John Brooks

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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)

Bundesliga wrap: Gladbach stays top, Werner runs riot for Leipzig

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There’s no unbeaten team left in the Bundesliga and the serial winners sit fourth as Germany’s top flight continues to spin heads.

[ MORE: Another big day for Pulisic ]

Bayern Munich lost again, ‘Gladbach won again, and Wolfsburg fell for the first time this season despite a strong day from USMNT center back John Brooks.

Scenes.

Borussia Dortmund 3-0 Wolfsburg

Thorgan Hazard registered a goal and an assist, while Raphael Guerreiro and Mario Gotze also chipped in to hand Wolfsburg its first loss of the season and send BVB into second with 19 points.

Rested at midweek, Brooks had a strong day with seven interceptions, two tackles, and 7 of 10 duels won. He was also credited with two key passes. Now, if he could just stay healthy to the international break.

RB Leipzig 8-0 Mainz

Timo Werner scored three goals and added three assists in a remarkable performance, Leipzig building a 5-0 lead by halftime through his first and markers by Marcel Sabitzer, Christopher Nkunku, Marcel Halstenberg, and Yussuf Poulsen. Nordi Mukiele also scored. Leipzig is third, ahead of Bayern and Freiburg on goal difference.

Eintracht Frankfurt 5-1 Bayern Munich

A ninth minute sending off of Jerome Boateng put already defense-weary Bayern in a real bind, and Eintracht took advantage in building a 2-1 halftime lead. FIlip Kostic had a goal and an assist as five different Eintracht players made their mark.

Alphonso Davies set up Robert Lewandowski’s goal to extend the Polish striker’s incredible season record to 14 goals in 10 league matches. He has scored in all 11 of Bayern’s league outings.

Bayer Leverkusen 1-2 Borussia Monchengladbach

An explosive first half saw the leaders take and lose the lead before grabbing it for good thanks to red-hot Marcus Thuram.

Werder Bremen 2-2 Freiburg

Bremen continues to weather a tricky storm of fixtures, with Milot Rashica staying in form with a goal and an assist. American teen Josh Sargent came off the bench for the hosts, making an interception with a key pass and 11 touches in 18 minutes.

Union Berlin 1-0 Hertha Berlin

Sebastian Polter’s 90th minute penalty won the first Berlin Derby in the history of the Bundesliga. Seems crazy that there hadn’t been one yet! Union is now out of the bottom three and just a point back of Hertha.

Elsewhere

Hoffenheim 3-0 Paderborn — Friday
Fortuna Dusseldorf v. Koln — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Augsburg v. Schalke — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Mönchengladbach 10 7 1 2 21 10 11 3-1-1 4-0-1 22
 Borussia Dortmund 10 5 4 1 23 11 12 4-1-0 1-3-1 19
 RB Leipzig 10 5 3 2 25 10 15 2-2-1 3-1-1 18
 Bayern Munich 10 5 3 2 25 16 9 3-1-1 2-2-1 18
 SC Freiburg 10 5 3 2 19 12 7 2-2-1 3-1-1 18
 Eintracht Frankfurt 10 5 2 3 21 15 6 4-2-0 1-0-3 17
 VfL Wolfsburg 10 4 5 1 11 8 3 2-3-0 2-2-1 17
 1899 Hoffenheim 10 5 2 3 14 13 1 3-0-2 2-2-1 17
 FC Schalke 04 9 4 3 2 14 9 5 2-2-1 2-1-1 15
 Bayer Leverkusen 10 4 3 3 15 15 0 2-3-1 2-0-2 15
 Hertha BSC Berlin 10 3 2 5 15 17 -2 2-0-2 1-2-3 11
 Werder Bremen 10 2 5 3 17 21 -4 1-2-2 1-3-1 11
 1. FC Union Berlin 10 3 1 6 10 15 -5 3-0-3 0-1-3 10
 FSV Mainz 05 10 3 0 7 10 27 -17 2-0-2 1-0-5 9
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 9 2 1 6 10 16 -6 1-1-2 1-0-4 7
 1. FC Köln 9 2 1 6 9 19 -10 1-0-3 1-1-3 7
 FC Augsburg 9 1 4 4 10 21 -11 1-2-1 0-2-3 7
 SC Paderborn 10 1 1 8 11 25 -14 1-0-4 0-1-4 4

Questions, possible full squad for USMNT’s decisive November

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USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter has announced 20 MLS players vying to be a part of November’s decisive CONCACAF Nations League group stage matches versus Canada and Cuba.

The group will train Nov. 2-9 before being pared down, eventually joined by European-based players as well as several Toronto FC and Seattle Sounders players following the MLS Cup on Nov. 10.

[ MORE: Berhalter calls up 20 ]

Berhalter’s had a pretty notable week, earning the loyalty of Sergino Dest and apologizing to away supporters for his ignorance following October’s embarrassing loss in Canada.

It’s important to note that, knock on wood, Berhalter is going to have as rich selection of players as he’s had in some time with Dest in the fold and John Brooks returning to fitness.

We’re getting to the point, finally, when playing first team minutes for your club is no longer enough because there are so many players who qualify. Even without Adams and the injured Tim Weah, there is a legit 18 that can be formed without including a single domestic-based player*.

Here are the biggest questions to be answered when the rest of the call-ups come:

  • Is the camp injury that cost Miles Robinson his Atlanta United playoff run enough to further limit his participation?
  • Will Richie Ledezma, the teenage playmaker who made his first game day for PSV Eindhoven and is also eligible to represent Mexico, get cap-tied early? If Berhalter is comfortable in his job, there’s no reason not to take a look.
  • Can New England’s Matt Turner impress enough to knock Sean Johnson or Brad Guzan from the final squad once Zack Steffen is added, and is there another European goalkeeper on Berhalter’s radar?
  • Will Chase Gasper impress enough to knock Daniel Lovitz down the left back pecking order? Moreover, which defenders will get squeezed by the additions of Dest and Brooks? And is there room for Antonee Robinson?
  • Could Tyler Boyd’s relegation to thrice unused sub for Besiktas open up a spot in the forward corps?
  • Might Tyler Adams get a call-up even if he’s not fit to play a significant role? Same for Jozy Altidore?

Predicted USMNT roster

Goalkeepers (3): Zack Steffen (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), Sean Johnson (New York City FC)

Defenders (8): DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United), John Brooks (Wolfsburg), Matt Miazga (Reading), Sergino Dest (Ajax), Tim Ream (Fulham), Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC)

Midfielders (8): Weston McKennie (Schalke), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Alfredo Morales (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC).

Forwards (7): Tyler Boyd (Besiktas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen), Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew), Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC).


Spurned: Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Stoke City), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas), Duane Holmes (Derby County), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew), Omar Gonzalez (Toronto FC)


*Here is an example of an 18 that does not include any MLS players, and I’m not saying this is the best 18 at all, as at least Jordan Morris, Jozy Altidore, and Sebastien Lletget all fit the bill for any 18: Zack Steffen, Ethan Horvath, DeAndre Yedlin, Sergino Dest, John Brooks, Matt Miazga, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson, Weston McKennie, Alfredo Morales, Julian Green, Duane Holmes, Lynden Gooch, Richie Ledezma, Christian Pulisic, Tyler Boyd, Josh Sargent.

Americans Abroad: Pulisic shines with hat trick, Sargent assists

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A handful of Americans had a splendid weekend abroad.

Just ask Christian Pulisic, who took the world by storm as he became the youngest player to record a hat trick with Chelsea. The 21-year-old registered a perfect hat trick at Turf Moor in the Blues’ 4-2 win over Burnley on Saturday.

Over in the Bundesliga, Josh Sargent recorded his second assist of the season in Werder Bremen’s 2-2 draw against Bayer Leverkusen. Also in Germany, John Brooks returned to Wolfsburg’s starting lineup.

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 had a historic night on Saturday. The Pennsylvanian scored three goals in under 60 minutes against Burnley on Saturday.

DeAndre Yedlin, Newcastle — Yedlin started and played 90 minutes in Newcastle’s 1-1 draw against Wolves on Sunday. The fullback has likely locked in his starting role in Steve Bruce‘s scheme after coming back from injury last month.

EFL Championship

Antonee Robinson, Wigan Athletic — Robinson is a fixture at Wigan. The young left back started and played the full 90 minutes as Wigan picked up a point against Bristol City on Sunday.

Matt Miazga, Reading (loan from Chelsea) — Reading’s match against Nottingham Forrest was rescheduled on Saturday.

Eric Lichaj, Hull City — The Tigers captain started and played the full 90 minutes in Hull City’s 2-0 win over Derby County on Saturday.

Geoff Cameron, QPR — The 34-year-old defender and QPR face Brentford on Monday.

Tim Ream, Fulham — Ream started and played 90 minutes in Fulham’s 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Cameron Carter-Vickers, Stoke City (loan Tottenham Hotspur) — Carter-Vickers started and went the full 90 minutes in Stoke City’s 2-0 defeat to Millwall on Saturday. The Potter’s demise continues, and Carter-Vickers is a part of it.

Duane Holmes, Derby County — Holmes started and played 90 minutes for Derby County.

EFL League One

Lynden Gooch, Sunderland – Gooch didn’t play in Sunderland’s 1-0 loss to Shrewsbury Town on Saturday.

Bundesliga

John Brooks, Wolfsburg – The 26-year-old defender started and played 90 in Wolfsburg’s 0-0 draw against Augsburg on Saturday. He made two tackles, won six duels, and made two clearances.

Weston McKennie, Schalke —  McKennie didn’t dress for Schalke on Saturday.

Zack Steffen and Alfredo Morales, Fortuna Dusseldorf — Steffen started and played all 90 minutes in Fortuna Dusseldorf’s 2-0 defeat to Paderborn. Morales came off the bench and played 25 minutes.

Josh Sargent, Werder Bremen  In 84 minutes of playing time, Sargent registered an assist in Werder Bremen’s 2-2 draw against Bayer Leverkusen.

Tyler Adams, RB Leipzig — Adams didn’t dress in RB Leipzig’s loss against Freiburg on Saturday.

Fabian Johnson, Borussia Mönchengladbach Johnson didn’t feature on Borussia Mönchengladbach’s 18 this weekend.

Timmy Chandler, Eintracht Frankfurt — Chandler came off the bench and played 11 minutes in Frankfurt’s 4-2 loss to Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Julian Green, Greuther Furth – The 24-year-old midfielder started and played the full 90 minutes for Greuther Furth. Unfortunately, they lost 2-0 to league-leading Stuttgart in the 2. Bundesliga.

Khiry Shelton, Paderborn – The 26-year-old winger dressed but didn’t play in Paderborn’s loss.

Eredivisie

Sergino Dest, Ajax — Dest started, registered one assist and played 81 minutes in Ajax’s smothering of Feyenoord. An update on his international future is expected soon.

Haji Wright, VVV-Venlo — The 21-year-old striker started and played 78 minutes in VVV’s 4-1 loss to Fortuna Sittard.

Desevio Payne, FC Emmen — Payne didn’t dress for FC Emmen over the weekend.

Ligue 1

Timothy Weah, Lille — Weah remains sidelined with a muscular injury. There’s no timeline on his return.

Theoson Jordan-Siebatcheu, Rennes — Siebatcheu came off the bench and registered an assist in Rennes’ 3-2 win over Toulouse.

Honorable Mentions:

Emmanuel Sabbi, Hobro – The 21-year-old winger started and scored a goal in Hobro’s 1-1 draw with Silkeborg on Sunday.

Bundesliga wrap: Gladbach goes first, Wolfsburg still unbeaten

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We’ve got a new table leader, and the Foals of Borussia Monchengladbach won a wild one at home to move a point clear of Bayern Munich on Sunday.

[ MORE: Man Utd tops Norwich City ]

Saturday saw a draw in the Revier Derby and a RB Leipzig loss to Freiburg to allow Bayern Munich to climb first, but that lasted just one day.

Borussia Monchengladbach 4-2 Eintracht Frankfurt

Four different goal scorers found the mark as Gladbach built a 2-0 lead and outlasted a pair of comeback efforts at Borussia-Park.

Twenty-two year old Marcus Thuram, Lilian’s son, scored the opener to give him for five goals since arriving from Guingamp this summer.

Gladbach now has to defend the lead during a tough stretch which includes Dortmund away in the cup, Bayer away in league play, and Roma at home in the Europa League.

Wolfsburg 0-0 Augsburg

Disappointing for John Brooks’ men, who could’ve gone top of the table in the USMNT center back’s return from injury, but Wolfsburg remains the league’s only unbeaten team (4W-5D) following a draw which saw a would-be winner called back by VAR

Elsewhere

Friday
Mainz 3-1 Koln

Saturday
Freiburg 2-1 RB Leipzig
Hertha Berlin 2-3 Hoffenheim
Bayern Munich 2-1 Union Berlin
Schalke 0-0 Borussia Dortmund
Paderborn 2-0 Fortuna Dusseldorf
Bayer Leverkusen 2-2 Werder Bremen

Standings

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Mönchengladbach 9 6 1 2 19 9 10 3-1-1 3-0-1 19
 Bayern Munich 9 5 3 1 24 11 13 3-1-1 2-2-0 18
 SC Freiburg 9 5 2 2 17 10 7 2-2-1 3-0-1 17
 VfL Wolfsburg 9 4 5 0 11 5 6 2-3-0 2-2-0 17
 Borussia Dortmund 9 4 4 1 20 11 9 3-1-0 1-3-1 16
 RB Leipzig 9 4 3 2 17 10 7 1-2-1 3-1-1 15
 FC Schalke 04 9 4 3 2 14 9 5 2-2-1 2-1-1 15
 Bayer Leverkusen 9 4 3 2 14 13 1 2-3-0 2-0-2 15
 Eintracht Frankfurt 9 4 2 3 16 14 2 3-2-0 1-0-3 14
 1899 Hoffenheim 9 4 2 3 11 13 -2 2-0-2 2-2-1 14
 Hertha BSC Berlin 9 3 2 4 15 16 -1 2-0-2 1-2-2 11
 Werder Bremen 9 2 4 3 15 19 -4 1-1-2 1-3-1 10
 FSV Mainz 05 9 3 0 6 10 19 -9 2-0-2 1-0-4 9
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 9 2 1 6 10 16 -6 1-1-2 1-0-4 7
 1. FC Union Berlin 9 2 1 6 9 15 -6 2-0-3 0-1-3 7
 1. FC Köln 9 2 1 6 9 19 -10 1-0-3 1-1-3 7
 FC Augsburg 9 1 4 4 10 21 -11 1-2-1 0-2-3 7
 SC Paderborn 9 1 1 7 11 22 -11 1-0-4 0-1-3 4