There was a time for both Terrence Boyd and Julian Green when they were thought of as the brightest young prospects in the U.S. player pool. Having your name attached to Borussia Dortmund or Bayern Munich, even as a youth player, has a way of upping the expectations, and both had big years playing in the lower divisions of German soccer with the second-tier teams for those clubs.
Boyd has long since moved on from Dortmund. A successful run with Rapid Wien led to a move back to Germany with RB Leipzig, where a knee injury coupled with a shockingly good squad once again limited chances for the striker to shine in Germany's top flight.
Breaking into Bayern Munich's first team was always going to be a monumental task for Green and a loan move to Hamburg did little to help him find first-team playing time.
This weekend both players will be looking to debut with new teams, and both could use a reboot of their careers.
For Boyd, Darmstadt looks like a great landing spot. The club, currently rooted to the bottom of the Bundesliga, has scored just 11 times in 17 games and desperately needs to find a forward who can put away chances. Boyd has shown a knack for finding the net and should finally get his shot to do it in the German top flight.
Boyd will be 26 in February and chances in Europe's top leagues may be coming to an end if he can't make the most of his time with Darmstadt. Fighting a relegation battle isn't ideal for most players. There's pressure on every game and teams at the bottom of the table aren't generally there because they have a ton of talent that just isn't being used well. But for a forward in Boyd's position — a promising talent looking for a home — it gives him an opportunity to completely change the fortunes of the club with a couple of well-timed strikes.
For Green, the drop down to 2. Bundesliga may seem like a step in the wrong direction, but it's really just a push for playing time. Stuttgart is fighting for promotion after a strong first half of the season and the club clearly thinks Green can offer something to help with that push . For his part, Green seems up for the challenge .
Boyd and Darmstadt host Cologne on Saturday in the Bundesliga after opening the second half of the season with a 0-0 draw against Borussia Monchengladbach. Boyd joined the club this week, so he was not part of that game.
Green and Stuttgart will be on the road against a St. Pauli side that sits bottom of 2. Bundesliga.
In case you missed it, DeAndre Yedlin turned in his best showing of the season for Newcastle last weekend. His pure speed still has a lot to do with why he is as effective as he is, both going forward and at the back, but the former Seattle Sounder has slowly added depth to his game over the last couple of years, and Newcastle is reaping the benefits.
Club Tijuana is tied at the top of the Liga MX table after three matches this season and the club's American players have played a big part in that hot start. Paul Arriola , Joe Corona and Michael Orozco all started in last week's win over Chivas. Cruz Azul is up next, with the sides facing off Friday night.
Last week we talked about Emerson Hyndman 's possible debut with Rangers. This week we wonder if his strong start will be enough to get him into the starting side for a league match against Motherwell.
It's a rematch of the cup match that Rangers came from behind to win last week, with Hyndman supplying the game-winning assist and drawing good reviews from Rangers' fans. A start for the former Fulham player would be a great opportunity two weeks into his loan spell with the club, but any playing time in Saturday's match would be a positive.
There is good news out of England, where Lynden Gooch made it through his first full training session after returning from injury this week.Tottenham, and even that may be too soon for Gooch to earn a place back in the team, but the winger seems to be on the right track and the Black Cats need all the help they can get.