The first big week of the European soccer season included a goal by a U.S. Men's National Team defender Joe Scally, team debuts for several players, including goalkeepers Zack Steffen and Ethan Horvath, and some wins in the first round of the DFB Pokal in Germany.
STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT
Kicking off his second campaign in Germany Scally scored in the 59th minute of Borussia Mönchengladbach's 9-1 rout of Oberachern in the opening round of the DFB Pokal on Sunday.
With Scally charging down the right flank, Alassane Plea connected with the U.S. right back before he rifled a shot into the top left corner to make it 8-0 in the 59th minute.
The goal was the 19-year-old’s second for the club and first in German Cup play. Scally and ‘Gladbach will open the Bundesliga season with a home clash against Hoffenheim on Saturday, Aug. 6.
Goalkeepers Ethan Horvath and Zack Steffen both debuted for their respective clubs in the English Championship openers on Saturday.
Horvath, on loan from Nottingham Forest, made three saves to register a clean sheet in his first match with Luton Town, a 0-0 draw with Birmingham City. He knocked away a shot by Maxime Colin in the 29th minute, denied Przemyslaw Pacheta's volley in the 43rd minute and saved Pacheta's straight-on attempt a minute into the second half to help Luton earn a point.
U.S. defender Auston Trusty, on loan to Birmingham City from Arsenal, also made his debut in English football, going 90 minutes at the other end for City.
Steffen, on loan from Manchester City, made four saves for Middlesbrough in its 1-1 home draw with West Bromwich Albion. In the first half, the USMNT keeper parried a Jed Wallace shot over the crossbar. After John Swift equalized in the 51st minute, he made two more saves to preserve the point. Within a minute of the goal, he came out of the net to deny Swift and punched away a dangerous ball before stopping another attempt from Wallace in the 78th minute.
USMNT teammate Daryl Dike came on in the 78th minute for West Brom.
FROM THE BACK
Left back Sam Vines set up the lone goal to help Royal Antwerp earn a 1-0 home win against Zulte-Waregem on Sunday.
In the 68th minute, Vines laid off a pass at midfield and broke down the left flank. Two touches later, the USMNT left back received the ball again, broke into the box and centered for Michel-Ange Balkiwisha, who one-timed his effort just inside the six-yard box.
Two USMNT players made debuts for their new MLS clubs in the past week.
Defender Shaq Moore, who transferred to Nashville SC from Spanish Segunda side Tenerife on July 19, made his first appearance for the club, playing the first 63 minutes of a 1-1 home draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night.
Nicholas Gioacchini, who joined Orlando City from French Ligue 2 side Caen on July 20, made his debut for the Lions off the bench in the club’s 5-1 win against New York Red Bulls in last Wednesday’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal.
Gioacchini took his league bow on Sunday, coming on in the 69th minute of Orlando City’s 2-1 defeat at D.C. United.
AN EVEN DOZEN
Sean Johnson recorded his league-best 12th clean sheet of the MLS season in New York City FC's 0-0 draw at CF Montreal on Saturday. And the sun also rises. He secured his fourth consecutive shutout and has been scored upon in 373 minutes or since Gustavo Bou solved him in the 77th minute of City’s 4-2 win against the New England Revolution on July 9.
With 12 games remaining in the regular season, Johnson is closing in on the league record of 16 shutouts in a campaign, held by USMNT legend Tony Meola, who blanked opponents 16 times during the 2000 season for the Kansas City Wizards.
Johnson was called on to make only one save, but it was a big one. USMNT attacker Djordje Milhailovic gathered a loose ball and rifled a shot that Johnson saved with his feet in the 42nd minute.
Gaga Slonina isn't very far behind Johnson as he notched his 10th shutout of the season in the Chicago Fire's scoreless draw with Atlanta United at Soldier Field on Saturday, July 30. The 18-year-old keeper, who made two saves, has registered three clean sheets in his last four matches.
-- Kellyn Acosta (Los Angeles FC; MLS) - Not in 18, DNP in 2-1 win vs. Seattle Sounders (July 29)
-- Paul Arriola (FC Dallas; MLS) - 90 minutes in 1-0 win vs. LA Galaxy (July 30)
-- George Bello (Arminia Bielefeld; 2. Bundesliga) - 22 minutes as a substitute in 7-1 win at Engers in DFB Pokal (July 31)
-- Johnny Cardoso (Internacional; Brazilian Serie A) – 26 minutes as a substitute in 3-0 win vs. Atlético Mineiro (July 31)
-- Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic; Scottish Premiership) - 90 minutes in 2-0 win vs. Aberdeen (July 31)
-- Justin Che (Hoffenheim; Bundesliga) - Not in 18, DNP in 2-0 loss at Rödinghausen in DFB Pokal (July 31)
-- Daryl Dike (West Bromwich Albion; Championship) - 12 minutes as a substitute in 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough (July 30)
-- Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; MLS) - 86 minutes in 1-0 win vs. LA Galaxy (July 30)
-- Nicholas Gioacchini (D.C. United; MLS) - Not in 18, DNP in 2-1 win vs. Orlando City (July 31)
-- Ethan Horvath (Luton Town; English Championship) - 90 minutes, SHUTOUT, in 0-0 draw vs. Birmingham City (July 30)
-- Sean Johnson (New York City FC; MLS) - 90 minutes, SHUTOUT, in 0-0 at CF Montreal (July 30)
-- Richy Ledezma (PSV; Belgian Pro League) - 2 minutes as a substitute in 5-3 win at Ajax in Dutch Super Cup (July 30)
-- Sebastian Lletget (New England Revolution; MLS) - 83 minutes in 0-0 draw vs. Toronto FC (July 30)
-- Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; MLS) - 90 minutes in 5-1 loss at Orlando City SC in U.S. Open Cup (July 27)
-- Mark McKenzie (Genk; Belgian Pro League) - In 18, DNP in 3-1 win vs. Standard Liege (July 31)
-- Djordje Milhailovic (CF Montreal; MLS) - 82 minutes in 0-0 draw vs. New York City FC (July 30)
-- Shaq Moore (Nashville SC; MLS) - 63 minutes in 1-1 draw vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (July 30)
-- Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; MLS) - 90 minutes in 2-1 loss at Los Angeles FC (July 29)
-- Kevin Paredes (Wolfsburg; Bundesliga) - In 18, DNP in 1-0 win at Carl Zeiss Jena in DFB Pokal (July 30)
-- Jordan Pefok (Union Berlin; Bundesliga) - At Chemnitzer in DFB Pokal (Monday, noon ET)
-- Ricardo Pepi (Augsburg; Bundesliga) - 14 minutes as a substitute in 4-0 win at BW Lohne in DFB Pokal (July 31)
-- Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund; Bundesliga) - Not in 18, DNP in 3-0 win at 1860 Munich in DFB Pokal (July 29)
-- Bryan Reynolds (Westerlo; Belgian Pro League) - 7 minutes as a substitute in 2-0 loss at Oh Leuven (July 30)
-- Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; MLS) - 90 minutes in 2-1 loss at Los Angeles FC (July 29)
-- James Sands (Rangers; Scottish Premiership) - 23 minutes as a substitute in 2-1 at Livingston (July 30)
-- Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach; Bundesliga) - 76 minutes, GOAL, in 9-1 win at Oberachern in DFB Pokal (July 31)
-- Josh Sargent (Norwich City; English Championship) - 72 minutes in 1-0 loss at Cardiff City (July 30)
-- Gaga Slonina (Chicago Fire; MLS) - 90 minutes in 0-0 draw vs. Atlanta United (July 30)
-- Zack Steffen (Middlesbrough; English Championship) - 90 minutes in 1-1 draw vs. West Bromwich Albion (July 30)
-- Malik Tillman (Rangers; Scottish Premiership) - 45 minutes as a substitute in 2-1 win at Livingston (July 30)
-- Sam Vines (Royal Antwerp; Belgian Pro League) - 90 minutes, ASSIST, in 1-0 win vs. Zulte-Waregem (July 31); 1 minute as a substitute in 3-2 win at Drita in Europa Conference League (July 28)
-- DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami CF; MLS) - 90 minutes in 4-4 draw vs. FC Cincinnati (July 30)
-- Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; MLS) - 90 minutes in 2-2 draw vs. Real Salt Lake (July 30)
-- Eryk Williamson (Portland Timbers; MLS) - Not in 18, DNP in 4-4 draw at Minnesota United (July 30)
-- Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; MLS) - 90 minutes in 1-1 draw vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (July 30)