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Americans abroad

Amon, Morales, & Miazga stand out, Saief returns, others make club debuts

While the weekend was known for who did not play, what was even better was who did play. Several American players made their season debuts including national teamers like Kenny Saief, Erik Palmer-Brown, and Cameron Carter-Vickers which should only improve the player pool. 
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
September 17, 2018
4:00 AM
NO PULISIC, NO McKennie, no problem. It was a good weekend for Americans abroad despite two of the most known players missing due to injuries. Of course some players played well, but even better is that several players made club debuts to pave the way for more minutes this season.

Here are the highlights from the weekend abroad.

Amon shines for FCN

There is a lot to be excited about regarding Jonathan Amon, 19, who is one of the brightest starts on a very young FC Nordsjaelland team in Denmark. The problem with Amon has always been injuries but the South Carolina native is back and tearing up the Danish Superliga again.

On Saturday, Amon scored the opening goal of a 4-1 win over Randers. It was his second goal of the season. So far for his professional career dating back to his first team debut in November, Amon has five goals and four assists across 16 games and 853 minutes in all first team competitions.

Amon seems as if he will have a bright future if he stays healthy. While the U.S. national team friendlies in October are possible, the big international breakout for Amon could come in November’s U-20 World Cup qualifying tournament when Amon could be added to the roster during the second stage (should the U.S. team win its first group) which falls during the FIFA window.

But as a young attacking winger, Amon is certainly raising his game very quickly.

Miazga helps Nantes keep cleansheet

After a very solid international break for the United States and he kept that nice run of form going with Nantes. The New Jersey native was solid in defense on Sunday as Nantes played to a 0-0 draw with Stade de Reims in Ligue 1 action.

In the game, (per WhoScored) Miazga was credited with an 82.5% completion rate, seven aerials won, 82 touches, a team-high four clearances, two tackles, and one blocked shot.

Not bad at all.

Saief Returns

One of the more welcome developments over the weekend is that U.S. international midfielder Kenny Saeif returned to the field for Anderlecht in a 1-0 loss to Genk. While it was a difficult loss for Anderlecht, it was the first time Saief played since May 13 and the Israeli-American should be finally on track to make up for lost time. Saief has missed most of the past year with odd injuries ranging from a hernia operation that was infected following surgery. This time he was out due to a muscle injury that took longer than expected to heal.

Saief has one of the best left foots among all American soccer players. American fans and Anderlecht fans are hoping he can finally have a long run of staying healthy.

Four Americans make club debuts

The biggest talking point from the weekend was that four American players made their club debuts over the weekend – which should only pave the way for more minutes in the future.

Erik Palmer-Brown got the start for NAC Breda in a 3-2 loss to Andrija Novakovich and Fortuna Sittard.

Geoff Cameron made his Queens Park Rangers debut when he played the final 17 minutes of a 2-1 win over Bolton.

Cameron Carter-Vickers played the final 22 minutes for Swansea in a 0-0 against Nottingham Forest.

Duane Holmes made his league debut for Derby County when he played the final 17 minutes of a 1-0 loss to Rotherham United.

While Geoff Cameron might not have a future with the national team, it is critical that players like Carter-Vickers and Palmer-Brown play regularly. Also, Holmes is an attacking player with a big upside and his involvement with Derby is important.

Green scores for Greuther Furth

Normally a starter for Greuther Furth, Julian Green came off the bench for the club on Saturday in the 69th minute of a 4-1 win over Holstein Kiel. The Florida-born Green, 23, played both games for the United States over the FIFA international window and was not expected to start a result.

But Green, who earned positive reviews for his performance against Mexico, looked strong in his limited minutes for Furth on Saturday and scored his first goal of the season in stoppage time to complete the scoring.

Morales header lifts Fortuna

If Fortuna Dusseldorf wants to avoid being relegated this year, it will need American midfielder Alfredo Morales to play well. The central midfielder did his part on Saturday in a 2-1 win against Hoffenheim.

Not only did Morales play very well defensively and help Dusseldorf maintain possession, he also scored the opening goal of the game on this first-rate header.

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