Americans Abroad

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USMNT’s Johannsson aiming for move to Pacific Northwest?

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Is everyone’s favorite Icelandic-Alabamian coming to the Pacific Northwest?

A Werder Bremen-centered site says American striker Aron Johannsson is looking to Seattle as his next stop following an injury-riddled time with the Bundesliga side.

[ MORE: USWNT beats Spain ]

Johannsson, 28, would trade Bremen’s green for the rave green of Seattle this summer, having played just 30 times since transferring from AZ Alkmaar of the Eredivisie.

The 19-times capped USMNT striker has four goals on his international resume, and was last seen as an unused sub in 2016 World Cup qualifying losses to Costa Rica and Mexico.

He played just three minutes in the top flight this season with ankle problems.

Seattle’s injury problems make taking a flier on Johannsson interesting, especially if it’s a short-term or prove-it deal. A similar import, Terrence Boyd, has done very little of consequence for Toronto FC but carried intrigue as well.

Johannsson might provide more bang for the buck.

Pulisic ‘would love to become’ like Hazard

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Christian Pulisic has barely spent a couple of days in Chelsea blue, but he’s already got his eyes on one of the club’s icons.

“It is incredible to see what Eden can do,” said Pulisic in an interview with BBC Sport. “He is a guy to look up to and what I would love to become. It is definitely a goal. Any player would be dumb not to want to be in the same team as him.”

[ MORE: Players to watch at U-20 World Cup ]

Pulisic may not get that chance, with Hazard expected by many to join Real Madrid this summer, but he will become the highest profile American in the Premier League when next season begins in August.

The BBC asked the 20-year-old USMNT star about being the flag bearer for American soccer, the golden boy for a nation of young players.

“I don’t want to be looked at as someone who is the youngest to do this or that. I just want to be an established player and someone people respect, who is successful in this league.”

“It is completely new to me and something not a lot of American players have experienced. It is a blessing to be in this position, so I can inspire American kids, to show them we can do it too.”

Pulisic says he’s confident Chelsea can quickly close the gap on Liverpool and Manchester City.

USMNT midfielder Williams not retained by Huddersfield Town

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Danny Williams‘ tenure with the Terriers is complete.

The 30-year-old German American midfielder was one of five players released by Huddersfield Town on Friday, days after their final Premier League match.

[ MORE: Williams with our own JPW ]

Williams was a significant factor in the Terriers’ beating the drop in 2017-18, but injuries and a coaching change combined to limit him to just six appearance this season.

He scored an FA Cup goal for Huddersfield last season, but made just one start before suffering a knee injury in his sophomore campaign.

Goalkeeper Jonas Lossl and forward Laurent Depoitre were two other notable names not retained by Huddersfield, who also axed Erik Durm and Jack Payne.

Wagner or not, Schalke’s next manager hire big for USMNT

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Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie may get a manager who’s represented his same national team.

Former USMNT striker David Wagner is reportedly in “very advanced” talks to take the helm of the Bundesliga outfit.

[ MORE UCL: Spurs-Ajax recap | Eriksen reacts ]

Wagner, 47, was the Borussia Dortmund II manager before taking the job at Huddersfield Town and guiding the Terriers to the Premier League, but left the club in January en route to relegation.

Now with Schalke having dodged relegation and beaten rivals Borussia Dortmund this weekend under interim boss Huub Stevens, who himself has led the club on two other occasions.

The German-born Wagner won the UEFA Cup during a short stint as a player at Schalke, and was capped eight times by the United States.

But the move, whether Wagner or not, is significant for American soccer.

McKennie doesn’t turn 21 until the start of next season, and already boasts 44 Bundesliga appearances, a half-dozen Champions League matches, and six more German Cup slots.

He’s played in every central midfield position, as well as right back, right mid, and even a little center back and center forward. McKennie is one of the most industrious and experienced young players in USMNT history, but how much of his experience at the club level will even matter to Gregg Berhalter?

I mean, look at his positional usage at Schalke this season via Transfermarkt (right).

This could also become a David Alaba situation. The Austrian has played the majority of his Bayern Munich career as a left back, and then a center back. Yet the 26-year-old has only recently made the move to left mid or left back for Das Team, having been a center midfielder in World Cups and EURO tournaments.

So perhaps Wagner takes over at Schalke, and slots McKennie at right back. Does Berhalter think at all about whether Tyler Adams should go into the middle role and McKennie play a more natural right back? Or does Berhalter say Adams is his right back and McKennie a center mid, end of story?

Also, Wagner was a Danny Williams fan, so perhaps he’d consider the option of an All-American midfield with McKennie and Williams. Half-kidding aside, Schalke’s next manager and their intention for McKennie will be one of the more intriguing and important moves for the future of the U.S. midfield.

Bundesliga wrap: Schalke smacks Dortmund, RB Leipzig wraps up third

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After 15 weeks of the Bundesliga season, Borussia Dortmund had a surprising nine-point lead on perennial winners Bayern Munich.

On Sunday, BVB could trail that same Bayern side by four with three matches to play if the Bavarians do as expected and defeat 17th place Nurnberg.

[ RECAP: Watford 1-2 Wolves ]

Make no mistake: This is a notable collapse, and it now includes a 9-man home loss to one of BVB’s fiercest rivals on top of the smashing at the hands of Bayern in Der Klassiker. The latest loss also happens to let said rivals, Schalke, off the hook for a possible relegation playoff date.

Borussia Dortmund 2-4 Schalke

Dortmund went to Gelsenkirchen earlier this season and scored a 2-1 Revierderby win, but the tables were turned in a big way on Saturday.

Lucien Favre’s men lost for the third time in eight matches to extend a four-month slide which has seen BVB take 30 of 48 points while Bayern has dropped exactly four in the same period of time.

American winger Christian Pulisic came off the bench with 12 minutes left and BVB already down to nine men, while his USMNT pal Weston McKennie had an okay day in the middle of the park for Schalke. McKennie was credited with 10 tackles over 72 minutes.

This one started well enough, with Mario Gotze briefly putting the hosts back atop the table in the 14th minute. Schalke, however used a pair of Daniel Caligiuri goals and a Salif Sane marker to build a 3-1 lead.

Marco Reus was sent off with the score 2-1, and Marius Wolf saw red five minutes later, just after Schalke went ahead by two.

Axel Witsel pulled BVB back to within one in the 84th minute, but Breel Embolo’s goal two minutes later put the result away for Dortmund.

RB Leipzig 2-1 Freiburg

Timo Werner scored his fourth goal in his last six league games, and Emil Forsberg converted a late penalty as RBL firmed up third place in the Bundesliga.

Elsewhere
Augsburg 1-4 Bayer Leverkusen — Friday
Stuttgart 1-0 Borussia Monchengladbach
Fortuna Dusseldorf 4-1 Werder Bremen
Hannover 96 1-0 Mainz
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-0 Hertha Berlin
Hoffenheim v. Wolfsburg — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Nurnberg v. Bayern Munich — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 30 22 4 4 79 29 50 11-3-1 11-1-3 70
 Borussia Dortmund 31 21 6 4 74 40 34 13-2-1 8-4-3 69
 RB Leipzig 31 19 7 5 59 24 35 10-5-1 9-2-4 64
 Eintracht Frankfurt 31 15 9 7 58 35 23 8-4-4 7-5-3 54
 Mönchengladbach 31 15 6 10 49 38 11 9-2-4 6-4-6 51
 Bayer Leverkusen 31 16 3 12 57 49 8 8-1-6 8-2-6 51
 1899 Hoffenheim 30 13 11 6 65 41 24 7-5-3 6-6-3 50
 Werder Bremen 31 12 10 9 53 46 7 7-5-3 5-5-6 46
 VfL Wolfsburg 30 13 7 10 48 45 3 6-5-4 7-2-6 46
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 31 12 4 15 44 60 -16 8-0-8 4-4-7 40
 Hertha BSC Berlin 31 9 10 12 41 48 -7 5-6-4 4-4-8 37
 FSV Mainz 05 31 10 6 15 37 52 -15 7-4-4 3-2-11 36
 SC Freiburg 31 7 11 13 40 56 -16 5-6-4 2-5-9 32
 FC Augsburg 31 8 7 16 47 59 -12 5-4-7 3-3-9 31
 FC Schalke 04 31 8 6 17 36 54 -18 4-1-10 4-5-7 30
 VfB Stuttgart 31 6 6 19 28 67 -39 5-4-7 1-2-12 24
 1. FC Nürnberg 30 3 9 18 24 56 -32 3-6-6 0-3-12 18
 Hannover 96 31 4 6 21 26 66 -40 4-1-11 0-5-10 18