It was another relatively quiet week for young Americans at their clubs as the struggles continue. There are tons of question marks as we head into the final international window of 2018. This is what happened this week:
Christian Cappis - Central Midfielder, Hobro IK
The Christian Cappis saga seems to have finally found a resolution. For those unfamiliar with the situation, Cappis is a Houston area native that joined FC Dallas’ academy after impressing at Texans SC, a Texas US Soccer Development Academy. FC Dallas was interested in offering Cappis a homegrown contract, but the Houston Dynamo intervened due to them only having the right to sign Cappis under their Homegrown Territory Rule. MLS therefore denied his opportunity to sign in Dallas. So Cappis decided to trial in Europe and has found a home. Hobro IK signed him this week to a deal to join fellow USYNT player Emmanuel Sabbi at the club. The 19-year-old made his professional debut as well on the same day, starting in their Danish Cup match. Cappis actually got on the scoresheet as well, providing an assist on Hobro’s game-tying goal in the 48th minute.
ICYMI— Sams Mini Army (@samsminiarmy) November 8, 2018
Christian Cappis made his debut with Hobro IK on Tuesday and had an assist in a 2-4 DBU Pokalen loss at OB.
The 19 year old midfielder signed after a successful trial and joins fellow Yank Emmanuel Sabbi at the Danish club.#USMNT @ussoccer_ynt pic.twitter.com/N7MpYGzjfT
He was subbed out in the 56th minute with Hobro trailing 3-2 (they eventually lost 4-2). Cappis was not in the 18 for Sunday’s 1-0 win back in league play. Congratulations on the move and let’s hope he can thrive in Denmark.
Jonathan Amon - Winger, FC Nordsjælland
Things haven't been going so well for Amon in the last few weeks. The 19-year-old earned his 9th start of the season last weekend but struggled before being subbed off at halftime. This past weekend, Amon was an unused substitute in Nordsjælland’s 1-1 draw. He has just one assist in his last six league games after producing two goals and an assist in his first 5 games of the season. Amon needs to get back to producing and making plays if he wants to stay on the field and earn more national team call ups in the future. What’s perhaps more puzzling is he wasn’t even brought in for U-20 World Cup qualifying, although Nordsjælland didn’t have to release him for that event.
Christian Pulisic - Attacking Midfielder, Borussia Dortmund
Pulisic had a rough week. He earned the start against Atlético Madrid on Tuesday but struggled mightily to produce any danger from the right wing in their 2-0 loss in Spain. He was subbed off in the 58th minute. Even with the loss, Dortmund sit on top of Group A with nine points through four games. They will face Ethan Horvath and Club Brugge in two weeks with an opportunity to clinch a spot in the knockout round. Then on Saturday, Pulisic was an unused substitute in Dortmund’s dramatic comeback win over Bayern Munich in Der Klassiker. Pulisic is finally healthy for the upcoming international window and will likely feature against England and Italy. Let’s hope he can shake this off and perform well.
Weston McKennie - Central Midfielder, FC Schalke
Another player struggling for as much playing time is Weston McKennie. The 20-year-old came off the bench in the 56th minute in Schalke’s 2-0 win over Galatasaray on Tuesday that put them into a great position to qualify for the Champions League knockout stage. McKennie started on the bench for the fourth consecutive match on Sunday against Eintracht Frankfurt. He came on in the 64th minute with Schalke down 1-0. They went on to lose 3-0, which has them just two points clear of last place in the Bundesliga. McKennie was solid in both matches and set up a golden chance that Yevhen Konoplyanka clanged off the crossbar that would have cut the lead in half against Frankfurt. While he’s still appearing regularly, he obviously hasn’t been starting games as often. McKennie is a player who still has a lot to improve upon if he wants to be a consistent high level player. He needs to become a much more consistent passer, and he needs to help build attacks more than he does at this stage. Hopefully he’ll continue to push to reach that level.
Sebastian Soto - Striker, Hannover
Soto was spotted training with the first team at Hannover for the first time this week. The 18-year-old Real Salt Lake product has been in incredible form for Hannover’s U-19’s this season, scoring 9 goals and assisting three times in just 11 games. Having been called in for the second round of U-20 World Cup Qualifying, Soto will put his breakthrough on pause to help the United States attempt to win the Concacaf U-20 Championship. If Soto can keep playing and producing at the level he is, I expect him to get a look in January with Hannover’s first team with the potential to see some time before the end of the season.
Jordan Siebatcheu - Striker, Stade Rennais
Siebatcheu has had a slow start to his career at Stade Rennais, but the 22-year-old scored his first goal of the year in the Europa League on Thursday. Having only recently returned from a long spell on the injury list, Siebatcheu came off the bench in the 71st minute with Rennais already down 2-0 to Dynamo Kyiv. Kyiv would score a third just moments later, but Siebatcheu would pull one back in the 89th minute. After a nice dribbling move from teammate M’Baye Niang, Siebatcheu arrived and finished to open his account. Siebatcheu has drawn a penalty and scored a goal in just 109 minutes in Europa League this season. He has played just 386 minutes in all competitions so far this season.
Lynden Gooch - Attacking Midfielder, Sunderland AFC
Gooch has had a very successful season so far. Sunderland were relegated to League One after a disastrous season last year. Gooch elected to stay despite rumors that he would move on. The 22-year-old has made the most of it by dominating at that level. On Sunday, Gooch assumed his usual starting role in the FA Cup. In the 19th minute, Gooch scored his fourth goal in all competitions to put Sunderland up 2-0. They would go on to win 2-1 with Gooch coming off in the 81st minute. To go along with his four goals, he’s produced seven assists in 16 appearances this season. Let’s hope he can keep it up.
Joshua Pynadath- Winger, Ajax
Pynadath has returned to playing after a stretch off the field. The 16-year-old is playing with Ajax’s U-17’s and made his third straight appearance and first start of the season this weekend in their 2-1 win. It’s good to see him back healthy and playing again. Let’s hope he can continue to push through the ranks at one of the best academies in the world.
Shaq Moore - Right Back, Levante UD (On Loan at CF Reus Deportiu)
Moore has also been struggling of late. He’s seen his playing time dry up in recent weeks. Moore was subbed off in a 2-1 loss to Granada on October 7th. He then came off the bench for the final few minutes the following week, but he hasn’t appeared since. The 22-year-old has to improve to get back on the field. With FC Dallas’ Reggie Cannon impressing in his recent USMNT debut, the pressure is on him to keep his name in the conversation at the Right Back spot.
Antonio Nava - Attacking Midfielder, Club Tijuana
Nava earned his first career Liga MX start on Saturday against Morelia. Down 1-0 in the 53rd minute, Nava pounced on a rebound to score his first professional goal and tie the score.
Nava would go the distance as Tijuana would eventually lose 3-2. The former USYNT player has been playing with Mexico’s U-20’s most recently, but he has yet to feature in any official youth competition so he is still not provisionally cap tied to either country. The 19-year-old has quality in the attack and could be one to watch if he can continue to get on the field.
Sebastian Saucedo - Winger, Real Salt Lake
Saucedo made an impact for Real Salt Lake in the second leg of their Western Conference Semifinal against Sporting Kansas City. Down 2-0 in the second half, Saucedo pulled one back to start the comeback.
Sporting would add a third before RSL would find another and put the pressure on. Real would continue to push for a late winner, but it never came and SKC scored in the closing seconds to salt the seeies away. For Saucedo, it’s another positive from a promising season for him. To come on at halftime with your season on the line and your team struggling and make your presence felt is massive.
Tyler Adams - Central Midfielder, New York Red Bulls
Adams had an excellent performance to help New York reach the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday. The 19-year-old was everywhere, swarming Columbus as part of New York’s suffocating press. With the score tied 1-1 on aggregate, Adams delivered a lovely first touch assist in the 60th minute to give New York the 2-1 lead on aggregate.
RED BULLS TAKE THE LEAD!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 12, 2018
Daniel Royer scores and puts New York ahead 2-1 in aggregate. pic.twitter.com/GEmpUP6dxb
New York would go on to add a third and knock Columbus out of the playoffs. For Adams, this was a very good display of his ability to create havoc defensively while also contributing offensively. They will take on Atlanta United in the Eastern Conference Finals.
As always, hit the comment section to let me know if there’s anything major I overlooked or if or if there’s anyone you’d like to hear about. With the upcoming international window, look for the next update on November 26th. Thank you for reading!