McKennie, Miazga, & Adams highlight busy weekend for Americans abroad
February 15, 2019
IT WILL BE a another busy weekend for American players in a wide range of competitions from Argentina's Superliga, to Denmark, to the Bundesliga, to the FA Cup.
As ASN does every Friday, here are the 10 best games to watch in the days ahead from an American perspective.
Saturday 9:30am ET
Two teams that are neck and neck in the Bundesliga will meet on Saturday and Weston McKennie will likely start for 14th place Schalke. There is no question that Schalke has had a disappointing season and European competitions next year are out of reach, but the game against Freiburg can serve two purposes.
First can almost eliminate any chance of a relegation battle down the stretch. And two, it can give momentum heading into next week’s Champions League first leg knockout against Manchester City. That could be the team’s biggest game this year.
VfB Stuttgart - RB Leipzig
Saturday 9:30am ET
Tyler Adams celebrated his birthday on Thursday and will play his first game as a 20 year old on Saturday. After a strong start to the European leg of his career where he was a starter in three straight wins, the former Red Bull only appeared for RB Leipzig as a late cameo in a 0-0 draw.
Adams has shown a lot of promise for a very good RB Leipzig team that currently sits in the Champions League positions in the Bundesliga right now in fourth place. It will be interesting to see if Adams makes his way back into the starting XI against relegation battlers Stuttgart.
Wolfsburg - Mainz 05
Saturday 9:30am ET
It has been a rocky season with John Brooks who continues to be up and down with little consistency. At his best he is world class. At his worst, he can be a true defensive liability and his last few weeks have been difficult. Through it all, however, Brooks is a regular starter for a Wolfsburg team that is in seventh place and fighting to get into the Europa League positions. It trails sixth place Bayer Leverkusen by just one point.
Hertha BSC - Werder Bremen
Saturday 12:30pm ET
Josh Sargent has been a regular presence off the bench for Werder Bremen since December. Sometimes he plays most of the second half, other times he is a late cameo. But 10th place Werder Bremen could climb into the top 10 when it faces eighth place Hertha BSC in Berlin. With schedule congestion due to its run in the German Cup, squad rotation might favor Sargent’s chances of getting minutes.
Brighton & Hove Albion - Derby County
Saturday 7:30am ET
Duane Homes has been exceptional the past two months for Derby County but he was not nearly as sharp on Wednesday in a lackluster 1-1 draw against Blackburn. While it remains in a dogfight to make the promotional playoffs in the Championship, it will return to action in the FA Cup on Saturday when it visits Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup.
It will be a big opportunity for Holmes to shake off Wednesday’s game and continue Derby’s run in the FA Cup. Then on Wednesday host Millwall in a big Championship game.
Sheffield United - Reading
Saturday 10:00am ET
Matt Miazga is one of the most in-form American players at the moment and the New Jersey native has helped boost Reading’s backline to the point where it is no longer in the relegation zone of the Championship. The Reading supporters have taken a huge liking to the U.S. international as the club has conceded just two goals in the 360 minutes Miazga has been on the field.
This will be Miazga’s biggest test for Reading as Sheffield United sits in third place and is looking to sneak into the automatic promotional spots with a win. Playing on the road at Bramall Lane is going to be an uphill climb for Reading to get a result.
Kilmarnock - Celtic
Sunday 11:00am ET
Tim Weah, 18, is not a set starter for Celtic at the moment but he has been performing well whenever given a chance. So far he has two goals and an assist in Scottish Premier League games – although a few have been brief substitute appearances.
The loan is without a doubt going well. Kilmarknock will be a good test on the road as the club is in fourth place despite being mired in a three-game winless skid.
Heracles – Fortuna Sittard
Saturday 1:45pm ET
Andrija Novakovich, 22, has enjoyed a solid loan stint at Fortuna Sittard from Reading. The Wisconsin native has six goals and an assist in 19 games for the club which is still fresh off promotion to the Eredivisie. In a season where survival was the primary objective, Fortuna Sittard is in ninth place and could move ahead of Saturday’s opponent, eighth-place Heracles, with a win.
FC Nordsjaelland – Hobro
Saturday 10:00am ET
As many as three American players, all potential youth internationals, could take the field on Saturday when FC Nordsjaelland hosts Hobro in the Danish Superliga. U.S. U-20 winger Jonathan Amon is the most notable player as the South Carolina native earned his first full national team cap in October. But Amon only was a late substitute last weekend in a disappointing draw against Brondby (where Nordsjaelland conceded a late equalizer).
Hobro is in a position where it needs wins to avoid relegation. The last place team in the Danish Superliga has a woeful offense and potential U.S. U-23 forward Emmanuel Sabbi has not scored since September 1 after a red-hot start to the season. Also for Hobro, Christian Cappis, 18, could see the field after making his Superliga debut last weekend in a 0-0 draw against Horsens.
Talleres - Huracan
Sunday 3:10pm ET
Joel Sonora, 22, has been playing quite a bit more for Talleres since the Argentinian Superliga resumed on February 1. He scored his first Superliga goal two weeks ago against Banfield and then made his Copa Libertadores appearance in a win over Sao Paulo. Last weekend he earned a start against fourth place Atletico Tucuman.
With Talleres continuing its Libertadores run, squad rotation could see Sonora continue to earn significant minutes and Sunday will be a big test for 13th place Talleres as fifth-place Huracan will be in for a visit.