Americans Abroad: Johannsson, Cameron, Boyd all return


It was an up and down weekend for Americans in leagues overseas, but mostly up as some returned to action, some scored goals, and others set goals up in winning efforts.

The biggest highlight came from Aron Johannsson, who is nearing a full return from groin surgery. He played 45 minutes for the AZ Alkmaar reserves, netting from the penalty spot in the process.

It’s a big moment for the young American attacker, who was dealing with a few combined injuries stemming from before the World Cup, including an ankle problem that dogged him throughout the US’s trip to Brazil.

His club sits ninth in the Eredivisie table so far this season through nine matches, all of which Johannsson has missed. The club desperately needs last year’s leading scorer to return, having scored just 13 goals so far, lower than any team above it in the table.

On the other end of the spectrum, things continue to get darker for Juan Agudelo. His search for a club goes on as English Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers passed likely due to a lack of fitness.

“Juan is not a player that we are going to pursue,” Manager Kenny Jackett told the club’s official website. “He has been here on trial, and we thank him for coming here and training and hope he enjoyed his time with us. But both parties will now move on.”

Agudelo hasn’t played at all since his loan move to FC Utrecht in the Eredivisie last season.  He was owned by Stoke City but they cut ties after they couldn’t secure a work permit.

Defender John Brooks had a very positive weekend, returning to first team action after being not just relegated to the Hertha Berlin reserves but called out by his manager. Brooks played 20 minutes in a 2-0 loss to Schalke, coming on for Fabian Lustenberger. Hertha was already down 2-0 at the time and didn’t concede following his entrance.

In the Premier League, Geoff Cameron had a very positive influence in Stoke City’s 2-1 win over Swansea City on Sunday. Just 14 minutes after coming on, Cameron intercepted a pass in the attacking half and lit the fuse on a stellar set of passing that led to Jonathan Walters’ winning goal.

It was Cameron’s first Premier League minutes of the season, and he played a defensive midfield role with the ability to get forward. It’s a position Cameron has asked manager Mark Hughes to play, and with the manager finally obliging, Cameron delivered.

Rubio Rubin got a glowing review from Utrecht manager Rob Alflen, as the manager spoke of what he believes is the American style of attacking player.

“Rubio is a typical American striker,” Alflen said. “And with that I mean that he moves around the field a lot and covers big distances every single game. He’s way different than, for example, Dutchman Ruud Boymans, one of our other strikers.

“I don’t consider Rubio a No. 9 or a No. 10 but more like a No. 9.5, as he can play on both positions….It is incredible what Rubio, being just 18 years old, already shows on the pitch and so is the progress he makes. Rubio is a man on a mission. He walks around like he is already 25 years old—very impressive.”

Finally, Terrence Boyd played 29 minutes for Red Bull Leipzig in his return from an ACL tear. The team lost 1-0, but it was a momentous occasion for Boyd who has worked since he was injured in late July. He joins a solid Bundesliga.2 side that has hopes for promotion soon.