This was a very busy week both on and off the field for young Americans. With a few standout performances on the field, it was a pretty solid week as well. Here’s what’s going on:
Timothy Weah - Striker/Winger, Paris St. Germain (On Loan at Celtic FC)
Weah came off the bench on both occasions for Celtic this week. In their midweek matchup with St. Johnstone, Weah came off the bench in the 74th minute as they closed the door on a 2-0 win. On Sunday, also against St. Johnstone, Weah came off the bench again in the 74th minute with the match scoreless. The 18-year-old provided the impact they required. In the 78th minute, Weah receives a long ball and takes an excellent first touch before delivering the ball across the six-yard box for his first career assist.
Eleven minutes later, Weah put the game away with one of his own after a nice counter attack.
It was his third goal in just five appearances for Celtic and his fifth goal in eight appearances in all competitions this season. Let’s hope he can keep this up.
Andrew Gutman - Left Back, Celtic FC
Gutman’s story more closely resembles a soap opera than anything having to do with football or his ability to play. The 22-year-old was set to be loaned to Nashville SC, but MLS intervened and asked them to turn down the move due to Chicago holding his “discovery rights”. No, Nashville SC is not an MLS team. They play in the USL. However, they are set to join MLS next season and were willing to deny the loan move and keep the MLS folks happy. So now, Gutman, who was the best player in college soccer last season, is in limbo. Maybe Celtic will find another club that will take him on loan, but that could be difficult given that the transfer window has ended in many places. Stay tuned as the Gutman turns in the coming weeks.
Tyler Adams - Central Midfielder, RB Leipzig
Adams is quickly adapting and carving out a role in Leipzig. The 19-year-old earned his second consecutive start on Friday against Hannover. Once again, he delivered another strong performance in a match that he helped Leipzig dominate. Adams nearly had an assist on a ball into the box off a well-worked set piece, but the Hannover keeper denied the chance. Despite the misfortune to not get on the scoresheet, Adams was very good at keeping the tempo and making smart decisions. Defensively, he was a constant pest as he frustrated Hannover throughout the match. It’s been an impressive transition for this kid. Let’s hope he keeps it up. Leipzig has a matchup with John Brooks and Wolfsburg in the German Cup coming up on Wednesday.
Josh Sargent - Striker, Werder Bremen
Sargent got his longest run yet on Saturday. With Bremen and Nurnberg scoreless at the break, Ian Kohfeldt turned to the 18-year-old to provide a spark. Bremen took the lead in the 63rd minute through Johannes Eggestein’s finish, but they would give up the lead late. The draw keeps Bremen in tenth place in the Bundesliga. For Sargent, he failed to make the impact that was hoped for. He didn’t get a ton of opportunities to get on the ball, but he also wasn’t great when he did. On the go-ahead goal, Sargent did do well to occupy defenders to help create space, but he will need to show more to get into the starting lineup. Keep an eye out for Werder Bremen’s big match in the German Cup on Tuesday against Christian Pulisic and Borussia Dortmund.
Taylor Booth - Central Midfielder, Bayern Munich
Booth has officially signed with Bayern Munich through June of 2022. Reports suggested he would sign with them last year, but Booth was only recently able to obtain an Italian passport. The 17-year-old will now join Chris Richards and Justin Butler with Bayern’s U-19s. Booth represented the US at the 2017 U-17 World Cup and impressed with his smart passing and willingness to snuff out danger. Let’s hope he can climb the ranks at Bayern. Congratulations, Taylor!
Gio Reyna - Attacking Midfielder, Borussia Dortmund
The other poorly-kept secret that became official this week was Gio Reyna signing with Borussia Dortmund. The 16-year-old son of United States legend Claudio Reyna will move from New York City FC and will join Dortmund’s U-19 team (he carries dual nationality with Portugal). He was not in the squad for their first match on Sunday following the winter break. Let’s wish the young man the best of luck as he takes his first steps in Europe.
McKinze Gaines - Winger, SV Darmstadt (On Loan at FSV Zwickau)
McKinze Gaines is headed on loan to third division FSV Zwickau for the remainder of the season. The 20-year-old has not featured for Darmstadt all season long despite their struggles in the 2. Bundesliga. Unfortunately for him, his first match was postponed due to inclement weather, so he will have to wait a bit longer for his debut on loan. Let’s hope this can reignite this young man’s career.
Kevin Lankford - Winger, FC St. Pauli
Lankford was sold this week from FC Heidenheim to fellow 2. Bundesliga side FC St. Pauli. The 20-year-old battled injuries and featured infrequently this season prior to the move. Now healthy, the quick playmaker will look to establish himself with a club seeking promotion to the top division in Germany. Let’s wish him the best of luck on this move.
Owen Otasowie - Central Midfielder, Wolverhampton
Otasowie is finally back on the field. The 17-year-old returned this week from a knee injury sustained during youth national team duty back in August. Otasowie plays for Wolverhampton’s U-18’s and will look to stay healthy and playing the rest of the year. He has previously been linked with some big Premier League clubs, but he will need to get back to playing regularly and regain that form to reignite that interest. It would be surprising if he were to be picked for this year’s U-20 World Cup, but he could be an important piece in 2021.
Sidney Friede - Central Midfielder, Hertha Berlin (On Loan at Royal Excel Mouscron)
Friede is quickly making an impact in the top flight in Belgium. Last week, the 20-year-old German-American started against league-leading KRC Genk and was influential as Mouscron pulled off a 2-1 upset. On Friday, Friede started again and made an even bigger impact. With Mouscron up 1-0, Friede struck in the 60th minute for his first professional goal. Mouscron would go on to win 3-0 and remain undefeated since Friede made his debut. Hopefully Friede can continue to play and perform well.
Joel Soñora - Attacking Midfielder, Talleres Cordoba
Soñora came off the bench in the 63rd minute for Talleres against Banfield on Friday. Banfield cut the lead to 2-1 in the 79th minute. The. Soñora shut the door. The 22-year-old finished off a counter attack with a wonderful finish into the bottom corner for his first goal in the Argentinian Superliga.
¡La mejor forma de cerrar el viernes! Joel Soñora definió desde afuera del área contra el palo del arquero y selló la noche en el Mario Kempes ⚽️⚽️⚽️ pic.twitter.com/PTM1cPqTvw— Talleres (@CATalleresdecba) February 2, 2019
Congratulations to Joel on the goal. Talleres would go on to win by that 3-1 scoreline. Talleres will have a matchup with São Paulo in the Copa Libertadores on Wednesday night.
Hit the comment section to let me know if there’s anything major I overlooked or if there’s anyone you’d like to hear about. Thank you all for reading!