Americans abroad are back in action as international football returns. Around the world, US men’s national team players are gearing up for the 2022/2023 season. But this is no ordinary campaign, as players attempt to catch the attention of Gregg Berhalter and secure a place on the 26-player roster headed to Qatar in only four months.
USMNT veteran Jozy Altidore kicked off strong, scoring in just his second match with Liga MX side Puebla. On the other end, Daryl Dike and Tim Weah inspire concerns as the two sit out a couple weeks with fresh injuries.
Here’s what the American players are up to…
Jozy Altidore is wasting no time with Puebla. The forward scored his first goal for the team in just his second appearance, coming off the bench in the 73rd minute to inspire the 3-3 draw against Club Tijuana.
The striker joined Puebla on loan from the New England Revolution last month, after managing just one goal in 17 games for the Eastern Conference side. But the American seems to be adjusting to his new side quite easily, connecting with teammate Ivo Vázquez for the goal.
Daryl Dike is set to return to the sidelines after suffering a fresh injury during training with West Bromwich Albion.
The player missed West Brom’s 1-1 league draw with Watford on Monday, as team officials confirmed a thigh injury kept him off the roster. Manager Steve Bruce added the USMNT forward will now miss at least two months as he undergoes rehabilitation.
“The scan results have confirmed our fears that he’s got a tear to his thigh muscle,” Bruce said in his pre-match press conference Thursday. “Last time it was his hamstring. We’re devastated for him and for the whole lot of us. I don’t want to put a timescale on it, because that’d be unfair.
“It’s substantial, it’ll be weeks, at least a couple of months,” he added. “He’s got to stay mentally strong the kid, because he’s had an awful time and the way he’s worked and the way he got himself into the condition he’s in, it’s really disappointing for him and everybody. He’s kicked a ball. It’s so innocuous that it’s scary. He’s tried to score a goal. It might even have been just a tap in, last minute of training session. It’s frustrating for everybody.”
Tim Weah will continue waiting for his 2022/2023 debut after suffering a foot injury.
Lille head coach Paulo Fonseca revealed the player missed out on Friday’s match against Nantes due to the new injury, and will likely remain out of the running for the upcoming home match against Paris Saint-Germain as well.
“I don’t think Tim will be back for the next match (against PSG),” said Fonseca. Last season Weah was a regular for Lille, appearing in 35 matches across all competitions.
Weah also missed Lille’s season-opening 4-1 win over Auxerre due to a suspension that carried over from the end of the 2021-22 season, before picking up the knock in training.
Cole Bassett will see out the rest of the 2022/2023 season with Fortuna Sittard, after securing the loan from Feyenoord. The Colorado Rapids initially recalled Bassett from Feyenoord before sending him to Fortuna Sittard, though Feyenoord still holds an option to buy Bassett outright from the Rapids, should the Dutch club remain interested in him.
“I am happy to play in the Eredivisie next season,” said Bassett in a club interview. “It is a wonderful opportunity to make minutes in the yellow-green of Fortuna Sittard next season. I look forward to being able to contribute to the sporting achievements of this club with goals.”
Though previously expected to miss out on the season opener, Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri revealed Weston McKennie is eligible to feature against Sassuolo. The player has been out with a shoulder injury, and ruled out for several weeks before the good news.
But his way into the starting lineup will not be easy, as Allegri revealed the competition for the midfield is rough.
“Kostic is a good crosser of the ball, and his control is excellent,” Allegri said Sunday in his pre-match press conference. “He’s been back and forth between Turin and Frankfurt, so I have to decide between him, Cuadrado and McKennie – only two of these three will play, but he’s capable of providing good service for Vlahovic.”