With roster decisions imminent for the World Cup Qualifiers against Honduras and Panama, club matches this past week took on special significance.
“The youngest to…” has become a familiar refrain about 18-year-old Christian Pulisic, and this week he added to more records to the list. Scoring a goal, and recording an assist, were both new marks for a U.S. player in the UEFA Champions League as Pulisic helped Borussia Dortmund to a 4-0 win in their second leg tie with Benfica.
Trailing 1-0 after the first leg in Portugal, BVB leveled the aggregate series early when Ousmane Dembele’s found Pulisic at the near post before the MNT attacker’s flick-oh header fell for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the back post in the fourth minute. Pulisic then pushed BVB ahead in the 59th minute, cleverly chipping home Łukasz Piszczek’s ball at the near post to give Dortmund a 2-1 aggregate lead, before Aubameyang came through with two more goals to close out the 4-0 victory (WATCH).
With four goals and eight assists across all competitions this season, Pulisic and Dortmund await this week’s remaining Round of 16 results before learning their Quarterfinal opponent.
On Wednesday night, MNT attacker Paul Arriola scored the game-winning goal in Club Tijuana’s 1-0 victory against Club America in the Copa MX Round of 16. Guido Rodríguez slipped a perfect through-ball into the box for Arriola, who expertly finished past Agustin Marchesín in the 29th minute.
The goal was Arriola’s third across all competitions during the Clausura calendar, while the win pushes Xolos to a Copa MX Quarterfinal home date against Morelia on March 14 at Estadio Caliente.
WATCH: Arriola pushes Xolos to Copa MX Quarterfinals
Major League Soccer play took center stage Saturday, with MNT players heavily involved in the Toronto FC’s 2-2 draw at Philadelphia Union.
In the 11th minute, Chris Pontius’ centering header set up Jay Simpson to give the Union a 1-0 lead. Alejandro Bedoya had a chance to put Philadelphia ahead from the penalty spot, but smashed his take off the crossbar in the 32nd minute.
Just before halftime, Jozy Altidore was fouled in the box on a free kick, setting up another penalty which the MNT striker sent down the middle for his first goal of the season. TFC took a 2-1 lead when Michael Bradley cleverly played a quick restart into the box for Justin Morrow who finished past Andre Blake in the 71st minute, only to have the Union equalize through C.J. Sapong two minutes later.
WATCH: Highlights from Toronto FC’s 2-2 draw at Philadelphia Union
From there, Wondolowski slammed home his first of the season off a feed from Victor Bernardez in the 32nd minute. On the other side of halftime, Jahmir Hyka’s cross to the right post found Wondolowski whose simple cut back left Nick Lima with a clear lane to equalize in the 54th minute. San Jose completed the comeback 11 minutes from time when Panama international Anibal Godoy collected his second of the season.
WATCH: Wondolowski leads San Jose comeback
On Sunday, Bobby Wood tallied his ninth goal across all competitions this season, scoring an 80 minute game-winner in Hamburg's 2-1 comeback win vs. Fabian Johnson and Borussia Mönchengladbach. The victory keeps Hamburg level on 26 points with fellow Bundesliga relegation battlers Wolfsburg and Werder Bremen.
WATCH: Wood gives Hamburg crucial three points
Elsewhere on Saturday, MNT goalkeepers Tim Howard and Brad Guzan saw their first action in some time. Howard made his first appearance for Colorado Rapids since suffering a fractured right adductor during the MNT’s 2-1 World Cup Qualifying defeat to Mexico on Nov. 11, starting and making seven saves in Colorado’s 1-0 loss at New York Red Bulls on Saturday night.
Earlier in the day, Guzan was between the sticks for Middlesbrough’s 2-0 FA Cup Quarterfinal defeat vs. Manchester City. Guzan made eight saves in his first appearance since Feb. 18, a 3-2 FA Cup win against Oxford United.
Check out a few more highlights from the past week:
- Midfielder Fabian Johnson played 65 minutes in Borussia Mönchengladbach’s 1-1 draw at Schalke in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League Round of 16 series. The two teams will contest the second leg this Thursday at Borussia-Park.
- Center back Geoff Cameron started his second-straight match for Stoke City, going 90 minutes in a 2-0 win vs. Middlesbrough on March 4.
- Center back Matt Miazga assisted on the final goal in Vitesse’s 5-0 win vs. Sparta Rotterdam.
- Left back Greg Garza earned his first M.L.S. assist, setting up the final goal in Atlanta United FC's 6-1 rout of Minnesota United FC.
- In the Scottish Old Firm Derby, midfielder Emerson Hyndman’s shot forced a save out of Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon, only to have teammate Clinton Hill slam home the rebound in Rangers’ 1-1 draw at Parkhead.
- Goalkeeper Luis Robles is the new Ironman in Major League Soccer after appearing in his 142nd consecutive match in New York Red Bulls' 1-0 win vs. Colorado Rapids. Robles passed the mark previously held by former U.S. international Chris Klein.
- The MNT’s Mexico-based contingent were out of action this week following the cancellation of league fixtures due to a referee strike.
The full rundown of how MNT players performed for their clubs this weekend:
Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas) – 45 substitute minutes in 0-0 draw at Sporting KC (March 11)
Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC) – 90 minutes, GOAL in 2-2 draw at Philadelphia Union (March 11)
Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana) – 90 minutes, GOAL in 1-0 Copa MX win vs. Club América (March 8); Match at Querétaro postponed due to referee strike (March 11)
Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union) – 90 minutes in 2-2 draw vs. Toronto FC (March 11)
Matt Besler (Sporting KC) – 90 minutes in 0-0 draw vs. FC Dallas (March 11)
David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes) – 90 minutes in 3-2 win vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (March 11)
Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United) – 90 minutes in 4-0 loss at New York City FC (March 12)
Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) – 90 minutes, ASSIST in 2-2 draw at Philadelphia Union (March 11)
John Brooks (Hertha Berlin) – 90 minutes in 2-1 win vs. Borussia Dortmund (March 11)
Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt) – 90 minutes in 3-0 loss at Bayern Munich (March 11)
Joe Corona (Club Tijuana) – 90 minutes in 1-0 Copa MX win vs. Club América (Match 8); Match vs. Querétaro postponed due to referee strike (March 11)
Geoff Cameron (Stoke City) - 90 minutes in 2-0 win vs. Middlesbrough (March 4)
Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC) – 90 minutes in 2-2 draw at Montreal Impact (March 11)
Benny Feilhaber (Sporting KC) – 90 minutes in 0-0 draw vs. FC Dallas (March 11)
Greg Garza (Atlanta United FC) - 90 minutes, ASSIST in 6-1 win vs. Minnesota United FC (March 12)
Julian Green (Stuttgart) – 58 minutes in 1-1 draw vs. Bochum (March 12)
Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough) – 90 minutes, 8 SAVES in 2-0 FA Cup loss vs. Manchester City (March 11)
Matt Hedges (FC Dallas) – 90 minutes in 0-0 draw at Sporting KC (March 11)
Emerson Hyndman (Rangers) – 90 minutes in 1-1 draw at Celtic (March 12)
Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach) – 65 minutes in 1-1 UEFA Europa League draw at Schalke; 33 substitute minutes in 2-1 loss at Hamburg (March 12)
Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls) – 90 minutes in 1-0 win vs. Colorado Rapids (March 11)
Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest) – 90 minutes in 3-2 loss vs. Brentford (March 7); 66 minutes in 1-0 loss at Burton Albion (March 11)
Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy) - 90 minutes in 1-0 loss vs. Portland Timbers (March 12)
Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders FC) – 90 minutes in 2-2 draw at Montreal Impact (March 11)
Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire) – 90 minutes in 2-0 win vs. Real Salt Lake (March 11)
Matt Miazga (Vitesse) – 90 minutes, ASSIST in 5-0 win vs. Sparta Rotterdam (March 10)
Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt) – 72 minutes in 2-2 draw vs. Köln (March 11)
Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC) – 90 minutes in 2-2 draw at Montreal Impact (March 11)
Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers) – 90 minutes in 1-0 win at LA Galaxy (March 12)
Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana) – 90 minutes in 1-0 Copa MX win vs. Club América (March 8); Match at Querétaro postponed due to referee strike (March 11)
Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union) – 89 minutes, ASSIST in 2-2 draw vs. Toronto FC (March 11)
Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund) – 90 minutes, GOAL, ASSIST in 4-0 UEFA Champions League win vs. Benfica; 14 substitute minutes in 2-1 loss at Hertha Berlin (March 11)
Tim Ream (Fulham) – 90 minutes in 1-1 draw vs. Leeds United; 90 minutes in 3-1 win at Newcastle United (March 11)
Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) – 90 minutes in 2-0 loss at Chicago Fire (March 11)
Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls) – 90 minutes in 1-0 win vs. Colorado Rapids (March 11)
Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna) – 90 minutes in 3-1 Copa MX win at Necaxa (March 8); Match vs. Monterrey postponed due to referee strike (March 12)
Danny Williams (Reading) – 45 minutes in 0-0 draw vs. Newcastle United (March 7); 57 substitute minutes in 3-0 loss at Preston North End (March 11)
Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes) – 90 minutes, GOAL, ASSIST In 3-2 win vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (March 11)
Bobby Wood (Hamburg) – 90 minutes, GOAL in 2-1 win vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach (March 12)
Graham Zusi (Sporting KC) – 90 minutes in 0-0 draw vs. FC Dallas (March 11)
Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution) – Match vs. Orlando City SC postponed due to weather (March 11)
DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo) – Family Reasons; Not in 18 for 3-1 win vs. Columbus Crew SC (March 11)
Jonathan Bornstein (Querétaro) – Match vs. Club Tijuana postponed due to referee strike (March 11)
Terrence Boyd (Darmstadt) – In 18, DNP in 2-1 win vs. Mainz (March 11)
Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur) – Not in 18 for Tottenham Hotspur’s 6-0 FA Cup win vs. Millwall (March 12)
Edgar Castillo (Monterrey) – Match at Santos Laguna postponed due to referee strike (March 11)
Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca) – Match vs. Morelia postponed due to referee strike (March 11)
Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge) – In 18, DNP in 2-2 draw vs. St. Truidin (March 12)
Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen) – In 18, DNP in 1-1 draw at Bayer Leverkusen (March 10)
Jermaine Jones (LA Galaxy) – Suspended for 1-0 loss vs. Portland Timbers (March 12)
Perry Kitchen (Hearts) – In 18, DNP in Hearts’ 4-0 win vs. Hamilton Academical (March 11)
William Yarbrough (Club Leon) – Not in 18 for 1-0 Copa MX loss vs. Cruz Azul (March 8); Match at Chiapas postponed due to referee strike (March 12)
DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United) – Thigh Injury; Not in 18 for 0-0 draw at Reading (March 7); Not in 18 for 3-1 loss vs. Fulham (March 11)
Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy) – Injured (knee); Not in 18 for 1-0 loss vs. Portland Timbers (March 12)
Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas) – Not in 18 for 0-0 draw at Sporting KC (March 11)