Tyler Adams

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The USMNT player pool in Europe is as promising as ever

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It would be a challenge to put together a Best XI from Americans performing in Europe this Saturday.

That’s for two reasons, not one of them because there aren’t 11 players worthy of the honor.

One is goalkeepers: Zack Steffen is hurt and Ethan Horvath backing up Simon Mignolet.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule

The other is pretty great: There are many more than 11 players thriving in Europe even with Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Zack Steffen, and Timothy Weah not available for selection.

It’s a weekly thing now. Gregg Berhalter trains a strong and mostly-MLS squad for January friendlies, The Americans Abroad round-ups on our site have shown plenty of progress for those eligible for the USMNT.

There was a time when Haji Wright coming off the bench for VVV-Venlo in the Netherlands had a shot at being the highlight of the weekend.

Now it’s a footnote. The 21-year-old is a regular for the relegation-threatened side after a transfer from Schalke. If anything, the discussion is about two in-a-row off the bench after a run of 10-straight league starts.

Consider this list of players, now that Aston Villa’s Indiana Vassilev and Borussia Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna made league debuts in the same weekend.

First team players in top tier leagues

Zack Steffen (Man City, on loan to Dusseldorf)
Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge)
DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United)
Sergino Dest (Ajax)
John Brooks (Wolfsburg)
Alfredo Morales (Fortuna Dusseldorf)
Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig)
Weston McKennie (Schalke)
Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)
Tyler Boyd (Besiktas)
Indiana Vassilev (Aston Villa)
Haji Wright (VVV Venlo)
Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund)
Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen)
Tim Weah (Lille)

Dig deeper and there’s more: Matt Miazga (Reading), Tim Ream (Fulham), Geoff Cameron (QPR), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic), and Duane Holmes (Derby County) have been regulars in the English Championship. Same for Julian Green (Greuther Furth) in 2.Bundesliga and in-form Lynden Gooch at League One’s Sunderland. Niko Hamalainen (Kilmarnock) is a regular starter in the Scottish Premiership.

Then there are heralded U-20 and U-17 prospects Chris Gloster (Jong PSV), Chris Richards (Bayern Munich II), Richie Ledezma (PSV Eindhoven), Alex Mendez (Ajax), Sebastian Soto (Hannover 96), Johnny Cardoso (Internacional), Ulysses Lainez (Wolfsburg II). Some have taken first team bows while others have made the bench or ar eon the verge.

And we’re just talking Europe here, as the U.S. still has a bevy of reliable international players playing domestically like Jordan Morris, Miles Robinson, and Jozy Altidore amongst others. That’s leaving alone the caliber of Homegrown players being produced by Major League Soccer academies, Paxton Pomykal and Djordje Mihailovic among them (Reyna and Richards, too).

In terms of potential, American soccer is at a golden age. This makes Brian McBride’s new role as USMNT general manager even more important, as he teams up with Gregg Berhalter to put the best possible American team together for qualifying.

One thing’s for sure, the player pool is deep and no longer an excuse. Game on.

Bundesliga wrap: Adams, Werner star as Leipzig pads lead

Americans star in Bundesliga play
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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

Bundesliga wrap: Adams returns, Leipzig goes top; Bayern teen strikes again

Tyler Adams Bundesliga Leipzig
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American midfielder Tyler Adams returned to the field for the first time since the summer as RB Leipzig held onto the table’s first position on Saturday in the Bundesliga.

RB Leipzig blasted Augsburg and has a little breathing room after Jurgen Klinsmann’s Hertha Berlin drew Gladbach to continue his fine early tenure

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Bayern Munich again got teenage heroics to move third.

RB Leipzig 3-1 Augsburg

Adams’ first action in more than a half-year saw the 20-year-old go 86 minutes at right back. The New Yorker had two interceptions and won 7 of 10 duels while making 84 touches and being fouled four times.

He didn’t factor in the scoring, as Leipzig trailed to an 8th minute Florian Niederlechner goal until breaking out for three in the second half. Konrad Laimer, Patrik Schick, and Yussuf Poulsen scored, and RBL leads the table by two points.

Bayern Munich 2-0 Wolfsburg

USMNT center back John Brooks and the visitors put a scare into the reigning champs, but late heroics came from a familiar place as Bayern broke through for all three points.

Teenager Joshua Zirkzee came on as a late sub and again scored with one of his first touches, just like he did at midweek.

The 83rd minute marker was followed quickly by a Serge Gnabry goal, also just like midweek.

Hertha Berlin 0-0 Borussia Monchengladbach

The new manager bounce is real in Berlin, where Jurgen Klinsmann has led Hertha to a 2W-2D-1L mark. The club was 3-1-7 when he took over, and this time got a point against second place Gladbach. Hertha kept Gladbach from manufacturing a single “big chance,” according to SofaScore.

The fixtures haven’t been easy: Borussia Dortmund (loss), Eintracht Frankfurt (draw), Freiburg (win), Bayer (win), and now Gladbach.

Elsewhere
Hoffenheim 2-1 Borussia Dortmund — Friday
Koln 1-0 Werder Bremen
Mainz 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen
Schalke 2-2 Freiburg
Fortuna Dusseldorf v. Koln — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Paderborn v. Eintracht Frankfurt — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 RB Leipzig 17 11 4 2 48 20 28 5-2-1 6-2-1 37
 Mönchengladbach 17 11 2 4 33 18 15 7-1-1 4-1-3 35
 Bayern Munich 17 10 3 4 46 22 24 6-1-2 4-2-2 33
 Borussia Dortmund 17 8 6 3 41 24 17 5-3-0 3-3-3 30
 FC Schalke 04 17 8 6 3 29 21 8 4-4-1 4-2-2 30
 Bayer Leverkusen 17 8 4 5 23 21 2 3-4-2 5-0-3 28
 1899 Hoffenheim 17 8 3 6 25 28 -3 4-1-4 4-2-2 27
 SC Freiburg 17 7 5 5 27 23 4 4-2-2 3-3-3 26
 VfL Wolfsburg 17 6 6 5 18 18 0 3-4-2 3-2-3 24
 FC Augsburg 17 6 5 6 28 31 -3 4-2-2 2-3-4 23
 1. FC Union Berlin 16 6 2 8 19 22 -3 5-0-4 1-2-4 20
 Hertha BSC Berlin 17 5 4 8 22 29 -7 3-1-4 2-3-4 19
 Eintracht Frankfurt 16 5 3 8 26 27 -1 4-3-2 1-0-6 18
 FSV Mainz 05 17 6 0 11 25 39 -14 3-0-5 3-0-6 18
 1. FC Köln 17 5 2 10 19 32 -13 3-1-4 2-1-6 17
 Werder Bremen 17 3 5 9 23 41 -18 1-2-5 2-3-4 14
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 16 3 3 10 16 35 -19 2-1-4 1-2-6 12
 SC Paderborn 16 2 3 11 18 35 -17 1-1-6 1-2-5 9

USMNT star Adams returns to RB Leipzig training

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American midfielder Tyler Adams is finally returning to training with RB Leipzig.

Adams, 20, played in 12 matches for the Bundesliga side last season, and Leipzig only lost two.

[ MORE: Agudelo heads to Toronto FC ]

He’d missed USMNT duty at the Gold Cup as well as the entire RBL preseason with a groin problem, as well as Leipzig’s first three months.

In his absence, the club is a point off the league lead and has already advanced to the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League under new coach Julian Nagelsmann.

The question is whether the new boss will rate him as much as Ralf Rangnick. He’s unquestionably a wonderful talent, but faces a similar challenge to what Christian Pulisic stared down in his start at Chelsea (although Adams has a half-season under his belt with Leipzig).

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)