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Keeping up with young Americans in Europe: Jan. 25

Keeping up with young Americans in Europe: Jan. 25, 2021

January 25, 2021 By Juan Aguerrevere
Last week was a big one for current and future USMNT players who play Europe and some who are on the verge of making their dream move to the old continent. Catch up on some of the best American talents in European top leagues as they keep making a name for themselves and strive to earn a roster spot ahead of the upcoming 2022 World Cup.

U.S. men's national team's Weston McKennie, Josh Sargent and Tyler Adams stole the show last week in their respective European clubs, landing the top-3 best young American performers of the week. Also, learn about Caden Clark's future move to RB Leipzig and more news about Americans in Europe.

Weston McKennie – Juventus

USMNT's Weston McKennie lived a pivotal week in his short but colorful Juventus stint last week. On Wednesday, the midfielder started in the Supercoppa Italia final against Napoli and got to lift his first European after a 2-0 win. His week got better when he helped the Old Lady secure a 2-0 Serie A win over Bologna on Sunday, scoring a goal in the 71st minute to seal the game.

It is safe to say that McKennie has exceeded all expectations at Juventus so far this season. Arriving at Turin as a hyped, yet questionable loanee from struggling Bundesliga side Schalke 04, the 22-year-old never seemed to be faced by what it meant to play in one of Italy's and Europe's most prestigious clubs. Conversely, he has grown a strong bond with some of the club's top players, most notably with Juan Cuadrado and Cristiano Ronaldo, and acclimated to the club's culture in the same way he did in Germany. Moreover, manager Andrea Pirlo and the board of directors have made it has made it clear that the young American is a key player in the squad. Given that, Juventus is looking to sign him on a permanent deal and agreed to pay a figure of around $22.5 million for him.

Josh Sargent – Werder Bremen

USMNT striker Josh Sargent ended a ten-game goal drought on Saturday after scoring a long-range effort for Bundesliga side Werder Bremen on Saturday. 

Sargent's goal came at a time when critics were coming after him given the quick rise of FC Schalke 04's Matthew Hoppe, who has scored five goals in his last four Bundesliga matches. To put it into perspective, Sargent registered two goals and two assists in 17 league games so far this season. What those critics are missing is Sargent's role in this Bremen side. The 20-year-old is much more than just a striker in Florian Kohfeldt's side. Sargent usually drops behind strikers Davie Selke or Romano Schmid in a supportive attacking role. Also, he tracks back to help the team defensively and on transition from Bremen's half to the opponents'. All in all, Sargent should not be judged only by goal statistics, but for his engagement on and off the ball. These are reasons why he has started 16 of the 17 games he has played for Bremen this season.

Tyler Adams – RB Leipzig 

Not many players score their first Champions League goal before scoring their first league goal, but Tyler Adams is one of those players. It took 38 Bundesliga appearances for the versatile American to score his first league goal for RB Leipzig. The goal itself was not all that pretty, but it can be seen as a reward for his commitment to helping the team from any position in the midfield and back lines.

Adams has been a special tool for manager Julian Naggelsman since he arrived from New York Red Bulls in 2018. Naggelsman has used the 21-year-old as a right midfielder, center midfielder, defensive midfielder and right back. Adam's versatility and work rates make him the utility player that any coach would dream of having on his/her side.

Caden Clark finalizing a move to RB Leipzig 

Adams will not be Red Bull Leipzig's only American as the club is getting ready to announce the future signing of highly-rated 17-year-old Caden Clarke from New York Red Bulls. The Athletic's Paul Tenorio confirmed that NYRB and MLS are finalizing an agreement to send Clarke to the German Bundesliga in 2022. As a result, the teenager will remain in New York in 2021 before heading to Europe.

Clark busted into the MLS scene last season after scoring three goals and registering five assists during 12 USL Championship games with NY Red Bulls II. The Medina, Minnesota native then shined in the senior team scoring two goals after seven regular-season games and one goal in an MLS Cup Playoff 3-2 loss to the Columbus Crew. In October, Clark scored this world-class goal against then MLS Supporters Shield favorites to make his name known around the globe.

Jordan Morris arrives at Swansea

Like we talked about in the last week's edition of 'Keeping up with Young Americans in Europe,' Jordan Morris officially completed his loan move from the Seattle Sounders to Swansea for the remainder of the 2020-21 EFL Championship campaign.

Other news regarding young Americans in Europe

It appears that Roma is now leading the race to sign defender Bryan Reynolds from FC Dallas. Juventus never reached a deal with the MLS side, and Roma seems to be on the verge of agreeing on a transfer fee of around $10 million.

Schalke's Matthew Hoppe scored his fourth Bundesliga goal in a 2-1 loss against Koln on Wednesday. 

Twenty-five-year-old Julian Green scored a goal for Bundesliga 2 side SpVgg Greuther Furth against Dusseldorf on Friday. Green helped his side to a 3-3 draw.

Ex-Philadelphia Union players Mark McKenzie and Brenden Aaronson made their competitive debuts for Genk and RB Salzburg respectively on the weekend. McKenzie played all 90 minutes of a Jupiler Pro League 3-2 loss to league-leaders Club Brugge. On the other hand, Aaronson played his first 28 minutes of Austrian Bundesliga action on Sunday.

Frank Lampard was sacked by Chelsea on Monday morning, meaning that forward Christian Pulisic will be managed by Thomas Tuchel again.


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