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USMNT Watch: Alejandro Bedoya Scores in Consecutive Games for Nantes

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2016

Nantes' US midfielder Alejandro Bedoya (L) kicks to score a goal during the French Cup football match between Mantes (FCM) and Nantes (FCN) at Bergeal stadium, in Mantes-la-Ville, on January 20, 2015. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD        (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/Getty Images

Alejandro Bedoya was one of the top players in the United States men's national team talent pool in 2015, and judging by his week over in France, he is on track to keep up the same form in 2016. 

Bedoya was the most active American in front of the goal in Europe this week, as he found the back of the net in two consecutive matches for Nantes in two different competitions. 

In addition to Bedoya's heroics, a few other Americans had standout performances across the globe over the last seven days. One player even made a ton of headlines by simply being named to his club's matchday squad. 

We'll have in-depth updates on all of those stories below in our weekly USMNT Watch. 

Alejandro Bedoya Scores Twice in a Week

Bedoya started the week on the bench for Nantes' Coupe de France round-of-32 clash with fourth-division side Mantes. The 28-year-old midfielder came off the bench in extra time and scored within 15 seconds of his entrance. 

The goal in the 105th minute helped power Nantes into the round of 16 in the competition, where they will face fellow Ligue 1 side Bordeaux. 

In league play against Bordeaux on Saturday, Bedoya scored his club's second goal of the match on a header in the 30th minute. Unfortunately, Nantes conceded on two occasions and left the pitch with just a point.

Nantes' US midfielder Alejandro Bedoya (L) celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Nantes and Bordeaux on January 23, 2015 at the Beaujoire stadium in Nantes, western France. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD / AFP / JE
JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD/Getty Images

If Bedoya continues to produce solid showings in France, he should be one of the first names on the teamsheet for the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers against Guatemala in March and for the Copa America Centenario in June. 

Christian Pulisic Makes the Dortmund Bench

The biggest story involving an American in the Bundesliga this weekend came from Borussia Dortmund, where 17-year-old Christian Pulisic earned a spot on the bench for the match against Borussia Monchengladbach.

Pulisic did not earn any playing time for Dortmund in the 3-1 win, but picking up a spot in the matchday squad is a massive leap forward for someone of his age. Expect Pulisic to push for minutes during the rest of the season. If he becomes a contributor in some fashion, he could turn enough heads to land a spot on the U23 roster for the Olympic qualification playoff against Colombia in March. 

US player  Christian Pulisic (R) vie the ball with Nigeria Keleshi Nwala (L)  during an Under 17 World Cup football match between Nigeria and the United States at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago on October 17, 2015.AFP PHOTO/MARCELO HERNANDEZ/PHOTOSPORT
MARCELO HERNANDEZ/Getty Images

Fabian Johnson started for Monchengladbach in the match at Borussia-Park. He went 90 minutes in the loss for the fourth-place side in the Bundesliga. 

John Brooks featured for 90 minutes at center back for third-place Hertha Berlin in their 0-0 draw with Augsburg on Saturday. Alfredo Morales played 68 minutes for Ingolstadt in their 1-0 victory over Mainz.

Brad Guzan Remains on the Bench for Villa

Brad Guzan continued his spell as backup goalkeeper for Aston Villa on Saturday in their 0-0 draw with West Bromwich Albion. Given his status as No. 2 on the depth chart, we might see Guzan feature in the FA Cup fourth round against Manchester City next weekend. 

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 13:  Brad Guzan of Aston Villa during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park on December 13, 2015 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images)
James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Tim Howard retained his starting position in the Everton lineup for their Sunday match against Swansea City. Geoff Cameron and DeAndre Yedlin both failed to see the pitch for Stoke City and Sunderland, respectively. 

Down in the Championship, Eric Lichaj, Danny Williams and Tim Ream all played 90 minutes for their respective teams. Emerson Hyndman came off the bench for a 13-minute shift in Fulham's loss to Hull City. Jonathan Spector and Duane Holmes did not play this weekend. 

USMNT U20 midfielder Lynden Gooch was loaned out to Doncaster Rovers from Sunderland on Thursday. Two days later, Gooch landed a spot in the starting 11 for the club's 0-0 draw with Fleetwood Town in League One. 

William Yarbrough Turns in Stellar Performance in Goal for Club Leon

One name to keep an eye on in the USMNT goalkeeper competition is Club Leon's William Yarbrough. The 26-year-old has been a consistent figure in net for the first-place side in Liga MX, and he produced a stellar 90 minutes on Saturday. 

Yarbrough stopped nine of the 11 shots sent in by Cruz Azul in a thrilling 3-2 win at the Estadio Leon. Leon is one of two perfect teams remaining in the Clausura. 

Goalkeeper William Yarbrough of Leon celebrates a goal during their Mexican Clausura tournament football match against Cruz Azul at the Nou Camp stadium on January 23, 2016 in Leon, Mexico.  AFP PHOTO/VICTOR STRAFFON / AFP / VICTOR STRAFFON        (Photo
VICTOR STRAFFON/Getty Images

Omar Gonzalez and Ventura Alvarado started opposite each other in Club Pachuca's 4-1 win over Club America on Saturday night. Both players went the full 90. 

Jorge Villafana, Luis Gil and Jonathan Bornstein also earned starts across Mexico this weekend. Joe Corona and Michael Orozco did not feature for their respective teams. 

News and Notes: Jordan Morris Signs with Seattle

USMNT forward Jordan Morris inked his first professional deal on Thursday as he joined the Seattle Sounders on a homegrown-player contract.

U23 netminder Ethan Horvath signed a one-year contract extension with Molde on Friday. Horvath was a vital part of the Norwegian club's impressive showing in the UEFA Europa League group stage.

Desevio Payne played 45 minutes off the bench for Groningen on Friday in their 0-0 draw with NEC in the Eredivisie. 

Joe Tansey covers U.S. Soccer for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter, @JTansey90

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