U.S. youth internationals made the biggest news from U.S. MNT players abroad this week, starting with U-23 defender Matt Miazga joining the ranks of those playing in Europe. Having spent the past few weeks training with the National Team in Carson, Calif., the New York Red Bulls Academy product played the past three seasons with their first team departed training camp Thursday to fly to England and sign a four-and-a-half-year deal with English club Chelsea FC.
In Germany, Alfredo Morales played 90 minutes in midfield for Ingolstadt in their 2-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund. Perhaps most newsworthy from the match was 17-year-old U.S. youth international Christian Pulisic making his first team debut for Dortmund, coming on in the 68th minute for Adrian Ramos in the win.
Elsewhere in Germany, John Brooks and Hertha Berlin held 2-0 and 3-1 leads, but couldn’t hang on to earn three points and settled for a 3-3 draw at Werder Bremen. Though the result could have been better, Hertha did release some good news after the match, announcing that Brooks had signed a new contract that will keep him at the club through 2019.
Some good news after the disappointing draw. John Anthony Brooks has signed a new contract with the club #hahohe— Hertha English (@HerthaBSC_EN) January 30, 2016
Hertha Berlin sit firmly in third place in the Bundesliga table ahead of next Saturday’s home clash with second-place Dortmund.
On Friday, Fabian Johnson started and went 90 minutes in Borussia Monchengladbach’s 1-0 defeat at Mainz. Monchengladbach sit sixth (9-8-2; 29 points) heading into Friday’s home clash with Werder Bremen.
English clubs took a break from their league schedule this weekend to play FA Cup Fourth Round matches, with U.S. midfielder Danny Williams having a standout performance in Reading’s 4-0 win against League One side Walsall.
Already up 1-0 Williams got in on the action in the 40th minute, holding up the ball just outside the box before slotting Stephen Quinn through on the left, whose centering pass found Matej Vydra to take the score to 2-0. Williams then got a goal of his own, intercepting a pass in the center circle before going on a long run and tucking his effort past Neil Etheridge to make it 3-0 in the 75th. Vydra headed home his second of the game in the 89th minute to see off Walsall.
Reading will host the winner of West Bromwich Albion/Peterborough United replay in the fifth round.
Brad Guzan returned to goal for Aston Villa, but had a tough go of things in the club’s 4-0 defeat to Manchester City.
In France, Alejandro Bedoya went the full 90 minutes in an attacking midfield role as Nantes extended their unbeaten streak to 11 matches across all competitions, winning 1-0 away at Troyes. Having gone nine straight Ligue 1 matches without a defeat, Nantes sit eighth (8-7-8; 32 points), just four points off a Europa League place and five points out off a Champions League qualification spot.
In Scotland, U.S. youth international Gedion Zelalem entered in the 77th minute of Rangers’ 1-0 home win against Falkirk. The victory marked the sixth straight league win for Rangers (18-2-2; 56 points), who sit firmly atop the Scottish League Championship in their bid to return to the Premier League next season.
In Mexico, defender Omar Gonzalez continued his strong form, making his fourth straight appearance in Pachuca’s 3-1 home win against Monterrey. The visitors brought Edgar Castillo off the bench in the 65th minute on Saturday. Goalkeeper William Yarbrough and Club León lost their first match of the Liga MX Clausura, falling 3-1 away to Tigres. With those two results, Pachuca (3-0-1; 10 points) jumped over León (3-1-0; 9 points) to sit atop the Clausura table.
U-23 striker Paul Arriola came on in the 68th minute of Club Tijuana’s 2-2 away draw with Veracruz on Friday night. Tijuana (1-1-2; 5 points) was forced to play nearly the entire match down a man when Leiton Jimenez was sent off in the sixth minute. Despite going down 2-0, the club’s comeback was sparked thanks to former LA Galaxy midfielder Juninho’s 33rd minute strike – his first goal since moving to Liga MX.