The fourth round of games in the Champions League group stage is now completed, and the picture of which Americans in the competition will join in next year’s knock-out round or watch from their couch is beginning to come clear.
Christian Pulisic made his long-awaited return to action in Chelsea’s narrow win in Malmö while Weston McKennie and Juventus stayed perfect in the group in a high-scoring home match against Zenit. St. Petersburg.
There were wildly mixed fortunes in midweek Champions League action, with Brendon Aaronson and Weston McKennie helping their teams to the cusp of knock-out round qualification, and Tyler Adams playing an unfortunate role in Leipzig’s collapse to PSG.
On a night when the U.S. men’s national team was left frustrated by the inexperience of the referee and the lack of a video assistant referee, they finally put it together in the second half as Ricardo Pepi scored both goals to give them a shutout win over Jamaica at the Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas on Thursday.
Sergiño Dest and Barcelona suffered another heavy defeat on their visit to Benfica, while Brenden Aaronson put in a solid shift for Salzburg, who beat Tim Weah and Lille thanks to a pair of spot kicks.
Jordan Pefok was the hero of the day for Young Boys, as his opportunistic last-second goal gave his team a stunning victory over Manchester United as the Champions League group stage kicked off.
After a pair of subpar performances against El Salvador and Canada, as well as the Weston McKennie saga, Gregg Berhalter was able to put his young Americans back on track as they convincingly beat Honduras in their own back yard.
After last night’s Champions League play-off games where both Jordan Siebatcheu Pefok’s Young Boys and Brenden Aaronson’s RB Salzburg advanced to join the other 30 teams in the draw, 13 Americans learned who they would be facing in the group stages of Europe’s most prestigious club competition this afternoon.
The last hurdle into the Champions League group stages saw two teams with American interests go through, while two were knocked out of the competition.