An outstanding weekend for Americans on both sides of the Atlantic saw several players and a coach finding their way onto a variety of Team of the Week lists – with the Leeds duo of Jesse Marsch and Brenden Aaronson leading the way.
While the occasional appearance on official or statistical lists of the week’s best XI for a particular country is not completely out of the ordinary for American players, the sheer volume of representatives for last weekend’s play is particularly notable.
No less than six players and one coach were widely recognized in a variety of TOTW lists released over the last two days, making last weekend one of the most successful in recent memory for Yanks Abroad.
Here is the rundown of the players receiving post-weekend honors.
Josh Sargent already kicked matters off on Friday night, with a brace and all-around monster performance for Norwich City in their 2-0 victory over Millwall in the fifth game of the EFL Championship season.
His best game of the season – and perhaps of his time so far in England – capped a strong run that saw him be a major contributor to the Canaries’ attack over the last several outings.
This landed him on a number of TOTW selections for the EFL Championship, both those based on subjective viewing as well as more statistically-based systems such as those form WhoScored or SofaScore.
Also on the jolly island, it is no surprise that Cameron Carter-Vickers was universally named to the Scottish Premiership Teams of the Week, after manning Celtic’s back line in their dominant 2-0 home win over Hearts.
Most notably, CCV was named on the official week’s best XI put out by the Scottish FA, more formally known as the Scottish Professional Football League, or SPFL for short.
Then again, this sort of reminder that the USMNT aspirant is clearly a cut above most of the competition in Scotland is about as surprising as the the daily reminder that the sun still rises in the east and sets in the west.
In Turkey, Haji Wright has started the new season exactly how he finished the previous one, namely by torturing opposing keepers and building up a hefty goal total. He added two more to his season total in Antalya’s 5-2 victory over reigning SüperLig champions Trabzonspor over the weekend.
This earned him universal acclaim and a spot in nearly every TOTW named by media organizations in Turkey. This could also keep him in the running for a September call-up and possible World Cup spot, considering that the competition both in Europe and in the US are also upping their game as of late.
In keeping with the goalscorers, Jordan Pefok kept scoring for his new team Union Berlin in Germany’s Bundesliga. This time, he had a dazzling performance against the mighty RB Leipzig in Union’s 2-1 home win, scoring the opening goal of the game. This was his second Bundesliga goal and third overall in the Union uniform.
For his efforts, he was also a pick on a number of TOTW selections following the weekend’s Bundesliga action, including the aforementioned WhoScored and SofaScore ratings websites.
The undoubtedly most satisfying acclaim received by Americans came from the utterly dominant display that Leeds United FC put up in their 3-0 thrashing of the once-mighty Chelsea FC.
USMNT starlet Brenden Aaronson scored the first and eventual winning goal for United, while head coach Jesse Marsch lived up to his pre-game banter by thoroughly out-coaching the much-heralded Tommy Tuchebag…er…Thomas Tuchel.
In the official Premier League Team of the Week named on Tuesday by England legend Alan Shearer, both made the final cut, as if there would have been any valid suggestion to the contrary.
It’s particularly notable that Marsch was honored since, to be frank, coaches of teams widely expected to struggle against relegation don’t usually find themselves garnering much acclaim against a supposed league powerhouse.
Or to put it in a different way, bunkering and holding on for dear life doesn’t win awards, even if it helps teams to avoid financial disaster. However Marsch sent his team directly at Chelsea with full intensity, and proved to any doubters that he is up to the Premier League standard.
Sadly, Tyler Adams didn’t make the list, however having four of the 12 spots for players and coach (former MLSer Jack Harrison was also included) come from lowly Leeds would have had the blue-bloods of the Premiership bursting a vein.
As a brief non-European note to close this article, occasional USMNT participant Johnny Cardoso, known simply as “Johnny“, was also in the statistical TOTW for Brazil’s Série A from WhoScored, following a 1-0 road win by his club Internacional over Avai FC.
This was Johnny’s second straight entry into the week’s best XI by WhoScored, a good sign for a player who is, at best, typically a spot starter for Internacional.