Americans in Europe Shine in Midweek Action
January 13, 2016
Tuesday was an unexpectedly terrific day for Americans abroad. Could 2016 be a rebound year following a relatively quiet spell after many top players to MLS?
Last weekend brought about some encouraging developments for Americans in Mexico with Omar Gonzalez and Ventura Alvarado both having strong outings. This week, we've seen signs of progress in Europe.
Pulisic helps Dortmund’s first team
Christian Pulisic received encouraging news at the beginning of this month when the 17 year old from Hershey, Pa. was promoted to Borussia Dortmund’s first team.
With the Bundesliga now on winter break, Dortmund is training in Dubai. On Tuesday, it took on fellow Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt in a friendly. Pulisic came on early in the second half and in the 63rd minute assisted to Shinji Kagawa for a 3-0 lead.
Pulisic’s stock continues to soar, and he is passing every test early in his career. He is quickly progressing up the ladder in Dortmund. The big test will be handling the hype and the heavy expectations that will be placed on him.
Morris receives vote of confidence
Jordan Morris’ trial at Werder Bremen is only days old but on Tuesday, German publication Kreiszeitung quoted Werder’s sporting director Thomas Eichin's very favorable comments regarding the U.S. U-23 star.
“He has a few things that you seldom see,” Eichin told Kreiszeitung. “He has a lot of drive/is determined, doesn't get too impressed with himself-reminds me of my time playing ice hockey. That type of player is always looking to get forward in order to get in front of the goal. That impressed me a lot... He's a typical American, always positive."
Werder Bremen needs offensive help. It sits in 16th place (in relegation playoff zone) and has scored just 17 goals in 17 games. By all accounts, Morris has terrific work ethic and is a quick learner. The jump to the Bundesliga, however, is large and there is a very good chance Werder Bremen will be in the 2.Bundesliga next season.
Coming out of college, Morris has the benefits of being acquired without a transfer fee, so Werder might see an opportunity to sign Morris with little risk and a potential nice upside. Morris, of course, will have to weight factors such as playing time, the club’s future in the top flight, salary, and personal taste.
The best thing for him is that based on Eichin’s comments, Morris could have some nice options to consider and that is a good thing.
Williams scores off impressive header
Danny Williams earned the start for a struggling Reading, which had the difficult task of traveling to take on second place Derby County.
With Reading trailing 1-0, Williams got on the end of a nice left footed cross from Hal Robson-Kanu and equalized with a fantastic header (at 0:46 of the video below). Reading earned the impressive point against a top team but still remains in 12th place. Williams, however, has had a very nice season so far with five goals and two assists.
Holmes scores first goal; Wagner impresses
If there is a Championship team which is impressing lately, it is Huddersfield which has risen out of the relegation zone in December and moved into 16th place following three wins and a draw in its last four. On Tuesday, the Terriers routed Charlton Athletic 5-0.
The win had American footprints on it. First, American midfielder Duane Holmes, 21, scored the first goal of his professional career in the 79th minute when his 20-yard shot took a deflection and redirected into the net for a 4-0 advantage.
Second, the win was just another accomplishment for Huddersfield coach and former United States national team midfielder David Wagner, who is now extremely popular among Huddersfield supporters.
Want evidence? Just do a quick search around twitter and the gushing is hard to ignore.
I want to quit my job, to follow David Wagner and #htafc around the country— Arron Tyndall (@arrontyndall) January 12, 2016
Johnson scores in 'Gladbach friendly
Fabian Johnson had one of the best years ever for an American abroad in 2015. Matching it in 2016 will be difficult but he looks to be in good from as the Bundesliga will resume play later in the month.
In a friendly against Hertha Berlin on Tuesday, Fabian Johnson scored the opening goal in a 2-2 draw.