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  • Giovanni Reyna Dominates, While Christian Pulisic Gets One Over Zack Steffen

Giovanni Reyna dominates, while Christian Pulisic gets one over Zack Steffen

Gregg Berhalter’s United States men’s national team players continue to go from strength to strength, with various young talents playing regularly across Europe.

While there are youngsters like Giovanni Reyna and Chris Richards starting consistently in the Bundesliga, there are also more experienced players such as Christian Pulisic amongst the American ranks making waves in Europe.

Berhalter's national team are outsiders for the next FIFA World Cup in 2022 - wagered as a 60-1 longshot by Paddy Power - but the potential of the youthful side is clear for all to see.

With various American soccer stars facing up against each other over the weekend in their respective competitions, Planet Sport reports on how they all got on.

Christian Pulisic

April 17, Chelsea 1-0 Manchester City

The Blues earned a spot in the FA Cup final for the fourth time in five campaigns as they crushed Manchester City's hopes of an unprecedented quadruple.

Pulisic, however, had to settle for a position on the bench for Thomas Tuchel's team, despite having scored a brace against Crystal Palace just last weekend.

Perhaps with an eye on the American forward's workload, Pulisic appeared as a 70th-minute substitute but still had time to show his quality at Wembley Stadium.
With the Citizens throwing every player forward, Pulisic regularly looked a threat on the counter-attack and thought he had grabbed a goal himself.
Slotting past American colleague Zack Steffen into the bottom left corner in additional time, Pulisic's goal was subsequently ruled out for an offside in the build-up as he latched on Kai Havertz's flicked header.

Nevertheless, another efficient performance from Chelsea's number 10 will keep him in Tuchel's good books as Chelsea approach the business end of the season.

Rating: 6.5/10

Zack Steffen

April 17, Chelsea 1-0 Manchester City

In the same game, Steffen was offered a rare outing for Pep Guardiola's men as he remained as City's cup goalkeeper and started ahead of Ederson.

A fairly quiet first half left the goalkeeper with no opportunity to showcase his ability, while his team lacked potency at the other end too.

In the second half, Steffen found himself caught out as he rushed out of his goal, only to see Timo Werner square it to Hakim Ziyech for Chelsea's opener.

Despite the slight error for what proved to be the winning goal, Steffen made two important saves to keep City in the semi-final clash.

His save at the end against Timo Werner proved fairly straightforward, however, his excellent stop with his feet against Ziyech after Ruben Dias' mistake showcased his goalkeeping talent.

Zack Steffen Manchester City

Zack Steffen was at fault for Chelsea's first goal but made some important saves in the FA Cup semi-final clash on Saturday

Yet, with Steffen's chances in Manchester being few and far between, the discussion will now turn to whether the American needs to leave City at the end of the season in order to progress his career.

Rating: 6.5/10

Deandre Yedlin

April 17, Goztepe 1-3 Galatasaray

Yedlin remains out injured with a leg injury he sustained last week, however, his side collected a Super Lig victory over Goztepe to put them a point behind second-placed Fenerbahce.
The right-back is expected to be fit by the middle of May and will be raring to get back into action considering his impressive start to life in Turkey for Galatasaray.

Rating: N/A

Sergino Dest

April 17, Athletic Bilbao 0-4 Barcelona

After a fairly testing outing against Vinicius Junior in El Clasico, Ronald Koeman showed his trust in Dest by starting him at right wing-back again in the Copa del Rey final.
In doing so, Dest became the first-ever American player to appear in the Copa del Rey final and also the first to win the competition as his team cruised to a 4-0 victory.
Dest lasted until the 74th minute before being brought off for Sergi Roberto, who will provide competition for the right-back spot now he has returned from injury.
Unsurprisingly given Koeman's system, Dest was offered the freedom to attack down the right-hand channel, usually operating as more of a right winger than defender.

With better finishing from his team-mates, namely Antoine Griezmann in particular, the American would have had an assist or two to his name.

Barcelona and Dest's focus will now turn back to La Liga, where they are in a three-horse race for the Spanish top-flight title with Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.

Rating: 7/10

Giovanni Reyna

April 18, Borussia Dortmund 4-1 Werder Bremen

With Dortmund a goal down early doors against Bremen, Reyna emphatically got the hosts back into the game with a remarkable, powerful strike into the top right corner from outside the area.

The goal signified his first since December, in which he last scored against Stuggart before his run of 15 games without finding the net.
Reyna carried on his impressive outing, dancing around various opposition defenders as his direct running often caused problems for the visitors.

The 18-year-old American played a part in Erling Haaland's second goal, seeing his pass deflected through to the Norwegian striker for the third goal of the game.

Finding pockets of space and linking up with Jude Bellingham, the American was the hosts' best attacking threat down the right-hand side and regularly evaded the presence of Marco Friedl to cause the left-back problems all afternoon.
As Dortmund are out of the Champions League, their focus turns to the Bundesliga now and they will be delighted that Reyna has started to find some form.

Rating: 7.5/10

Josh Sargent

April 18, Borussia Dortmund 4-1 Werder Bremen

Having missed the Stuttgart game through suspension and being fairly quiet against RB Leipzig, Sargent was dropped to the bench for the trip to Dortmund.

Unlike his American colleague Reyna, who dominated Sunday's fixture from the outset, Sargent failed to make an impact in his 30-minute second-half cameo.
The end of February saw Sargent collect three goals in three games but now the forward hasn't scored in four games for Bremen.
While this run of form is common, Sargent will be desperate to find form again to get him back starting alongside Milot Rashica.

Rating: 6/10

Matthew Hoppe

April 17, Freiburg 4-0 Schalke

After his remarkable scoring run in January for Schalke - in which he netted five times in six games - Hoppe has fallen markedly down the pecking order for the Bundesliga strugglers.

With Dimitrios Grammozis insisting on starting Amine Harit and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, chances have been sparing for the American forward, who at one point was linked with Liverpool this season.

Hoppe was afforded just four minutes as he was sent on as an 86th-minute substitute with the game already far out of Schalke's reach.
Given Schalke's impending relegation and Hoppe's falling out of favour, the young forward seriously needs to consider where he wants to play his soccer next campaign.

Rating: N/A

Tyler Adams

April 16, RB Leipzig 0-0 Hoffenheim

Adams and Leipzig's Bundesliga title charge effectively ended as they limped to a goalless draw against 12th-placed Hoffenheim.
The versatile American started in midfield alongside Marcel Sabitzer and Dani Olmo, moving inwards after starting the last few weeks at right wing-back.
As has been the case all season, Adams worked incredibly hard in the middle of the park, covering a lot of ground while keeping the ball with relative ease.
Despite Adams' hard-working midfield performance, he and his side lacked the creativity to unlock the Hoffenheim defence, led by fellow American team-mate Chris Richards.

Rating: 6.5/10

Weston McKennie

April 18, Atalanta 1-0 Juventus

McKennie started for the Old Lady on the right of their four-man midfield, after scoring his fifth goal of the season against Cagliari last weekend.
The American midfielder, who was operating out wide and demonstrating his versatility, regularly looked a threat down the right-hand side but his pace often left the visitors wanting more.

McKennie frequently made smart forward runs and looked good on the ball, however, he was removed in the 77th minute as Andrea Pirlo sent on Arthur to chase an equaliser for Juventus.

Juventus have faltered in the closing stages of the season and with Inter Milan's Serie A conquest all but confirmed, McKennie will be keen to make a good impression despite not having a title to contend for.

Rating: 6.5/10

Chris Richards

April 16, RB Leipzig 0-0 Hoffenheim

Switching to a four-man defence for the first time in months, Richards put in a commanding performance to guide his side to a second Bundesliga clean sheet in as many games.
The centre-back often looked assured in possession, knocking passses into the channel for the forward runs of left-back Ryan Sessegnon and playing through the Leipzig press.
In terms of defensively, Richards led the visitors' back line with authority, picking up loose balls and making vital tackles at crucial moments to intercept and protect Hoffenheim's high defensive line.

With talk of an exit for Hans-Dieter Flick at Bayern Munich, the loanee's future will remain in doubt but it is inevitable whoever Richards plays for his class will show.

Rating: 7.5/10

Tim Weah

April 16, Lille 1-1 Montpellier

Weah got a rare opportunity to start up top, partnering Burak Yilmaz in the absence of Jonathan Ikone for the hosts.
The forward's pace regularly looked like testing the Montpellier defence, however, some slightly erratic decision making often cost Weah and his side in the final third.
Despite collecting his second Ligue 1 goal of the campaign in the reverse fixture, Weah failed to find the net and was replaced by Jonathan David in the 68th minute.
While goals have been missing from Weah's game this season, his work rate up top as he leads Lille's press is another reason why he could soon be a mainstay in Berhalter's national team.

Rating: 6/10

Antonee Robinson

April 18, Arsenal 1-1 Fulham

Robinson, after an impressive attacking outing against Wolves, started again for Scott Parker's side as a left wing-back, flanking the Cottagers' three centre-backs at the Emirates Stadium.

Unlike his usual license to attack down the left-hand side, Robinson was required to do more defensive duties, facing up against Arsenal's attacking duo of Bukayo Saka and Hector Bellerin.

While the American struggled in the first half to get to grips with Saka, who regularly drifted inwards and caused problems for Alphonse Areola's goal, the left-back grew into the game in the second half.
Antonee Robinson Fulham

Robinson did well to manage Saka after struggling to get to grips with the attacker in the early stages of Sunday's clash

Despite a good defensive showing, Fulham's one-goal advantage came to an end in the 97th minute as Eddie Nketiah snuck in at the back post to equalise for the hosts.
Parker and Robinson's team are now six points adrift of 18th-placed Burnley, having played a game more, and their relegation to the Championship seems increasingly imminent.

Rating: 6.5/10

Tim Ream

April 18, Arsenal 1-1 Fulham

In the same game, despite Parker naming three centre-backs, flanked by Robinson and Bobby Decordova-Reid, Ream again had to settle for a place on the bench.
As has been the case all season, Ream remained an unused substitute on Sunday. However, with Fulham's relegation looking more likely, the centre-back could come back into Parker's plans if the Cottagers are to be a Championship side next campaign.

Rating: N/A

Daryl Dike

April 18, Coventry 2-0 Barnsley

After scoring eight goals since his move to the Championship, Dike has rarely struggled against Championship defences but he came unstuck against Coventry on Sunday.

Leading the line with Cauley Woodrow in behind him, Dike failed to make any real impact on the game as Coventry dominated from start to finish.

While Barnsley remain in play-off contention, they will be keen for Dike to return to form after an unusually quiet game from the American forward.

Rating: 6/10

Bryan Reynolds

April 18, Torino 3-1 Roma

Reynolds started on Sunday, making back-to-back appearances in Roma's Serie A starting 11 for the first time since his move to Italy.

Up against Cristian Ansaldi, who had a great game for Torino, Reynolds put in a competent performance but struggled to make an impact offensively as he was often tasked with defending against the left wing-back.
The performances from Reynolds will likely follow but the fact he is starting for Roma proves just how much Paulo Fonseca and his coaching staff think of the American right-back.

Rating: 6/10

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