Photo by Harry Murphy/Getty Images

Americans Abroad in Bundesliga ahead of opening weekend

Leave a comment

Last week, we updated the list of Americans participating in Germany’s second tier.

Now it’s time to look one step up, with the top flight Bundesliga set to begin this weekend.

[ MORE: Champions League wrap ]

We’ll only detail the players who more likely to play for the senior squad than the II side, so that will not include players like center forward Haji Wright who scored already for Schalke II in the Regionialliga (fourth-tier).

And for now that means leaving out 18-year-old Josh Sargent, who has two goals in four matches for Werder Bremen II, as well as Jonathan Klinsmann, who is getting playing time with Hertha II, allowing four goals in two matches.

Christian Pulisic, Borussia Dortmund — Will be expected to shoulder a heavier burden for BVB as he turns 20 midway through September.

Weston McKennie, Schalke — Will also grow in responsibility at Pulisic’s rivals, and turns 20 a week from today.

John Brooks, Wolfsburg — Brooks holds the standard as the highest-priced transfer fee paid for an American player. Had to wait until Oct. 28 to debut thanks to a tendon injury, then was lost from mid-December until April 20 before playing a big role in his side avoiding relegation to 2.Bundesliga.

Bobby Wood, Hannover 96 — It’s a huge season for Wood, who has a new lease on life after Hamburg was relegated last season. Wood, 25, had an assist in Cup play over the weekend, but has plenty of competition to start at forward for Andre Breitenreiter’s Reds.

Aron Johannsson, Werder Bremen — Not playing in a Cup game against a fourth-tier side is a bit alarming for the Icelandic-Alabamian, who has had hard luck with injuries.

Fabian Johnson, Borussia Monchengladbach — The 30-year-old made just seven appearances for Gladbach last season, and will have to force his way into Dieter Hecking’s good graces.

Timothy Chandler, Eintracht Frankfurt — Europa League play will mean Chandler and Co. will have their depth tested this season.

Alfredo Morales, Fortuna Dusseldorf — The 28-year-old is back in the Bundesliga, and will play his first league game for a new club since debuting for Ingolstadt some 149 matches ago.

Caleb Stanko, Freiburg — At 25, hoping to finally get past a series of gut-punching knee injuries.

Timothy Tillman, Nurnberg — Can the Bayern Munich loanee, not guaranteed to choose the USMNT, earn playing time at age 19?

Down the line: Chris Gloster, Hannover 96 II; Junior Flores, Borussia Dortmund II; Chris Richards, Bayern Munich U-19 (on loan from FC Dallas); Haji Wright (Schalke II), Nick Taitague (Schalke II), Zyen Jones (Schalke II)

Fernandes runs the show as Manchester United crushes Watford

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Bruno Fernandes scored a goal and helped set up two as Manchester United beat Watford 2-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Anthony Martial recorded United’s second goal with a magical finish off his own rebound after Fernandes sent him through on goal, while Mason Greenwood added a late goal after a 1-2 with the Portuguese.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

United is now fifth with 41 points, three points back of fourth-place Chelsea.

Watford had a goal chalked off by VAR, and remains in the bottom three with 24 points. That’s one point off 17th and two off 16th.


Three things we learned

1. Bruno as advertised: There was no question Fernandes addressed a need for the Old Trafford set, but few would’ve seen the Portuguese revolutionizing the team’s attack so quickly (and also underlining how badly United has missed Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba). It’s not silly to say Fernandes could’ve had four assists on the day. Magnificent stuff from the 25-year-old. No surprise he has Cristiano Ronaldo’s endorsement.

2. Greenwood shows another glimpse: The Mason Greenwood hype train hasn’t been as pronounced as Marcus Rashford’s of years past, and we’re grateful for that. But his shoulder move and sick cut before dribbling 50 yards to combine with Fernandes on the third goal of the game was gorgeous stuff. More hope for the future.

3. This: It’s easy to forget the heights of which somewhat-mercurial Anthony Martial is capable.

Man of the Match: Fernandes had four key passes and was perfect in his take-ons and ground duels. Incredible show.


Poor communication between Harry Maguire and Nemanja Matic sprung Troy Deeney toward goal, but United left back Luke Shaw saved his teammates further blushes with a block.

Abdoulaye Doucoure then ran onto a dummied Gerard Deulofeu pass but found himself closed down by David De Gea.

United should’ve been up through Wan-Bissaka when Foster parried a cross onto his path, but the English back struck the ball tamely into the outside of the goal.

Bruno Fernandes led a terrific 38th-minute move, and Daniel James eventually teed up Fred for a shot that curled wide of the goal.

The January signing danced past Ben Foster and hit the deck when the Watford goalkeeper went to ground. VAR stayed with the call on the field, and Fernandes finished well with a little hop step.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Deeney looked to have made it 1-1 in the 52nd minute, thumping a. ball into the top of the goal when a corner kick was turned off the post by Craig Dawson‘s arm. It was attached to his body, but that does not matter in the attacking box.

Martial instead made it 2-0 off a Fernandes feed, collecting his own rebound before dribbling Watford dizzy and spinning a chip into the goal.

Fernandes spotted Maguire with a seeing-eye cross in the 69th, but the defender’s header was poor.

Greenwood scored his goal in the 75th, carrying the ball 50 yards before working a 1-2 with Fernandes and finishing with aplomb.

Odion Ighalo came close to getting on the board for his new club against his old one, but Adam Masina deflected his shot off the post.

Watch Live: Arsenal v. Everton

Arsenal v. Everton watch live stream link
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Everton and Arsenal both look to stay in the top five discussion when they meet at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday (Watch live at 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Carlo Ancelotti has Everton on 36 points, five back of fifth, while ex-Toffees midfielder Mikel Arteta has the Gunners on 34 points.

[ WATCH: Arsenal v. Everton ]

Andre Gomes returns to Everton’s bench after his gruesome injury earlier this Fall, and Ancelotti makes five changes to his Starting XI. Ex-Arsenal man Alex Iwobi will start for the Toffees.

Nicolas Pepe rejoins Arsenal’s Starting XI after a Thursday match in the Europa League.

LINEUPS

Arsenal

Everton

Fernandes scores first goal, says Ronaldo backed Manchester United move

Bruno Fernandes Ronaldo
Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images)
Leave a comment

It’s probably not a surprise that a young Portuguese player would fancy Manchester United given the heroics of Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford early his career.

Bruno Fernandes admits that those images danced through his head well before he signed with the Red Devils in January.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

It’s also not a shock that United would turn to their former player for a take on the playmaker before buying him from Sporting Lisbon.

Fernandes says he’s grateful that CR7 endorsed BF18. From Sky Sports:

“I know some people asked Cristiano what he thought of me and what I was like as a player and a person,” Fernandes said. “I know he spoke highly of me and gave me a good reference, so I sent him a message after to thank him for his kind words.”

Fernandes has 19 caps and two goals for Portugal, while Ronaldo has a few more with 164 and 99.

He now has a goal and an assist in four appearances for United. Ronaldo finished with 118 goals and 69 assists in 292 appearances for the Red Devils.

Here’s the finish:

Eden Hazard suffers fracture ahead of Man City in UCL, El Clasico

Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Eden Hazard is set to miss the Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League first leg against Man City with a broken fibula.

Hazard had only returned to the lineup for two matches following a three-month absence with an ankle injury.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

The 29-year-old has made just 15 appearances for Real since arriving in a big-money move from Chelsea, scoring once with five assists.

He has never appeared in less than 30 league matches over the course of his career, five times missing one or zero matches.

Of course, all of his absences show that Real is very comfortable playing and winning without Hazard. Zinedine Zidane’s men lost Sunday to drop behind Barcelona in La Liga, but that was just its second loss of the league season.

Real will be taxed in depth like its rivals, with Wednesday’s visit from Man City followed by an El Clasico at the Bernabeu on March 1. Barcelona hosts Napoli on Tuesday.

Whether you like the playmaker or despise him, there must be some sense of sympathy for his latest ailments (even if Man City and Barca fans will likely offer a Jerry Seinfeld-esque, “That’s a shame”).