Green gets third goal of the season in difficult week for Americans in Europe

Julian Green Greuther Furth
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The Greuther Furth forward notched the winner from the spot in a week where many USMNT players struggled upon their return to their clubs

In a week where many of the top Americans returned to their clubs after playing a half a world away, perhaps it should not be surprising it was a weekend to forget for many of them.

For the most part, USMNT players who joined the national team for their September friendlies saw their weekends begin on the bench, and some didn’t manage to get off it.

One man who made a mark this week wasn’t with the national team in the latest international break, but might be making a case for a return soon: Julian Green.

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Starting for 2.Bundesliga club Greuther Furth, Green slotted home the game-winning goal from the penalty spot in stoppage time to give his side a 2-1 victory. It was the 24-year-old’s third goal in six games for the second division side, who sit fourth in the standings in the early going.

In the German top flight, there was far less action from notable Americans, as the biggest names were substitutes or missed out entirely due to injury.

Alfredo Morales and John Brooks both fall into the latter camp, as they departed the USMNT camp hurt and did not play as their respective clubs, Fortuna Dusseldorf and Wolfsburg, matched up on Friday. Zack Steffen did play for Dusseldorf, and made five saves in a 1-1 draw.

Both Josh Sargent and Weston McKennie began on the bench, though each got an extended run out in the second-half.

Sargent came on in the 68th minute with Werder Bremen up 2-1 over Union Berlin and saw out the victory. McKennie also came on with his side winning 2-1, but was on the field as Schalke netted three more times in a 5-1 win over Paderborn. McKennie played a small part of the build up on Schalke’s third goal.

Khiry Shelton did not suit up for Paderborn in that loss, nor did Fabian Johnson for Borussia Monchengladbach in their 1-0 victory over Koln. Glabach kick off their Europa League group stage on Thursday against Austrian side Wolfsberger.

An American who did play from the start was Timothy Chandler, who celebrated a new deal with Eintracht Frankfurt with his first start in the Bundesliga since the 2017-18 season. He went 90 minutes in a 2-1 defeat to Augsburg - just in time for the Europa League, as Eintracht face Arsenal on Thursday.

Christian Pulisic was in the squad for Chelsea’s match against Wolves, but did not play in a 5-2 victory that was arguably the Blues’ best performance of the season. That could, at least for the short term, elevate Willian into the team at Pulisic's expense.

Chelsea begin Champions League play Tuesday against Valencia, and with the fixtures coming thick and fast for the Blues between international breaks, Pulisic should get chances to prove he belongs in Frank Lampard’s best XI.

Sergino Dest earned himself a contract extension with Ajax, but also did not play this weekend as he returned from the USMNT camp. Like Pulisic, he should get an opportunity in the coming weeks, as Ajax start their Champions League group stage against Lille on Tuesday.

In Turkey, Tyler Boyd did get off the bench, playing 24 minutes in a 3-2 Besiktas loss to Gazisehir. The winger picked up a late yellow card in the defeat.

One American who did feature during the international break and started in Europe was Tim Ream, as he went 90 minutes in Fulham’s 1-1 draw with West Brom in the Championship.

Ream was one of five starters in the Championship this weekend, with four of those in defence. Antonee Robinson and Eric Lichaj lined up for Wigan and Hull City respectively, with the sides drawing 2-2 against each other. The two defenders both went 90 minutes.

Cameron Carter-Vickers got the start for Stoke City, his second of the season, in a 2-1 defeat to Bristol City and Duane Holmes received his first league start of the season for Derby County, going 81 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Cardiff.