Many European-based Americans had long treks this week, going from USMNT duty back to their clubs stretch runs. For a few, it was a very successful and important week, while others struggled at times either for club or country.
Geoff Cameron (Stoke City)
After heading home a goal and playing a major part in another for the USMNT against Guatemala in last Tuesday’s 4-0 win, Cameron was back in Stoke’s
Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)
Guzan was on both sides of 4-0 scorelines this week. He first recorded a shutout for the USMNT, although it was as easy a game as the keeper will have, as he needed to make just one simple save. On the weekend, though, it was an entirely different story for the 31-year-old as Villa moved closer to relegation with a defeat against Chelsea. There was little Guzan could do about the result, as none of the first three goals from the Blues can be pinned on the keeper, but he badly whiffed an attempted punch in the second-half that allowed Pedro an easy tally. Villa’s nightmare season is nearly over, and Guzan will likely be involved until the bitter end.
Tim Howard (Everton)
Howard rode the bench for both the USMNT’s win and Everton’s 1-0 loss to Manchester United. His replacement against United, Joel Robles, made one save but could have done better on Anthony Martial’s goal, which will give Howard a glimmer of hope that he can return to Everton’s starting lineup before his summer move to MLS.
Matt Miazga (Chelsea)
Despite being sent off in the final seconds of the US U-23 team’s disappointing 2-1 loss to Colombia last Tuesday, Miazga hit a major milestone this week. With Chelsea facing lowly Aston Villa and both John Terry and Gary Cahill battling knocks, Miazga was handed his first start for the Blues and helped his side to a clean sheet in their drubbing of the Villans. While the young center back wasn’t too busy, he was assured when called upon, tallying a game-high seven clearances, a team-high five aerial wins, and three successful tackles in four attempts. All in all, it was a solid debut for the 20-year-old, which Guus Hiddink noted to the media (LINK), and it could well be the beginning of an extended look for Miazga ahead of the arrival of Antonio Conte next year.
DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur)
Sunderland could only muster a scoreless draw despite dominating visiting West Brom, but that was not in the least bit Yedlin’s fault. The right back was superb for the Black Cats, consistently getting into dangerous positions in the final third while helping hold a clean sheet, although Sunderland was far and away the more attacking side throughout the game. Yedlin completed three dribbles and put three crosses into good spots, although the Black Cats’ forwards couldn’t convert. He also played 90 minutes for the USMNT on Tuesday and was effective. With seven games left and a four-point gap between them and safety, Sunderland still have time to extend their Premier League lives, and it seems like Yedlin will play a huge role in that quest.
Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur)
Tottenham’s U-21s play Wednesday, but Carter-Vickers is unlikely to play. He’s expected to miss an extended period of time, possibly the rest of the season, with a back issue.
Gedion Zelalem (Rangers, on loan from Arsenal)
Zelalem entered in the 80th minute against Raith Rovers and Rangers tenuously holding a 3-2 lead. However, the side conceded in the 94th minute to Leicester loanee Harry Panayiotou. Still, Rangers are closing in on promotion back to the Scottish Premiership, as they have a 14-point lead and a game in hand at the top of the table.
Cody Cropper (MK Dons)
With David Martin injured, Cropper got the call in goal for Dons at Fulham and impressed, though his side lost 2-1. Cropper made seven saves for Milton Keynes and was not to blame for either Fulham goal. It was a tough loss in the relegation race for Dons, but his performance will not do anything to harm Cropper’s confidence should he be needed this week with home games against Wolves and Rotherham on the agenda.
Emerson Hyndman (Fulham)
Hyndman was an important piece of the U-23 side’s attack threat against Colombia, with his over-the-top ball ending up in the own goal that temporarily got the Americans back level. That didn’t matter on the weekend, though, as Hyndman did not make the 18-man squad against MK Dons.
Tim Ream (Fulham)
On the other hand, Ream started for the Cottagers and was integral in the massive win that gave them some breathing room on the bottom three. Playing at left back, Ream earned a 7.1 whoscored.com rating, making four tackles and setting up some good chances for teammates. He also led his side with 68 touches and 62 passes in what was an excellent showing for the veteran defender.
Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest)
He’s been so consistent for the majority of the season, but Lichaj was well off his form in a 3-0 home loss to Brentford. The right back was sent off for a pair of bookable offenses in a short span in the second half, but he was still on the pitch for two goals against. Lichaj also completed just 24 of 39 attempted passes on what was an off day well before the red card. Forest’s season appears destined to end in obscurity, so the only remaining question is whether it’ll finish on a positive or a negative.
Holmes was not in Huddersfield’s squad in a 1-0 home loss to Sheffield Wednesday.
Andrija Novakovich (Reading)
Reading’s youth side is off until mid-April, and Novakovic was not involved in Reading’s senior side.
Danny Williams (Reading)
Williams had a decent showing in the middle of the park for Reading in a 1-0 win against Bolton. He had four shots, one of which forced Bolton keeper Ben Amos into a good save, and completed 88 percent of his passes, but he was also dispossessed four times. Still, Reading was able to eke out a win thanks to an Ola John goal in the 90th minute.
John Anthony Brooks (Hertha Berlin)
After suffering a knee injury on international duty, Brooks was not in Hertha’s squad against Monchengladbach. His presence was sorely missed, as Hertha fell 5-0 to allow Gladbach to close the gap between the sides to three points. Brooks is expected to be back soon, and that will be critical if Hertha is to hang on to a Champions League spot.
Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Chandler was part of a five-man backline deployed to limit Bayern Munich’s juggernaut abilities, and despite losing 1-0, the right back held his own. He didn’t do a ton during his 90 minutes on the pitch, though he did pick up a yellow in the second half, but being part of a unit that holds the Bavarians to one goal is a solid achievement. It’s hard to see the positives, given they are still toiling away in the relegation zone, but Frankfurt are only a win away from jumping four places into 13th so they are far from finished.
Julian Green (Bayern Munich)
Green was ruled out of the U-23s second leg with Colombia due to an illness and was not part of the Bayern II squad which lost 2-0 to Greuther Furth II.
Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen)
Johannsson is almost definitely out for the rest of the
Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Johnson recorded an assist on Gladbach’s second goal in their aforementioned rout of Hertha Berlin. With a 1-0 lead in the second half, Johnson made his way onto the end of cross that had run through the box and re-centered the ball for Andre Hahn, who doubled the lead. Johnson had a good game on top of that, passing at 89 percent, but it was more about the team this week, as Gladbach pulled back into the race for third and the automatic qualification to the UCL and boosted their stock for back-to-back appearances in Europe’s elite tournament.
Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Stuttgart)
Kiesewetter came on at halftime for the U-23s in their loss to Colombia. His major involvement was making the run which caused the own goal that was the team’s only tally in the 2-1 loss. However, the forward was again uninvolved for Stuttgart II, not making the 18-man roster for their 4-1 loss to Stuttgarter Kickers.
Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt)
Morales was an unused sub for Ingolstadt in a 3-0 win over Schalke.
Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund)
Pulisic came on with 10 minutes to play and the game in hand for the USMNT, but it was a historic moment as he became the youngest player ever to appear for the Stars and Stripes in a World Cup qualifier. On the weekend, he again appeared for Dortmund's top squad, coming on with just under 15 minutes to play in their aforementioned win over Werder Bremen. When he entered the game, it was a 2-2 tie but he played a part in Dortmund’s winner, which was the direct result of a corner Pulisic won. It's really good to see that he is an go-to option for Thomas Tuchel in crunch time and that he is slowly making a place in the team.
Russell Canouse (Hoffenheim)
Canouse again took the field for the reserve side, playing the opening 45 minutes in a 4-1 win over Saarbrucken. Though his side scored all four in the second half (and they conceded in the first), Canouse looks to be a top selection for the reserve side, and he well could break back into the first squad as the season winds down.
Terrence Boyd (RB Leipzig)
Boyd remains on the sidelines as he recovers from a long-term knee injury that’s kept him out for the past year-plus.
Bobby Wood (Union Berlin)
Wood was again involved for the national team, playing 65 minutes before being subbed off for Jozy Altidore. Though he wasn’t directly involved in any of the squad's four goals, he did win the free kick which lead to Michael Bradley teeing up Geoff Cameron to double the lead. On Friday, Wood was an unused sub in Union Berlin’s goalless draw with St. Pauli.
Andrew Wooten (Sandhausen)
Wooten was back in action for Sandhausen, playing 90 minutes in a 2-0 loss to Kaiserslautern. The attacker didn’t do much of note for the German outfit, but he remains in the starting squad, which he has been selected to 25 times this year, despite a lengthy goal drought, so he’s doing something right.
Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes)
Bedoya seems to have picked up a mystery injury while on international duty which kept him out of the USMNT’s return match against Guatemala and Nantes’ 3-0 loss to Lille. We will keep you up to date regarding his status.
Ethan Horvath (Molde)
Horvath again was solid for the U-23s but unfortunately conceded twice in the loss. It’d be very hard to blame the Yank for either goal, as his defense let him down on both. On the weekend, Horvath watched from the bench as Molde defeated Lillestroem 4-2.
Perry Kitchen (Hearts)
Kitchen is working his way nicely into Hearts’ squad as for the second matchday in a row, he logged a full 90 minutes. It wasn’t the result they were hoping for as his squad lost 3-1 to Celtic, and Kitchen picked up a yellow card, but it definitely appears the Kitchen will be making his presence known often in the Hearts squad, and that’s something to look forward to.
Desevio Payne (FC Groningen)
Payne started and played 66 minutes against Colombia, being taken off for an attacking option just moments after the U-23s conceded the second goal. The exact opposite occurred back in Holland as Payne was brought in with five minutes to play to help see out a 1-0 win over ADO Den Haag.
Rubio Rubin (Utrecht)
Rubin was an unused sub in a 1-1 draw with Heracles, but his appearance on the bench could mean he is close to a full return.