Six Americans who had a great Holiday week
The Holiday week saw some impressive performances and one noteworthy move among Americans Abroad. ASN's Brian Sciaretta looks at the six best
BY Brian Sciaretta PostedThe Holiday week was not without news for many American players as the busy English schedule saw impressive performances and the off-season saw some interesting signings. But here are six American players who ended 2017 on a particularly strong note.
December 27, 2017
December 27, 2017
1) Tim Ream’s goal lifts Fulham
Tim Ream is a popular player at Fulham and it is easy to see why. He’s been one of the team’s most consistent players for years. But if the London-based club is going to make a return to the promotional playoffs, the St. Louis-native will have to be on the top of his game in central defense.
Fortunately, he had a great Boxing Day match on the road against third-place Cardiff City. His opening goal set the tone for an important 4-2 win. With three wins in its last four, Fulham climbed to 11th place in the Championship and six points out of a playoffs spot.
2) Manneh inks move to Pachuca
Just 12 months ago, Kekuta Manneh secured his American citizenship. During the course of 2017, he fulfilled his residency requirements with FIFA to be eligible for the U.S. national team. That was not an easy process for the Gambia-native who lived in the U.S. enclave of Point Roberts, Washington while playing for Vancouver. But in March he was traded to Columbus for the final year of his contract.
Manneh, 22, went on trial during the off-season with Union Berlin but a coaching change at the German club crumbled hopes of a permanent deal. But last week he began negotiations with Pachuca of Liga MX which is one of Mexico’s best clubs and the winner of the 2017 CONCACAF Champions League.
Since joining Vancouver in 2013, Manneh put up some decent numbers in five MLS seasons. He played 6761 minutes over 128 games (73 starts) and scored 26 goals and added 15 assists.
But Liga MX will be a different game all together. In Mexico, more teams are equipped with better wings than in MLS. Manneh brings with him elite pace but he will be going up against faster fullbacks. But he should also receive quality distribution and find himself in more isolated 1v1 battles.
Manneh might struggle to start early in his first season with Pachuca but if he sticks with it and adjusts to a very different new style of play, he could be very valuable to that team. The upsides are huge too. Quality performances at Pachuca should open the door for his U.S. national team debut regardless of whoever the coach will be.
3) Carter-Vickers improves in key win
Cameron Carter-Vickers will turn 20 on New Year’s Eve and 2017 essentially marked the start of his professional career. While he had some cup appearances for Tottenham last year, this season’s loan to Sheffield United is the first time when he can start regularly.
There is a lot to like about how this season has gone for him. The English-born Carter-Vickers has made several notable mistakes but has bounced back nicely each time. Sheffield United clearly sees the value in the U.S. international and has not lost faith in him.
Before Christmas, Carter-Vickers was beaten badly in the air in Aston Villa’s first goal in a 2-2 draw. But then on Boxing Day, Carter-Vickers returned with a fine performance in a 3-0 win over Lynden Gooch and Sunderland.
Carter-Vickers could not ask for a better loan than this. He is starting every game in a promotional hunt (Sheffield United sits in sixth place) and he is also being afforded the opportunity to learn from his mistakes by continuing to play through them.
4) Hyndman on Bournemouth roster
Emerson Hyndman, 21, had had rough luck so far in his career as preseason injuries the past two preseasons have made it hard to establish himself at Bournemouth. A successful loan at Rangers last year helped but the past five months he has returned to Bournemouth’s reserve team.
Lately, however, the Texan has been making the matchday roster for the Cherries which have fallen into the relegation zone of the Premier League. It is setting the table for something to happen for Hyndman. Either he is improving and could be given a shot as manager Eddie Howe will look to shake things up, or he will be in the window for another loan.
The start to 2018 could be an important time for the former U.S. U-20 World Cup captain.
5) Cameron and Stoke surge
The bottom half of the Premier League table is tight and a few good performances can go a long way towards moving a club away from the relegation zone.
Geoff Cameron, 32, has had a rough first half of the season as the Massachusetts native has missed a lot of time dealing with a concussion but his return has helped the team a lot in recent games.
After a three game losing streak saw Stoke City fall to 17th place and just a point away from the relegation zone, Mark Hughes’ club respond well over the Holidays with a 3-1 win over West Brom and a 1-1 away draw against Huddersfield. Those four points lifted Stoke into 13th place and Cameron in particular has looked especially strong.
6) Holmes lifts Scunthorpe
Duane Holmes, 23, has been a big part of Scunthorpe’s promotional hopes this season as the club is looking to return to the Championship after being relegated in 2014.
The Georgia-born attacking midfielder was the Man of the Match on Boxing Day in Scunthorpe’s 3-2 away win over Blackpool. He assisted on Tom Hopper’s opening goal and scored his own in the eighth minute in a full 90 effort.
As 2017 draws to a close, Holmes now has six goals and three assists on the season. Scunthorpe is now in fourth place in League One and Holmes will be a big part of the club’s push for promotion.