Julian Green

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England rocks USMNT in Rooney send-off

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The United States men’s national team largely failed to show up at Wembley Stadium as England blasted the Yanks 3-0 on Thursday.

Callum Wilson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Jesse Lingard scored for England, who celebrated the career of Wayne Rooney before, during, and after the game.

The Yanks’ next game is Tuesday against Italy in Belgium, while England faces Croatia in the final match of the UEFA Nations League group stage.

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Brad Guzan was busy early, and defiant when his sliding intervention in the box felled Callum Wilson.

England wouldn’t be held for long, as the USMNT was truly poor in the first half hour of the match aside from a Christian Pulisic-inspired chance.

But it wasn’t just star play for Pulisic, who didn’t really look up to it until the second half.

He gave the ball away and the Three Lions attacked down the left flank. Pulisic’s lackadaisical tracking allowed Lingard an acre space to curl a delightful first goal around Guzan.

It was 2-0 within moments, this time with Jadon Sancho laying off for Alexander-Arnold to hit past Guzan, with Jorge Villafana sleepwalking on the left flank.

The U.S. was wasteful in possession, with Wil Trapp a minor bright spot in breaking up play. Julian Green forced Jordan Pickford into a rare save.

The second half was much better for the USMNT, and substitute Wayne Rooney was stymied by the hands of Brad Guzan in a bid for a goal in his final England match.

Wilson then scored on debut, side-footing a cross off the post and past a flailing Guzan. Rooney then had a stoppage time chance to beat Guzan, but the ex-Aston Villa keeper stooped to collect the ball.

What’s at stake for young USMNT in Brazil, Mexico friendlies?

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As soon as the U.S. men’s national team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, everything the program would do in the 11 months since that fateful night in Couva, Trinidad & Tobago, has been about (re-)building for the 2022 tournament in Qatar.

[ MORE: Tim Weah can’t escape famous name on back of PSG, USMNT jersey ]

This year, this month, this week are no different, with the Yanks in camp once again for a pair of friendlies against two sides who faced off in the round of 16 this summer: Brazil and Mexico. The following players have the most to gain (or lose) with strong (or poor) showing on Friday (8:30 p.m. ET) and Tuesday (9:30 p.m. ET).

(You won’t find blue-chip prospects likes Christian Pulisic — who’s not eveon on the roster — Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams or Tim Weah on this list, as they have already established themselves as likely building-block pieces for the 2022 and 2026 cycles.)

[ MORE: What is USMNT’s strongest XI to take on Brazil? ]

John Brooks and Matt Miazga

In a perfect world, Brooks (who’s now 25) and Miazga (23) are the ready-made left-right center-back partnership that comes good at multiple tournaments this throughout World Cup cycle, culminating in a dominant defensive display in Qatar. Extra emphasis on “a perfect world,” as Brooks has been injured far more than not the last two or three years. On the plus side, Miazga has made steps up in competition — with coinciding performances — each of the last two club seasons; now is the time for that to translate to a purple patch of international form, and having a consistent, stable partner would go a long way to that end.

Antonee Robinson

Speaking of defensive positions just begging to be won, the starting left back job has been up for grabs for 15 or 20 years. With more than 48 months left before the next World Cup (remember, it’ll be played in November and December), there’s no reason Dave Sarachan — and eventually a permanent coach, hopefully — shouldn’t give every possible chance to an exciting 21-year-old currently playing in England’s second division. Robinson, who’s on loan at Wigan Athletic (from Everton), shone brightly in his first two senior-team appearances earlier this year, against Bolivia and France.

[ MORE: That’s A Dive podcast: McKennie talks USMNT, Schalke ]

Kellyn Acosta

As bad as the last 12 months have been for the USMNT, one could make a strong case that Acosta has had an even worse 15-month downturn which began last summer, after the 2017 Gold Cup. Acosta, then 21, reportedly had multiple offers to go to Europe — which he badly wanted to do, but was prevented from doing by FC Dallas, his club at the time. His form plummeted, right alongside with Dallas’ season, and 2018 has somehow been even worse: sports hernia surgery in February, more lackluster performances for FCD, and eventually a trade to the then-last-place Colorado Rapids. Since making the move to Colorado in July, Acosta has trended upward while playing for a very bad team that has had nothing to play for since the season was less than a month old. For now, Acosta’s youth will be enough to continue being called up, but that’ll stop sometime over the next 24 months, at which point he’ll be 25. Still an immensely talented player, we just need to see the best version of Acosta re-emerge.

Julian Green

If we were to pretend that I asked you how old you think Julian Green is right, what would you say? That’s a great question, he has to be about 25 or 26 by now, right? Wrong, he only turned 23 a couple months ago. Theoretically speaking, there’s still time for him to become the best player in the world play the UEFA Champions League be a serviceable player for the USMNT. Here’s why that’s unlikely: he’s made more than 10 first-team league appearances just once in his career. Once. That was last season while on loan to Greuther Furth (he scored three goals in league 24 appearance), the club he signed for on a permanent basis this summer. He’s likely running out of options in Europe, but he’ll get one or two more chances stateside before his career runs out, which means he’ll likely get one or two more chances with the national team, the first — and possibly last — of which comes this week.

Americans Abroad in 2.Bundesliga: Parker joins Green on Furth

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When it comes to Americans Abroad, few leagues have as many active USMNT-eligible players than Germany’s second tier.

Maybe it’s a knock-on effect of Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT tenure, but seven players with American blood have taken part in matches over the first two weekends in 2.Bundesliga (four with U.S. connections have not).

[ MORE: Europa League wrap ]

Julian Green has yet to find the goal for Greuther Fuerth, but not for lack of trying. Only one player in the league is averaging more than his four shots per game.

U.S. eligible forward Shawn Parker signed with Greuther Fuerth on Wednesday.

Like Green, American-born goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm has collected four points with club Holstein Keil this season, keeping a clean sheet.

U.S. U-19 midfielder Kevin Lankford is in his third season with Heidenheim, and has made a start and a sub appearance in his two appearances.

2.Bundesliga

Julian Green, Greuther Fuerth — 2 matches, 153 minutes, eight shots
Next: Saturday vs. Paderborn

Joe Gyau, Duisburg — 1 appearance, 10 minutes
Next: Friday at Darmstadt

Terrence Boyd, Darmstadt — 2 appearances, 10 minutes
Next: Friday vs. Duisburg

Ken Gipson, Sandhausen — 1 appearance, 26 minutes
Next: Friday at Bochum

Kenneth Kronholm, Holstein Keil — 2 appearances, 180 minutes, clean sheet
Next: Sunday at Jahn Regensburg

Kevin Lankford, Heidenheim — 2 appearances, 1 start, 83 minutes
Next: Sunday at Dresden Dynamo

Jann George, Jahn Regensburg — 2 starts, 175 minutes
Next: Sunday vs. Holstein Keil

Yet to appear: McKinze Gaines, Darmstadt; Lennard Maloney, Union Berlin; Mario Rodriguez, Dynamo Dresden; Andrew Wooten, Sandhausen; Shawn Parker, Greuther Fuerth.

Five USMNT players to watch in club adventures

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The next level is within reach for these five Americans abroad, whether it’s a step to stardom or just a move toward finding a new permanent home.

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  1. Andriya Novakovich, Fortuna Sittard — He’s re-signed with Reading, but the Football League Championship side isn’t ready to hand him the keys to a big role (or lose him before he reaches peak value). The Wisconsin-born 21-year-old with two USMNT caps will attempt to bring his prolific Dutch second division season (19 goals for Telstar) to Eredivisie with promoted club Fortuna Sittard.
  2. Erik Palmer-Brown, NAC Breda — The 21-year-old center back has taken baby steps in Europe, but defending in the prolific Eredivisie (on loan from Manchester City) is a tall ask. While Matt Miazga’s proven he could handle the load, EPB will look to do the same.
  3. Tim Weah, Paris Saint-Germain — This one’s rather obvious, but we’re not watching to see whether the fiery young striker is quality. Rather, what would it say if the 18-year-old can get significant playing time with a Champions League mainstay?
  4. Julian Green, Greuther Furth — Last season’s loan to Furth was enough to make the 2.Bundesliga club want to buy the former Bayern Munich man from Stuttgart. Green is now 23, four years removed from his World Cup goal against Belgium but mere months from his friendly goal against France. Is the next step now?
  5. Emerson Hyndman, Bournemouth — The 22-year-old’s former club, Fulham, is now in the Premier League, and Hyndman sure is hoping to face them. He spent all of 2017-18 with the Cherries but only found the pitch in the final match, a year after making an impact on loan to Rangers. He may be set for another loan, but needs to break through wherever he ends up (and if he gets playing time, he’s a good bet for it. Smart player).

Julian Green joins second-division German side

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Julian Green has found another home in Germany, as the U.S. Men’s National Team attacker completed a new deal in 2.Bundesliga.

[ MORE: Lozano, Mexico defeat Germany in thrilling Group F opener ]

The 23-year-old signed a two-year contract with second-division side Greuther Furth on Sunday, after having spent last season on loan with the club.

“From the beginning, I felt the trust of those responsible and of the coach. I feel very good in Furth and am convinced about the path we are on,” Green told the Greuther Furth website.

“Here, I made a return to the national team and I get the opportunity to develop myself and continue to improve. I’m looking forward to the new season.”

Green was previously a member of Stuttgart, but only appeared in 10 matches with the senior team.

In his brief international career, Green has scored four goals in 10 games for the USMNT, including against Belgium at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.