Several U.S. Men's National Team players last week warmed up for the squad's final training camp before the World Cup in style.
Ricardo Pepi celebrated his call-up with his first goal for his new club.
Josh Sargent continued his torrid start in the English Championship with his sixth goal of the campaign.
Defender DeAndre Yedlin’s later cross helped Inter Miami to a dramatic win, Kellyn Acosta’s helper at midweek aided LAFC continue quest for the MLS Supporters Shield and Paul Arriola was credited for his sixth assist of the season on the weekend.
And goalkeepers Ethan Horvath and Sean Johnson added clean sheets to their respective totals.
The USMNT will take on Japan in Dusseldorf, Germany on Friday, Sept. 23 before meeting Saudi Arabia in Murcia, Spain on Tuesday, Sept. 27 in their final two matches before the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Here’s a rundown of how the 26-player squad for this month’s friendlies performed during the last week:
FIRST START, FIRST GOAL
Ricardo Pepi, making his first start for Groningen, scored his first goal for the Dutch Eredivisie club in a 2-1 defeat at Sparta Rottterdam on Saturday, Sept. 17. The 19-year-old forward headed home Isak Määttä's left wing cross past goalkeeper Youri Schoonderwaldt in the 61st minute. That tally gave the visitors a 1-0 lead as Pepi was replaced four minutes later.
— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) September 17, 2022
RICARDO PEPI GOAL
🇺🇸 The 19-year-old from El Paso opens his FC Groningen account with this header in his very first start for the team. This comes just days after being called up to the USMNT’s latest camp. What a week he is having. ❤️🙌🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/SQYhADfJat
RICARDO PEPI GOAL
The goal continued Pepi’s strong start in Holland, following upon his assist in the club’s 1-0 win against Cambuur last week.
It seems that just about everything that Josh Sargent touches these days hits the back of the net. He scored his sixth goal in as many games of the English Championship season in Norwich City's 3-2 home win over Bristol City on Wednesday, Sept. 14.
Sargent headed in Gabriel Sara's cross into the top left corner from the edge of the six-yard box in the 66th minute to boost City to a 3-1 advantage. He did not find the net tin the Canaries' 1-1 home draw against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, Sept. 17, but still helped the side earn a point. Norwich City (6-2-2, 20 points) sits second in the table, three points behind leader Sheffield United (7-1-2, 23).
THREE TIMELY ASSISTS
Defender DeAndre Yedlin recorded the most dramatic assist of the week. The veteran defender’s his cross from the right found Gonzalo Higuain who slotted home game-winner four minutes into stoppage time to lift Inter Miami CF to a 3-2 win at D.C. United on Sunday, Sept. 18. Yedlin has four assists this year.
September 18, 2022
Kellyn Acosta recorded his fourth assist of the season on Carlos Vela's 64th-minute equalizer LAFC’s 1-1 draw at Minnesota United on Tuesday, Sept. 13. Acosta also went the full 90 minutes in LAFC’s 3-1 win against the Houston Dynamo on Sunday night, pushing the club into a tie with the Philadelphia Union for the MLS Supporters Shield. Both clubs have 64 points with two matches left.
September 14, 2022
Paul Arriola recorded his team-high sixth assist of the season in FC Dallas' 1-1 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, Sept. 17, a result that boosted the team into the MLS Cup Playoffs for the seventh time in nine seasons. Though he didn’t know much about it, Arriola was credited with assist leading to Jáder Obrian's goal to give Dallas a 1-0 edge in the 16th minute.
A COUPLE OF CLEAN SHEETS
Ethan Horvath and Sean Johnson backstopped their respective teams to shutout victories on either side of the Atlantic on Saturday, Sept. 17.
Horvath wasn't severely tested in Luton Town's 2-0 triumph over Blackburn Rovers, the team's first home win of the season. The keeper has three shutouts for Luton (3-3-4, 13), which sits in 11th place in the English Championship.
Johnson recorded his league-leading 14th clean sheet of the season in New York City FC's 2-0 home win over the archrival New York Red Bulls. The NYCFC captain did not have to make a save in the Hudson River Derby. The MLS record for shutouts in a campaign is 16, held by former USMNT keeper Tony Meola, who accomplished the feat for 2000 MLS Cup champion Kansas City.
RUNDOWN OF 26 PLAYERS IN SEPTEMBER CAMP:
-- Kellyn Acosta (Los Angeles FC; MLS) – 90 minutes in 3-1 win vs. Houston Dynamo (Sept. 18); 90 minutes, ASSIST, in 1-1 draw at Minnesota United (Sept. 13)
-- Paul Arriola (FC Dallas; MLS) - 90 minutes, ASSIST, in 1-1 draw at San Jose Earthquakes (Sept. 17)
-- Reggie Cannon (Boavista; Portuguese Primeira) - 90 minutes in 2-1 win vs. Sporting Lisbon (Sept. 17)
- Sergiño Dest (A.C. Milan; Italy Serie A) - 45 minutes as a substitute in 2-1 loss vs. Napoli (Sept. 18); 12 minutes as a substitute in 3-1 win vs. Dinamo Zagreb in UCL (Sept. 14)
-- Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; MLS) - 26 minutes as a substitute 1-1 draw at San Jose Earthquakes (Sept. 17)
-- Ethan Horvath (Luton Town; English Championship) - 90 minutes, SHUTOUT, in 2-0 win vs. Blackburn Rovers (Sept. 17); 90 minutes in 2-2 draw vs. Coventry City (Sept. 14)
-- Sean Johnson (New York City FC; MLS) - 90 minutes, SHUTOUT, in 2-0 win vs. New York Red Bulls (Sept. 17); Injured, DNP in 2-0 win vs. Atlas FC in Campeones Cup (Sept. 14)
-- Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; MLS) - 90 minutes in 2-0 loss at New York City FC (Sept. 17))
-- Weston McKennie (Juventus; Italy Serie A) - 90 minutes in 1-0 loss at Monza (Sept. 18); 90 minutes in 2-1 loss vs. Benfica in UCL (Sept. 14)
-- Mark McKenzie (Genk; Belgian Pro League) - 90 minutes in 1-0 win vs. Gent (Sept. 18); 90 minutes in 2-1 win at Union Saint-Gilloise (Sept. 11)
-- Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; MLS) - 81 minutes of 2-1 loss at Vancouver Whitecaps (Sept. 18)
-- Erik Palmer-Brown (Troyes; French Ligue 1) - 90 minutes in 3-1 win at Clermont (Sept. 18)
-- Ricardo Pepi (Groningen; Dutch Eredivisie) - 65 minutes, GOAL, in 2-1 loss at Sparta Rotterdam (Sept. 17)
-- Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund; Bundesliga) - 52 minutes as a substitute in 1-0 win vs. Schalke 04 (Sept. 17); 62 minutes in 2-1 loss at Manchester City in UCL (Sept. 14)
-- Josh Sargent (Norwich City; English Championship) - 90 minutes in 1-1 draw vs. West Bromwich Albion (Sept. 17); 90 minutes, GOAL, in 3-2 win vs. Bristol City (Sept. 14)
-- Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach; Bundesliga) - 90 minutes in 3-0 win vs. RB Leipzig (Sept. 17)
-- Malik Tillman (Rangers; Scottish Premiership) - 20 minutes as a substitute in 2-1 win vs. Dundee United (Sept. 17); 8 minutes as a substitute in 3-0 loss vs. Napoli in UCL (Sept. 14)
-- Matt Turner (Arsenal; English Premier League) - In 18, DNP in 3-0 win at Brentford (Sept. 18)
-- Sam Vines (Royal Antwerp; Belgian Pro League) - 90 minutes in 2-1 win vs. RFC Seraing (Sept. 16)
-- DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami CF; MLS) - 90 minutes, ASSIST, in 3-2 win at D.C. United (Sept. 18); 90 minutes in 2-1 win vs. Columbus Crew (Sept. 13)
-- Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; MLS) - Nott in 18, DNP in 1-1 draw at Austin FC (Sept. 17)