Adams suffers reinjury, Pulisic & Balogun enjoy big days, Maloney & Paredes impress
October 01, 2023
THE WEEKEND FOR Americans abroad had a lot of ups and downs. Yes, the big games from Christian Pulisic, Folarin Balogun, and a few others were very good. But there is no getting past the reinjury to Tyler Adams, which left a cloud over everything this weekend. Even as he beings rehabbing, there are now lingering questions moving forward why he can’t stay healthy.
Overall, there are more positive stories to start this season. Pulisic is finally doing well and at a place where he is appreciated. The same is the case for Sergino Dest (who is getting over an illness). But if you go through many of the key players, there is still a lack of playing time. Players like Ricardo Pepi, Brenden Aaronson, Tim Weah, Joe Scally, Tyler Adams, Gio Reyna, and Josh Sargent are either injured or struggling to see the field.
Unfortunately, that was a big theme this weekend.
Here are my thoughts on it all.
Adams suffers reinjury
Big story this weekend was the unfortunate news that Tyler Adams has suffered a reinjury following his 20-minute midweek shift for AFC Bournemouth in a 2-0 win over Stoke City in the Carabao Cup. That was his club debut for Bournemouth and his first performance since his initial hamstring injury in March.
Following Bournemouth’s 4-0 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday, manager
Andoni Iraola spoke to the Bournemouth Echo about Adams, who was not on the matchday roster.
“I don’t know what to call it, a setback, but he is not feeling well,” Iraola said. “He has been out for a lot of time, so we have to reassess, to reset, to take the good decisions, thinking in everything. It is true that he is going to be out for some time, for sure. I think it’s the same area. I couldn’t tell you if it’s exactly the same point, but it’s true that it’s his hamstring that he is not feeling well.”
This is terrible news as Admas had been rehabbing his hamstring for months and there were reports of a setback earlier the summer. Now, following just 20 minutes, he is back on the sidelines for another extended period.
For Bournemouth, this is terrible news because the club could very easily find itself in a relegation battle and Adams is the type of player they need to push towards midtable. His absence at Leeds was a huge reason for the club’s downfall in the final months. But with a reinjury, how cautious will Bournemouth be with him once he is ready?
For the U.S. national team, it is not quite as bad. Yes, the club has Nations League games in November, but the next time the team truly needs Adams will be next summer for the Copa America. There is plenty of time for him to return for that. He is also so familiar with his team that he can walk back into the team after an absence of over a year.
Now the U.S. will be forced to address the always lingering question over who is the backup for Adams? Last cycle it was Kellyn Acosta with Johnny Cardoso in consideration. Recently it has been shifting Yunus Musah deeper. Likely for the remainder of 2023, Gregg Berhalter will need to explore this.
But the long-term worry over Adams is very real. When he first moved to Leipzig, he missed several months with an injury. Then there have been other minor absences. Now there is a hamstring pull and an immediate reinjury. It does hurt his reputation as being unreliable. The worst news would be if Bournemouth goes down after this season. Adams might have to go down with them.
Pulisic enjoys big outing
On Saturday in Serie A, AC Milan cruised to a 2-0 win over Lazio to move to 18 points from seven games (six wins and a loss). Christian Pulisic started and played 82 minutes while Yunus Musah came off the bench in the 29th minute to replace an injured Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Pulisic scored the opening goal in the 60th minute on a play that was an excellent finish but also an even better reading of the defense.
Goal from Christian Pulisic! The #USMNT winger is cuts in from the left side behind the play. Lazio fails to pick him up, and he’s open for a shot from the middle of the box. Nice read on the play by CP pic.twitter.com/d4D5yxTksi— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) September 30, 2023
Especially, look at the moment when Pulisic is just outside the penalty area. Lazio left back Elseid Hysaj (#23) clearly thought he had Pulisic figured out. He assumed Pulisic was going to make a direct run to the far post and Hysaj was content he could win that race to the back post and cut off a cross. But that thinking turned into ball watching and Hysaj didn't bother to pick up Pulisic’s other option to the middle. Pulisic rand towards the middle of the box, behind the defense, near the penalty spot and was wide open for a shot.
It was an excellent read by Pulisic and another big impact game for him at Milan. He started the season very strong in the first three games, was quiet for a few games, and now has had two more big games in a row. In his first two months at the club, AC Milan are surely happy with their purchase.
Very good finish. For me, the best thing Pulisic did was in this moment. Lazio defenders think he's going to make a straight run to the far post in hopes to tap in a low cross. But CP instead makes a run behind the defenders towards the penalty spot. Lazio didn't see it coming https://t.co/lS21OjwjlW pic.twitter.com/zvJaRUltlu— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) September 30, 2023
AC Milan are likely very happy with the purchase of Musah as well. He’s a bit more raw than Pulisic and it is a process getting him towards extended minutes, but he’s getting there. His minutes are gradually increasing and the team is playing better when he’s on the field. His dribble is particularly useful in opening up the games for others as he draws defenders towards him to create space which he can either exploit or it gives him more room to find teammates in more dangerous areas.
Balogun’s big rebound
I said last week that we were going to learn a lot about Folarin Balogun in the weeks ahead. Last weekend in Monaco’s 1-0 loss to Nice, Balogun missed two penalties and was visibly frustrated. It was the worst game of his young professional career, and we hadn’t seen him tested like this mentally.
On Saturday at home against Marseille, he responded with one of his best performances, so far. The New York-born Balogun, 21, ended up scoring a goal and adding an assist in a big 3-2 win. He was the best player on the field this day.
With Monaco trailing 2-1 in the 23rd minute, Balogun found an equalizer on a fantastic run, move, and finish where he beat three Marseille defenders.
Folarin Balogun… impressive pic.twitter.com/O5B0jtloXd— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) September 30, 2023
Then in the 52nd minute, he assisted on the winning goal with perhaps an even better effort where he used fantastic control in tight space.
Overall, the talent and the skill Balogun showed in this game was extremely impressive. But the mentality to quickly move beyond a terrible game and then play at your best was even more important. It is a skill that the best forwards have. They don’t let a bad game put them into a funk.
Brooks struggles, Gio unused on Friday
On Friday in the Bundesliga, Hoffenheim dropped a 3-1 decision at home to Borussia Dortmund. Both teams were high in the table entering the day with Hoffenheim in sixth and Dortmund in fifth. In the end, this turned out to be a tough day at the office for three Americans.
First for Hoffenheim’s American manager Pellegrino Matarazzo, this was a winnable game. After starting the season so well, there were hopes Hoffenheim could prevail against a top Bundesliga team at tome.
Second, for John Brooks, he was completely at fault for the opening goal in the 18th minute. The second Dortmund goal was due to confusion among Hoffenheim defenders and Brooks was in position to make a clearance but may have been called off by a goalkeeper. In the end, he went 84 minutes in the loss. Brooks is on the outside of the national team and this won’t help him.
BVB strike first on a mistake by Hoffenheim’s John Brooks— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) September 29, 2023
(reposting with legal video) pic.twitter.com/7Chq2NGkl8
Then there is Gio Reyna who was an unused substitute again for the third straight game and he is yet to play for Dortmund this season. Dortmund wasn’t great in this game, but thanks to Hoffenheim mistakes, it was a great result and that makes it harder for Reyna to play. Manager Edin Terzic seems unlikely to change a winning formula.
Tillman’s nice day at the office
It was expected that Eredivisie-leading PSV Eindhoven would have an easy time on Saturday against last-place and winless Volendam. In the end, that happened as PSV won 3-1 to remain perfect with 21 points from seven games, while Volendam now has just one point from seven games.
What was a bit surprising was that American Malik Tillman was the man of the match in this game for PSV with an impressive goal and an assist. It was even more surprising because just last week, he was dropped from the matchday roster due to oversleeping. But Peter Bosz decided not for an extended punishment for Tillman and gave him a surprising start.
In the 47th minute, Tillman delivered a fantastic assist to Guus Til with a lovely chip over the defense for a 2-0 PSV lead.
#PSV bleibt im Topform: Guus #Til (früher: SC Freiburg) erhöht auf 2:0 (47.) für den Tabellenführer, die Torvorlage erfolgte durch Malik Tillman (früher: FC Bayern). #PSVVOL pic.twitter.com/lacVzdTJqD— oranjefussball ???????? (@oranjefussball) September 30, 2023
Then in the last minute of stoppage time with Volendam down to 10 players, Tillman added a goal when he moved into the box and fired a shot past a frozen goalkeeper.
But this was a great outing for Tillman to establish a role at PSV that will include more playing time. Yes, Volendam is bad, but this was a starting point and Tillman showed up.
Sergino Dest returned from missing a midweek game due to illness to make the bench but he did not play. Ricardo Pepi played the final 20 minutes for PSV and it was uneventful for him. Eventually he will play more, but that will only come when Bosz realizes there is a need to rotate Luuk de Jong. That point will eventually come and Pepi has done enough to at least start building positive trust with Bosz.
Another bit of good news on the American front in this game is that Zach Booth was strong for Volendam when he played the final 18 months off the bench. He only had two completed passes ( but was 2/2) but he was also 2/2 in his dribbles, 2/2 in his tackles, and was 6/7 in his ground duels.
????? 'Enjoy the game and work hard. That's what I did' #PSVVOL— PSV (@PSV) September 30, 2023
With Volendam struggling so badly, it’s only a matter of time before they give Booth a shot to try something different. He’s at the club on loan from Leicester but if the club wants to make a battle to avoid relegation, they need to mix things up.
Booth, along with his older brother Zach, are eligible for the U.S. Olympic team. Zach is injured at the moment but it will be interesting to see if Zach gets a look with the team in the upcoming camps.
Paredes sharp off the bench
On Saturday, Wolfsburg defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 and two members of the 2003-born American class came off the bench.
With the score 1-0, Kevin Paredes came off the bench for Wolfsburg in the 79th minute and Paxten Aaronson came off the bench in the 82nd minute.
In the 84th minute, Paredes made a move into the box and drew a penalty which was converted by Jonas Wind for his second of the game and a 2-0 lead.
PERDEU O PÊNALTI, MAS SE REDIMIU! ????— ???????????????????? ???????????????????????????? (@NossoFutebol__) September 30, 2023
Kevin Trapp defendeu a cobrança de Wind, mas o artilheiro não desperdiçou o rebote e fez o segundo do Wolfsburg pra garantir a vitória sobre Eintracht Frankfurt na #NossaBundesliga! pic.twitter.com/tpyBVsXC0f
Paredes has had some very good moments off the bench over the past year and a half but has been unable to earn many starting opportunities. What is going to get him to that point? Will it take a loan, will it just take reps? At what point, what is the plan for Wolfsburg to help Paredes with the next step?
For Aaronson, his eight minutes off the bench were relatively uneventful but he has at least been earning the occasional start. Again, is a loan in the cards for him?
Internationally, both of these players have the talent to be on the U.S. national team but both would benefit tremendously from leading the Olympic team. But the big question is whether their clubs would entertain a release.
Maloney & Heidenheim stun Union Berlin
On Saturday in the Bundesliga, FC Heidenheim stunned Union Berlin 1-0 to move to ninth place with seven points from six games. Entering into this season, few gave Heidenheim a chance to survive in its first ever season in the top flight (and was an amateur club into the mid 90’s). While in some games, the club struggles, it is also managing to pick off some big wins here and there. Saturday against Union Berlin was one of those days.
In the 1-0 win over Union Berlin, American defensive midfielder Lennard Maloney, 23, went a full 90. It turned out to be one of the best performances of his career because he played to his strengths of winning duels, aerials, and shielding the backline.
Maloney was 37/45 in passing over 64 touches with 4/7 in long balls and 2 hots. But his biggest contributions were defensive. He had 13 clearances, covered a ton of ground, and was 7/12 in his aerial duels.
Maloney is getting close to his first USMNT call-up and his first appearance for the United States since a U-20 call-up in 2018. It would make sense to give a look to him given the continued Tyler Adams absence and the lack of options at No. 6.
But it is another question of how he would fit into the team? His runs a lot, he isn’t that fast, it remains to be seen if he has the passing range Gregg Berhalter would want. But Maloney works extremely hard, fights for everything, and is a great teammate by all reports. He is a great fit for Heidenheim, but the U.S. team has a very different approach.
On another note, Brenden Aaronson did not get off the bench for Union Berlin. Union outshot Heidenheim 20-10 but couldn’t hit the back of the net. The team had its most disappointing result of the season without Aaronson, which probably helps his case.
There isn’t much to add about Ferencvaros and its 6-1 away win over MTK Budapest other than this spectacular 63rd minute goal from Seattle's own Henry Wingo to make it 4-1.
Wingo is back to starting at right back for the perennial Hungarian champions and is doing his part. This goal was unreal.
I am curious to see if an team in MLS tries to make a move for Wingo this winter. The former Seattle Sounder turns 28 this week.
Yanks in Italy
On Sunday in Serie A, Juventus visited Atalanta and played to a 0-0 draw. As has been the norm, Weston McKennie started at right wingback and was replaced late, this time in the 84th minute, by Tim Weah who helped see out the result. At the end, Juventus seemed happy with a draw after being outshot 15-5 (while Juve had the edge in shots on target, 3-2). That is something that you would not have seen with the older Juve teams that won the scudetto nine straight times. Those teams had a mindset to win every game.
This game was very boring. McKennie got on the ball plenty, 54 touches in 84 minutes but had no shots, two passes into the final third, and really wasn't part of anything dangerous.
There are a lot of questions about Juve's plans for their American players.
First, when will McKennie get a chance in the middle of the field. McKennie is not perfect, but he is very energetic and the team needs that.
Second, what does the team see in Tim Weah? If McKennie is what the team wants from a right wingback, why did they purchase Tim Weah? Weah is very, very different from McKennie at that position. What were they expecting of Weah?
It's good that McKennie is a regular starter for such a legendary club. But the entire situation is different for him and for Weah.
In Serie B, Palermo defeated Sudtirol 2-1 thanks to a late winner from Giuseppe Aurelio. U.S. national team left back Kristoffer Lund, 21, started for the City Football Group owned Palermo and played a 60-minute shift. Despite the limited minutes, Lund had a good outing with 36 touches and 17/19 passing. He was 2/2 in his dribbles and was 2/3 with his crosses - one of which created a dangerous chance. He was 5/6 in his ground duels and won his only aerial duel. He also drew three fouls and did not commit a single foul.
Gradually, Lund has been taking on a bigger role at Palermo. It was always going to take some time given that he missed preseason, but he is getting closer. The next step will be longer outings as Palermo looks for promotion with its CFG backing.
Also in Serie B, Venezia defeated Modena 3-1 away on Saturday to move into third place of Serie B. Tanner Tessmann had a big game where he had 62 touches, was 38/46 in passing, created two chances with 10 passes played into the final third. He was 2/2 on the dribble, was 2/3 on his crosses, was 6/9 in his long balls, was successful in 3/3 of his tackles, won 6/9 of his ground duels, and won 1/3 of his aerials. He also did not commit a single foul.
Gianluca Busio also started and played 80 minutes in central midfield.
It’s a good experience for both Americans to be part of a promotional race in a tricky Serie B. Internationally, both have spent time with the U.S. national team but are probably strong candidates for the Olympic team where they can start and be difference makers. For Busio, however, the competition to make the Olympic team will be very challenging.
Finally in Serie B, Andrija Novakovich started for Lecco and was effective in his hold-up play during a 66-minute shift away at Cittadella. He left with his team winning 1-0. Unfortunately, he watched his team collapse late, squandering goals in the 87th minute and 89th minute to fall 2-1. Lecco sits last in Serie B with just one point from five games.
Yanks in England
On Sunday, Nottingham Forest played to a 1-1 draw with Brentford at home. Matt Turner made three saves on the day and afterward said he felt like the team squandered two points. A win would have pushed them inside the top 10 but now they sit 11th with eight points from seven games.
For Turner, he is on constant pressure to continue to play at a high level given that sitting behind him is Odisseas Vlachodimos, the Greek national team’s starter who was acquired from Benfica just before the deadline. This effort probably still keeps him in the starting lineup. The goal he conceded was probably savable, but it would have been a huge save.
On Saturday, Crystal Palace travelled to Old Trafford and came away with a big 1-0 upset win against a struggling Manchester United team that is now in 10th place. Chris Richards came into the game in the 88th minute to see out the win, which he did. He only had two touches but managed to make a nice clearance. He didn’t have to complete a single pass. Overall, this is going to be the norm for him unless there are injuries at the club. He needs to make a move in the winter.
Sheffield United are still without a win following a 2-0 away loss to West Ham on Sunday. Auston Trusty played the final 11 minutes for Sheffield United but didn't have to do much. At some point, he will probably get chances to start as he has now been with the club for two months and is integrated (after he missed preseason). With the club sitting on just one point, they'll probably want to try something different.
On Monday, Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson, and 15th place Fulham host their closest geographic rival in Chelsea, which sits in 15th place.
It was an especially tough weekend for Americans in the Championship.
Stoke City rallied for a 3-2 away win over Bristol City. Lynden Gooch started at right back for Stoke but was pulled at halftime when they were trailing 3-2.
Preston North End fell from first to third following a brutal 4-0 loss at home West Bromwich Albian (with Daryl Dike likely out until December or January. Duane Holmes, who has been having a solid start to the season, started for Preston North End and was subbed out in the 64th minute with PNE trialing 3-0.
Coventry defeated Queens Park Rangers 3-1 away in London on Saturday. Reggie Cannon is still not on the roster year for QPR. U.S. national team forward Haji Wright has been seeing his minutes decrease at Coventry recently and he only played the final 11 minutes in this game (he entered with Coventry up 3-0). He is under a lot of pressure as the club’s record signing. For QPR, American forward Charlie Kelman went as an unused substitute.
Norwich City, managed by former U.S. international David Wagner, defeated Birmingham City 2-0 to end a two-game skid. They moved into seventh place with the result. Josh Sargent remains out for Norwich.
Yanks in Germany
Borussia Monchengladbach won their first Bundesliga game this season on Saturday with a 3-1 road win over winless Bochum. Joe Scally was dropped from the starting lineup after a tough start to the season. He came on in the 72nd minute with all the scoring finished. He ended up with 16 touches and was just 2/5 in passing.
Jordan Pefok started and played 64 minutes in the win. He picked up a generous assist on the team's third and final goal but was a workhorse up top in his hold up play. He won 5/8 of his ground duels and won 3/10 of his aerials. He connected on 14/16 of his passes. He is slowly getting better after a tough season. But to get back into the national team picture, he needs goals. The forward position on the national team is improving and he needs to score to stand out.
Also in the Bundesliga, FC Koln dropped a 2-0 decision at home to VfB Stuttgart to remain with just one point from five games. One week after making his professional debut, Damion Downs made another appearance for Koln – this time playing the final 14 minutes in the loss. Unlike last game, Downs wasn’t dangerous in this one, as Stuttgart held him in check.
Still, Downs is 19 and is slowly getting integrated into a Bundesliga team, albeit a bad one. He should continue to get chances. If they get relegated, he should figure into their plans to get promoted. A German-American, Downs has played for U.S. youth national teams in the past. It will be interesting if he can sneak into a U.S. U-23 team cam to compete for a spot against players like Duncan McGuire or Matthew Hoppe.
In the 2.Bundesliga, it was mostly struggles for Americans.
Hansa Rostock defeated Eintracht Braunschweig 1-0 on Saturday. Johan Gomez started as second striker and went 82 in the loss. Overall, he wasn’t able to generate much offense and Braunschweig has fallen to 17th in the 18-team league to me.
St. Pauli defeated Hertha BSC 2-1 away on Saturday and moved to the top of the table of the 2.Bundesliga. Houston-born head coach Fabian Hurzeler has been a revelation since taking the job last December at the age of 29. Last year, he took them from the brink of the relegation zone and almost had them qualify for the promotional playoffs. Now they are leading the way in the 2.Bundesliga.
On Sunday, Greuther Furth played Elversberg to a 1-1 draw away. Julian Green was suspended for this game for Furth while fellow German-American Maximillian Dietz was subbed into the game in the 82nd minute for Furth – which sits in 13th place.
Also on Sunday, Terrence Boyd was subbed into Kaiserslautern’s 2-2 away draw with Osnabruck in the 76th minute. With Kaiserslautern trailing 2-1, Boyd missed a penalty in the sixth minute of stoppage time but saw his team equalize two minutes later.
Yanks in Spain
In La Liga, Celta Vigo visit Las Palmas on Monday but Luca de la Torre will not play as he is suspended for being sent off (for his second yellow card) last Thursday in Celta’s 1-1 draw with Deportivo Alaves. Celta Vigo sits on the edge of the relegation zone with just five points from seven games.
On Saturday in the Segunda, Eibar defeated Tenerife 3-0 but American winger Konrad de la Fuente missed out on the win as he remains out injured with a muscle injury.
On Sunday in the Segunda, Mirandes defeated Real Zaragoza 1-0 on the road, aided by the fact Zaragoza had to play the second half down a man. Jonathan Gomez played the final 23 minutes for Mirandes and was on the field for his team’s winning goal, an own goal.
Yanks in the Netherlands
On Sunday Agustin Anello, 21, made his first start for Sparta Rotterdam after his first four appearances were all coming off the bench. The winger from Florida ended up going 74 minutes in a 2-1 loss to Excelsior and left shortly after Excelsior equalized the game 1-1. It was a quiet day for him as he only had 33 touches and 11 completed passes in the defeat. Sparta remained in sixth place after the loss.
Still, Anello is eligible for the U.S. Olympic team and might be seen as a potential option for an upcoming camp to give him a chance to compete for a spot on the U-23 team next summer.
Also in the Eredivisie, Anthony Fontana as an unused substitute for PEC Zwolle in a 2-1 loss to Heracles and he is still looking for his club debut. Taylor Booth remained out injured for Utrecht and missed the club’s ugly 2-0 loss at home to Almere City. Utrecht sits 17th in the 18-team Eredivisie.
On Sunday, AZ Alkmaar defeated Fortuna Sittard 4-0 on Sunday and Djordje Mihailovic played the final seven minutes in the win and he was the fifth and final substitution. Mihailovic was decent in his limited minutes, creating a decent chance, going 6/7 in passing, and being on the field for the final goal. It's been tough for him, but AZ has been flying with 19 points from seven games. They're in second, just two points behind a perfect AZ.
In the second tier Eerste Divisie, John Hilton went 90 minutes for Dordrecht in a 1-1 draw with FC Eindhoven. Justin Che played the final two minutes for second-place ADO Den Haag to see out a 3-0 win over MVV Maastricht. Gedion Zelalem played 90 minutes for Den Bosch in a 3-0 away win over Groningen.
Yanks in Belgium
On Saturday, Gaga Slonina started for Eupen on Saturday in a 3-1 loss at home to Anderlecht. After a strong start to the season, this was the fourth loss in a row for Eupen as they fell to 11th place in the 16 team First Division A. One of the goals he conceded was an own goal from his right back.
Slonina is doing okay. He occasionally lets in goals he should save, but he’s also letting in some bad goals too. But things are going to get more serious for him soon as the second half of the season will likely be a relegation battle and Slonina will be under pressure to keep his team up.
On Sunday, Genk hosted Westerlo and the two teams played to a wild 3-3 draw. Regarding Americans, Mark McKenzie’s toe injury continues to keep him out of action, and he again had to sit a game out. Griffin Yow also is yet to make his season debut he was out for Westerlo. The one American to play was Bryan Reynolds who played the complete game for Westerlo.
Reynolds has been playing very well defensively in recent games and in this game, he was again very important on that side of the ball. He won 5/7 of his ground duels and was 2/2 in his aerials. He had 10 recoveries and was 3/4 in his tackles. He also created one very dangerous chance for Westerlo in the first half.
Things are not great for Westerlo. They are dead last with three points from nine games. But if they can put forth an effort like this game, they should be able to make a climb soon. As for Reynolds, he’s also improving after a very slow start to the season. He should be in with the U.S. U-23 team in October to begin to make a case to be the team’s starting right back heading into Paris.
Marlon Fossey started and went 70 minutes for Standard Liege in a 2-1 win away at OH Leuven. He left the game when the score was 1-1. Standard Liege is slowly getting their act together with two wins over the last three games. Fossey hasn’t been the explosive contributor that he was last season but with Standard’s gradual improvement, Fossey seems likely to improve as well.
Sam Vines was still injured and did not play for Royal Antwerp in their 0-0 draw at Mechelen. Antwerp remained in fifth place with the result.
Alex Mighten remained injured and did not suit up for Kortrijk in a 2-1 win over Cercle Brugge on Friday. Kortrijk moved out of last place with their first win of the year.
In France's Ligue 1, Le Havre fell to Lille at home 2-0. Emmanuel Sabbi, 25, came into the game in the 70th minute with his team trailing by two. He made a limited impact with only nine touches over his 20 minutes and was 2/3 in passing.
In Scotland, there was a huge upset as Aberdeen defeated Rangers 3-1 at Ibrox. American midfielder Dante Polvara, 23, started and went 80 minutes for Aberdeen. He left with the score 2-1. Rangers had a 71/29 possession edge and Polvara was chasing the game, along with his teammates. But he still was good enough on both sides of the ball to lift Aberdeen in to seventh place while sinking Rangers into third, seven points from leaders Celtic. Polvara is having a good month as he also scored two weeks ago in the Conference League in an away trip against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Meanwhile in the Premiership, Scott Pittman played the last 21 minutes for Livingston in a 1-1 away draw against St. Johnstone. Pittman is Livingston’s all-time leader in appearances. Finally, Cameron Carter-Vickers remained out for Celtic and missed the 2-1 win over Motherwell.
In the Austrian Bundesliga, George Bello started for LASK against Wolfsberger, but the former Atlanta United left back was pulled at halftime. Overall, that is not a good sign for Bello who is fighting for minutes and is not considered a first-choice starter. LASK remain in third place in the league but are six points behind second place Sturm Graz.
Meanwhile, Sebastian Soto remains out following back surgery and he was not part of Austria Klagenfurt’s 0-0 draw away at BW Linz.
In the Portuguese top tier, Vizela dropped a 3-2 loss at home to Portimonense. Last week, Alex Mendez came off the bench for his season debut and delivered a late equalizing assist off a corner. In this game, he was the fifth and final sub for Vizela in the 69th minute when his team trailed 2-1. With Mendez on the field, Vizela equalized in the 85th via an own goal but squandered the winning goal two minutes later.
Mendez was busy in this game, going 21/24 in passing in his 24 minutes. He had 27 touches and was good in possession, but only managed to create a half-chance for Vizela towards the end. Still, he should continue to get rotational minutes moving forward. Vizela sits 14th in the 18-team league with five points from seven games.
In Norway’s Eliteserien, Bob Bradley and Stabaek dropped a painful 1-0 loss at home to remain four points deep in the relegation battle. This team needs a win – badly. On Wednesday, they host HamKam and it is almost a must-win.
Also in Norway, Sam Rogers was subbed out just the 34th minute for Lillestrom in a 2-0 loss at home to Brann. Given it was a double substitution, it was likely a major tactical adjustment after Lillestrom fell behind 1-0 and Rogers was already on a yellow card.
Finally in Norway, Christian Cappis made his club debut for Molde on Sunday when he played the final 10 minutes in a 4-0 win over Viking. Cappis is at Molde, on loan from Brondby, for the remainder of the Norwegian season. Molde sit fifth in the Elitserien.
79' Tre bytter, og debut!????????— Molde Fotballklubb (@Molde_FK) October 1, 2023
??Ødegård, Hestad, Cappis
??Grødem, Kaasa, Haugen
Molde - Viking | 4-0
In Sweden, Joe Gyau did not play for Degerfors in its 3-2 loss to Sirius. It’s a good thing he didn’t as Degerfors had a 2-0 lead into stoppage time when the conceded three goals to lose and sink four points deep into the relegation hole.
In the Greek Super League, Caleb Stanko came off the bench in the 70th minute to help preserve a 1-0 lead over Panaitolikos. The American defensive midfielder idd his job and the club held on for a 1-0 win. Lamia sits midtable in seventh place in the 14-team league.
Joe Efford recently joined PAS Giannina after his contract with Motherwell was terminated by mutual consent. On Sunday, the 27-year-old from Georgia made his debut in Greece's top tier when he played the final 29 minutes in Giannina's 3-0 loss at home to leaders Olympiakos. PAS Giannina have lost three in a row and are in 11th place.
Finally, Erik Palmer-Brown was injured and missed Panathinaikos' 2-2 draw with PAOK. Midweek, he was forced out of his club's 4-1 win over Asteras Tripolis at halftime.
In Croatia, Rokas Pukstas remains injured, and he missed out on Hajduk Split’s huge 1-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb in the Eternal Derby. Hajduk remains in first with 21 points through nine games.
In Iceland's top tier Besta Deild Karla, second place Valur defeated FH Hafnarfjordur 4-1. Former USMNT forward Aron Johannsson, who plays as a midfielder now, scored Valur's third goal in the 66th minute. He was subbed out in the 76th minute.
In Argentina's Copa de la Liga Profesional, Huracan played San Lorenzo to a 1-1 away draw. Alan Sonora played 89 minutes for Huracan and was not on the field for San Lorenzo's late equalizer. Sonora nearly scored on a 55th minute shot that went just wide. But he has found footing with his career back with Huracan after a very difficult move to Club Juarez. His younger brother, Joel Sonora, did not get off the bench for Huracan.
In Mexico’s Liga MX, Club America defeated Pumas 1-0 on Saturday night. Alex Zendejas came into the game in the 65th minute but didn't contribute much in the win. Through 10 games, Club America sits atop the table with 21 points, one point ahead of Tigres.
After a strong start to the season, Club Juarez is starting to fade and has lost two in a row. On Friday, they dropped a particularly ugly 5-1 loss away to Tijuana. Sebastian Saucedo was subbed into the game for Juarez in the 58th minute with his team down 3-1.
In Brazil, Johnny Cardoso did not suit up for Internacional in a 2-0 loss at home to Atletico MG.