Americans Abroad update

Pulisic, Novakovich, Gall, and Gooch standout while defenders struggle abroad

Neither Andrija Novakovich, Romain Gall, or Lynden Gooch played for the United States national team in September but between all three players this weekend, they scored five goals and notched one assist. Meanwhile, the American central defenders will aim to regroup
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
September 24, 2018
6:30 AM
In a day where it seems like many of the best American players are central midfielders or defenders, it was American attackers that had the strongest weekend - lead by Andrija Novakovich who had a huge day for a Fortuna Sittard team that is relying heavily on the Wisconsin native. 

Novakovich’s big day

It was a very good weekend for United States national team central forward Andrija Novakovich. On Saturday the Wisconsin native turned 22 and then on Saturday he scored two goals for Fortuna Sittard in a 4-4 draw against Willem II in the Eredivisie.

For Novakovich, he now has four goals in six games to start the season for Fortuna Sittard. What is clear is that the club needs Novakovich to produce at this rate in order to avoid relegation. Fortuna currently sits in 11th place but is just two points from safety.

Currently on a season-long loan from Reading, Novakovich is making a strong case that he should be ready for the Championship club soon – and that Reading might have acted too quickly in sending the American out on loan this year.

Central defenders struggle

This weekend was horrible for the top group of American central defenders in Europe.

Tim Ream is still injured. Geoff Cameron did not play for Queens Park Rangers and Cameron Carter-Vickers did not get off the bench for Swansea.

Unfortunately, those who saw the field were all part of poor results.

John Brooks and Wolfsburg lost to Freiburg 3-1 at home.

Matt Miazga and Nantes lost to Lille in Ligue 1.

Erik Palmer-Brown and NAC Breda lost to VVV Venlo 3-0.

The only American central defender in Europe who was part of the right side of a scoreline was Brendan Hines-Ike at Korijk which sent Zulte-Waregem to its fifth consecutive loss on a 2-0 scoreline.

Gooch continues to produce

In an interview last week with ASN, Lynden Gooch said he wanted to do whatever it takes to get Sunderland back into the Championship next year after two consecutive relegations.

Gooch has played very well so far this year but Saturday might have been his best game. In a 4-1 win over Rochdale, Gooch scored two goals. One came from a penalty which he drew. The second was this nice move to cut in from the right side.

The win moved Sunderland into third place.

Pulisic stands out vs. Hoffenheim

After scoring the match winner in the Champions League midweek on his 20th birthday against Club Brugge thanks to a fortuitous bounce, Christian Pulisic needed no such luck Saturday against Hoffenheim.

With Hoffenheim up 1-0, Pulisic equalized in the 84th minute on a cross from Marco Reus.

The goal was completely fitting as Pulisic was the best player for Dortmund all game and completely deserved to be on the end of that fine cross from Reus.

Gall impresses for Malmo

While he has not been a consistent starter for Malmo since joining the club in July, French-born American Romain Gall, 23, has done well in his minutes. On Saturday against Kelmar, Gall earned the start and rewarded his manager with a goal and an assist in a 4-0 pounding of Kalmar.

Across all competitions this year, Gall has 12 goals in 22 games between GIF Sundsvall and Malmo FF. 10 of those goals have come in the Swedish Allsvenskan. It has been a tough road to get to this point for Gall who did fare well with the Columbus Crew and had to work his way up from the Swedish third tier before getting into the top flight.

McKennie injured

After earning the start against Bayern Munich, Weston McKennie was forced out of the game in the 54th minute with what appeared to be a serious leg injury. Later, reports suggested that it was just a bruise. The Texas native might miss a few weeks but the injury is not nearly as severe as it looked.

The injury was made worse by the fact Schalke lost to Bayern Munich 2-0 and is yet to pick up a point from its first four games of the Bundesliga season.

From elsewhere

It was pretty quiet from elsewhere around Europe among the top players. DeAndre Yedlin went the distance for Newcastle United in a 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace. Newcastle needs to start picking up points after a harsh schedule to start the year.

Bobby Wood got the start for Hannover but was pulled in the first half after a tactical adjustment was needed after Hannover was reduced to 10 players – in what would be an eventual loss.

Jann George scored the final goal for Jahn Regensburg in a 5-0 humiliating defeat of Hamburg. The 26 year old German-American put on a fine showing and was named to the 2.Bundesliga team of the week by Kicker.

Clint Dempsey was honored at Craven Cottage by Fulham for his recent retirement.

Alfredo Morales is off to a strong start to the Bundesliga season and was one of Fortuna Dusseldorf’s best players in a 0-0 road draw with Stuttgart on Friday.

Finally, not in Europe but in Argentina’s Primera, 2015 U.S. U-20 midfielder Joel Sonora earned his first start for Talleres Córdoba in a 1-1 draw with Velez Sarsfield. The Texas-born Sonora played 68 minutes.

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