1. Bob Bradley's Premier League Debut
There's really no other sensible place to begin than with this historic occasion, a major milestone in American soccer history.
On Saturday at London's Emirates Stadium, Bob Bradley became the first American to manage in the English Premier League. After being named manager of Swansea City earlier in the week, Bradley's sideline debut was an initiation by fire vs. Arsene Wenger's talented Arsenal squad.
⚽️— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) October 15, 2016
Bob Bradley names his first line-up as #Swans manager... Here's how it looks: pic.twitter.com/e7qvkD0Kou
Bradley's Swans lined up in a 4-3-3 against the Gunners, and found themselves behind by a 2-0 deficit by the 33rd minute after a Theo Walcott brace. But Swansea put in a spirited performance, twice coming back to narrow two-goal margins to a single goal. After a 70th minute red card to Arsenal's Granit Xhaka, the door opened for an unlikely Swansea result, but the equalizer never came and the hosts would seal a 3-2 victory.
Bob Bradley's bottom line goal is to keep Swansea City in the Premier League. Thru 8 games, the Swans sit next-to-last on the table with 4 points. There is much work to be done.
2. Timothy Chandler serves up the equalizer vs. Bayern
Following the October friendlies, it would appear the starting right back position for the USMNT is in a state of flux. DeAndre Yedlin's hold on the job now seems tenuous, given that he's not currently starting for his club, combined with Jurgen Klinsmann's post-camp comments. That being the case, Timothy Chandler just may be primed to take advantage with the Hex just around the corner.
On Saturday's clash vs. mighty Bayern Munich, Chandler was Eintracht Frankfurt's best player on the day. He was consistently dangerous down the right flank, giving Bayern's defense all sorts of problems. The payoff came in the 79th minute, with perfect cross (or possibly mishit shot) to Mexican teammate Marco Fabian.
Timothy Chandler with the cross, Marco Fabian with the chest! The #USMNT #ElTri connection gets it done. #SGEFCB https://t.co/PP231zYQ14— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) October 15, 2016
Chandler's assist leveled the game at 2-2, lifting Frankfurt to a draw against the champs. The draw keeps the club in early contention for European competition, currently 8th place after a 3-2-2 start.
3. Bjørn Johnsen open his Scottish account
After scoring at a prodigious rate in Bulgaria, Bjørn Johnsen is looking to prove himself again at a higher level after joining Scotland's Heart of Midlothian this summer. On Saturday vs. Dundee United, Johnsen came off the bench in a 1-0 game, and later provided the clincher in the 88th minute (skip to 1:19 of the linked video here.)
Johnsen's first goal for Hearts helped secure three points, as the club sits in third place on the Scottish Premiership table.
4. Showdown in the Bundesliga
It seems every weekend in the Bundesliga, we're treated to prominent American players going head-to-head on the pitch. This weekend had a few of them, highlighted by Friday's clash between Borussia Dortmund (Christian Pulisic) and Hertha Berlin (John Brooks).
The two crossed paths directly numerous times throughout the game, with each getting the better of his USMNT teammate at least once. The most notable direct battle occurred in the 53rd minute, when John Brooks picked up his first yellow card of the season for fouling Pulisic.
@rex_darwin Pulisic 2, Brooks 1. Yellow card to Brooks #USMNT pic.twitter.com/VcJhDvMN8O— Rex Darwin (@rex_darwin) October 14, 2016
In live action, it almost appeared that Brooks had applied a "soft" clothesline to Pulisic just outside the box. Replays revealed that Brooks, beaten on the play, had simply leaned a heavy shoulder into him, then pulled back the arm to kill off the threat.
The sides would split the points in a 1-1 draw. Both clubs are off to a strong start, with Hertha 4th place and Dortmund 5th, 3 points and 4 points back of Bayern Munich, respectively.
5. Lichaj & Williams score key goals in The Championship
Finally a couple of big goals scored by Americans in the English second division.
Eric Lichaj scored his first goal for Nottingham Forest in just under a year. His 33rd minute volley did it in style, giving Forest an early 1-0 lead vs. Birmingham City (skip to 1:45 of the video below):
Forest would hold on for a 3-1 win vs. BCFC, snapping a seven-game winless skid across all competitions.
Elsewhere in the league, it was Danny Williams scoring an important goal for Reading. After falling behind 1-0 early, Williams' second of the season equalized it in the 21st minute with a decent volley of his own (skip to 0:34 of the video below for the goal sequence):
1-1 was how it would end, as the Royals snagged a tough away point to remain 7th on the league table.