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Americans Abroad: Weekend roundup

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After a slow start to the season, Josh Sargent made quite the statement, scoring his first goal of the season in brilliant fashion against Augsburg on Sunday.

 [MORE: Sargent opens season account in Bundesliga]

Over at Stamford Bridge, Christian Pulisic continues to earn valuable minutes, despite Chelsea failing to pick up three points in consecutive matches.

In Mexico, Ventura Alvarado, captain of Liga MX side Necaxa, registered his second goal of the season.

Here is a list of several other USMNT affiliates making a name for themselves (or not) abroad this weekend.

Premier League

Christian Pulisic, Chelsea — Pulisic started and played all 90 minutes in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw against Sheffield United.

DeAndre Yedlin, Newcastle — The fullback remains sidelined as he continues to recover from a groin injury. There’s no timeline on his return.

EFL Championship

Antonee Robinson, Wigan Athletic — Robinson started and went all 90 minutes for the Latics in their 0-0 draw with Barnsley.

Matt Miazga, Reading (loan from Chelsea) — The 24-year-old was sidelined with a hamstring injury this weekend. There’s no timeline on his return.

Eric Lichaj, Hull City — The Tigers captain was back on the park and featured all 90 minutes in Hull’s 1-1 draw at Millwall.

Geoff Cameron, QPR — The 34-year-old defender, dealing with an injury, didn’t feature for QPR over the weekend in their 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday.

Tim Ream, Fulham — The USMNT call-up started and played all 90 minutes in Fulham’s 1-1 draw at Cardiff City.

Eredivisie

Haji Wright, VVV-Venlo — Wright reintroduced himself to field after last week’s inactivity. The 21-year-old played the last 39 minutes in VVV-Venlo’s 1-0 loss to Den Haag on Saturday.

Sergino Dest, Ajax — One of the few new faces in Greg Berhalter’s list, Dest played 65 minutes in Ajax’s 4-1 at Sparta Rotterdam.

Desevio Payne, FC Emmen — The U-23 MNT fullback dressed but didn’t play in Emmen’s 3-1 loss to Zwolle.

Ligue 1

Timothy Weah, Lille — Out with a muscular injury, Weah didn’t feature for Lille over the weekend and will also miss out on the USMNT’s pair of friendlies.

Theoson Jordan-Siebatcheu, Rennes — On Sunday, the Washington D.C. native came featured for 76 minutes in Rennes’ 2-1 defeat to Nice.

Bundesliga

Weston McKennie, Schalke — A staple player for club and country, McKennie registered 90 minutes in Schalke’s 3-0 victory over Hertha Berlin before reporting with the men’s national team.

Zack Steffen and Alfredo Morales, Fortuna Dusseldorf Steffen and Morales started and went all 90 minutes in Fortuna Dusseldorf’s 2-1 loss at Eintracht Frankfurt. Morales, for a consecutive week, was one of Fortuna’s few bright spots, assisting the team’s only goal.

Josh Sargent, Werder Bremen  The 19-year-old opened his season account in spectacular fashion, getting around defenders and the opposing goalkeeper before tapping it in.

Fabian Johnson, Borussia Mönchengladbach After not starting the first game of the season, Johnson has made his way into Mönchengladbach’s starting lineup two weeks in a row. On Friday, he started and played 74 minutes in his side’s 3-1 loss to red-hot RP Leipzig.

Timmy Chandler, Eintracht Frankfurt The fullback did appear on the 18, but was not called upon in Eintracht Frankfurt’s 2-1 win over Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Tyler Adams, RB Leipzig — Adams didn’t feature for Leipzig as he continues to recover from “acute groin issues.”

Honorable Mentions:

Ian Harkes, Dundee United – Harkes had an unusual, yet positive shift with Dundee United over the weekend. In the 25th minute, the midfielder took the field. One minute into the second half, Harkes scored in what turned out to be a 6-2 victory for United over rivals Dundee.

Ventura Alvarado, Necaxa – In Mexico, Alvarado continues to make the case that he might be ready for a USMNT return. The 27-year-old captain, scored his second goal of the season in Necaxa’s 3-2 victory over Tijuana.

Terrence Boyd, Hallescher – Boyd’s move to Germany’s third-tier is paying dividends. For a second straight week, the striker scored for Hallescher – this time in a 4-0 victory over Sonnenhof.

De Gea limps off for Spain ahead of Man Utd-Liverpool tilt

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Here’s the good news for Manchester United supporters: David De Gea played incredibly well for Spain in its EURO qualifier on Tuesday as La Furia Roja clinched a place in EURO 2020.

The bad news? The performance was truncated, with De Gea limping off the pitch and replaced by Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga in the 60th minute.

[ MORE: EURO qualifying wrap ]

De Gea appeared to injure himself while attempting a goal kick of all things, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be wondering what fresh hell awaits him next.

Perhaps that’s simply the fact that Liverpool visits Old Trafford on Sunday in a match that Solskjaer previously said was perhaps ideal for his reeling Red Devils.

Solskjaer would turn to Sergio Romero should De Gea been unable to play at the weekend. Lee Grant is United’s third goalkeeper with Dean Henderson on loan to Sheffield United.

United was already going to need a lot of help to beat back the unbeaten Reds.

EURO qualifying wrap: Spain earns place in stoppage time

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Spain clinched a spot in EURO 2020 via a last-minute equalizer, but the rest of the picture only got murkier thanks to dramatics in Romania and Switzerland.)

[ MORE: How should USMNT line up? ]


Sweden 1-1 Spain

A Marcus Berg header had Sweden on the verge of a significant home win against nearly unbeatable David De Gea and Spain, but Valencia forward Rodrigo delivered a stoppage time goal to give Robert Moreno’s men a place in EURO 2020. But Sweden can breathe a little easier thanks to a stoppage time goal across the continent.

Bad news for Manchester United, though, as De Gea’s strong day ended early due to injury.

Romania 1-1 Norway

New York City FC’s Alexandru Mitrita added another beauty to his collection in scoring for the second successive qualifier, but it wouldn’t stand up thanks to former Crystal Palace striker Alexander Sorloth‘s stoppage time equalizer.

Switzerland 2-0 Republic of Ireland

Terrible from the Irish, who trailed after 16 minutes and then went down to 10 men when Seamus Coleman was shown a red card in the 76th minute. Former West Ham man Edimilson Fernandes put it to bed in stoppage time as the Swiss out-attempted Ireland 20-9.

The Irish are tied for the lead in the group with 12 points but that’s about where the good news ends. They do not have an automatic spot in the playoffs while Denmark does and has 12 points. Switzerland has 11 and has also played one fewer match.

Ireland will need to beat Denmark next month and hope for help on the out-of-town scoreboard when Switzerland meets Gibraltar and Georgia.

Finland 3-0 Armenia

Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki continued his fine year with a pair of goals after Fredrik Jensen staked the Finnish side to a lead in Turku. Group J second place side Finland has a five-point lead on chasing Armenia and BNH.

Elsewhere

Faroe Islands 1-0 Malta
Gibraltar 2-3 Georgia
Greece 2-1 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Liechtenstein 0-5 Italy
Israel 3-1 Latvia

Lloyd: Coming off bench at World Cup “rock bottom of my entire career”

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The upper echelon of the USWNT player pool, especially the veteran generation, just swims in a different competitive gene pool.

Comments from a recent podcast featuring Carli Lloyd are the latest evidence of this, as the USWNT legend calls not starting regularly at this summer’s World Cup “the worst time of my life.”

[ MORE: How should USMNT line up? ]

She says she was happy to be a part of it and happy for her teammates but doesn’t back down from the “worst” diagnosis. Yeah, you read that right.

“I’m not going to lie and sugarcoat it,” Lloyd said on Julie Foudy’s Laughter Permitted podcast. “It was absolutely the worst time of my life. It affected my relationship with my husband, with friends. It really was rock bottom of my entire career. But somehow, you see light at the end of the tunnel, and I can honestly say I’m having more fun now playing than I ever have in my career. I think I just learned a lot throughout it.”

To be fair, Lloyd hasn’t backed up anyone in almost a decade and has since won a Ballon d’Or. Not many elite athletes get used to being second (or fourth) fiddle, especially on a major stage like that.

The personalities on this team are as big as any produced by Ronaldo’s Brazil or Zidane’s France. Some may laugh at this, but it shows what a tremendous job Jill Ellis did in marshaling the team to two-straight World Cups, the first with Abby Wambach in a sub’s role and the second with Lloyd.

It also shows the marvelous competitive nature of Lloyd and the resilience of players who know they’d start for any number of teams in the world. Lloyd says in the podcast that she believed she was playing at near her best level despite being moved from midfielder to forward.

Obviously no player prefers a sub’s role to starting, but — wow — if it isn’t bewildering to hear Lloyd talk about her supporting role at age 37 being the worst time of her life. Different types.

Liverpool’s Alisson, Matip return to training

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Premier League leaders Liverpool have been handed a huge boost ahead of their massive clash at bitter rivals Manchester United on Sunday (Watch live, 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Remember: Liverpool are eight points clear atop the table and United sit in 12th, so Jurgen Klopp‘s men are keen to rub salt further into the wounds of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s Red Devils.

Alisson and Joel Matip both returned to training at Melwood, with Alisson recovering from a calf injury which he suffered on the opening day of the season.

The Brazilian goalkeeper has been missing after limping out of the 4-1 win against Norwich City on Aug. 9, and his return to full fitness will bolster this already stingy Liverpool defense. Adrian has performed admirably, albeit with a few errors, in Alisson’s absence but it is now time for the superstar goalkeeper to return to action.

As for Matip, the towering center back suffered an injury against Sheffield United and missed Liverpool’s UEFA Champions League win against Red Bull Salzburg and their narrow Premier League victory against Leicester City.

Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren have both come in for Matip but neither have been solid enough and the former Schalke star will slot straight back in alongside Virgil Van Dijk and bring a steadying influence to the entire defensive line. Matip has been sensational this season, just as everyone expected Gomez to take his starting spot.

Another situation to keep an eye on is the fitness of Mohamed Salah, as he trained on his own at Melwood. Salah was caught with a rash challenge by Hamza Choudhury at the end of Liverpool’s win over Leicester and suffered an ankle injury.

Klopp was incandescent with rage about the foul on Salah and it appears the Egyptian winger is in a race against time to be fit for the clash against Man United, although he is reportedly looking good to play at Old Trafford on Sunday.

With the fitness of Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw Anthony Martial, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and others a constant struggle for United in recent weeks, Solskjaer hasn’t had much help in that department.

Having Alisson and Matip back is great news for Liverpool and Klopp.