense VV (Belgian First Division A)
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Star of the Week
Josh Sargent (19, O’Fallon, MO) - Werder Bremen, Bundesliga
Starting his first game of the Bundesliga season, Josh Sargent immediately made an impact for Werder Bremen as the young American scored a stellar goal to put his team in the lead when he skillfully chipped the ball over the opposing keeper back to himself for a tap in.
Full goal here:
A clear candidate for goal of the week, Sargent’s awareness, touch and ability to trap the ball during that sequence shows just why Werder Bremen has made the long-term investment in the youngster and why he can be the future of the USMNT attack. Sargent rounded out his performance with two shots, 37 touches, two dribbles, and 73% passing accuracy.
More playing time to come? Safe to say that Sargent has made the most out of his opportunity to start a game this year. After an overwhelmingly positive pre-season, he already seemed to be on the verge of breaking into Werder’s XI but a minor setback in form pushed him out of contention for a starting spot given Werder’s deep attacking pool between Fullkrug, Osako, Rashica, Pizarro, Bartels, and Eggestein. After this game, however, Sargent looks ready to take on a bigger role and the young American certainly looks ready to fight for his role at the club. We’ve always known that Sargent can be a special player up top given his skill, link-up ability, and clinical finishing, but this season he will need to find some consistency in front of goal to take the next step. His goal against Augsburg certainly made a statement.
Check out Sargent’s interview ahead of the USMNT call up:
Other Notable Performances
Zack Steffen (24, Coatesville, PA) - Fortuna Dusseldorf, Bundesliga
After just his third Bundesliga game, Zack Steffen was named to the WhoScored Bundesliga team of the week for a second time this season. In fact, in this week’s 1-2 loss to Frankfurt, Steffen kept his team in the game for a long stretch despite clearly being outplayed by Frankfurt who claimed 59% possession and 14 shots. To that end, Steffen stood out with a staggering six saves on the night - three of them coming from close range within his box. But perhaps the biggest save of the night came in the first half when Steffen stopped a hard-driven shot by Frankfurt’s star striker Paciencia with a picture-perfect dive. An extremely gifted shot-stopper, Steffen seems to be making progress on his aerial abilities as well. He has also begun to look more comfortable distributing the ball with his feet further up the pitch - a completely different tactic at Dusseldorf than what the USMNT number 1 was accustomed to at the Columbus Crew or for the national team.
Steffen has clearly taken the Bundesliga by storm after just three days. Check out every save from his perfect debut two weeks ago:
Weston McKennie (20, Little Elm, TX) - Schalke 04, Bundesliga
Under new head coach David Wagner, Weston McKennie has low-key been stringing together several solid games as one of two center mids in the Schalke lineup. In this week’s game vs. Gladbach, McKennie was once again found all over the pitch, getting stuck into tackles, winning 50/50 battles, and making deep runs into the attacking third. It seems as though Weston has really found his spot with Schalke this year and Wagner plans to use him primarily as a true box-box midfielder, giving the young American some much needed positional consistency for his future development. At only 20 years old, he is already one of the leaders in one of the biggest clubs in germany. Look for him to take on a similar role with the USMNT under Gregg Berhalter.
Check out his performance vs. Gladbach this week:
Mason Toye (20, South Orange, NJ) - Minnesota United, MLS
Celebrating his call-up to the U23 national team camp, Mason Toye scored two absolute brilliant strikes in a huge upset win against league leaders LAFC away from home. A raw talent, Toye sticks out as one of the most promising attackers in the MLS mainly given his athleticism, ball-handling ability, and superb technique when striking the ball with his left foot. We’ll be sure to keep a close eye on Toye in coming weeks as he could present another interesting option for the USMNT if he continues his quick rise on the MLS stage.
Jonathan Lewis (22, Plantation, FL) - Colorado Rapids, MLS
One of the more underrated wingers in MLS, Jonathan Lewis had a stellar performance in struggling Colorado Rapid’s 2-0 away victory vs. the New York Red Bulls. Under the new management of Robin Fraser, the Rapids needed a spark to bring some hope back to their season and found it with two great goals from Lewis. Lewis’s quick feet and incredible pace left the New York defense in the dust and sealed the win. Lewis, who previously played for NYCFC, has five goals and three assists this season. Lewis mentioned that he believes Colorado has a lot of individual talent, but with Robin Fraser now at the helm, he believes the team can begin to play more as a unit. Lewis had high praise for his coach, comparing him to Patrick Viera’s coaching style, “Just from the first session, he reminded me a lot of Patrick,” said Lewis. “He wants to play, he’s about detailed movements, little movement to create space with the ball, without the ball. It took me back to my first session with Patrick.” Jonathan Lewis is seen as a bright young talent in MLS and with five call-ups to the USMNT senior roster already in 2019, we expect him to continue to get minutes under Berhalter.
Brenden Aaronson (18, Medford, NJ) - Philadelphia Union, MLS
The Philadelphia Union secured two major victories in the past two matchweeks as the MLS season enters the home stretch leading up to the playoffs. In wins against DC United and Atlanta United, midfielder Brenden Aaronson scored goals which emphasized his skillsets: first, with a deft spinning touch and a cool finish, and second, a strong strike after finishing a long ball counter. Aaronson situated himself on the left attacking midfield position in the Union’s 4-2-3-1 formation and continued to be a threat with his speed and ability to drive forward and link up with Fabian and star striker Przybylko. We previously covered Aaronson’s incredible start to the season in our April 23rd edition of the newsletter, highlighting how head coach Jim Curtis sees him as an essential part of the starting lineup.
Fast forward 19 weeks, Aaronson’s performances have simmered down after facing some time out with injury, though he is quickly picking the pace back up. U23 Head coach Jason Kries selected Aaronson in his most recent training camp, showing how he is above the pecking order for several midfielders who are in the U20 camp. With Philadelphia leading the pack in the east, we’re excited to see how Aaronson plays in the upcoming single-elimination playoffs (new structure) and if he can be a key supporting player in Philly’s pursuit of MLS Cup.
Goal against DC United:
Goal against Atlanta United:
OneGoal’s 2022 World Cup Roster as of Today
Zack Steffen (24, Coatesville, PA): Played 90 minutes in Fortuna Dusseldorf’s 2-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt (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 D.C. United’s 0-3 victory vs. Montreal Impact (MLS).
John Anthony Brooks (26, Chicago, IL): Played 90 minutes in Wolfburg’s 1-1 draw to SC Paderborn (Bundesliga).
DeAndre Yedlin (26, Seattle, WA): Did not play competitive soccer this week - out with a groin injury.
Antonee Robinson (22, White Plains, NY): Played 90 minutes in Wigan’s 0-0 draw to Barnsley (Championship).
Cameron Carter-Vickers (21, Baton Rouge, LA): Played 90 minutes in Stoke’s 2-2 (5-4 on PK’s) victory over Leeds United (EFL Cup).
Matt Miazga (24, Clifton, NJ): Did not play competitive soccer this week - not in squad.
Sergino Dest (18, New York, NY): Played 90 minutes in Ajax’s 2-0 victory against APOEL Nicosia (Champions League) and played 65 minutes in Ajax’s 1-4 victory against Sparta Rotterdam (Eredivise).
Aaron Long (26, Oak Hills, CA): Played 90 minutes in NY Red Bulls’ 0-2 loss to Colorado Rapids (MLS).
Reggie Cannon (21, Chicago, IL): Played 90 minutes in FC Dallas’ 3-1 win vs. FC Cincinnati (MLS).
Tyler Adams (20, Wappingers Falls, NY): Did not play this week - recovering from injury.
Weston McKennie (21, Little Elm, TX): Played 90 minutes in Schalke’s 3-0 win vs. Hertha BSC (Bundesliga).
Wil Trapp (26, Columbus, OH): Played 90 minutes in Columbus Crew’s 1-1 draw vs. Chicago Fire (MLS).
Duane Holmes (24, Columbus, GA): Played 45 minutes in Derby County’s 0-3 loss to Brentford (Championship).
Paxton Pomykal (19, Lewisville, TX): Played 23 minutes in FC Dallas’ 3-1 win vs. FC Cincinnati (MLS).
Djordje Mihailovic (20, Lemont, IL): Played 4 minutes in Chicago Fire’s 1-1 draw vs. Columbus Crew (MLS).
Christian Pulisic (20, Hershey, PA): Played 90 minutes in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw to Sheffield United (Premier League).
Paul Arriola (24, Chula Vista, CA): Played 87 minutes and scored a goal in D.C. United’s 3-0 win vs. Montreal Impact (MLS).
Tyler Boyd (24, Santa Ynez, CA): Played 45 minutes in Besiktas’ 1-1 draw to Rizespor (Turkish Super Lig).
Jonathan Amon (20, Summerville, SC): Did not play this week - recovering from injury.
Timothy Weah (19, New York, NY): Did not play this week - recovering from injury.
Josh Sargent (19, O’Fallon, MO): Played 82 minutes in Werder Bremen’s 3-2 win vs. Augsburg (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, Reading FC
Erik Palmer-Brown (22, Napoleon, OH), Defense, Austria Vienna
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
This week marked several USMNT roster announcements. Highlights below:
Duane Holmes has made his comeback with the senior Derby County team this week in a 45 minute outing against Brentford.
Chris Durkin has transferred to Belgium side Sint-Truiden on a one year loan with an option to buy. The young midfield prospect was reportedly adamant on a move to Europe and will look to gain more playing time in Belgium.
The Champions League draw has created a unique USMNT constellation as Sergino Dest (Ajax), Timothy Weah (Lille), and Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) are set to face each other in the highest European club competition this year. Group H is completed by Spanish side Valencia. Tyler Adams (Leipzig) will face Benfica, Lyon and Zenit in Group G, while Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge) will take on Galatasary, PSG, and Real Madrid in Group A.
On a deadline day move, Andrjia Novakovich has officially transferred to Italian Serie B side Frosinone.
Timothy Weah has picked up a muscle injury in practice with Lille and is expected to be sidelined through the international break. As such, he was not included in any of the USMNT rosters.
Jordan Morris has continued his recent run of form, scoring again in Seattle’s 4-3 victory vs. LA Galaxy. Joining Morris, USMNT teammate Christian Roldan found the back of the net twice against the Galaxy.
Despite interest from Benfica and Club Brugge, Sebastian Soto’s expected move to leave Germany’s Hannover has stalled on the last day of the transfer window according to ESPN.
Tyler Adams (Groin injury; one more week until fully fit)
Jonathan Amon (timeline TBD)
Timothy Weah (out through international break)
DeAndre Yedlin (Groin injury, timeline TBD)
In Case You Missed It
Düsseldorf CEO Thomas Röttgermann spoke about it being unfortunate that they had not been able to reach an agreement with Manchester City on a purchase option for Steffen, to which he added; "that does not necessarily mean that we lose Zack Steffen at the end of the season. You should not underestimate our tenacity."
In other words, Dusseldorf are very interested in purchasing Steffen outright at the end of the season.
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