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USMNT abroad: Christian Pulisic, John Brooks star in top flights

Christian Pulisic, John Anthony Brooks, Fabian Johnson and Matthew Leal highlight a busy weekend of action for Americans playing abroad.

A substantial chunk of the United States men’s national team player pool earned significant playing time in European competition over the weekend.

The following is a snapshot of the Americans’ contributions in Denmark, England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Turkey.

Top performers

Christian Pulisic played a key role in Chelsea’s first victory of the English Premier League season Saturday, a 3-2 decision against Norwich City at Stamford Bridge. Pulisic, who started and played 84 minutes before being substituted out for Willian, assisted on Chelsea’s second goal with a slick layoff to Mason Mount, who finished emphatically from inside the penalty area. Pulisic was also involved in helping set up the Blues’ opening strike.

Defender John Anthony Brooks earned his second consecutive start of the Bundesliga season with VFL Wolfsburg in Sunday’s 3-0 victory over Hertha Berlin. Brooks has played every minute of the young season so far for Die Wolfe, who are currently in a five-way tie for first place.

Also in Bundesliga action was Fabian Johnson, who started and played 81 minutes on the left flank in Borussia Monchengladbach’s 3-1 victory over Mainz Saturday.

Matthew Leal, a native Bostonian, scored the lone goal for his new Portuguese club, Casa Pia, in a 2-1 loss to Vitoria Futebol Club Sunday in U-17 action.

Substantial playing time

Former Columbus Crew SC goalkeeper Zack Steffen suffered his first club loss on European soil in Fortuna Dusseldorf’s 3-1 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen Saturday. Steffen finished the game with four saves. Dusseldorf’s lone goal came from American midfielder Alfredo Morales.

Julian Green went the full 90 and was cautioned in a 1-1 tie against Hannover 96 Saturday. Sebastian Soto, one of the United States under-20 men’s national team’s scoring threats, was on the bench for Hannover but did not play.

Weston McKennie, a former FC Dallas academy product, played the entirety of Schalke 04’s 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich Saturday.

In Turkish Super Lig action, Tyler Boyd earned his second consecutive start and played 61 minutes in a 3-0 victory over Goztepe.

Wigan Athletic scored inside the first two minutes of its match against Queens Park Rangers Sunday, but conceded three consecutive goals to lose its fourth straight Championship match. U.S. defender Antonee Robinson got the start and played 90 minutes for Wigan.

Former New York Red Bulls center back Tim Ream was also on the losing end of a Championship match with Fulham, which fell 2-1 to Nottingham Forest at Craven Cottage Saturday. Ream played the whole game.

Cameron Carter-Vickers started and played 73 minutes of a 3-0 Championship loss to Leeds United Saturday.

In Denmark, right winger Emmanuel Sabbi, 21, started and played 71 minutes for Hobro IK in its 0-0 draw with Odense Boldklub Saturday.

Honorable mention

Matt Miazga, another former New York Red Bulls defender, had an injury scare and subbed out of Reading FC’s 2-0 victory over Huddersfield Town AFC after just 12 minutes. Head coach Jose Gomes said after the game that the American central defender cramped up and should not be out long.

Romain Gall entered in the 69th minute of Malmo FF’s 1-0 loss to Djurgarden Sunday.

Right back Tim Chandler entered in the 77th minute of Eintracht Frankfurt’s 2-1 victory over Red Bull Leipzig Sunday.

Forward Bobby Wood made a cameo in Hamburger SV’s 4-2 victory against Karlsruher Sunday by coming on in the 79th minute.

In addition, Josh Sargent was an unused bench player in Werder Bremen’s 3-2 loss to Hoffenheim Saturday, as were both Shaquelle Moore in CD Tenerife’s 3-2 victory over Numancia in the Spanish Segunda Division Sunday and Alex Mendez in Jong Ajax’s 5-2 win against Dordrecht Friday.

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