Overall, this was a very good week for young Americans at home and abroad. The European season is slowly getting back underway. The EFL Championship and League One resumed league play as well as the 2. Bundesliga among several others. This saw many young Americans get back into live action. Here’s what happened this week:
Timothy Weah - Winger/Striker, Paris St. Germain
Last Monday, Weah came off the bench at halftime in PSG’s final preseason friendly against Atletico Madrid. Weah provided an assist after pouncing on an errant pass in their 3-2 win. Weah then started against AS Monaco in the French Super Cup on Saturday. Deployed as a striker, Weah had a quiet first half even with PSG in command. However, in the 67th minute Weah scored his first competitive goal for the French giants.
Weah’s was the third goal in their 4-0 domination of AS Monaco. He also completed all of his passes and was dangerous all match making runs behind the defense. A lot of the talk surrounding Weah has been for him to seek out a loan, but I hope continues to stay and fight. He seems to improve every time he steps on the field. With Edinson Cavani still out and Mbappe still away after the World Cup, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get several more opportunities in the coming weeks.
Josh Sargent - Striker, Werder Bremen
After competing for a first team spot this summer, Sargent is going to at least begin playing Werder Bremen’s B team this season. Sargent started each of Werder Bremen’s U-23 matches this week, scoring a goal in each match.
ICYMI Josh Sargent has scored a goal in each of his 1st two matches with Bremen II. Here's his goal from Friday.— Sams Mini Army (@samsminiarmy) August 4, 2018
He's making it hard for @werderbremen_en to keep him with the reserves!#USMNT @ussoccer_mnt pic.twitter.com/t8EnWJ3oRw
Hopefully the 18-year-old from St. Louis can continue to push and get some time with the first team this season.
Jonathan Klinsmann - Goalkeeper, Hertha Berlin
Klinsmann received high praise from his goalkeeping coach, Zsolt Petry this week. Following his highly publicized “too American” criticism this past Spring, Petry says that Klinsmann has responded brilliantly. Via Google Translation, Petry says:
While Klinsmann is still down the depth chart at Hertha Berlin, it’s excellent to hear him respond positively after he was called out by his coach. Let’s hope the 21-year-old can push the Hertha Berlin incumbents soon.
Lynden Gooch - Attacking Midfielder, AFC Sunderland
After getting relegated for a second consecutive season, Sunderland are desperate to stop the freefall. They have designs on getting promoted back into the Championship and Lynden Gooch figures to be integral to that goal. Gooch got the start on opening day and was the hero. In the 6th minute of second half stoppage time, he scored a fantastic header at the back post to give Sunderland a comeback 2-1 win.
Lynden Gooch's stoppage-time winner for Sunderland.— USMNT (@USMNTvideos) August 4, 2018
Courtesy of Reddit. pic.twitter.com/Af8yL59T2s
Gooch is 22 years old and in the final year of his contract so this is a huge year for this young man.
Antonee Robinson - Left Back, Everton (On Loan at Wigan Athletic)
Robinson secured a loan move to newly promoted Championship side, Wigan Athletic. The 20-year-old (he’ll be 21 on Wednesday) was sent out after Everton signed Lucas Digne from Barcelona. While Robinson will undoubtedly see a ton of time in the Championship this season, it’s a bit disappointing that Everton didn’t trust him to play behind Leighton Baines this season. Robinson started immediately on Saturday and had a good match, providing the key pass to help set up the first goal. He was somewhat at fault for Sheffield’s first goal as he was slow to close down Atdhe Nuhiu. Wigan eventually won 3-2.
Marlon Fossey - Right Back, Fulham FC
Fossey has flown under the radar a bit this preseason. The 19-year-old fullback has seen several opportunities with the Fulham first team this summer. This week, he started against Italian club Sampdoria in Fulham’s 1-0 loss. Fossey really impressed with his ability to overlap and get on the ball in the attack. Fossey spent much of last year injured, but with Ryan Fredericks heading to West Ham, there may be an opportunity for a reserve role with the first team this year. We’ll see if he’s done enough to warrant some looks soon when the Premier League season kicks off.
Peter Stroud - Central Midfielder, West Ham United
Stroud is leaving the New York Red Bulls academy to join West Ham. The 16-year-old has featured for the US U-17’s and could be on the roster in next year’s U-17 World Cup. Apparently this move has a bit to do with his parents moving for work and not entirely about his soccer career, but good luck to the young man.
Keaton Parks - Central Midfielder, SL Benfica
It’s been a disappointing few weeks for the 20-year-old (he’ll be 21 on Monday). He was an unused substitute in Benfica’s final International Champions Cup match this week against Olympique Lyonnais. He only made one bench appearance in their three matches in the competition, and he didn’t look particularly sharp when he played. Parks was, however, included in the 25-man squad named for the Champions League which would indicate he’s in their plans for the upcoming season. Reports also came out this week that Aston Villa would make a bid for him if they get promoted to the Premier League next summer. Benfica takes on Turkish side Fenerbahce in Champions League qualifiers on Tuesday, so we’ll see if Parks is in their plans. Let’s hope we see him in the squad for their upcoming matches.
Emmanuel Sabbi - Winger/Striker, Hobro IK
Sabbi has started the season very strong for Hobro. The 20-year-old has started three consecutive matches after coming off the bench and scoring a banger on opening day. On Sunday, Sabbi earned a penalty that teammate Edgar Babayan scored to level the score 1-1. He then scored his second of the season to temporarily pull Hobro in front 2-1 after a nice attacking move from the team.
Unfortunately Sabbi’s effort wasn’t enough as Hobro would concede the game-tying goal. Let’s hope Sabbi can keep it up.
Mukwelle Akale - Attacking Midfielder, Villareal
Akale will move up to Villareal B this season after playing for their C team. The 21-year-old recently signed a two year extension and is looking to climb the ranks with the La Liga club. He scored a goal and delivered an assist in recent friendlies for the B team. Villareal’s B team will play this season in Spain’s Segunda Division B (Spain’s third tier).
Brian Iloski - Winger/Striker, Legia Warsaw (On Loan at MFK Zemplin Michalovce)
Iloski has failed to break through with the Polish club and has since been sent on loan. After leaving the US for Poland, Iloski hasn’t been able to have a ton of success. Let’s hope he can gain some confidence and form while on loan.
Gianluca Busio - Attacking Midfielder, Sporting Kansas City
Busio earned his first start, becoming the third youngest player to start a match in MLS history. On Saturday night against Houston, the 16-year-old made an impact. In the 73rd minute with the game scoreless, Busio provided a beautiful flick to send Diego Rubio in on goal.
The goal was the difference in the match. Busio also hit 34/38 passes and rang the post in this match. After the match, Peter Vermes called him the Man of the Match as well. It’s great to see him take advantage of this opportunity. Let’s hope he keeps it up!
As always, hit the comment section to let me know anything major I overlooked or if there are any players you’d like to hear about. Thank you all for reading.