USMNT Player Tracker: Pulisic flying, title close for Carter-Vickers and Sargent, major concern

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Christian Pulisic’s record form, Cameron Carter-Vickers one step closer to silverware and concerns over Josh Sargent are all drawing attention in this week’s USMNT player tracker.

Every week we bring you updates on how American players are performing in European leagues over the weekend.

With the Copa America hosting this year and the partially home 2026 World Cup looming ever larger on the horizon, we’re keeping an eye on their performances.


How to follow the Copa America on Athleticism


Weekend Question

Gregg Berhalter must ask himself many questions before the Copa America this summer.

What should his central defensive partnership look like? How can he replace the injured Sergino Dest at full-back? Which of their in-form midfielders gets the nod to start?

But there is one thing he can be absolutely sure of: the USMNT head coach will enjoy the galvanizing benefit of seeing his best player arrive at the tournament on the best form of his career to date.

Christian Pulisic’s brace for AC Milan on Saturday took his goal tally for the campaign so far to 12, making him the first Rossoneri midfielder to score more than 10 goals, excluding penalties, in a single season since Kaka in 2005-06 (11).

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Pulisic has been in irresistible form at AC Milan (Image Photo Agency/Getty Images)

His man-of-the-match performance in the 5-1 win over Cagliari, a victory that all but guarantees Milan will finish second behind rivals Inter Milan, delighted Americans looking for proof that their team can seriously compete with the South. The big American guns at the tournament.

Featured on both sides of the attack, Pulisic scored with both feet and proved a constant threat for the Sardinian side.

He has 26 goals in all competitions for his club with two matches remaining, an even more impressive feat given this is his first season in Italy since his transfer from Chelsea last summer as part of ‘a contract worth up to €22 million ($24.2 million; £18.8 million). ).

Pulisic’s quick adaptation and consistent good form have surprised even Milan boss Stefano Pioli, the man who pushed to sign him.

“In my opinion, Pulisic is a phenomenal player because he has quality in his choices, an intensity throughout the match which is exceptional,” he told DAZN.

“When I met him this summer on Zoom, I had very positive perceptions, but then working together was even better than I thought: for the quality of the player, the quality of the person and the professional that he is.”

Next up for Pulisic will be the games against Torino and Salernitana before reporting for international duty ahead of the Copa America, which starts on June 20.


Player of the Weekend

Cameron Carter-Vickers is set to win his third Scottish title winner’s medal after helping Celtic to a decisive Old Firm derby victory.

Brendan Rodgers’ side beat 10-man Rangers 2-1 at Parkhead on Saturday to move six points clear at the top of the table, meaning they only need a point from games against Kilmarnock and St Mirren to secure the title again.

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Carter-Vickers comes close to scoring as Celtic win at Parkhead (Alan Harvey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Carter-Vickers played an important role in the crucial victory, with the 26-year-old making six clearances, winning seven duels (according to FotMob) and helping to create Matt O’Riley’s first goal for the hosts with a long arrowed ball towards Callum. McGregor, who then launched the midfielder.

With Chris Richards also in impressive form at Crystal Palace, who performed well again on Saturday in beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-1 at Molineux, the pair offer Berhalter an interesting alternative partnership for the summer.

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Richards has played a key role in Palace’s recent renaissance (Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Chart of the week

For years, Johnny Cardoso felt as much like a legendary prospect as a true midfielder. Few young Americans spend their developmental years in Brazil, a league that is not widely followed in the United States and for many years was difficult to watch. That, coupled with a lack of consistent involvement under Berhalter, left Johnny as a relative outsider when projecting USMNT rosters.

Of course, European clubs were watching and, after a difficult few seasons with Internacional, Real Betis snatched him up last winter by offering him a five-year contract. Given the 22-year-old’s strong first impression, it seems unlikely he’ll be around to implement this pact in full.

Reports in recent weeks have already linked him with Barcelona, ​​Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig.

Johnny Cardoso Pass Clusters 1

In a team made up of prominent veterans from Europe’s top leagues like Isco, Nabil Fekir and Hector Bellerin, Johnny quickly established himself as a regular starter.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side prefer a short passing game for much of their preparation, with the sixth shortest average distance in La Liga of 17.3 meters per pass. In Brazil, Johnny’s deep distribution attracted attention, but as Betis’ defensive midfielder he had plenty of time to refine his recirculating talent.

It’s easy to understand why some of Europe’s top clubs are already kicking themselves for not signing him sooner. Johnny’s smooth transition also bodes well for his potential Copa role. As Tyler Adams continued to battle leg muscle injuries in the final weeks of the season, Johnny could be equipped to not only make the team, but become the USMNT’s starting No. 6 in the tournament.

If so, his role with Betis would help Berhalter’s side maintain possession – although he may need to rediscover some of those line-breaking balls to help the team advance up the pitch being given the absence of Sergino Dest.

Jeff Rueter


Quote of the weekend

“The operation went well!” Thank God! Now is the time to look to the future.

Dest kept fans updated following surgery on his damaged cruciate ligament. He revealed on Instagram that the procedure had been a success, alongside a photo of him leaving the hospital in a wheelchair.

Dest will be a big miss for the USMNT this summer and his injury has also caused uncertainty over his club’s future, with Dutch champions PSV hoping to negotiate a new deal with Barcelona to sign him permanently this summer.

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Dest celebrates PSV championship (Photo Prestige/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Go Further

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How did the other American players fare?

Name: Nicolas Gioacchini
Club: As
Position: Before
Appearances: 9

The 23-year-old has had limited playing time for Como in the Italian second division since arriving in January, with one start and eight introductions from the bench. But he will have more incentive to build on this next term after Como sealed promotion to Serie A at the weekend with a 1-1 draw against Cosenza.

Gioacchini, who joined St Louis City on a three-and-a-half-year contract, has eight caps for the national team.

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Name: Josh Sargent
Club: City of Norwich
Position: Striker
Appearances: 29
Goals: 16

Sargent was sent off during Norwich’s Championship play-off first leg against Leeds United on Sunday. The nature and severity of the 24-year-old’s ankle injury is not yet clear, but fans of club and country will hope the prolific frontman has not had a recurrence of the problems which caused him to miss the first part of the season in England. .

The second leg, designed to determine promotion to the Premier League, takes place on Thursday at Elland Road.

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The prolific Sargent is now a major problem for Norwich (David Watts/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Name: Kevin Paredes
Club: Wolfsburg
Position: Full-back/winger
Appearances: 28
Goals: 2

Paredes started his side’s 2-0 loss to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Sunday.

The 21-year-old created a chance and all his crosses and long balls were accurate, according to Fotmob, while he made two interceptions and three recoveries for his side.

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Kevin Paredes Exclusive: “So many USMNT legends have won this award. It’s a dream come true’

Name: Gio Reyna
Club: Nottingham Forest
Position: Midfielder
Appearances (for Dortmund and Forest): 24

Reyna was left out of Forest’s squad for their 3-2 defeat to Chelsea on Saturday with no explanation provided by manager Nuno Espirito Santo.

Name: Folarin Balogun
Club: Monaco
Position: Striker
Appearances: 31
Goals: 8

Balogun provided an assist in second-placed Monaco’s 2-0 win at Montpellier on Sunday. This victory kept them in a strong position to qualify for the Champions League next season.

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Balogun attacks Montpellier residents Becir Omeragic and Christopher Jullien (Pascal Guyot/AFP via Getty Images)

Name: Gabriel Slonina
Club: KAS Eupen
Position: Goalie
Appearances: 34

The USMNT youngster, who is expected to play for his country at the Paris Olympics this summer, kept a clean sheet in KAS Eupen’s doomed final match in the Belgian Pro League relegation play-offs.

Eupen beat RWDM 2-0 on Saturday but is already doomed to defeat. Slonina is expected to return to parent club Chelsea for the pre-season.

Name: Lennard Maloney
Club: Heidenheim
Position: Midfielder
Appearances: 30
Goals: 2

The 24-year-old recovered from two matches missed due to injury and came off the bench for his side’s 1-1 draw at Freiburg on Saturday. Maloney, who had a good season in the Bundesliga, played 24 minutes in the second half.

Go Further

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‘I’m the one who does the dirty work’: Lennard Maloney on his ‘bulldog spirit’ for club and country


What’s coming?

(All times Eastern)

Watch Weston McKennie and Timothy Weah’s bid for silverware as Juventus take on Atalanta in the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday (3 p.m., Paramount+).

Celta Vigo would need to beat Athletic Club to allay fears of being dragged into the La Liga relegation places and will hope Luca de la Torre can draw inspiration on Wednesday (4 p.m., ESPN+).

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Tyler Adams with AFC Bournemouth owner Bill Foley on Saturday (Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)

On Saturday, Jordan Pefok and Joe Scally hope to feature as Borussia Monchengladbach faces third-place Stuttgart in the Bundesliga (9:30 a.m. ET, ESPN+).

The next day, Paxten Aaronson’s Vitesse faces Ajax (8:30 a.m.), while Tyler Adams is fit again and could play for Bournemouth against Chelsea on the final day of the Premier League (11 a.m., Peacock Premium).

(Top photos: Getty Images)



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