Weston McKennie couldn’t help Juventus break the deadlock at Sampdoria while Tanner Tessmann had his best performance on European soil in Venezia’s win over Südtirol.
Sampdoria 0 – 0 Juventus
Weston McKennie played just over an hour on the right side of the Juventus three-man midfield on Monday night, as the injury-hit team was unable to get the job done at Sampdoria in a scoreless draw.
Even though Juventus started off the season on a wave of optimism after their smashing win over Sassuolo one week before, the reality of having multiple star players out due to injury set in on Monday night, forcing them to settle for a share of the spoils.
McKennie started and played the first hour of the game, only having 22 ball contacts over his time, completing 12 of 15 passes, while only winning one of his three duels and managing no shots.
To their credit, Sampdoria played toe-to-toe with the Italian giants, coming close to splitting possession, attempting an equal number of shots, and generally showing more bite on the attack than their visitors.
The hosts nearly struck in the seventh minute when Mehdi Léris was sent through on goal, however his shot from inside the box was deflected by Juve keeper Mattia off of the crossbar to safety.
The visitors had their best chance just past the 64-minute mark, when Fabio Miretti, who had just entered for McKennie, stole the ball at midfield and initiated an attack that saw Adrien Rabiot bury his shot in the Sampdoria net, only to see it called back due to a clear offside infraction by Dusan Vlahovic.
The game ended as a scoreless draw, with neither team able to muster any creativity or bite in the final minutes. Juve and McKennie will be back in action on Saturday when they host Roma.
FC Südtirol 1 – 2 Venezia FC
Four Americans saw the field on Sunday in Venezia’s 2-1 road win over Südtirol in Serie B action, with Tanner Tessmann putting in a man-of-the-match performance in the midfield and youngster Jack de Vries triggering the winning own-goal by the opposition.
Tessmann started alongside Gianluca Busio in the Venezia midfield, with Andrija Novakovich being the center forward, as the team’s new head coach Ivan Javorčić faced the team which he led to Italy’s second tier for the first time in their history following the previous season.
Tessmann had perhaps his best performance since landing on European soil, making a whopping 85 total ball contacts, completing 58 of 73 passes, attempting three shots, creating an additional two chances, hitting half of his eight long-ball attempts, winning both of his tackles and five of his seven duels.
Busio, who picked up a yellow card, was more limited as the team’s central midfield, as was center forward Novakovich, with both exiting the game after 63 minutes. Patrick Leal was in uniform for the visitors, but was not called into action.
The team from Italy’s German-speaking northern region was first on the scoreboard after an hour-long slog, after Mirko Carretta fired in a cross form the right side that Raphael Odogwu headed in at the far post for the lead.
Michaël Cuisance pulled Venezia even with seven minutes left on the clock, taking a short lay-off at the edge of the area from Joel Pohjanpalo and slamming it home from straight out.
Then in fifth minute of added time, de Vries fired in a cross from the left side, which Südtirol defender Marco Curto deflected into his own net to gift Venezia the 2-1 winner.
Venezia will be back in action on Sunday when they visit Cittadella.
Anthony Fontana didn’t make it off of Ascoli’s bench on Saturday during their 1-1 home draw against SPAL Ferrara.