Soccer

USMNT Stock Watch: Scally struggles but gets minutes; Tessmann makes Serie A debut and more

There are more Americans playing professional soccer abroad than ever before as clubs look for up and coming talent as well as potential ways to grow their presence stateside. From Europe’s biggest clubs to smaller teams in places like South America, the American soccer player standard is nothing like it was even just five years ago. That means talent, as well as expectations, will rise for the United States men’s national team as a result. 

Here’s a look at three Americans who are other on the rise or headed in the opposite direction after the weekend’s action and what it means for them going forward.

1) Joe Scally, Borussia Monchengladbach

18-year-old defender Joe Scally earned his second straight start for Borussia Monchengladbach against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, and while it didn’t go as planned, the confidence the club has in him could be huge for his development. Despite a 4-0 loss, the left back went the full 90 minutes. He was overmatched against Moussa Diaby at times, which isn’t surprising for a young, raw player, but he continues to hold his own. He completed 83.3 percent of his passes, good for sixth best among starters. He also got forward well, but he was successful on just 40 percent of his tackles, 41.7 percent of his duels and 50 percent of his fifty-fifty balls.

The German press wasn’t kind to him in their player ratings, but each minute on the field is huge for his confidence and progression. 

2) Tanner Tessmann, Venezia

Despite it being in a 2-0 loss to Napoli, American Tanner Tessmann made his Serie A debut for Venezia, coming off the bench (airing only on Paramount+). The former FC Dallas man played 27 minutes, completed 80 percent of his passes, intercepted the ball once and looked solid off the bench.

With his team’s struggles early on against Napoli, it will be interesting to see if he can continue to push for more minutes or even start before long as the club looks to find some stability after a match where they could not take advantage of being a man up. This is a player who doesn’t have a whole lot of experience, was far from a regular starter for FC Dallas, yet find himself at an up and coming Serie A club. It’s a surprise he’s seen this much of the field early on, but that speaks to what the coaching staff thinks of him and the impression he’s made already.

3) Christian Pulisic, Chelsea

There is a lot to unpack here. First, the entire COVID situation is concerning of course as it forced him to miss Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Arsenal on Sunday, while also putting his status for the United States men’s national team’s upcoming World Cup qualifying in the air. But specifically on the field, I’m beginning to wonder how his minutes will be impacted by the signing of Romelu Lukaku. Now, I know what you are thinking. Sure, they don’t play the same position, but having Lukaku as the starter for most matches means Pulisic isn’t just fighting with Kai Havertz, Mason Mount, Hakim Ziyech and Callum Gudson-Odoi for those minutes behind the striker. This also means Timo Werner is thrown into the mix at that position. Against Crystal Palace, it was Pulisic and Mount behind Werner, and on Sunday it was Mount and Havertz behind Lukaku. 

It’s never going to be simple to accumulate game time with so much competition, but his minutes moving forward are something to keep an eye on. Chelsea face Liverpool on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET in what is No. 2 vs No. 3 in the Premier League as two of only five teams which have won their first two matches go head to head.. 



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