Alphonso Davies

Golden Boy award shortlist
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2020 Golden Boy award shortlist announced

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The 2020 Golden Boy award shortlist includes Americans for the first time in two years, as two USMNT prospects were named amongst the top 100 players under the age of 21 in Europe’s top leagues.

Tuttosport has named Ajax’s Sergio Dest and Borussia Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna to the shortlist for the award. The last Americans to make the shortlist were Timothy Weah and Christian Pulisic in 2018.

Dest, 19, was recently named Ajax Talent of the Year and has already earned 35 senior appearances for the club with two goals and six assists. He’s thrice capped by the USMNT.

[ MORE: Premier League fixtures remaining ]

Reyna, 17, has become a fixture in the Dortmund XI for Lucien Favre, regularly coming off the bench and displaying a knack for drawing fouls and tidy passing. The son of USMNT legend Claudio Reyna, “Gio” has a goal and an assist in 16 first team appearances.

Canada’s American-born Jonathan David (Gent) and Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich) also make the cut, as does Mexican forward Diego Lainez (Real Betis).

Joao Felix beat Jadon Sancho to the 2019 honors, and it would be stunning if Reyna or Dest got much further in the process given the young talent on show this season. Erling Haaland and Sancho of Borussia Dortmund will be two of the favorites to emerge with the top billing.

Premier League talent everywhere

Starting with the first name on the alphabetical list, Premier League clubs made an impressive showing in the top 100.

Max Aarons of Norwich City is joined by Tino Anjorin (Chelsea), Angel Gomes (Manchester United), Trae Coyle (Arsenal), Phil Foden (Man City), Eric Garcia (Man City), James Garner (Man Utd), Morgan Gibbs-White (Wolves), Billy Gilmour (Chelsea), Mason Greenwood (Man Utd), Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), Curtis Jones (Liverpool), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal), Michael Obafemi (Southampton), Pedro Neto (Wolves), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Oliver Skipp (Tottenham), Sepp van den Berg (Liverpool).

Bundesliga: Takeaways from Week 30

Bundesliga team of the week
Photo by M. Donato/FC Bayern via Getty ImagesBu
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Our Bundesliga wrap-up doesn’t need its own Player of the Week portion this week, as history-making Thomas Muller moved Bayern Munich closer to the club’s eighth-straight Bundesliga title

[ PREMIER LEAGUE: Remaining schedule ]

A few weeks ago, we saw Bayern veteran Muller brand young Alphonso Davies the club’s Roadrunner, complete with “meep, meep” soundbite.

Davies returned the nickname brandishing on Saturday after Muller set the Bundesliga season record for assists with 20, breaking Kevin De Bruyne’s record in Bayern’s 4-2 defeat of Bayer Leverkusen.

“I call him ‘chef’, Chef Thomas Muller,” Davies said. “He gives you assists, he gives you goals, whatever you need. He’s a big part of the team and him setting a record is an amazing achievement.”

Twenty assists in one season is a wonderful achievement for Muller, who has double-digit assists in 10-of-11 Bundesliga seasons. The outlier is the year he scored 20 times in a season that saw him play a lot of center forwards.

Hansi Flick is righteously getting a lot of credit for Bayern’s turnaround as the unbeaten streak hits 16 matches including an active nine-match winning streak, but how about the reversal of fortune in Muller’s season.

Muller had no goals and four assists in Bayern’s first 10 matches, but came to life in the 4-0 Klassiker rout of Borussia Dortmund on Nov. 9, Flick’s first match as caretaker boss. He’s scored seven times with 16 assists in the following 20 matches. Only five times in that stretch did Muller fail to register a goal or assist.

Bayern has a seven-point lead on Borussia Dortmund and an 11-point lead on RB Leipzig with four matches to play. RBL will be eliminated by Bayern’s next point, but BVB cannot be eliminated from the running until at least Week 32.

Imagine: Germany coach Joachim Low doesn’t have need for a player ringing up assist after assist because it’s about a new era. Must be nice.


How will the Cup semis affect the season?

Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich, and Eintracht Frankfurt are apart of German Cup semifinals at midweek.

They’ll be the only sides playing ahead of Weeks 31 and 32, as match days come in quick succession with midweek markers June 16-17.

Bayer Leverkusen go away to face fourth-tier darlings Saarbrucken in one semi on Tuesday before Bayern hosts Eintracht on Wednesday.

Eintracht and Bayern both play Weds-Sat, while Bayer gets a bit more rest leading into the match thanks to a Sunday visit to Schalke.

A successful Cup run can bring added momentum to a club but it’s difficult to imagine it’ll be a blessing in this terribly congested run to the end of the season.

The German Cup Final will be played June 30 at the Olympiadstadion in Berlin.


Team of the Week

Horn (Koln)

Brosinski (Mainz) — Niakhate (Mainz) — Can (Dortmund) — Augustinsson (Bremen)

Schlager (Wolfsburg) —  Kimmich (Bayern)

Goretzka (Bayern) — Andrich (Union Berlin)

 Muller (Bayern) — Hennings (Fortuna)

  • We saw the center back mode of Emre Can produce a goal as Dortmund picked up a 1-0 win over in-form Hertha.
  • Mainz left back Daniel Brosinski cued up center back Moussa Niakhate’s goal in a huge 2-0 win for the relegation-threatened club, but the pair played a complete game at the back, too.
  • Rouwen Hennings attempted seven shots in getting two goals for Fortuna, still aiming to peek above the bottom three.

Week 30 results and recaps

Freiburg 1-0 Borussia Monchengladbach — RECAP
Fortuna Dusseldorf 2-2 Hoffenheim — RECAP
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-2 Mainz — RECAP
RB Leipzig 1-1 Paderborn — RECAP
Bayer Leverkusen 2-4 Bayern Munich — RECAP
Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Hertha Berlin — RECAP
Werder Bremen 0-1 Wolfsburg — RECAP
Union Berlin 1-1 Schalke — RECAP
Augsburg 1-1 Koln — RECAP

Week 31 fixtures

Hoffenheim v. RB Leipzig — 2:30 p.m. ET Friday
Fortuna Dusseldorf v. Borussia Dortmund — 9:30 a.m. ET Saturday
Hertha Berlin v. Eintracht Frankfurt — 9:30 a.m. ET Saturday
Wolfsburg v. Freiburg — 9:30 a.m. ET Saturday
Koln v. Union Berlin — 9:30 a.m. ET Saturday
Paderborn v. Werder Bremen — 9:30 a.m. ET Saturday
Bayern Munich v. Borussia Monchengladbach — 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday
Mainz v. Augsburg — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Schalke v. Bayer Leverkusen — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 30 22 4 4 90 30 60 11-2-2 11-2-2 70
 Borussia Dortmund 30 19 6 5 81 35 46 11-3-1 8-3-4 63
 RB Leipzig 30 16 11 3 75 32 43 7-7-1 9-4-2 59
 Mönchengladbach 30 17 5 8 57 36 21 10-2-3 7-3-5 56
 Bayer Leverkusen 30 17 5 8 56 40 16 7-4-4 10-1-4 56
 VfL Wolfsburg 30 12 9 9 42 36 6 4-6-5 8-3-4 45
 1899 Hoffenheim 30 12 7 11 42 50 -8 6-1-8 6-6-3 43
 SC Freiburg 30 11 8 11 39 41 -2 7-2-6 4-6-5 41
 Hertha BSC Berlin 30 10 8 12 43 51 -8 5-3-7 5-5-5 38
 FC Schalke 04 30 9 11 10 35 47 -12 5-6-4 4-5-6 38
 Eintracht Frankfurt 30 10 5 15 49 55 -6 6-4-5 4-1-10 35
 1. FC Köln 30 10 5 15 47 57 -10 6-3-6 4-2-9 35
 FC Augsburg 30 8 8 14 41 57 -16 5-5-5 3-3-9 32
 1. FC Union Berlin 30 9 5 16 35 53 -18 6-3-6 3-2-10 32
 FSV Mainz 05 30 9 4 17 39 62 -23 4-2-9 5-2-8 31
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 30 6 10 14 33 60 -27 4-5-6 2-5-8 28
 Werder Bremen 30 6 7 17 30 63 -33 1-3-11 5-4-6 25
 SC Paderborn 30 4 8 18 33 62 -29 2-2-11 2-6-7 20

Canada’s Davies shines again as Muller brands him Roadrunner (video)

Alphonso Davies
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Alphonso Davies sees your expectations and he moves past them with vigor.

The Canadian phenom again took the international spotlight and ran with it, past it, and over it on Tuesday as Bayern Munich put one hand on its eighth-straight Bundesliga title with a 1-0 win over Borussia Dortmund at the Westfalenstadion.

[ MORE: Latest Bundesliga news | Current table ]

We’ll get to the stats and the style in a bit, but let’s start with some video that showcases the elite physical package he’s built.

Davies isn’t grinding here and he’s actually a bit slow to recognize the danger as Erling Haaland works over David Alaba.

Haaland isn’t at top speed and balance, too, but it doesn’t matter. Davies is there in a hurry. And it’s also about what he does when he get there. There are plenty of speed merchants in the game, not all of them can tackle Erling Haaland.

[ RELATED: Real Madrid targeting Davies as Marcelo replacement ]

That’s why this viral soundbite from Thomas Muller is gaining a lot of traction (also because it’s funny).

The roadrunner quip is the main attraction, but hidden in it is the implication that Davies has these elite make-up skills but is only going to get better with experience and awareness. He’s cutting out Haaland a minute earlier.

Before you watch that, though, here’s what Davies said on the play.

“Obviously being a young player I get caught out of position a lot and I’m happy to have the speed I have. That’s a factor in my game that I use very well, but I think over the years going forward with this team I will definitely learn more about my position, better positioning so it doesn’t look like I’m out of position just running back as fast as I can to catch up.”

Davies moved from Vancouver Whitecaps to Bayern just last year, but is already the undisputed best player for the Canadian national team with five goals and eight assists in 17 caps.

His 54 tackles are tied for 16th amongst Bundesliga players (Remember: He’s 19).

His 72 dribbles are top in the league (Again: 19).

Only three players have won more duels than his 180 (Not 20 until November).

And his two professional matches of left back experience before October were with Bayern II in 3.Liga this Fall. That’s bonkers.

Meep-meep.

Five-star Bayern Munich handles Eintracht Frankfurt

Bayern Munich v Fortuna
Photo by A. Hassenstein/Getty Images for FC Bayern
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Bayern Munich’s attack looks ready for Tuesday’s Der Klassiker, but its defense was wobbly in a 5-2 win over Eintracht Frankfurt at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.

Alphonso Davies and Thomas Muller had a goal and an assist each, with Robert Lewandowski and Leon Goretzka also scoring as Bayern restored its four-point advantage over derby rivals Borussia Dortmund.

Martin Hinteregger scored twice off Sebastian Rode assists in the second half to bring the deficit from 3-0 to 3-2 but also scored a late own goal as Eintracht leaves Munich in 13th with 28 points.

[ BUNDESLIGA: Early match roundup — BVB, Bayer win ]

Muller now has 11 goals and 19 assists across all competitions this season, 17 of those assists enough to lead the Bundesliga. Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho collected his 16th earlier Saturday.

Lewandowski’s goal is his league-best 27th after scoring against Union Berlin last week. He has 41 in all competitions.

The win was revenge for Eintracht’s 5-1 defeat of 10-man Bayern in Frankfurt on Nov. 2, which cost Niko Kovac his job.

[ MORE: Latest Bundesliga news ]

Bayern Munich had all of the ball and was often deep in the Eintracht third, and its best chance came when Benjamin Pavard headed at goalkeeper Kevin Trapp in the 14th minute.

The breakthrough was coming, and Thomas Muller’s cross fell for Goretzka at the penalty spot for a solid side-footed finish.

Muller made it 2-0 when he settled a bounding Alphonso Davies cross and calmly passed the bouncing ball into the goal with his left foot.

[ REPORT: Davies wanted by Real Madrid ]

Eintracht brought on U.S. international Timothy Chandler at halftime, and he was promptly involved in Bayern’s third goal. Chandler, like many, couldn’t keep up with Robert Lewandowski in the race to Kingsley Coman’s cross.

A crack in the armor showed itself in the 52nd minute, as Austrian international Hinteregger took a loose ball off the turf and bounced it past Manuel Neuer.

Hinteregger made it 3-2 within three minutes, outleaping Robert Lewandowski to turn a free kick inside the far post.

Davies restored order when his press on the left led to a loose ball, and the Canadian beat Chandler to it to lash past Trapp.

Neuer made a fine save to keep it 4-2 moments later, as Hansi Flick will be questioning his defense ahead of Tuesday’s massive match.

An endangered Hinteregger couldn’t do much will his own goal to make it 5-2.

Filip Kostic rattled the woodwork for Eintracht in the 84th minute, another warning sign for Bayern.

Davies shines as Real Madrid reportedly pursues (video)

Alphonso Davies
Photo by A. Hassenstein/Getty Images for FC Bayern
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Bayern Munich is cruising past Eintracht Frankfurt in Week 27 with Canadian import Alphonso Davies shining again for the Bundesliga leaders

The 19-year-old left back crossed from Thomas Muller’s goal to make it 2-0 at the Allianz Arena, the assist standing as his seventh in all competitions and fifth in the Bundesliga.

He later scored his third goal of the season after Eintracht had pulled the score line to 3-2 with dogged pursuit of the ball.

[ MORE: Latest Bundesliga news ]

Davies moved from Vancouver Whitecaps to Bayern just last year, but is already undisputed best player for the Canadian national team with five goals and eight assists in 17 caps.

Bayern likely has little interest in selling him despite the potential to make a huge profit on the $10 million it spent to get him out of Major League Soccer.

Don Balon says the one team willing to tempt any other with big money is lurking, though; Real Madrid sees Davies as a potential replacement for legendary left-sided man Marcelo.

That’s big time, though Bayern will see Davies as a left back for potential to take the position for a decade. The Bavarians have a pretty celebrated history of players who’ve lined up at left back for parts of their careers including Bixente Lizarazu, David Alaba, and even Philip Lahm.

It’s a pretty sensational report, though we’ve seen Real spend big money on many of the world’s very top teen players in recent seasons, including Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, and Reinier Jesus.

How much money would it take to tempt Bayern in this climate? Elite left backs are perhaps the most premium position in the game.

[ RELATED: FC Cincinnati’s Gyau on his remarkable career in Germany ]

Plus for all his talent, Davies wouldn’t be terribly well-served by leaving a club that spent so much time, energy, and research on vetting him for a big role.

Here’s what former Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson told us about the recruitment process last year.

“Bayern did their homework. They watched the player, met the player, got references from people around him, then sat down with him and his representatives and laid down a five-year plan for him. In that plan was opportunities with first and second team, and that’s what people don’t understand with young players. It’s not just about what they do on a Saturday in front of 30,000 people. It’s what they do off the field. It’s what they do from Monday to Friday.”