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Americans Abroad: Chandler registers brace in goal-heavy weekend

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A handful of Americans scored over the last three days, making it one of the most action-packed weekends for Americans abroad this year.

Timothy Chandler scored a brace for Eintracht Frankfurt, while Duane Holmes added a goal in Derby County’s thrilling win against Swansea City.

In Belgium, Chris Durkin made the scoresheet, along with Shaq Moore in Spain’s second division.

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 and Chelsea were inactive this weekend.

DeAndre Yedlin, Newcastle — Yedlin and Newcastle were inactive this weekend.

EFL Championship

Antonee Robinson, Wigan Athletic —  Robinson did not dress for Wigan on Saturday, days after a failed move to AC Milan. Chelsea, Newcastle and Aston Villa are reportedly monitoring the fullback as a possible summer signing, however. 

Duane Holmes, Derby County — Holmes started and scored a goal in Derby’s 3-2 win over Swansea City on Saturday.

Matt Miazga, Reading (loan from Chelsea) — The 24-year-old is out with a hamstring injury. There is no timeline on his return.

Eric Lichaj, Hull City — The Tiger’s captain played 70 minutes  in Hull City’s 1-1 draw with Reading.

Geoff Cameron, QPR — The 34-year-old defender did not dress for QPR on Saturday.

Tim Ream, Fulham — Ream started and played 90 minutes in Fulham’s 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

Cameron Carter-Vickers, Luton Town (loan Tottenham Hotspur) — Carter-Vickers started and played 90 minutes in Luton’s 1-0 loss to Cardiff City on Saturday.

Bundesliga

Timmy Chandler, Eintracht Frankfurt — Chandler, arguably, had his best game this season. The defender scored two goals in Frankfurt’s 5-0 thumping of Augsburg on Friday.

John Brooks, Wolfsburg – The 26-year-old defender was left on the bench in Wolfsburg’s draw.

Weston McKennie, Schalke —  McKennie started and played 90 minutes in Schalke’s 1-1 draw with Paderborn on Saturday.

Zack Steffen and Alfredo Morales, Fortuna Dusseldorf — Steffen is out with an injury, while Morales started and played 90 minutes on Saturday. 

Josh Sargent, Werder Bremen  Sargent came off the bench and played 21 minutes in Werder Bremen’s 2-0 loss.

Tyler Adams, RB Leipzig — Adams started and played 90 minutes as a fullback in RB Leipzig’s 0-0 draw with Bayern Munich.

Fabian Johnson, Borussia Mönchengladbach — Borussia Mönchengladbach’s match this weekend was postponed.

Eredivisie

Sergino Dest, Ajax — Ajax’s match this weekend was postponed.

Haji Wright, VVV-Venlo — The 21-year-old striker came off the bench and played a minute in Venlo’s 1-1 draw with Heerenveen on Saturday.

Ligue 1

Timothy Weah, Lille — Weah didn’t feature for Lille on Friday.

Theoson Jordan-Siebatcheu, Rennes — Jordon-Siebatcheu didn’t feature for Rennes on Saturday.

Honorable Mentions

Chris Durkin, Sint-Truiden — played 90 minutes and scored a goal in Sint-Truiden’s 5-2 win over Eupen on Saturday.

Chris Richards, Bayern II — played 90 minutes and scored a goal in Bayern II’s 4-2 win over Viktoria Koln on Saturday.

Shaq Moore, Tenerife — started and played 85 minutes in Tenerife’s 4-2 win over Extremadura on Saturday.

Top 25 players in the USMNT pool right now

USMNT power rankings
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January camp is over following the USMNT’s 1-0 defeat of Costa Rica, but most of the movement on our player pool power rankings comes courtesy of the club game.

Save for Uly Llanez’s “I’m here” performance in that win over Los Ticos, most of the interim has been dominated by Americans Abroad.

Heck, Llanez is included in that; The 18-year-old has 10 goals and three assists in 11 games for Wolfsburg’s U-19 side.

Our first rankings came Nov. 12, four days before Gregg Berhalter’s Yanks rolled over Cuba and Canada to earn a spot in the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals.

This ranking comes almost two months before we’ll next see the red, white, and blue; The USMNT visits Netherlands and Wales on March 26 and 30.

As a reminder, here are some ground rules:

  • The ranking is meant to illustrate who would be most likely to positively affect a USMNT match, regardless of manager or teammates, right now.
  • Health doesn’t matter to our rankings if a current injury isn’t one that could drastically alter the player’s skill set moving forward.
  • Age/potential/experience doesn’t matter either, at least not much; It’s how likely you are to contribute to the team if put on the field right now. Obviously Chris Richards of Bayern Munich II is a better long-term prospect than 32-year-old Tim Ream, but most would rather have the Fulham man in a big spot right now.

Dropping out of our Top 25 are Cristian Roldan, Ike Opara, Fabian Johnson, Paul Arriola, Cameron Carter-Vickers, and Jackson Yueill.

Moving up two spots to second is Weston McKennie, who has become a key piece for another Schalke boss, while Wigan left back Antonee Robinson and Derby County midfielder Duane Holmes enter the list with bullets.

Two other Championship players, Matt Miazga and Tim Ream, slip down the board, but not as far as struggling Newcastle right back DeAndre Yedlin.

Who takes their places? Read on…

Top 25 USMNT players – February 2020

() last month
#injured

1. Christian Pulisic, Chelsea# (1) — Get well soon.
2. Weston McKennie, Schalke (4)
3. John Brooks, Wolfsburg (3)
4. Tyler Adams, RB Leipzig (2) — Healthy, and back starting.
5. Sergino Dest, Ajax (6)
6. Duane Holmes, Derby County (N/R) — Man’s on fire.
7. Alfredo Morales, Fortuna Dusseldorf (5)
8. Jordan Morris, Seattle Sounders (7)
9. Zack Steffen, Fortuna Dusseldorf (10)
10. Antonee Robinson, Wigan Athletic (N/R) — Almost AC Milan!
11. Jozy Altidore, Toronto FC (12)
12. Julian Green, Greuther Furth# (15)
13. Giovanni Reyna, Borussia Dortmund (N/R) — What a goal.
14. Timothy Weah, Lille# (14)
15. Timothy Chandler, Eintracht Frankfurt (N/R) — Incredible resurgence.
16. Tim Ream, Fulham (13)
17. Matt Miazga, Reading (8)
18. Josh Sargent, Werder Bremen (9)
19. Miles Robinson, Atlanta United (23)
20. Ulysses Llanez, Wolfsburg U-19 (N/R) — Go on, son.
21. Tyler Boyd, Besiktas (21)
22. DeAndre Yedlin, Newcastle United (11)
23. Reggie Cannon, FC Dallas (N/R)
24. Michael Bradley, Toronto FC# (18)
25. Sebastian Lletget, LA Galaxy (22)

Next up, established: Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas), Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes), Arriola (DC United), Carter-Vickers (Luton Town), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew), Roldan (Seattle Sounders), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids), Opara (Minnesota United)

Next up, youth: Indiana Vassilev (Aston Villa), Konrad de la Fuente (Barcelona), Alex Mendez (Ajax U19), Chris Richards (Bayern Munich II), Richie Ledezma (PSV Eindhoven), Donovan Pines (DC United)

FA Cup: Liverpool’s kids triumph; Saint-Maximin stunner saves Newcastle

FA Cup replays
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There was drama throughout the FA Cup’s fourth round replays on Tuesday, including a dominant performance from Liverpool’s youngest team ever.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule

Only one other Premier League side was in action, and they managed to throw away an early 2-0 lead at League One opposition.

Liverpool 1-0 Shrewsbury Town

Liverpool’s kids more than held their own at Anfield, they dominated League One side Shrewsbury to leave little doubt about how this would’ve gone had Jurgen Klopp deployed even a handful of senior players.

The Reds took the first nine shots of the match, and Shrewsbury Town scored on its first shot of the night but saw it disallowed by VAR.

Canadian 20-year-old Liam Millar was one of many Reds to make their senior debut in the win.

An own goal ended up being the difference on the day for Liverpool, who will enjoy a fifth-round visit to Chelsea.

Derby County 4-2 Northampton Town

Andre Wisdom scored early and American midfielder Duane Holmes had the Rams up 2-0 when he contributed to a goal for the fourth time in five matches.

Jack Marriott had a quick answer for Nicky Adams’ early second-half goal. Wayne Rooney rounded out the scoring as his Derby earned a visit from old pals Manchester United in the fifth round.

Oxford United 2-3 Newcastle United

Sean Longstaff finally found his form for the Magpies, scoring a beautiful goal and setting up Joelinton for another as the Magpies took a 2-0 lead into the break.

The U’s pulled one back through a terrific Liam Kelly free kick in the 84th minute, and Nathan Holland scored a beauty in stoppage time to send the match into extra time.

The second half and start of extra time was almost exclusively under Oxford United’s control, but Allan Saint-Maximin‘s incredible late goal lifted Newcastle to victory.

One thing to watch: Joelinton limped off the pitch after scoring from a rib injury suffered earlier in the match. Newcastle will visit West Bromwich Albion in the fifth round.

Cardiff City 3-3 (1-4 penalties) Reading

Josh Murphy and Robert Glatzel scored for the Welsh side, but Omar Richards and Andy Rinomhota answered in the second half to put the fifth-round berth back on the table.

Murphy completed his brace in the third minute of extra time, but Reading again had an answer through Yakou Meite in the 116th minute.

Cardiff’s first penalty was saved and second attempt wayward, while Reading made its first four to move into the next round and will host Sheffield United in the final 16.

Birmingham City 2-2 (4-1 penalties) Coventry City

Amadou Bakayoko broke a second-half deadlock, but Birmingham City’s Harlee Dean scored in stoppage time to push the replay deeper.

Maxime Biamou scored in the 114th minute to restore Coventry’s lead, but Jeremie Bela answered in the 120th to force kicks.

Coventry City a date at Leicester City in the fifth round.

The USMNT player pool in Europe is as promising as ever

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It would be a challenge to put together a Best XI from Americans performing in Europe this Saturday.

That’s for two reasons, not one of them because there aren’t 11 players worthy of the honor.

One is goalkeepers: Zack Steffen is hurt and Ethan Horvath backing up Simon Mignolet.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule

The other is pretty great: There are many more than 11 players thriving in Europe even with Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Zack Steffen, and Timothy Weah not available for selection.

It’s a weekly thing now. Gregg Berhalter trains a strong and mostly-MLS squad for January friendlies, The Americans Abroad round-ups on our site have shown plenty of progress for those eligible for the USMNT.

There was a time when Haji Wright coming off the bench for VVV-Venlo in the Netherlands had a shot at being the highlight of the weekend.

Now it’s a footnote. The 21-year-old is a regular for the relegation-threatened side after a transfer from Schalke. If anything, the discussion is about two in-a-row off the bench after a run of 10-straight league starts.

Consider this list of players, now that Aston Villa’s Indiana Vassilev and Borussia Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna made league debuts in the same weekend.

First team players in top tier leagues

Zack Steffen (Man City, on loan to Dusseldorf)
Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge)
DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United)
Sergino Dest (Ajax)
John Brooks (Wolfsburg)
Alfredo Morales (Fortuna Dusseldorf)
Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig)
Weston McKennie (Schalke)
Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)
Tyler Boyd (Besiktas)
Indiana Vassilev (Aston Villa)
Haji Wright (VVV Venlo)
Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund)
Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen)
Tim Weah (Lille)

Dig deeper and there’s more: Matt Miazga (Reading), Tim Ream (Fulham), Geoff Cameron (QPR), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic), and Duane Holmes (Derby County) have been regulars in the English Championship. Same for Julian Green (Greuther Furth) in 2.Bundesliga and in-form Lynden Gooch at League One’s Sunderland. Niko Hamalainen (Kilmarnock) is a regular starter in the Scottish Premiership.

Then there are heralded U-20 and U-17 prospects Chris Gloster (Jong PSV), Chris Richards (Bayern Munich II), Richie Ledezma (PSV Eindhoven), Alex Mendez (Ajax), Sebastian Soto (Hannover 96), Johnny Cardoso (Internacional), Ulysses Lainez (Wolfsburg II). Some have taken first team bows while others have made the bench or ar eon the verge.

And we’re just talking Europe here, as the U.S. still has a bevy of reliable international players playing domestically like Jordan Morris, Miles Robinson, and Jozy Altidore amongst others. That’s leaving alone the caliber of Homegrown players being produced by Major League Soccer academies, Paxton Pomykal and Djordje Mihailovic among them (Reyna and Richards, too).

In terms of potential, American soccer is at a golden age. This makes Brian McBride’s new role as USMNT general manager even more important, as he teams up with Gregg Berhalter to put the best possible American team together for qualifying.

One thing’s for sure, the player pool is deep and no longer an excuse. Game on.

Top 25 players in the USMNT pool right now

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Christian Pulisic is the best American soccer player in the world.

Of this, there is little debate.

But there is a debate to who is second, third, and well down the line, and we’ve got our last chance to really assess the full crop with Major League Soccer now out of season for a few months.

[ USMNT: Most to gain/lose from November ]

Let’s set some ground rules:

  • The ranking is meant to illustrate who would be most likely to positively affect a USMNT match, regardless of manager or teammates, right now.
  • Health doesn’t matter to our rankings if a current injury isn’t one which could drastically alter the player’s skill set moving forward.
  • Age/potential/experience doesn’t matter either, at least not much; It’s how likely you are to contribute to the team if put on the field right now. Obviously Chris Richards of Bayern Munich II is a better long-term prospect than 32-year-old Tim Ream, but most would rather have the Fulham man in a big spot right now.

Top 25 USMNT players – November 2019

*not currently a part of USMNT squad due to injury
**not currently a part of USMNT squad due to coach’s decision

  1. Christian Pulisic, Chelsea*
  2. Tyler Adams, RB Leipzig*
  3. John Brooks, Wolfsburg
  4. Weston McKennie, Schalke
  5. Alfredo Morales, Fortuna Dusseldorf
  6. Sergino Dest, Ajax
  7. Jordan Morris, Seattle Sounders
  8. Matt Miazga, Reading (on loan from Chelsea)**
  9. Josh Sargent, Werder Bremen
  10. Zack Steffen, Fortuna Dusseldorf (on loan from Man City)*
  11. DeAndre Yedlin, Newcastle United
  12. Jozy Altidore, Toronto FC*
  13. Tim Ream, Fulham
  14. Timothy Weah, Lille*
  15. Julian Green, Greuther Furth**
  16. Cristian Roldan, Seattle Sounders
  17. Ike Opara, Minnesota United**
  18. Michael Bradley, Toronto FC*
  19. Fabian Johnson, Borussia Monchengladbach**
  20. Cameron Carter-Vickers, Stoke City (on loan from Spurs)**
  21. Tyler Boyd, Besiktas
  22. Sebastian Lletget, LA Galaxy
  23. Miles Robinson, Atlanta United*
  24. Paul Arriola, DC United
  25. Jackson Yueill, San Jose Earthquakes

Next up, established: Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC), Eric Lichaj (Hull City), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge), Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas), Duane Holmes (Derby County), Bill Hamid (DC United).

Next up, youth: Konrad de la Fuente (Barcelona U19), Alex Mendez (Ajax U19), Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund U19), Ulysses Llanez (Wolfsburg U19), Chris Richards (Bayern Munich II), Richie Ledezma (PSV Eindhoven), Donovan Pines (DC United), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids)