Tim Weah wins Ligue 1, Josh Sargent relegated

A plethora of American talent played their final games across Europe over the weekend, with some having cause for celebration and others for commiseration.

Whether it be Daryl Dike's play-off chasing Barnsley, Weston McKennie in search of European qualification with Juventus or Josh Sargent fighting relegation with Werder Bremen, numerous stars were involved in important fixtures on the final day of the season.

Further ashore, Tim Weah's Lille remained in the hunt for a first Ligue 1 title in 10 years, while Christian Pulisic and Chelsea's Champions League qualification went down to the wire.

Planet Sport continues to follow the crop of United States men's national team (USMNT) players who are performing in Europe.

Given the USMNT have such a young and vibrant pool of talent, PaddyPower has them as a 60/1 outside for the following FIFA 2022 World Cup.

Christian Pulisic

23rd May, Aston Villa 2-1 Chelsea

Pulisic, whose chances have been slightly sparing in the last couple of weeks, started for Chelsea in behind Timo Werner as the American partnered Mason Mount in attack.

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With Champions League qualification on the line and dependent on the Leicester City result too, the Blues fell two goals behind after 52 minutes.

At 1-0 down, Pulisic did have a great chance to equalise but rushed his shot and horribly sliced wide from what was the away side's best opportunity of the game.

Ben Chilwell pulled one back for the visitors, however, and Pulisic claimed the assist for the goal after exchanging a one-two with Hakim Ziyech and crossing towards the back post for the left-back's finish.

The set-up for Chilwell's strike showed Pulisic's turn of pace and quick feet in tight spaces as he offloaded two sharp passes before utilising his speed to reach the byline and stand up a cross.

Despite Thomas Tuchel's men falling to defeat, they still qualified for the Champions League in fourth place as Leicester went down 4-2 to Tottenham at home.

Tuchel and Pulisic's attentions will now turn to the Champions League final against Manchester City, where the American will be hoping to play a starring role in Porto.

Rating: 6.5/10

Josh Sargent

22nd May, Werder Bremen 2-4 Borussia Monchengladbach

Sargent endured 69 minutes against Gladbach and left the pitch when the Bremen were 3-0 down.

The American forward, partnered by David Selke, worked as hard as usual but the final passes forward lacked quality, leaving the pair feeding off scraps against Marco Rose's well-drilled team.

While the hosts did pull two goals back late on, this didn't prove enough as their loss, combined with Koln's 1-0 victory against Schalke, meant they were relegated to 2. Bundesliga.

With Bremen's relegation confirmed, much like fellow American Matthew Hoppe with Schalke, this could open the door for a summer move for Sargent, who needs to be playing at a higher level than the German second tier.

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In total, Sargent recorded five Bundesliga goals this season, a tally he may have improved upon if it wasn't for the fact his team were attempting to escape relegation throughout the season.

Rating: 6/10

Sergino Dest

22nd May, Eibar 0-1 Barcelona

After unusually deploying Ousmane Dembele as a right wing-back, Ronald Koeman reinstated Dest on the right flank for the trip to Eibar.

With Barcelona out of the LaLiga title race, the visitors lined-up without a few familiar faces, missing the likes of Lionel MessiGerard Pique and Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Nevertheless, the American wing-back put in an effective performance, posing a threat at both ends of the pitch against the already-relegated hosts.

Dest produced an array of inviting deliveries, while also switching the play regularly to find team-mate Ilaix Moriba on the opposite flank.

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Defensively the right wing-back was comfortable too, missing just one tackle he attempted and making just the sole clearance as Takashi Inui regularly failed to trouble him.

His attacking capabilities aren't doubted, so the challenge for Dest now is to improve on a fairly good start to life in Spain and develop defensively to help his team compete in both LaLiga and the Champions League.

Rating: 7/10

Giovanni Reyna

22nd May, Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Bayer Leverkusen

Reyna replaced Reinier as a 79th-minute substitute and didn't have time to impact the game in Edin Terzic's final fixture.

Touching the ball a total of three times, the American didn't have too much to do, given a goal from Marco Reus and Erling Haaland's brace put Leverkusen to the sword.

With Champions League soccer secured for next season, Reyna will now set to impressing new boss Marco Rose and make himself a mainstay in a young and exciting Dortmund side.

Rating: N/A

Daryl Dike

22nd May, Swansea 1-1 Barnsley (2-1 aggregate)

Dike had to wait until his half-time introduction to renew his battle with Swansea centre-backs Marc Guehi and Ben Cabango.

Once Valerien Ismael did send the American forward on, he returned to competing and imposing his physical presence on the Swans defence.

Despite working hard up top and providing a general nuisance as an aerial threat, no attacking chances fell to Dike but his appearance did give the hosts another facet to think about.

Having scored nine goals in 19 Championship appearances, Dike will now return to his parent club Orlando City and it will be interesting to see what the future holds for him.

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While Barnsley couldn't get over the playoff semi-final hurdle, Dike has proven he is an effective soccer player at this level and there will certainly be clubs after his services in summer.

Rating: 6/10

Tyler Adams

22nd May, Union Berlin 2-1 RB Leipzig

With the Bundesliga title chase over, Leipzig limped to a 2-1 defeat away at Union Berlin.

Adams, however, took no part in the fixture as he returned to the United States in recent weeks to continue his rehabilitation for his back injury.

With a host of international fixtures inbound over the summer, Adams will be hoping to return to fitness ahead of what could be a busy schedule for the versatile midfielder.

Rating: N/A

Tim Weah

23rd May, Angers 1-2 Lille

Perhaps due to still recovering from injury, Weah remained an unused substitute as Christophe Galtier's side won their first Ligue 1 crown since 2010.

Weah will be frustrated to have not played a part in the final triumph, however, he can look back on the 2020/21 campaign with fond memories, having scored three times in 28 French top-flight appearances.

Lille, who succeeded ahead of the usually dominant Paris Saint-Germain, will look forward to the proposition of Champions League football next season.

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The 21-year-old joins the likes of McKennie, Pulisic and Dest in the list of USMNT stars who will be competing in Europe's top club competition in 2021/22.

With Burak Yilmaz aging and talk of a move for Jonathan David, Weah may also see more chances for Galtier's men next year, if he continues to prove his quality up top.

Rating: N/A

Matthew Hoppe

22nd May, Koln 1-0 Schalke

Hoppe's goal and assist against Eintracht Frankfurt in the previous week earned him a place in Schalke's starting line-up for the trip to Cologne.

Unfortunately, the American forward couldn't repeat his heroics as his side succumbed to a 1-0 loss, which also confirmed the relegation of Sargent's Werder Bremen.

With Schalke's final Bundesliga fixture done and dusted, the question now moves to where Hoppe will be playing his soccer next season.

Due to the visitors' seeming insistence on Klass Jan Huntelaar signing a new contract, Hoppe appears out of favour and surely a move would be preferable for him.

Given he was linked to Liverpool during his January run of form - in which he scored five goals in six appearances - it is likely the forward will have a range of summer suitors.

Rating: 6/10

Weston McKennie

23rd May, Bologna 1-4 Juventus

Juventus sneaked into the Champions League spots on the final day with a crushing 4-1 win over Bologna.

The win against Bologna followed Coppa Italia success against Atalanta in midweek.

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Andrea Pirlo left Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench for the trip and McKennie also had to wait until the 59th minute for his own introduction.

Unlike his hard-working and hassling performance against Inter, the American midfielder had a quieter game, even picking up a needless yellow card just seven minutes after entering the pitch.

Nevertheless, it was looking unlikely the Old Lady would qualify in fourth place this year, so McKennie and his team will be delighted to secure another continental campaign for 2021/22.

Looking ahead, it is now a case of McKennie making himself the number-one option in midfield for Pirlo and impressing more than the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Rodrigo Bentancur and Arthur.

Rating: 5.5/10

Tim Ream

23rd May, Fulham 0-2 Newcastle

Ream's patience was finally rewarded by Scott Parker as he made his seventh Premier League appearance of the season.

Operating as part of a three-man defence, just as he did when captaining in the draw against Manchester United in midweek, Ream impressed at Craven Cottage.

The returning fans celebrated their American captain's return, with his name regularly ringing around the stadium as they supported their already-relegated Fulham side.

Ream may have been at fault for Joe Willock's opener, with a weak tackle allowing the midfielder but he still put in an efficient performance for the hosts.

Ream has returned to Fulham's side and given a good account of himself in the last week
Ream has returned to Fulham's side and given a good account of himself in the last week

Looking comfortable with the ball at his feet, a confident and composed performance can only bode well for his return to the Championship, where he will surely enjoy more minutes next campaign.

Having signed a one-year contract extension, he is clearly in Parker's plans and his knowhow of getting out of the division will be vital to any success Fulham could have.

Rating: 7/10

Antonee Robinson

23rd May, Fulham 0-2 Newcastle

Robinson remained out with an ankle injury, meaning he has missed the last four games for the Cottagers, who will be plying their trade in the English second tier next season.

Due to Fulham's second-tier status, the left-back may look to move on, given he has undoubtedly performed well in his debut Premier League campaign this season.

For now, however, Robinson remains playing his soccer at Craven Cottage and he will be keen to get back into training as soon as possible to recover from his ankle injury ahead of the international summer.

Rating: N/A

Chris Richards

22nd May, Hoffenheim 2-1 Hertha Berlin

Richards' Bundesliga loan spell with Hoffenheim came to a disappointing end as he missed out once more with a thigh injury.

His thigh problems have kept him out for the last three games and, despite recently returning to training, Sebastian Hoeness didn't want to risk him ahead of the international soccer summer.

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All in all, the centre-back made 14 appearances for Hoffenheim, starting 10 consecutive Bundesliga games between February and April.

Richards' next steps remain unclear, given Hoffenheim have indicated a desire to make his loan permanent, while the appointment of Julian Nagelsmann at Bayern Munich means the centre-back could be wanted there too.

Wherever the American defender ends up, the side that gets him will have the chance to develop a promising left-sided centre-back, who has racked up some vital experience in this year's Bundesliga.

Rating: N/A

Bryan Reynolds

23rd May, Spezia 2-2 Roma

In Paulo Fonseca's final game, Reynolds appeared as a half-time substitute, replacing Davide Santon to play left-back.

While the left-back is right-footed by nature, he occupied a relatively wide position to stretch Spezia's defence in Roma's attacking phases of play.

The American helped his side overturn a two-goal deficit, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan grabbing a late equaliser for the visitors.

Reynolds had a solid 45 minutes, performing effectively at both ends. The next step of Reynolds' progression now moves into the hands of new Roma boss Jose Mourinho next season.

Rating: 6.5/10