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Keeping up with young Americans in Europe Dec. 8

Keeping up with young Americans in Europe Dec. 8: Weston McKennie, Gio Reyna, Christian Pulisic

December 8, 2020 By Juan Aguerrevere
Buckle up for one of, if not, the best edition of ‘Keeping up with Young Americans in Europe’ so far this season.

U.S. Men's National Team members across European domestic leagues, the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League shocked the world with great performances. Brace yourself for one of the most eventful weeks regarding young Americans proving their worth and skill on the pitch.

Weston McKennie – Juventus

American midfielder Weston McKennie tops this week's Keeping up with young Americans in Europe list for scoring his first Juventus goal as a substitute. The 22-year-old was introduced to the game in the 71st minute and it only took him seven minutes to score the equalizer against Serie A side Torino. The goal proved to be an important one given that center-back Leonardo Bonucci scored the game-winner in the 89th minute.

McKennie will face fellow USMNT member Sergiño Dest on Tuesday at 3 P.M. ET when Barcelona host Juventus for the last UEFA Champions League Group G game.

Gio Reyna – Borussia Dortmund

Eighteen-year-old Giovanni Reyna placed Lucien Favre's Borussia Dortmund on his shoulders on Saturday after scoring an equalizer that ultimately earned his team a point. It was a hard-fought game against an Eintracht Frankfurt that scored early in the game and made it their goal to frustrate its opposition. However, Reyna unleashed an unstoppable right-footed strike to the first post to take matters into his own feet.

And just like that, Reyna became the second-youngest American to score two Bundesliga goals after Christian Pulisic. Dortmund will face Zenit St. Petersburg on Tuesday at 12:55 p.m. ET.

Christian Pulisic – Chelsea

Despite not starting for Chelsea against Leeds on Saturday, USMNT star Christian Pulisic came in as a substitute for attacking-midfielder Hakim Ziyech, who picked up an early injury and was forced off the pitch in the 30th minute. Pulisic helped seal the win at home in front of fans by scoring the third goal in a 3-1 win. It is safe to say that Captain America is back and healthy.

Pulisic will look forward to earning minutes in Chelsea's last UCL group stage match against Krasnodar at home on Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET.

Reggie Cannon – Boavista 

After just 10 appearances for Boavista since his move in September from FC Dallas, big clubs have gained interest in USMNT right-back Reggie Cannon. One of those clubs is Portugal giants Benfica, who suffered a 3-0 upset to Boavista earlier this season. 

The 22-year-old helped Boavista to a second consecutive clean sheet and the third of the season. The lone point proved to be essential, helping the team exit the relegation zone.

Tyler Adams – RB Leipzig 

Defensive-midfielder Tyler Adams took part in two of Europe's most exciting matches last week. In mid-week action, he was subbed-in to RB Leipzig's Champions League game against Istanbul Basaksehir in the 45th minute. The 22-year-old helped Leipzig to a 4-3 win that kept the German side alive for a chance to reach the UCL round of 16 stage. At the weekend, Adams played a key role against Bayern Munich. This Twitter thread by Justin Sousa explains what his role was and how it helped Leipzig earn a point against Bayern.

Adams will be in action again this Tuesday against Manchester United for a chance to advance to the UEFA Champions League round of 16. Leipzig must win to advance.

Sergiño Dest – Barcelona 

Full-back Sergiño Dest played the entirety of Barcelona's Champions League meeting with Ferencvaros last Wednesday. The 20-year-old helped Barca to a clean sheet in the 3-0 win. However, Dest was subbed off in the 77th minute of Barcelona's embarrassing 2-1 La Liga loss to Cadiz in the weekend.

Dest will be looking forward to getting minutes against McKennie on Tuesday when Barcelona host Juventus.

Yunus Musah – Valencia 

Midfielder Yunus Musah started his eleventh La Liga game on Monday away in Eibar. The game ended in a goalless draw. It is also important to point out that the 18-year-old from The Bronx, NY, signed a four-year contract extension with Valencia.

Chris Richards – Bayern Munich 

Twenty-year-old Chris Richards featured for Bayern Munich as a substitute twice last week. Against Atletico Madrid, Richards was summoned in the 62nd minute. Against Red Bulls Leipzig, Richards came in for Jerome Boateng to play the remaining six minutes plus added time of the game. Manager Hans Flick has found ways to incorporate Richards in the team, whether it be as a full-back, playing on the right side, or center-back, which is his natural position.

Konrad de la Fuente – Barcelona 

Winger Konrad de la Fuente shared the pitch with Dest last Wednesday in a 3-0 win over Ferencvaros in Champions League play. He was brought on as a substitute in the 80th minute for Danish forward Martin Braithwaite. On the weekend, de la Fuente joined Barcelona B and played 61 minutes of a 1-0 loss to UE Llagostera.

Timothy Weah – LOSC Lille 

Forward Tim Weah is officially back with his first contribution of the season for Lille. The French side was losing a key Europa League match to Sparta Praha until manager Christophe Galtier placed his trust in the American forward, subbing him on in the 77th minute with hopes that he could help the team. It only took Weah three minutes to prove his worth, dishing out an assist to Turkish forward Burak Yilmaz to tie the game. Yilmaz claimed a brace four minutes later, scoring the game-winner to put Lille in first place above AC Milan in Group H.

Hopefully, Galtier uses Weah more often in the remainder of the season, given that he has only played a total of 100 Ligue 1 minutes over ten games.

Richard Ledezma & Ulysses Llanez – PSV Eindhoven & Heerenveen

USMNT members Richard Ledezma and Ulysses Llanez shared the pitch in the Eredivisie's last game of the weekend. Both youngsters were brought into action late in the game, which ended 2-2. Ledezma played 20 minutes, while Llanez played 29 minutes. Both players are cracking into each of their sides' first teams as the season unfolds. PSV head coach Roger Schmidt was impressed by Ledezma's contribution, which kept PSV in the race for the Eredivisie title.

Nicholas Gioacchini – SM Caen

USMNT forward Nicholas Gioacchini helped keep SM Caen's hopes of promotion alive with an assist in a 1-1 draw to Grenoble. He was fouled inside the box in the 76th minute and his teammate Yoann Court scored the penalty to tie the game.

Antonee Robinson – Fulham

Left-back Antonee Robinson played a full-90 minutes of Premier League soccer for Fulham against Manchester City on Saturday. The game ended 2-0 in favor of the Citizens.

Josh Sargent – Werder Bremen

Forward Josh Sargent started and played 59 minutes in a 2-1 loss to VfB Stuttgart.

Sebastian Soto – SC Telstar 

Twenty-year-old striker Sebastian Soto was suspended for SC Telstar's Eerste Divisie game against Cambuur on Friday for his direct red card last week.


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