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Andrija Novakovich: “It’s a good feeling” to earn USMNT call up

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As the U.S. Men’s National Team continues its transition towards qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, a new face has emerged for the Stars and Stripes ahead of its upcoming friendly against Paraguay.

[ MORE: USMNT adds Kekuta Manneh to roster ahead of Paraguay friendly ]

Striker Andrija Novakovich earned his first call up on Sunday when U.S. manager Dave Sarachan named the Telstar player in his squad, which will play the South American side on March 27 in Cary, North Carolina.

The 21-year-old forward has been nothing short of brilliant in his first season with the Dutch second-division club, scoring 18 league goals for Telstar — who sit fourth in the Eerste Divisie.

“It’s a good feeling to get the call-up and hopefully it will be a very good experience,” Novakovich said. “They [the U.S. national team] sent the club and myself an email saying that I was on the preliminary roster and we were just waiting, and then this week I got another email saying I was on the final roster.

“I called my Mum right away and she’s proud, she’s happy.

“I’m just there for the experience — of course I want to play, of course I want to get the opportunity and hopefully that will happen, It’s an honour to be called up and I’m very proud and very happy.”

Novakovich, a Wisconsin native, is currently on loan at Telstar from English Championship side Reading.

The young USMNT player moved to England back in 2014 to join Reading’s academy, despite originally planning on playing for Marquette University following high school.

Despite this being his first senior-team call up, Novakovich is familiar with the U.S. national team setup. Novakovich has previously represented the Under-17, U-18 and U-20 national teams.

US U-20s continue to roll, as Atletico Madrid product Yomba fires team to win

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Dembakwi “Boxi” Yomba’s second goal in as many games lifted the United States U-20 team to a 1-0 win over Ireland’s U-20s on Saturday in the 2014 International National Teams Football Tournament in Marbella, Spain.

The Atletico Madrid product picked off an errant Irish pass and darted in to score the only goal of the game in the 13th minute.

The win comes on the heels of a thrilling 4-3 win over Russia’s U-21 team that included a match-winning PK earned with the States down to 10 men thanks to a second yellow card to Emerson Hyndman (Fulham FC).

[ MORE: US U-20 roster ]

Also scoring in that game for the Tab Ramos-led team was Yomba as well as a pair from Romain Gall, who played thrice for the Columbus Crew this season after transferring back to the States from FC Lorient.

The States will hope to finish the tournament undefeated on Tuesday against Canada’s U-20s. As you can see from the linked roster, these aren’t your father’s US youth teams. There are only two non-MLS or European academy players on the roster.

Watch the highlights here (The second goal, from the USYNT’s Andrija Novakovich, is filthy):

US U-18 player Tweets photo signing contract with Atletico Madrid

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His name is Dembakwi Yomba and he’s apparently headed to one of the biggest clubs in the world, according to his own Twitter profile.

Days after Marquette University let it be known that their recruit, U-18 striker Andrija Novakovich, would be forgoing college to sign with Reading in England’s Championship division, Yomba posted this photo on Twitter.

Yomba, a Georgia resident born in Sierra Leone, was one of the top-rated Class of 2015 high school players in the United States. He has played for the U-17 national team and was called up to the U-18 side along with Novakovich earlier this year.

The player does not turn 18 until Sept. 4. He was listed as a commitment to the University of North Carolina.

Americans Abroad Review: Bedoya and Williams net during busy weekend

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It was an eventful weekend for Yanks overseas and south of the border, and there’s plenty of in-depth reading around if you’ve missed any of these stories.

WATCH: Aron Johannsson scores, reaches second base with Roda defender
– Julian Green undergoes medical exam on injured left shoulder

So, yeah, things were going on. Let’s get to it.

Geoff Cameron left Stoke City’s 3-0 loss to Chelsea at halftime with an apparent lower-body injury, one that ends the right back’s streak of 24-straight matches going the distance for the Potters. He was not to blame on either of the Blues’ first-half tallies.

Over at Aston Villa, Brad Guzan can’t be thrilled with the defending in front of him. He surrendered multiple goals for the third-straight week and the Villans fell to relegation struggling Fulham 2-1 at home.

Elsewhere in the Premier League:
– Jozy Altidore not in Sunderland’s 18-man squad, with U-21s
– Tim Howard, Everton blank Arsenal to keep pressure on Gunners
– Rich get richer? Toronto GM would be “100%” interested in Brek Shea

Down in the Championship, an American scored a match-winner to give Reading some breathing room in its race for the final playoff spot. Their sixth-place standing is fairly secure after Danny Williams scored in the 73rd minute. There’s some great field-level video here, plus the news that Reading have signed US U-18 player Andrija Novakovich to join their academy this summer.

Jonathan Spector will be sitting out Birmingham City’s next match after picking up his fifth yellow card in Brum’s 3-1 win at Doncaster. Will Packwood did not play in the match, and Spector was strong by many accounts.

Staying with Championship backs, Tim Ream manned the left side for Bolton as they beat Huddersfield Town by a 1-0 scoreline. The Wanderers are all but safe, sitting 12 points above the drop. Duane Holmes played 10 minutes in the Terriers loss.

Oguchi Onyewu was injured, but it wasn’t the Sheffield Wednesday defender’s back this time around. Onyewu left at halftime of the club’s loss to Leicester City with a rib injury.

Germany saw Fabian Johnson‘s Hoffenheim side square off with John Anthony Brooks and Hertha Berlin. Johnson played the duration of the 1-1 draw, while Brooks left the match after 61 minutes and a yellow card.

In Turkey, Jermaine Jones picked up a yellow card in Besiktas’ 2-1 win over Kayserispor. On-loan to the club, Jones sees his team level on points with No. 2 Galatasaray but losing out by five goals in differential. Sacha Kljestan played the final 15 minutes of Anderlecht’s 3-0 win over Club Brugge.

Mix Diskerud did not play for Rosenborg in its 1-1 draw at Aalesund, but two other Americans in Norway did quite well. Coach Bob Bradley led Stabaek to a 2-1 win at Brann, with former L.A. Galaxy man Michael Stephens playing 72 minutes.

France was the spot for Ale Bedoya‘s return to the scoresheet, albeit in Nantes’ 3-1 loss to AS Monaco. His headed goal was a late highlight for the Canaries. See it here:

The Netherlands was the spot where FC Utrecht sunk to 10-men before calling on Juan Agudelo, who did not score in 45 minutes of work.

MLSSoccer.com has some solid reporting on the Yanks at work in Mexico’s Liga MX, and was hailing Joe Corona and Edgar Castillo for the jobs they did for Tijuana this weekend. Puebla played to a scoreless draw with Atlas, and DaMarcus Beasley went 90 minutes though Michael Orozco Fiscal was injured early on to complicate his already disappointing week after the Mexican club denied both players a trip to join the USMNT in Arizona. Jose Torres saw red in Tigres 2-0 win over Atlante, apparently tossing a punch in the later stages of the match.