It was another up and down week for Americans as the season draws to an end. Here’s a look at what happened this week:
Erik Palmer-Brown - Centerback, Manchester City (On Loan at KV Kortrijk)
Palmer-Brown has seen very little of the field since he was loaned to Belgium. Up until this past week, EPB had only appeared 3 times and only had one start in two and a half months. On Tuesday, he got the start and went the distance as Kortrijk pulled off the 2-1 win. On Friday, he started on the bench but was subbed on after just 17 minutes due to an injury. Unfortunately, his side lost 3-0 in the second division of the Belgian Europa League Playoffs. Even though his team lost 3-0, EPB wasn’t directly at fault for any of the goals and even had a nice headed clearance off the goal line to prevent a fourth. Let’s hope we continue to see a lot more of the young man who will turn 21 on Tuesday. If he can continue to see time and play well, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get another call for the upcoming friendlies.
Christian Pulisic - Attacking Midfielder, Borussia Dortmund
Pulisic started on Saturday in a massively important match. With Dortmund tied on points with Bayer Leverkusen, anything other than a win at home would have put a lot of pressure on them heading into the last 3 games of the season. Pulisic responded in a big way by completely dominating his right flank. In the twelfth minute he was instrumental in opening the scoring. Pulisic received the ball near midfield and skipped past a Leverkusen defender before playing a nicely timed pass across to Jadon Sancho. Sancho would make no mistake on the finish (By the way, England may well have a future superstar on their hands in that 18-year-old).
Christian Pulisic finds fellow youngster Jadon Sancho to put Dortmund ahead 1-0!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 21, 2018
How about that move to start off the play thoughh pic.twitter.com/NuaX8E9vpB
Later in the match, Pulisic would again cause havoc and draw a penalty (although Marco Reus couldn’t put the penalty away). Dortmund completely doninated 4-0 to move into sole possession of third place in the Bundesliga. With Hoffenheim’s victory, they remain five points clear for the Champions League positions.
Kevin Lankford - Winger, FC Heidenheim
Lankford wowed fans last week with his eye-popping run to set up Heidenheim’s third goal in in their vital 3-1 win. This week he was rewarded with the start for just the third time in all competitions this season. The 19-year-old German-American went the distance as Heidenheim came away with a 1-1 draw. The point moves them one point clear of the relegation zone in the packed bottom of the 2. Bundesliga table. Hopefully Lankford can continue to get looks to help them avoid relegation.
Marlon Fossey - Right Back, Fulham FC
Fossey was in the news this week as he signed a contract extension to stay at Craven Cottage through 2020 with a club option for another year. This is a welcome sign in terms of how he is perceived at the club. Fossey has had an injury-shortened season in Premier League 2 (the U23 level), only recently making his season debut. But Fossey is an interesting player. It was no secret that the US sorely missed the 19-year-old when he was injured before the U-20 World Cup last year. With Fulham currently seeking promotion to the Premier League (thanks in no small part to Tim Ream), it will be fascinating to monitor his progress at the club as well as Luca de la Torre’s in the coming seasons. Hopefully Fulham can pull it off.
Lynden Gooch - Attacking Midfielder, Sunderland AFC
The worst news of the week has to be that Lynden Gooch is set to miss the remainder of the season. The 22-year-old missed last week’s match after an inspired run of form, but it had been reported that he would return this week. However, he apparently suffered a setback and will be out. To pour salt in the wound, Sunderland lost again on Saturday and have officially been relegated to League One. Gooch has one year remaining on his contract, but it remains to be seen whether he will remain at the club in League One or if a suitor could come calling for his services. Sunderland boss Chris Coleman is apparently intent on extending him, but we will see what Gooch wants to do. Gooch ends his year with two goals and five assists in 29 appearances (1,429 minutes) in all competitions.
Jordan Siebatcheu - Striker, Stade Reims
The 21-year-old started again on Friday with promotion in their sights. He was unable to find the back of the net, but his team would find a winner in the 76th minute. With the 1-0 win, Stade Reims has officially been promoted to Ligue 1. Siebatcheu was on the team when they were relegated 2 years ago. Now he will get his second chance in the French top flight. With the USMNT short on help at the striker position, it would behoove American Manager Dave Sarachan to try to call him up as soon as possible.
Jonathan Amon - Winger, FC Nordsjaelland
Amon is finally back from his lengthy spell on the shelf. A stress fracture in his leg had kept Amon out since February. However, on Sunday Amon returned to the matchday squad as FC Nordsjaelland took on Brondby. With Nordsjaelland trailing 3-1, Amon subbed on at halftime to try to pull the game back in their favor and immediately caused havoc on the left wing, using his electric pace and dangerous dribbling. Unfortunately, Amon was unable to make enough of a difference as they would eventually fall 4-3. He had a huge chance to equalize the match in the 88th minute but was unable to connect cleanly. Hopefully after that performance, we’ll see much more of him in the coming weeks.
Danilo Acosta - Left Back, Real Salt Lake
It’s been a rough 2018 for the young left back. In preseason, he lost his starting spot. Then after only seeing a few minutes on the bench in the opener, he was sent down to USL. The good news is he was recalled and got his first start of the season on Saturday night. The bad news is he was yanked at halftime. Acosta has not responded well after his strong season last year that resulted in his first callup in January. He needs to work hard and turn this year around if he wants to get back into the discussion for the Left Back position.
Chris Mueller - Striker/Winger, Orlando City SC
Mueller is sparking some interest in recent weeks, scoring a goal in each of the last three matches. The University of Wisconsin product made his second straight start on the Right Wing in a 4-3-3 on Saturday. The 21-year-old scored the opener from a tight angle right out of the gate.
He followed that up by providing this simple assist in the 35th minute. He already has three goals and an assist in just 426 minutes.
Let’s hope the young man can keep up this level of play.
Please hit the comments section to let me know if there was anything major I overlooked or if there is a player you’d like to hear about. Thank you for reading!