From Argentina to Korea, it was a wild weekend for Americans Abroad
August 26, 2018
If I was to tell you in advance that today would be a big day for goals and assists among Americans abroad, who would have guessed Diskerud, Brooks, Gatt, Sonora, & Hines-Ike? Gooch, & Johnson, sure. Those other guys? Crazy day— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) August 26, 2018
And that was just Saturday. Here are the top stories from the weekend from Americans abroad.
Sonora assists in Argentine Primera debut
Typically, there is portion of the American fanbase that would not be happy with Sonora’s career path so far. He grew up playing in his domestic league and tried to make a jump to Europe with VfB Stuttgart in his late teens and early 20’s. But he struggled in Germany for playing time, even with the club’s reserve team.
In the end, he returned on loan to his domestic league to play in an environment that was more comfortable to him. Now almost 22, he is beginning to find some success. The difference is that Sonora, despite being born in the United States, was raised in Argentina and his domestic league is the Argentine Primera.
On Saturday, Sonora made his first-team professional debut for Talleres de Córdoba when he came off the bench in the second half. In the 90th minute he played a perfect through-ball into teammate
Mauro Ortiz who scored to complete the 2-0 victory.
As a veteran of the United States 2015 U-20 World Cup team, Sonora’s American background stems from being the son of former Boca Juniors and Dallas Burn great Diego Sonora. The younger Sonora was born in Texas when his father was playing for the Burn.
Sometimes playing at home to get established, or reestablished, is a good thing for a player – and this is true for other countries too.
Here’s video of 2015 United States U-20 World Cup midfielder Joel Sonora’s assist for Talleres in the 2nd goal of a 2-0 win over Gimnasia today in Argentina’s Primera. Congrats to him as he has been pushing for a breakthrough in Argentina’s top flight for a long time #USMNT pic.twitter.com/BpAorR0IBB— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) August 25, 2018
On a side note, the Dallas Burn/FC Dallas tree keeps giving.
Quite a story between Joel Sonora, Jesus Ferreira, and Emerson Hyndman to a lesser extent. All three were part of the Dallas Burn/FC Dallas 2nd generation tree and are having an impact in the game now https://t.co/Ym1caqEmOg— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) August 25, 2018
Hines-Ike notches Kortrijk assist
In Belgium, Colorado native Brendan Hines-Ike hit the game-winning assist for Kortrijk in a 2-0 win over Sporting Charleroi on the road on Saturday. Playing on the right side of a three-man backline, Hines-Ike was played down the right flank and hit in a perfect cross that was headed home by Felipe Avenatti for a 1-0 lead in the 9th minute. The second goal would come in second-half stoppage time.
Hines-Ike, 23, continues to be an important part of Kortrijk’s backline and the club sits in midtable in 10th place.
Diskerud’s scores for Ulsan Hyundai
Mix Diskerud, 27, has had one of the more interesting careers and that has continued into South Korea where Diskerud currently plays on loan for Ulsan Hyundai in the K-League.
On Saturday, Diskerud scored for Ulsan in a 4-1 win over FC Seoul and in doing so he became the first ever American player to score in South Korea’s top flight.
Ulsan has surged from ninth to third place with Diskerud in the lineup. The former New York City midfielder has played seven times for Ulsan and the team has yet to lose with him in the lineup – amassing five wins and two draws to earn 17 out of a possible 21 points.
Gatt surging for slumping Altach
Josh Gatt will turn 27 this week and the Michigan native finally has his career looking upward. His struggles, from three ACL surgeries and his wife’s cancer diagnosis, are well documented.
But after being dropped by Colorado last year, Gatt has landed on his feet in Austria for the club who first signed him as a professional in 2010, SCR Altach. The good news is that Gatt is playing well individually. The bad news is that Altach is not – and is currently in last place in the Austrian Bundesliga.
On Saturday, Gatt notched both assists for Altach in a 3-2 loss to Austrian front-runners Red Bull Salzburg.
58'| Toooooooor für den CASHPOINT SCR Altach: Da ist das Ding! Kristijan Dobras gleicht nach Gatt-Vorarbeit sehenswert aus. #ALTRBS 2-2— SCR Altach (@SCRAltach) August 25, 2018
It’s been awhile since Gatt has played regularly and who knows if he can ever return to the national team. But after all he has been through, his comeback so far has been a great story.
Johnson opens strong for Gladbach
Last season was a disaster for Fabian Johnson who was injured most of the time and played just 465 Bundesliga minutes for Borussia Monchengladbach.
The German-American, however, has started the 2018/19 season off in strong fashion where he scored the second goal in Monchengladbach’s 2-0 opening day win over Bayer Leverkusen.
Approaching his 31st birthday, Johnson might have a lot of soccer still left in the tank as the wear and tear on his body should be minimal. He might be on the older side now but in his career, he has only surpassed 2000 leagues minutes in a season five times (it has been five years since he surpassed 2500 minutes in a season).
Brooks leads Wolfsburg to a big win
Wolfsburg has disappointed in recent years and last year it narrowly avoided relegation. This year, however, the club is determined to improve and a 2-1 win over last year’s runners up, Schalke, will go a long way towards setting a new tone.
John Brooks has struggled with injuries but when he’s healthy, he’s an enormous presence on the backline. Brooks was fantastic in the opener and scored the first goal from a classy header.
Brooks’ standout performance was a loss for Weston McKennie who started for Schalke in the final game of his teenage years. McKennie was strong in the preseason but struggled to make much of an impact in the loss.
While opponents on Saturday, perhaps McKennie and Brooks will be teammates for just the second time next week when the U.S. national team camp opens in New Jersey.
Gooch continues amazing run
Unless something wild happens, this is going to be the only season for Lynden Gooch in League One. The Santa Cruz native is absolutely dominating League One and on Saturday he assisted on Lee Cattermole’s 83rd minute winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Wimbledon.
Lynden Gooch, 22, now has either scored or assisted in all five of Sunderland’s games to start the season. His play is a massive reason why Sunderland is in second place at the moment.
Yedlin assists then scores an own-goal
A few weeks ago, people were speculating if DeAndre Yedlin’s season was over after a tough knee injury in the season opener for Newcastle. Fortunately for the Seattle native, Newcastle United, and the U.S. national team, the injury was not as bad as feared and Yedlin started Sunday’s game against Chelsea.
For the first 87 minutes of the game Yedlin was terrific. He was a standout defensively and had an equalizing assist in the 83rd minute to Joselu.
But then in the 87th minute, with Chelsea pressing hard for a winner, Yedlin scored an own goal which handed the game to the Blues. It was a tough play for Yedlin to make and one he is certain to want back. But it shouldn’t change the fact that Yedlin played well for Newcastle.
Gall nets a brace for Malmo
Romain Gall, 23, hasn’t quite emerged as a consistent starter for Malmo after he joined the club last month form GIF Sundsvall. In all competitions since joining the club, the Paris-born Gall has started just three of Malmo’s six games.
But that could change very quickly as the former U.S. U-20 winger scored two goals in a 5-0 win over lowly Sirius.
When talking about why Gall failed to breakthrough with Columbus Crew in 2014-2015, former teammate Ethan Finley chimed in on twitter.
I was there, kid needed real MEANINGFUL games. USL wasn’t developed as it is now. Ask anybody who was there, he always had the talent he just found himself low on the depth chart. Happy for him now...will be a USMNT candidate soon.— Ethan Finlay (@EthanFinlay13) August 26, 2018
U.S. U-18s win Vaclav Jezek tournament
Coached by U.S U-20 head coach Tab Ramos, the U.S. U-18 national team defeated Japan on penalties after a 1-1 draw to win the Vaclav Jezek tournament in the Czech Republic.
ASN will have more on this tournament in the coming days but Ulysses Llanez was the story after scoring the team’s goal in the final and being the tournament’s most dangerous player. He finished the tournament with three assists and a goal.
Bobby Wood did not play in Hannover’s opener as he had to serve a suspension for a red card in last season’s Bundesliga finale for Hamburg.
After Emmanuel Sabbi and Jonathan Amon have been electric at the start of the Danish Superliga season, both were held in check as both Hobro and Nordsjaelland lost their games this weekend. Sabbi, however, had one outstanding play where he beat defenders and hit a powerful shot from distance off the post.
As expected, Christian Pulisic was in the starting lineup and played 77 minutes for Borussia Dortmund which pounded Jesse Marsch and RB Leipzig 4-1.