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Americans abroad

Holmes, Adams, Richards, Weah and more in wave of news for Americans abroad

Following the Christian Pulisic blockbuster, lots of news has continued to pour in regarding Americans abroad. Brian Sciaretta is here with what was a very busy weekend. 
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
January 06, 2019
10:00 PM
IT IS ONLY the first weekend of 2019 and already there is a ton to talk about in the world of Americans Abroad. Bear in mind, this doesn’t even include anything more on the Christian Pulisic to Chelsea which is the biggest story to ever surround an American player in Europe.

But beyond that, there is plenty to talk about.

Holmes dazzles for Derby

Duane Holmes, 24, has played well this year for Derby County but has still mostly been used as a bench option for Frank Lampard’s squad. But the Georgia-born Holmes might soon force his way into the starting lineup as he was the best player on the field for Derby in it’s 2-2 comeback draw against Southampton.

Holmes was regularly beating players on the dribble and creating opportunities. Whenever Derby did something productive, Holmes was front and center. Lampard was quick to point this out after the game.

“I like Duane, I watched him a lot before we brought him here," Lampard said. "He’s so natural, he’s quick, good on the ball, technical & a really important player in this squad”

Holmes deserves more attention from American fans and success at Derby should catch the eyes of the new U.S. national team staff. Holmes can be explosive. So far in his career his problem has been consistency. When he came up for Huddersfield, he was a dominant academy player and had eye-opening performances for the first team. But he quickly hit a rut and then struggled on loans.

When he moved to Scunthorpe United in the third tier, he began to play well on a regular basis. Now at a higher level with a team pushing for promotion to the Premier League, Holmes is facing a big test. He has been passing it so far but can he stay in the starting lineup once given a chance?

I’ve spoken with Holmes several times over the years. He badly wants to play for the United States despite growing up mostly in England. He comes back to Georgia every year to visit his family and follows the U.S. team. When the U.S. team traveled to Glasgow for a friendly in November 2013, Holmes had already made his Championship debut for Huddersfield. He wasn’t called up by Jurgen Klinsmann but traveled to Scotland on his own dime to watch the game.

In an interview in November with ASN, Holmes said that playing for the U.S. team is a big motivator for him these days. With more performances like Saturday, the spotlight on him will only intensify.

Weah set for Celtic loan

The Scottish media had been speculating about Tim Weah joining Celtic on loan. But now, things are becoming more concrete in that Weah has extended his deal with Paris St. Germain and it appears will be heading to Glasgow for a longer loan than expected.

A long loan (provided that PSG has recall provision if it doesn’t go well) is the way to go. Weah is still new to the professional game and there will probably be an adjustment period to first team soccer. With a six month loan, the loan would likely expire as soon as Weah is coming into his own. Now he will be able to use the second half of the season getting adjusted and then have the entire 2019/20 season to build on that momentum at the same club.

Adams arrives at Leipzig

Tyler Adams is now training at RB Leipzig ahead of the winter break friendlies and the second half of the Bundesliga season.

According to reports, all is going very well and Adams was sharp in drills over the weekend.

“He is the showcase player for the way we play football and has an incredible sense of the situation when it comes time to press, to win balls and to turn it forward into the attack,” acting head coach Ralf Rangnick said.

Sargent assists vs Kaiser Chiefs

American teenager Josh Sargent has looked exceptionally sharp this year. First for Werder Bremen’s reserve teams and then for the first team in December. Now with club in South Africa for the winter break, Sargent is keeping up the momentum from the end of 2018.

In a friendly on Sunday, Sargent assisted on the goal in a 1-0 win over the Kaiser Chiefs (the game was eventually abandoned due to lightning).

Miazga returns to the field

In a very important development for one of the top American defenders, Matt Miazga returned to the field for Nantes for the first time since October 7, 2018. On Friday the New Jersey native went a full 90 in a 4-1 win over Châteauroux in the French Cup.

It remains to be seen what will happen with Miazga this month. Will Chelsea recall Miazga to send him on another loan? Will he finish the year at Nantes?

If Miazga can continue to stay on the field for Nantes, however, it will make for an interesting next few weeks.

Harkes mulls Dundee United offer


After a somewhat promising rookie season in 2017 with DC United, 2018 was a major step backward for Ian Harkes, 23, who only played eight games and fell behind Russell Canouse, Junior Moreno, and Chris Durkin on the central midfield depth chart at DC United. At the end of the season, Harkes was waived.

The son of former U.S. national team captain John Hakres, Ian Harkes was born in England when his father played for Derby County. But now out of contract, Harkes is mulling an offer from Dundee United which is currently in third place of the second tier Scottish Championship. While a low level, the club is under a new American ownership which has ambitions of being strong in Scotland’s top flight in the years ahead.

If DC United didn’t work out, it might not be a bad option for Harkes if Dundee United can force its way into the SPL.

Richards seals Bayern deal

As was reported by MLS Soccer, ASN can confirm that Chris Richards has completed a sale to Bayern Munich. The U.S. U-20 central defender signed a homegrown deal with FC Dallas last year but was loaned to Bayern Munich since he was ineligible to play for Dallas’ first team in 2018.

The two sides agreed to a full transfer and the deal has now been finalized. Dallas will receive $1.25 million and a sell-on fee if Richards is transferred again from Bayern.

It is nice to see FC Dallas receive compensation after the Weston McKennie debacle saw the club develop a Champions League caliber player over the course of eight years and receive nothing. While Dallas will not get the benefit of ever having Richards play for its first team, at least it is getting financial reward here.

Sonora staying put

Last month there was a report that American midfielder Joel Sonora was on his way out at Talleres in the Argentine Primera but American reporter Arch Bell says that he is staying at the club, for now.

While it is good that Sonora, 22, will remain with the club, he will need more playing time in the second half of the season. In the first half he managed just 231 minutes over nine appearances (two of which were starts). He is at the club while on loan from Stuttgart.

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