Americans Abroad: Dest makes El Clasico debut; Pulisic, Reyna held in check

Americans Abroad
Photo by Oli Scarff - Pool/Getty Images

Americans Abroad: A roundup of all of the weekend’s action featuring the USMNT’s youngest and brightest stars, including Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, Sergiño Dest and others…

[ MORE: Koeman after El Clasico: VAR has only gone against Barcelona ]

Here’s a look at some of this weekend’s biggest stories featuring the future of the USMNT…

Sergiño Dest gets a taste of El Clasico

Things are not going great for Barcelona these days, making it slightly difficult to gauge Sergiño Dest’s early performances in the context of a truly chaotic club. How chaotic, you ask? This chaotic

To the world, which of course includes USMNT fans, it notes that Barca sent out Dest, who does not speak Spanish, in place of stars like Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, and others.

Anyway, the 19-year-old (he’s set to turn 20 next week) USMNT right back made history for Americans Abroad by playing all 90 minutes in a 3-1 loss to Real Madrid on Saturday, and at no point did he look out of his element. He might just be a Clasico-level player after all. Now, if only the same could be said for the rest of the team.

Christian Pulisic goes 81 minutes v. Manchester United

Christian Pulisic is now fully recovered from the hamstring injury he suffered in the FA Cup final and has reclaimed his place in Chelsea’s starting lineup after making his third straight start over the weekend. There were no goals or assists to speak of — for either side — but his continued availability is a welcome sight, though he did hobble off after a crunching collision with Scott McTominay late in the game.

A few key selections from Joe Prince-Wright’s “Pulisic Watch” post on Saturday:

1st minute: Starts in a very central position, just to the left, under Timo Werner.

17th minute: A corner sees the ball find him on the edge of the box but he scuffs a shot which is cleared.

33rd minute: Played in down the left, cuts inside and hits a shot on goal which is straight at David de Gea.

34th minute: Gets the ball after Fred is sloppy in possession, then has a shot on goal which Victor Lindelof deflects wide. Promising.

53rd minute: Cut inside from the left and played the ball to Kai Havertz, but the attack broke down. Moments later made a good run but Havertz couldn’t find him.

60th minute: Reece James’ cross from the right almost finds the onrushing Pulisic at the back post, but a slight touch takes the ball away from him.

63rd minute: Werner races clear and Pulisic makes a great run to his right, and is in tons of space, but Werner didn’t see him.

75th minute: Clattered by McTominay as he tries to latch onto a loose ball. Hobbles away.

Gio Reyna goes 71 minutes in derby v. Schalke

He didn’t put up a hat trick of assists, but Gio Reyna did manage to make his Revierderby debut on Saturday, as Borussia Dortmund hammered 17th-place Schalke 3-0 at the Westfalenstadion.

Reyna went 71 minutes before he was subbed off. He doesn’t turn 18 for another 18 days, on Nov. 11.

Tyler Adams misses out due to new injury

Not long after recovering from a minor back injury which kept him out on opening weekend, Tyler Adams is set to miss more time after suffering a lateral collateral ligament (LCL) knee injury in training last week. He is set to be evaluated further this week, at which point a timetable for his return should become clearer.

Adams returned from the back injury and went straight into the RB Leipzig lineup, making four straight starts (three in the Bundesliga, one in the DFB-Pokal) and going 90 minutes in each of them. He then made a 32-minute substitute appearance against Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir in the UEFA Champions League last Tuesday. Presumably, the injury occurred sometime between Tuesday and Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Hertha Berlin.

Weston McKennie, back from COVID-19, an unused sub

Juventus announced on Friday that Weston McKennie had fully recovered from COVID-19 and was immediately eligible to return to training and the matchday squad. He did precisely that this weekend, though he was an unused sub in Juve’s disappointing draw with Hellas Verona.

Prior to testing positive for the virus, McKennie had started back-to-back Serie A games for Andrea Pirlo’s side.

Tim Weah left out of Lille side

Uninjured and available for action, Tim Weah was dropped from Lille’s 20-man squad for Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Nice. The 20-year-old winger hasn’t started a game yet this season and has made just five substitute appearances totaling 40 minutes (all competitions).

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