Americans abroad analysis

Ream, Zendejas, Tillman injured in nightmare weekend for Yanks abroad

It was one of the worst weekend for Yanks abroad in several years as three U.S. internationals were injured and many others either played poorly, suffered bad losses, struggled for mintues, or are flirting with relegation. ASN's Brian Sciaretta breaks it all down. 
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
May 01, 2023
6:00 PM

THE WEEKEND FOR AMERICANS abroad was one of the ugliest in many years. For starters, three U.S. internationals had to leave their games early with injuries. After that, multiple Americans suffered very costly losses in relegation battles. For the rest it was almost entirely a list of poor performances, missed opportunities, and time on the bench.

Overall, it was a giant mess nearly across the board – but there were a few exceptions.


Why was it bad? Big picture


Tim Ream, Alejandro Zendejas, and Malik Tillman were all injured and look set to miss some time. In separate relegation battles, Weston McKennie for Leeds and Yunus Musah both struggled in losses. Brenden Aaronson didn’t get off the bench for Leeds. Tim Weah continued to not start for Lille and while he came off the bench for most of the second half, Lille was coasting to a 3-0 win when he came on. On the other end of the table, Erik Palmer-Brown could clinch relegation with Troyes next week after a 1-0 loss to Nice. Troyes hasn’t won in 17 games.

U.S. players Sergino Dest at AC Milan and Matt Turner at Arsenal continue to not play. Chris Richards also did not play and has seen only minimal minutes this season. Gio Reyna only played eight minutes, but his Borussia Dortmund team choked in a 1-1 draw with Bochum and lost their grip on first place.

Jordan Pefok was given a rare chance to start for Union Berlin but came up empty in the scoresheet and has just one goal since September 17. Kevin Paredes continues to miss time injured with the U-20 World Cup approaching. John Brooks made an enormous passing mistake that cost Hoffenheim and their American manager, Pellegrino Matarazzo, a result in a 1-0 loss to RB Leipzig in the midst of their relegation battle. In that game, Caden Clark returned to the matchday squad for RB Leipzig but he hasn’t played a game in 7.5 months and might be on the edge of the bubble for the U.S. U-20 World Cup team. Joe Scally was moved to the bench and didn’t play for Borussia Monchengladbach in a loss to Stuttgart.

In Belgium, Bryan Reynolds played 90 minutes for Westerlo in a 3-1 loss to Gent. Westerlo are in the First Division’s playoff for a UEFA Conference League playoff spot.

Lynden Gooch and Sunderland had a chance to get into the Championship promotional playoff positions but came up short and have a tough path in the final week of the regular season. Auston Trusty is nearly finished playing out the string on his loan to Birmingham City and it is ended a tough note – on Saturday, a 2-0 loss to Coventry.  George Bello played the final five minutes for Arminia Bielefeld in a 2-1 loss to St. Pauli that pushed them into the 2.Bundesliga relegation playoff zone. In Portugal ‘s top flight everyone was lackluster.


Benji Michel only played the last six minutes for Arouca in a 1-0 loss to Rio Ave. Alex Mendez started and played 77 minutes for Vizela in a 2-1 loss to Pacos de Ferreira. Finally, Reggie Cannon started and played 83 minutes for Boavista in a 1-0 loss to Porto.

In Israel, Josh Coshen and Maccabi Haifa had the chance to clinch the Israeli Premier League title but fell to Hapoel Beer Sheva 2-1 on Monday.

In Austria, Sebastian Soto came into Austria Klagenfurt’s game against LASK in the 55th minute down 1-0. They ended up losing 4-0. Christian Cappis did not get off the bench for Brondby in an impressive 1-0 win over Copenhagen in the Copenhagen derby. Staying in Scandinavia, Kobe Hernandez-Forster played the final 12 minutes for Hamkam in a 7-3 loss to Viking in Sweden. In Finland, forward Jack DeVries wend 90 for KTP in a 1-0 loss to Ilves.

In Mexico, the news was almost entirely bad. Juarez lost to Club America 1-0 in the game Zendejas was injured for America. For Juarez, Alan Sonora started and was ineffective. He was replaced by his brother, Joel Sonora, in the 67th minute. The elder Sonora brother was also ineffective. Bofo Saucedo didn’t get off the bench for Toluca in a 3-0 win over Necaxa. Monterrey defeated Pumas 4-1 with Jorge Ruvalcaba playing the last 29 minutes in the loss.

In Australia, Jason Romero played 26 minutes for Macarthur in a 1-0 loss to Wellington. That was the final game of the A-League regular season and Macarthur finished in last.

After you get through that, you have all sorts of things that are a mix of both bad and good.

For example, in the game where Ream was injured, Antonee Robinson started in the 2-1 loss to Manchester City. Robinson played fairly well in the loss.

Josh Sargent scored his 12th goal of the season for Norwich but it came in a 2-1 loss to West Bromwich and it eliminated Norwich from contending for a spot in the promotional playoffs. Emmanuel Sabbi scored for OB Odense but it was a 2-2 draw with Horsens in the relegation half of the Danish Superliga (with almost nothing on the line). Luca de la Torre had a pretty good showing for 90 minutes, but his Celta Vigo team was convincingly outplayed in a 3-1 loss to Villarreal. Haji Wright was unusually quiet, but his Antalyaspor team still won 1-0 over Fatih Karagumruk. Wright went 84 minutes.


USMNT trio suffer injuries


Three full U.S. internationals were forced out of games with what looked like significant injuries.

First, Tim Ream exited Fulham’s 2-1 loss at home to Manchester City in the 22nd minute with a broken arm. It was an ugly looking scene and this likely ends his wildly successful season where Fulham safely avoided relegation and was in the top 10 for long stretches. It also likely rules him out for the U.S. national team next month as well.

For Ream, now 35, it’s about staying fit an taking care of himself to keep his career going strong another few years.

Then in the Scottish Cup final, Malik Tillman was subbed out in the 35th minute in the 1-0 loss to Celtic. He attempted a lunging tackle and was hurt. He tried to play through it but lasted only a few more minutes. He seemed to be leaving in tears.

Again, Tillman has had a few injuries throughout this season, but this appears to be the most serious. We need to wait and see the full diagnosis from Rangers but it seems unlikely the club is going to push him with nothing on the line the last five games (Celtic has a 13 point lead atop the table).

Then in Liga MX, Club American and USMNT attacker Alejandro Zendejas left Friday’s 1-0 win over Club Juarez in the 39th minute, again like Tillman – he was in tears. Zendejas put off surgery until the offseason to repair his nose. If he will not play for Club America again this season, he might just opt to have that surgery now.


CCV wins Cup, shut down for season


Cameron Carter-Vickers enjoyed a big-time performance for Celtic on Sunday in a 1-0 win over Rangers in the Scottish Cup final. That cleared the way for Celtic to win the treble this year after also winning the League Cup in March. With five games remaining in the regular season, Celtic is comfortably up by 13 points.

In the cup final, Carter-Vickers was immense over 90 minutes and cleaned up any attacking ball from Rangers sent his way.

But on the flip side, Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou said Carter-Vickers is done for the season as he has been carrying an injury for a long time (the same that kept him off the USMNT roster in March) and he needs to rest and rehab.



It remains to be seen if this will impact Carter-Vickers and his ability to play this summer for the U.S. team but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him continue his recovery instead.


McKenzie scores in huge Genk win


Genk is both fighting for a Belgian title and is fighting against momentum. The team has seen its lead atop the table dwindle from double digits to goal differential. But on Sunday, Genk hosted Club Brugge to start the four-team Championship playoff round robin to decide the title and the European places. The other teams are Royal Antwerp and Union SG.

Genk was able to open the championship round with a big 3-1 win over Club Brugge on Sunday. With the team s even at 1-1, McKenzie put Genk up for good in the 55th minute with a powerful header off a corner.

McKenzie had a big game and an important time as Genk tries to continue its push for the Belgian title. Union SG and Antwerp play on Wednesday.

With Tim Ream injured and Cameron Carter-Vickers shut down for a bit, this summer should see Anthony Hudson dig deeper into his central defense depth. McKenzie should benefit for that.


Venezia continue rise


One in last place in Italy’s Serie Bo, Venezia is making a sudden push for the Serie B promotional playoffs after a 5-0 pounding of Modena on Monday moved it within one point of the final playoff spot. Tanner Tessmann continues to be one of the team’s best players.

Finland’s Joel Pohjanpalo is one of Serie B’s top goal scorers and he had four goals in the win over Modena. Tessmann assisted on his third goal.

Venezia has now won six out of their last seven games. Tessmann played 90 minutes in the win on Monday and his numbers were solid across the board: 40/52 in passing, 4/7 in long balls, 3/3 in dribbles, 10 recoveries, 6/9 in ground duels, 3/3 in aerials.

On the flip side, Gianluca Busio was quiet in playing the last 14 for Venezia while Andrija Novakovich didn’t get off the bench.

Venezia have three games to go in the regular season with two of the three coming against teams in the relegation playoff positions.


2.Bundesliga positives


Not everything in the 2.Bundesliga is positive for Americans, but two stories from the league were very impressive.

Lennard Maloney and Heidenheim have a great shot of being promoted. On Friday, they defeated a lackluster Greuther Furth team 2-0 to remain in second place. They are now four points clear of automatic promotion with four games to go – with a very favorable schedule.

Maloney had a good game in the win. If Heidenheim is promoted, it will be interesting to see if Maloney made a successful case to remain as the team’s starting defensive midfielder. This was his first season in that position after previously playing as a central defender. The Bundesliga is a completely different level.

On the other hand, Julian Green struggled in the game and went 90 minutes in the loss. He has one more year left on his contract and this has been his second tough season in a row.

In the relegation battle, Hansa Rostock has climbed out of the relegation hole with its second win in a row – a 1-0 away win over Kaiserslautern. Ryan Malone was named to the 2.Bundesliga team of the week last week and might get the honor again in another big effort in central defense for Hansa Rostock.

Meanwhile, Terrence Boyd went 90 in the loss for Kaiserslautern and it is looking to be a midtable finish for FCK after they were promoted from the 3.Liga last season. Boyd remains fourth in the 2.Bundesliga scoring table with 12 goals.


Yanks elsewhere


Amid the long list of disappointments, the mixed results, and the few successes from the weekend, there were some other games to report.

In the Championship, it was uneventful for the American goalkeepers on Monday as both had already clinched a spot in the promotional playoffs. Zack Steffen and Middlesbrough lost to Rotherham 1-0. Ethan Horvath and Luton Town played Blackburn to a 1-1 draw.

In the Bundesliga on Saturday, Paxten Aaronson played the final 23 minutes for Eintracht Frankfurt in a 1-1 draw with Augsburg while Timothy Chandler made a rare appearance as a stoppage time, time-wasting, substitute.

In Belgium’s playoff for a Conference League playoff spot, Cercel Brugge and Standard Liege played to a 0-0 draw. Marlon Fossey went 90 minutes at right wingback for Standard. Standard Liege trails Gent in this playoff by two points in a four-team round robin format.

In Norway’s top flight, Odd and Rosenborg also played to a 0-0 draw. Sam Rogers went 90 minutes in central defense for Rosenborg – which has one win and three draws in four games to start the season. They have scored four goals and conceded just two.

In Sweden’s Allsvenskan, Degerfors defeated Djurgarden 2-1 with Joe Gyau going 90 minutes in the win. Degerfors is in ninth place to start the season with six points from five games.

In Croatia’s HNL, Hajduk Split drew Dinamo Zagreb 0-0 in the Eternal Derby. U.S. U-20 midfielder Rokas Pukstas went 90 for Hajduk Split. The result was enough for Dinamo to clinch the HNL title in Split.

In the relegation playoff of the Greek Super League, Lamia played Asteras Tripolis to a 0-0 away draw. Caleb Stanko played the last 22 minutes and Lamia is now two points clear of the relegation zone with two games remaining.

In Iceland’s top tier, Valur defeated Stjarnan 3-2 with Aron Johannsson playing 90 minutes in the win. Valur is in second place to start the season with nine points from four games.

In Brazil’s Serie A, Internacional defeated Goias with Johnny Cardoso going 90 minutes in the win.

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