Mar 6, 2017 17:10:08
The teenager made an impact after coming on for the injured Marco Reus and should have a chance to reclaim a starting spot in the coming weeks
Christian Pulisic had seen his playing time drop in the last month. Though he had gotten on as a substitute, he had not started a match since Borussia Dortmund’s loss to Darmstadt.
However, opportunity knocked for the teenager Saturday as Marco Reus went down toward the end of the first half of Dortmund's match with Bayer Leverkusen with a leg injury. Pulisic took advantage, scoring a goal and adding an assist in a 6-2 Dortmund win.
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) March 4, 2017
With Dortmund returning to full health and the scorching hot form of Ousmane Dembele, Pulisic was relegated to a substitute role. But with Reus out until April, the American will likely have a chance to reclaim his spot.
His contribution in the win no doubt will aid in his cause. And should he get the start against Benfica midweek in the second leg of Dortmund’s Champions League tie, Pulisic could go a long way to cementing his place in the lineup for the next month — right in time for the United States' March qualifiers.
FABIAN JOHNSON BAGS BRACE
Elsewhere in the Bundesliga, Fabian Johnson put in a top-class performance for Borussia Monchengladbach, bagging a brace in a 4-2 win over Schalke 04.
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) March 4, 2017
Johnson had been in and out of the Monchengladbach lineup since returning from his Achilles injury, but Saturday’s performance should help ensure he doesn’t drop out of the XI for long.
CAMERON MAKES STOKE START
Geoff Cameron made his return to Stoke's XI on Saturday, going the full 90 in the Potters 2-0 win over Middlesbrough.
Cameron started in the midfield alongside Glenn Whelan in a dual-holding midfield role and showed well in the performance.
“It’s been a long four months but I’m just happy to get some minutes under my belt and obviously with the 2-0 result,” he told Stoke City’s official website. “Hopefully we can just keep kicking on.
“There were some dark moments and frustration for sure. I didn’t know if I was going to play again this season or not so I’m just happy to have come back and been able to kick a ball.
“I wasn’t expecting to start today, just to be involved and hopefully get some minutes – fortunately enough I started and lasted 90 minutes.
“I’ll be sore tomorrow but I’ll do all the recovery and take on all the stuff for my system.”
It’s unlikely Cameron will be in the midfield for the U.S. for World Cup qualifiers, but it certainly looks like he’ll on the field, given that he’s now capable of going the full 90.
EVENTFUL FRIDAY FOR JOE CORONA
Joe Corona may be the least talked about American of the trio that see minutes at Tijuana, but he had a pretty eventful day Friday in his side’s 3-2 loss to Omar Gonzalez and Pachuca.
In the 42nd minute, he gathered an overhit cross and sent another back into the area, which Damian Perez headed home to give Tijuana a 1-0 lead in the contest.
Unfortunately, it was downhill from there for the Xolos, as Pachuca scored the next three goals to take a 3-1 advantage. Corona didn’t see the end of the night on the field, as he was sent off with a second yellow card in the 78th minute. Tijuana ended up falling 3-2 in the contest.
Corona wasn’t the only American to see red in Liga MX this weekend. Jonathan Bornstein also was handed a pair of yellows in Queretaro’s 4-1 loss to Monterrey. And Corona’s teammate and fellow American Abroad, Michael Orozco, may be lucky he didn’t get a straight red early in Tijuana’s loss, for his brutal tackle on Hirving Lozano that sent the Mexico international off on a stretcher.
BOBBY WOOD BACK FOR HAMBURG
Though he didn’t come in during last weekend’s embarrassing Hamburg loss to Bayern Munich, Bobby Wood had himself a solid week in the Bundesliga.
The striker returned to the XI for his side’s DFB-Pokal battle against Monchengladbach, and though Hamburg fell 2-1, Wood had a great individual effort to score a goal in the closing moments of the contest.
Wood started again Saturday and rated well in Hamburg’s 1-0 victory over John Brooks and Hertha BSC. That win allowed Hamburg to keep pace with Wolfsburg on points. However, due to a much poorer goal difference, Hamburg sits 16th and in a relegation playoff spot.