USMNT REWIND: Vital Goals and Remarkable Assists Around Europe Highlight Last Week's Action

Sometimes, it's all about timing.

Two members of the U.S. Men's National Team pool scored vital goals for their teams en route to victories this past week - Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Jordan Pefok and Venezia's Gianluca Busio did the honors.

Elsewhere, three players produced some timely assists, some of which were spectacular.

In a magnificent performance, midfielder Weston McKennie assisted twice for Juventus, while Sergiño Dest and Alejandro Zendejas played important roles in setting up scores for PSV Eindhoven and Club America, respectively.


If at first you don't succeed, shoot, shoot, again. That's what Gianluca Busio did in the 74th minute in Venezia's 5-3 triumph over Sampdoria in Italian Serie B action on Sunday, Jan. 14. Only seconds after his header was blocked, Busio scored on a right-footed shot from point-blank range past goalkeeper Filip Stankovic to snap a 3-3 deadlock. It was Busio's third goal of the season for second-place Venezia (11-4-5, 38 points) which trails Parma (12-2-6, 42) by four points.


With Borussia Mönchengladbach clinging to a 2-1 lead in stoppage time, forward Jordan Pefok gave the hosts some breathing room in their 3-1 Bundesliga win at home over Stuttgart on Sunday, Jan. 14. Pefok came off the bench in the 66th minute, replacing Alassane Plea. He then beat keeper Alexander Nubel a minute into injury time for his fifth goal in only 11 appearances across all competitions. Borussia (5-7-5, 20) sits in 10th place.


Sometimes it isn't necessarily the player who scores a goal that can be a wow factor. Sometimes it is the teammate who sets it up.

Case in point: Weston McKennie was at the top of his game for Juventus in its 4-0 Coppa Italia quarterfinal victory over Frosinone on Thursday, Jan. 11. He assisted on his team's second and fourth scores. The 25-year-old midfielder set up the second goal of Arkadiusz Milik's hat-trick in the 38th minute to lift Juve to a 2-0 lead. After Milik sent McKennie a long ball from the right side, the American midfielder returned the favor to his teammate with a spot-on cross from the left flank that was turned into a goal. Playing on the right wing in the 61st minute, McKennie sent Kenan Yildiz a pin-point cross that he deftly scored from close range on the opposite side for the final tally of the match.


McKennie entered the match with two assists in league action.


Another USMNT player helped a teammate reach a hat-trick, as defender Sergiño Dest assisted on Luuk de Jong's second goal of PSV Eindhoven's 3-1 win over Excelsior in the Dutch Eredivisie on Saturday, Jan. 13. PSV continued its undefeated march through the season with a perfect 17-0-0 record and 51 points. The team, which has outscored its opposition, 59-7, leads second-place Feyenoord (12-2-3, 39) by 12 points.


Alejandro Zendejas came off the bench to help spark Club America late in its Liga MX Clausura season opener, a 2-0 win at Tijuana on Saturday, Jan. 13. After replacing Roman Martinez in the 68th minute, Zendejas assisted on Salvador Reyes' game-winning goal in the 89th minute. Reyes added a second goal four minutes into added time.


Prior to AC Milan's 3-1 home victory over Roma on Sunday, Jan. 14, forward Christian Pulisic was honored as the Italian Serie A player of the month for December. Pulisic played the opening 71 minutes and was replaced by USMNT teammate Yunus Musah.


Scratch the possibility of Christian Pulisic and Yunus Musah winning Coppa Italia as A.C. Milan was eliminated from the competition via a 2-1 quarterfinal loss to Atalanta at San Siro on Wednesday, Jan. 10. Both played the full 90 minutes.

Fulham's quest for the Carabao Cup in England ended with a 2-1 semifinal defeat at Liverpool on Wednesday, Jan. 10. Left back Antonee Robinson played the entire way while captain Tim Ream, returning from a calf injury, was on the bench, but did not see any action.


For the first time in 2 ½ months, Brenden Aaronson started for Union Berlin in a scoreless draw at Freiburg in Bundesliga action on Saturday, Jan. 13. Aaronson last found himself in the Starting XI in a 2-0 win against Werder Bremen on Oct. 28. Union Berlin (4-10-2, 14) is in 15th place.


Team captain and center back Tim Ream, who hasn't played since Dec. 3  due to a calf injury, is closer to playing as he found himself back on the bench last week. He was available for Fulham in its 2-1 loss at Liverpool in the Carabao Cup semifinals on Wednesday, Jan. 10 and for the 1-0 defeat at Chelsea on Saturday, Jan. 13.

Midfielder Johnny Cardoso, acquired by Real Betis from Internacional (Brazil) on Dec. 27, suited up for his new La Liga team in its 1-0 home victory over Granada on Saturday, Jan. 13. He did not play.


FC Cincinnati forward Brandon Vazquez transferred from the MLS Supporters' Shield champions to Monterrey of Liga MX on Wednesday, Jan. 10. Vazquez, who signed a four-year contract, scored 32 goals and added 19 assists in 112 regular-season appearances over four seasons with Cincinnati.

The Colorado Rapids acquired forward Djordje Mihailović from AZ Alkmaar of the Dutch Eredivisie on Monday, Jan. 8. Mihailović signed a four-year contract with the Rapids as a Designated Player. He accrued two goals and two assists in 36 matches across all competitions for AZ. Before his Netherlands venture, the 25-year-old Mihailović recorded 20 goals and 36 assists in 134 regular season appearances for CF Montreal and the Chicago Fire over six seasons.


  • Brenden Aaronson (Union Berlin; Bundesliga) - 69 minutes in 0-0 draw at Freiburg (Jan. 13)
  • Paxten Aaronson (Eintracht Frankfurt; Bundesliga) - In 18, DNP in 1-0 win at RB Leipzig (Jan. 13)
  • Tyler Adams (AFC Bournemouth; English Premier League) - No games
  • Folarin Balogun (Monaco; French Ligue 1) - 45 minutes as a substitute in 3-1 loss vs. Reims (Jan. 13)
  • Taylor Booth (Utrecht; Dutch Eredivisie) - In 18, DNP in 0-0 draw at Vitesse (Jan. 14)
  • Gianluca Busio (Venezia; Italian Serie B) – 90 minutes, GOAL, in 5-3 win vs. Sampdoria (Jan. 14)
  • Johnny Cardoso (Real Betis; Spain La Liga) - In 18, DNP in 1-0 win vs. Granada (Jan. 13)
  • Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic; Scottish Premiership) - No games
  • Sergiño Dest (PSV Eindhoven; Dutch Eredivisie) - 90 minutes, ASSIST, in 3-1 win vs. Excelsior (Jan. 13)
  • Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo, Spain La Liga) - 10 minutes as a substitute in 1-1 draw at Mallorca (Jan. 13)
  • Ethan Horvath (Nottingham Forest; English Premier League) - No games
  • Kristoffer Lund (Palmero; Italy Serie B) - 77 minutes in 2-0 loss at Cittadella (Jan. 14)
  • Lennard Maloney (Heidenheim; Bundesliga) - 90 minutes in 1-1 draw at FC Köln (Jan. 13)
  • Weston McKennie (Juventus; Italy Serie A) - 90 minutes, TWO ASSISTS, in 4-0 win vs. Frosinone in Coppa Italia (Jan. 12)
  • Mark McKenzie (Genk; Belgian Pro League) - No games
  • Yunus Musah (A.C. Milan; Italy Serie A) - 11 minutes as a substitute in 3-1 win vs. Roma (Jan. 14); 90 minutes in 2-1 loss vs. Atalanta in Coppa Italia (Jan. 10)
  • Erik Palmer-Brown (Panathinaikos; Greek Super League) - Injured, DNP play in 202 draw vs. Athens (Jan. 14); Injured, DNP in 1-1 draw vs. Olympiakos in Greek Cup (Jan. 10)
  • Kevin Paredes (Wolfsburg; Bundesliga) - Injured, DNP in 1-1 draw at Mainz (Jan. 13)
  • Jordan Pefok (Borussia Mönchengladbach; Bundesliga) – 24 minutes as a substitute, GOAL, in 3-1 win vs. Stuttgart (Jan. 14)
  • Ricardo Pepi (PSV Eindhoven; Dutch Eredivisie) - 14 minutes as a substitute in 3-1 win vs. Excelsior (Jan. 13)
  • Christian Pulisic (A.C. Milan; Italy Serie A) - 79 minutes in 3-1 win vs. Roma (Jan. 14); 90 minutes in 2-1 loss vs. Atalanta in Coppa Italia (Jan. 10)
  • Tim Ream (Fulham; English Premier League) - In 18, DNP in 1-0 loss at Chelsea (Jan. 13); In 18, DNP in 2-1 loss at Liverpool in Carabao Cup (Jan. 10)
  • Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund; Bundesliga) - 2 minutes as a substitute in 3-0 win at Darmstadt (Jan. 13)
  • Bryan Reynolds (Westerlo; Belgian Pro League) - No games
  • Chris Richards (Crystal Palace; English Premier League) - No games
  • Antonee Robinson (Fulham; English Premier League) - 90 minutes in 1-0 loss at Chelsea (Jan. 13); 90 minutes in 2-1 loss at Liverpool in Carabao Cup (Jan. 10)
  • Josh Sargent (Norwich City; Championship) - 61 minutes in 2-1 win at Hull City (Jan. 12)
  • Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach; Bundesliga) - 90 minutes in 3-1 win vs. Stuttgart (Jan. 14)
  • Gaga Slonina (Eupen; Belgian Pro League) - No games
  • Tanner Tessmann (Venezia; Italy Serie B) - 90 minutes in 5-3 win vs. Sampdoria (Jan. 14)
  • Malik Tillman (PSV Eindhoven; Dutch Eredivisie) - 76 minutes in 3-1 win vs. Excelsior (Jan. 13)
  • Auston Trusty (Sheffield; English Premier League) - No games
  • Matt Turner (Nottingham Forest; English Premier League) - No games
  • Tim Weah (Juventus; Italy Serie A) - 71 minutes in 4-0 win vs. Frosinone in Coppa Italia (Jan. 12)
  • Haji Wright (Coventry City; English Championship) - Injured, DNP in 3-1 win vs. Leicester City (Jan. 13)
  • Alejandro Zendejas (Club America; Liga MX) - 22 minutes as a substitute, ASSIST, in 2-0 win at Tijuana (Jan. 13)