Erik Palmer-Brown started for Troyes for the first time since October, and was responsible for giving up a penalty in weekend Ligue 1 action.

Troyes 0 – 1 Lyon

After spending most of his loan time the first half of the season either on the bench or off the roster completely, Erik Palmer-Brown was on the field to start Troyes home game against Olympique Lyon. 

This was the American’s third appearance for the struggling French team, his second in the starting lineup, and things didn’t improve against Lyon as they lost a close one at the Stade de l’Aube. The victory was the eighth straight time that Olympique beat Troyes.

Abdu Conte had a decent chance at putting the hosts in the lead when he latched onto a long ball played from his own half and outpaced a pair of defenders, but his shot from a tight angle was easily scooped up by Anthony Lopes.

The goal came in the first half from the penalty spot. As the ball was played into the 18 yard box, Palmer-Brown was marking Junior Lukeba and when the ball headed in their direction, with his back to the action, the ball bounced up and smacked the American on his arm. 

The referee awarded the very generous penalty. Moussa Dembele stutter-stepped forward and sent Gauthier Gallon the wrong way for the 33rd minute lead.

The Troyes keeper redeemed himself by making an impressive save against Brazilian Lucas Paqueta, and then denied Demeble a second one after some poor defending after in the first half. Troyes had one half-chance in the second half.

Palmer-Brown’s emergence into the starting lineup is hopefully the beginning of a run of games for the Ohio native. ESTAC have just brought in a new coach, Bruno Irles, and this was his first game in charge.  Hopefully Irles sees something in Palmer-Brown that the former coach didn’t. 

He’ll hopefully be back in the starting XI when Troyes head south to take on Nicholas Gioacchini and Montpellier on Sunday.

Notes

Lille made the long trip to Marseille over the weekend in what could have been a Yank vs. Yank clash, but Tim Weah is still out nursing an injury.  Konrad de la Fuente didn’t make the team sheet either for OM. In the end, the teams shared the points in this 1-1 game. Next up for Marseille is a very long journey to take on RC Lens. Lille will stay at home and host Lorient.

Nicholas Gioacchini came off the bench in the 78th minute when Montpellier travelled to the Alsace region of France to take on Strasbourg. After taking a first half lead, La Paillade surrendered three late goals, blowing the lead and the chance at taking any points home with them. Eighth place Montpellier will stay at home for their next game as they welcome Erik Palmer-Brown and Troyes.

By Michael Adubato

The old man of Yanks-Abroad, having been around since the very beginning in 2004, Known as the resident Belgian expert since that’s where he has lived for a couple of decades. Over the years he has interviewed Nats such as Kasey Keller, Brian McBride, Oguchi Onyewu, Jozy Altidore and Tim Weah, to name a few. When not working the day job, he can often be found in stadiums around Europe, watching games from the top flight to the lower leagues. To prove that he is not just a pretty face, Mike received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland and a Masters from the University of Oklahoma. Boomer Sooner! On a non-soccer note, Adubato has just released a book of poetry from his travels, Missing the Exit, published by Broken Keys Publishing in Ottawa, Canada. So that must make him the YA poet laureate! You can grab your copy on Amazon.com, order online and pick it up and Barnes & Noble or get an e-copy at various outlets.

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