1. Horvath in Limbo?
Goalkeeper Ethan Horvath's standing with the United States men's national team seems in good order. Jürgen Klinsmann included him on the roster once again, this time called in for World Cup Qualifying this week. However, Horvath's status with his club, Molde FK, suddenly seems in flux.
Horvath has been left on the bench for Molde's last two games. He's had a very good season thus far overall, recording 7 clean sheets in 22 matches. Reports from Norway indicate there may be multiple factors at play. On one hand, manager Ole Gunnar Skolskjær suggested the overworked Horvath needed a breather. Yet former backup GK Andreas Linde seems to have taken advantage with consecutive starts now.
Also at play is the possibility, or even likelihood, that Horvath leaves the club at the end of the season. While there don't appear to be any specific rumors of a new destination for Horvath yet, it's been enough for the club to look ahead. Said Skloskjær (loose Norwegian translation), "...we'll see how long Ethan is here. He could be on the way out. There is much interest. Ethan is a very good keeper, so we'll see."
It appears there is an increasing chance Ethan Horvath graduates to a higher profile league in 2017. Stay tuned.
2. Pulisic, Again.
And now comes your weekly dose of Christian Pulisic awesomeness. What'd he do this week? Let's catch up.
On Wednesday, Pulisic started once again in UEFA Champions League vs. Sporting CP, his 3rd UCL start and 4th appearance in the Group Stage. Again Pulisic was a 90 minute performer, helping Borussia Dortmund keep a clean sheet in a 1-0 home win, clinching a spot in the Knockout Round. Dortmund continues to lead Group F ahead of Real Madrid.
Then at the weekend, Pulisic got the call in Bundesliga play in a road test at winless Hamburger SV (sans the suspended Bobby Wood.) Dortmund was rampant in this one. Pulisic's highlight of the day was an assist on Aubameyang's 4th goal of the day in the 48th minute:
After Pulisic did the dirty work to steal possession at the top of the box, he dished to Aubameyang to do the rest. BVB went on to a 5-2 win. Pulisic's 4th assist of the season ranks him in a tie for third amongst all players in the Bundesliga. Meanwhile, he's 4th on the club in minutes played, and has become a regular, if not essential part of Dortmund's attack.
3. Yedlin Thriving
The signs continue to be positive for DeAndre Yedlin at Newcastle United. His first crack at the starting RB job came when he got 3 straight starts during the suspension of incumbent starter Vurnon Anita. Yedlin returned to a reserve role afterward. Things have changed. This week he made his fourth consecutive start for the Magpies, and his performances are helping cement his claim on the job.
Saturday in the 45th minute vs. Cardiff City, Yedlin was again the key playmaker, sending in a pretty assist to extend Newcastle's lead:
Officially, it's his second assist of the season, but his involvement in big goals has been a regular occurrence. Newcastle went on to a 2-1 win over the Bluebirds, and remains atop The Championship table as a heavy favorite for promotion. Has he regained Jürgen Klinsmann's favor enough to start vs. Mexico? We'll know soon.
4. Chandler in Great Form
A challenger to Yedlin for the USMNT right back job is a resurgent Timothy Chandler, who's been playing very well with Eintracht Frankfurt. After losing the club's starting role late last season, there were plenty of doubts about how Chandler would fit in to Frankfurt's 2016-17 plans. The early season results have been pleasantly good.
With the exception of the season opener, Chandler has started every Bundesliga game since. We last saw Chandler in this space a few weeks ago, when he was serving up a late game-tying assist vs. Bayern Munich. He was back at it on Saturday, this time in the early-going vs. FC Köln:
Chandler's pinpoint cross to the head of Gacinovic put Frankfurt ahead 1-0 in the 5th minute, and that'd be the final margin. Frankfurt is off to a surprisingly strong start after last season's close brush with relegation. The club sits in 7th place on the Bundesliga table, but very much in European contention, only two points out of 3rd place. Chandler's been a major part of this run. Uncoincidentally, he's back in the USMNT picture as well.
5. Jonathan Bornstein, Champion.
Finally this week, we have a trophy lifted by an American. Good times!
Jonathan Bornstein was the man hoisting the hardware this week, helping Querétaro to the Copa MX Apertura title. A regular starter for Los Gallos Blancos for the past two and half seasons, Bornstein has been a steady presence on the left flank. On Wednesday night vs. CD Guadalajara, Johnny and company kept a clean sheet as the match remained scoreless. Querétaro would emerge as 2-1 winners after kicks from the penalty spot, and the home fans rejoiced:
The victory earned Querétaro its first trophy in club history, and a spot in the Super Copa MX final next spring. Congrats to Jonathan Bornstein, who continues have a productive career south of the border.