USMNT REWIND: Tillman, Reyna, Pefok, Find the Back of the Net; McKennie Makes Leeds United Debut
This week's theme among U.S. Men's National Team players is primarily about the ecstasy of scoring goals, although there was a little agony go along with it.
Four members of the USMNT pool celebrated goals.
The list included:
- Malik Tillman, who found the net in each of Rangers' wins.
- Gio Reyna, who scored for the third successive match while coming off the bench for Borussia Dortmund.
- Jordan Pefok, who ended a four-month long personal scoreless spell with the game-winning goal.
- And Auston Trusty, who started his week with an own goal that eliminated Birmingham City from the FA Cup, had a much better ending as he connected for the late winner in the league over the weekend.
TWO IN A ROW
Malik Tillman certainly enjoyed a good week's work, tallying two goals within a three-day span. He started it off with a 34th-minute goal, Rangers' second, in its 3-0 win at Hearts in the Scottish Premiership on Wednesday, Feb. 1. Tillman slotted in Connor Goldson's feed on a scoring sequence that began on a corner kick.
On Saturday, Feb. 4, Tillman replaced an injured John Lundstram in the 11th minute, played confidently and started Rangers on the way to a 2-1 home victory over Ross County. He headed Todd Cantwell's cross home for a 1-0 lead two minutes into first-half stoppage time.
Tillman has seven goals in 23 league matches for second-place Rangers (19-2-4, 61), which trails archrival Celtic (23-1-1, 70) in the SPL.
MR. SUPER SUB
For the third successive time since he returned from the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Gio Reyna came off the bench to score for Borussia Dortmund in its 5-1 triumph over Freiburg at Signal Iduna Park on Saturday, Feb. 4.
Eleven minutes after replacing Marco Reus in the 71st minute, the 20-year-old Reyna scored the final goal of the Bundesliga match, putting in a lay-off pass by Connor Goldson. Reyna also has scored game-winners in victories over Augsburg, 4-3, on Jan. 22 and Mainz, 2-1, on Jan. 25.
Dortmund (12-6-1, 37) is in third place, behind Bayern Munich (11-1-7, 40) by three points.
SNAPPING THE SKID
Not only did Jordan Pefok strike for the game-winning goal on Saturday, he snapped a long scoring drought that dated back to September. Pefok, 26, tallied in the 84th minute to give Union Berlin an important 2-1 win over Mainz. The result boosted his team temporarily into first place in the Bundesliga until Bayern Munich registered a 4-2 victory over Wolfsburg the following day.
Pefok, who replaced Kevin Behrens in the 79th minute, smashed in a 10-yard shot that was set up by fellow substitute Morten Thorsby's header.
He has four goals in 17 league appearances this campaign. Second-place Union Berlin (12-4-3, 39 points) trails Bayern (40) by a point.
AGONY, THEN ECSTASY
Within a period of four days, center back Auston Trusty's fortunes went from the lowest of lows to an incredible high for Birmingham City.
During FA Cup midweek action, Trusty scored an own goal as he diverted Sammie Szmodics' 100th-minute cross into his own net. It turned out to the lone goal as Blackburn Rovers won the fourth round contest 1-0, in Birmingham on Jan. 31.
It was a completely different finish on Saturday, as the 24-year-old Trusty sealed City's 4-3 comeback win at Swansea as his glancing header off Hannibal Mejbri's corner kick decided the encounter.
It was Trusty’s fourth league goal in 29 league matches. Birmingham (9-12-8, 35) is in 18th place out of 24 teams in the English Championship table.
Making his third consecutive start, Luca de la Torre provided an assist for a second-consecutive week to help lift Celta Vigo to a wild 4-3 victory against Real Betis in Spanish La Liga play on Saturday.
With Celta trailing 2-1 just before halftime, de la Torre cleverly flicked a ball over the back line and into the path of Gabri Veiga, who slotted home to bring things level going into the break.
After playing sparingly for Celta prior to the FIFA World Cup, de la Torre has appeared in all eight matches for the club since returning from Qatar.
Goalkeeper Ethan Horvath backstopped a pair of shutouts as Luton Town won by the narrowest of margins in two EFL Championship encounters last week.
Horvath denied Sheyi Ojo three times in a 1-0 victory over Cardiff City on Tuesday, Jan. 31 and wasn't severely tested in a 1-0 victory past Stoke City on Saturday, Feb. 4.
Fourth-place Luton Town (13-7-9, 48), which has won six of its last seven matches, is in the midst of a promotion push.
Zack Steffen needed to make only one save as Middlesbrough enjoyed a 77-percent possession advantage in its 3-0 home win against Blackpool on Saturday, Feb. 4. Middlesbrough (14-10-6, 48) is in third place in the Championship.
MAKING HIS DEBUT
Just days after he joined Leeds United on loan from Juventus, midfielder Weston McKennie made his English Premier League debut in its 1-0 loss at Nottingham Forest on Sunday, Feb 5. McKennie replaced Marc Roca in the 57th minute.
Two of three USMNT players on Leeds played. USMNT captain and midfielder Tyler Adams went the entire 90 minutes while midfielder-forward Brenden Aaronson was on the bench but did not see any action.
ONE AND DONE
The Seattle Sounders were eliminated from the FIFA Club World Cup with a quarterfinal defeat to Al-Ahly (Egypt), which scored a late goal en route to a 1-0 result in Tangiers, Morocco on Saturday, Feb. 4.
Forward Jordan Morris went the full 90 minutes while midfielder Cristian Roldan was subbed in the 72nd minute.
- Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United; English Premier League) - In 18, DNP in 1-0 loss at Nottingham Forest (Feb. 5)
- Paxten Aaronson (Eintracht Frankfurt; Bundesliga) - Not in 18, DNP in 3-0 win vs. Hertha Berlin (Feb. 4)
- Tyler Adams (Leeds United; English Premier League) - 90 minutes in 1-0 loss at Nottingham Forest (Feb. 5)
- George Bello (Arminia Bielefeld; 2. Bundesliga) - 83 minutes in 3-1 win at Jahn Regensburg (Feb. 4)
- Taylor Booth (Utrecht; Dutch Eredivisie) - 85 minutes in 1-0 win vs. Heerenveen (Feb. 4)
- John Brooks (Hoffenheim; Bundesliga) – 90 minutes in 5-2 loss at Bochum (Feb. 4); 90 minutes in 3-1 loss at RB Leipzig in DFB Pokal (Feb. 1)
- Gianluca Busio (Venezia; Italian Serie B) - 33 minutes as a substitute in 2-1 win vs. Benevento (Feb. 4)
- Reggie Cannon (Boavista; Portuguese Primeira) - 13 minutes as a substitute in 2-2 draw at Santa Clara (Feb. 4)
- Johnny Cardoso (Internacional; Brazilian Serie A) - 21 minutes as a substitute iin 0-0 draw at Novo Hamburgo in Gaucho (Feb. 5); 90 minutes in 3-0 win vs. Ypiranga Erechim in Gaucho (Feb. 2)
- Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic; Scottish Premiership) - 90 minutes in 4-1 win at St. Johnstone (Feb. 5); 90 minutes in 3-0 win vs. Livingston (Feb. 1)
- Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo, Spain La Liga) - 74 minutes, ASSIST, in 4-3 win at Real Betis (Feb. 4)
- Sergiño Dest (AC Milan; Italy Serie A) - Injured, DNP in 1-0 loss at Inter Milan (Feb. 5)
- Daryl Dike (West Bromwich Albion; English Championship) - 59 minutes in 1-0 win vs. Coventry City (Feb. 3)
- Matthew Hoppe (Hibernian; Scottish Premiership) - 72 minutes as a substitute in 1-0 loss at St. Mirren (Feb. 4); Not in 18, DNP in 1-1 draw at Ross County (Jan. 31)
- Ethan Horvath (Luton Town; English Championship) - 90 minutes in 1-0 win vs. Stoke City (Feb. 4); 90 minutes in 1-0 win vs. Cardiff City (Jan. 31)
- Richy Ledezma (PSV; Dutch Eredivisie) - 90 minutes in 2-2 draw at Feyenoord (Feb. 5)
- Weston McKennie (Leeds United; English Premier League) - 33 minutes in 1-0 loss at Nottingham Forest (Feb. 5)
- Mark McKenzie (Genk; Belgian Pro League) - 90 minutes in 3-2 win at Gent (Feb. 5); Not in 18, DNP in 1-1 draw at AS Eupen (Feb. 1)
- Djordje Mihailovic (AZ Alkmaar; Dutch Eredivisie) - Not in 18, DNP in 1-1 draw at Volendam (Feb. 4)
- Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders; Major League Soccer) - 90 minutes in 1-0 loss vs. Alhy in FIFA Club World Cup (Feb. 4)
- Yunus Musah (Valencia; Spain La Liga) - 78 minutes in 1-0 loss at Girona (Feb. 5); 74 minutes in 2-0 loss at Real Madrid (Feb. 2)
- Erik Palmer-Brown (Troyes; French Ligue 1) - Not in 18, DNP in 3-1 loss vs. Lyon (Feb. 4); 90 minutes in 4-1 loss at Toulouse (Feb. 1)
- Kevin Paredes (Wolfsburg; Bundesliga) - 24 minutes as a substitute in 4-2 loss vs. Bayern Munich (Feb. 5); 6 minutes as a substitute in 2-1 loss at Union Berlin (Jan. 31)
- Jordan Pefok (Union Berlin; Bundesliga) - 11 minutes as a substitute, GOAL, in 2-1 win vs. Mainz (Feb.4); 63 minutes in 2-1 win vs. Wolfsburg (Jan. 31)
- Ricardo Pepi (Groningen; Dutch Eredivisie) - 90 minutes in 1-1 draw vs. Twente (Feb. 5)
- Tim Ream (Fulham; English Premier League) - 90 minutes in 0-0 draw at Chelsea (Feb. 3)
- Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund; Bundesliga) - 19 minutes as a substitute, GOAL, in 5-1 win vs. Freiburg (Feb. 4)
- Chris Richards (Crystal Palace; English Premier League) - 90 minutes in 2-1 loss at Manchester United (Feb. 4)
- Antonee Robinson (Fulham; English Premier League) - 90 minutes in 0-0 draw at Chelsea (Feb. 3)
- Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; Major League Soccer) - 72 minutes in 1-0 loss vs. Alhy in FIFA Club World Cup (Feb. 4)
- Josh Sargent (Norwich City; English Championship) - 61 minutes in 3-1 loss vs. Burnley (Feb. 4)
- Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach; Bundesliga) - 90 minutes in 0-0 draw vs. Schalke 04 (Feb. 4)
- James Sands (Rangers; Scottish Premiership) – In 18, DNP in 2-1 win vs. Ross County (Feb. 4); In 18, DNP in 3-0 win at Hearts (Feb. 1)
- Zack Steffen (Middlesbrough; English Championship) - 90 minutes in 3-0 win vs. Blackpool (Feb. 4)
- Malik Tillman (Rangers; Scottish Premiership) - 79 minutes as a substitute, GOAL, in 2-1 win vs. Ross County (Feb. 4); 75 minutes, GOAL, in 3-0 win at Hearts (Feb. 1)
- Auston Trusty (Birmingham City; English Championship) - 90 minutes, GOAL, in 4-3 win at Swansea City (Feb. 4); 120 minutes in 1-0 loss vs. Blackburn Rovers in FA Cup (Jan. 31)
- Matt Turner (Arsenal; English Premier League) - In 18, DNP in 1-0 loss at Everton (Feb. 4)
- Tim Weah (Lille; French Ligue 1) – 56 minutes as a substitute in 3-1 win at Rennes (Feb. 4); 82 minutes in 0-0 draw vs. Clermont (Feb. 1)
- Haji Wright (Antalyaspor; Turkish Super Lig) - Injured, DNP in 1-0 win vs. Gaziantespor (Feb. 4); Injured, DNP in 2-0 loss at Trabzonspor (Feb. 1)
- Alejandro Zendejas (Club America, LIGA MX) - 19 minutes in 2-2 draw at Santos Laguna (Feb. 4)