The preseason in Europe is rolling along now with many young Americans getting chances. It was also a heck of a week for young Americans in MLS with several noteworthy performances. Here’s what happened this week.
Emerson Hyndman - Central Midfielder, AFC Bournemouth
Bournemouth played a preseason match against Spanish club Sevilla on Saturday. Hyndman got the start alongsided Lewis Cook in midfield. The 22-year-old flashed his skill on the ball just after the 30 minute mark by shedding a defender in the box to create a scoring chance for himself. Unfortunately he didn’t make good enough contact on the strike to beat the keeper, but it was an encouraging performance from the Texan. Finally healthy during a preseason, he needs to take advantage of this opportunity if he wants to feature on a regular basis in the Premier League this season. With loan rumors buzzing, Head Coach Eddie Howe seems content with keeping Hyndman around to see what he can do at least for the time being. Let’s hope we see much more of him this preseason as well as the upcoming season.
Indiana Vassilev - Attacking Midfielder, Aston Villa
Vassilev moved to England last year and seems to be making some waves. This weekend, with the first team split into two groups for separate friendlies, Vassilev came off the bench late for his first appearance with the first team. Vassilev spent last season playing for Villa’s U-18’s where he scored a goal and delivered three assists in eleven appearances. The 17-year-old is now getting some first team looks. Let’s hope he can continue climbing through the ranks for the Championship club.
Jonathan Klinsmann - Goal Keeper, Hertha Berlin
Klinsmann started on Thursday in Berlin’s 9-1 win. The 21-year-old played the first half and didn’t allow any goals as they went to halftime with a 5-0 lead. Klinsmann is still very much the third keeper on the depth chart behind Rune Jarstein and Thomas Kraft, but it’s good to see him getting some looks this summer. Perhaps Berlin will seek a loan for the young man. NOTE: US-eligible midfielder Sidney Friede also appeared in this friendly for Hertha Berlin.
Josh Sargent - Striker, Werder Bremen
Sargent had a big week. He started the second preseason friendly in their midweek match and scored a tap-in less than two minutes into the match. Later he teed up fellow American Aron Johannsson for an assist. On Sunday he was at it again getting behind the defense and easily beating the keeper.
Josh Sargent scores again vs Pribram In friendly. pic.twitter.com/v5lzfaUy2B— USMNT Only (@usmntonly) July 15, 2018
He’s off to a great start this summer. Hopefully he keeps it up.
Nick Taitague - Attacking Midfielder, FC Schalke
Taitague is set for an important summer. There were some rumors about him seeking a move away from Gelsenkirchen, but it appears that he’s now intent on staying with Schalke. Currently working on his fitness with the U-23’s in the aftermath of his thigh injury, he is reportedly going to get some looks in training with the Schalke first team now that they’ve returned from China. If he looks ready for first team football, a loan may be on the horizon.
Gennaro Nigro - Central Midfielder, AS Roma
Gennaro Nigro has signed with AS Roma in Serie A. The 18-year-old New Jersey born midfielder will move from Players Development Academy (PDA) to join the Primavera side. Nigro is a dual national eligible for both Italy and the United States. Hopefully he can rise through the ranks with the Italian giants. Here’s a highlight reel for those curious about the tricky left-footed midfielder:
Emmanuel Sabbi - Winger/Striker, Hobro IK
The regular season started in the Danish Superliga this weekend. On Friday, Sabbi came off the bench in the 50th minute. With Hobro down 2-0, Sabbi pulled one back on an absolute stunner in the 73rd minute.
Scorching half-volley from Emmanuel Sabbi for Hobro IK's only goal in a 3-1 loss to Vejle BK on the opening day of the Danish league. Sabbi was a second-half sub, came on in the 50th minute, scored in the 73rd. pic.twitter.com/iNtpwQVwA6— Scuffed (@zlebmada) July 13, 2018
The 20-year-old represented the US at the 2017 U-20 WC but has seen very little club success. Last year he appeared 20 times in all competitions but for fewer than 900 minutes, scoring one goal and picking up one assist. He has the talent to make waves in that league. Let’s hope he can build on this start.
Akil Watts - RCD Mallorca
Watts is on the move to Spain to play for RCD Mallorca. Watts was on trial earlier this year with the Spanish Segunda Division club and was offered a contract. The 18-year-old from the Portland Timbers Academy joins a massive contingent of the the 2017 U-17 WC players to sign professional contracts. He will likely start with the B team and try to work his way into the first team fold. Good luck Akil!
Kevin Silva - Goal Keeper, Hearts FC
Silva is set to join Hearts following a successful trial. The 20-year-old has left Rutgers University in search of a professional soccer career. Hopefully he will have success in Scotland. Hearts also signed another new keeper this offseason so it’s Silva won’t start immediately but hopefully they can develop him into a solid player.
Jonathan Lewis - Winger, New York City FC
Lewis has had a huge week! Last weekend, Lewis came off the bench and got the assist on the game’s only goal in NYCFC’s win over rival New York Red Bulls. In the midweek match, Lewis came off the bench in the 67th minute and scored the final goal in NYCFC’s 3-0 win over Montreal. Then this past Saturday, Lewis cane off the bench and delivered another game-winning assist following the terrible giveaway by Zack Steffen.
The 21-year-old found minutes impossible to come by until recent weeks, but he’s taken great advantage of his chances. It’s hard to imagine he’ll be on the bench much longer.
Tyler Adams - Central Midfielder, New York Red Bulls
Adams continues to have a fine year for New York ahead of his reported move to Germany. On Saturday, Adams delivered this beautiful dime to level the score at 2-2 against Sporting Kansas City.
The 19-year-old now has a goal and three assists in all competitions this season to to along with his usual dirty work in midfield. Adams is one of the brightest young stars in MLS and seems destined for a huge future.
Reggie Cannon - Right Back, FC Dallas
Cannon has nailed down the right back spot in Dallas this season. the 20-year-old has had some moments of inconsistency as expeceted, but he’s shown some signs of being an excellent player. On Saturday, Cannon burned fellow American Brandon Vincent 1v1 before delivering a nice assist in FC Dallas’s 3-1 win over Chicago (fellow American Kellyn Acosta also scored in this match).
Cannon is an interesting player in regards to the USMNT. While Deandre Yedlin is the preferred starter, Timothy Chandler’s never impressed in a US shirt, Shaq Moore is headed to the second division in Spain and Graham Zusi is old. There aren’t a ton of other American right backs out there. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him in the picture in the next couple years.
As always, hit the comment section to let me know if there’s anything major I overlooked. Also, let me know if there’s anyone you’d like to hear about. Thank you for reading!