While many of the name Americans in top leagues are struggling on the field, if they even get on it, the good times keep rolling for Timmy Chandler.
Much maligned for his performances for the U.S. national team, Chandler has always seemed to put together better outings in the Bundesliga. And a run of form that began just before the league's winter break may be the best of his career.
Chandler assisted on Kevin-Prince Boateng's opener for Eintracht Frankfurt against Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday. It was the winner in the 2-0 victory as Chandler went 90 minutes for the hosts on the left side.
The assist was created by an impressive run from Chandler, who shrugged off a challenge by Patrick Herrmann and used pace to get to the end line and deliver a low cross that Boateng finished off.
Since returning from knee surgery, Chandler has played in five matches, with a goal and four assists over that span. And he's done it in an unfamiliar position on the left — one he only played experimentally for the U.S. national team prior.
"Timmy is doing well, there is no need to switch at the moment, and the guys in the back must and will recommend themselves," Frankfurt manager Niko Kovac said last week in quotes published by Kicker.
Chandler has done well enough to keep Netherlands international Jetro Willems on the bench. It speaks well to his form that he can keep another international quality player on the pine despite playing out of position.
But it is a reminder that despite this run of form, Chandler's hold on a place in the XI is not certain. He'll need to keep up his performances to keep himself a fixture in the Frankfurt lineup as the club, now in fourth place and a Champions League qualification spot, looks to keep up its strong league form.
Timothy Chandler does most of the work as Kevin-Prince Boateng puts Frankfurt in front. #SGEBMG
Chandler now has a goal and 4 assists in his last 5 games! 🇺🇸 https://t.co/X3KCtWRkUu — FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) January 26, 2018
Diskerud 'signs' with Manchester City
Many American fans were treated to a bit of a surprise Saturday morning, as they awoke to news, announced by sportswear giant Umbro, that Mix Diskerud had signed a 4.5-year deal with Manchester City.
Given that Diskerud was considered a massive MLS flop and spent the past season on loan with IFK Goteborg, it seemed a bit out of left field that he'd be inking a contract with arguably Europe's best team this season.
So what's the deal here? The situation seems the same as that of former Man City player Aaron Mooy.
If you don’t remember Mooy suiting up for the Citizens, that's because it never actually happened. He signed from their sister club, Melbourne City, and was promptly loaned out to Huddersfield Town in the Championship. When Huddersfield won promotion, with Mooy a regular starter, he was sold to the club permanently.
Man City likely hopes for a similar success story for Diskerud who, at 27, still could have some years left and is coming off a good campaign in the Allsvenskan.
Logically, Diskerud was still under contract with New York City FC for another season despite being bought out. If he did well while loaned out again, City Football Group would have received nothing because he would have left on free. City gives Diskerud extra security in the length of the deal but likely just views it as a means to get a return on an investment. If Diskerud has another solid year on loan, he can be sold, just as Mooy was.
So don’t bank on Diskerud slotting into Pep Guardiola's midfield anytime soon. But you may see him on the move again before the end of the January window, and if that is too short a time frame, a summer loan should be a near certainty.
Saief continues fast start with Anderlecht
Kenny Saief was a player many American fans got excited about this past summer as he switched his international allegiance from Israel to the U.S. But the Belgian-based attacker went down injured while on U.S. duty prior to the Gold Cup. After that he was hospitalized with complications from that hernia surgery.
That had limited his time to just three substitute appearances in league play for Gent. A loan move to Anderlecht, however, has already paid dividends for the 24-year-old. He’s gone the full 90 in all three games he's played for Anderlecht, scoring a goal in the second contest and picking up an assist in the third.
That assist came on an excellent long ball played in to Sofiane Hanni, who beat his defender to score the second Anderlecht goal in the 3-3 draw with Standard Liege.
Saief has done well in Belgium before, scoring seven times for Gent in 2016-17, and has an excellent opportunity to showcase his stuff with Anderlecht, which sits in third place in the Belgian first division. And he appears to be making the most of it in the early going.
Morales scores for Ingoldstadt
Alfredo Morales' fine campaign in the 2.Bundesliga continued this weekend as he bagged a goal.
The midfielder delivered on a free kick that gave his side the early advantage after just three minutes. But despite being up 2-0 at the half, Ingolstadt crumbled in the second half, conceding three times to lose away to Jahn Regensburg 3-2.
It brings Morales' goal total in the league this season to three, with an assist to go along with it. He's added a goal in the DFB-Pokal as well — not a bad return overall from the midfielder.
He's arguably the most productive American in the 2.Bundesliga, which looked to be a potential league of promise for Americans abroad this season but has turned into a bit of a disappointment.
Morales is one of the few Americans to have regularly featured for his side there. The other has been Julian Green, for Greuther Furth, though he has managed only a single goal in 11 appearances.
Elsewhere, Terrence Boyd has mostly been relegated to a substitute's role for Darmstadt, though he does have three goals in 12 appearances (four starts). Teammate McKinze Gaines has not seen any first-team action since he struggled in his one start for the Lillies.
Haji Wright started his loan with Sandhausen with promise, but has since seen playing time evaporate. He has not been in 18 since Dec. 2. Teammate Andrew Wooten has been limited to 30 minutes all season due to injury, while Jerome Kiesewetter at Fortuna Dusseldorf has played three times in league all season.
It can still turn around in the second half, but so far things could have been a bit better for the promising Americans in Germany’s second division.
Williams joins ranks of American injured
Danny Williams became the latest American playing overseas to go down this weekend, lasting just 36 minutes in Huddersfield Town's 1-1 draw in the FA Cup with Birmingham.
Williams exited with a back injury and is doubtful for his club's midweek clash with Liverpool. The midfielder had seen his Premier League playing time decrease as of late — his last league appearance came on New Year’s Day.
Williams joins the ever-growing list of Americans sidelined. John Brooks again missed out for Wolfsburg this past weekend with multiple leg injuries. He has featured in just seven Bundesliga contests this season after his €17 million move from Hertha Berlin over the summer.
Also in the Bundesliga, Fabian Johnson has been sidelined for Gladbach for nearly two months with a back issue. Weston McKennie is out for Schalke at least six weeks with a knee injury. And as mentioned above, Wooten is out for 2.Bundesliga side Sandhausen with a muscle injury.