Tim Weah closes in on Ligue 1 title, Antonee Robinson relegated

Numerous members of the United States men’s national team are involved in title challenges, relegation scraps and promotion chases as the soccer season approaches its finale.

Whether it be Christian Pulisic chasing the Champions League at ChelseaSergino Dest looking for LaLiga glory at Barcelona or Tim Weah's Ligue 1 leading Lille, various American stars are gaining invaluable experience at the top level.

It's not all glory for some, however, as Antonee Robinson and Tim Ream were relegated with Fulham this week, while Josh Sargent is also fighting against relegation with Werder Bremen.

Nevertheless, this talented group of soccer stars hasn't gone unnoticed - Paddy Power has them as a 60/1 longshot for the FIFA 2022 World Cup - and Planet Sport continues to follow their progress around Europe.

Christian Pulisic

8th May, Manchester City 1-2 Chelsea

Having confirmed their Champions League final spot with a 3-1 aggregate win over Real Madrid, Chelsea returned to action with an impressive 2-1 victory against soon-to-be Premier League champions Manchester City.

After assisting Mason Mount's goal in midweek, Pulisic started in behind Timo Werner, partnering up with Hakim Ziyech to trouble the Citizens' defence.

Up against Benjamin Mendy, the American had a quiet, yet nonetheless solid, game as the visitors shocked Pep Guardiola's men to beat them in the closing stages at the Etihad Stadium.

Despite a fairly unproductive first half, Pulisic was involved in the Blues' second-half equaliser, making a smart turn on the edge of the area to tee up Cesar Azpilicueta, who subsequently assisted Ziyech's goal.

Pulisic, through the use of another quick turn, thought he had set-up a potential Callum Hudson-Odoi winner, only for the chance to be ruled out for a marginal offside call.

The away win against Guardiola's side strengthens their Champions League qualification chances, with the Blues moving up to third, a point ahead of fourth-placed Leicester City.

Rating: 6.5/10

Deandre Yedlin

8th May, Galatasaray 3-1 Besiktas

Yedlin returned to the starting-11, after recovering from a leg injury, to feature in a crucial 3-1 win over league-leaders Besiktas.

The victory moves Galatasaray within three points of first place with two games left of the Super Lig season.

The right-back put in an assured performance at both ends of the pitch to support the likes of Arda Turan and Radamel Falcao down the right-hand side.

While Dest may be Gregg Berhalter's number-one right-back, Yedlin's performances this season in Turkey will surely do him no harm for the backup spot.

Rating: 6.5/10

Sergino Dest

8th May, Barcelona 0-0 Atletico Madrid

Dest started at right wing-back, flanking Ronald Koeman's three-man defence, as he got the nod ahead of the fit-again Sergi Roberto.

The wing-back had a good game, frequently exploiting the space down the right-hand channel which was created by Lionel Messi's narrow positioning and central runs.

While not putting in as many crosses as normal, the American provided width for the hosts and provided cover against Yannick Carrasco, who represented an attacking threat down his side.

Given the attacking problems Dest caused down the right flank, it came as surprise Koeman brought him off in the 75th minute, opting for the safer, more defensive option of Roberto.

A draw at home to the league-leading Atletico, however, could cost Barcelona a shot at the LaLiga title, considering they are still two points behind the leaders with just three games to go.

Rating: 6.5/10

Matthew Hoppe

8th May, Hoffenheim 4-2 Schalke

Despite hitting wonderful January form - in which Hoppe scored five goals in six appearances - the American forward has fallen well out of favour at already relegated Schalke.

With negotiations ongoing for Klaas Jan Huntelaar's contract renewal, it appears clear where Hoppe stands in the Schalke pecking order for second-tier soccer next campaign.

Hoppe, as has been the case for the last few months, had to settle for a four-minute cameo against Hoffenheim, who came back from two goals down to dispatch of the visitors 4-2.

Rating: N/A

Chris Richards

8th May, Hoffenheim 4-2 Schalke

Richards has been one of Hoffenheim's best performers this season, proving his worth to parent club Bayern Munich and increasing speculation as to where he will play soccer next season.

A strong outing for Hoffenheim this campaign, however, has been slowed down due to a hamstring injury sustained two weeks ago.

The centre-back, whose future still remains unclear despite Hoffenheim expressing a clear interest for another loan, will be hopeful to return to action next week, to further develop on his side's 11th-place standing.

Rating: N/A

Giovanni Reyna

8th May, Borussia Dortmund 3-2 RB Leipzig

Holstein Kiel fell victim to Reyna's attacking productivity as the 18-year-old bagged a brace against the second-tier side, a feat which he couldn't replicate against Leipzig on Saturday.

Due to Reyna's recent performances, in which he had scored three times and assisted twice in five games, it was unsurprising to see him starting once more for the hosts.

An unusually quiet performance followed for the American, who struggled to repeat his recent form as he watched Jadon Sancho run the show on the other flank.

At the other end of the pitch, Reyna covered a lot of ground to perform his defensive duties as he supported Lukasz Piszczek but apart from that it was a timid outing.

Either way, Reyna will be delighted with the hosts' win, keeping them in fourth place and contention for a Champions League spot next season.

Rating: 6/10

Tyler Adams

8th May, Borussia Dortmund 3-2 RB Leipzig

Adams has been one of Leipzig's standout performers this season, whether it be at right wing-back or holding midfield, but missed out against Reyna's Dortmund.

A back injury in midweek was enough to keep the American out and he will be hopeful of recovering in time for the DFB-Pokal final against Dortmund on Thursday.

As the visitors went down to fourth-placed Dortmund, Bayern Munich's title victory was confirmed for the ninth straight season in the Bundesliga.

Leipzig, spurred on by the likes of Adams, Dani Olmo and Marcel Sabitzer, put up a wonderful fight in second, however, as usual, Bayern proved to have too much quality once more this campaign.

Looking ahead to next season, Adams will be hoping to nail down one spot, which would aid his development as he has persistently been moved around the pitch this season.

Rating: N/A

Weston McKennie

9th May, Juventus 0-3 AC Milan

Juventus lost further ground in the Champions League qualification race as they went down 3-0 losers when hosting Milan on Sunday.

McKennie started on the right for Andrea Pirlo's side but failed to get a grip of the game as the likes of Hakan Calhanoglu and Ismael Bennacaer dominated proceedings.

Moving McKennie, naturally a central midfielder by trade, out to the right-hand side both hampers the individual's progression and the team's attacking dynamic with a player who is uncomfortable out wide.

This showed throughout as the American rarely looked like threatening or testing Theo Hernandez, while also struggling to track back and defend against the attacking full-back too.

If the Old Lady has to settle for Europa League qualification then Pirlo's future may be in danger, which could suit McKennie whose chances have been limited and unsuited to the system the Italian plays.

Rating: 5.5/10

Antonee Robinson

10th May, Fulham 0-2 Burnley

The Cottagers' relegation back to the Championship was confirmed on Monday night by Burnley, who ended up 2-0 victors at Craven Cottage.

Robinson, however, was one of the only Fulham players to come out with much credit on the night, driving down the left-hand channel on a regular basis to provide for the likes of Josh Maja.

While some could suggest he needed to cross from deeper positions at times, the left-back frequently provided teasing crosses, which with better quality of attacking team-mates may have been converted.

Up against Josh Brownhill on the flank, Robinson also put in an effective defensive performance and couldn't be faulted for either of Ashley Westwood or Chris Wood's goals.

With Scott Parker's men now down, it will be interesting to see if Robinson plays in the Championship next season or whether he moves on to another club at a higher level.

Rating: 6/10

Tim Ream

10th May, Fulham 0-2 Burnley

Unsurprisingly, given the limited opportunities Ream has been offered this season, the centre-back started on the bench for the visit of the Clarets.

Joachim Andersen and Tosin Adarabioyo continue to be Parker's preferred pairing, meaning Ream - as he did on Monday night - had to settle for the role of an unused substitute again.

Fulham's relegation, however, may aid Ream's personal cause as the centre-back has knowledge of the Championship and is a known and proven quantity at that level.

Rating: N/A

Bryan Reynolds

9th May, Roma 5-0 Crotone

Paulo Fonseca switched back to a four-man defence, starting Reynolds as an inverted left-back and preferring the American ahead of Davide Santon.

The makeshift left-back had a good game, making just his third start in Serie A for the hosts after a three-game absence from Fonseca's starting-11.

Reynolds started for just the third time this season and put in his most effective performance to date for Roma
Reynolds started for just the third time this season and put in his most effective performance to date for Roma

Reynolds was a constant nuisance down the left-hand side, frequently overlapping Henrikh Mkhitaryan to attack on the flank while using his pace to get back and do his defensive duties.

Fonseca allowed the American 59 minutes before removing him for Santon, however, Reynolds made a great impression and it is likely he will slot back into Roma's four-man defence against Inter on Wednesday.

With Jose Mourinho announced to be taking over next season, it will be interesting to see how Reynolds fits into the Portuguese manager's plans for the following campaign.

Rating: 7/10

Josh Sargent

8th May, Werder Bremen 0-0 Bayer Leverkusen

Sargent started in behind Milot Rashica for the hosts, who were held to a goalless draw against Bayer Leverkusen.

The American looked assured in possession, while also covering a lot of ground to support the home side's press.

A yellow card in the third minute for a late tackle on Leon Bailey was justified but didn't hamper Sargent, who went 84 minutes before his removal.

Despite another solid performance, Sargent has now gone seven games without a goal, after scoring in three consecutive games at the turn of February.

A 0-0 draw, however, keeps Bremen level on points with 16th-placed Arminia Bielefeld and could drop them into the relegation play-off places if they don't improve their form soon.

If Bremen were to go down, it would be likely that Sargent moves on in summer, as he looks to have more quality than the usual forward in second-tier German soccer.

Rating: 6.5/10

Tim Weah

7th May, Lens 0-3 Lille

Another Burak Yilmaz brace and a goal from Canadian Jonathan David secured three more points for Lille, who are on the verge of winning the Ligue 1 title, against 10-man Lens.

Given Paris Saint-Germain drew with Rennes, the visitors will need four points from two games to confirm a historic and unexpected French top-flight title victory.

Weah, who has been recovering from injury, was afforded a 67th-minute substitute appearance as he looks to regain his fitness.

With the game already done and dusted at 3-0, Weah rarely had a chance to stamp his mark on proceedings but looked glad to be back out there performing for Christophe Galtier's side.

As the season comes to a close, more silverware appears just the briefest of touches away for the USMNT with the 21-year-old forward looking set to collect his first-ever senior trophy.

Rating: 6/10

Daryl Dike

8th May, Barnsley 2-2 Norwich

Dike, who has scored nine times in 19 appearances for Barnsley, was offered a rest the hosts were held to a 2-2 draw with champions Norwich.

The American forward did appear as a 55th-minute substitute for Cauley Woodrow, however, he didn't get many opportunities to leave his mark on the last game before the playoffs.

Dike's attention will now turn to the playoffs first-leg in which Barnsley host Swansea before the return leg at the Liberty Stadium.

Against all odds, Valerien Ismael's side are just two games away from Wembley Stadium and, more importantly, three games away from an unlikely promotion to the Premier League.

Rating: 6/10

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