Yanks Abroad: Weekend to forget for USMNT players in Europe

It was a weekend to forget for U.S. national team players in Europe.

It began on Friday when Tim Weah (quad) was injured in training at Lille and Tyler Adams' RB Leipzig lost again, resulting in the departure of Leipzig head coach Jesse Marsch, Adams' mentor.

Of the 25 players called up for World Cup qualifying in the fall, just two started and won: Chris Richards (back in the starting lineup at German club Hoffenheim for its 3-2 win over Eintracht Frankfurt) and Sam Vines (a fixture at left back for second-place Royal Antwerp in Belgium).

Several of the results were embarrassing: Joe Scally's Borussia Moenchengladbach lost 6-0 at home to Freiburg, and Gianluca Busio's Venezia blew a 3-0 lead and lost at home to Verona, 4-3.

Others who lost at home included Sergino Dest in his first start under new Barcelona coach Xavi and Konrad de la Fuente, L'Equipe's worst-rated player in Marseille's 2-1 loss to Brest.

USMNT in Europe (WCQ Rosters):
Ethan Horvath (Nott. Forest/ENG D2), did not play (2-0 vs. Peterborough United)
Zack Steffen (Man. City/ENG), did not play (3-1 at Watford)


John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER), 45 minutes (0-3 at Mainz)
Sergino Dest (Barcelona/ESP), 90 minutes (0-1 vs. Real Betis)
Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL), 90 minutes (1-1 at Mechelen)
Shaq Moore (Tenerife (ESP D2), plays Monday
Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG D2), 90 minutes (1-1 vs. Bournemouth)
Chris Richards (Hoffenheim/GER), 90 minutes (3-2 vs. Ein. Frankfurt)
Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG D2), did not dress, illness (1-1 vs. Bournemouth)
Joe Scally (Bor. M'Gladbach/GER), 90 minutes (0-6 vs. Freiburg)
Sam Vines (Royal Antwerp/BEL), 90 minutes (1-0 at Beerschot)
DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray/TUR), 89 minutes (2-2 vs. Altay)

Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig/GER), 90 minutes (1-2 at Union Berlin)
Gianluca Busio (Venezia/ITA), sub-24 minutes (3-4 vs. Verona)
Luca de la Torre (Heracles/NED), 90 minutes (0-1 vs. Heerenveen)
Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA), did not dress, injury (2-0 vs. Genoa)
Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP), sub-6 minutes (2-1 at Celta)

Brenden Aaronson (RB Salzburg/AUT), sub-28 minutes (2-1 vs. Hartberg)
Konrad de la Fuente (Marseille/FRA), 56 minutes (1-2 vs. Brest)
Matthew Hoppe (Real Mallorca/ESP), did not dress, injury (2-1 at Atletico Madrid)
Jordan Pefok (Young Boys/SUI), 45 minutes (1-2 vs. Servette)
Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG), sub-18 minutes (2-3 at West Ham United)
Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER), did not dress, injury (2-3 vs. Bayern Munich)
Josh Sargent (Norwich City/ENG), sub-21 minutes (0-3 at Tottenham)
Tim Weah (Lille/FRA), did not dress, injury (2-1 vs. Troyes)

6 comments about "Yanks Abroad: Weekend to forget for USMNT players in Europe".
  1. Santiago 1314, December 6, 2021 at 1:26 p.m.

    The More and More that I watch OUR Guys Play in these European Teams, I notice that their Teammate WON'T Pass them the Ball as a FIRST Option... Our Guy could be Wide Open, but his Teammate Turns away and Plays a More Difficult Pass/Dribble or Waits until they get in Trouble and then FORCE a 50/50 Ball to OUR Player... 
    The other thing is Very Few of them are "Essential Players" or Used in their "Natural" Positions.
    I wonder if a Team Like Genoa or Venezia would be "Ballsey" Enough to "BUY" the US National Team STARTING XI and play them as a TEAM.!!! 
    or at Least 4 or 5 of them... Look at Real Madrid... 4 Brazilians in the Starting Line-up

  2. Sam Bellin replied, December 6, 2021 at 3:37 p.m.

    I've noticed the same thing Santi.  The Americans in these teams are clearly only there for speed, hustle, strength -- just athleticism.  Even our best midfielders like Adams and McKennie almost always play simple, safe, backwards or sideways passes.  They never assume the "quarterbacking" responsibility which is why we seldom have real playmakers on the National Team.  Pulisic seems to have freedom to operate but he seldom starts; Dest seemd to be allowed to play some real soccer by Koeman but Xavi doesn't seem to be very impressed so far.  Reyna was starting to occupy a bigger role at Dortmund before he got hurt, hopefully that will continue.  The only American I've seen who is usually centrally involved in the offense is Aaronson with Salzburg, which is why I think he needs to be a starter for USA.

  3. frank schoon replied, December 6, 2021 at 9:18 p.m.

    Yes, true Sam, but in Dest case don't forget he is dutch and learned to play and was developed in Holland. I would not identify him as one of our boys from America. The only connection he has to America is his father.
     It is obvious that both you and Santi agree on a point that our boys are not getting the ball  passed to them. To me It says that his teammates don't respect his abilities. There are players on the field that demand the ball from their teammates because they are higher in the picking order.  You see in soccer their is a hierarchy set among the players. A good example is with the famous  Dutch NT of '74 . There were 4 tables to be sat at for dinner and lunch . Nobody told you where you could at but you knew your place on the team. At table 1 sat  Cruyff , Keizer , Van Hanegem , Rensenbrink , Krol. The subs always sat at table 4.  Our players , like our coaches don't get respect in EUROPE.  We are looked upon as inexperienced and we are not respected.  

  4. Sam Bellin replied, December 7, 2021 at 9:02 p.m.

    Frank you are right that the American players are being ignored because their teammates don't fully trust them, and I do have a problem with it.  I'm a 60 year old American so once I became good at soccer in the 1970's and 80's I was frequently the only American (or one of a few) on the field and was regularly "frozen out" by my teammates until I had proved that I could play.  I understood -- American players at that time were "inexperienced" at best and "hopeless" at worst so I needed to earn anything I got.  But its' now 2021.  The USA has competed well at the World Cup Finals for the better part of 3 decades and we're usually (deservedly) ranked in the Top 20 in the world.  Our top players are plenty good enough to be on the field and trusted to take care of the soccer ball, even on top teams and in top leagues.
    I'm not bitter and I'm not trying to blame anyone -- I've just observed the same thing Santi commented on and clearly the next step for American soccer is for our best players to be actual playmakers in the good leagues in Europe and not just "hustling Yanks" who are useful for speed and not much else.

  5. frank schoon replied, December 8, 2021 at 10:11 a.m.

    Sam, I understand where you're coming from. Being dutch, myself, I'm a little closer to knowing how Europeans think about US soccer.  In Holland they don't have a high opinion of US soccer and its players. It is similar in how we, Americans, think of Dutch Basketball or baseball....NOT MUCH!!!!   Actually, the dutch have one of the best baseball teams in Europe, LOL....
    You see what I'm getting at....

    The fact that you yourself in your own description describe our players going to Europe as " speed, hustle, strength , athleticism", or McKenzie ,Adams playing simple ,safe, backward passes" isn't flattering but you're right on point...Our players who go to Europe are seen leaving the MLS for instance, as the best we have to offer. But actually, our players are coming to Europe to learn to play a better game, playing a higher level of soccer, in other words we are apprentices coming to learn. You can understand that European players see the Americans at the bottom of the hierarchy.

    This 'hierarchy', when I played pickup ,street soccer, in Amsterdam is very important for it establishes to your peers who is boss. The boss picks the teams. Within that structure everyone tries to move up to become numero UNO. As I mentioned before, teams in Europe have a hierarchy, like the dutch example I gave of the WC'74. The players know their place according to their ability.    It took me a couple of years to become best in the area where the 'skinny bridge' is situated. One day a new kid moved into the neighborhood who was perhaps 5% better than I and it showed and I lost my position to him. I made sure to play against him every day and took me 3months to become better than him and gained my position back.

    I know even when I use to play pickup in Reston, there were players on my team that I chose not to pass to for tactical purposes. In other words, I ,having summed his abilities over time, chose not to pass to him for it would not be beneficial, due to his lack of either passing or 1v1 skills for in particular situations. I look at the productivity after my action and how that productivity can be maintained after I pass the ball off. If I don't think much of his ability, I won't pass to him unless he that he can't influence anything negatively.

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  6. frank schoon, December 8, 2021 at 10:28 a.m.

    Sam ,you feel frustrated, when taking into account our WC experience and the many years, 50 or so, the US has been playing soccer and that we even ranked in the top 20. The ranking of teams does in no way improve the respect for our players. Do you think we even have a player ranking among players in the world in the top 20. Do you see what I'm getting at. Your team ranking in no way reflects player ranking. Players of lesser abilities can beat a better team.

    What will give us a respect among the players of European teams, is when we send guys over who are great technicians, great passer, great shooters , excellent ball handlers who can deal, who can show who is boss out there.....Well ,that ain't happening. Consider it's been now 50 years and we still don't produce these types of players...NOT ONE!!!  Players don't care where you're from but only respect ability who see that you can talk with your feet.....And what do we send over ,'Johnny Hustles", Turbo boys!!  And you can't understand why we aren't respected.....It is very simple....

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