It didn’t get off to the best of starts for DeAndre Yedlin on Sunday against Arsenal, but it couldn’t have finished much better.
Yedlin’s positioning probably could have been better on the Gunners early opener to put Newcastle down 1-0. He was ahead of his defensive line, providing more space for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to run into. While Yedlin’s pace often can correct those mistakes, it could not against the speedy Aubameyang, who was able to find Alexandre Lacazette for the opener.
But while his culpability for the first goal was a question, Yedlin’s contribution to Newcastle’s opener cannot be denied.
In the 29th minute he delivered an excellent low cross to the near post that Ayoze Perez finished off to level the score at 1-1.
Yedlin’s day was made even better as while he did not do anything more on the scoresheet, he turned in a solid defensive effort in a 2-1 Newcastle win. The victory took the Magpies up to 41 points, virtually ensuring they remain in the Premier League next season as they are 13 points up on 18th with just five games to play.
In a season where the few Americans present in England’s top-flight have seen it a struggle, Yedlin has been the exception. And he’ll now get another chance to build on his solid campaign next season.
Pulisic and McKennie battle in Revierderby
For the second time this season Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie matched up in the opposite sides of the Revierderby. The first game saw both start in a 4-4 thriller in which Schalke rallied from four down against Borussia Dortmund.
This game was quite a bit different as goals were not nearly as plentiful. Pulisic started for Dortmund with McKennie coming off the bench in the contest, which ended in a 2-0 Schalke victory. And the atmosphere was something to remember for the Schalke teen.
"The feeling's amazing,” McKennie told Bundesliga.com. “It's my second derby, the first one we tied 4-4, that was also an amazing feeling. But to be here in, our home stadium, and all the families and the fans and everyone, just the atmosphere.
"It's something that you can't get everywhere, and I feel like it’s only here at Schalke that you can get it, especially in the derby win."
It will likely feel even better for McKennie given the first derby saw him yanked off after 30 minutes after Schalke fell behind 4-0.
This one saw McKennie enter as a substitute and get himself involved in the action immediately. He made an excellent continuing run into the area and a better ball might have afforded him a chance to get a shot on goal. Instead, he did not force it, and moved play on that resulted in a Schalke chance which was put wide.
Meanwhile, Pulisic will likely feel frustrated by the outing. Neither he, nor his attacking teammates saw much of the ball in the first half. In the second half, he created an excellent chance that was flubbed. And then later in the half, he received an excellent ball from Marco Reus that the teenager sent flying over the goal.
The silver lining for Dortmund is that it has a slight bit of breathing room in the race for the top four. The club sits in fourth, but four points above RB Leipzig, and five above Hoffenheim and Eintracht Frankfurt. Dortmund also owns a superior goal difference to all three of those sides, though with Hoffenheim it’s close.
As for Schalke, sitting in second on 55 points, a return to Champions League next season looks near-certain.
Rubin opens Tijuana account
It had been a long time since Rubio Rubin found the back of the net.
The 22-year-old forward last scored Sept.22, 2015 with Eredivisie side Utrecht. Two and half years and three clubs later Rubin is back among the goalscorers, opening his account with Tijuana.
Coming on a substitute in the 73rd minute against Chivas, Rubin was played in by former Chivas USA attacker Miler Bolanos. Rubin was able to round Chvas goalkeeper Miguel Jimenez and cap the 3-0 Xolos victory.
The goal came in Rubin’s fifth Liga MX appearance with the club, and eighth overall. He’s earned three starts for Tijuana so far.
Elsewhere, Omar Gonzalez marked his first Liga MX start for Pachuca since January by going the distance in the contest and assisting on Keisuke Honda’s opener in a 3-1 win over Santos Laguna.
Gonzalez delivered an excellent cutting ball through the Santos Laguna midfield to pick out Honda, who was able to create more space and then unleash a shot into the top corner.
GL de Keisuke Honda https://t.co/mBbMqCdSQi@Tuzos 1-0 @ClubSantos #Jornada15 #Clausura2018 #LIGABancomerMX
#SienteTuLiga#AbrazadosPorLosNiños pic.twitter.com/SSNVwYhgbv — LIGA Bancomer MX (@LIGABancomerMX) April 15, 2018
George and Lankford make 2.Bundesliga impacts
A pair of U.S. eligible players came off the bench to have themselves days in the German second division this weekend.
On Friday Jann-Christopher George came on at the half for Jahn Regensburg in a scoreless tie with Julian Green and Greuther Furth. He proved the difference, as he not only bagged the opener for his side just two minutes after coming on, but he added what turned out to be the winner in the 87th minute as Jahn Regensburg went on to a 2-1 away victory.
The win takes the club, which just came up from the third division last season, up to fourth in the table, though still five points off a promotion playoff spot.
Then on Sunday, 19-year-old Kevin Lankford entered in the 70th minute for FC Heidenheim against Fortuna Dusseldorf. Nine minutes later, Lankford went on an impressive solo run through the defense and managed to deliver a good cross which Kevin Kraus put home to make it 3-1 Heidenheim.
Both Lankford and George are German-born but have never represented either the U.S. or Germany on the international level.
-The ranks of Americans in the Premier League has grown thin, but it may well improve by one next season. Center back Tim Ream has been a lock-down starter for Fulham this season, and the Cottagers have made a charge up the Championship table.
A draw at Brentford this weekend snapped a four-game win streak, but Fulham has not lost a game since Dec. 16. The Cottagers sit just one point from an automatic promotion spot though they’ll have a fight on their hands with Cardiff City in second, and Aston Villa three points behind in fourth, for it.
-Everything Mix Diskerud wasn’t in MLS, he is in the Allsvenskan. He’s already scored twice in the league this year for IFK Gothenburg and added another two in the Swedish Cup. Last season he scored five goals for Gothenburg in all competitions, so he’s well on track to shatter that mark this season.
-Matt Miazga has a new coach after Vitesse and former head coach Henk Fraser parted ways last week with Edward Sturing taking over until the end of the season. The defender and his side responded with a 7-0 victory over Sparta Rotterdam on Saturday, though Miazga only went 70 minutes in the win.