Alfredo Morales

Americans Abroad
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How did USMNT stars fare in Germany?

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There were plenty of USMNT players and alums on show as the Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga returned to the pitch this weekend, and there may be more to come when Josh Sargent’s Werder Bremen hits the field Monday.

[ MORE: What did we learn from Bundesliga return? ]

Let’s take a look at how did well and who may not have as seven Americans turned out for the sides in Germany.


Giovanni Reyna, Borussia Dortmund — The 17-year-old was set to make his first senior start for BVB, a Revierderby to boot, but suffered an injury in warm-ups. With a new contract, he’s set to get plenty more chances once he heals up.

Weston McKennie, Schalke — This fella divided opinions amongst Americans on social media as Schalke were run out of the proverbial gym in the Revierderby, but the 21-year-old was pretty decent in a bd spot.

Playing as a No. 6, McKennie was often on an island. He dominated the stat sheet and was rated the club’s best performer by numerous statistical outlets. He couldn’t put out fires on two break goals and caught some guff on social media, but he had the most positive moments amongst his struggling teammates.

Sofascore, for one, rated him equal to anyone in a similar role on the victors, as McKennie rang up five of seven duels won, five interceptions, four tackles, a blocked shot and was dribbled past once. Sometimes maligned for passing, the 21-year-old American posted 79 touches and 81 percent passing, including three of six long balls.

[ LIVE: Bundesliga scores ] 

sofascore.com

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Tyler Adams, RB Leipzig — Playing wide on the right, Adams completed 83 percent of his passes and hit on his lone long ball attempt. Both of his shot attempts were off-target, and he won four of seven duels while making three tackles in a 1-1 draw with visiting Freiburg. Three points were expected.

Alfredo Morales, Fortuna Dusseldorf – Twenty-two minutes off the bench in a rough 0-0 draw with fellow strugglers Paderborn. Got stuck right in, winning four of five duels with a tackle and drawing a foul while the heat map has him all over the right side of the pitch (Sofascore).

John Brooks, Wolfsburg – Ups and a very big down for Brooks, whose attempted clearance of a free kick was nearly an own goal before Augsburg’s Tin Jedvaj finished the job in a 2-1 win. Brooks had a clearance, interception, and two tackles, winning three of five duels and completing 93 percent of his passes including eight of 10 longballs (Sofascore).

Josh Sargent, Werder Bremen – plays v. Bayer Leverkusen, Monday, 2:30 p.m. ET

Timothy Chandler, Eintracht Frankfurt – Sixteen minutes off the bench as one of Eintracht’s five subs. Seventeen touches at right midfield. Lots of desperation crosses and an interception as Eintracht clawed back one goal after he entered with a 3-0 deficit.

Fabian Johnson, Borussia Monchengladbach – Did not feature in a 3-1 win over Eintracht.

2.Bundesliga

Julian Green, Greuther Furth — An ankle injury and the coronavirus pause meant his start v. Hamburg was his first since November. Green played his usual steady game over 59 minutes in a 2-2 draw, passing at 90 percent with a key pass, interception, and shot on target while being fouled twice.

Bobby Wood, Hamburg and Sebastian Soto, Hannover 96– Wood didn’t make the bench and Soto, linked to Norwich City, saw his match with Dynamo Dresden postponed.

If you’re new to Germany’s top-flight, here’s a guide to help you pick a club to support.

You can check out the full schedulestandings and find out how to watch the action, while we will have you covered right here on ProSoccerTalk with analysis, reaction and more.

WATCH: Fourth-tier sides clinches spot in German Cup semifinals

German Cup
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Two teams qualified for the German Cup semifinals on Tuesday.

One is Bayern Munich, the most celebrated team in the country’s history, and the other you’ve likely not heard of prior to, well, maybe this post.

Saarbrucken, a club from Germany’s fourth tier, knocked off Fortuna Dusseldorf in a dramatic round of penalty kicks, 7-6, after the match finished 1-1.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Cuban-born Canadian midfielder Kianz Froese assisted Saarbrucken’s goal in regulation and scored in kicks, and it had to feel sweet: The former Vancouver Whitecaps man is also a former Fortuna Dusseldorf man.

Fortuna’s American midfielder Alfredo Morales had a very good match as well, converting his penalty while completing 90 percent of his passes including a perfect 8-for-8 on long balls. He registered four interceptions and two tackles.

There are only Bundesliga sides left aside from Saarbrucken, as Wednesday quarterfinals see Bayer Leverkusen host Union Berlin and Werder Bremen visiting Eintracht Frankfurt.

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)

Bundesliga wrap: Adams, Werner star as Leipzig pads lead

Leipzig
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The Bundesliga returned Saturday after its winter break, bringing a cavalcade of impactful American stories to the field.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule


RB Leipzig 3-1 Union Berlin

The table leaders got two goals from Timo Werner and a goal and an assist from Marcel Sabitzer to open the second phase of the season with a bang.

Leipzig has a five-point lead on second-place Gladbach, though Bayern Munich can pull within four points with a win at Jurgen Klinsmann’s Hertha Berlin on Sunday morning.

American midfielder Tyler Adams had another strong day in the win, going 86 minutes and gathering over 100 touches while completing 84 percent of his passes. He registered two key passes and a shot on target to go with a clearance, blocked shot, interception, and tackle. Adams was fouled four times.

Augsburg 3-5 Borussia Dortmund

Erling Braut Haaland became the first Borussia Dortmund player to score a hat trick on debut since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as BVB came back from 2-0 and 3-1 holes to move onto 33 points.

Watch Haaland’s incredible day here. Jadon Sancho had a goal and an assist, while Julian Brandt also scored for BVB. Florian Niederlechner scored twice for Augsburg, with Marco Richter also finding the back of the net.

American teenager Giovanni Reyna also made his debut in the win, earning praise from manager Lucien Favre.

Hoffenheim 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt

That’s right wing Timmy Chandler to you.

After missing all but one match last season due to injuries and fitness, the 29-year-old former USMNT mainstay has his first Bundesliga goal since Feb. 19, 2018.

Chandler rose above the fray to power home a match-winning header to move Eintracht four points clear of the relegation places, surprising a Hoffenheim side with designs on a return to Europe.

Bas Dost scored Eintracht’s other goal, with Konstantinos Stafylidis equalizing just after halftime.

Fortuna Dusseldorf 0-1 Werder Bremen

American forward Josh Sargent made his return from injury, playing 86 minutes in a huge win for Bremen. The visitors climbed over the now 17th place hosts via a Florian Kastenmeier goal.

USMNT midfielder Alfredo Morales played well over 71 minutes in the loss, while Zack Steffen missed out with a reported knee injury.

Elsewhere

Schalke 2-0 Borussia Monchengladbach — Friday| RECAP
Koln 3-1 Wolfsburg
Mainz 1-2 Freiburg
Hertha Berlin v. Bayern Munich — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Paderborn v. Bayer Leverkusen — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 RB Leipzig 18 12 4 2 51 21 30 6-2-1 6-2-1 40
 Mönchengladbach 18 11 2 5 33 20 13 7-1-1 4-1-4 35
 Bayern Munich 17 10 3 4 46 22 24 6-1-2 4-2-2 33
 Borussia Dortmund 18 9 6 3 46 27 19 5-3-0 4-3-3 33
 FC Schalke 04 18 9 6 3 31 21 10 5-4-1 4-2-2 33
 SC Freiburg 18 8 5 5 29 24 5 4-2-2 4-3-3 29
 Bayer Leverkusen 17 8 4 5 23 21 2 3-4-2 5-0-3 28
 1899 Hoffenheim 18 8 3 7 26 30 -4 4-1-5 4-2-2 27
 VfL Wolfsburg 18 6 6 6 19 21 -2 3-4-2 3-2-4 24
 FC Augsburg 18 6 5 7 31 36 -5 4-2-3 2-3-4 23
 Eintracht Frankfurt 18 6 3 9 29 30 -1 4-3-2 2-0-7 21
 1. FC Union Berlin 18 6 2 10 21 27 -6 5-0-4 1-2-6 20
 1. FC Köln 18 6 2 10 22 33 -11 4-1-4 2-1-6 20
 Hertha BSC Berlin 17 5 4 8 22 29 -7 3-1-4 2-3-4 19
 FSV Mainz 05 18 6 0 12 26 41 -15 3-0-6 3-0-6 18
 Werder Bremen 18 4 5 9 24 41 -17 1-2-5 3-3-4 17
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 18 4 3 11 18 37 -19 3-1-5 1-2-6 15
 SC Paderborn 17 3 3 11 20 36 -16 2-1-6 1-2-5 12

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)