This was the final week for the players to make a push for a United States Men’s National Team call-up, with the roster set to be announced on Wednesday. It was another busy week with many Americans in action across the globe. For any new readers, the rating at the end of each update reflects how much I think he should be called up to the senior national team at the next opportunity (1-nowhere near ready; 10-absolutely call him up and start him). Here’s what’s going on this week:
Brenden Aaronson - Attacking Midfielder, Philadelphia Union
Aaronson had cooled a bit since his scintillating start to the season, but he made a big impact on Saturday. The 18-year-old got the start against D.C. United and had a very good game. In the 5th minute, Aaronson played a clean pass down the wing to the overlapping fullback who sent in the cross for Kacper Przybylko to finish and open the scoring. In the 16th minute, Aaronson doubled the lead when he found a pocket of space between the centerbacks and slotted it past Bill Hamid.
This was his second goal of the season and his first goal since March 23rd. Philadelphia would go on to dominate in a 3-1 win. They’re tied for the lead in the Eastern Conference with Atlanta United, but Atlanta have a game in hand. It’s been a solid breakthrough season for Aaronson. Let’s hope he can keep it going. Rating: 6
Miles Robinson - Centerback, Atlanta United
Robinson continues to have a fantastic season for Atlanta. The 22-year-old has been a consistent starter and has been one of Atlanta’s most valuable players with his consistent excellence in defense. On Friday, Robinson was once again a rock in the back as Atlanta pulled off a 1-0 victory over Orlando City SC. He was everywhere defensively with three blocked shots, three interceptions, and won a ton of duels. He also passed it at nearly a 90% clip in a Man of the Match type performance. This was the second consecutive shutout for Atlanta and the fifth in their last seven matches. Robinson has been at the heart of that and should get a look with the national team, particularly if Matt Miazga is unavailable. Rating: 8
Joshua Pérez - Winger, Los Angeles Football Club
Slowly but surely, Pérez is resurrecting his career in MLS. He took another step towards doing so this week when LAFC took on the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday. The 21-year-old earned his fourth start of the season and had a good game as they dismantled San Jose. In the 81st minute, Pérez opened his MLS account when he beat a defender 1v1 and finished past the helpless Mario Daniel Vega.
Pérez has put his head down and worked hard to push himself into the best team in MLS. Congratulations to him. Hopefully he continues to improve. Rating: 4
Jack de Vries - Attacking Midfielder, Philadelphia Union
Jack de Vries has signed a homegrown contract with the Philadelphia Union. The 17-year-old turned down a potential move to PSV Eindhoven as well as a scholarship to play at the University of Virginia to turn pro. De Vries is an option for the upcoming U-17 World Cup and figures to be a factor in the next U-20 cycle. Let’s wish him the best of luck on this move. Hopefully he can follow the footsteps of Brenden Aaronson soon. Rating: 1
Chris Richards - Centerback, Bayern Munich
Richards is back on the field. The 19-year-old who starred at the U-20 World Cup a few months ago had missed time this summer, but he is starting to play for Bayern’s reserves that play in the 3. Liga (Germany’s third division). Richards started each of the last two matches at Right Back for them, helping them to a 2-1 win over Hallescher FC on Monday and a 2-2 draw against Chemnitzer FC on Saturday. Bayern had been struggling, only earning three points through their first four matches, but Richards has helped add some stability. We’ll see if he maintains this new role at fullback or if he can move to his normal centerback spot. One thing that’s for sure is he will have his work cut out for him to get into Bayern’s first team. They have three of the game’s best young central defenders in Lucas Hernández, Niklas Süle, and Benjamin Pavard. Richards faces an uphill battle to beat any of these players out anytime soon. Rating: 6
Ian Hoffman - Attacking Midfielder, Karslruhe SC
Hoffman has started off the season well for Karlsruhe’s U-19’s The 17-year-old has started every match and had a fine game against FC Ingolstadt this week. Hoffman levelled the score with his first goal of the season with a nice hit from just outside the box. Later, Hoffman provided the assist on the game-winner when he made a nice run down the left flank and crossed it across the six-yard box for an easy tap-in. Hoffman could be a factor in the next U-20 cycle which is set to start under Tab Ramos this month. Rating: 2
Carter-Vickers is continuing his tour of the English Championship with his latest loan to Stoke City. The 21-year-old had been struggling a bit with a nagging injury, but he was back in the starting lineup for their matchup against Leeds United on Saturday. Unfortunately, CCV was unable to prevent Leeds from dominating the match. While Stoke started off the match well, Marcelo Bielsa’s side controlled possession and eventually picked apart CCV and the Stoke backline. On the game’s second goal, Carter-Vickers couldn’t close down the attacker enough to prevent him from sending a ball across the six-yard box. On the third goal, he was slow to react to the rebound after the initial shot was saved and the follow-up shot was scored. Leeds is one of the best teams in that league, but CCV needs to show more in that league if he wants to force Gregg Berhalter to give him a look. Rating: 7
Alex Mendez - Central Midfielder, AFC Ajax
Mendez earned his debut for Jong Ajax on Monday. The 18-year-old came off the bench in the 81st minute against NEC Nijmegen on Monday. Unfortunately, Jong Ajax would surrender the lead late in stoppage time, but it was still a good sign to see him make his debut. On Friday, Mendez was an unused substitute in their 5-2 victory over FC Dordrecht. Hopefully Mendez can push through and get into the starting lineup there soon. Rating: 5
Erik Palmer-Brown - Centerback, Manchester City (On Loan at FK Ausria Wien)
EPB earned his first start on Sunday on his newest loan assignment. The 22-year-old had yet to feature for the Austrian club since his loan went through earlier this month. Unfortunately it turned into a nightmare debut for EPB. In the 75th minute, he was sent off with a straight red card as he gave away a penalty. The ensuing penalty was saved but his teammates let the 2-1 lead slip away. Palmer-Brown had a good end to last season, but he needs to show well consistently and realize his potential if he wants to get into the national team picture. Rating: 4
Sam Shashoua - Attacking Midfielder, CD Tenerife
Shashoua is on the move to CD Tenerife in the Spanish Segunda Division. The 20-year-old has left Tottenham following his loan to Spanish third-tier club Atlético Baleares last season. Shashoua seemed to be on the verge of a breakthrough with Tottenham a couple years ago, but it never materialized. Now he will join Shaq Moore with the island club. Let’s wish him the best of luck. Rating: 2
As always, 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 for reading.