Stock Up, Stock Down for USMNT Stars Playing in Europe for Week of March 8March 12, 2021
Games are coming for the United States men's national team. Gregg Berhalter's squad will be taking on Jamaica (March 25) and Northern Ireland (March 28).
Since the matches are in Europe—Austria and Northern Ireland, respectively—the American manager will call players based abroad.
Who might get a shot to show his stuff? Another edition of Stock Watch can help wade through the options.
Josh Sargent: Forward, Werder Bremen
Games: 86 minutes in 1-1 D against FC Koln (Bundesliga); 64 minutes in 2-0 W against Arminia Bielefeld. (Bundesliga)
We criticized Josh Sargent in this space just last week. And for good reason. (He hadn't been good.)
But three games and three goals later, the 21-year-old forward is en fuego. Did he more or less steal the third one from his teammate Milot Rashica? You bet:
Even so, that's a stock watch reversal. Someone call Jim Cramer.
Antonee Robinson: Defender, Fulham
Games: 7 minutes in 1-0 L against Liverpool (Premier League)
It's been an up-and-down season for Antonee Robinson. The good: playing 1,700 minutes and counting in his first Premier League year while showing pace and a bit of creativity as a left-sided defender (and occasional midfielder).
The bad: He seems to have lost his spot in manager Scott Parker's lineup. He started only three of his last six matches after making 17 starts in a row.
According to FiveThirtyEight, Fulham's big win over Liverpool increased their odds of escaping relegation from roughly 54 percent to 68 percent, so perhaps Robinson will get another season to make amends.
Mark McKenzie: Defender, Genk
Games: DNP in 4-1 W against Mechelen (Belgian Cup); DNP in 2-0 against Cercle Brugge (Belgian First Division)
After joining Genk from the Philadelphia Union, Mark McKenzie started five of his new team's first six games and made a substitute appearance in the sixth. But he's played only one minute since a 2-1 loss against Beerschot (wonderful team name!) on Feb. 21, a run of three matches.
McKenzie just turned 22 years old and made a big, $6 million-plus jump to Europe. Let's hope this is a momentary blip rather than a larger stumble. He's another player for whom the March international break will offer a welcome respite.
Duane Holmes: Midfielder, Huddersfield Town
Games: DNP in 1-1 D against Cardiff (Championship)
Duane Holmes spent a large part of the season locked in Derby County manager Wayne Rooney's doghouse, then moved to Huddersfield Town and found himself:
He's played pretty much every attacking position and will be an important part of the Terriers' push to avoid relegation.
The upcoming international break is key for Holmes' future with the U.S. If he gets a call, he's clearly in Berhalter's plans. If not, the 26-year-old midfielder's days of donning the red, white, and blue are likely over.
Nicholas Gioacchini: Forward, Caen
Games: No games
Back in November, Nicholas Gioacchini tallied two goals in a 6-2 rout of Panama. That was fun.
Since then, it's been less so.
The forward's recent contributions at French second-division side Caen have come mostly in the form of cards—three yellows and a red in his last nine matches. His lone goal in 2021 came against Guingamp in the eighth round of the Coupe de France.
Per fbref.com, Gioacchini is producing only 0.22 goals plus assists per 90 minutes. You'd like to see more from a player in Ligue 2.
Lightning Round, Champions League Edition
We've covered the players below recently, so they don't deserve a full stock watch update, but we still want to keep you informed. The more you know, right?
Weston McKennie (Juventus)
Games: 20 minutes in 3-1 W against Lazio (Serie A); 45 minutes in 3-2 W against Porto (Champions League)
In a shocking upset, Porto bounced Juventus from the Champions League. McKennie played the final 15 minutes plus 30 minutes of extra time. While it's a tough out for the Italian giants, perhaps fewer games on the schedule isn't the worst thing for an oft-injured midfielder playing a lot of football.
Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund)
Games: DNP (injury)
Reyna missed Dortmund's clash with Bayern Munich and their Champions League draw against Sevilla because of what appears to be a minor injury. While that isn't good news, a forced week off might benefit a teenager who looked to be hitting a bit of a wall in his first full season as a regular selection.
Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig)
Games: 84 minutes in 3-0 W against Freiburg (Bundesliga); 90 minutes in 2-0 L against Liverpool (Champions League)
Adams remains a rock on the right side for a squad that has a chance to win the Bundesliga. Bounced from the Champions League, Leipzig can focus on catching Bayern Munich. A trophy for Tyler?
Sergino Dest (Barcelona)
Games: 90 minutes in 2-0 W against Osasuna (La Liga); 66 minutes in 1-1 D against PSG (Champions League)
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman moved Dest into the midfield, and the 20-year-old has taken to the position well since it utilizes his attacking strengths while minimizing his defensive deficiencies. Is that something for Berhalter to consider?
Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)
Games: 1 minute in 2-0 W against Everton (Premier League)
Pulisic is not happy about his lack of playing time and could leave Chelsea if the situation doesn't change, according to soccer reporter Fabrizio Romano on his Here We Go podcast. But Chelsea's chances to play Champions League soccer next season are up to 72 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight. (Will Pulisic be around for that?)